Subject: Cases and Cooling | February 3, 2013 - 06:14 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: tranquil, nuc, fanless, case
Tranquil PC, a case manufacturer and system integrator based in the UK, recently announced a new aluminum chassis for Intel’s NUC motherboards. The new chassis acts as a heatsink and will keep your NUC system running cool without needing case fans. Tranquil is offering two versions of the case – the NUC-BY and NUC-YE – which are compatible with both the D33217CK (Thunderbolt-equipped) and D33217GKE (Gigabit Ethernet-equipped) Intel NUC boards respectively.
The two Tranquil NUC cases are nearly identical, but they differ in the IO cutouts offered (naturally). The cases measure 110 x 164 x 47mm and resembles a black heatsink with its horizontal fins and brushed aluminum design. The chassis is reportedly able to keep the Next Unit of Computing (NUC) system 5 to 15 degrees centigrade cooler than the reference Intel NUC case that uses an active fan. Hopefully, the case-as-a-heatsink design will help to mitigate the overheating problems that many reviewers (including PC Perspective) have run into when performing network transfers to the SSD over Wi-Fi.
It is a streamlined design with port only the expected port cutouts and a rubberized power button on the rear of the device. No LED-lit logos or extra buttons to speak of. You can, however, have Tranquil laser-engrave a custom message onto the chassis for an additional fee.
The front of the case features a single USB port while the rear IO will depend on your particular NUC board. The D33217CK board includes one Thunderbolt, one HDMI, two USB 2.0 ports, and a 65W DC power input jack. On the other hand, the D33217GKE motherboard has a DC-in jack, two USB 2.0 ports, two HDMI outputs, and a single Gigabit LAN jack. Additionally, the Tranquil cases have a cutout for an externally-mounted Wi-Fi antenna (as the aluminum casing is not well-suited to housing an internal antenna).
Both Tranquil NUC cases are available now for a base price of £99. A VESA mount adds an additional £17. Further, VAT and shipping charges may apply depending on where you are ordering from. In USD, the Tranquil cases have a base price of $155.62. While I do not get charged VAT, I do have to pay shipping, and it is not cheap at approximately $33 to ship to the mid-west US. In my case, ordering one NUC case and having it shipped to Illinois would cost $207.41. Ouch.
The Tranquil PC NUC case with its brushed aluminum and fanless design is extremely nice. Unfortunately, that build quality does not come cheap, and will add to the overall cost of putting together your NUC system. If you have the money for it though, it looks to be one of the best cases available for the new 4” x 4” NUC motherboards.
More information is available on the Tranquil PC website.
Introduction and Technical Specifications
Courtesy of Thermaltake
As the newest member of Thermaltake's Armor Revo case line, the Armor Revo Gene mid-tower case features sleek looks and exudes the humble power that only the war-worn warrior's know. We decided to put the Armor Revo Gene to the test to see how well the case works under a variety of circumstances. At a base price of $129.99, the Armor Revo Gene seems to be a well priced steal for the features designed into it.
Courtesy of Thermaltake
Courtesy of Thermaltake
The Armor Revo Gene features a flat-black, scratch-resistant coating on all surfaces, giving it a sleek and uniformly menacing look. The case's right panel contains a window in it upper half to show off your case innards, bisected by a grilled space for up to a 200mm side fan to help cool your PCI-Express cards. A wing-shaped aluminum front bezel helps to direct air through the front of the case in an optimal manner.
Quick look at a low cost Carbide
Corsair continues its push into the case markets with yet another option, the Carbide 200R, bringing the price of entry down to sub-$50. Currently selling on Newegg.com for $45 with a coupon code, check out this quick video walkthrough of the latest case from Corsair!
After spending a bit more time with the case I can tell that for the price, the 200R is a pretty solid option. I am not a fan of the 2.5-in drive arrangement that puts the power and data cables out into the case rather than towards the back (like the 3.5-in drives have) just from a cleanliness point of view, but that's somewhat minor. Also worth noting is that even though we have a $50, and very light chassis, there aren't any sharp edges to cut you; Corsair did a good job rounding off the edges and having the metal fold back for a safe environment.
There are a TON of case options in the price range so it might be hard for the Carbide 200R to stand out with a simple Newegg/Amazon search, but I think the Corsair brand will help sift it to the top.
