PC Components

Fractal Design Vector RS – RGB, a Lot of Glass and a Proven Construction

The manufacturer Fractal Design has become an integral part of the housing market. With the focus on simple and timeless cases whose main characteristic should be noise reduction, for a long time there were no models in the product range that were equipped with a viewing window. Even though there is a glass window for almost every Fractal Design case, there are still very few RGB products available. This will change further with the Fractal Design Vector RS. This case, presented a few weeks ago, is based on the body of the successful Define R6 and combines the generously designed interior with a rather eye-catching exterior design, lots of glass and RGB.

Fractal Design estimates the price for the Vector RS at almost 200 Euro (currently: € 219.89 *). Whether this quite high price is justified and how the Fractal Design Vector RS is doing in general, you can find out in this review. We took a closer look at the blackout version.

Technical Details

Model: Fractal Design Vector RS Blackout
Housing type: Midi Tower
Dimensions: 233 x 498 x 552 mm (W x H x D)
Weight: 12.64 kg
Material: Steel, plastic, tempered glass
Color: Black
Front connections 2x USB 3.0 Type-A, 1x USB 3.1 Type-C, 1x Speaker, 1x Microphone
Drive bays: 6x 3,5/ 2,5″ (internal)
2x 2,5″ (internal)
Extension slots: 7 (horizontal), 2 (vertical)
Form factors: E-ATX (up to 285 mm), ATX, mATX, mini-ITX
Ventilation: Front: 3x 120 mm / 3x 140 mm (2x 140 mm pre-installed)
Rear: 1x 120 mm or 1x 140 mm (1x 140 mm pre-installed)
cover: 3x 120 mm / 3x 140 mm
Radiators: Front: 1x 240 mm / 1x 280 mm / 1x 360 mm
Rear: 1x 120 mm / 1x 140 mm
cover: 1x 240 mm / 1x 280 mm / 1x 360 mm / 1x 420 mm
Max. CPU cooler height: 185 mm
Max. Graphics card length: 440 mm (without HDD cage), 400 mm (with HDD cage),
Max. Power supply length: 300 mm (without HDD cage)
Cable management space: 23 mm
Price: € 169.19 *
Special features: dust filter, cable management, RGB lighting, hard glass side windows, integrated fan control, replaceable top panel

Scope of Delivery

The Fractal Design Vector RS comes well and safely packed in a brown cardboard box with black writing and is wrapped in normal polystyrene and a plastic film. The included accessories come in a separate and large brown carton, which is included in the case carton. The accessory box contains a further box with all important screws, the RGB controller, cable ties and a microfibre cloth, a very detailed operating manual and an airflow top cover including fan frame and fabric dust filter. All screws are indicated in their number and are provided directly on the carton with the respective intended use. Also included, but already installed, are three case fans with a frame width of 140 millimeters, six hard disk slides for 2.5/3.5″ HDDs, two frames for 2.5″ SSDs and a PWM fan controller for up to nine fans.

Exterior Impression

If you pack the Vector RS out of its box, you will be impressed by the massive dimensions and the solid weight of almost 13 kilograms. However, when you look at the front, you can see that Fractal Design had a different look than the typical Define housings this time. The front element is divided into two parts. The left third consists of a completely blackened glass element, which was covered with a protective foil. The other two thirds of the front part are characterized by a black steel plate, which was provided with the manufacturer’s logo at the bottom right. On the left and right side there are also angled ventilation slots for the pre-installed front fans.

With a strong jerk on the upper two sides the element can be removed. The two pre-installed fans with a frame width of 140 millimeters are hidden behind the 1.5 kilogram front panel. To protect them from dust, Fractal Design has implemented two easy-to-remove fabric filters behind the ventilation slots. Finally, the circuit board above the fans should catch the eye of everyone. What this board is intended for, we’ll reveal in a later section.

If one lets the view wander towards the lid, a very big glass element catches one’s eye again. This was also covered with a protective foil. All in all, the lid is the exact opposite of the front element in terms of design. Here, only one third is made of steel and the remaining two thirds of glass. But in order to also allow the mounting of fans or radiators in the lid, Fractal Design includes a second top panel and a fan frame with the Vector RS. This consists completely of steel and should measurably improve the airflow in the interior through the openings. For the conversion it is sufficient to remove only two Phillips screws and remove the glass element to the front. “As easy as pie” as the American likes to say. Finally, the I/O panel can be found in the lid. This has two Type-A USB 3.0 ports, a Type-C USB 3.0 port with internal plug, microphone or headphone port and a power or reset button.

