Fractal Design ARC Mini R2 Review

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[section_title title=Closer Look – Interior]Closer Look – Interior

Taking an overall look at the interior without a system installed, the form factor of the ARC Mini R2 is M-ATX and can also accommodate M-ITX motherboards.  The ARC Mini R2 has room for 2 x 5.25” drives/devices, 6 x 3.5” HDDs with compatibility for SSDs and also has 2 x 2.5” bays dedicated for SSDs behind the rear of the motherboard.  This is plenty of storage space especially for a small form factor such as M-ATX.

There also plenty of room for those larger power supplies; support up to 220mm in terms of length if you don’t plan on using a 1 x 120mm fan at the bottom of the case.  The interior is all black including rubber grommets for cable management but the HDD trays, PCI blanking plates and fan blades are all white and I feel the contrast suits the case well.

Installation inside the ARC Mini R2 was a real pleasure and I had no major issues albeit 1 tiny issue regarding the installation of the motherboards I/O shield.  I found it difficult to get it to sit in but with a little bit of force, it popped in ok and I was ok to start installing the motherboard.

The AMD R9 290x fits inside no problems although if your card is longer than 11”, then you will need to remove the top HDD bay from the case.  With the rubber grommets, as you can see the cables didn’t cause many issues in terms of cable management but the pre-supplied cables can be hidden away in the spare HDD bays you may have as the window will not show them.

Taking a look at the roof of the case, there is ample room for a 240/280mm radiator and if you are ok with losing the 5.25” drive bays, a 360mm radiator could even be used.  The ARC Mini R2 comes equipped with 1 x 140mm 1200rpm Fractal Design fan in the room and a 120mm 1200rpm fan as in the rear; both operate as exhausts.  Coolers like the H100i or similar are more than compatible for this case as the ARC Midi R2 features very good support for all types of water cooling.

In the front of the case, where the top HDD bay is situated is another 120mm 1200rpm Fractal Design fan which operates as an intake.  There is another set of mounts for another 120mm fan to be fitted but the ARC Mini R2 only comes supplied with the 1.  There is also ample room to fit even the biggest 240mm radiator in the front (Alphacool Monsta 240mm) although you would have to remove both the HDD cages to do so.

The Fractal Design ARC Mini R2 has support for CPU coolers up to a maximum height of 165mm.  This means all but the largest coolers such as the Thermalright Silver Arrow SB-E Extreme which is exactly 165mm and might touch the side panel.  Our Noctua NH-U12S is 155mm tall and as you can see, this leaves around 1cm of clearance.

 

The HDD bays in the ARC Mini R2 are both removable and if you have a graphics card that is more than 11″ in length, you would need to remove the top cage to accommodate it.  If you want to go with a water cooling setup then you can easily fit a thick 240mm radiator in the front with both HDD drive bays.  The HDD trays are white and along with the white bladed fans, they fit in with the look of the case well.  As well as supporting up to 6 x 3.5″ HDDs, each bay also supports SSDs along with the 2 x SSDs which can be mounted behind the motherboard tray.

 

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