Fractal Design Arc review

A quiet yet cool case that looks the part, but just a little extra cash buys a much better case

4 Mar 2012
Our Rating 
4/5
Price when reviewed 
70
inc VAT
Buy it now for 

Specifications

Fractal Designs’ previous cases have done well in previous labs tests, but the Arc is a bit of a departure. The noise-reducing foam and sealed fan mounts are gone, having been replaced by mesh for improved airflow. If the Define R3 is a little too toasty for your components then the Arc seems a great compromise.

Fractal Design Arc

From the front, the brushed metal chassis looks simple yet refined. There are only two 5.25in drive bays, and you’ll have to sacrifice one to install a 3.5in drive using the bundled adaptor, but this does leave room for the two preinstalled 140mm front intake fans. The I/O panel, which consists of one USB3 port, two standard USB2 ports and two 3.5mm audio jacks, is located at the top of the case, putting it within easy reach.

Inside, eight 3.5in drive bays are mounted sideways for easy installation. Each disk caddy can hold 2.5in drives as well as 3.5in drives, which will please SSD users no end. Three pre-cut cable routing holes and a large motherboard cut-out should make it easy to build a tidy system.

Fractal Design Arc

As we expected, the Arc’s well thought out when it comes to cooling and as proof of this the expansion port backing plate has been installed vertically to let you install the bundled fan controller. This gives you full control over the three preinstalled 140mm fans, albeit from the back of the case. It’s not as quiet as the excellent Define R3, but the Arc range is geared more towards cooling performance than noise reduction.

For £70, the Arc’s a great case with which to build a cool and quiet PC, but its build quality isn’t quite on the same level as the superb Corsair Carbide 500R.

Details

Price £70
Rating ****
Case midi tower

Ports

USB ports 3
Total Firewire ports 0
Total eSATA ports 0
Headphone port yes
Microphone port yes

Physical

Size 230x460x515mm
Weight 10.0kg
Internal Drive bays 3 1/2in 8
5.25in drive bays 2
Fan mounts 8x 140mm
Fans supplied 3x 140mm

PSU

Supplied PSU no
Standard N/A
Fans N/A
Power supply wattage N/A
Motherboard connector N/A

Buying Information

Warranty one year RTB
Price £70
Supplier http://www.dabs.com
Details www.fractal-design.com

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