Fractal Design Array R2 Mini ITX game system mod

Ultral4mer

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Planning on building a game system in a small form factor ITX case, and still not sure if I'm going to use a Sugo 05 / 07 or this Fractal Design Array case.

The last one I like most for the looks, but the way it's made it has a few problems with air cooling as I have read in several reviews.
Watercooling the whole system is an option, but I would rather try to create a simple large fan based solution.
To me it looks like this should work but as this is actually the first time I'm going to build my own system I would like some input.

This is the case:
1213666-a.jpg
G.jpg


A review with pics can be found here: Click!


Now the problem is that the case has only 1x 140mm intake fan (with very low ratings) and also not that manny ventilation openings on the side and back panel. The top is closed.

What I've figured out is that if I create a compartment (hope this is a correct word, sorry but my English is not that good) in front of the case,
and turn that at a 45 degrees angle there will be space left for 2x large 140mm intake fans.
That will drive a large amount of fresh air in the case.
There will still be space for a large graphics card, and because of the position of the fans to me it looks like this way it will get a good airflow?



I've made a simple scale drawing (top view, and front view layout of the custom fanmount) with some info on the hardware as well to make this more clear:


fractaldesignarray2.jpg



The good thing is that I don't want a optical drive, and only need 1 or 2 SSD drives, probably 2,5" so space for that is not a problem.
They could be mounted against the front in the "cold compartment" or against the right side in the "hot compartment" cooled by the 140mm fan.

- There will be one hole drilled for extra fresh air (red color in drawing) and there is an option for an extra output (should fit 80mm) above the PCI slots on the back pannel if needed.



Will this setup still have serious problems with the heat from the graphics card?
(probably Radeon 6870 / Nvidea 470 or something else) or should the airflow created by the left fan give pretty good cooling on the card?

Any advise for better fans that are listed in the specs are also welcome -> see drawing.

Thx.

.
 

Machupo

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Many cases have specific purposes -- this Array R2 case has the purpose of housing a large number of hard drives in a small case. I think you would be much better off making a gaming system out of a Sugo05 or Sugo07, cases that are specifically designed to have better airflow from the factory.

It seems like the only reason you are choosing this case is because of the blank front panel. The amount of work you would need to put into this case to make it a good gaming case would be much more than anything you would have to do to just about any other case.

Positives for the Array R2 case (as a gaming system):
- Blank front panel
- Lots of interior space

Negatives for the Array R2 (also positives for the Sugo05/07 cases):
- Cutting an 85mm hole in the bottom would provide constricted airflow for the 2x 140mm fans making this sound like a hovercraft or a jet taking off
- The angle of the fans would provide questionable benefit to the overall cooling of the case

Other issues I have with this setup:
- Samuel 17 is not the most effective hsf for a high end gaming system (the Sugo07 would let you fit much larger heatsinks on the cpu)
- The Sugo07 would provide a better solution for less price, and no aftermarket cutting
- If you really want to go big, go watercooling

In these setups what you want is faster airflow with less turbulence across your heated components, not only does this increase the volume of air which touches the heatsink area but it also gets the air removed from the case quickly preventing eddys and pockets of heated air inside the case.


Sorry for the rambling post, but I just woke up -- in summary I think you would be much better served by a Sugo07 :)


edit: If you do decide to go through with this, can I have your hard drive rack? :D
 
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bastage

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screw that.. Go for shit.. If you have the money to spend on the case, & have the time & ambition then do it.. One thing I would change though.. The fan setup.. Drop to 120's & use a h70 on one of them.. That will get around alot of cooler issues.. & the 85mm hole in the bottom... I would just open it up to about the same size as the whole compartment up front..
 

Ultral4mer

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screw that.. Go for shit.. If you have the money to spend on the case, & have the time & ambition then do it..

I don't have any problem with some modding.. Yes It's my first Windows based system that I want to build from scratch, but I have worked with a lot of Apple desktops and laptops. I also made modifications to a Mac Cube in the past, so I know what is is to work in tight spaces ;)

One thing I would change though.. The fan setup.. Drop to 120's & use a h70 on one of them.. That will get around alot of cooler issues.. & the 85mm hole in the bottom... I would just open it up to about the same size as the whole compartment up front..

I've started with the idea to use a Corsair cooler, but as I don't intend to overclock it to the max I figured the larger fan solution would make it less noisy. I've also looked at 1 large 180mm fan in the front witch is also an option in this case.

But I'll try again with a H50 / H70, will post an update drawing soon!
 

Ultral4mer

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It seems like the only reason you are choosing this case is because of the blank front panel. The amount of work you would need to put into this case to make it a good gaming case would be much more than anything you would have to do to just about any other case.

Well it's not only the front, the top + side is also made of the same aluminum witch I find a big plus. If build correct and the heat problem gets solved this would also be a less noisy setup than the 05/07 I guess?

