Power Supply Installation And Cable Management
Power Supply Installation
So long as you're not using a bottom case fan and you haven't moved the lower hard drive cage, power supplies can be up to 310 mm long. Otherwise, you have about 170 mm to work with.
Four small round pads on the bottom and one generous large pad on the back serve to decouple the PSU from the enclosure. Nothing needs to be pushed or bent into place. Drop the power supply into place and its screw holes should line up nicely with the Arc Midi R2's.
The cable management is surprisingly well-planned. You get 26 cm worth of space between the back of the motherboard and the Arc Midi R2’s side cover. Even very thick cables or the plentiful bundles involved with a multi-GPU setup fit back there. The grommet-like frames in the cut-outs sit securely, protecting your fingers and covering up the cable work going on behind them.
Fractal Design built in several long cable openings in the motherboard tray, giving you plenty of options for routing. Naturally, when we're building our own machines, we take advantage of these for cleaning up an enclosure's interior.
The company even included two openings on the top of the motherboard tray so that boards like Asus' Crosshair V Formula-Z, with one eight-pin +12 V connector on each side of the CPU, can be hooked up with minimal cables showing.
The back of the motherboard tray sports cable retention clips to hold down wires that run through. Cables originating from the front-panel connectors are already fastened securely into place, which is a nice touch. We would have liked to see Fractal Design include a few more of these clips, though.
Some Notes and Recommendations about Replacing the Fans
Let's say everything else about the Arc Midi R2 is ideal for you, and you simply want to replace its fans.
As for keeping the GPU cool, I don't that is an issue with 2 the fans in the front creating perfectly adequate airflow to keep the GPU cool unless you are using multiple GPUs. Although in time I would probably mod the window and inserting an extra fan there as that isn't a hard job to do.
Heat Sources: i5-3570K @ 4.4 GHz, Hyper 212 EVO, EVGA GTX 560Ti @ 900 MHz, 3 WD Cavier Black HD
With Define R4's often available for roughly $85 (on sale) and Arc Midi 2's typically about $65 online, I find the $20 additional cost for the sound-proofing included in the Define R4 models a very worthwhile investment.
That is what I like to call structured airflow. Placing fans in the most effective places and shutting off meshed areas that allow air to escape without contributing to net cooling can achieve superior results with much less meshed area and fewer fans.
Side fans don't always help GPU temps, they can even hurt temps in some cases by interfering with the airflow from the GPU fan. It really depends on the case and GPU (and whether or not the front intakes do anything for the GPU), but saying categorically that having an intake there will improve GPU temps is certainly not true.