HP's Z1, a user upgradeable All-in-One workstation

Subject: General Tech | April 18, 2016 - 12:47 PM |
Tagged: hp, z1, workstation, AIO

The newly announced HP Z1 all-in-one workstation is smaller than its predecessors but hides quite powerful capabilities inside.  You can choose between a Skylake or Xeon E3 chip from Intel, 32 or 64GB of RAM and you can add in a pair of HP Z Turbo Drive PCIe SDDs to complement the installed HDDs.  The screen is 4k, but of a slightly smaller size than previous models at 23.6" which may deter some previous owners from upgrading, support for NVIDIA's new Maxwell chips may change that opinion.  For peripherals, there are a pair of Thunderbolt 3 ports, Type-C form factor for those of you whom this is of prime importance.  As you can see from the picture at The Inquirer, these AIO's are designed to be user serviceable and you can upgrade most of the components after you have purchased the machine.

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"HP INC has unveiled its third-generation Z1 workstation, having given it a boost with more memory, more storage and the latest Intel processors. "

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Source: The Inquirer

NZXT Kraken X31; midget beastie or large squid?

Subject: Cases and Cooling | March 21, 2016 - 04:05 PM |
Tagged: nzxt, Kraken X31, AIO

The NZXT Kraken X31 is smaller than its cousins, the radiator is a compact 120x30x155mm and uses a 120mm fan to move heat.  NXZT seems to offer proprietary controller software, called Cam software, but once you read the difficulties [H]ard|OCP had obtaining and using the software you will see why they recommend sticking with SpeedFan.  The performance is not quite as effective as most 140mm or 280mm coolers but on the other hand it operates at a significantly lower volume, 40.9dBA at most.   If you are looking for a decent performing and quiet cooler then check out the full review.

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"NZXT is also moving some of its AIO cooler strategy into the realm of making it smaller and more efficient. The Kraken X31 ticks that checkbox plus a few others, such as software control, variable pump speed, 16 inch tubing leads, and a six year warranty. (Place your own "Release the Kraken," joke here.)"

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Source: [H]ard|OCP

Arctic Cooling doubles up with the Liquid Freezer 240

Subject: Cases and Cooling | March 11, 2016 - 03:36 PM |
Tagged: arctic cooling, Liquid Freezer 240, AIO

Arctic Cooling has expanded their AIO CPU cooler lineup with the Liquid Freezer 240, which will fit on any modern AMD or Intel CPU.  As with the smaller Liquid Freezer 120 the CPU mounting bracket locks into place, making the install a breeze.  When [H]ard|OCP strapped it onto a CPU overclocked to 4.4GHz they were quite pleased to see this cooler take top spot, 69.7C under full load.  It was rather quiet as well, 41.7dBA is very acceptable for such a powerful cooler.  Pricing is equally impressive, $100 for the best AIO cooler they have tested.  No wonder it picked up a Gold Award.

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"Arctic Cooling claims its new Liquid Freezer 240 is "Extremely Powerful yet Quiet," "Designed for Extreme Cooling Performance" and that it has "Optimal Heat Dissipation." This All-In-One CPU cooler has a 240mm radiator that is poised to do great things with a stock Push/Pull 4-fan configuration and excellent cold plate."

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Source: [H]ard|OCP

Swiftech's H320 X2, bigger, better and ready for your personal touches

Subject: Cases and Cooling | February 5, 2016 - 06:44 PM |
Tagged: swiftech, H320 X2, AIO, watercooling

The Swiftech H320 X2 is obviously designed for those who like to show off the insides of their system, parts of both the reservoir and waterblock are clear as is the piping and there are indeed LEDs on the cooler.  It is larger than the previous generation, the radiator is 127 x 375 x 28mm with a 109ml reservoir, three Swiftech Helix 120mm PWM fans are installed to pull heat from the radiator.  Modders Inc loved the fact that while this is an AiO cooler, it is designed with modding in mind as you can add in or switch out components which is a rarity in AiO watercoolers.  The performance was also impressive, you can read about that and more in their full review.

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"All-in-one (AIO) water cooling units have brought the performance and silence of water cooling to the masses with the simplicity of installing an air cooler. AIOs offer simple installation without the need to bleed the loop. Simply attach the hardware and power cables and you are all set."

