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.