Fractal Arc XL Video Review
Fractal Arc XL Video Review
Published: 11th September 2013 | Source: OC3D TV | Price: |
Fractal Designs have been in the business for some time now. They have some impressive products on the market through their desire to provide a minimalistic design coupled with well-built units that are always competitively priced.
Back in February of this year we reviewed the Arc Midi V2. This case was an improvement over the previous incarnations and deservedly received the OC3D Gold award - can its big brother, the ARC XL, continue the journey along the golden path? Let's find out.
- ATX, Micro ATX, Mini ITX, E-ATX, XL-ATX motherboard compatibility
- 4 - 5.25" bays
- 8 - 3.5" HDD trays - all compatible with SSDs
- 2 - 2.5" dedicated SSD positions behind the motherboard plate
- 9 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 190 mm deep when using the bottom fan location; when not using this fan location longer PSUs (up to 345 mm deep) can be used
- Graphics card compatibility: Graphics cards up to 330mm in length with the top HDD cage installed - With the top cage removed, graphics cards up to 480mm 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
- Window side panel included
- Colours available: Black
- Case dimensions (WxHxD): 232 x 572 x 552mm
- Net weight: 13.8kg
- Package dimensions (WxHxD): 322 x 625 x 635mm
- Package weight: 16.3kg
- 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 and slim) when HDD cages are repositioned or removed
- Top – 240mm radiators (thick) or 280 and 360mm radiators (slim up to 40mm)
- Bottom – 120mm radiators
- Rear – 120 and 140mm radiators
- 2 - USB 3.0
- 2 - USB 2.0
- Audio in/out
- Power button with LED (blue)
- HDD activity LED (red)
- Reset button
- Fan controller
- Arc XL computer case
- Accessory box
- User manual
The Fractal Arc XL is a well thought-out case at a great price, featuring a larger-than-normal internal layout than most cases at this price point supporting up to XL-ATX motherboards and a total of 9 PCI express slots. It also has room for up to a 40mm thick 360mm radiator in the roof and you can easily get an 80mm thick monster 240mm in the front in push pull if you remove or relocate the HDD bay. We were slightly disappointed that there is no 60mm thick 360mm long radiator support in the roof of the case and we think this is a bit of an oversight by Fractal. Giving end users options is never a bad thing when trying to sell a product to the mass market and there is room to be able to get it in there should they move the motherboard or PSU down.
If you're not water cooling, you have the option of two 140mm fans on the front panel, three 140mm fans in the roof, one rear 140mm fan and a 140mm fan in the bottom of the case - again, so many options with cooling thanks to the very generous and well though spacing design.
The smoked side window is a nice touch as we feel it adds to the stealthy approach to the overall design. The case is extremely sturdy and very well built with no awkward movement in the chassis - it's a solid piece of kit.
The cabling options are good with good sized and well placed grommets and cable anchor points meaning routing isn't a frustration. We like the specified SSD drive retaining spaces located on the back of the motherboard tray - these are a nice addition and together with the cable management, you can easily keep the interior visibly clean.
All-in-all, this equates to a great case for a little over £100. It's very well positioned for its pricing model and has all the features and build quality of a case that would normally cost a lot more. It's this point that the watercooling option in the roof could have made such a big impact, if there was support for that magical 60mm radiator we would be saying this is one of the best budget water cooling cases around at the moment. Sadly it doesn't, so we can only say its one of the good ones.
You do need to consider your options when deciding on what case to buy as with any type of purchase for your hard-earned. We at OC3D want to help you make the best decision for that money and as such, we can recommend the Fractal Arc XL as a great future purchase. It's a brilliant case that continues on the path led before it earning itself the OC3D Gold Award.