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Fractal Design ARC Midi R2 Mid-Tower Chassis Review

By: Chad Sebring | Mid-Tower Cases in Cases, Cooling & PSU | Posted: May 3, 2013 11:19 pm
TweakTown Rating: 96%Manufacturer: Fractal Design

Specifications, Availability and Pricing




Steel is the metal of choice for the construction of this chassis, and the front bezel is made from ABS plastic, but in this design it covers two of my wishes. The bezel is not only curved on both sides as it meets the side panels, the panel are also molded to look like brushed aluminum. In this bezel you have two 5.25" bay covers in place at the top, and the majority of the area is then taken up with steel mesh with round holes in it. What is really handy is that this mesh panel pops out and allows you access to clean the fans as well as the filters on the back side of that mesh. The left side of the chassis is flat, but offers a very large, darkly tinted window for somewhat of a view inside the chassis. Around the back of the chassis you have a seven plus one expansion card setup, and easy to find access to fan controllers or light switches. The right panel of the chassis is flat and just gets painted with the same textured black paint that the rest of the steel received.


The inside has a lot to offer as well. In the front of the chassis there is room for up to a pair of 140mm fans under the pair of 5.25" bays at the top. Just behind the 140mm fan shipped in the front, there are eight total 3.5" drive bays. These are held in two rack assemblies that can be both rotated or removed entirely to allow for water cooling room in the front of the chassis. The top of the chassis also offers room for a dual radiator, and it can be thick too, as the motherboard tray is shifted down to allow for the extra radiator.


Speaking of the motherboard tray, while offering room for Mini-ITX, Micro-ATX, and ATX motherboards, it also offers five large wire management holes with grommets, six strategic wire tie points, and a huge CPU cooler access hole - you can even screw a pair of 2.5" drives to it. To keep the flow from the front fan moving, you will also find a 140mm fan mounted in the top of the chassis as well as one on the back of the chassis acting as another exhaust.


The chassis had arrived to my house a few weeks ago, but with part sourcing being an issue, and some final tweaking and problem solving to go through, I definitely got to spend a little more time with this chassis than I usually do before a review. The other nice thing about the wait that I had with this chassis is that now you can find this chassis on the shelves just about anywhere you look. What I am pleased to see is that while some are charging almost outrageous amounts for this chassis, I did find that Newegg is at the low end of the spectrum with a reasonable price. I found that the ARC Midi R2 is currently selling for $109.99 with free shipping to boot.


I had to sift through quite a few cases to get to this point, and really could have chosen any mid-tower design and been happy. I was willing to go retail for this build too, and when shelling out my own money, I would have had no issues spending what Newegg is currently asking to get what I ended up with when I was done with this build.

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