This solid case is quiet, attractive and well cooled, but could be a bit hefty for some
The Fractal Design Arc Midi R2 is an elegantly understated case which feels well built and is surprisingly heavy. It’s available with either an acrylic side panel, so you can look at your PC’s innards, or a solid version.
Although not designed as a silent case, the Arc Midi R2 is surprisingly quiet, thanks to its thick sides and the quiet 140mm fans fitted at the front, top and rear of the case. Only a few tweaks have been made since the original version of the Arc Midi (see Group Test, Shopper 291); the side panel fan mount has gone, the dust filters have been upgraded to be more effective, and there are now 2 1/2in drive mounts on the back of the motherboard tray.
There are also two USB3 ports at the top of the front panel, alongside the fan speed control switch, mic and headphone ports. Although more front USB ports would have been useful, there is at least a rear blanking plate designed to be replaced by the port extension backplate of your choice. The front panel has two external 5 1/4in bays for components such as optical drives or card readers, as well as mounts for either 120mm or 140mm intake fans, one of which is occupied with a 140mm fan.
Behind the fans are two drive cages, which between them give you a stack of eight drive trays that can hold either 3 1/2in or 2 1/2in disks. That’s more storage than most people would ever need, and the middle bank of five drive trays will get in the way of the longest graphics cards. To remove it, just take out two thumbscrews and slide it away. With the cage in place, our hefty 275mm AMD Radeon R9 290 still fitted without any trouble, but take the cage out and there’s more than 400mm of depth to play with. Standoff screws were surprisingly stiff to fit to the motherboard tray, but it was easy to route all our cables through the tray’s grommeted access holes.
With its snazzy black and white interior, dust filters, quiet fans and unobtrusive appearance, this is one of our favourite cases, but the slightly better-looking and cheaper Antec P100 just pips it to a Best Buy award.
|Total Firewire ports||0|
|Total eSATA ports||0|
|Internal Drive bays 3 1/2in||8|
|5.25in drive bays||2|
|Fan mounts||8x 140mm|
|Fans supplied||3x 140mm|
|Power supply wattage||N/A|
|Warranty||one year RTB|