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, 07:30:10

tinytomlogan
We take a look at the second generation of the Arc Midi, the appropriately named V2! With watercooling support and finally a window things are off to a great start.


http://www.overclock3d.net/gfx/artic...103411539l.jpg


Continue Reading

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+-+7

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.

18-02-2013, 18:26:42

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

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.

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?

19-02-2013, 00:43:54

airdeano
Quote:
Originally Posted by VengeanceUK View Post
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?
not radical.. front fascia difference, same chassis mount for roof. actual rad
attachment points for the front. clicky front grill for easier cleaning.

worth the spend? if you are not a fab/modder, yes. if you are handy with a
dremel, knibbler and file.. stay V1. ive got two of these V1 cases and was
almost ready to spend V2 money, but for looks, the front bezel is kinda
attractive with minimal logo placement. id like to sweat FD for a new bezel.
LOL

21-02-2013, 12:35:30

Stuen4y
Of course you can get a side panel for the Arc Midi (V1), it is with the same dimentions as the Define R4 (or the R4 is with the same dimentions as it uses the Arc as platform, or Arc V2, not sure) FD-AC-WND-DEF4-ARC-BL. It can be seen from the product code that it is a Define R4 spec side panel but is deffinitely compatible. You can find it for under 10 quid in UK and as owner of Arc Midi I really consider buying it soon as it really looks great.
P.S. Didn't see the first post (or the picture) so this is more or less unnecessary. Nevertheless, I prefer clear glass so I deffinitely consider buying the screen panel for Arc Midi.

08-03-2013, 07:27:19

Gangster
Quote:
Well you would be wrong, even we were surprised to find out the Fractal Arc Midi V2 is just 74.99.
Tom, where can these be had for 75? I can't find them anywhere. I've heard Fractal are releasing them in March.... any news on this??

22-03-2013, 23:44:36

airdeano
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gangster View Post
Tom, where can these be had for 75? I can't find them anywhere. I've heard Fractal are releasing them in March.... any news on this??
have you tried here? even 74.99

Tom's go to for new releases at specialtech.

23-03-2013, 05:42:58

Gangster
Quote:
Originally Posted by airdeano View Post
have you tried here? even 74.99

Tom's go to for new releases at specialtech.
That is not the Version 2 as seen in this review.......

23-03-2013, 10:39:29

airdeano
have you contacted specialtech via cs email?

23-03-2013, 11:45:10

Gangster
No I haven't - I'm just wondering why in the review Tom said they are available and I've done a Google and can't find them anywhere that are selling them in the UK.

Thought it would've been verified before hand thats all!

25-03-2013, 11:39:45

Tripp
Yeah i am wondering when this is going to be out in the uk to


just found this
http://imperialprice.com/index.php?r...duct_id=554175

25-03-2013, 14:14:55

paulstung
I've been wondering the same to . Didn't he say in the video that he had seen them for 75 ?

03-04-2013, 10:10:07

Tripp
i have just ordered this case

03-04-2013, 10:14:26

paulstung
Where did you find it mate ? I can't seem to find the V2 any where.

03-04-2013, 10:20:25

Tripp
check my post above the last one mate it has the link in it

03-04-2013, 10:21:14

paulstung
Nah no link mate.

03-04-2013, 10:26:53

Tripp

03-04-2013, 10:30:24

paulstung
Cheers mate. Have you used Imperialprice.com before ?

03-04-2013, 10:33:37

Tripp
No its my first time bud but i payed through paypal so i have leverage with them

03-04-2013, 10:39:42

paulstung
that's good, they seem ok. At least they have a good Ebay rating. When is your expected delivery date, you will have to keep us posted. The Arc midi v2 is my planned next project.

03-04-2013, 10:47:52

Tripp
Its due between friday an monday an yeah same here mate, gonna make do with my mobo an cpu till steamroller comes out next year then do a full custom watercooling loop

05-04-2013, 09:26:28

Gangster
Thanks for the link, but 20 postage? They can go jump

I'll wait until the bigger companies get some stock in...

05-04-2013, 10:10:16

Tripp
yeah i stupidly pay'd it you get free shipping on over 100 orders i think,

05-04-2013, 12:34:48

paulstung
I've got a feeling they are just a drop ship. I have been having a good look at their website, and they have every case, by every manufacturer, you can think off. I have never known any shop to hold every single item a company makes. Hope everything goes well for you mate. Their prices are great too, if it goes well I might be tempted to give them a try.

05-04-2013, 15:55:49

Tripp
yeah i hope so to mate fingers crossed i haven't given my money to a dodgy site, i did it though paypal so i should be fine either way. an yeah i think they are just a middle man to be fair mate

05-04-2013, 17:01:41

paulstung
Fingers crossed to matey. Yea deffo a middle man, I have never seen so many cases for sale. They have some not bad looking in the lower price range.

