Introduction and Features
Today we are going from one extreme to another. Two months ago we took an in-depth look at Cooler Master’s Elite 110 enclosure, which is a compact small form-factor case designed to house a mini-ITX system. Now we are going to the opposite end of the spectrum and will be taking a detailed look at the largest case Cooler Master (or most anyone else for that matter) has released to date, the HAF Stacker 935 Modular-Tower Case. In addition, the good folks at Cooler Master sent along a HAF Stacker 915F to show off how easy it is to expand a HAF Stacker system by adding one or more HAF Stacker case modules.
(Courtesy of Cooler Master)
Because this case is so large (we will actually be reviewing three different cases together: HAF 915F, 925 mid, and 915R) we are going to split the review into two parts. In Part 1 we are taking a detailed look at the three chassis (features, specifications, etc.) and the in Part 2 we will start installing parts and build a full-size ATX system along with a mini-ITX system and also look at various cooling solutions.
CM HAF Stacker 935 (HAF 925/HAF 915R) (3) HAF 915s Stacked
The Cooler Master HAF Stacker 935 case consists of two pieces: a HAF 925 Mid-Tower enclosure and a HAF 915R mini-ITX case stacked together. The HAF 935 comes with the 915 mini-ITX chassis mounted on top of the HAF 925 Mid-Tower case but you can swap them around if you like because all of the HAF Stacker Series cases are interchangeable. This offers great flexibility for building multi-PCs in one chassis and provides a large amount of room for mounting all sorts of components like high-end water cooling systems, huge HDD arrays, etc. The HAF Stacker series can provide an excellent base system for some extreme case modding if desired.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | July 28, 2014 - 05:25 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: cooler master, V650S, modular psu, 650W, 80 Plus Gold
With a total rated power of 650W and two PCIe 6+2 power connectors the CM V650S seems to be aimed at entry level gaming systems but the $180 price tag suggests a high end PSU. It is partially modular and it bears an 80 Plus Gold rating but perhaps the price also comes from Cooler Master's use of a new OEM, Enhance? [H]ard|OCP did find it at a much more reasonable $80 on Tiger Direct but it is now out of stock and it does not seem to appear on NewEgg at all right now. Overall there is a lot of good things to be said about the internals of the PSU but on the outside there is much left to be desired. Check out the review but perhaps wait for the second version of the V650S before purchasing one.
"Cooler Master has been off the enthusiast radar in terms of computer power supplies for a while now. It simply walked a different line than much of the rest of the field. Today however we have one of Cooler Master's second foray back into the high end with a mid-level PSU rated for operation at 650 watts."
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- Silverstone Nightjar 520 W @ techPowerU
- BitFenix Fury 550G Alchemy-Sleeved Power Supply @ Benchmark Reviews
- Wireless Number: 312-241-6506 @ eTeknix
- Thermaltake ToughPower Grand TPG-0750M 750W Power Supply Unit Review @ NikKTech
- Antec HCP-850 850W Power Supply Review @ NikKTech
- Rosewill Capstone Modular 1000 W @ techPowerUp
- Seasonic Platinum Series 1200 W @ techPowerUp
Subject: Cases and Cooling | June 23, 2014 - 05:22 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: PSU, cooler master, Cooler Master V Series, 80 Plus Platinum, 80 Plus Gold, modular psu, 850W, kilowatt, 1200w
The three stars of the Cooler Master V Series, the 850W, 1000W and 1200W are up for review at Legion Hardware. All three have a 135 mm fan for cooling and feature a single +12VDC rail though the amperage differs, 70A, 83A and 100A for the three respectively. The two lower powered PSUs feature a 5 year warranty and are rated 80 Plus Gold while the 1200W carries a Platinum rating and a 7 year warranty. The modular cabling is worth mentioning, it is flat which will allow you to have very clean cabling in your machine and may tip the scales towards this series if you like to keep your case clean looking.
"Finally, we have been very pleased with the Cooler Master V series, and believe that they would make a fine addition to any high-end gaming system. Enthusiasts will be able to invest their hard earned cash in a V Series power supply knowing it is backed by a full 5-year Cooler Master warranty, while the V1200 Platinum offers an industry leading 7 year warranty."
