post #1 of 1
Thread Starter 
I hope you guys don't mind me posing this question here, but I hope it's not too out of place.

I'm considering moving to a bit smaller and more subtle case. I have a full tower Cooler Master Stacker 830 SE right now. I've been browsing around a bit over the past few days, and the Fractal Arc Midi and Fractal Define R3 are two of my three top choices (the Xigmatek Midgard II is the other), and that's the rough order I am considering them in. I like how the Arc Mini is even smaller while still having a lot of space for hard drives, but I don't want to swap out my motherboard, and the Midi wouldn't be too big for me.

I have some questions.

A few posts up, vibrations from the hard disk drives were mentioned. This is a concern to me. I have four, and my current case does very well at dampening them by having rubber grommets between the drive cages and the case, so I wouldn't want to introduce that. I would have them spaced every other bay in the case of the Arc Midi. To those who have three or four or more drives, is this an issue to you? I noticed it uses metal sleds and the drives appear to be screwed into small rubber grommets? Does this work well?

I don't have a modular PSU, and it's even one of the ones with a rear style fan. To those with non-modular PSUs, is it tough? My current case has it mounted at the top, so I sort of tuck the extra wires above the optical disk drive, and the spares that are running down under the hard disk drive cages, but now I won't be able to. It's of some old hardware, but the wiring is like this.

My CPU and GPU (more the GPU) can run warm on a bad day (Crysis during the summer). Right now, I have an "open style" case, so I recently cut back on the capability and number of fans by using four standard Cooler Master ones since having the extra fans blow on it did nothing to help temperatures but added a lot of noise. How is the cooling in this case? I don't want to have go and spend $40+ on some fans. It's a shame that, at least from my research, the stock fans aren't available separately in the states? Some say they are quiet and some say they aren't, but most say they aren't that great. I notice everyone here seems to be using them though. Does everyone just do the "front and sides intake and back and top exhaust" or is there a better way and/or some fans you're better off without?

Lastly, I have two things to comment on.

I'm not a fan of the top USB ports. They get dust and such in them. I may look into those small covers someone got them a little earlier in this thread.

Secondly, while I want to try something different and get something smaller and more subtle in the process (though I still like what I have), I'm not thrilled by the static Black offerings, and the Silver door on the Define R3 doesn't change that for me. I wish they were silver and Black like what I have. I'd be all over them quicker.

Sorry to be so excessive, especially since I'm not totally sure I'm going to do anything, or if I even choose a Fractal offering if I do (and on that note, any other suggestions?), but I am serious about researching it and can see myself 50/50 on doing it and ending up with an Arc Midi or Define R3, hence the attention to detail.