I don't have any problem with some extra work, and the modifications on the case itself are not that big. Just removing some parts and creating some holes in the bottem does not make this case unusable for ever?

Besides the price of the case is only a bit higher:

- Sugo 07 with PSU: € 170,-

- Array R2: € 115,-
- PSU 450W: € 78,-


Negatives for the Array R2 (also positives for the Sugo05/07 cases):
- Cutting an 85mm hole in the bottom would provide constricted airflow for the 2x 140mm fans making this sound like a hovercraft or a jet taking off
- The angle of the fans would provide questionable benefit to the overall cooling of the case.

Other issues I have with this setup:
- Samuel 17 is not the most effective hsf for a high end gaming system (the Sugo07 would let you fit much larger heatsinks on the cpu)
- The Sugo07 would provide a better solution for less price, and no aftermarket cutting
- If you really want to go big, go watercooling

Well the problem is that there are not that many options for a cooler on the Gigabite motherboard:

1. Samuel 17
2. AXP-140 (hard to find)
3. H50 / H70

With the Sugo 07 the H50 setup means you have to remove the 180mm fan and change it for a single (push/pull?) 120mm input.

Sugo 07 option A: 1x 180mm / 1x 120mm
Sugo 07 option H: 1x 120mm
(PSU blows hot air in case)

Array R2 option A: 2x 140mm / 1x 120mm
Array R2 option H: 2x 120mm
(PSU blows hot air out of the case)

The good thing about the Array is that the fans are behind the front pannel, just like the Sugo 06 witch make it a bit less noisy as I've read. The air openings on the 06 are smaller than the R2.

In these setups what you want is faster airflow with less turbulence across your heated components, not only does this increase the volume of air which touches the heatsink area but it also gets the air removed from the case quickly preventing eddys and pockets of heated air inside the case.


Sorry for the rambling post, but I just woke up -- in summary I think you would be much better served by a Sugo07 :)

No problem, thank you for your input! I just want to try and see if there is a solution to this, the Sugo 07 is still a very good option for me.

I will do another drawing with a Corsair cooler, I'm interested what you all think of it.


edit: If you do decide to go through with this, can I have your hard drive rack? :D

I could sell you the hard drive rack to balance the price difference with the case! :p LOL
 

Ultral4mer

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Ok, how does this look:

fractaldesign2infopost3.jpg


The white area behind the H50 is a schrout, so there's also place for a H70 if I remove it.

Any suggestions?
 

Machupo

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Looks good -- better orientation of the fans pointed at the components -- how does the back of the case look? Will you be able to exhaust a similar/sufficient volume of air?

Alternately, if you reversed the orientation of the radiator/fan stack and partitioned the forward compartment, you would balance the airflow in & out of the case based upon the ratio of the cfm of 1x120 (on the left pulling air in) and 1x feser (on the right pulling air out). Do you have the flow rate graphs (cfm vs. rpm/voltage) for the fans you plan on using?
 

Ultral4mer

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Back view of the case:

Back_open.jpg



Yeah I've allready figured it would be better to balance the fans. So 3 of the same will be better. I don't know what fans to use yet, 38mm fans is another option.

To partition the front might be a good idea, but I would like room for 1 or 2 SSD's in the front I think. If I use 3 fans with same specs this would not be an issue?
 

Ultral4mer

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Oh wait, I've missed the part that you suggested to have the H50 as air output. That would be possible yes. Good thing to look at. Corsair says it's better to take fresh air in however, but who cares what corsair says.. :D
 

wonSR4

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Hm interested to see how this will turn out. Kinda wish there was at least usb ports on the front. But man, this case is expensive :/ It's nearly $200 with shipping.
 

Ultral4mer

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Note that there are 2 versions, one with and one without the PSU.

In Europe they are about € 160,- for version with PSU: about $ 218
The version without the PSU is € 115,- that should be around $ 157
 

wonSR4

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Note that there are 2 versions, one with and one without the PSU.

In Europe they are about € 160,- for version with PSU: about $ 218
The version without the PSU is € 115,- that should be around $ 157

Hm I see. Either way, if you bought the one without the PSU, you would still need to buy one and the cost may be similar. Also, the PSU cables for that case are specifically made for that case (length wise). I suppose that matters more for people who don't know how to mod PSU cables which applies in my case.
 

Ultral4mer

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Hm I see. Either way, if you bought the one without the PSU, you would still need to buy one and the cost may be similar. Also, the PSU cables for that case are specifically made for that case (length wise). I suppose that matters more for people who don't know how to mod PSU cables which applies in my case.

Yeah but the one that comes with the case is only 300 Watts, and that won't be any good for the system I'm going to build.

What I have found is the Silverstone SST-ST45SF 450 Watts witch also is a SFX form factor should fit perfect. I do not worry about cable lenght as there will be plenty of room left for it.

I don't know if I have other options yet for a PSU, I could even get a standard ATX in the case but that means more mods on the case.

