Fractal Design Define 7 Review – Part 2 – Assembly Options

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Basically everything you’ll ever need for your next rig

fractal design define 7 case

Full Product Name

Fractal Design Define 7 Stone Gray Brushed Aluminum/Steel E-ATX Silent Modular Mid Tower Computer Case, Gray (FD-C-DEF7A-07)

Intro

In the first part we went over all of the features that make this case the prime choice for your next build. If you haven’t seen or read the first part, I would check that out first as we’ll literally be building on what we learned from that overview.

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Full Review

Watch the overview video or keep reading the full article below

Table of Contents

What We’re Doing Today with the Define 7

Today we’ll be going over how to customize this case to suit your specific needs and again demonstrate just how versatile this case is. We’ll start with swapping which side the doors opens, then almost completely tearing down the case to rework the interior for the ‘server configuration’, and lastly we’ll look at how to move or remove the included two bay hard drive cage. Along the way I’ll point out a few more of the details of this case that I didn’t get a chance to cover in the first part.

Let’s jump right into it. Being able to swap which side the front panel swings open from doesn’t initially sound like a big deal but for anyone who’s experienced having the door on the wrong side and not being to move it knows just how much of a godsend these feature really is. Even if the door opens fine in the current position imagine if you have to move or if you get a new desk and now the door opens the wrong way? Then what? Well with the Define 7 it’s not a problem.

All you’ll need for almost everything today is a Phillips screw driver but I would advise having two different sized bits if you can, a larger and finer one as there are two sizes of Phillips screws and it’s easier to work with their respectively sized bits.

Swapping Front Door Hinge Position

I practiced removing the panel a couple of times and found there are a couple of ways to swap the door but I feel like this is the least frustrating way to go about it.

Total Time Needed: 5 minutes

Required Tools

- Phillips screw driver
- (Optional) Different sized bits

Follow these steps

Step 1 : Remove frame mount covers
The first thing I did was remove the hinge mount covers from the frame of the front panel and set them aside, these screws are pretty small so they’ll need a finer bit.
hinge mount cover on front frame
Step 2 : Remove door from hinges
I found that it’s easier to remove the door from the hinges first, so let’s go ahead and do that now. These screws are of the larger variety.
removing door from hinge
Step 3 : Remove hinge covers from front panel
With the door removed unscrew these covers and move them to the other side. If you look at these at the right angle they look like little robot faces.
front panel hinge cover
Step 4 : Reposition the hinges
With the door ready let’s move the hinges. Again I found it easier to unscrew the hinges and keep the screw in place because if the screw falls out it’s a pain to get it back in. So simply unscrew them and move them directly into their new location. There’s a little nub on the mount so you can’t put them in the wrong way without breaking something.

At this point I put those little covers back on the frame, on the opposite side of course.
hinge mount cover
Step 5: Reattach door
With the hinges secured you can basically hang the door in place while you screw it back in. The screw mounts are on a small standoff making it a little tricky to line up, so you’ll need some patience. That’s it, now the door opens to the left. There are already magnets built in on both sides so no need to worry about that.
reattach door to hinges

Reconfigure Interior for Server Configuration

Next up, rearranging the interior for server configuration is a little more involved but it’s just a matter of following these steps. As we step through this process we’ll be almost completely disassembling this case. Which on it’s own is a good practice to see how to do things like moving the front fans or mounting a tank for a custom water loop and more.

Total Time Needed: 20 minutes

Required Tools

- Phillips screw driver
- (Optional) Different sized bits

Follow these steps

Step 1 : Remove top panel and air filter
We’ll start by popping off the top panel just like we did in part one of the review. It just snaps right off. The very first time you do this it may take a little more force. Next remove the top air filter by sliding it toward the back of the case until it unlocks and then pull it up.
remove top panel
Step 2 : Remove front panel
Next we’ll pop off the front panel but first pull out the bottom air filter. Then starting from the top pull off the entire front panel which includes the door, the frame, and front air filter. Again this will take a little more force then I feel comfortable doing but it will pop off. It kind of scared me the first I did it.
remove front panel from Define 7
Step 3 : Remove front fans
With the front panel off we’ll have to remove the included fans. Remove the four screws from each then feed the cables through the gap from the rear compartment and put the fans aside. With the fans out of the way we can remove these two panels on top of the power supply shroud.
unscrew front fans
Step 4 : Unfasten drive panel
Now we’ll unscrew the interior panel that will form the back of the full height hard drive cage. There are five screws in total, three on the front panel, one on top, and one on a small tab. After you remove the screws the panel will still stay in place until you pop it free. There are little dimples on the edge that allow the panel to stay positioned until you secure it. Just another smart engineering feature.
unscrewing drive panel
Step 5: Reposition drive panel
Let’s see how to maneuver the panel into place on the other side. Just like in it’s original position once you get it in at the right angle it will snap into place. Here’s another angle to see how I finesse the panel into position. The trick is to move around these braces at the top on both sides. Now screw in the panel from the front first, then the top, lastly the tab from earlier. Trying to get this screw back in is pretty tricky because of the angle. If you come at it from the open in the front panel it should be easier, but it still takes some patience to get it just right.
maneuvering drive panel in place
Step 5: Secure drive panel in place
With the panel in place you can install the hard drive sleds. These sleds are designed with two prongs on the back end. One prong is hooked to slide in place horizontally while the other just sits in a cut out. After you slide it in place use the thumbscrew on the front to tighten it down and you’re done. Remember the case comes with 6 sleds, two installed in the mini hard drive cage below and four more in the accessories box.
drive panel install

Harddrive sleds

Speaking of the accessories box all the hardware to attach a hard drive or SSD to the sled can be found in a couple of the little baggies. These are the screws specifically for attaching storage devices, for the hard drives you always want to make sure to include these rubber dampeners to reduce unwanted vibrations. Of course like a noob I put the dampeners on the wrong side, it should go between the sled and the hard drive. Then just mount it in place as described above. Remember from part one that you can add up to nine sleds just in this section of the case we finished assembling, too bad you only get six in the box, link to buy more of those in the description.

Drive screws

harddrive mounting screw diagram

HDD dampeners

harddrive rubber dampener diagram

Adjust mini harddrive cage

Lastly let’s look at what we can do with the mini hard drive cage. It’s held in place with four screws on the bottom. Normally you’ll have to remove the bottom air filter but we did that already. Once you loosen the screws you can either slider the cage forward or backwards along the channels, so that you can position it exactly as you want. Or you can completely remove the cage by unscrewing it and lifting it from under the power supply shroud.

I do plan on having a few hard drives in raid so this server configuration will suit my needs. I’ll also leave the small cage in place, at least for now.

Top frame panel

You can remove the remaining top panel completely to help attach a large radiator but one of the screws I needed to remove just would not budge and I ended up stripping it oooof. I do plan on installing a 280mm radiator on top so I’ll have to figure something out.

Define 7 User Guide and Manual - PDF

In-depth user manual that covers all most everything from which top IO cables go where to how to install a water resovior on the multibracket

Conclusion

After almost completely disassembling this case I’m still really excited to start building in this case. The real question is when I’ll be able to actually buy all the parts I want.

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