I like it, but come to think of it, I have yet to find a Fractal Design chassis I don't like.
Reviewing the Arc XL however it feels like reviewing the ARC Mini R2 all over again. The two chassis are fairly identical when you leave away motherboard and component space. So the XL version obviously is just that. But that is a negative trend though, smaller PCs and form factors are becoming more hip with each day that passes.
The chassis itself is once again refined, stylish and has been designed in a tasteful fashion. Fractal Design PC cases are often elegant yet simple and I like that. The Arc XL is however incredibly spacious and feature-rich. You get a matte black designed chassis with features wise options to put in many HDDs and devices. The chassis is fairly tool free, but does not have say easy click-in optical drive clips. Mounting an SSD will still require good old screws, that work fine of course and at this point I do wonder how tool free a chassis really needs to be these days.
Bring in da Noise
A big plus is the sound level the chassis produces. Now it's not 100% silent with the three fans, but realistically when you place them into low RPM mode with the included fan controller you will still have decent airflow, I'm quite picky when it comes to computers and computer parts making noises. But overall yeah, it's fine really.
Sufficient is an understatement, the Arc XL offers a lot of room for pretty much anything you like to install. There is not heaps of space to maneuver in which will make component installation a breeze really. Cable management options are okay, they remain a little marginal. I like a good 3cm clearance for cable routing behind that motherboard tray. Good to notice are the rubberized grommet holes, excellent for tucking away all cabling. The HDD/SSD drive cage works simple enough, though you do need screws to secure the actual HDDs, installation otherwise is easy. We like the fact that you can hide two SSDs at the motherboard backside tray. The looks are quite nice and with the new side panel window you can peek at your hardware as well. It surely is a complete chassis for its size alright. This tower chassis offers plenty of features and plenty of cooling. You can easily fit seven fans in there, and the HDD cages are removable and rotatable. There's room for a cool eight 3.5" HDDs, seven expansion slots and support for even the largest of graphics cards.
The matte black paint job on both in and outside has been done well. The looks are simple yet very sophisticated. But as we always state, each and every individual is different, and thus so is taste. What I might be labeling as a good look, you might find revolting. I like that sterile, simple and stylish look. And that certainly is what the Arc XL is offering. I mean look at the photo above, subtle certainly does apply here as well. No screaming logos, LEDs and mismatched colors. It's all done just right. Yeah, cool looks, though taste differs per person.
The Fractal Design XL is awfully close to the design of the ARC Midi R2 but certainly is a nice step up in terms of component size versus installation. The side see-through side panel gives it a little more niche, as well as the curvature and many options. The chassis is very feature rich with the removable dust filters, many HDD cages, mainboard backside tray SSD hideout, the included fan controller and of course the three fans. Aimed at a more performance hungry crowd, the ARC XL good airflow with its three fans. Though not 100% silent it is silent enough. Once again a quality and sturdy build from a quality company. Highly recommended and approved. Oh and again, the photos do not do the chassis any real justice, try and look for it in a retail store. You can purchase the ARC XL for roughly 110 EUR already. Fractal Design has brought a solid case to market with what we feel is an incredibly fair price for what you receive.
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