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In Pictures: Five More Mainstream Gaming Cases, Previewed

Behind The Arc Midi

The rear view of Fractal’s Arc Midi reveals a pair of grommets to support external liquid cooling systems at the top, and a slide-out dust filter at the bottom. An oversized 140 mm fan pulls heat away from the finished system’s CPU cooler.

Arc Midi Dust Control

A slide-out filter covers both the power supply intake and a bottom-panel fan mount. We don’t spend much time discussing bottom-mounted fans, since long power supplies often block them. But we did notice that this one supports both 140 mm and 120 mm fan sizes.

Arc Midi Cable Management

Fractal Design pays particular attention to cable management by giving the Arc Midi a little more space behind the motherboard and using tighter-fitting grommets to hide pass-through points. A nice large hole eases access to CPU cooler support plates.

Arc Midi Front Panel

Two holes in the front panel pass air through drive cages from intake fans that are mounted to the Arc Midi’s face plate. A breakout on the second external bay is replaceable, hiding a 3.5” bay adapter. It can have its center section removed for use with that adapter.

Arc Midi Intakes

The Arc Midi’s face plate holds up to two 140 mm fans, but includes only one, with dust filters on both mounts to further reduce internal cooler contamination.

Arc Midi Top Panel

The Arc Midi hides a trio of exhaust fan mounts under a vented plastic cover, yet supports a dual 120 mm-fan radiator at most. That’s because two of the fans are offset to the extreme left to make extra room between the motherboard and radiator assembly, while the third fan is centered over the top 5.25” drive bay to fit within the bay’s structure. All three locations support both 140 mm and 120 mm fan sizes.

Raidmax Agusta

Loosely borrowing some of the styling from its motoring namesake, the Agusta appears to be Raidmax’s first attempt to deliver a true full-tower chassis to the gamer-oriented market. Compared to the large mid-towers that many vendors mislabel as full-towers, this true tower has enough room for a hard drive cage beneath its power supply. That design gives the Agusta a height of 23.8”.

A large grille on the left side-panel fits both 180 mm and 120 mm fans, which must be purchased separately if you want them.

Agusta’s Ports

Though niceties like separate fan speed and fan lighting controls dress the front edge of Agusta’s top panel, Raidmax still makes the questionable move of tying a dual-row internal USB 3.0 header to a single port. The other two ports only support USB 2.0.

A Hidden Surprise

Two lower 5.25” external bays hide behind a door on the Agusta, in addition to the three upper bays. This could be an ideal location to stash a full height or two half height backplanes, or simply a place to hide an old and ugly drive that’s still needed for a specific application.

Inside The Raidmax Agusta

The Agusta is split into two compartments, with the upper portion supporting main components and 5.25” drives, and the lower portion accommodating six 3.5” and 2.5” drives.

Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.
  • EzioAs
    Cooling wise, I'm guessing the eleven hundred will come out on top
    Reply
  • amuffin
    That is correct^^ The Eleven Hundred is one of the cases I have seen that has superb cooling over the competition. I recommend it to anyone who needs a well rounded and cooled system :)
    Reply
  • jimmysmitty
    EzioAsCooling wise, I'm guessing the eleven hundred will come out on top
    Depends. More holes are not always better. Their Dark Fleets are pretty horrible when it comes to cooling.

    I still prefer my Corsair 500R as these cases are either bland or ugly.
    Reply
  • monkeymonk
    I lilke the side panel on the eleven hundred and the fan behind the cpu is cool too.
    Reply
  • refillable
    Antec 1100. Who is with me? :)
    Reply
  • Onus
    I like the 1100 also, but would probably prefer a version without the big window.

    The Raidmax looked like gimmicky junk.
    CM has too many "oops"es.
    The Fractal Designs and Silverstone cases also didn't quite "get it right," at least not for me; but I could probably make them work. The aesthetics were good on them.
    Reply
  • old mann
    Didn't care fore any of these. All seemed boxy and without personality. Whatever the price point is for these, it is probably too high. Hopefully, the next segment will show the HAF XM or the NZXT Phantom 410. These are supposed to be gaming cases yet, they lack most of the features of an enthusiast case. Heck, I'd pick the Rosewill CHALLENGER over any of these and it's only fifty bucks.
    Reply
  • ivyanev
    I would never buy/recommend a case with top mounted fan: just begs to spill something on.
    Reply
  • element1981
    I've had numerous cases including the Antec 900 and 300. I just upgraded to the Antec 1100 for my main PC and have been extremely pleased with it. I mounted 2 more 120mm fans behind the front panel and the cooling is nothing short of amazing. It's a relatively simple looking case, but it's elegance is in it's simplicity. It does everything exceedingly well. Installation was a breeze and future modifications will be easy with the extra interior space. You'd have to pay double the cost of this case to get something that exceeds it significantly in features. An all around great case, and I'd definitely recommend it over any other case in the $80-120 range.
    Reply
  • spookyman
    Cases are more a personal preference then design.
    Reply