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Fractal Design Arc Mini R2 Review

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Fractal Design Arc Mini R2 Case Final Thoughts

The mATX Fractal Design Arc Mini R2 is a great looking PC case that really breaks the mould compared to other inexpensive plastic and metal  PC cases. The looks rival that of high end PC cases that will double your budget. The build quality is awesome but the Arc Mini R2, being mostly made of steel, is very heavy for its size. The total weight, including the install detailed in the previous section, is a touch under 15KG. The Arc Mini R2 is very intuitive to navigate when installing your system and makes for a pleasant experience and a tidy build. The airflow possibilities for a small case are awesome and the completed system is very quiet.

Fractal_Design_Arc_Mini_R2_micro_ATX_Case_Idle_Temperatures

Arc Mini R2 Conclusion

Before we think about ratings I will write a brief summary for each of the following; Performance, Appearance, Construction, Functionality and Value. This will aid me in giving the Fractal Design Arc Mini R2 mATX PC case a final score and give you a consolidated summary of the entire review. I do strongly suggest that you read the entire review, if you have not already, so that you can arrive at your own conclusion.

Performance of the Fractal Design Arc Mini R2 PC case is really good. The fans move enough air to keep component temperatures well within the safe range while remaining very quiet. The HWMonitor screen capture above shows idle temperatures with an ambient room temperature of 23C.

Appearance is always difficult to rate. Where I see a great looking PC case, many will see it differently and want to make improvements or changes. Others will say it’s too plain or will simply just love it. I like the look, it is nice and simplistic and stays in line with the Fractal Design style that I really cant fault.

Apart from the plastic fascias, which really aren’t that bad, the Fractal Design Arc Mini R2 is really well made. It would be nice to see a case from Fractal design that doesn’t use plastics and I would be willing to pay the premium too. The construction is solid, the corners and edges are well turned and the finish is brilliant.

Functionality is the strongest point of the Arc Mini R2. First up is the air flow capabilities – Up to three 120mm intake fans and up to four 120mm exhaust fans (or 1x120mm and 2x140mm). Next is the water cooling support – There is support for a 240mm water cooling radiator in the front of the case if you remove the HDD caddies, and the option to install either a 280mm or up to a 360mm water cooling radiator in the roof of the case. All of the air intakes are filtered as is the roof should you decide to use these vents as intake.

ATX PSUs up to 170 mm deep are supported when using the bottom fan location. If you don’t install a fan in the bottom you can install longer PSUs up to 220 mm deep. Video cards up to 260mm in length are supported with the top HDD cage installed. With the top cage removed, video cards up to 400mm are supported. CPU Tower coolers up to 165mm tall. Cable routing has been given a lot of attention and makes for a very pleasant install process.

At the time of writing this article I found the Fractal Design Arc Mini R2 mATX PC case on sale for only $89.30 (Amazon). Be prepared to pay around $99.99 elsewhere (NewEgg) unless you can find it on sale at your local retailer. The Amazon price makes this case a very attractive prospect, but the Newegg price is not exactly a hurdle. When I started writing this article the prices on the two websites quoted were equal, I can only imagine that the Amazon seller is taking a cut in profits to sell the case at such a low price.

I think it goes without saying that I would recommend this case. You have so much flexibility and room, and you get a great looking build to boot.

Pros:Benchmark Reviews Golden Tachometer Award Logo (Small)

+ Looks great
+ Good value
+ Intuitive cable routing
+ Excellent cooling
+ Water cooling support
+ Supports ATX PSU up to 22cm
+ Supports video card up to 28cm (40cm if you remove top HDD bay)
+ Removable HDD caddies and ODD cage
+ Solid Construction
+ Reversible side panels
+ Up to six 3.5″ HDD’s plus two SSD’s behind motherboard tray
+ Two USB 3.0 ports on front panel (internal header also for USB 2.0 if no motherboard support)
+ Smoked side panel window

Cons:

- Heavy case when full system installed
– Plastic roof and front panels
– Bottom air filter hard to access

Ratings:

  • Performance: 8.75
  • Appearance: 9.25
  • Construction: 9.00
  • Functionality: 9.75
  • Value: 8.75

Final Score: 9.1 out of 10.

Excellence Achievement: Benchmark Reviews Golden Tachometer Award.

COMMENT QUESTION: What features do you look for when choosing a PC case?

NewEgg.com

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