Introduction: Defining the Quiet Enclosure
The Define R5 is the direct successor to Fractal Design's R4 enclosure, and it arrives with the promise of a completely improved offering in the silent case market. Fractal Design has unveiled the case today, and we have the day-one review ready for you!
We've looked at a couple of budget cases recently from the Swedish enclosure maker, and though still affordable with an MSRP of $109.99 (a windowed version will also be available for $10 more) the Define R5 from Fractal Design looks like a premium part throughout. In keeping with the company's minimalist design aesthetic it features clean styling, and is a standard mid-tower form factor supporting boards from ATX down to mini-ITX. The R5 also offers considerable cooling flexibility with many mounting options for fans and radiators.
The Silent Treatment
One of two included 1000 RPM hydraulic-bearing GP-14 silent fans
There are always different needs to consider when picking an enclosure, from price to application. And with silent cases there is an obvious need to for superior sound-dampening properties, though airflow must be maintained to prevent cooking components as well. With today's review we'll examine the case inside and out and see how a complete build performs with temperature and noise testing.
Introduction: A Crowded Market
The case market is not only saturated at every conceivable price point, but there is enough of a builder’s DNA in their enclosure selection that making recommendations in this area can be a galvanizing undertaking. The enclosure with less usefulness can have perceived deficiencies mitigated by style, and vice versa. For some, style is the most important attribute. But functionality alone, when unnecessary elements are stripped away, can be attractive as well. Here we have a bit of both.
Fractal Design is a Swedish company specializing in computer enclosures, though much like Corsair (which started life as a memory company) they have diversified their product offerings with a line power supplies and all-in-one liquid CPU coolers, as well as case fans and accessories. The company cites Scandinavian design as the influence behind their aesthetic, with the minimalist approach of 'less is more'. With the “Core” series Fractal Design has just what that nomenclature indicates. An entry-level offering that still provides the essentials for a solid build.
With the Core 3300 ATX case the basics are all represented, and it seems that nothing has been included for artistic reasons alone. The Core 3300 does not have a side window, and inside you won't see convenience features like toolless drive bays. Ultimately it’s a rather nondescript matte black case that’s mostly steel, but there are touches that help it stand out in this particular segment of a crowded market.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | June 19, 2014 - 05:22 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: Silverstone, raven rv05, raven, enclosure, cases, atx case
SilverStone’s Raven series, what I would describe as the “Batmobile” of PC enclosures, has graduated from the Tim Burton-like approach of the RV01, to a little more of a Chris Nolan-reboot feel with its fifth incarnation. Announced today, the RV05 is a sharply angled matte black design sure to strike fear in the hearts of villains everywhere.
In the same move SilverStone is making with the upcoming Fortress series revision, the new Raven eliminates the 5.25" bays from the prior iterations and the result is a much smaller size overall.
Still utilizing the trademark inverted layout of the series, the RV05 includes two of their 180mm "Air Penetrator" fans at the bottom of the case to force warm air upwards and across components. The case also offers support for various watercooling radiators along the bottom in place of the included 180mm fans (up to 120mm x3 or 140mm x2), and 120mm support on the top.
The case retains the full ATX form factor with the new smaller footprint, which is listed as 242mm W x 529mm H x 498mm D - or 9.52” x 20.83” x 19.60” if you aren’t on the metric system.
The SilverStone Raven RV05 will be available next month and will be offered in two versions, the SST-RV05B (black) and SST-RV05B-W (black + window).
Subject: Cases and Cooling | June 8, 2014 - 10:58 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: Silverstone, SFX PSU, PSU, Fortress, computex 2014, computex, atx case, aluminum case, 1500W PSU
Computex may be over but SilverStone had enough new product announcements to last us for a while! Among the many offerings there were a number of highlights, including new enclosures and power supplies. We'll check out a few of the new PSUs here.
The first is a new 1500-watt PSU with a smaller size.
ST1500-GS 1500W 180mm ATX PSU
At 180mm deep the most powerful Strider Gold S-series PSU isn't small, but compared to other 1500-watt options (including SilverStone's ST1500 at 220mm) the shorter depth promises some additional chassis options for a high-power build. The ST1500-GS is fully modular and also features all flat cabling.
New SFX Options!
The smallest PSUs in the SilverStone lineup also have new models, with two new SFX power supplies for mini-ITX builds. The first is a more powerful version of the popular 450-watt ST45SF-G, now in a 600-watt flavor in the SX600-G.
SX600-G SFX PSU
Next we have the SX500-LG, and perhaps more exciting to mini-ITX enthusiasts the new 500-watt option in the SFX lineup features a 120mm fan!
SX500-LG "SFX-L" PSU with 120mm fan
The SX500-LG's 120mm "ultra-quiet" fan adds a bit to the depth of the PSU, which is 130mm compared to the 100mm of the ST45SF-G and SX600-G, and it is classified as an "SFX-L" form factor - with only the length being non-standard for SFX. This new fan implementation should really help reduce some additional load noise from a small high-powered system. Both of the announced additions to the SFX family will also feature all flat cabling this time.
