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Fractal Design Arc Mini R2 Review

There is no doubt that the Fractal Design Arc Mini R2 is an excellent case. Over the past couple of months we have seen a number of manufacturers introduce micro ATX and mini-ITX cases although they have been rather hit and miss. The ARC Mini R2 is a simple, yet elegant design making it an ideal choice for those who want a low-profile build.

Fractal Design have built up a loyal fanbase over the last year specifically for their attention to detail. The Arc Mini R2 falls within these parameters and is sure to appeal to a wide audience. It is extremely well built and the use of metal drive caddies adds to the premium feel of the materials and construction.

Another interesting trend is the increased attention for water cooling enthusiasts. With support for a 360 mm radiator in the top and a 240 mm radiator in the front there are plenty of opportunities to keep the most powerful hardware running cool. Additionally, based on our test results, those on a tight budget have not been forgotten as even a modest cooler can benefit from the Arc Mini R2’s excellent airflow.

The Arc Mini R2 truly shines when it comes to  noise levels. Operating at 5V and 7V the fans are almost inaudible. Using the case as a HTPC at a distance of several meters means users will be able to forget it is even there until the fans are set to operate at 12V. Even then, a TV’s speakers or headset will easily drown out the fan noise.

At the end of the day, our only concern is the windowed side panel. Dust is, and will most likely remain, an everlasting threat for windowed side panels and sadly Fractal Design’s window is no exception. Until the industry unlocks the secret to dust-free acrylic windows there will be users who may be put off.

At the time of writing, Scan appear to be the only retailer stocking the Arc Mini R2 for £70 inc vat., though we expect availability will increase in the coming weeks.

Pros:

  • Excellent build quality.
  • Sleek, elegant design.
  • Metal drive caddies.
  • Excellent noise levels.
  • Excellent cooling performance.

Cons:

  • Side window gathers dust rather quickly.

KitGuru says: The Arc Mini R2’s acoustics and  thermal performance makes it a stylish and tempting option for HTPC and high-performance builds in a smaller package.

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Rating: 9.0.

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