|Dimension||515mm x 230mm x 460mm|
|Motherboard Support||mATX, ITX|
|Expansion Slots||7 + 1|
|Drive Bays||2 x 5.25”, 8 x 3.5”, 2 x 2.5” (Behind motherboard tray)|
|Cooling Option||2 x 120mm/140mm fan at the front panel (120mm fan included)
1 x 120mm/140mm fan at the rear (120mm fan included)
3 x 120mm fan at the top or 2 x 140mm fans at the top (140mm fan inluded)
1 x 120mm/140mm fan at the bottom
*A simple fan controller is included*
|Front I/O||2 x USB 3.0 Ports
1 x Speaker/ headphone
1 x Microphone
|Power Supply||Not included|
|It must have been a rough trip, a small dent at the side of the box is found even with all those protection.
Before going directly to the Arc Mini R2, here’s a brief details on what’s included other than the chassis itself. We have a guide on how to deal with product defect (Red colored paper), a user’s manual on the Arc Mini R2 features and a box containing all the accessories required to mount your hardwares (Screws, cable tie etc).
At first glance, the Arc Mini R2 really resembles its predecessor (Arc Mini) A LOT.
The top panel can be removed by removing the thumbscrews located at the rear of the chassis. Before going further with the top panel, there’s two rubber grommets at the rear of the chassis which cover up the holes for watercooling tubes in case you need to install an external watercooling setup.
Back with the top panel, we’re now looking at the removed top panel. Right under the mesh of the top panel is a layer of sponge to filter out dust, reducing dust intake to your system.
A close up look at the sponge filter, we can see these fine pores on the sponge – the dust will have to be really fine particles to get through these pores. Sponge filters tends to capture dust in between so we recommend washing it to remove the dust thoroughly.
A view from the top shows cooling options offered by the Arc Mini R2 – 2 x 140mm fans, 3 x 120mm fans, 280mm/240mm radiator and even 360mm radiator. This is where the Arc Mini R2 shines as there’s isn’t many mid tower out there offers this much of flexibility in cooling options.
Continuing with the front panel, the Arc Mini R2 now comes with an attractive. shiny and reflective Fractal Design tag on the removable front filter.
The front filter can be easily removed by pressing both sides of the front filter top and it will popped out easily for fans and radiator installation.
By removing the entire front panel, we can see that the bracket for fan installation is actually attached to the front panel. You will need to be extra careful for not to over tightening screws on it as it is made of plastic and might break if you do so.
Here’s something to highlight: every fans included comes sleeved.
The large window panel allow you observe your beautiful rig and even showcase your rig to your friends. The window also appears to be tinted, good for dimming bright LED from the inside of the chassis.
There’s 4 pieces of large rubber feet and a large removable filter sheet installed right at the bottom of the chassis.
The removable filter is supported by slide in structure where you can easily remove and install in with a simple slide.
Unlike the filter on the top mesh, the bottom filter uses the nylon mesh which is much easier to clean.
Fractal Design’s idea of pairing white colored PCI covers, fans and hard drive brackets to the black interior of the Arc Mini R2 gave it a rather unique and fresh look compared to what other competitor has – pitch black.
You have the cables for front IO panel USB 3.0, Audio Jack, Power & reset switch, etc which usually comes with the modern day chassis.
You have these holes specially designed for routing audio jack cables through it for a cleaner looking cable management right next to the power supply mount and 4 pieces of these rubber spacers to absorb vibration produced by moving parts in the power supply for noise reduction.
The included rubber grommets not only helps to hide your cable trails behind the motherboard tray, it also act as a protective cushion for your power supply cables at the edge of cable routing holes.
There’s 4 expansion slot available since the Arc Mini R2 itself is a micro ATX chassis and a uniquely,vertically placed expansion slot. For those of you who was wondering how on earth are you going to get something mounted vertically to run, a PCI / PCI-e riser is your answer.