There are new models across all of SilverStone's lineup coming up, so stay tuned. No pricing or availablity just yet, but there's a lot to look forward to from SilverStone this year in the cases and cooling department!
Subject: Cases and Cooling | June 3, 2014 - 05:45 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: enclosure, computex 2014, computex, cases, be quiet!, atx case
Today Be Quiet! - known for its line of quality power supplies (like the Power Zone 1000W PSU) - introduces their first PC enclosure, and the case (it has no apparent name as of yet) looks excellent, especially at the price point Be Quiet intends to target ($129).
The monolithic design will be available with your choice of three colors of accents
The Be Quiet! case supports ATX, micro-ATX, and mini-ITX motherboards, and has tons of room for your various components. It comes with three of the company's "Pure Wings 2" fans pre-installed (2x 140mm in front, and 1x 120mm in back), and will offer a lot of additional cooling flexibility. The case will support liquid cooling radiators up front (120/140mm), on the back (120mm), and on top (up to 240/280mm).
The Be Quiet! case is part of this balanced breakfast - er, build
Be Quiet! provided some specs for us:
- 3x 5.25” optical drive bays
- 7x 3.5” HDD bays
- 2x SSD behind motherboard
- 2x SSD inside HDD tray
- 2x 140mm front fan mounts
- 1x 120mm back, and 2x 120/140mm top fan mounts
- 1x 120/140mm bottom, and 1x 120mm side panel fan mounts
- Top-mounted USB 3.0 x2 and USB 2.0 x2 ports, plus audio
A larger enclosure, the Be Quiet! case will allow large components as well:
- CPU cooler max height 170mm
- PSU max length 290mm
- VGA max length standard (with HDD cage) 290mm
- VGA max length (without HDD cage) 400mm
An emphasis has been placed on noise reduction (no surprise here - see company name!) and the case will include noise-dampening mats as wekk as anti-noise HDD and Fan mounts. Adding to the premium feel, all of the numerous air intakes will have filters to keep dust away from your gear.
The (as yet unnamed) Be Quiet! case is set to launch in September with an MSRP of US $129, and will be available as a black chassis with silver, orange, or black inserts.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | June 2, 2014 - 07:00 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: mini-itx, micro-atx, corsair, computex 2014, chassis, cases, atx case
Today Corsair announced three new enclosures in a lineup covering the ATX, micro-ATX, and mini-ITX form factors.
Carbide Series AIR 240
The first announcement is a smaller version of the popular Carbide AIR 540, which promises big cooling with a small footprint. The Air 240 supports micro-ATX and mini-ITX motherboards, comes equipped with three of Corsair's high performance AF120 fans, and can support 240mm radiators and long graphics cards.
The Carbide Series AIR 240 will be shipping in August in both black and white color schemes, with a list price between $89 - $99.
Graphite 780T in black
The Graphite 780T is a full tower case dripping with features and functionality. With a style similar to the 600T more than the previous 760T, it has the same distinctive, rounded look of that earlier Graphite case.
Like all of today's announced cases, the 780T also comes in white
The 780T features premium latched side panels, a huge interior, and mammoth water cooling support (like, dual 360mm radiator support!), along with space for up to 9 hard drives. The Graphite 780T also includes three 140mm AF140 fans, and the case has an integrated 3-speed fan controller along with a “Start/Stop” button that looks like it came from a late-model car.
The Graphite 780T will be available in September and listed prices are expected to range from $179.99 - $189.99.
My personal favorite from this group, this full-featured case is Corsair's no compromise approach to mini-ITX, and looks like a miniature version of the 780T (or a really deluxe igloo cooler). It supports full-length graphics cards, 240mm radiators, and up to four 3.5"/2.5" hard drives - and the features don't stop here. The 380T has latched side panels (similar to the larger 780T), includes both 120mm and 140mm AF-series fans, and has a 3-speed fan controller.
The Graphite 380T will be available in August in white and black versions with a list price of $129.99.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | December 10, 2013 - 02:17 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: enermax, iVektor, atx case
The Enermax iVektor is an ATX case with quite a few drive bays, all tool-less installation and space at the top of the case for a radiator if you prefer watercooling. Three 5.25" bays and seven 3.5" of which four can be converted to 2.5" for SSDs ought to give you enough space for storage and controllers. Up to six 120mm fans can be installed, that number drops to four if you install a 240mm radiator at the top of the case. [H]ard|OCP were impressed with both the thermal performance and low noise of the case as well as the with customization possible, earning this ~$80 case a Gold Award.
"Enermax has long been an enthusiast brand associated with some of the best computer power supplies made in the industry. Over the last couple of years it has also developed a very strong following in computer case arena with DIYers. Today we look at the iVektor case designed by Enermax and it looks to be a strong contender for your next build."
