A Closer Look - Outside
Once the case was unpacked, it becomes apparent, that the front is not made of Aluminum, but of plastic. Fractal Design has applied some texture to it and the plastic front frame is still quite sturdy. Nonetheless, some could believe that the front is Aluminum when taking a look at the images. A metal mesh front, with a built-in dust filter has also been placed here. I have to admit; from a design standpoint the Arc makes an excellent impression upon first sight.
The entire front design makes use of straight lines and soft, large turns. This mix is excellent and timeless, while the Fractal Design logo is large but does not disturb things due to the fact that it has been embedded into the front. In the rear, we can see that even the metal frame of the chassis is in black, while the separate covers are white. This is the company image of Fractal Design so it is no surprise we get to see it implemented within the Arc as well.
Both sides are made of metal and Fractal has actually included a large opening in one side to allow for a fan to be installed in this area. It can hold a 140 or 180 mm cooling unit which is intended to deliver fresh air to the expansion cards. I would have liked to see a dust filter here instead of a simple punched out grill. It is nice however that Fractal Design allows for such large fans to be installed here, so that a slow moving unit can be employed to keep the noise to a minimum.
Taking a closer look at the front, it can be visually divided between the metal mesh air vent and the two 5.25 inch bays. Having only two such bays is unusual for a midi-tower, but it should suffice for most users. There is actually a single 140 mm fan in the front of the case, with the option to install another as we will see later on. As mentioned before, the Fractal Design logo is quite prominent, but I do like the way it has been implemented.
In the rear, the PSU bay has been placed on the very bottom. Above that are the 7 + 1 expansion slots. That eighth slot comes in quite handy for the included fan controller. Above that you will find the 140 mm exhaust fan and two small openings for water cooling tubes to be routed out the back of the chassis. While these are fairly compact, I do not know of any tubing that would not fit through these.
Fractal Design has placed the I/O and buttons on the top edge of the front panel. You will get one USB 3.0 plug, two USB 2.0 and the traditional pair of audio plugs. The power button is in the center, while the reset one is much smaller and off to the side, so that you do not end up hitting that one by mistake. The entire top is lined by a metal mesh cover. As we will see later on, you can mount many different fans in here or even place a 240 mm rad under the ceiling.