The Smaller Footprint: Fractal Design’s Arc Mini
A 16” case is barely tall enough to host a full ATX motherboard and PS/2 form-factor power supply. Fractal Design is a little kinder to its builders however, designing the Arc Mini for microATX motherboards, while leaving extra space at the top for cooling and cable management. At 8.25” wide and 19” deep, its footprint is nearly identical to that of competing 13.8” by 11.2” cube designs.
All that glitters is not gold, or even metal for that matter. Fractal designed its Arc Mini with a high-definition brushed-finish molding into a plastic face to give the appearance of aluminum at reduced cost.
Though the front panel might not win any design awards, the steel parts behind it are just as thick and sturdy as those of the Arc Mini’s bigger siblings. Scratch-resistant textured paint is also used, as durability and longevity are hallmarks of every Fractal Design chassis we’ve sampled.
A single 120 mm fan fills one of two front-panel mounts, while another resides in the back. Similarly, the top panel’s dual 140 mm fan mount includes a single fan.
The Arc Mini is designed to host a 2 x 120 mm dual-fan radiator, which is offset approximately 2.5” from the motherboard support plate to increase clearance for tall memory modules and large motherboard heat sinks. It’s still not wide enough to hold PNY’s pair of single-120 mm radiators side-by-side, but be assured that there is a method behind our apparent madness.