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Fractal Design Arc Interior

Fractal Design Arc Interior

Peeling off the Arc’s reassuringly solid side panels reveals a black painted interior that's guaranteed to make even the most basic hardware look bright and eye-catching. As such, it’s a pity the case has no side window to show off the smart insides. We were also pleased to see a number of cable routeing holes cut into the motherboard tray to aid cable tidying.

Looking to the right of the motherboard tray shows that the Arc series sticks to the same ‘hard disk good, optical drive bad’ approach of the Define cases, as there are eight 3.5in mounts but only two 5.25in bays. This is a sensible arrangement, though, as we’ve not seen a PC with a pair of optical drives for a long while, let alone more than that.

The eight 3.5in hard disk mounts, which also have 2.5in SSD mounts built in, are separated over two drive cages. The bottom of the two cages is riveted in place but the upper cage can be either removed or rotated.

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This means you can orientate the disks either perpendicular to the case for easy removal, or in line with the case to allow more airflow from the front intake fan. In practice, though, most people will be better served by removing the cage altogether if they don’t need the extra hard disk mounts, as this will allow the single intake fan to blow cool air into the case unimpeded.

Having said this, getting air in or out of the Arc shouldn’t be too much of a problem as the case comes with so many fan mounts that the case would probably take off if you filled them all. There are two large 140mm mounts at the front of the case, the upper one of which is filled as standard, and another 140mm mount in the traditional rear exhaust position, which again is filled with one of Fractal Design’s own fans. There is also an oversized 140mm/180mm side panel mount and additional 120mm/140mm intake mount located in the floor of the case.

Most interesting, however, is the roof of the case, which comes with a veritable overindulgence of fan mounts. This single panel can take either three 120mm fans, three 140mm fans or one 180mm fan and one 120mm fan. There is also the option of fitting a dual 120mm radiator here, as Fractal has designed the Arc with the motherboard far enough away from the roof to accommodate a full-depth radiator. This will only work if you're cooling your CPU with the loop, however, as using a large CPU cooler (and using the loop to cool a graphics card) will limit you to a half-depth radiator.

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Rounding out the inside of the case is the PSU mount, which is located at the bottom of the case with its own dust-filter-equipped intake grille. This arrangement is also thermally beneficial, as it means the PSU has its own supply of cool air and is thermally isolated from the rest of the case.

Also of note is the single unusual expansion slot mount that sits at a right angle to the usual slots that service the motherboard. This is designed to take either an expansion card that doesn’t require a motherboard connection, or the fan speed controller that's bundled with the case.