Manufacturer:Fractal Design UK Price (as reviewed): Around £130 (inc VAT), based on €149 MSRP US Price (as reviewed): $169 (ex tax) Availability: Early August
Fractal Design has had an unparalleled introduction into the PC case market, for a company that had effectively no recognition outside of Sweden before its Define R2. It really does show that having the right product at the right price can still beat the big names.
The Fractal guys recently chatted to us about their future plans, with cases are larger and smaller than the Define R2, and a whole performance-orientated Arc series due within the next 6-12 months. The Array 2 is only the second case we've seen from Fractal Design, but we were already looking froward to what the company could with the mini-ITX form factor.
The Array R2 design is minimal, to say the least. Click to enlarge
As a mini-ITX case, there's not much choice of motherboards to fill in the Array R2, but the selection is getting better, and quickly; kudos to Fractal for at least trying the teeny-tiny form factor out. Despite the minuscule 17 x 17cm board size, the case is fairly large at 250 x 200 x 350mm (W x D x H). The case is noticeably bigger than the 150 x 86 x 140mm Silverstone Sugo SG07 we recently reviewed, for example.
Inside the Array R2, with drive cage removed. Click to enlarge
The extra size of the Array R2 is partly because it has space for an unprecedented six 3.5in hard disks, with space for an extra 2.5in SSD screwed in underneath. Combined with its huge 140mm front fan to directly cool the hard disks, and a tailored 300W PSU, the Array R2 is ideal for a HTPC with loads of storage, or a DIY NAS box.