Subject: Cases and Cooling | November 23, 2015 - 10:04 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: pandora atx, Mid-Tower Case, enclosure, case, bitfenix pandora, bitfenix, atx case
BitFenix has released a larger follow up to the Pandora enclosure, previously a slim Micro-ATX tower. The new full ATX sized Pandora offers the same styling and optional customizable screen as the previous version, and now offers support for up to 360 mm radiators.
“The Pandora ATX offers the same much-loved unique styling as the original Pandora - but with housing capabilities for full-sized hardware and a 360mm radiator, either in the top or the front. Conceived as a versatile base for DIY projects, it is designed to show off your hardware in a tasteful manner through its large side window. The front panel is like no other, with the wrap-around side panels covering parts of it, leaving only a sober glossy black front panel housing the programmable 2.8" ICON color display visible through it. The ICON is a story in itself, allowing you to add any logo or picture you wish, for maximum personalization.”
I was impressed with the original Pandora when I reviewed it at the end of last year, but there were certainly concessions to size (beginning with the restriction to mATX or mITX motherboards) including limited cooler and taller GPU support. This was in fact a very narrow tower previously. With the new Pandora ATX you can have the same style including an optional LCD with ICON software that allows drag-and-drop customization with your own image. And while some might think ICON is a gimmick, and it arguably is, this is still a solid-looking enclosure.
So what exactly does this new Pandora ATX support? Here’s a rundown of the specs:
- 2.8" BitFenix ICON Display
- One-piece PSU cover and MB tray
- Top, Front and Bottom Dust Filters
- 360mm Radiator Support
- 20mm Cable Clearance
- Graphics Card Length up to 440mm
- Materials: Steel, ABS
- Colors (Interior/Exterior): Black/Black
- Supported Motherboards: ATX, Micro ATX, Mini-ITX
- LCD: 2.8" TFT, 240 x 320 (Pandora ATX only)
- I/O: 2x USB 3.0, 2x USB 2.0, 2x 3.5mm Audio (Line Out, Mic-in)
- 3.5” Drive Bays: x4, x3 (Pandora ATX Core)
- 2.5” Drive Bays: x4, 2x (Pandora ATX Core)
- Front Cooling: 1x 140mm (Included, Pandora ATX only), Max 3x 120mm OR 2x 140mm (Not Included)
- Rear Cooling: 1x 120mm FDB Fan (Included)
- Top Cooling: Max 3x 120mm OR 2x 140mm (Not Included)
- Expansion Slots: x7
- Power Supply: ATX & EPS, up to 220mm length
- Dimensions (WxHxD): 203 x 510 x 558 mm
- Weight: 9.92 kg (net), 11.4 kg (gross)
It seems that the only thing we don’t know about this new enclosure is pricing and availability, which have not yet been released.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | October 28, 2015 - 02:48 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: micro-atx, enclosure, corsair, case, Carbide 88RR, carbide
Corsair has introduced a new enclosure that delivers solid looks, a roomy internal layout, and a low $49.99 MSRP.
Image credit: Corsair (via TechPowerUp)
The Carbide Series 88R is a micro-ATX enclosure that offers plenty of room for cooling inside, with dual 120 mm fan mounts up front and on top of the case along with the 120 mm rear fan. There's a 5.25" bay as well for your optical drive needs, and while the open layout doesn't leave a ton of room for storage there is still space for a pair of 3.5" hard drives - with mounts for two SSDs as well.
With 383 mm of GPU clearance even the longest graphics cards will fit, though CPU (up to 150 mm) and PSU (up to 160 mm) support is reduced compared to the typical mid-tower. The Carbide 88R measures 378 x 198 x 440 mm (HxWxD), and weighs 3.65 kg.
Image credit: Corsair (via TechPowerUp)
The $49.99 price point is very attractive, and the Carbide 88R looks very good for a budget offering with a nice brushed finish front panel and a large side window to show off your build. So when can you buy one? Availability, sadly, was not announced.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | October 20, 2015 - 08:00 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: Silverstone, RVX01, rv05, raven, mid-tower, enclosure, case, 90 degree motherboard
There's a new version of the Raven mid-tower enclosure on the way, and while it still offers a premium look this new model will be priced to move with a projected price of just $80.