Anybody know of a good option beside the mentioned ATX and SFX form factor?
 

wonSR4

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Yeah but the one that comes with the case is only 300 Watts, and that won't be any good for the system I'm going to build.

What I have found is the Silverstone SST-ST45SF 450 Watts witch also is a SFX form factor should fit perfect. I do not worry about cable lenght as there will be plenty of room left for it.

I don't know if I have other options yet for a PSU, I could even get a standard ATX in the case but that means more mods on the case.

Anybody know of a good option beside the mentioned ATX and SFX form factor?

Yeah that Silverstone is great. I have it in my Q11 but it's quite expensive at around $70-80.
 

bastage

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I dont think using the h50 for exhaust would be your best bet.. If it were me I would simply cut out the rear vent panel & anything else you can safely remove without effecting the structure too much. & then just allow the air to exhaust freely out the back.
 

Ultral4mer

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I think this is a much better solution:

fractaldesign2infopost4.jpg


Reading the review of the Sugo 07 here gave me the idea of moving the PSU to the front and use a large PSU cooler like the Titan Skalli.

On the back there will be very large ventilation openings, way more than on the Sugo.
I don't have to do any to the case itself besides the extra openings up front in the bottem, I could flip on a simple magnetic filter on the PSU opening at back, witch I've seen somewhere. No drilling needed :)

This could just become a perfect case..
 

Ultral4mer

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See here the difference between the back of the SG07 and the Array: very nice hot air opening at the back if PSU gets moved to the front. Why did Silverstone leave that back on the Sugo complete closed, I think it will run much hotter than the solution that I've found right now.


backviews.jpg



Any thoughts about the cooler? Would that be a good choice or are there even better options for the H55N-USB3 now there's about 18cm of hight ? :D
 

bastage

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Moving the PSU to the frount would certainly free up alot of room for air to get out the back. It also makes a little more sence to me all togeather.. If your going that far I would consider going back to a single LARGE intake fan upfront & put a Corsair on the back as an exhaust. The corsairs are quiet & that way ou can use a quieter fan moving more air on the front.
 

Ultral4mer

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Hmm.. that would make it like this:

- Edit:

fractaldesign2infopost5.jpg


This would result in having 1x 140mm intake fan for the case, and room for about 100mm for a cold air intake for the H50.
Hot air out for the H50 on the back, to bad this will fux up the back a bit and leave less air-out ventilation for the case itself.
 
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hakkafusion

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See here the difference between the back of the SG07 and the Array: very nice hot air opening at the back if PSU gets moved to the front. Why did Silverstone leave that back on the Sugo complete closed, I think it will run much hotter than the solution that I've found right now.

Any thoughts about the cooler? Would that be a good choice or are there even better options for the H55N-USB3 now there's about 18cm of hight ? :D

Having more vents doesn't mean the system will run cooler, you need the correct vent at the correct places with correct airflow.
 

hevnbnd

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So did you buy this case? Pleased? I am in the us and am having little to no luck finding it to buy...
 

bastage

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There isn't a us distributer that I know of that carries it. Hopefully newegg will. They just started carrying some other fractal cases
Posted via Mobile Device
 

hevnbnd

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Yes I know newegg is the only distributor. Was going to order from Europe... Here is the response I got from Fractal a few weeks ago.
Hi Brian,

Our first step in the US was to get the Define R3 and Define XL cases into Newegg. It has only been a few days and they are pleased with how well the case is selling.

We will be working with Newegg to add more cases.
I do not have a more definite answer, but in the coming months the Define Mini should be available.

I will be sure and reach out to you when the are available.

Best,
Elizabeth
 

hevnbnd

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We are targeting media center pc cases to be available by June on Newegg.com

Best,
E

Latest response from Fractal I have.

 

drcabrejos

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I really hope that the Fractal Design Array R2 will be available at newegg soon!!

Buying on NClX.com would be $215 shipped to my house as of now. Hope newegg price will be a lot better than the canadian website!

Really need this case!! Already have everything setup in an old crappy ugly looking case!!
 

hevnbnd

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Yea my zotac board just shipped out and I have no case to put it in... :( 215 to my house as well.
 

kalieaire

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Sorry to pull a post out from the dead, but yes, the Fractal Design Array R2 Mini ITX case is finally available to the USA via Newegg.

I bought mine through nci x in Canada.

Those asses gave me the run-around for 4 months before getting one in stock and charged me 70 bucks to ship to California.

So sad, they only got it to me 1 month earlier than Newegg was stocking them.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811352019
 

hevnbnd

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Yep got mine from canada too.... Cost me about $12 more than from NewEgg.... Hey in my case there is no slot for the bottom of expansion cards to slip into. So I have a usb expantion card that plugs into the mother board on the bottom slot and when you push a usb device into the card it slids into the case... Anyone else got this problem?
 
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