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: Caged Beast
The D Frame Mini from In Win is a wild-looking, wildly expensive case that defies convention in many ways.
First of all, calling the In Win D Frame mini an enclosure is a bit of a stretch. The design is part open-air case, part roll cage. Of course open air cases are not a new concept, but this is certainly a striking implementation; a design almost more akin to a testbench in some ways. When installed the components will be more open to the air than otherwise, as only the sides of the frame are covered (with panels made of tempered glass).
The most noticeable design aspect of the D Frame mini are the welded tubes that make up the frame. The tubes are aluminum and resemble the frame of an aluminum bicycle, right down to the carefully welded joints. Around the perimeter of the frame are rather sizable soft plastic/rubber bumpers that protect the enclosure and help eliminate vibrations. Due to the design there is no specific orientation required for the enclosure, and it sits equally well in each direction.
There is support for 240mm radiators, virtually unlimited water cooling support given the mostly open design, and room for extra-long graphics cards and power supplies. The frame looks and feels like it could withstand just about anything, but it should probably be kept away from small children and pets given the ease with which fans and other components could be touched. And the D Frame mini is extremely expensive at $350. Actually, it’s just kind of extreme in general!
Subject: Cases and Cooling | June 2, 2014 - 11:00 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.
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: Cases and Cooling | December 19, 2012 - 03:58 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: pc case, fractal design, chassis, atx case
Fractal Design recently introduced a new model to its Define XL series with the Define XL R2 that comes in either Black Pearl or Titanium Grey. The new case supports motherboards as large as XL-ATX and is packed with features for a relatively cheap $130 price.
See more photos and specifications after the break.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | January 17, 2012 - 09:34 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: nzxt, full tower, computer, chassis, case, atx
NZXT, a computer case manufacturer that has been around since 2004, is today launching a new full tower computer case with the Switch 810 chassis. The new full tower case includes several features aimed at enthusiasts along with a 2 year warranty and choice of two colors (white or black). NZXT founder Johnny Hou seems confident in the case by stating that the new chassis "offers enthusiasts an array of advanced features intuitively implemented into one of the most unique designs we've ever created."
The full tower case supports EATX motherboards with up to nine expansion slots and 375 millimeters of space for large, modern graphics cards when the front fan is removed. The motherboard tray further supports plenty of cable routing holes and a CPU back plate cut out. Further, the interior of the can can hold four 5.25" drives, six 3.5" drives, and up to 10 120mm or 140mm fans. The front, bottom, and drive bay area of the case houses two fans each. Meanwhile, the top of the case houses three cases and the rear holds one fan. Constructed of steel and plastic, the case weighs in at 9.1 Kg or about 20 lbs.
As you can see from the outside of the case, the Switch 810 chassis supports four 5.25" drives, audio and microphone connectors, two USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0 ports, and a card reader. Also, a filter for the bottom intake can be removed from the front of the case. Some of the touted features of the new case include the ability to easily install water cooling and the new "hybrid fins" that allow users to close the fins to reduce dust and quiet the computer or open the fins along the top to maximize airflow. Tool-less drive bays, an acrylic side window, and a white LED that can be switched on or off are also features of the Switch 810 case.
The NZXT switch is available now for $169.99 USD. More information and photos of the case can be found here. What do you think of the new case, are you impressed with the "hybrid design?"
The proposed airflow diagram for the new NZXT case.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | October 22, 2011 - 05:06 PM | Zach Barnett
Tagged: p280, eleven hundred, chassis, antec, 1100
I hope everyone took at a look at our Day 1 Blizzcon 2011 photos yesterday (and liked our Facebook page for it!), and if you did you already got a sneak peek at the new Antec cases that I am going to feature here today. Antec has a pretty big presence at Blizzcon including a booth with a lot of ongoing competitions and prizes as well as providing ALL of the cases for the World of Warcraft, StarCraft II and Diablo III free play areas.
Both the new Eleven Hundred (or 1100 I guess) and the P280 are based on the same basic chassis design but with some interesting differences to point out. Let's start with the Eleven Hundred:
Antec's upcoming Eleven Hundred chassis
This case is going to attempt to bring the Antec design back into the world of high performance users and gamers and starts with a full-size ATX that includes plenty of airflow. You can see that the front of the case includes a pair of fans while the side window does the same.
Below the window is a removable fan intake filter for the bottom mounted power supply. This was actually one of my many requests to case builders - don't make me move my case out of its area to clean the filters!
Taking off the side panel you can see the removable drive bays and plenty of room for longer graphics cards.
Antec SOLO II Chassis Review
Antec is one of the most storied brands when it comes to enthusiast class components like cases and power supplies. Unfortunately, the whims of the gamer change on a breeze as most will swap between company allegiances whenever the performance or features dictate. Antec has fallen into this trap over the last few years as many in the community moved on from the likes of the ever-present P180 to newer and more innovative designs from other companies. Having realized this internally and making moves to take care of that slide, Antec is going to start producing some modern cases with improved specifications.
First up on the list is the SOLO II, part of the Antec Sonata line of "Quiet Computing" products. The original SOLO was released in early 2006 and since then much has changed in the world of chassis for gamers and those more interested in noise reduction. Antec is hoping that the SOLO II will actually address a large portion of BOTH crowds with its small footprint, many noise-deleting features and several enthusiast-class nods included.
Check out our video review of the SOLO II and keep reading for some images of the newest Antec chassis!
Subject: Cases and Cooling | August 12, 2011 - 10:39 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: mid tower, chassis, bitfenix, atx
Gaming hardware designer BitFenix recently announced two new computer chassis. Named Merc Alpha and Merc Beta, both enclosures are of the mid-tower ATX design and deliver gaming features for budget prices. Product Manager David Jarlestedt stated confidently that “gamers will be hard pressed to find a better value enclosure in this segment.”
The differences between Merc Alpha and Merc Beta are subtle but important for cooling potential. Specifically, Merc Alpha is able to accommodate up to eight 120mm fans (including two on top) while the Merc Beta eschews the two top 120mm fan grills in favor of a flat surface and a total of six fans.
Features shared between both models include an all black interior and exterior coating, black cabling for the front ports, cable management features, CPU cooler motherboard cut-out, four USB 2.0 front panel ports, and easy to use thumbscrews to secure the case door and internal drives. Further, the cases support three 5.25” optical drives, seven 3.5” hard drives, and one 2.5” drive bay for an SSD.
Both Merc Alpha and Merc Beta will be available in stores starting August 2011 with an MSRP of $39. You can see more photos of the budget gaming cases here.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | July 1, 2011 - 04:12 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: white, graphite, corsair, chassis, 600t
Corsair released the Graphite Series 600T case to the world last September but for 2011 the company is revamping the design with a new coat of paint and an interchangeable side panel that includes both a window and a fan-capable mesh option in the box.
The Corsair Special Edition White Graphite Series 600T Case offers the exact same feature set as the previous 600T which are items like sturdy construction, intuitive cable routing for a clean installation for all users, front USB 3.0 port access and removable intake filters. The legacy of the Obsidian 800D and 700D cases is definitely alive in this much less expensive option.
See more photos and the award for the white Corsair 600T after the break!