12-04-2013, 09:02:06

Tripp
ok so my stuff has finally been shipped from that company it only took them over a week, will let you know what its like when it gets here bud but i don't rate there customer services that's for sure

update/12-04-13

Attachment 5686

here you go bud i said i would upload a pic

12-04-2013, 10:34:14

paulstung
Tidy, I'm glad the gamble paid of for you mate. I might have to have a look at Imperial, for something different.

12-04-2013, 10:48:14

Tripp
aye mate so am i pretty sure they are a middle man tho so be prepared to wait for your stuff

12-04-2013, 12:50:14

paulstung
Yea agreed mate, they are defo a drop ship.

12-04-2013, 14:08:50

Tripp
Yeah for sure buddy

20-04-2013, 09:40:03

Silver Sparrow
Ordered the Arc Midi 2 yesterday from ebuyer (81) if anyone was still looking for the case. Looking forward to getting my hands on it for sure

20-04-2013, 13:23:22

paulstung
That's good to no, cheers buddy. I, well my brother had an accident with my phantom 630, I'm in need of a new case.

20-04-2013, 14:25:34

NeverBackDown
Arc Midi 2 or a R4 XL? Those would be my two options for you

20-04-2013, 16:53:52

paulstung
I've been looking at both the Arc midi v2, and the R4 xl, I'm a little confused about the R4, some pictures show a mid plate, others don't. Any idea what the deal with it is ?

20-04-2013, 17:29:19

NeverBackDown
Confused on the R4 or the XL2? And what "mid plate"?

20-04-2013, 17:47:00

paulstung
Not sure on what one to be honest mate, but one of the XL's has a mid plate.

21-04-2013, 11:53:29

NeverBackDown
Well it all depends, Both can fit just about the same hardware but one is bigger and has sound dapening foam if that is important to you. If you want the looks then Arc Midi hands down.

21-04-2013, 19:38:11

airdeano
Quote:
Originally Posted by paulstung View Post
I've been looking at both the Arc midi v2, and the R4 xl, I'm a little confused about the R4, some pictures show a mid plate, others don't. Any idea what the deal with it is ?
the original XL had a mid-plate separating the PSU and lower drive area. FD
dropped the mid-plate on the newer R2 version siting "better flow and easier
interior customization for water-cooling and drive usage". so any mid-plate
other than the first design XL then it was modded by end-user. the define
r-series other than the XL did not have a mid-plate, again, was an end-user mod.

21-04-2013, 22:49:36

paulstung
Cheers mate, I'm glad you cleared it up. I'm set on the CM Storm Trooper now ordering in the AM.

23-04-2013, 18:08:51

wassupdoc
SCAN.co.uk Just got these in guys just a heads up

25-04-2013, 10:40:53

AverageNinja
Something just got into my mind:
Isn't it really hard to maintain positive airflow with an H100 or something like that in it?
I would always prefer the top rad exhaust, so you'd have 2 intakes in the front, 2 exhausts on the rad and another exhaust in the back.

25-04-2013, 11:16:38

Feronix
Quote:
Originally Posted by AverageNinja View Post
Something just got into my mind:
Isn't it really hard to maintain positive airflow with an H100 or something like that in it?
I would always prefer the top rad exhaust, so you'd have 2 intakes in the front, 2 exhausts on the rad and another exhaust in the back.
You could... turn the rear fan around?

25-04-2013, 11:20:14

AverageNinja
^^ Could be, but then you would have both the front and the back intaking lol

25-04-2013, 11:31:44

tinytomlogan
Quote:
Originally Posted by AverageNinja View Post
^^ Could be, but then you would have both the front and the back intaking lol

Like Orca does?

25-04-2013, 11:52:59

Feronix
I don't see the problem with that. As long as your get a dustfilter for your new rear intake

25-04-2013, 11:53:43

AverageNinja
I see
I thought Orca had the back intaking and the front exhausting.

25-04-2013, 12:01:24

airdeano
Tom would never exhaust the front, it is against nature. always have a smidge more
intake air than exhaust air to combat dust.

25-04-2013, 14:34:38

AverageNinja
I know that
That's why I thought it was harder to maintain positive airflow

06-06-2013, 22:04:58

DarwinianReject
I bought this case with the intent of building into it little by little. This review was key in making my final decision. Thanks, Tom!

06-06-2013, 22:12:48

NeverBackDown

07-06-2013, 00:09:57

airdeano
the arc mini has always been there, just under rated in mATX. now the 350D pops
in to stir the mATX marketing and now stands a 360x240 radiator supporting mATX
case. anyone say hot overclock and SLI 780/Titan all in one case? not many
ATX cases can do this.. kudos fractal design!

07-06-2013, 20:55:36

NeverBackDown
I would buy it if i had money. Though the Arc XL looks sexy!
Reply
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