With the Arc Mini R2 being VERY similar to the Arc XL that we recently took a look at, the picture below might look familiar. The Arc Mini R2 shares the same blacked out styling, almost all-metal construction, and clean lines that its bigger brother has. In fact, outside of its size, there are only a few things that are noticeably different between the two. Let’s take a look to see what sets it apart.
The side panel has the same tinted side panel window that the Arc XL had but the window looks a little larger in this case due to its size. This gives us a little view of the power supply, so be sure when you are building in the Arc Mini R2 to keep your wiring clean. The tinted side panel should give you a little leeway though.
The right side panel is less exciting, with no window or styling built in.
The front of the Arc Mini R2 has rounded edges that I really like on the left and right sides. You get two 5.25-inch drive bays, this should be more than enough for most people, especially considering how many people even use DVD drives anymore. The mesh ventilation, just like the Arc XL, takes up the rest of the front panel. I love that the mesh has rounded corners to match the rounded edges on the front of the Arc Min I R2. When you push in on the top of the mesh panel the two clips let go and allow you to pull it out to clean the intake filter. Doing that gives us a peak at the white 120mm fan and additional 120mm fan mount on the front of the Mini R2.
Up on the top of the case is another large mesh panel with rounded corners. This one doesn’t pop out like the front panel, but if you remove the two screws the entire top panel will slide off to give you access to the fan mounting points under the mesh. On the front edge of the top panel we also have the front I/O panel. This one is rearranged from the Arc XL for some reason, but we have the same collection of connections available. You get microphone and headphone ports, two USB 3.0 ports, a small reset button, a power button in the middle with the power and HDD LEDs built into it, and over on the right we have a three point fan speed controller. The fan speed controller should help if you need to slow your fans down to keep noise under control. You have 5,7, and 12 volt settings.
The first thing that stands out when we look at the Arc Mini R2’s back panel are the 5 bright white PCI slot covers. Fractal always includes a touch of white with their PCI slot covers as well as their white fans, the Arc Mini R2 is no different. Of the 5 PCI slot covers, only four are normal PCI slots. The fifth is over to the right and can be used for a USB expansion panel, fan speed controller, or lighting power switch. Beyond that, things are fairly standard. You have a bottom mounted power supply, 120mm exhaust fan right next to the rear I/O panel and two grommeted holes for external water-cooling. The two side panels are held on with black thumbscrews as well as the top panel that I mentioned earlier that slides off.
The bottom of the Arc Mini R2 has a removable filter across most of the bottom of the case. It slides in and out from the back of the case meaning you won’t have to lift your PC up or turn it onto its side to clean the air filter. This filter covers the intake on the bottom of your power supply as well as a bottom-mounted fan should you need the additional airflow. For feet we have spun aluminum with rubber pads on the bottom for good traction.