The included fans are the Silent Series R2 120mm and 140mm silent fans by Fractal Design with the specification displayed as below:
|Model||Silent Series R2 120mm|
|Dimension||120mm x 120mm x 25mm|
|Fan Airflow||40.6 CFM|
|Fan Speed||1200 RPM ± 10%|
|Sound Level||15 dBA|
|Model||Silent Series R2 140mm|
|Dimension||140mm x 140mm x 25mm|
|Fan Airflow||66 CFM|
|Fan Speed||1000 RPM ± 10%|
|Sound Level||18.5 dBA|
The hard drive bracket isn’t much tool less if you ask, you will need to secure your drives with screws. W’re not really pleased with the design, but Fractal Design did included these rubber spacers for noise reduction. The idea here is that the spacers will help to reduce noise production by absorbing vibration from the hard drive.
The optical drive bay and both hard drive cage is secured with screws instead of rivets, you can easily remove these by removing the screws that is securing these. Unless you relocate the most bottom hard drive cage to the front of your power supply, so you will lost the ability to mount any 3.5′ hard drive.
with our test components installed, you can see that it’s still quite spacious even with a Corsair H100 installed.
Up next is a quick test with the temperature with the setup as shown below:
|Test Rig Configuration|
|CPU||Intel Core 2 Duo E7500 overclocked to 3.5GHz|
|Motherboard||DFI LP JR P45-T2RS|
|Memory||Mushkin Value RAM 800 MHz 1GB x 4|
|Graphics||Palit GeForce 9500GT|
|Power Supply||Silverstone ST60F-P 600W 80+ Bronze|
|Drives||Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB|
Corsair Hydro Series H100
The ambient temperature during the test is 28ºC and the airflow of the chassis is supported only by the fans included along with the Arc Mini R2 – a single 120mm at the front and rear, the top 140mm fan has been removed to accommodate the radiator for Corsair H100.
We have conducted CPU stress test using Prime95 with the option ‘In-place large FFTs’ for maximum heat output from the CPU and GPU stress test with Furmark. The test is done under 2 different scenario: case fans running and case fan removed. The final result of the data we have collected is presented in the graph below:
The temperature we’re getting for the case fan running scenario is pretty good and there’s nothing bad that can be brought up throughout the test. The fans included is pretty much inaudible even from a near distance of 1 foot away from the Arc Mini R2.
For the case fan removed scenario, the temperature is slightly higher compared to the scenario where the fans is running. With the difference in temperature from both test, we can come to a conclusion in which the included fans is actually doing a pretty good job keeping good air ventilation for the system and at the same time, the air ventilation is still reliable even though the only fans that is keeping hot air out of the system is on the top mounted Radiator.
Throughout the review, it is undeniable that the Fractal Design Arc Mini R2 is a true solid build that offers much enthusiast-oriented flexibility especially for watercooling setup, even more than most mainstream micro ATX chassis you can find on the market. Priced at 369 Malaysian Ringgit, it is definitely a bang for the buck deal and you won’t go wrong with this chassis.
– Visually eye pleasing design
– Fully metal hard drive bracket which is unlikely to break compared to plastic bracket
– Well designed top mounting slots that gives big clearance for tall memory module (RAM)
– Sleeved fan cables which gives the chassis itself a premium feel
– Well performed silent fans with a decent airflow is included
– Easily removable front filter for dust cleaning and installation for cooling option
– Removable hard drive cage and optical drive bay for radiator installation
– Tinted side window that allows you to showcase your rig
– Large rubber feet and rubber spacers that helps reducing noise production by absorbing vibration from moving parts
– A built-in fan voltage controller for 2 fans is included to control your fan speed by voltage
– 2.5′ drive mount behind motherboard tray for drive installation if the hard drive cage is removed to accommodate radiators in front
– The hard drive bracket requires screws to secure the hard drive onto it, not tool free.
– The reset button is extremely small and difficult to be actuated, might be troublesome during times of need
– The front panel fan mount is actually made of plastic, you will need to be extra careful and not to over tighten it
The final decision is made and we’re awarding the Fractal Design Arc Mini R2 with a Gold Award and Recommend Award. The Arc Mini R2 has been doing an excellent job in overall but there’s still headroom for further improvement such as using a real metal front panel instead of imitated brushed metal texture plastic, tool free installation for the hard drive bracket and optical drive bay would really adds up its worthiness.