If there are long expansion cards in the system, the rack can be turned around so that the drives’ connectors are at the side, like in the Core 3000. You can then fit in graphics cards up to 290 millimeters long.
If you don’t have such a long expansion card, you may want to orient the disk rack lengthwise. This will reduce the maximum length of graphics cards by about 30 millimeters, but should be beneficial in terms of cooling because the sides of the rack won't resist the air flow.
The disk guides have the same design but seem to be made of thicker metal than those of the Core 3000 and can be additionally fixed with thumbscrews in the disk bays. They are also shaped somewhat differently and this lack of unification is rather surprising.
The familiar mix of black and white has remained intact, though.
Besides the questionable aesthetics of the combination of two contradicting colors, we can see the two types of paint fight each other: black of the rack and white of the guides. The white paint seems to be on the losing side: although the guides leave whitish trails on the interior of the rack, the black smudges on the guides are far more conspicuous. We can tell you that the system case was completely new when we received it and we had moved the disk in and out of the rack only a couple of times before making the photos.
The abovementioned lack of unification can also be observed with the 5.25-inch adapter. It is completely different from the one included with the Core 3000.
Another improvement we can find in the Arc design is its dust protection. Instead of a sheet of ordinary foam rubber there is now multilayered synthetic material behind the front panel which doesn’t resist the air flow that much.
The top panel has got similar protection, too. We can find the same material under the decorative grid. Take note that there is a place for a third 120/140mm fan below the top panel.
The purpose of this filter may seem questionable because the top fans exhaust the air out of the chassis and thus do not really need a filter which is going to weaken their air flow. However, when the computer is turned off, this filter will keep the dust from falling down and into the system case. After all, few users run their home computers on a 24/7 basis, so the filter makes sense after all.
The PSU bay at the bottom of the cassis and the bottom fan seat are also equipped with a large and easily removable fine-mesh filter.
You can check out the size of the mesh by the zoomed-in fragment of one of the 15 filter sections. Thus, there is only one fan seat lacking a dust filter in this system case. It is the seat for an optional 140/180mm fan on the side panel which is designed like the side panels of the Core 3000.
The Arc is much easier to assemble a computer configuration in compared to the Core 3000. The hole for a CPU power cable in the mainboard's mounting plate helps a lot. The cable compartment is also larger, so even the primitive design of the side panels doesn't provoke any problems with putting them in place. The bushings for the mainboards do not resist your screwing them in as much as in the Core 3000. The expansion card fasteners are easier to deal with, too.
The cutout for the CPU cooler’s back-plate has become larger compared to the Core 3000 and is thus compatible with more coolers.
Like the Core 3000, the Arc is cooled by three fans by default. All of the fans are 140 millimeters thanks to the wider chassis. Like in the Core 3000, you can use the included rheostat to control the fans. The sloppy design of this speed controller we’ve noted above showed up with our Arc: the fans wouldn’t start up when the controller was set to the minimum. And after starting up, only one out of the three fans could keep on working at the minimum voltage set with the controller.
The minimum speed at which the fans could start up and work normally was about 560 RPM. The maximum speed was about 1100 RPM. That’s the settings we used in our tests.
The assembled Arc looks definitely better than the Core 3000:
- Original exterior design that doesn’t compromise usability
- Well-structured and roomy interior
- Accommodates up to 8 disks of 2.5 and 3.5-inch form-factors
- Supports USB 3.0
- Comes with a speed controller for three fans.
- Unhandy fastening of the side panels
- Fans do not work when the speed controller is set at its minimum