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- Seasonic X-Series 1250W @ Kitguru
- EVGA SuperNOVA G2 850 W @ techPowerUp
- Be Quiet! Pure Power L8 700W Power Supply Unit Review @ NikKTech
- XFX XTR Series 650 W @ techPowerUp
- Be Quiet! PurePower 600w Power Supply Review @ TechwareLabs
Features and Specifications
As the popularity and availability of small form factor PC components continues to grow, more companies are coming out with new enclosures that support this expanding market. Today, we are taking a detailed look at Cooler Master’s latest entry into the mini-ITX arena; the Elite 110 case. It’s amazing just how powerful a PC can be built around one of the latest mini-ITX motherboards and how much hardware can be stuffed into a small cube. In addition to basic computing needs, the Elite 110 enclosure offers a great many expansion options, with support for overclocking, a high end graphics adapter, up to four HDD/SSDs, a full size ATX power supply, and even water-cooling; all inside a small ~10” cube!
Cooler Master Elite 110 mini-ITX case key features:
• Small footprint: 280 x 208 x 260 mm (11.1 x 9.2 x 10.3”)
• Supports mini-ITX motherboard
• Front mesh panel with vents on both sides and top
• One 120mm intake fan in front (included) or one 140mm fan (optional)
• Two 80mm fans on the side (optional)
• Supports a 120mm radiator in front for water-cooling
• Supports a standard length ATX PSU (up to 180mm)
• Supports one dual-slot graphics card (up to 210mm length)
• Supports up to three 3.5” HDDs / four 2.5” SSDs
• External I/O panel with two USB 3.0 ports
• Blue LED On/Off switch on front panel
Specifications for the Elite 110 case (Courtesy of Cooler Master):
Subject: Cases and Cooling | June 5, 2014 - 07:01 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: mechanical keyboard, gaming keyboard, cooler master, computex 2014, computex, cherry mx red, 80 Plus Titanium, 1200W PSU
Cooler Master has been showing off a number of new products at Computex this year, and among the new announcments are a hybrid-switch keyboard and ultra-efficient (and ultra powerful) power supply.
NovaTouch TKL Hybrid Switch Keyboard
First up is the NovaTouch TKL mechanical keyboard, which Cooler Master has outfitted with their exclusive Hybrid Capacitive switches. Cooler Master claims these are "exceptionally quiet and suitable for heavy-duty typing or gaming," and the NovaTouch TKL offers support for Cherry MX switches (though it was not clear if they will be offering it with that option upon release). Another area of interest: the NovaTouch TKL has both a standard USB and microUSB connector!
Hmm... microUSB connector, eh?
Next we have a 1200W PSU with 80 PLUS Titanium certification (which you might remember calls for 90%+ efficiency at only 10% load!).
Titanium certification makes power supplies look super awesome
The power supply is Cooler Master's first "foray into digital" PSU design, and there is even a companion app with bluetooth control and monitoring functions. Finally! Now you can while away the afternoon checking and re-checking the efficiency of your PSU from your phone...
Not surprisingly, pricing and availablity are not yet available for these new products.
Computex 2014: Cooler Master Introduces Low-Noise Nepton 120XL, 140XL, 240M, 280L Liquid CPU Coolers
Subject: Cases and Cooling | June 5, 2014 - 11:28 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: Nepton 240M, Nepton 120XL, liquid cooler, cpu cooler, cooler master, computex 2014, computex, AIO
Cooler Master has announced their revised Nepton self-contained liquid CPU cooler lineup, and the existing models have been renewed with lower-noise designs.
The Nepton 240M
The revised versions seem to be using the the same radiators but employ new improvements in the pump/waterblock, as well as new low-noise fans. Cooler Master says the “Advanced Silent Driver” in the Nepton pumps will offer extremely low vibration levels, providing a120 L/hr flow rate at 11dBA. The units feature a Cooler Master-designed water block with a “large microchannel surface area and a high-efficiency jet impingement system to optimize hotspot cooling performance”.
