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Written by Tom Jaskulka   
Monday, 15 April 2013
Table of Contents: Page Index
Fractal Design Arc Midi R2 Case
Features and Specifications
Closer Look: Exterior
Detailed Exterior Features
Closer Look: Interior
Detailed Interior Features
Final Thoughts and Conclusion

Fractal Design Arc Midi R2 Review

Manufacturer: Fractal Design
Product Name: Arc Midi R2
Model Number: FD-CA-ARC-R2-BL-W
UPC: 817301011082
Price As Tested: $89.99 (Newegg|Amazon)

Full Disclosure: The product sample used in this article has been provided by Fractal Design.

If you research a little about Fractal Design, you'll discover that "Design" in their name is not an accident. They've set out to "provide products with an extraordinary design level" using a "less-is-more" philosophy. With that in mind they've made some revisions to their Arc Midi enclosure, resulting in the new Fractal Design Arc Midi R2 computer case. The original was praised for its ability to accommodate radiators and other water cooling components in a mid-tower enclosure. Benchmark Reviews has the chance today to take a closer look at the revisions made to the Fractal Design Arc Midi.

There resides within my brain a section that would love to launch into a discussion on "Design." Unfortunately, I don't have a background in the subject (either academic or professional) beyond my own likes and dislikes and evolving tastes over the years. I will say Fractal Design cases have caught my eye in the past - something about the clean lines, white fans and accents made me pick up a Core 3000 almost a year ago now. It was somewhat of a departure for me: normally I prefer something with more color, or unique styling. The Core 3000 was by comparison a little "boring" - and I place that term in quotes because I believe Fractal Design have accomplished something unique with their enclosures. In my opinion, they've managed to find a near-perfect blend of sophistication and style while integrating common-sense features important to a performance oriented case. Will the Arc Midi R2 measure up to the rest of their product line? Let's dig in and find out.

ArcMidiR2_L34.JPG

Right away you can see the first of a few revisions that result in the R2 moniker: a windowed side panel. While I'll do my best to point out the revisions made throughout the review, I don't have the original chassis on hand to directly compare. For a quick reference, the changes from R1 to R2 are: one less USB 2.0 port on the I/O panel replaced by an integrated fan controller; the front filter is now separately removable from the front panel; the HDD bays are more modular with a 5+3 configuration instead of 4+4; and mounts were added for 2.5" drives on the back of the motherboard tray.



 

Comments 

 
# Terrific valueGord M 2013-05-20 09:29
I built a secondary desktop this spring using this case which I got on sale at NCIX for 89.00. I think it is a very functional design with outstanding aesthetics. I am not a huge fan of the window. It builds up a static charge and attracts dust and needs to wiped inside and out periodically because even a tiny layer of dust shows up on plexi.
I agree with the author about the old-fashioned slotted covers, although the removable top and front are a nice touch.
Not so sure that hinged panels are the answer. I prefer the pair of latches on my Corsair Graphite SE case. I modified the left cover to include a cable stay with a quick connect so that I can hinge it open like an oven door for visual inspection or quickly disconnect and remove it to access the interior.

It shipped with a slightly distorted top grill. I notified support and they shipped me a new one right away.
This case is absolutely a very good value. It 140mm fans cool nicely, it's very easy in the eyes and offers lots of flexibility.
Love the dust filters too.
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