Fractal Design ARC Mini R2 Review

Introduction and Technical Specification

Fractal Design ARC Mini R2

Introduction

With M-ATX motherboards offering more features and capabilities and so becoming ever more popular it necessarily follows that manufacturers will begin to focus more of their attention on enclosures that will enable the consumer to take advantage of all this M-ATX goodness in a case that doesn't take up half the desk.

Having reviewed both the XL and the Midi R2 we were excited to get our hands on the ARC Mini R2.  Smallest of the ARC fleet, but by no means the smallest case from Swedish Manufacturers Fractal Design who also produce a range of Mini-ITX HTPC focused cases.  Although able to accept the M-ITX board, the ARC Mini is primarily designed around the M-ATX form factor.  It does though have a few more tricks up it's sleeve than simply being a smallish case. 

 

Technical Specification

Case Type

Mini Tower

Motherboard Support

Micro ATX
Mini ITX

Power Supply Support

ATX up to 170mm Depth

Maximum GPU Length

260mm with Top HDD Cage Installed
400mm with Top HDD Cage Removed

PCI   Expansion Slots

4 + 1

External 5.25" Drive Bays

2

External 3.5" Drive Bays

n/a

Internal 3.5" Drive Bays

6

Internal 2.5" Drive Bays

6 using 3.5" Drive Bays
2 Dedicated Behind Motherboard Tray

Front I/O Panel

2 x USB 3.0
Audio
3 Speed Fan Controller

Colour

Black

Removable Motherboard Tray

n/a

CPU Mounting Hole

Yes

Materials

Steel

Dimensions (LxWxH)

484mm x 210mm x 405mm

Front

1 x 120mm Silent Series R2 Fan (space for 2)

Rear

1 x 120mm Silent Series R2 Fan

Top

1 x 140mm Silent Series R2 Fan (space for up to 2 x 140 or 2 x 120)

Bottom

option for 1 x 120mm Fan

Side

n/a

Watercooling   Support

Yes

Radiator Support

Space for 240mm in Front up to 272mm in Height
Space for 240 or 360mm in Top, 360mm Will Require Removal of ODD Cage

Package Contents

1 x Fractal Case
Accessory Box
Instruction Manual

 

Key Features

  • A compact micro ATX case designed for exceptional airflow and cooling
  • Superior water cooling support for its size, accommodating multiple thick 240mm radiators or even a 360mm radiator for an uncompromised cool system build
  • Three Silent Series R2 fans included, giving you excellent cooling straight out of the box! 4 additional fan positions are available
  • Featuring an integrated three-speed fan controller and USB 3.0 on the front panel for easy access
  • Multiple easy-to-clean dust filters designed into the case to help maintain a dust free interior
  • Great storage capacity for a mini chassis, with up to six 3.5” drives and two additional 2.5” drives
  • Innovative SSD position mounting, using brackets to allow for easy access once your system is completely built
  • Featuring a large stylish window side panel to show off your set up in style
  • Designed with ample space for easy, tidy cable routing and an overall a neat build

 

Cooling Options

  • Front: 2 - 120mm fans (included is one hydraulic bearing 120mm Silent Series R2 fan, 1200 RPM speed)
  • Rear: 1 - 120mm fan (included is a hydraulic bearing 120mm Silent Series R2 fan, 1200 RPM speed)
  • Top: 2 - 120/140mm fans (included is one hydraulic bearing 140mm Silent Series R2 fan, 1000 RPM speed) 1 - 120mm fan (not included)
  • Bottom: 1 - 120mm fan (not included)
  • Fan controller: 1 - integrated fan controller for up to 3 fans (included)
  • Water cooling compatibility:
    • Front – 240mm radiator (thick and slim) when HDD cages are removed, radiator cannot exceed 272mm in total length with the ODD bay in place.
    • Top – 240mm or 360mm radiators (thick and slim); the use of 360mm radiators requires removal of the ODD cage.
    • Bottom – 120mm radiators
    • Rear – 120 and 140mm radiators
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Most Recent Comments

28-10-2013, 04:52:56

tinytomlogan
http://www.overclock3d.net/gfx/artic...074150124l.jpg

We've looked at the XL and the ARC Midi. It's now time to give the ARC Mini R2 the OC3D once over


Continue Reading

28-10-2013, 07:20:19

superlattice09
A good case but still too large for a m-ATX class IMO

28-10-2013, 07:42:29

Rastalovich
I kinda agree. There is a need for these ones just that much bigger tho.

Good positives for any case manufacturers, is the design that allows the installer to more or less strip the case down to an empty frame. Sure you can still get the elcheapo cases that have all the insides riveted - but the likes of Fractal cases aren't elcheapo. They're decent/great looks, quality construction in the main, and easy to work with in my experience.

Those have been the deciding factors for me choosing Fractal; good price; easy to work with; good design.

This case looks a nice option.

29-10-2013, 14:10:16

Nurf
I actually already have the case, but my build isn't completely ready yet.
If you keep the ODD bays, there is actually a few mm more space than what fractal says. A XSPC RS240 will fit and a EK XT 240 might (hopefully) fit without removing the bays. I still think they should have added 5mm more height so more rads would fit. I pretty sure they tried a H100 and called it a day.
As for the size of the case, a case that can fit 360+240 rads without modding and is this small is quite rare.
I found fans that will be perfect for the fan controller, but I hate having useless things on a case so if I wouldn't use the controller, I'd be annoyed at having it there. Then there is the looks of the case, which I like, but I understand if someone doesn't.
So not a case for everyone, but a good case nonetheless.

