Fractal Design is extending its popular Arc case family with the Arc Mini R2. It's a mini-tower for microATX motherboards, and it’s supposed to provide the same features as the Arc Midi R2 and the Arc XL. Does it deliver a familiar quality level, too?
Our German team recently reviewed Fractal Design's Arc Midi R2 and Arc XL cases, finding them to be solid offerings at their respective price points. Their main critique was of the stock cooling fans.
The Swedish company is now offering a mini-tower version of its Arc cases, built to accommodate microATX motherboards. Despite more compact dimensions, though, it's supposed to offer similar features as the larger versions. This includes modular hard drive cages, an integrated fan controller, spaces for SSDs to be installed on the back of the motherboard tray, and different options for mounting radiators and compact water coolers.
So, does the company make any compromises in the process of introducing its $100 Arc Mini R2?
Packaging and Accessories
As we've come to expect, the Arc Mini R2 ships in a no-frills cardboard box sporting schematic drawings.
Also as expected, the case’s accessories can be found in their own box with a list of their descriptions and a quantity for each printed on it. There are some cable ties, a number of black screws for installing various components in the case, and the motherboard spacers, which are the only pieces that aren’t black. Noticeably absent is a piezo speaker.
Technical Specifications and Control Panel
|Model||Arc Mini R2|
|Dimensions (HxWxD)||40.5 x 21 x 48.4 cm|
|Weight||Approximately 9 kg|
|Plastic (Front and top covers)|
|Form Factor||MicroATX, Mini-ITX|
|Drive Bays||2 x 5.25" (External)|
6 x 3.5" or 2.5" (Internal)
2 x 2.5" (Internal, back of motherboard tray for SSDs)
|3-Level Fan Controller (12 V, 7 V, 5 V) for 3 Fans|
|Fans||Three-level fan controller (12, 7, and 5 V) for three fans|
Front: 2 x 12 cm
Included: 2 x 12 cm (1200 RPM, blue lighting)
Top: 2 x 12/14 cm
Included: 1 x 14 cm (1000 RPM)
Rear: 1 x 12 cm
Included: 1 x 12 cm (1200 RPM)
|Optional Water Cooling||Front: 24 cm Radiator |
Top: 24/36 cm Radiator
Rear: 12 cm Radiator
Bottom: 12 cm Radiator
|CPU Cooler||Up to 16.5 cm|
|Graphics Card||Up to 28.5/42.5 cm (Both hard drive cages need to be removed for cards longer than 28.5 cm)|
|Power Supply||Up to 29/43 cm, including protruding cables (With/without bottom hard drive cage)|
|Cable Management||Up to 1.9 cm|
|Price||Approximately $100 (Street price, model with side window)|
Approximately $110 (Street price, model without side window)
Compared to the two larger models in Fractal Design's Arc family, the front control panel loses two USB 2.0 connectors, leaving a pair of the more modern USB 3.0 ports. There are also HD Audio connectors, a power and (tiny) reset button, and a three-level fan controller that allows the fans to run at 12, 7, or 5 V.