Hey guys, and welcome to yet another Go! Gaming Giant Hardware Review. Today I’ve the Fractal Design Arc Midi Computer Tower for you guys.
The front of the Arc Midi box is pretty simple, but then again this is a pretty simple case. You have the Fractal Design logo at the top, Arc Computer Case next to that, and a picture of the front of the case below that. ‘Performance in Style’, after using this case, those words ring so true.
On the side of the box, Fractal Design breaks down all of the features and specifications of the Arc Midi.
- Stylish, Minimalistic Front Panel With Alu-Look
- Optimized For Performance, Massive Cooling And Water Cooling Support
- 3x 140mm Fans Included (1x In Front, 1x In Rear, 1x In Top)
- Support For Dual 120mm Radiator In Top, Even Thicker Radiators Up To 60mm In Thickness
- 8x White Painted HDD Tray, With Silicone Mounting
- Upper HDD Cage Is Removable And Rotatable
- USB3 Support In Front Panel
- Excellent Cable Routing And Cable Routing Covers
- Easily Removable Front Panel With Clip On Fan Slots
- Extra, Vertically Mounted Expansion Slot, Suitable For Fan Controllers Or Non-Input Expansion Cards
- 8x 3.5 Inch HDD Trays, Compatible With SSD!
- 2x 5.25 Inch Bays, With 1×5.25>3.5 Inch Converter Included
- On Top Of Front Panel: 3x USB 2.0, 1x USB 3.0 And Audio I/O
- No PSU Included (Removable Filter Below PSU)
- M/B Compatibility: Mini ITX, Micro ATX, And ATX
- 7+1 Expansion Slots With Sleek White Painted Brackets
- Supports GFX Card Lengths Up To 290mm When Removable HDD-Bay Is In Place
- Supports GFX Card Lengths Up To 470mm Without Removable HDD-Bay
- Supports CPU Coolers With Height Of 180mm
- Supports PSU’s With A Depth Of Maximum Circa 170mm, When Using Bottom 120/140mm Fan Location (When Not Using The Bottom 120/140mm Fan Location, The Case Supports Up To 275mm PSU’s)
- Case Size (WxHxD) 230x460x515mm / 9″x18″x20.27″ With Front And Top Bezel In Place
- Net Weight: 10kg (22lb)
Swinging around to the back of the box reveals a few in-depth shots of the Arc Midi itself. All but one of the features below was already listed above, so please refer to the Features above for the same effect as what you get on the back. The single feature that was not previously listed is that the Arc Midi supports a total of eight fans (2x140mm in front, 3×120/140mm in top, 1x120mm in bottom, 1×120/140mm in rear, 1×140/180mm in side panel).
I know, I know, so much stuff between the start of the review and the case itself. The goodies included with the Arc Midi are a User’s Manual, and a box full of even more goodies, so let’s open her up and see what’s inside!
Inside Fractal Design Includes the 5.25″ to 3.5″ Drive Bay Cover for those of you who are using a card reader, or *gasps* a floppy disk drive. There is also a bag full of black screws and a motherboard standoffs, the fan controller which we will look at more in-depth in a second, and two industrial strength cable-ties.
The fan controller main-board is installed on a white expansion slot with a single metal black knob for controlling the fans. On the main-board itself is two plug-ins, a 3-pin female connector and a 2-pin female connector. The wires included are a 2-pin to molex cable, which is used for powering the fan controller, and a 3-pin to triple 3-pin cable, which is used for plugging in up to three fans.
A few things I would have liked to see was the included cables being braided, and seeing them be a bit longer. Fractal Design recommends installing the fan controller on the single vertical expansion slot, but I find this to be a bad idea. First, my fan controller didn’t even fit correctly in that slot, but after some modding, I got it to fit, and, the cables are just far to short to install in that expansion slot.
The Case Exterior
Mmm, soak it in.
Starting off with the front of the case, you can see that Fractal Design went with the Alu-Look, which is actually almost a spitting image of the solid aluminum cases that other manufacturer’s make that cost around 3-4x as much. Obviously the front panel is actually plastic, but it is still quite durable. There are two 5.25″ drive bays at the top, along with the Fractal Design brand-name on the very top. Below the drive bays is a large mesh grate that conceals a single 140mm Intake Fan, and a slot for a second 140mm Intake Fan. Underneath the fans is a super thick dust filter, but sadly it is not removable to. One thing that I do like is that the front fans clip into place, instead of having to screw them in.
Turning to the left side-panel reveals to use a honeycomb vent with mounting holes for either a 140mm cooling fan, or a massive 180mm cooling fan. The front of the case has the alu-look going for it, but the rest of the case is done in a matte black finish.
Swinging to the back end, you can see that Fractal Design with a striking black and white theme (which follows into the inside of the case). The seven ventilated expansion slots are all painted white, along with the eighth vertical expansion slot, and to top it off, the fan blades on every included fan in the case are white. There are two rubber grommeted holes above the rear exhaust fan, where you can route some water cooling tubes or wires through, if you so desire. On the left on the exhaust fan is the opening for the Motherboard I/O shield, and at very bottom is the opening for a standard Power Supply to get installed, and though you can barely see it in this shot, there is a little handle at the very, very bottom that you can grab to pull out the removable dust filer for the Power Supply, and bottom-mounted (optional) fan.
At the top of the case from left to right is the reset switch, microphone and headphone jack, Power Switch (with LEDs), two USB 2.0 ports, and a single USB 3.0 Port. What lies beyond the front panel buttons is entirely mesh, and what’s underneath that mesh? Why a single 140mm fan, that’s what. The top panel is very easily removed, by taking out a single thumbscrew in the back of the case, and then sliding it off. Now underneath here can look a bit confusing. The top of the Arc Midi can fit a few different things. Either two 140mm fans, two 120mm fans, a single 120mm, a single 140mm, a single 180mm, a 280mm rad, or a 240mm rad. There is also a third mounting spot which has support for either a single 120mm or 140mm. Don’t let the info on the box confuse you. The holes are not lined up to where you could run a triple rad of any kind in the top of this case.
Well, thanks for reading. That covers the Box, Goodies, and Exterior of the Fractal Design Arc Midi. Please click here to continue on to Part Two of the review, which will include; Interior, Installation, Testing, and the Conclusion.