The left side of the Vector RS is made of non-tinted tempered glass. Alternatively, there is also a version in which the side element has been darkened. The right side part is made of steel and is lined on the inside with an insulating mat. Both side panels are attached to the body with knurled screws. But even if these are removed, both elements are still firmly connected to the chassis. The reason for this are internal metal lugs and a locking mechanism that only releases the steel lugs with a little effort.

The Vector RS stands stable and secure on four silver feet. Where at first glance you would expect aluminium or steel, this is unfortunately only plastic. After all, these feet were each covered with a strip of rubber. Otherwise, the underside actually only consists of a huge fabric dust filter that can be pulled out to the front. But you also have to remove the front element.

On the back you can see no difference to the Define R6 or Define S2. The power supply is mounted at the bottom. Above it there are seven horizontal and two vertical PCI slot bezels. The latter are of course designed to mount a graphics card vertically. Fractal Design has also equipped the Vector RS with a third 140 mm fan in the rear.

The external processing is on a very high level. The paint is uniform and there are no noticeable gaps. The choice of materials is also good. Where plastic was used, everything appears stable and nothing rattles. The whole thing is rounded off by the good feel of the I/O panel. However, all previous points should be self-evident at a cost of € 169.19 *. However, it is a bit of a pity that the feet are only made of plastic. The feet look stable, but a higher quality material would definitely have stood up quite well.

Internal Impression

If you have ever seen one of the current Fractal designs from the inside, the interior of the Vector RS should not really seem unknown to you. The basic body is 100% identical to the Define R6 or the Define S2. This means that Fractal Design retains the strict interior separation between power supply chamber and mainboard chamber in its latest creation. In the second area, as you might already suspect, the mainboard and the expansion cards find a place. Fractal Design has also equipped the motherboard tray all around with large rubberized openings for cables.

The stylish and at the same time practical power supply cover should of course not be missing from this case either. It covers the power supply and the connecting cables. The vertical part of the cover covers the whole lower area, but horizontally the cover only reaches the end of the mainboard tray. And there’s a simple reason for that. In contrast to many other current cases, the Vector RS can still be equipped with numerous hard disks in 3.5″ format.

In addition, high-quality steel frames are again used on which the hard disks can rest decoupled. So that this characteristic does not destroy the clean appearance in the interior, this Midi Tower has a large cover on the right side which covers the hard disk carriages and the visually not so appealing mounting points of the HDD carriages. If you don’t want to install large hard disks and instead want to use water cooling, you can also screw the cover plate at the height of the mainboard tray to make room for very deep front radiators. We already liked this elegant and well thought-out variability of the interior very much with the Define R6.

Finally, we take a look at the back. Directly behind the mainboard tray there are two steel frames for mounting SSDs or small hard disks. To the right, the manufacturer has installed the PWM fan controller for up to nine fans. The power supply of the board is via a SATA power connector. In the floor area you can find the mounting place of the power supply. This is located on soft rubber buffers for decoupling. Finally, it can be noted that the entire floor is perforated and has been equipped with mounting rails for fans or radiators.

System Construction in the Fractal Design Vector RS

Now we come to system installation. As hardware we use a AMD Ryzen 5 1400 on a MSI B350 PC Mate with 16GB Crucial Ballistix Sport LT grey DDR4-2666. The processor was overclocked to 3.8 Ghz and is cooled with an Alpenföhn Matterhorn Pure. For the image output a GTX 1060 6GB of Gigabte AORUS is responsible. The power supply does the non-modular Berlin Pro RGB 650W with RGB fan. In order to enhance the cabling optically a little bit, single sleeved cable extensions from Phanteks.

As one could expect with such a high-priced case, the installation of all components went without any problems. All spacers were pre-assembled and the middle stand-off keeps the mainboard in place, at least for a short time, even without screws. In addition, the Vector RS uses practical knurled screws in many places. The cable management system is well thought-out and, together with the generous space (23 mm) behind the mainboard tray and the power supply cover, ensures a very neat overall result. So there’s nothing to criticize here.

