Question Define 7 with optical drive. Airflow?

Apr 1, 2022
Hello folks

I have my lovely new build in a Fractal Design Define 7 case.
For now I have the default 2 front intakes and 1 rear exhaust. And a Noctua NH-D15S cooling the CPU (12700K).
I have an optical drive that I haven't installed yet. I was planning to keep it uninstalled, and get a USB adapter for it so I could just plug it in when I need it. But now I'm thinking I may as well just install it in the case.
I'm just wondering the effect on airflow.
Part of it thinks it might slightly improve it. If I have the mesh (rather than the solid) top on the case then maybe some of the air brought in by the front intakes will actually exhaust uselessly out of the top of the case before it can even get to the CPU/GPU. If I installed the optical drive then that would effectively block the front mesh part of the top and therefore prevent that freshly sucked in air leaving too quickly.
Does that make sense?
I reckon I'm probably completely wrong here, but do you think there is any sense to my reasoning?
Is anyone using the Define 7 with an optical drive?



Could you post pictures of your current setup so we have a better understanding of how your fans and their airflow path is oriented? If I were you, I'd leave it as is and have the ODD as an external only used when necessary.


You now have the means in hand to install in the case and see how you do.
You can always remove the dvd drive if it does not work out.

I think from an airflow point of view, a dvd drive will make very little difference.
Adding an optical drive will likely have little to no effect on cooling.

Regarding having a mesh directly above the front intakes, in my experience with my case (a Fractal Design Meshify C), the areas closer to the front of the fans actually suck in air because of the Bernoulli effect. That is, the airflow the front fans are generating decreases the static pressure in that area, so it draws in air from the outside.


Feb 3, 2015
Not the 7, but but I have had an optical drive plus a card reader in the second drive bay in my R4 for eight years and it's never been a problem. 4790k with a weird black xigmatek cooler, the two fractal fans in the front and one in the rear, plus a cheapo fan in the bottom just because it looked cool. I had the front top airhole open for a long time for the reasons listed by the person above me, but I recently closed it back up again because the back fan recently started making a noise and that seemed like a good way to "fix" the noise. ;)

The case has been great, but I've been thinking of getting something new in my next compy just to have something smaller. Don't need all that room any more.