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Fractal Design Array R2 mini-ITX case review

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13eightyfour 14th July 2010, 11:48 Quote
WOW!! i was thinking of getting one for a nas box but i think ill go the custom built route after reading that! it does look lovely though.
Da_Rude_Baboon 14th July 2010, 11:49 Quote
ouch! 4 out of 10. That is a shame as i liked the look of this case and thought it would make a great home server. Hopefully there will be a second revision that improves the design.
Jack_Pepsi 14th July 2010, 11:51 Quote
I LOVE the look of this chassis - I definitely wouldn't use it for it's intended purpose, definitely one I'd mod the bejebus out off.
stonedsurd 14th July 2010, 11:55 Quote
I love that modding it was seriously taken into account in the conclusion.

It would be a pretty decent case right out the box if it had an optical drive slot - HTPC without a DVD or Bluray drive is silly.
John_T 14th July 2010, 12:12 Quote
From a company that got so much right with their last case, it seems incredible that they could get much wrong with this one. (Not least the faintly ridiculous price tag)
Jipa 14th July 2010, 12:21 Quote
If I were to get this case, the only real downside would seem to be the too high HDD temps. But yeah there are plenty of things to do differently in the possible future versions.
Baz 14th July 2010, 12:23 Quote
Mini-ITX chassis need airflow if they're going to host high end parts. Manufacturers seem not to understand this :(
Jipa 14th July 2010, 12:24 Quote
High end parts or lots of hard drives. I wouldn't mind for NAS/HTPC case not to be capable of cooling gaming hardware, but it really is a biggie if the hard drive get toasty.
capnPedro 14th July 2010, 12:31 Quote
What were they thinking? £130! That PSU had better be damn impressive.

P.S. Dremel is misspelled in the last paragraph of the conclusion.
Omnituens 14th July 2010, 12:48 Quote
I'm still looking for a decent mini-ITX case that can take a GTX285 AND power it. Want to build a machine for lans, as my main rig is just too damn cumbersome.
bsoltan 14th July 2010, 13:05 Quote
I really liked the look of it when it was mentioned in the previous Fractal article. However it seems this review has brought to light some of the problems with it. The modding potential does sound interesting though, I have no doubt we'll see some people get stuck into it.

Hopefully the R2 XL I'm looking forward to will be more favourable.
Fingers66 14th July 2010, 13:23 Quote
Maybe they thought that people would only want to install an Atom setup and not want to go any higher.
Bindibadgi 14th July 2010, 13:44 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Omnituens
I'm still looking for a decent mini-ITX case that can take a GTX285 AND power it. Want to build a machine for lans, as my main rig is just too damn cumbersome.

Silverstone Sugo SG07 is your answer.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fingers66
Maybe they thought that people would only want to install an Atom setup and not want to go any higher.

It's not really the whole issue, it's the fan that doesn't shift enough air to the hard drives and fact the cage either overlaps stuff or leaves huge gaps elsewhere. ;)
craigbru 14th July 2010, 15:33 Quote
Great review guys. I actually spoke with Fractal this morning, and they are sending me a case for a review as well. I'm anxious to see the issues you spoke of first hand. However, I've got no intention of leaving mine stock for long... ;-)
phinix 14th July 2010, 18:43 Quote
I like it.
Hmmm... now I compared this case to my NanoTower:)
This one is 20x25x35cm = 17.500, my Tower is 20x20x40cm = 16.000.
Tower is smaller than this case, but still takes dual chip GTX295, full size PSU and it's all watercooled in two separated loops - H50 and triple radiator with EK 4.0 pump with reservoir for gpu... :D
I guess this case can be heavily modded and be pretty powerful despite all those flaws...
ZERO <ibis> 14th July 2010, 19:52 Quote
If I ever grab an itx board up I will be picking up this case and some fun mod ideas!
eddtox 14th July 2010, 21:55 Quote
Gorgeous case, but considering the price tag, you could probably buy a half reasonable 4 bay NAS for the cost of building a system in one of those. Gorgeous case, but
robothunter 14th July 2010, 22:41 Quote
I would like them to review the Lian Li PC-Q08 as a comparison. It is also a mini-ITX case with room for 6 hard drives plus a 5 1/4. It looks very similar and has a 140mm intake fan.

http://www.lian-li.com/v2/en/product/product06.php?pr_index=480&cl_index=1&sc_index=25&ss_index=63
The_Beast 14th July 2010, 23:33 Quote
Sweet case but I'll wait for a revision or two
jrs77 15th July 2010, 01:05 Quote
The biggest mistake in the design-process is maybe, that there's no mini-ITX-boards with more then 4 SATA-ports, so two of the HDD-mountings will never be used.

They should've made only 4 HDD-mountings and then there would've been enough room for a fully fledged PCIe GFX-card.

However, even then, the PSU wouldn't be powerful enough to run a gaming-rig with a beefy GFX-card.

Back to the drawing-bioard I'd say.
Yoy0YO 15th July 2010, 01:52 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrs77
The biggest mistake in the design-process is maybe, that there's no mini-ITX-boards with more then 4 SATA-ports, so two of the HDD-mountings will never be used.

Not true, the Zotac H55 WIFI has 6 Sata ports, also, someone might use a expansion card for more SATA's.
I would NOT recommend the Zotach H55, its flawed with problems left and right.

And here I thought this case seemed too good to be true.
Bindibadgi 15th July 2010, 05:34 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoy0YO
Not true, the Zotac H55 WIFI has 6 Sata ports, also, someone might use a expansion card for more SATA's.
I would NOT recommend the Zotach H55, its flawed with problems left and right.

And here I thought this case seemed too good to be true.

Tell me what way the Zotac board is flawed? The BIOS isn't great but it works. :?

jrs77 - it's not a case for a graphics card: it never was designed that way. It would have to compromise on the aesthetics and noise greatly to get the airflow to stop it getting too hot. It's only a NAS/HTPC box - of which onboard graphics suffices.

If you wanted to use an extra card though - say HD 5450 or GTS 240 for the HTPC spec or PCI-E RAID card, it would have to be half height, which, given the size of the case is silly.

robothunter - It's already been reviewed by Mr. Harry and is coming to the site in the next week ;)
Quote:
Originally Posted by craigbru
Great review guys. I actually spoke with Fractal this morning, and they are sending me a case for a review as well. I'm anxious to see the issues you spoke of first hand. However, I've got no intention of leaving mine stock for long... ;-)

Honestly, it'll be the easiest case you've ever worked on. It takes drilling just 8 pop rivets and unscrewing 12 screws to get it all apart. There's tons of space inside.
Pete1989 15th July 2010, 08:29 Quote
Can you guys tell me when you have large cooler installed (not stock) on the Gigabyte board, does it block the PCI-E slot?

It looks very close here http://images.bit-tech.net/content_images/2010/07/fractal-design-array-r2-m-itx-case-review/array-inside1.jpg
mnpctech 15th July 2010, 11:00 Quote
I opened my sample this morning and the construction reminded me of XBOX-01

As Richard stated, it's a great canvas for mods.

My Review of the Array R2 Mini ITX Case ...aka "The Fractal Design Project Box" by Lian Li.


http://www.mnpctech.3dpixelnet.com/picture_library/fractal_design_array_2_NAS_mini_ITX_review1.jpg

edited 9/21/10
Cadair 15th July 2010, 15:44 Quote
This is a shame, I am still looking for a decent case for a NAS server bulid, something ION based would be ok so cooling isn't an issue, however the 6 drive bays would be nice!

One day I shall find the perfect case!
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