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:
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.