Fractal Design Arc XL Case

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Fractal Design Arc XL Case

June 10, 2014 by Lawrence Lee

Fractal Design Arc XL
XL-ATX Tower Case
Street Price

The Define R2 tower helped propel Fractal Design from obscurity seemingly overnight. The case exemplified their philosophy of minimalist but elegant design, striking cord with many DIYers tired of the plethora of over-styled, over-the-top, and just plain ugly enthusiast cases. While it was a nice niche to fill, to grow as a company, they inevitably had to branch out. They adapted their formula to the Core line of budget towers and the Node series of home theater enclosures with varying degrees of success. The Arc line, which caters more towards enthusiasts concerned primarily with cooling and compatibility, is a tougher nut to crack given the company's original modus operandi. Our recent review of the Arc Mini R2 microATX tower perfectly illustrates the difficulty involved as it turned out to be a solid case, but lacked many of the things that made Fractal stand out in the first place. The Arc XL is of a similar, albeit much larger, mold.

The Arc XL box.

The Arc XL.

At almost 23 inches tall and nearly as deep, the Arc XL is a lumbering giant, among the largest cases we've come across. It was designed not only to house ATX form factor motherboards, but also E-ATX, and oversized XL-ATX models which can potentially have up to nine expansion slots. Typically cases in this size category have more bolder style elements, so the Arc XL's clean, reserved aesthetics almost looks out of place, though it doesn't carry the same cachet as the Define series. The case is doorless for better front airflow, the entire top panel is ventilated, and there's a side window for observation. It shares much of the Arc Mini's DNA, only it has more of everything. There are additional 5.25/3.5 inch drive bays, larger 140 mm fan placements, improved watercooling support, and clearance for taller CPU coolers and longer video cards is extended. If the Arc Mini suffered from a case gigantism, this would be the end result.


In terms of accessories, Fractal kept it relatively simple. Included in the package is some documentation, a few short zip-ties, and all the necessary standoffs and screws.

Specifications: Fractal Design Arc XL
(from the product web page)
Motherboard compatibility ATX, Micro ATX, Mini ITX, E-ATX, XL-ATX
Drive bays 4 - 5.25" bays
8 - 3.5" HDD trays - all compatible with SSDs
2 - 2.5" dedicated SSD positions behind the motherboard plate
Expansion slots 9 expansion slots
Front interface 2 - USB 3.0
2 - USB 2.0
Audio in/out
Power button with LED (blue)
HDD activity LED (red)
Reset button
Fan controller
Cooling features 7 fan positions (3 Silent Series R2 fans included)
Filtered fan slots in front, top, and bottom
Integrated fan controller for up to 3 fans (included)
CPU coolers up to 180 mm tall
Fan positions Front: 2 - 120/140mm fans (included is one hydraulic bearing 140mm Silent Series R2 fan, 1000 RPM speed)

Rear: 1 - 120/140mm fan (included is a hydraulic bearing 140mm Silent Series R2 fan, 1000 RPM speed)

Top: 3 - 120x140mm fans (included is one hydraulic bearing 140mm Silent Series R2 fan, 1000 RPM speed)

Bottom: 1 - 120/140mm fan (not included)
Watercooling compatibility Front – 240 mm radiators (thick and slim) when HDD cages are repositioned or removed
Top – 240mm radiators (thick) or 280 and 360mm radiators (slim)
Bottom – 120mm radiators
Rear – 120 and 140mm radiators
PSU compatibility ATX PSUs up to 190 mm deep when using the bottom fan location; when not using this fan location longer PSUs (up to 345 mm deep) can be used
Graphics card compatibility Graphics cards up to 330mm in length with the top HDD cage installed - With the top cage removed, graphics cards up to 480mm in length may be installed
Cable management 26 mm of space for cable routing behind the motherboard plate
Thick rubber grommets on all holes on the motherboard plate
Side panel window Included
Colors available Black
Package contents Arc XL computer case
Accessory box
User manual
Case dimensions 232 x 572 x 552mm (WxHxD)
Package dimensions 322 x 625 x 635mm (WxHxD)
Net weight 13.8kg
Package weight 16.3kg

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