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Reviewed: Fractal Design Arc Midi R2 - Conclusion Featured

Final Thoughts

FD-ARC-R2-W-BL 2-cropped

Noise

The fans that Fractal Design include with the Arc Midi R2 are perfectly matched for an air cooled rig with a high end GPU setup and they are really quiet. At 5v, they are as good as silent and at 12v you can barely hear them - the stock fans will almost certainly NOT be the loudest part of your build and if they are, you have done really well.

We removed the top fan and installed it in the front to have 2 front intake 140mm fans and one rear exhaust 140mm fan with our 240mm radiator installed in the roof. After leak testing our water kit, we tested the included case fans at 5v,7v and 12v with nothing else running in the case and found the fans to be basically silent at 5v whilst still visibly moving air, 7v didn't sound or feel much different to 5v but there was a noticeable difference in airflow at 12v and whilst we could hear the fans working in an open case, we considered the noise to be audible but not noticeable.

The default configuration of the fans is perfect for an air cooled rig and if we were not installing a top radiator, we would have left it as it was out of the box.

Room to Personalise

There is real potential to make your mark on this case - literally. The Arc Midi R2 has:

  • Plenty of room to route wires making it a good candidate for installing LEDs or cathode kits
  • 2 grills and a tinted window to show off internal lighting
  • Room for a custom water loop of either a basic level or multi radiator capacity for the more advanced system builder
  • Dual bays to cater for drive bay reservoirs, fan controllers, Optical drives, media/card readers
  • Moveable internal drive cages to allow for internal reservoirs and pumps
  • Multiple mounting holes for different sized fans - you could replace all the fans with LED fans to give this case just about any colour highlight you want.
  • SSD mounting holes on the motherboard tray to go for that clutter free look inside the case 
  • 2 mesh panels that are easy to remove so if you really wanted to, you could take them out, spay paint them and re-fit them to get a unique look

 

Value

To get 3x140mm fans in a $135 mid tower case that are this quiet is good value, add to that a 3 stage fan controller on the IO panel and you start pushing into "great value" territory. The build quality and design considerations for the system builder are also top shelf in a well priced product.

Conclusion

This case is really hard to beat at it's price point. It is really easy to work in and can be configured in many ways in terms of fans, drive bays, radiator placement and SSD mounting. Due to the trademark simplistic design, it isn't hard to dress it up and the cable routing potential means that you can have LEDs and fans installed and neatly manage the wires. At first I wasn't sold on the tinted side window but after finishing the build and peeling off the protective film, it really looked much better than a clear window - especially with the green LEDs and water kit inside the case.

Despite being a mid tower case, there is more room inside it than you might expect. At $135 this isn't a cheap case, nor is it expensive but we think it's good value when you consider the Pros below.

PROS

CONS

The default fans are quiet Might be too plain for some people
Integrated Fan controller The top panel doesn't play nice with tall screw heads when mounting radiators
Very configurable drive bay options  
Water Cooling Friendly (Radiator placement options)  
SSD mounts behind the motherboard  
Good build quality (grommets, powder coat, sleeving)  
Tinted side window  
Great platform to personalise  
Very well priced at $135  

 

EditorsChoice  Silence Award  TheValueAward

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Last modified onFriday, 11 October 2013 19:22

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