Subject: General Tech | December 27, 2012 - 03:37 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: video, ssd, podcast, picks of the year, memory, gpu, editors choice, cpu, case, best of the year
PC Perspective Podcast #232 - 12/27/2012
Join us this week as we discuss our picks for Best Products of 2012!
The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!
- iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the Store
- RSS - Subscribe through your regular RSS reader
- MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file
Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Josh Walrath, Allyn Malventano and Scott Michaud
Program length: 1:40:13
Podcast topics of discussion:
- Welcome to our Best Of 2012 Episode!
- Rules explanation: there are no rules!!
0:07:30 Best CPU
- AMD Trinity A10 APU
- Intel Core i7-3770K
- Intel Ultrabook mobile CPU
- Qualcomm Krait Mobile CPU
0:20:00 Best Motherboard
- MSI Z77 MPower
- ASUS Rampage IV Extreme
- ASUS Z77 Mini ITX
- EVGA dual Xeon board
- Asus Crosshair Formula Z
0:31:20 Best GPU
- GeForce GTX 680 2GB
- GeForce GTX 660 Ti 2GB
- Radeon HD 7970 3GB
- Radeon HD 7870 2GB
- 0:44:00 This Podcast is brought to you by MSI!
0:45:00 Best Storage
- Samsung 840 Pro SSD
- OCZ Vector SSD
- WD Red HDD
- WD 4TB Enterprise
1:05:00 Best Case
- Corsair Carbide 300R
- Corsair Obsidian 550D
- Cooler Master Cosmos II
- Mineral Oil Case
1:12:00 Best Price Drop
- AMD Radeon 7000 GPUs
- Good IPS displays ($199 - $400)
- 2560x1440 27-in panels
- System Memory
1:22:00 Best Newly Popular Technology
- High-res monitors (Korean or otherwise)
- Cherry style keyboards
- Mini ITX Motherboards
- Touch screen?
1:35:00 Best Lenovo Laptop on my Desk
- Thinkpad Twist
- Thinkpad X1 Carbon
- Thinkpad X230
- Yoga 13
- 1-888-38-PCPER or firstname.lastname@example.org
- http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
Subject: General Tech | December 21, 2012 - 01:39 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: rosewill, mid tower, case, armor evolution
Rosewill recently announced a new Armor series case called the Armor Evolution. The new mid-tower chassis is constructed of SECC steel and measures 8.74” x 19” x 22.84.” The mid-tower case supports motherboards from micro-ATX to E-ATX in size. The front IO includes power and reset buttons, two USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, and two audio jacks. Rosewill uses perforated metal for the ventilation panels on the sides of the case.
Rosewill packages the case with five fans, and the case supports a total of 9 fans. The pre-installed fans include:
- 2 x 120mm red LED-lit fans on the front panel
- 1 x 120mm top fan
- 1 x 120mm rear fan
- 1 x 230mm side fan (optional support for four 120mm fans on the side panel)
The case additionally supports:
- 2 x 120mm fans on hard drive rack
- 1 x 120mm fan on bottom of case
- 1 x 120mm fan on the top
Internally, the Armor Evolution supports seven 3.5” drives, three 5.25” drives, E-ATX motherboards, and up to seven PCI expansion slots. Additional features include a tool-less design, CPU cutout, cable management routing holes, a bottom-mounted PSU, and water cooling grommets on the rear of the case for routing tubes outside of the case to external radiators. The Armor Evolution supports graphics cards up to 14” and CPU heatsinks up to 6.5.” Rosewill has also included removable dust filters to cut down on dust buildup.
It looks like a decent case from Rosewill that offers plenty of cooling (both air and water cooling options), and it should be competitively priced. Unfortunately, there is no official word yet on pricing or availability for the Armor Evolution case.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | November 28, 2012 - 01:11 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: white, portable case, case, bitfenix, atx
BitFenix recently announced a new mid-tower computer chassis aimed at gamers and enthusiasts that want a portable PC that easily hosts a full ATX motherboard. Specifically, BitFenix has taken its Survivor case and made an edition clad in white that it has dubbed the Survivor White.
The case features a carrying handle that folds down into the top of the case when not in use, making it easier to carry to LAN parties. It is completely white minus a blue LED-lit BitFenix logo on the front, and features curved edges. There is space for two 200mm fans or three 120mm fans around the case. Also, the new Survivor has three 5.25” expansion bays, holes for passing water cooling tubes though the back panel, a bottom mounted power supply cutout, dust filters, and a hidden IO panel. The front IO includes the power and reset buttons, two USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, microphone and headphone jacks, and a single eSATA port. It also has on/off controls for the LED light for the BitFenix logo and for any BitFenix Spectre Pro LED fans (not included).
