Those that follow most of my chassis reviews will remember the story of my search for the perfect chassis to house my backup rig. The requirements were pretty simple for me, as I had a Micro-ATX based system, and I only needed to fit one dual radiator for cooling. The other aspect that I wanted was that I didn't want a typical squared off chassis as I was looking for something to go well with the round styling, and I kept ending up back at Fractal Design looking at the ARC cases they offered. While I did end up finding the perfect solution to my needs, what if you needed more room?
The people over at Fractal Design have thought of that, and this is the reason we are here today. Almost everything externally is a dead on match to what attracted me to the ARC Midi R2, so if you already liked the aesthetics there, this chassis gives you much more of the same design. Of course being a full-tower chassis this time around, there are a few minor changes outside of the increased size of the chassis. The front of the chassis offers two more 5.25" bays, and in the back there are now nine expansion slots, versus the four of the Midi R2. One other thing that is changed is that since the chassis is so much bigger now, the window on the left side has also increased in size to allow a view of even more hardware in this newer design.
For those of you who aren't acquainted with what Fractal Design has produced in the past, there are some things I have come to expect with their designs. They always have white on the interior in the form of fans, HDD trays, and even the blades of the equipped fans that come in their cases. They have almost stupidly thick door panels, ones that will easily take a blast from a shot gun with some bird shot in it, and after being shot at, they sit an laugh and ask for more.
That sort of attention to detail also leaves users with a very solid chassis frame, that even with panels and components out of the chassis; it can still offer rigidity and a solid feel to their designs. All of these points, along with the feature set, the aesthetic appeal, and the cost will be considered to see if the new ARC XL from Fractal Design is the case for you.