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Fractal Design ARC XL Full-Tower Chassis Review

By: Chad Sebring | Full-Tower Cases in Cases, Cooling & PSU | Posted: Oct 23, 2013 2:01 pm
TweakTown Rating: 97%Manufacturer: Fractal Design

The Build and Finished Product




To gain access to the removable bay covers, the front bezel needs to be removed. Once there you have access to the tabs that lock them all into the bezel. Also notice that the front I/O is still on the frame of the chassis with no wiring to deal with.




With the build fast forwarded to completion, we now see the ARC XL with the bezel back in place and it has the ODD added. The drive is flush with the face of the chassis and does not take away from the design since the bezel surrounds it with a mock brushed aluminum finish.




The inside of the chassis was gutted to show how much room is available for those using SSDs. There is plenty of room for a dual radiator in the front along with the pump and reservoir to sit there too. There is quite a bit of distance from the top to the motherboard for another radiator, and the ARC XL makes this ATX board look small.




Out here, the rear I/O shield snapped right into place, the PSU fits snug against the gasket at the bottom, and I did not have to flex the back of the chassis to align the video card screws.




I did need to rearrange the wiring, but connecting the fan controller and the chassis wiring is pretty simple, gets where it needs to, and is clean looking when tied up. Since this area is so deep, there is no issue getting the 2-pin along with a bunch of other wiring tied to it and still get the panel on without any conflicts.




With the darkness of the tinted side window, it is difficult to see much behind the glass, if you will. What you are left with is a very similar thing to what came out of the box, and I really like that about certain chassis designs, this one included.




Using the power button to bring the ARC XL to life, you will immediately see the blue LED backlighting the power icon. What I wasn't able to time correctly was catching the red LED to its right flashing when the HDD was active.




Since the lighting is on top, and the darkness of the window makes seeing a spinning fan more difficult, you would assume maybe some fan noise would let you know it was on. In this instance with the ARC XL, even to get an accurate measurement of the 29dB of noise from the fans, I had to be within six inches of the chassis to obtain it.

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