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Source: Modders Inc

EKWB Issues Recall for v1.0 Predator 240 / 360 Liquid CPU Coolers

Subject: Cases and Cooling | January 13, 2016 - 12:11 PM |
Tagged: water cooling, recall, Predator 360, predator 240, liquid CPU cooler, EKWB, ek, AIO

EKWB has issued a recall for all first-generation Predator 240 and 360 liquid CPU coolers due to risk of leakage. A new version (v1.1) of both self-contained coolers has been introduced to address the issue, and EK will provide one of the new units for those seeking a replacement.

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Visual differences between Revision 1.0 (left) and Revision 1.1 (right) (via EKWB)

EKWB is also taking responsibility for any component damage that may have resulted from any leaks, offering refunds for defective units (if a replacement is not desired) and affected components.

From EKWB:

"All Revision 1.0 units produced from October 2015 until end of December 2015 are potentially affected by the risk of leakage and in order to prevent any computer component damage, the units need to be replaced. The leakage may occur between copper cold plate and bracket on the water block after it is heated up and pressure rises. Current statistics show that 1 out of 10 units leaks.

We are warning all customers of EK XLC-Predator units to discontinue use of cooling device and contact EKWB for replacement unit or refund. EKWB is taking full responsibility for this issue and will be:

  • Replacing or refunding all returned units to the customers
  • Refunding the customer any computer component damage created by a leakage

EKWB has redesigned and released a new version of EK-XLC Predator (Revision 1.1) on the 4th of January 2016 that prevents any leakage under normal working modes. All customers with Revision 1.0 units will be offered a replacement R1.1 unit or a full refund. Revision 1.0 backplate is not compatible with Revision 1.1 backplate!"

The full notice from the EKWB page is reproduced after the break.

Source: EKWB

LEPA's new EXllusion 240 mixes form and function ... at a cost

Subject: Cases and Cooling | December 11, 2015 - 12:52 PM |
Tagged: lepa, EXllusion 240, AIO, water cooler

Similar to the Raijintek Triton AIO cooler that [H]ard|OCP recently reviewed, the LEPA EXllusion 240 watercooler allows you to open up the loop to add colour to your cooling fluid or even replace it with one of your choice should you so desire.  This AIO uses a 240mm radiator and a pair of 120mm fans and comes with red, green and blue dyes for your coolant, though not the yellow advertised on the box.  The cooler performed decently in their tests, the problem they found with this cooler was the $120 price tag, which is noticeably higher than the competition.  Read the full review for performance details right here.

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"LEPA and its new EXllusion 240 All-In-One CPU cooler touts 400 watts of cooling ability, a patented copper cooling plate, a larger volume of liquid in the block itself, and a "silent" pump, all with a refillable design. Overall it has the look of a quality built AIO, but is the EXllusion worth 120 of your hard earned dollars?"

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Source: [H]ard|OCP

Is there still a market for AIO PCs? The Acer Aspire Z3

Subject: Systems | December 9, 2015 - 01:52 PM |
Tagged: acer, Aspire Z3-710-UR54, AIO

With the rise of SFF systems, Zotac's ZBox series for example, which can be mounted on the back of a display, is there really a market for AIO PCs still?  Acer seems to think so as they have recently released the Z3-710-UR54, a 23.8" 1080p LED screen which houses an i5-4590T, 8GB of DDR3 and a 1TB HDD.  Other models range from i3's to i7's but all have the same type of connectivity, 5.1 sound and a strange lack of touchscreen features.  The system is only 1.4" thick, so it is technically slimmer than a display with a SFF sticking out of the VESA mount on the back but it still seems hard to justify the price.  Check out the full list of features at Hardware Secrets and see if you think this Aspire is worth the cost.

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"The All-in-One (AIO) computer is a great way to put a computer on your desktop without any clutter or big chunky CPU and the Acer Z3 series gives you everything that you need in an AIO."

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Enermax updates its AIO coolers with the Liqmax II 120s

Subject: Cases and Cooling | November 23, 2015 - 01:42 PM |
Tagged: AIO, enermax, liquimax II 120s, watercooling

Enermax's Liqmax II 120s is a relatively small AIO watercooler, the radiator is 154x120x27 mm (6.1x0.8x1.0") and will fit on any modern motherboard, Intel or AMD.  The two 120mm fans which come with the cooler are high static pressure fans with the moniker Batwing and have a physical screw on them which allows you to tune the fan speed manually.  Modders Inc were impressed with this cooler, it performed relatively well and quite quietly and the fact thatit sells for $75 doesn't hurt either. 