On the inside of the Survivor-series chassis, you will find a removable hard drive cage, CPU cutout on the motherboard tray, and cable management grommets. The inside of the case is the same white color as the outside, and the hard drive cage features tool-less mounting brackets. These are all things that are coming standard on enthusiast cases these days, but are nice to see nonetheless (especially for the price). With the hard drive cage installed, the case can hold up to seven 2.5” SSDs or six 3.5” hard drives.
BitFenix has stated that the white colored Survivor case will be available at the end of November for $109 USD or 99€ (including 19% VAT).
What do you think about the new Survivor SKU?
Subject: Cases and Cooling | April 26, 2012 - 07:46 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: rosewill r5, rosewill, mid-tower, case
Rosewill, a company known for fans and low cost gaming chassis, announced on Monday a new mid-tower case. The new Rosewill R5 is constructed of SGCC steel, offers lots of air cooling options, and comes in at sub $100 USD.
The new R5 case comes with three 120mm fans (two intake, one rear exhaust), and can support up to eight total fans. The matte black case also features one USB 3.0 port, two USB 2.0 ports, eSATA, and audio input and output jacks on the front panel. Also, the case supports four external 5.25” bays (one of which can be converted to a 3.5” bay).
On the inside, the Rosewill R5 supports up to six 3.5” (or 2.5”) drive bays and can hold either ATX or micro ATX motherboards. The fans also includes removable dust filters. According to the company:
“We also spent countless hours researching airflow patterns and strategically placed 8 fan mounts in key positions in the R5 that will provide maximum cooling for your components while you dominate your games.”
There is no word on specific pricing or availability but it will have a sub $100 MSRP and should be available later this year.
Subject: General Tech, Cases and Cooling | April 5, 2012 - 03:47 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: vengeance, headset, gaming, corsair, case
Corsair announced today that a new wireless headset and gaming PC case would be joining the ranks of the existing Vengeance lineup of headsets and keyboards. Making their initial debut at PAX East this weekend, the new Vengeance 2000 wireless headset and Vengeance C70 Case will be available for purchase later this year.
The Vengeance 2000 is Corsair’s latest headset that takes the brushed aluminum, 50mm drivers, and microfiber ear cups of the Vengeance 1500, adds some blue and white accents and then cuts the cord. In pace of the USB cord, Corsair utilizes 2.4 GHz wireless to deliver 5.1 and 7.1 virtual surround sound up to 40 feet away and with a battery life of 10 hours. The headset further features a noise canceling microphone and battery that can be recharged via micro USB cable.
From the wording of the press release, it sounds like the charging cable will only act as a power cable -- meaning it will not make the headset wired. The wireless 2.4GHz radio may be problematic for gamers living in areas with lots of 2.4GHz interference (like an apartment building with lots of WiFi devices and microwaves), and in that case the wired Vengeance 1500 would be a better choice. (We are attempting to verify the wireless only aspects and will update the article if we receive a response). Update: Corsair has clarified to us that the headset is always wireless -- the USB cable is only used for charging and firmware flashing.
Arriving with two carrying handles and an ammo box aesthetic, the Vengeance C70 is ready for the war against heat with space for up to 240mm radiators (they suggest the H100) on the top and bottom or 10 total case fans. The case further features a steel front panel, eight PCI-E slots, and two removable hard drive cages with space for three 2.5” or 3.5” drives (for a total of six hard drives). The PCI-E slots and other internals use standard Philips head screws.
The Vengeance C70 will be available in three colors: Military Green, Arctic White, Gunmetal Black. The external of the the case features large mesh grills over the fan areas. The front of the case features a honeycomb mesh for up to two fans, three 5.25” drive bays, and -- along the top -- two large buttons for power and reset with the power being the large red button (which would be difficult to resist pressing all the time). It also houses microphone and headphone jacks, and two USB 3.0 ports. All three C70 cases have two carrying handles on the top that fold down into recessed parts of the case when not being used.