29-10-2013, 18:32:36

dalewakelin
Sweet they sorted the plastic looking grill out

30-10-2013, 05:14:16

G-Dubs
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nurf View Post
I actually already have the case, but my build isn't completely ready yet.
If you keep the ODD bays, there is actually a few mm more space than what fractal says. A XSPC RS240 will fit and a EK XT 240 might (hopefully) fit without removing the bays.

a case that can fit 360+240 rads without modding and is this small is quite rare.
.
Thanks for your comments. You don't need to remove the Optical drive bays to fit a 240mm rad. The EK XT 240 is 47mm thick so although it will fit length ways a lot will depend on the height of you RAM and other mobo attached devices.

Re fitting 360 and 240 without modding. If you want to put a 240 in the front and a 360 in the roof you're going to have to take out all your HDD and ODD bays so although you haven't had to get the dremmel out you have had to modify the interior of the case to accept them. Strange really as had the drives been riveted in you could call it modding but as they can be unscrewed....Well....

30-10-2013, 06:27:27

Nurf
Quote:
Originally Posted by G-Dubs View Post
The EK XT 240 is 47mm thick so although it will fit length ways a lot will depend on the height of you RAM and other mobo attached devices.
I was talking about a 240 on the front, seems I forgot to mention.

As far as the modding, I guess its a question about what you think modding is so lets put it this way, you can take the parts out and later put them back in with virtually no skill or risk of doing something wrong. I think the screws are good for people who are beginners in modding and/or don't want to do something that can't be completely reversed.
This case has small features that not every case has. If you don't need/care about them then this is just a case with nothing special, but if you like them then this is a great case especially with what I think is a low price.

30-10-2013, 16:09:21

Timo
Fractal make nice cases. Go on Utube and look for "Dune Guild Navigator" and enjoy their inspiration. Those rounded edges...

My new build is sitting on a Roccat Taito mouse mat, under a glass TV table, surrounded by 140 NFs. I'm looking for inspiration. Perhaps I might buy a large glossy dustbin and get to work.

- oh and the Noctuas are fed by a very loud Minebea brushless DC turbine.

03-01-2014, 09:41:33

PekkaJukkasson
I'm sorry to say but this made me a little angry. I want to answer some of your negetive feedback in the conclusion (yes, I've read the article).
I want to take this from a all-out-watercooling perspective.

#1. There's enough room for a 360 (I'm not going to focus on 140mm settings) rad in the top. Just unscrew the 5.25 bays in the top and you're good to go, who uses them anyway? You just need to choose some RAM that aren't that tall.

#2. Since the ODD-bays are out, remove the HDD-bays too. You can put two SSD's in the back, that's what I do. Now you can fit a 240 rad thats more than 272mm long.

#3. These radiators can be sooo thick! A 80mm + push pull can be fitted in the front and a 60mm + 1 set of fans can be fitted in the roof, maybe even 80mm + fans or 60mm push pull.

This case maybe isn't so much for standard users since it is a big (still smaller than the 350D) Atx chassi. But boy look at the hardcore watercooling options if you can survive on two SSDs and no ODDs (use external or server storage and a USB CD reader).

Last I just wanted to share an example from Cebit2013

http://www.sweclockers.com/image/red...nal&k=09816b9a

This is my first post and I don't want to act like a troll or hater. I just think this chassi has so much potential.

Greetings from Sweden!

03-01-2014, 11:06:39

tinytomlogan
Quote:
Originally Posted by PekkaJukkasson View Post
I'm sorry to say but this made me a little angry. I want to answer some of your negetive feedback in the conclusion (yes, I've read the article).
I want to take this from a all-out-watercooling perspective.

#1. There's enough room for a 360 (I'm not going to focus on 140mm settings) rad in the top. Just unscrew the 5.25 bays in the top and you're good to go, who uses them anyway? You just need to choose some RAM that aren't that tall.

#2. Since the ODD-bays are out, remove the HDD-bays too. You can put two SSD's in the back, that's what I do. Now you can fit a 240 rad thats more than 272mm long.

#3. These radiators can be sooo thick! A 80mm + push pull can be fitted in the front and a 60mm + 1 set of fans can be fitted in the roof, maybe even 80mm + fans or 60mm push pull.

This case maybe isn't so much for standard users since it is a big (still smaller than the 350D) Atx chassi. But boy look at the hardcore watercooling options if you can survive on two SSDs and no ODDs (use external or server storage and a USB CD reader).

Last I just wanted to share an example from Cebit2013

http://www.sweclockers.com/image/red...nal&k=09816b9a

This is my first post and I don't want to act like a troll or hater. I just think this chassi has so much potential.

Greetings from Sweden!
We have to review this stuff how it is for the average user. We cant do a mod guide on everything, we cover more things than all the other websites anyways.

03-01-2014, 19:14:19

Wraithguard
The man from del monte he say yes! I've been searching for a small form factor case with all the cable routing and modding potential I require (many boxes to tick) and this review has solidified my choice on this case.
Reply
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