Air Cooling and Dust Protection
Dust filter effectiveness has always been one of Fractal Design's strengths, and the Arc Mini R2 benefits from the company's experience. It employs a tried-and-true approach in that the front filter is held by a latch mechanism on either side, which is released and snapped back in by pushing on it. There's a 12-cm fan (FD-FAN-SSR2-120) right behind it, with space for a second one immediately underneath.
We also find a familiar sight at the bottom of Fractal Design's Arc Mini R2. A long dust filter that can be pulled out the back covers the openings for the power supply, and an optional fan can be installed on the middle of the case's floor.
The top cover is held in place by two thumb screws, just like we’re used to from the larger Arc cases. There’s a dense filter protecting a 14-cm fan (FD-FAN-SSR2-140), found inside. A second fan of the same size can be installed without blocking the top 5.25-inch drive bay.
Around back, another 12-cm fan rounds out the Arc Mini R2’s stock thermal setup.
The integrated fan controller provides 12, 7, or 5 V to the fans. As a result, the large FD-FAN-SSR2-140 runs at 1000, 700, or 500 RPM, and the smaller FD-FAN-SSR2-120 spins at 1200, 800, or 600 RPM.
Small 12-cm radiators can be installed in place of the rear case fan, or at the bottom of the case if you use a sufficiently short PSU.
The top and front of the case host more interesting options for water cooling. Under the enclosure's top, space for a radiator installation is well thought out. Screw holes for the radiator are located at the outer edge of the case to avoid collisions with any tall parts of the motherboard.
Consequently, 24-cm radiators should fit without any problems. Thirty-six centimeter radiators only fit after removing the 5.25-inch drive cage, which can be achieved by unscrewing it. Push/pull configurations aren’t possible due to the top cover being too close. The fans have to go below the radiator.
There’s enough space for a 24-cm radiator in the front of the case once you remove its hard drive cages. To accommodate radiators that are more than 27.2 cm in length, the 5.25-inch drive cage needs to be unscrewed and removed as well.
We actually recommend radiators with a length of 3 to 4 mm less than the 27.2 cm maximum, since an exact fit varies by model and how far it extends beyond the screw holes.
As word of warning, radiators installed up front have to be attached with the help of fans. The radiator can’t be pushed all the way to the front cover’s screw holes because it touches the case's internal steel structure. Unfortunately, the screw holes have the same flaw we found in the Arc Midi R2; screws with a large head might be too thick to fit into the opening. Instead, the head sits on top, making the screw too short to reach its intended destination. We solved this problem for our Cooler Master Eisberg 240L Prestige review by foregoing the rubber grommets that are supposed to go between the fans and radiator.