The two new Vengeance entrants will be available this summer. The C70 will be available for purchase soonest -- as early as May -- with an MSRP of $139 USD. Meanwhile, the Vengeance 2000 wireless headset has an MSRP of $149 USD and will be available in June. More information on Corsair’s entire Vengeance gaming lineup is available here.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | March 21, 2012 - 10:41 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: Raspberry Pi, case, 3d printing
The Raspberry Pi Foundation recently released their ARM powered Linux computer; however, the accompanying case will not be available until later this year. As a result, many enthusiasts are stepping up to the plate to design and fabricate cases of their own for the Raspberry Pi board. Previously, Marco Alici designed a white case with Raspberry Pi logo that could be produced using injection molding techniques (or 3D printers). Now, a new site called Mod My Pi has emerged to offer modders some alternative cases along with start up kits full of all the accessories people need to get their Raspberry Pi board up and running.
Based in the UK, the Raspberry Pi enthusiasts are employing 3D printing technology to produce customizable cases based on ABS Plastic. Further, they are offering up a variety of color choices including blue, red, green, black, and white. Customers can choose two colors to mix an match, one for the top of the case and another for the bottom. The cases are form fitting and are designed to be dust and water resistant. They come as two parts that snap together to nestle the Raspberry Pi board safely. The bottom and side opposite the Ethernet jack provide plenty of vent holes to keep the board from overheating.
If you have a design idea including a specific color or specific logo that you would like to incorporate into your Raspberry Pi case, Mod My Pi has stated that it is willing to work with customers to allow customization of cases to make them even more personalized.
The cases are currently up for pre-order, but are set to begin shipping via First Class Royal Mail for UK orders or through Royal Mail Airmail Small Packets for International orders. Shipping prices will be £1.99 for both UK and International orders, though International orders will naturally take a bit longer to arrive.
In addition to cases, Mod My Pi has put together a start up kit for those in the UK to complement the Raspberry Pi that includes everything a user will need to get the ARM computer up and running, except a display of course. The kit features a Raspberry Pi case, an 8 GB SD card with Debian Linux distribution, small wireless keyboard, wireless mouse, powered 7 port USB 2.0 hub, USB Wi-Fi dongle, USB card reader, 5 V 1000mA UK AC power adapter, micro USB to USB cable, RCA video and audio cables, HDMI cable, and Ethernet cable.
The setup kit is priced at £64.99 including VAT taxes and has a UK only shipping price of £4.99.
Even better, Mod My Pi is donating 5% of all sales of cases, and all profits from Mod My Pi stickers to the official Raspberry Pi Foundation (the charity behind the Raspberry Pi computer). Have you received your Raspberry Pi pre-orders yet? What will you be using for a case, will you be DIYing your own, or will you going with someone else's design? On an unrelated note, there is so much Raspberry Pi in this news post, that I'm getting pretty hungry!
More Raspberry Pi reading:
- Raspberry Pi boards sees manufacturing delay
- Fedora Remix on the Raspberry Pi
- Raspberry Pi has fast GPU, can decode H.264 HD video like a champ
- Raspberry Pi Operating Systems (Official Downloads)
Subject: Cases and Cooling | March 13, 2012 - 04:33 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: thin itx, mini ITX, Lian Li PC-Q05, Lian Li, case, aluminum
Lian Li, a case maker specializing in sleek brushed aluminum computer cases showed off (video link) several cases at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas a few months ago. One of the cases they touted was an extremely thin aluminum case that conforms to Intel's Thin Mini-ITX form factor. The super small case employs indirect cooling much like that found in laptops and utilizes Mini-ITX motherboards that use laptop style ram. As far as physical dimensions, the chassis measures 284 mm (W) x 47 mm (H) x 307 mm (D) according to the product page.
The silver version PC-Q05 Chassis
The new product page further details that the aluminum case has a gross weight of only 1.5 KG (about 3.3 lbs) and, in addition to housing the Mini-ITX motherboard, will hold up to two 2.5" hard drives (or SSDs). The skinny case will further be available in either silver or black colors. The front of the case is a curved piece of brushed aluminum interrupted by two status LEDs on the right of the panel (but no drive bays or buttons to speak of). The right side of the case houses the power button, and the sides and bottom of the case contain plenty of ventilation holes.
A top down view of the internals
I have to say that this PC-Q05 case would make for a sexy home theater PC (especially the black brushed aluminum case), though the case is certainly going to limit the amount of hardware you can have at your fingertips. Unfortunately, there is no word yet on pricing or availability.