Aluminium cases aren't cheap, and even something as small as the Array R2 comes at a price that will put many off. However, remember (as is the growing trend with small form factor cases) that the Array R2 does come with its own, customised 300W Fractal-branded, FSP-made PSU built in.

*Fractal Design Array R2 mini-ITX  case review Array R2 Interior *Fractal Design Array R2 mini-ITX  case review Array R2 Interior
The Array R2 certainly delivers on the GB/cm2 front. Click to enlarge

The PSU is customised in the sense that it is specifically designed for the hard disk layout of the Array R2. It has two sets of cables with three, 90-degree SATA power connectors, as well as an extra Molex and SATA power connector on another cable. These can consecutively connect to either three, four, or six installed disks pretty neatly. As expected, there's also the 24-pin ATX and 4-pin 12VEPS power connectors for the motherboard, and that's everything you get. We'd have liked some cable braid for the PSU's wiring, or at least some zip-ties to hold it all together.

While only supporting mini-ITX motherboards, at least the Array R2 looks like it has room for a full-height, dual-slot PCI Express graphics card. However, don't think that this gives you license to drop in a foot-long gaming monster, as the hard disk cage impedes the space behind the motherboard. In fact, only half-height graphics cards will fit, completely wasting all the space above.

A TV tuner card should fit, though, as the drive cage only becomes an issue toward the front edge of the motherboard. Even if your TV tuner has an oversized PCB, it should fit.

*Fractal Design Array R2 mini-ITX  case review Array R2 Interior *Fractal Design Array R2 mini-ITX  case review Array R2 Interior
The drive cage overlaps the PCI card height, so you can only use half height cards such as the ATI Radeon HD 5450 shown above. Click to enlarge

If you've already a mind to mod the case and throw out the drive cage, then the good news is that an 11.5in-long Radeon HD 5870 will fit. However, because there's extremely little airflow in the Array R2, your graphics cards will run hot unless you add additional fans and grilles as well.

The 140mm front intake fan runs at just 900rpm, and barely shifts enough air to cool the hard disks, let alone a hardcore gaming PC. There are a few grilles dotted around the case, but they're small and few, which means that the heat from your PC stays in the case. On the plus side at least there's less chance for dust to get in as well, and the Array R2 will help mute the noise of cooling fans.
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October 14 2021 | 15:04