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"When it comes to a new build I always keep cooling in mind. Not every rig I build has custom water reservoirs, custom piping or fancy radiators. Sometimes I just need a machine to work without spending an enormous amount of cash on custom parts. I find that All in One (AIO) cooling systems are easy to install, work well …"

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Source: Modders Inc

They may be relatively new but Raijintek knows what they were doing with the Triton 280

Subject: Cases and Cooling | November 16, 2015 - 05:53 PM |
Tagged: AIO, water cooling, raijintek, Triton 280

Before you dismiss the strange looking waterblock on the Raijintek Triton 280 you should know the kit ships with a red, green, and blue bottle of dye which is why you can see into the pump.  Not only that but this waterblock will fit onto any AMD or Intel processor released in the last decade so even an older system can be refreshed by this $80 cooler.  With the price, compatibility and style covered all that is left to do is measure the sound and see how effective the cooler is in action.  To do so all you have to do is vist [H]ard|OCP; prepare yourself to be impressed.

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"Raijintek is a relatively new company and has only been producing products for a couple of years. Raijintek states it focuses on "extreme engineering, remarkable performance, amazing design," and several other things. Does this new Triton 280 AIO cooler hit any of those targets when it comes to cooling your CPU?"

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Source: [H]ard|OCP

ASUS Zen AiO Pro All-in-One Desktop Features 4K IPS and Intel Skylake

Subject: Systems | November 13, 2015 - 10:25 PM |
Tagged: Zen AiO Pro, UHD, its display, Intel RealSense, desktop computer, Core i7-6700T, asus, all-in-one, AIO, 4k

ASUS has announced their newest all-in-one desktop PC, the Zen AiO Pro, featuring a 24-inch 4K IPS display and 6th-gen Intel Skylake processors.

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"The Zen AiO Pro is a masterpiece of craftsmanship and design, with a slim unibody shell and integral stand forged from aluminum. The sophisticated appearance is enhanced by a layer of edge-to-edge glass covering the display, while the rear cover has a brushed-metal finish that complements the spun-metal concentric circles on the front fascia. A vision of elegance, the Zen AiO Pro’s exterior is anodized a stylish yet subtle Icicle Gold color that adds a touch of beauty to any space."

Beyond the (very gold) industrial design this PC features some pretty impressive specs depending on how you choose to configure it. The 23.8" IPS screen is available both 1920x1080 and a multi-touch 4K (UHD) 3840x2160 as well. CPU options include the Intel Core i7-6700T, a 4 core/8 thread part, and the AiO Pro features discrete graphics up to an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M. The inclusion of an Intel RealSense camera allows features like facial recognition, with plenty of rear I/O connectivity that includes USB 3.1 Type-C.

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Zen AiO Pro Specifications:

  • Display: 23.8in IPS 4K/UHD 3840×2160 with 10-point capacitive multi-touch; 23.8in IPS Full HD 1920x1080
  • Processor: Intel Core i5-6400T; Intel Core i7-6700T
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GTX 950M, 1GB GDDR5; NVIDIA GTX 960M, 2GB GDDR5
  • Memory: 8GB or 16GB dual-channel DDR4 at 2133MHz
  • Storage options: 512GB PCIe SSD + 1TB HDD; 1TB SSHD; 1TB HDD
  • Wireless: 802.11ac + Bluetooth 4 (M.2, 2T2R), supports Intel WiDi
  • Ethernet: 10/100/1000Mbit/s
  • Cameras: Intel RealSense camera, 1MP 720P webcam
  • Audio: 8W Stereo Speakers
  • I/O ports: 1x USB 3.1 (Type-C); 4x USB 3.0; 1x USB 2.0; 1x microphone; 1x headphone; SD card slot; 2x HDMI; LAN
  • Power Supply: 180W
  • Operating System: Windows 10

The Zen AiO Pro starts at $999 (which includes a matching wireless keyboard and mouse) and is available now, with additional configurations to follow.

Source: ASUS