Where there are also no complaints, is the hardware compatibility. The Vector RS has space for CPU coolers with a height of up to 185 millimeters and for graphics cards with a length of up to 440 millimeters. The maximum power supply length of 300 millimeters is also impressive. Last but not least, of course, the area of water cooling must not be overlooked. The Vector RS supports radiators in the front with a maximum length of 360 mm, in the lid with a length of up to 420 mm and in the bottom with a length of up to 280 mm. Fractal Design has described in detail which combinations are possible in the assembly instructions available on the website. For example, two 360 millimeter radiators or one 420 and one 280 millimeter radiator would be conceivable.

The assembly of the hard disks is one of the few cases where a screwdriver has to be used. The SSDs are attached to the frame using four screws. The frame itself is connected to the mainboard tray with a knurled screw. If you prefer to present your SSDs, you can also mount them above the power supply cover. The installation of 3.5″ HDDs also requires the use of a screwdriver. Rubber rings are screwed under the hard disk using long screws. Then you can attach the data carrier decoupled to the frame and push it back into the slot.

The three pre-installed fans have a frame width of 140 millimeters and belong to the Dynamic X2 GP series. All fans rotate at approx. 1000 rpm and are connected to the mainboard or fan controller via a 3-pin connector. At full speed, the fans move enough air and are easy to hear out of the system at the same time.

Finally, we come to the temperatures reached in the Vector RS. During the load test, Prime95 and FurMark were run for 15 minutes at a room temperature of 20 °C. The system was then tested at a temperature of 20 °C for the first time. Since the Fractal Design Vector RS comes with a replaceable top cover, the load test was carried out in a total of four different scenarios. The results are shown in the table below.

Scenario
Temperature
CPU: 50% (950 rpm)
GPU: 50% (1700 rpm)
Housing fan: 100%
with topcover made of glass
CPU: 66 °C
GPU: 64 °C
CPU: 50% (950 rpm)
GPU: 50% (1700 rpm)
Housing fan: 50%.
with topcover made of glass
CPU: 67 °C
GPU: 64 °C
CPU: 50% (950 rpm)
GPU: 50% (1700 rpm)
Housing fan: 100%
with airflow topcover
CPU: 65 °C
GPU: 64 °C
CPU: 50% (950 rpm)
GPU: 50% (1700 rpm)
Housing fan: 50%.
with airflow topcover
CPU: 66 °C
GPU: 64 °C

Considering that the CPU is overclocked and supplied with 1.35 volts, all temperature values in all scenarios are absolutely in the green range. Even with the solid glass element in the lid there is no heat build-up.

Fractal Design Vector RS Lighting Options

Of course, the Fractal Design Vector RS should not lack a few lighting accents. The manufacturer has placed thin strips of light in the front and lid between the glass and the steel panel. The LED strips are controlled by a circuit board hidden in the lid element. The connection to the mainboard is made via a 5V RGB connector with three pins and is therefore completely digitally addressable. If your mainboard does not have such a connector, you can also use the supplied control module for control. It has three buttons for brightness, color and mode. Possible are for example Rainbow, pulsating or just monochrome. In order to avoid cable clutter on the front element, power and data are transmitted via a further board with four contacts. Finally, a few impressions of the lighting.

Conclusion of the Fractal Design Vector RS Review

Let us now come to our final conclusion. The Fractal Design Vector RS comes with everything that makes a good case. It offers a lot of space, a high compatibility for high-end hardware, three pre-installed case fans including fan control and a modern I/O panel with USB type C. But these are also all features that the more affordable Define R6 offers. So what more can the Vector RS offer? First of all, there is the rather eye-catching design with lots of glass and unusual shapes. Then of course there is the discreet but appealing RGB lighting. So if you want to present your hardware, you can definitely do it in the Vector RS.

But all these features are quite expensive to buy. With a price of € 169.19 * the Fractal Design Vector RS is not exactly cheap. But if you are willing to pay this price, the Fractal Design Vector RS is a high quality and well equipped case with which you will have a very long fire.

Fractal Design Vector RS

Workmanship
Structure
Features
Cooling
Value for Money

Oak high quality and well equipped midi tower with lots of space, RGB and glass.

Fractal Design Vector RS Blackout TG price comparison


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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 Bad Segeberg.

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