Fractal Design Arc Midi Black Case ReviewTue, Dec 27, 2011 - 12:00 AM
Metal brushing has become popular in the design of both notebook and desktop designs in the past couple of years. Fractal Design has set up the Arc midi to also take on this look. There is also something a little different with the brush look. It is actually plastic made to look like brushed aluminum. To me, at some angles the case front looks like black lacquer over wood grain. But either way it looks fine.
The front panel of the case is exactly what Fractal design claims, minimalistic. The Fractal Design name is front and center at the top. Two 5.25″ bays follow underneath the logo. The rest of the length of the case is a honey comb style bezel. This bezel covers room enough to place two case fans; one is already installed.
The top of the case continues the minimalist look. Honey comb dominates the top of the case from the rear all the way to the front I/O panel. There is a preinstalled case fan just below the honey comb bezel. It appears to almost look like a filter below the honey comb. Two thumb screws can be removed from the back to remove the top bezel and filter.
The I/O ports have quite a bit of functionality for this mid-tower. One USB 3.0 port and two additional USB 2.0 ports are on the top. The power button is in the middle with a light on it also showing hard drive activity. Rounding out the top panel are the conventional audio ports and the reset button. After opening up the case you will see the USB 3.0 is direct to motherboard access, not a pass through to the rear ports.
The primary side of the case sports a honey comb mounting point for an additional fan (140mm or 180mm) and cooling support. Thumb screws are used to secure the side to the Arc midi case. A location was added to the side for pulling it off when needing to remove the door, which is a nice touch.
The secondary side is without the honey comb mounting for cooling. Everything else is identical to the primary side.
On the back side of the case is the first we see of contrast. The rear I/O port seems typical. The rear case fan we see is white, adding contrast to the black of the case. The card expansion slots on the back are also in white. An eighth vertical slot is located here, too. This is here for the case fan controller packed with the case. The final slot is for the power supply at the bottom. You will also see a lip at the bottom for pulling a filter.
Finally, on the bottom is a large cleanable filter that can be pulled out. This is a nice help for air flow and helping with the power supply. Four discs that have rubber in the middle are set for feet. The feet have a metallic look on the outside. Also a sticker with the product number and serial number is on the bottom.