Fractal Design ARC XL Reviewhornybluecow - October 8, 2013
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Fractal Design ARC XL Testing
Testing a chassis requires the computer to stay at idle and load for one hour. Doing so will give you an idea of what your computer may be like under stress. Normally your computer will not be running this hot, but we do not all live in cold weather or do similar things. Therefore, a full stress test can give people the idea of what it can handle and whether or not heat gets trapped over time. The case is left with stock features to give you an idea of the temperatures without the need for extra fans. It's almost guaranteed to have a slight drop in temperature when more fans are added, but that will not be covered unless noted. I will be using Prime95 "small FFTs" for the CPU load and 3Dmark Vantage "Extreme preset" for GPU for one hour. After an hour the temperatures are recorded using HWMonitor in Celsius (°C).
- Processor: Intel i7 4770K @ 4.2GHz (1.1v)
- CPU Cooling: Thermaltake NiC C4
- Motherboard: MSI Z87-GD65 Gaming
- Memory: Patriot Viper 3 Series 16GB 2400MHz
- Video Card: NVIDIA Geforce GTX 770 Reference Model
- PSU: Thermaltake Smart 750W
- Hard Drive: OCZ Vector 120GB SSD
- Optical Drive: DVD-ROM
- OS: Windows 7 Pro 64-bit SP1
- Cosrair Carbine 330R
- Fractal Design ARC XL
- Silverstone Raven RV02
- RaidMax Agusta ATX-605
When I first powered up the ARC XL, the temperature stayed a few degrees lower than usual, but after letting everything warm up and idle 30 minutes, the temps returned to what is expected. Under load the CPU did very well due to two 140mm fans at the top and rear of the chassis. The GPU was a bit of a oddball, at times it would hover around 79-81 °C but finally setteling at 81 °C. Adjacent from the GPU is a pre-installed 140mm fan with the ability to install a second fan, along with a bottom mounted option. Anyone looking to set up multiple video cards are completely covered with plenty of airflow.
Being such a large chassis, hot air isn't becoming trapped since by default the case has a negative pressure setup. This is a good thing but one thing to consider is the type of video card being used. Blower-style coolers will have no problems pushing hot air out, while dual fan styles that blow air onto heat sinks may run a bit warmer. The simple solution is to add a fan next to the power supply blowing air up, which is a great way to cool all the components. Lastly, the motherboard was running a tad warm, but nothing extreme.