Installation and Performance
A good portion of the installation into the Arc Mini R2 was similar to the Arc XL, especially with them sharing the same hard drive trays and disc drive bays. That means that installing our motherboard went smoothly, same as the hard drive. It wasn’t until I went to install the GTX 780 that I even noticed the difference between the two cases. The size difference meant that with the GTX 780 installed there was only a small amount of clearance left as you can see in the photos below. This is still with the hard drive cage installed of course, so if you decide to go with an even longer card there is still room, you just have to sacrifice for it.
Fitting the power supply in was a little more tight as well, but no more so than any other mid tower case. If you decide to run two video cards things will be a little tighter though with the power supply directly below the last PCI slot. Wiring everything up in the Arc Mini R2 went smoothly as Fractal was careful to give us enough grommeted holes to route cables though. The ¾ inch of space behind the motherboard tray worked out but as I mentioned before if you aren’t careful you can have issues putting the side panel back on.
With everything installed I wasn’t sure what to expect for cooling performance. On one hand the three cooling fans is a little more than what you would normally see in this sized case, but with the GTX 780 being packed in there I was worried that it would create a hot pocket below it. Thankfully the front fan blew enough past the hard drives to supply the GTX 780 cool air. If you decide to run SLI or Crossfire I would look at upgrading the cooling slightly by adding an intake on the bottom of the case if your power supply leaves enough room.
Unlike the Arc XL I really feel like the quality of the Arc Mini R2 and its steel construction can be taken advantage of by toting it along to LANs. It’s still not the lightest case when loaded up, but the size is a lot more controllable. The clean styling of the tinted side panel window combined with a video card like the GTX that has a glowing logo will really grab attention as well.