Hands On: Fractal Design Arc Midi R2


I’ve been rather fortunate to get my hands on more than a few Fractal Design computer cases.  Many have been from the Define series of cases which boasts just about every feature you would want in a case including the look of simple elegance.  I’ve also had the opportunity to look over the basic Core series which feature solid construction sans some of the more unique features of the Define series.

This brings me to the subject of today’s Fractal Design case, the Arc Midi R2, which is marketed as a high-performance case for the serious computer user, aka geek (like me!)

What’s In The Box?

The Arc Midi packaging represents the typical no-frills look of their recent offering.  A once-around the box will give a decent idea of what you find inside, physical-wise,


and spec-wise.


Once the box is opened, you will find a case with typical Fractal Design construction and finish: flawless.  If you don’t like front covers, this just might be the case for you!  On that front side, you will find two external 5-1/4” bays and if you look real close, you will see a 140mm fan sitting behind the metal grill.


The backside sports a large 140mm exhaust fan  I just love the white on black contrast.

On the motherboard side, you will find a window that will allow you to show off what lies beneath that pretty exterior.

A view of the top shows off the nice rounded corners on the front.  This is also where you will find the typical I/O that Fractal Design provides which is in a very convenient location for those who set their cases on the floor.  Also on the top, you will find a third 140mm fan.

For the I/O, from from left to right, we have

  • a reset button
  • a microphone jack
  • a headphone jack
  • a power button and  LED
  • two each USB 3.0 ports, backwards compatible to allow USB 2.0 connection to the MB.
  • a 3-speed fan controller

Also on top, the removal of two finger screws on the back side will allow you to slide off the top mesh cover

to reveal that top fan and provide you a nice view of how easy it is to install additional fans or a water-cooled radiator.

Finally, you find the typical very thin User Manual plus an accessory box containing the motherboard hardware,

which includes (as is typical of Fractal Design cases) a handy chart of what each screw is to be used with a particular item.

That takes care of the contents and outside of the case.  Before we open up this case to take a look at the internals, we do need to document the full listing of

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