Hardware Reviews

Fractal Design Define S2 Review: The Ideal Case for Every PC?

The “Define S” presented three years ago has got a successor. With its chassis-free interior and numerous installation options, this is also intended to inspire friends of water-cooled systems in particular. However, the successor model “Define S2” has been revised in many respects and offers numerous extras.

To what extent it differs from its predecessor, whether the innovations are actually useful, and whether it meets the high expectations, our detailed test of the new case should clarify.

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Design and Workmanship

The housing is kept simple on the outside. In terms of color the choice remains between Black, Blackout, Gunmetal and White. While the Black model has white accents in the interior, the Blackout model is completely black. The lid is removable and a side window made of tempered glass provides a view of the hardware installed inside. The first innovation can already be found here. If the window of the predecessor could only be opened and closed with a screw, it now has a screwless closing mechanism. A look inside reveals that the open case construction introduced with the Define S is continued with the successor. Otherwise, however, the design of the case differed significantly from that of its predecessor. The Define S2 has a power supply cover, a new lid construction and some other extras – more details can be found in the second section “Equipment and module construction”.

Fractal Design Define S2
Fractal Design Define S2

All in all, the first glance inside the housing reveals that the concept of the predecessor has been consistently further developed. The housing looks simple and tidy. The lack of RGB lighting, which is a standard feature of most competitor products in this price range, is a particular problem.

Overall, the design of the new case is above all practical and functional. Design aspects were only considered cautiously, which does not necessarily have to be negative. In the end, the case looks unspectacular, but coherent.

The materials used are of the usual high quality. Fractal Design cannot afford to compromise on workmanship at a price far above that of its predecessor. The glass pane, which can now be opened without much effort, is particularly striking. Here the manufacturer has shown that he has worked on the criticisms of the predecessor.

Technical Details

Universal holder for 3.5″/2.5″ drives 3
Holder for 2.5″ drives 2
Expansion slots 7 + 2 vertical
Mainboard compatibility eATX (up to 285 mm wide), ATX, mATX, ITX
Power supply Form factor ATX
Front connections 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C, 2 x USB 3.0,

2 x USB 2.0, Audio I/O

Fan positions 9
Fan front 3 x 120/140 mm,
(2 x Dynamic X2 GP-14 included)
fan upper side 3 x 120/140 mm
Rear fan 1 x 120/140 mm
(1 x Dynamic X2 GP-14 included)
Fan bottom 2 x 120/140 mm
Dust filter floor fan + PSU

Front fan

Fan on the top side

Radiator Front 120/240/360 mm
140/280 mm
Radiator upper side – 120/240/360 mm
– 140/280/420 mm (max 35 mm height of mainboard components)
Radiator rear 120 mm
Radiator Ground 120/240 mm
140/280 mm
Max. Length PSU 300 mm
Max. Length GPU Max 440 mm with fans installed in the front
Max. CPU cooler height 185 mm
Cable management room 23 mm
Tool-less push-to-lock closure Both side panels
Loss resistant knurled screws HDD & SSD mounts
Left side panel Black/Blackout/Gunmetal Version: Slightly tinted Tempered Glass
White Version: Clear Tempered Glass
side section right Steel, with sound insulation to industrial standard
Dimensions of housing (LxWxH) 543 x 233 x 465 mm
Dimensions Housing without feet, protruding components, screws 535 x 233 x 448 mm
Weight Net 11.6 kg
Price Black € 136.95, Blackout € 140.95, Gunmetal € 149.32, White € 141.95
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Simon Lüthje

I am co-founder of this blog and am very interested in everything that has to do with technology, but I also like to play games. I was born in Hamburg, but now I live in Berlin.

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