Test Setup And Hardware Configuration
As with the Arc Midi R2's predecessor, Fractal Design built this case to provide a balance between cooling performance and noise. This is illustrated, in part, by the three bundled fans that spin at a maximum of 1000 RPM at a full 12 V. The integrated controller offers two additional settings that let you dial this back even further to 7 and 5 V. Our Aqua Computer Aquaero 5 LT measured 1030, 714, and 539 RPM for each voltage level, respectively.
Those numbers could be a little lower with all of the fans attached to the controller at the same time. Unfortunately, we found its fans to be the Arc Midi R2’s biggest weakness. If one of them (and we tried all three) is installed horizontally with the blades aiming down, then it starts to vibrate. These vibrations are transmitted to the case, where they can easily be heard. We'll quantify this shortly.
|Benchmark Gaming System|
|Processor||Intel Core i5-2500K (Sandy Bridge), 3.3 GHz Base Clock Rate, 3.7 GHz Maximum Turbo Boost, 6 MB Shared L3 Cache|
|Processor Cooler||Thermalright Macho HR-02 SE|
|Motherboard||Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD4, Z68 Express PCH|
|System Memory||1 x 4 GB G.Skill DDR3-1333 F3-1333C9S-4GNS|
|Graphics Card||MSI N470 GTX TwinFrozr II, GeForce GTX 470|
|Drives||Hard Drive: Samsung HD322GJ|
|SSD: 60 GB Kingston SSDNow V+ 200|
|Power Supply||850 W Xilence XQ R2|
|Operating System||Windows 7 Home Premium|
We similarly tried to strike a good balance between usability and airflow for our benchmarks. For this reason, we removed the upper hard drive cage to achieve unrestricted airflow to the CPU cooler and the graphics card. This should allow us to run the system stably with lower fan speeds. We went with Intel's Core i5-2500K processor and Nvidia's GeForce GTX 470 graphics card on a Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD4 motherboard. Each component ran at its stock settings.
Sticking with Fractal Design's color scheme, we settled on the older second revision of the 850 W Xilence XQ PSU finished in white, along with Thermalright's Macho HR-02 Special Edition with its black-and-white fan. The latter runs at 1300 RPM, but can easily be slowed down significantly thanks to the sink's copious surface area. For our testing, it was adjusted to run at the same speed as the case fans for consistency's sake.
Thermals on both of our storage devices were tracked as well. The hard drive occupied the lowest internal bay, while the SSD was installed on the back of the motherboard tray, closest to the CPU interface. We assumed this would yield higher SSD temperatures, which we wanted to measure for the folks planning to actually use both mounting positions.
A combination of Prime95 with Small FTTs and MSI Kombustor with the Furry and Tessy tests provided our load, and temperatures were recorded after 60 minutes.