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Fractal Design Arc Mini R2 Case Review: For Your MicroATX Build

Power Supply Installation and Cable Management

The power supply is decoupled via four small pads on the bottom of the case and a frame around the PSU screw holes in the back. PSUs up to 29 cm-long can be accommodated. That number goes down to 16 cm if the bottom case fan is installed, or increases to 43 cm if the hard drive cage is removed.

There are more than enough cable management options for a system this small. They come in the form of rubber-framed holes and built-in cable clips. There are also two openings at the top for fan and EPS power cables, should your motherboard need some auxiliary CPU power. The space for cables in the back is only 1.9 cm, though, which is rather tight.

As a result, you need to use a lot of precision when it comes to routing wires, and making good use of the built-in cable clips is necessary. Creating room for tall CPU coolers was clearly a priority for Fractal Design.

Optical Drive and Hard Drive Installation

The 5.25-inch bay covers are removed by pushing them out from the inside. Optical drives can then be screwed securely into place.

The Arc Mini R2 offers six bays for 3.5- and 2.5-inch drives. The hard drive cage features a modular design and can be removed completely if you desire.

The drives are screwed to the white retention frames from the bottom. Decoupling is only available for 3.5-inch drives, though that's fine, since 2.5-inch storage devices are typically SSDs anyway.

Two additional SSDs can be installed on the back of the motherboard tray. Due to limited space, though, it's best to first take the frame off the motherboard tray, attach the SSD, and then reattach the frame with the SSD in place.

Consequently, for those who can live without mechanical disks, the Arc Mini R2 offers a configuration option for a small but powerful system. Removing all hard drive cages and using two front fans should improve airflow.

Motherboard, Graphics Card, and CPU Cooler Installation

It's becoming common for case manufacturers to include a bit that allows motherboard spacer installation with a normal screwdriver, and the Arc Mini R2 is no exception. CPU coolers up to 16.5 cm in height fit, which is quite generous for a mini-tower.

A large opening in the motherboard tray should make switching CPU coolers with a backplate easy.

Graphics card options are somewhat limited. Our Radeon HD 7950 with HIS’ IceQ cooler design fit just so. Graphics cards up to 28.5 cm-long definitely fit. Beyond that, it might be necessary to remove both hard drive cages, depending on the position of the slot on your motherboard and the size of your graphics card’s cooler.

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