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- Enermax iVektor Casemod @ Hardware Asylum
- Cooler Master Cosmos SE Case Review @ Modders-Inc
- SilverStone Fortress FT04 @ Phoronix
- BitFenix Phenom Mini-ITX Case @ SPCR
- Chenbro SR30169 Mini-ITX Server Chassis @ SPCR
- Fractal Node 304 White Computer Case Review @ Madshrimps
- CaseLabs Mercury S5 Case Review @ Hardware Canucks
- Corsair Graphite Series 230T @ Kitguru
- Fractal Design Define XL R2 Computer Case @ NikKTech
- Corsair Graphite 230T Battleship Grey Mid Tower Case Review @ Legit Reviews
- BitFenix Prodigy M mATX Case @ Benchmark Reviews
- Aerocool GT-S Black Edition @ techPowerUp
- 120mm Water Cooler Round Up w/ Cooler Master, Scythe and Zalman @ Legit Reviews
- 120mm Water Cooler Round Up Part 2 - Looking Inside @ Legit Reviews
- Scythe Kaze Chrono @ Funky Kit
- Noctua NH-U14S Heatsink Review @ Frostytech
- Noctua NH-U14S @ [H]ard|OCP
- Scythe Mugen 4 @ [H]ard|OCP
Introduction and Technical Specifications
Courtesy of Cooler Master
The HAF XB mid tower case is the newest member of the Cooler Master HAF line of cases. Touted as a LAN box, this cube-shaped case has both looks and features that appeal to any enthusiasts. We decided to put the HAF XB on our test bench to validate these claims. At a base price of $99.99, the HAF XB is a bargain for the features you are getting.
Courtesy of Cooler Master
Courtesy of Cooler Master
Cooler Master designed the HAF XB with a scratch-resistance, flat-black colored coating applied to all surfaces. Both side panels have integrated hand-holds for easy lifting and transport to your event and the front and top panels contain non-impeding mesh grills allowing for optimal airflow across your vital system components. Integrated into the case's front panel are power and reset buttons, power indicator LEDs, audio input and output port, USB 3.0 device ports, two 5.25" device bays, and two hot-swappable hard drive bays.
Subject: General Tech, Cases and Cooling | July 28, 2013 - 10:39 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: rosewill, atx case
Rosewill, no stranger to computer cases, expands their portfolio with three cheap and feature-filled ATX mid-towers. No more than a single external 3.25" bay, and aesthetics, seem to differentiate the models from one another. Every choice has: a healthy number of internal bays, some option for external 3.5", a spot for an SSD, USB 3.0, and an expected price of $50.
Galaxy-02 (top-left) and Galaxy-03 (top-right) allow up to three 5.25" devices to be installed, two if you convert a bay to an external 3.5" slot using the supplied adapter. Galaxy-01 (below) includes a permanently mounted external 3.5" bay. I never really understood the advantage compared to an internal, but still easily accessible, mounting point; a toaster-like dock, attached internally to SATA, would get my attention.
Each case contains three 120mm fans with options of mounting either a fourth fan, 120mm or 140mm form factors, to the side panel. For those curious, power supplies are mounted on the bottom and draw cool air from a dust-shielded opening.
All three cases are currently available for $49.99.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | May 8, 2013 - 03:43 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: cooler master, n200, n400, n600, atx case
PC case and cooling manufacturer Cooler Master has launched a slew of new cases, including the N200, N400, and N600 cases. The new N series spans from Micro ATX to full tower cases. All three cases are black with mesh fan grills with front IO that supports two USB 3.0, two USB 2.0, and two audio ports.
The N200 is the smallest of the three cases. It is constructed of steel (with a plastic front bezel) and measures 202 x 378 x 445mm. The N200 case can host mini-ITX or micro-ATX motherboards, up to two optical drives, four SSDs, and three hard drives. The case comes with two Cooler Master XtraFlow fans, but it can also fit a thin 240mm radiator in the front of the case if you remove the SSD drive bays. A 120mm rear fan rounds out the cooling options. It supports CPU HSFs up to 160mm tall.
The N400 is a bit larger at 190 x 426 x 501.4mm. The mid-tower case can support full ATX motherboards, 320mm long GPUs, and up to eight 120mm fans. A maximum of eight hard drives and seven expansion cards are also supported. Cooler Master provides two XtraFlow fans with the case.
Cooler Master’s N600 rounds out the new case series. The case measures 207 x 455 x 520mm and is constructed of a plastic polymer. In addition to the included XtraFlow fans, the case can accommodate up to 8 more 120mm fans. It has a removable hard drive cage that allows gamers to use graphics cards up to 430mm GPUs. A 240mm water cooling radiator can be installed in the top of the case as well. The N600 has a large mesh front panel that allows for front intake fans.
According to TechPowerUp, the Cooler Master N200 will be available in Europe later this month for 33 Euros while the larger N400 and N600 cases will be available in June for 42 Euros and 67.5 Euros respectively. Those prices work out to about $43 for the N200, $55 for the N400, and $89 for the N600, though that could change a bit as there is no word on official US pricing yet. Personally, I'm not a fan of the aesthetics, but at least the prices aren't terrible.