Fractal Design ARC XL Reviewhornybluecow - October 8, 2013
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Fractal Design ARC XL Closer Look:
After removing the plastic wrap you can see the clean black finish. On the box itself there was only a very small print specifying the color. This is something Fractal Design may want to address for the store consumers. Looking at the chassis, you can see the left side panel, which includes a large tinted side window without a fan mounting option. The right side panel is solid without a window. Next, the front side has four exposed 5.25" bays with a mesh covering a 140mm fan, while the back has nine expansion slots, a 140mm fan, and space for a bottom mounted power supply.
The top of the case has some of the best features. These features include a removable cover, built-in fan controller, and advanced cooling options, which I will go into detail later in the review. The top also houses two USB 3.0, two USB 2.0, and audio and mic jacks, along with the power button. On the bottom of the case there is a large removable plastic air filter, which gave a bit of a fight coming out. Simply pull at the end and wiggle until it loosens up and slides out.
Looking at the front, you can see a metal mesh that doubles as an air filter. To remove the filter simply press both top corners and it pops right out. It's worth noting that both the filter and locking mechanism is made of plastic; this is something I am not fond of and disappointed to see because of the possibility of it breaking eventually. Behind the filter is an already installed 140mm fan along with the option for a second 120/140mm fan (screws included).
Moving along, once you remove the top mesh, you can see the bare bones. The top comes off by removing two thumb screws at the back. After that is done you are able to install an assortment of fan options all the way to a full 360mm radiator (covered on page four). By default a 140mm fan is installed near the rear fan.