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Five More Mainstream Gaming Cases, Rounded-Up

Building With The Fractal Design Arc Midi

Employing a similar layout as the Storm Enforcer, Fractal Design’s Arc Midi gives us two more hard drive bays, two fewer 5.25” drive bays, grommets on cable pass-through holes, slightly greater card length, and a flatter top panel for reduced peak height.

Removing the center drive cage extends maximum card length from 11.7” to 17.8”, but only in slots one through three. Since most motherboards place the graphics card in slot two, the extra space is usually useful for one dual-slot card.

The Arc Midi’s 5.25”-to-3.5” external drive adapter is factory-installed in the lower external bay, but its face plate is packaged separately. You'll also find a three-fan controller with adapter cable, two reusable cable ties, and a bag of screws and standoffs in the installation kit.

The Arc Midi’s cable kit is cluttered up a little by the presence of both HD Audio and AC'97 front-panel connectors. The latter has been out of use for several years.

While 3.5” drives use grommets to dampen vibration, 2.5” drives screw directly to the Arc Midi’s hard drive trays, since SSDs don’t vibrate.

Our slightly-oversized ATX motherboard covers the Arc Midi’s cable holes about half-way, forcing us to maneuver large cables around the front edge of the motherboard tray. A hole above the motherboard makes room for our ATX12V lead.

With no windows or lighted fans, the Arc Midi looks more like a workstation than most of its competitors. A side-panel fan mount is the only visual cue to its gaming intent. But then again, some folks like their gaming boxes looking clean.

  • samorf
    That's a great looking case. I know value isn't a huge point for the CM Cosmos 2 but I would love to see your benchmarks on it.
    Reply
  • mjmjpfaff
    I really thought that the Antec Eleven Hundred would get this site's nod, especially with its build quality and its plethora of features to help with cable management, as well as all of its removable dust filters which many cases at the 100$ mark lack as well as some cases well over 100$.
    Reply
  • jimmysmitty
    mjmjpfaffI really thought that the Antec Eleven Hundred would get this site's nod, especially with its build quality and its plethora of features to help with cable management, as well as all of its removable dust filters which many cases at the 100$ mark lack as well as some cases well over 100$.
    Antec, I think, has fallen behind in case design as of late. While the Eleven Hundred is much better than the aging 900/300 design, it still has some small points of meh such as only one 2.5" drive bay when there are other cases close to the price (not current price but original price) trat support 2.5" in every drive bay.

    Also the design is a bit meh. Though I have fallen in love with the Corsair 500R so its a bit hard to make me think of another case. And the CM Storm Enforcer is ok. Had one in the shop the other day. Nothing amazing honestly but its not overly bad.
    Reply
  • Crashman
    jimmysmittyAntec, I think, has fallen behind in case design as of late. While the Eleven Hundred is much better than the aging 900/300 design, it still has some small points of meh such as only one 2.5" drive bay when there are other cases close to the price (not current price but original price) trat support 2.5" in every drive bay.Also the design is a bit meh. Though I have fallen in love with the Corsair 500R so its a bit hard to make me think of another case. And the CM Storm Enforcer is ok. Had one in the shop the other day. Nothing amazing honestly but its not overly bad.I really liked the Eleven Hundred, it's just that the Enforcer's super-low price makes it a better value for the majority of builds.
    Reply
  • damric
    I really felt like I was reading a commercial. Was this review cut and paste from the marketing documents provided?
    Reply
  • randomkid
    Nice article. I feel glad about my choice of the CM Storm Enforcer... :)
    Reply
  • Crashman
    damricI really felt like I was reading a commercial. Was this review cut and paste from the marketing documents provided?I'll have what you're having! Then I can look past all the careful observations, performance data and criticisms and see a world made of cotton candy!

    BTW, you should at least read the ENTIRE conclusion before calling an article a fluff piece. Thanks!
    Reply
  • randomkid
    ^No editing feature while in the Article comment mode. But I found out that once in the forum, it can be edited or deleted just like any post.
    Reply
  • jaquith
    I tend NOT to recommend cases to folks (personal preference) - it's like saying your Girlfriend is ugly or has a flaw.

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

    As long as the case functions and has what you need -- it's all what YOU like and flips that switch.
    Reply
  • eddieroolz
    I'm not a fan of obviously gamer looking cases, but the Antec 1100, by virtue of being so similar to my P280, gets my vote.
    Reply