New waterblock and fan designs
Cooler Master says their manufacturing process “eliminates microchannel imperfections in the waterblock to prevent blockage and allows for an increased surface area over 4 times greater than the competition, resulting in an extremely high performance waterblock.” The Nepton series also uses all-new “Silencio” fans, which Cooler Master claims will offer 11dBA noise levels and air pressure rated at 1.2 mmH2O. The cooling performance of previous Cooler Master self-contained liquid coolers has been dependent on some pretty loud fans, and while the stated 11dbA fan noise is likely based on the lowest PWM fan speed improvements in this area are welcome.
The Nepton 120XL
Cooler Master has not announced pricing or availability of the new Nepton 120XL, 140XL, 240M, or 280L models yet, but we should expect these products later this year.
Subject: General Tech, Cases and Cooling | May 18, 2014 - 02:53 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: cooler master, V1200 platinum, PSU, modular psu
The Cooler Master V1200 Platinum power supply (PSU) is, as the name suggest, capable of delivering 1200 watts of power to your gaming PC, with a platinum 80 PLUS efficiency rating. At half load, which is probably its best-case scenario, this unit is 93% efficient. Cooler Master also says that it is backed by a 7-year "extended" warranty, although they do not clarify what is "extended" about it. If they just mean "really long" and it comes standard, without weird restrictions, then that is obviously a long guarantee.
The PSU is also fully modular and single rail. You can set it up such that the only cables coming off of it are ones that are in use, an obvious bonus for cable management. Also, being single-rail, the +12V can support loads of up to 100A. Users do not need to plan ahead and balance components across separate cables because they all draw from the same pool. Users with Haswell-based machines will also be able to use all C0-to-C7 power states, although it has been out long enough that it should not be an issue for anyone, anymore.
Pricing and availability is currently unknown and varies by region.
Typical Flow Diagram for Single Block Loop
All-in-one liquid coolers seem to be all the rage with several companies introducing expandable systems for integration of a system chipset or graphics cooling block to the loop. We will be exploring the performance of two of our previously reviewed coolers to see just how well those liquid coolers can handle the addition of an additional in-line graphics card block. Both the Koolance EXT-440CU Liquid Cooling System and the Cooler Master Glacer 240L Liquid CPU Cooler were used with the ASUS Poseidon GTX 780 graphics card placed in-line for testing.
Typical Flow Diagram for Multi-Block Loop
Several key factors come into play in a liquid cooling loop that the addition of a second block effects including:
- heat dissipation capacity of the radiator
- flow rate of the system
- resistance of the system components
Basically, additional liquid cooling blocks add more heat and longer tube runs to the system. This increases the amount of heat that the system must dissipate and introduces increased flow resistance to the system because of the increase of the loop size as well as the internal makeup of the added cooling blocks. The increase resistance and loop size directly effects the system flow rate and how hard the pump must work to keep the coolant flowing through the system.
For the purpose of this testing, we did not measure the liquid flow of the system directly. Rather, we measured the temperature of both components (the CPU and GPU) which directly correlates to the flow and heat dissipation capacity of the system. The ASUS Poseidon block adds little resistance to the system, besides the added length of the liquid channel, because of its simple U-loop channel internal to the block.
For additional information about the components used for this article, please see our review of the Koolance EXT-440CU Cooling System here, the Cooler Master Glacer 240L Liquid CPU Cooler here, and the ASUS Poseidon GTX 780 graphics card here.
Introduction: Budget Cooling Options and the Seidon 120V
The Seidon 120V is Cooler Master's newest 120mm all-in-one liquid CPU cooler, and its affordable price adds another option to anyone looking for an aftermarket cooler on a budget. But when we start comparing low-cost options it's valid to wonder just how much better a liquid cooler in this price range might perform over air. To find out we'll test the Seidon 120V against a popular budget air solution, and see how these aftermarket coolers compare against the stock solutions from AMD and Intel.
Image courtesy of Cooler Master
Cooling on a Budget
When you’re pricing out a new computer build these days it’s pretty easy to put together a solid group of components for $500 or so, and these will get you going on all the latest games at HD resolution. Sounds awesome! Of course, within that tight budget certain things are going to have to wait, and right up there on the list is probably some better cooling. It’s easy enough to change out a CPU cooler later, but if the stock cooler is doing the job within the thermal specs of the processor is it really needed? Clearly, AMD and Intel are not going to ship a cooler with their product that can’t keep it cool enough under stock workloads, but having better cooling can allow for overclocking as well as extend the life of not only the CPU, but the components around it on your motherboard. Aftermarket coolers are often able to cool more efficiently as well, producing less noise.
