Fractal Designs Arc Midi V2 Review

Fractal Designs Arc Midi V2 Review

Fractal Designs Arc Midi V2 Review  


Introduction

So Fractal are back with a second generation Arc Midi V2, with plenty of watercooling support, a fan controller and finally a window as standard things are looking good. Just how good is it when you get your hands dirty and start throwing all sorts of hardware and cooling at it? Let's dive in quickly and find out, but first a quick look at the specifications:

Specifications

  • ATX, Micro ATX, Mini ITX motherboard compatibility
  • 2 - 5.25" bays
  • 8 - 3.5" HDD trays - all compatible with SSDs
  • 2 - 2.5" additional SSD positions behind the motherboard plate
  • 7 + 1 expansion slots
  • 7 - Fan positions (3 Silent Series R2 fans included)
  • Filtered fan slots in front, top and bottom 
  • CPU coolers up to 180 mm tall 
  • PSU compatibility: ATX PSUs up to 170 mm deep when using the bottom fan location; when not using this fan location longer PSUs (up to 270 mm deep) can be used 
  • Graphics card compatibility: Graphics cards up to 290mm in length with the top HDD cage installed - With the top cage removed, graphics cards up to 430mm in length may be installed
  • 26 mm of space for cable routing behind the motherboard plate
  • Thick rubber grommets on all holes on the motherboard plate
  • Colors available: Black
  • Case dimensions (WxHxD): 230 x 460 x 515mm
  • Net weight: 10.7kg
  • Package dimensions (WxHxD): 320 x 610 x 560mm
  • Package weight: 12kg

    Cooling system

    • Front: 1 - hydraulic bearing 140mm Silent Series R2 fan, 1000 RPM speed (included); 1 - 120/140mm fan (not included)
    • Rear: 1 - hydraulic bearing 140mm Silent Series R2 fan, 1000 RPM speed (included)
    • Top: 1 - hydraulic bearing 140mm Silent Series R2 fan, 1000 RPM speed (included); 2 - 120/140mm fans (not included)
    • Bottom: 1 - 120/140mm fan (not included)
    • Fan controller: 1 - integrated fan controller for up to 3 fans (included)
    • Water cooling compatibility:
      • Front – 240 mm & 280mm radiators (thick, including push pull and slim) when HDD cages are repositioned or removed
      • Top – 240 mm radiators (thick, including push pull and slim)
      • Bottom – 120mm radiators
      • Rear – 120mm radiators

     

    Front Interface

    • 2 - USB 3.0
    • Audio in/out
    • Power button with LED (blue)
    • HDD activity LED (red)
    • Reset button
    • Fan controller


    Key features

    • Designed with high airflow in mind while consistently holding a minimalistic, sleek look and feel
    • Featuring a window side panel to show off your set up in style
    • Extensive water cooling support, designed to support thick radiators in the front and top positions
    • Three Silent Series R2 fans with integrated fan controller included
    • HDD cages are now split 5 + 3 and are both rotatable and removable for maximum configuration and airflow
    • Support for up to 8 hard drive bays with accommodation for an additional 2 x 2,5” inch drives behind the motherboard
    • Easy installation and configuration with ample cable routing space making it simple for everyone to make a very tidy looking computer build
    • Removable fan filters for easy dust maintenance and washing

 

 

Video Review

 

 

Conclusion

The original Arc midi was a great case but owners of the case have been waiting eagerly for Fractal to release a window panel for it. Sadly it now seems this will never happen. The flip side of this is it looks like they have added it as a standard part to the new V2. Its a simple but great design and the use of smoked acrylic over the normal clear is a nice touch and adds to the stealthy clean lines of the case.

The front and roof is dust filtered, it is basic but it works. By basic we mean its not easily removable so it will have to be a Hoover job to clean it quickly. As shown in the video using the tool with a brush on it is the way forward. We would advise, unless for some strange reason you use your roof as an intake and decide to flaunt the laws of thermodynamics, that you would be better off removing the foam from the roof to aid airflow.

Hard drive support is great, with many ways you can configure the layout to suit your needs best, including removing them all together or moving the lower section over so you can still fit a thick watercooling radiator in the front.

Talking of watercooling that really is this cases Ace card, the roof grill for the 2x120mm radiator is offset away from the motherboard. This is to allow use of a much thicker radiator because it will not foul your motherboard heatsinks and/or the ram you use. With a 60mm thick rad up there in push pull (2 sets of fans) there is easily room for ram with height of 45mm, which to put it in context is most kits without HUGE heatsinks. The only downside we would say when running larger RAM kits is you will want to fit them before putting the radiator in. Obviously this also means you'll need to remove the rad to get them out too. A small price to pay for a tidy, well cooled and compact rig we think.

So you may expect with all of this the Arc V2 would end up costing you a lot more than some of the other cases in its class? Well you would be wrong, even we were surprised to find out the Fractal Arc Midi V2 is just £74.99. We all think this is very well priced and considering the options available to the end user is awesome. The only problem we could really see was there isn't a white version...?! Congratulations Fractal a well deserved Gold Award.



     

Thanks to Fractal for sending the Arc Midi V2 in for review, you can discuss your thoughts on the case in the OC3D Forums.

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Most Recent Comments

18-02-2013, 07:48:28

eminus
hi Tom, I love the new video epic as ever.

based on what you stated there is not much difference from an Arc Midi owner point of view right? I mean not much of an upgrade from Arc Midi to Arc Midi V2?

also I would just like to confirm that Fractal Design indeed sell individual transparent side panel. I got it myself but not the cool smoked glass

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-2.../s833/2012+-+8

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-E.../s833/2012+-+7Quote

18-02-2013, 18:20:50

lwatcdr
You said that the H110 will not fit but why? Where is the interference? Just wondering. What about the H100? You say the NZXT X60 will. You know a check off of the closed loop coolers would be a nice addition to your reviews.Quote

18-02-2013, 18:26:42

Jojimbo
H110 uses 20mm fan spacing and X60 uses 15mmQuote

18-02-2013, 21:38:48

airdeano
where are the white Arc Midi's?

simple limited edition white case w/smoke plexi. or white w/black internals im not picky.

fab review Tom.. still a great case for little monies. you said that before and V2
is no different with subtle updates.Quote

18-02-2013, 22:52:25

VengeanceUK
is this radically different from the normal arc midi to warrant and upgrade for upgrading to w/c or is it simply exactly the same as the "v1" just with a window and the slightest of tweaks?Quote
Reply
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