The Arcadia II by Raijintek
After we checked out some of Raijintek’s offerings in the AIO market, they reached out to us to see if we would be interested in taking a look at the Arcadia II (one of their budget cases). I was pretty stoked to see what this case would bring to the table, because a budget case can be a great housing for any first-tme build or test system.
Going into this review, I feel that it’s important to state that this case is, after all, in the $40 range. With that said, the Arcadia II by Raijintek is by all means a decent entry into the budget case market, even in spite of a few drawbacks.
The presentation of the Arcadia II
The Arcadia II ships in a fairly heavy-gauge corrugated cardboard box. The case itself is wrapped in plastic and supported by two molded polystyrene inserts. The foam inserts are light; certainly not of the higher quality like you might find in a Pelican case or in other higher end PC cases. This is a little disappointing. After all, even a budget case deserves some packaging love.
On the other hand, shipping materials do contribute to total budget costs. So, for a budget case, the packaging materials are not actually out of line when taking those total costs into consideration.
In spite of the low-end packing materials, I felt that the extra heft of the outer cardboard packaging did make up for that, to an extent. However – the corners of the box itself seemed to rip easily, so be cautious. While the packaging itself is adequate, some shipping agencies tend to be more rough on packages than others. We’ve all seen those delivery footage videos from people’s door cams.
Inside the box itself was the case (of course) and a small ziplock baggy containing a few extra screws.
Since it is primarily aluminum, this case is fairly lightweight. It’s also pretty decent-looking; the plastic parts are designed to mimic the texture and look of mesh and brushed metal.
Bottom & Top
The bottom of the Arcadia II is fairly plain. There is a dust filter over the PSU area, with case feet that hold it about 1.5″ – 2″ off the floor or desk surface.
When looking at the top of the case, we see a pretty clean design, aside from the smoother aluminum. The only break in the material is when you come to the first of the two dust filters. These are adequate, but they aren’t rounded over on the edges, and WILL cut you if you’re not careful.
The top portion of the case’s front panel is also where you’ll find two USB2.0, one USB3.0, two 3.5mm audio jacks (one for headphones and one for a microphone), and the power/reset buttons.
At first glance the front panel looks decent, with a brushed metal appearance. There is a cover for a 5.25″ drive bay that follows the brushed metal aesthetic – if you happen to still used 5.25″ optical drives in 2019.
But here’s my biggest issue: the actual design of the front panel itself. The brushed metal and mesh do look nice, but that’s all it is – “looks”. Note: I don’t mind plastic emulating the look of brushed metal; my issue is with the functionality – i.e. air flow. Upon closer inspection, the entire front panel (with the exception of a very small slit at the bottom) appears to be mesh running down the left and right sides of the front panel, but it’s actually solid plastic that’s molded to give the appearance of mesh. The front panel is nearly completely closed off, which makes me wary of potential airflow issues. But this is just speculation on my part.
Gamer’s Nexus has done comprehensive testing on various cases showing ventilation to airflow correlations.
Sides & Back
The side panels of the Arcadia II feature a slight bulge in them. The right side panel bulge helps with cable clutter, and the left side panel bulge appears to be cosmetic – perhaps for symmetry, while utilizing the bulge for its acrylic window.
The Arcadia II reminds me of a time before tempered glass became a staple in the case design revolution, when the side panels had a bit of a bulge to accommodate cable clutter. Both side panels are constructed of fairly thin-gauge aluminum. The bulges perhaps add some structural rigidity because they don’t flex a lot.
Both side panels are also held to the chassis with thumb screws, but they aren’t captive thumb screws. When they are completely removed from the panels, they could be lost.
The back of the case is precisely what you would expect. It showcases the motherboard I/O 7 PCI-e expansion slots and a single 120mm pre-installed case fan.
Internally, the Arcadia II is pretty spacious. Because it’s such a wide open area, it can accommodate 160mm tall CPU coolers, GPUs up to 340mm in length, and a 240mm radiator along the top.
The back side of the motherboard tray holds two 2.5″ SSDs. The PSU shroud also houses a place for two 3.5″ drives for additional storage. The PSU shroud stops just shy of the front, allowing room for another 240mm radiator to be mounted there.
The Arcadia II’s Materials & Quality
Considering the fact that The Arcadia II is primarily an aluminum frame with plastic for things like the front cover and acrylic for the side cover window, and that the aluminum parts are thin but without excessive flex or give (thus contributing to the stability of the case), it’s fairly priced and definitely affordable for the first-time builder or for a build on a tight budget.
Final Thoughts on the Arcadia II
You obviously have to manage your expectations here. This is, after all, a $40 case – inexpensive, with ample build area. There is dust filtration on the top & bottom of the case, though the latter is a bit difficult to get to. It is structurally pretty resilient, despite its lower-grade materials. The case materials being plastic and aluminum means that the unit is light, but the aluminum looks to be pressed and filed, not rounded.
The one major shortcoming of this case, in my opinion, is the front cover. Because the design is largely aesthetic, I can’t imagine that adding in ventilation would have cost anymore than the work that went into making it look like it had ventilation.
And, having said that, there is also one small safety issue to consider: although I didn’t actually slice myself open there were a few moments, while handling the case, when I nearly did. So use caution when building in it.
Overall, the Arcadia II is a decent option for the price. I can’t say I was blown away, but if you are OK with a fairly closed off front panel, then for $40 the Arcadia II fits the bill and would be a decent enclosure for a low-end build or a first-timer.
For my fellow nerds, here are the stats:
|3.9 kg [N.W.] 4.8 kg [G.W.]
|Internal 5.25″×1, 3.5″×2, 2.5″×2
|USB3.0×1, USB2.0×2, HD Audio×1
|PS/2 [Internal Bottom-mount]
|Front Fan: 120mm×2 or 140mm×2 or 240mm radiator×1
Rear Fan: 120mm×1 [Pre-installed]
Top Fan: 120mm×2
|CPU Cooler Height
|Graphic Card Length
|Side Panel Style