|Fractal Design Arc Midi R2 Case|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Cases|
|Written by Tom Jaskulka|
|Monday, 15 April 2013|
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Closer Look: Exterior
I've mentioned this before, but it bears repeating: some products just look better in person than what can be represented in a photograph. Especially when dealing with what amounts to a black rectangular box, it is difficult to appreciate the textures and small details that the eye notices up close. I'll do my best to illustrate examples as we go along.
The first detail I noticed when viewing the Arc Midi R2 for the first time was the quality of the mesh filters. I feel that one of the major indicators of build quality is the attention paid to the details and fit of features such as these. Every intake on the Arc Midi R2 is filtered - this impacts airflow, but significantly reduces the amount of dust that gets into fans and components inside your computer (a tradeoff that is well worth it in my opinion). The right side is a simple flat panel which matches well with the no-nonsense design language that Fractal Design is known for. Normally I prefer a raised panel here for better cable clearance, but as we'll see later that isn't a problem in the Arc Midi R2.
The front panel is mostly textured plastic, and prominently displays an easily removable mesh filter with space for two 140mm or 120mm fans. This filter is one of the revised components for the R2 version of the Arc Midi, as it is removable by pressing along the top edge (no need to remove the entire front panel). Two spring loaded catches pop out the top edge, and the whole mesh tilts out to be removed. A very simple and effective solution. It's somewhat difficult to see in the pictures, but the Arc Midi R2 is wider than most ATX mid-towers - while there aren't mounting holes for one, a 230mm fan can fit across the width of the enclosure.
The back of the Arc Midi R2 follows the familiar Fractal Design approach, with contrasting white metal PCI slot covers in a 7+1 arrangement and a 140mm exhaust fan. It is nice to see manufacturers accommodating 140mm fans, as they normally provide the same airflow as a 120mm with a much lower noise profile. Fractal Design has notably taken the lead here regarding 140mm fans, which makes most of their cases able to fit some of the newer 140mm All-In-One liquid cooling kits from manufacturers such as Corsair and NZXT.
The entire top panel slides off after the removal of two thumbscrews. As you can see, this entire panel is one giant filter. The filter is recessed just enough to allow use of the top of the Arc Midi R2 as a tray for random thumbscrews or other accessories. Of course, you'll have to be careful not to block the intake or exhaust of any fans you place in this location.