The selection of aftermarket coolers available is, well, ridiculous. As easy as it is to get lost looking at, say, every virtually identical stick of DDR3 memory, scrolling through product pages for CPU cooling is on another level entirely. Liquid cooling systems are much easier to navigate, as there are not only fewer of them, but the pricing segmentation allows for easier selection if you’re on a budget. For instance, the Seidon 120V at around $50 was the least expensive AIO option on Amazon when this review was started (actually coming in at 47.99 shipped, though this has been fluctuating quite a bit lately). Finding a suitable budget air cooler was not so easy, and it needed to be at least comparable to the performance of a liquid cooler, while coming in at or below the $50 mark of the 120V. (This might take a while…)
On the air-cooling side of things narrowing the selection to $50 or less doesn’t help much, as there are still (roughly) 50 million to choose from in that price range. There are going to be so many different preferences and opinions on these, so an easier alternative would be to simply follow the consensus pick, e-tail style. This intensive research project involved visiting Amazon and typing “cpu cooler” into the search box. (OK, that was pretty easy!) The plan was to put whatever came up first under $50 in the cart. Turns out the most popular air-cooler is also under $50 (not surprising). This top result was also from Cooler Master, their Hyper 212 EVO which was selling for under $34 shipped. Done.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | April 15, 2014 - 03:36 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: cooler master, Elite 110, mini-itx
The CoolerMaster Elite 110 can give your next mini-ITX system build a unique look. The squarish case is 280x260x208mm (11.1x10.3x8.2") and can house a GPU of up to 210mm in length and cooler with a maximum height of 76mm, somewhat limiting your choice of components but not ridiculously so. It can handle a 120 or 140mm fan or radiator in the front and two 80mm fans on the side and also has space for 3 HDDs or 4 SSDs. [H]ard|OCP encountered some difficulties when installing multiple HDDs but not enough to stop them from awarding this case with a Silver Award; with the caveat that you should only purchase it at the MSRP of $49.99.
"Many enthusiasts now days are trying their hands at minimizing their PC footprint. Mini-ITX motherboards have progressed a long ways in terms of stability and feature set in the last three years. Cooler Master has a new solution for those looking to minimize while not giving up cooling or features in their Mini-ITX enclosure."
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- In Win 901 Mini-ITX Case Review @ Hardware Asylum
- Thermaltake Urban T81 Full Tower @ NikKTech
- Cooler Master HAF Stacker @ techPowerUp
- Zalman Z3 Plus White Mid-Tower Case Review @HiTech Legion
- Thermaltake Urban T81 Extreme Full Tower Chassis @ eTeknix
- BitFenix Prodigy M Case Review @HiTech Legion
- NZXT Source 530 @ Kitguru
- Coolermaster HAF Stacker 935, 315R & 315F Modular Chassis @ eTeknix
- Fractal ARC MINI R2 Computer Case Review @ Madshrimps
- NZXT H440 Silent Mid-tower Case Review @ Modders-Inc
- XSPC Razor R9 290/290X Full Cover Cooling Block Review @HiTech Legion
- ARCTIC Accelero Hybrid II-120 Air/Liquid Cooler @ NikKTech
- Cooler Master Glacer 240L AIO Liquid CPU Cooler @ [H]ard|OCP
- Enermax ETS-T40 Black Twister @ techPowerUp
- Thermalright Silver Arrow IB-E CPU Cooler @ NikKTech
- Deepcool Gamer Storm Gabriel Review @ Modders-Inc
- Dark Rock Pro 3 by beQuiet! Review @ TechwareLabs
- Cooler Master Nepton 140XL CPU Cooler Review @ Hardware Secrets
- SilentiumPC Fera 2 HE 1224 CPU Cooler Review @ Madshrimps
- Noctua NH-D15 Dual-Tower CPU Cooler Review @ Modders-Inc