The SilverStone Raven RVX01 still features a 90-degree inverted motherboard design, with the I/O facing the top of the enclosure as with the current RV05, a layout that provides excellent cooling power from fans that blow hot air upwards from the floor of the case. No less than 3 of SilverStone's 120 mm "Air Penetrator" fans are pre-mounted at the bottom of the RVX01 (up from two 180 mm fans in the RV05), so there should be no shortage of cooling power. It will be interesting to see how noise might be affected by the smaller fan size, thought on their high setting the RV05's 180 mm fans were among the loudest I've tested.
The new Raven case features the same aggressive, angular styling as before, again with a 5.25"-free design that offers only internal drive mounts. But where the current Raven only offered a single dual-3.5" bay along with a pair of 2.5" SSD mounts behind the motherboard, this new version has 4 bays that can be used for 3.5" or 2.5" drives. While the drive total will be the same the option of up to 4 3.5" drives will definitely appeal to some, as the previous design was rather restrictive when it came to storage.
The Raven RVX01 is scheduled for a November 2015 release.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | October 15, 2015 - 09:46 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: PC-18, mid-tower, Lian Li, enclosure, case, aluminum case
Lian Li has announced a new mid-tower enclosure for the North American market, and the PC-18 has a decidedly retro style.
Dual 5.25-inch external optical drive bays? Boxy styling? Bare metal interior? The hallmarks of a 1990's case are here with Lian Li's new PC-18 mid-tower, but there is an interesting addition to a classic design with a hinged radiator bracket in the center of the enclosure.
The PC-18 uses this bracket to support up to 360 mm long radiators, though for a CPU I can see how the installation process for a self-contained system (depending on hose length) might be a bit tricky considering the hinge is on the right side, and closing the bracket blocks access to the CPU.
No rear exhaust fan opening? Retro.
For a GPU, on the other hand, I could see how the bracket's central positioning and hinged mount would make installing a card like AMD's Fury X really convenient.
Here are the full specs:
- Model: PC-18 A/B
- Case Type: Mid Tower Chassis
- Color: Black or Silver
- Material: Aluminum
- Expansion Slot: 7
- MB Type: ATX, Micro-ATX
- External drive bays: 2x 5.25"
- Internal drive bays: (HDD bay) 3.5" HDD x3, 2.5" HDD x1; (Remove HDD rack) 3.5" HDD x2 or 3.5"/2.5" HDD x1
- System Fans: (Front) 120mm x2; (Top) 140mm x1; (Side) 120mm x3 or 140mm x2
- I/O Ports: USB 3.0 x2, HD Audio
- PSU Type: ATX PSU
- Maximum VGA Card length: 285 mm (410 mm with HDD bay removed)
- CPU cooler height: 160mm
- PSU length: 160mm
- Dimensions: (W) 210mm (H) 452mm (D )490mm
- Net Weight: 5kg
The Lian Li PC-18 carries an MSRP of $149.99 and availability is listed as "coming soon".
Subject: Cases and Cooling | August 25, 2015 - 01:49 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: Source S340, razer, nzxt, mid-tower, enclosure, case
NZXT has created another modified enclosure in conjunction with Razer gaming, and this time it's a new take on the excellent Source S340 mid-tower (reviewed on this very website!).
As expected given the Razer branding this is a matte black enclosure with no shortage of green lighting, including a green underglow light. It's a look those familiar with the Razer edition of the H440 will be quite familiar with.
"Forged to match your Razer arsenal, the new custom design features a backlit Triple-Headed Snake logo, tinted window, illuminated LED power button, underglow, and green USB ports."
Subject: Cases and Cooling | August 18, 2015 - 12:26 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: Lian Li, ASUS ROG, mini-itx, enclosure, case, gaming
Lian Li has announced a new mini-ITX enclosure featuring ASUS ROG branding, and this compact gaming case supports full size power supplies and larger liquid coolers, though not everything will fit inside this tiny enclosure.
There are more than a couple of similarities to the NCASE M1, that crowdfunded mini-ITX enclosure that Lian Li built for NCASE, but the PC-Q17 doesn’t support dual-width liquid coolers the same way. Part of this has to do with the side window in this new case, essential to show off your diminutive gaming rig. So where does that 240mm radiator fit?
Not everyone will like having the cooler outside of the enclosure, but it’s nice that the case offers this functionality without having to modify it should you desire this level of CPU (or in the case of an AMD Fury X, GPU) cooling. For many a smaller air cooler could suffice, and as we can see from this build photo it does look very nice housing a complete system.
