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Fractal Design Arc XL Review - Interior

Interior

There are no handles on the side panels but thankfully they're hinged at the front and don't rely on a notches and rails system, which are particularly annoying with larger cases. The roof is held in place with thumbscrews and slides off easily once these are removed, while the front panel is also easy enough to pop off and doesn't bring any internal cables with it.

Internally, the Arc XL is almost identical to the Define XL R2 – they have the same drive cages, motherboard tray and floor, for example. Huge rubber spikes give the PSU even more clearance from the ground and will absorb vibrations, which the padding around the PSU mounting area also does. The CPU cooler cutout is large, the PCI brackets are reusable and the internal cables are all sleeved in black.

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The Arc XL features eight internal drive trays that can house both 3.5-inch and 2.5-inch drives. Fractal uses its sturdy metal drive trays, which feature a white coat of paint and silicone mounts to absorb vibrations. Screws need to be used to mount all drives (including optical ones) as there are no tool-free fittings. As well as this, it also features two handy SSD trays secured to the rear of the motherboard tray, and these can be independently removed with a pair of screws.

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As with the Define XL R2, the Arc XL's top drive cage can be rotated using a pair of thumbscrews so that drives face back to front instead of side to side, which will direct airflow towards the GPU area. Naturally, you can also fully remove the cage to further improve airflow and make room for extremely long graphics cards. The bottom cage, meanwhile, can also be removed, though this one requires six normal screws. You're also able to reposition the cage to one of two positions further back in the case (provided you leave the bottom fan mount empty and your PSU and motherboard don't interfere), allowing you to make room for water-cooling without fully sacrificing storage options.

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There's lots of room behind the motherboard tray for stashing cables, and a series of hooks and supplied cable ties also aid the tidying process. Around the motherboard tray is a healthy selection of routing holes, which are fitted with tight rubber grommets that never came loose. With holes along the top of the tray for the EPS12V and fan cables, as well as one beneath the motherboard for front panel cables, it's easy to keep things tidy in the Arc XL.

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If you do clear out some space at the front of the case, there's room for full thickness 240mm radiators in push-pull. It may also be possible to use 280mm radiators here, though you might need to make some minor modifications to allow the tubing holes to fit. Meanwhile, up top there is support for 240mm, 280mm, and 360mm radiators. Only 240mm ones are fully supported for full thickness push-pull set-ups thanks to the offset mounting holes. It's a shame Fractal couldn't make this possible for the larger radiators as well – a big appeal of such large cases is water-cooling support, so the more flexible a case can be in this regard the better.