Fractal Design's Arc Midi R2 ATX Case Review
Fractal Design introduced its Arc Midi about two years ago at a price point around $80, making it an affordable mid-tower PC case with a simple design. The chassis proved popular with customers and garnered a lot of editorial attention, too. The accolades weren't just related to price; it also boasted a number of features that were far from standard at the time, including cable management, extensive dust filters, an integrated fan controller, and modular hard drive cages.
The original Arc Midi might be two years old, but its aesthetic and feature set are still very much modern. Fractal Design's new Arc Midi R2 replaces the side fan with a large window, which naturally changes the case's look a bit. Other modifications are less obvious. You get the option to install 2.5” drives on the back of the motherboard tray, for example. Or, you can pop in a 240 mm radiator not just below the top, but also behind the front of the case. Finally, the integrated fan control is relocated to a more convenient position.
Since the Arc Midi R2 is only a few dollars pricier than its predecessor, there’s really no reason to skip out on the advertised improvements by stepping back to the old version. We're interested in these updates, and how big of an advantage they might lend to the evolved enclosure from Fractal Design.
The Swedish case vendor typically builds its chassis to be simple and elegant. This isn’t only reflected in Fractal's products, but also in its packaging. The Arc Midi R2 ships in a basic cardboard box with side handles. There's a picture of the case on the front and an exploded view around back, describing the enclosure's unique features.
My colleague Igor Wallossek and I both have an issue with the messy Styrofoam used for packaging cases, but apparently nobody is listening. Fair enough.
In the Box
Apart from the case, the box includes a large pamphlet letting you know that you can contact Fractal Design if anything is wrong with the Arc Midi R2. The offer to send out a replacement part immediately and free of charge can save the hassle of returning it to the seller.
The multi-language manual doesn’t include complete installation instructions, but it does a fair job explaining the case’s unique features. The print quality is good, also.
All of the accessories are found in a small cardboard box. There are cable ties, motherboard spacers with a handy installation tool, and plenty of screws painted black to match.