As usual no pricing or availability information accompanies this announcement.
Introduction and First Impressions
Supermicro recently entered the consumer space with a new line of enthusiast motherboards and today we’re looking at a gaming enclosure from the well-known enterprise manufacturer.
While many component manufacturers have diversified their product offerings to include everything from cooling fans to thumb drives, Supermicro is not a name that anyone familiar with the company would have likely suspected of this trend. With recent Z97 and X99 motherboard offerings Supermicro has made an effort to enter the enthusiast market with boards that don’t exactly look like gaming products, but this is to be expected from a company that specializes in the enterprise market.
It was something of a surprise to hear that Supermicro had created a new enclosure for the consumer segment, and even more so to hear that it was to be a gaming enclosure. And while the term “gaming” gets thrown around quite a bit the new enclosure does have the look we tend to associate with the moniker, with flashy red accents and a brushed aluminum front panel to go along with all-black steel enclosure.
Introduction and First Impressions
The Define S from Fractal Design is a mid-tower enclosure based on the company’s excellent Define R5, and this version has a new interior for enhanced cooling support with an innovative approach to storage.
I've mentioned before that the PC enclosure market is crowded with options at every price point, but this can actually be a good thing because of the high level of individual preference this permits. Selecting a case is a multi-faceted thing, and while they all (well, mostly) keep components safely housed, once that need has been met there's a lot more to consider. Let's face it, aesthetics are important since the enclosure is the outward-facing representation of your build (and personal style). Support for your preferred type of cooling, storage, and future expandability are high on the list when selecting a finalist as well, and then there's the thermal/noise performance element to consider. It was Fractal Design's own Define R5 (review here) which offered a balanced approach to these needs, and while not looking especially flashy with understated style and a standard ATX layout, the R5 was an exceptionally well-done effort overall. Now, months later, enter the Define S.
With the Define R5 offering a solid combination of silence, expandability, and build quality, why would Fractal Design create another very similar case right on its heels? It’s all about giving people choice, and that’s something I can certainly stand behind - even when it means further segmenting a market that seems almost impossibly crowded now. And when we dive deeper into the Define S we see what is essentially a companion to the Define R5, and not a replacement. At first glance this might appear to be an identical case, but the interior layout clearly separates the two. In summary, the Define S loses 5.25” storage support found in the R5, and while that previous model had no less than 8 hard drive trays the S employs a novel approach to HDD support, but cuts the drive support from 8 standard 3.5" drives to just 3 in the process.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | April 28, 2015 - 09:29 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: nzxt, Noctis 450, mid-tower, enclosure, case
NZXT proclaims that “bold is back” with their new enclosure design, a striking-looking case based (at least internally) on the popular H440.
The Noctis 450 takes the H440 and combines it with an angular external construction that looks similar to the company’s Phantom enclosure series. As the interior is identical to the H440 this new enclosure features the spacious interior and excellent cooling support from the previous model. As a nice addition the Noctis 450 adds a PWM fan controller (and includes 4 fans), further simplifying cooling for a build with this case.
NZXT has created a product video to showcase the new design:
In the appearance department the Noctis 450 really does look good (although style is always a personal thing), with dramatic black/red and the familiar NZXT white/black color schemes available to help accent the interesting angles, and there is an adjustable LED lighting system as well.
Plenty of storage room (unless you're Allyn) with 5 slide-out HDD trays
The MSRP is set at $139.99 and the Noctis 450 is currently available for pre-order on the NZXT site.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | April 15, 2015 - 02:01 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: mid-tower, In Win 503, in win, enclosure, case
In Win has announced an affordable new mid-tower option with the 503, and there is no shortage of the company's trademark style even at this low price point.
A steel enclosure is to be expected for the $49.99 asking price, and though the company is known for its aluminum construction there is enough tempered glass to keep In Win fans happy. In fact, not only is the front of the In Win 503 made from glass, but it slides down to reveal a 5.25" optical drive bay. To say this is unexpected in a $50 case is a severe understatement.
In Win has posted a short product video which touches on the basic features of the 503:
Drive bays are toolless, and there seems to be a lot of room inside the case. The enclosure will be available in both black/red and white/black color schemes. I personally can't wait to get my hands on one of these and see if it lives up to the lofty standards of prior In Win cases, or if more was compromised than just material selection to meet the low price target.