Subject: Cases and Cooling | May 2, 2016 - 09:00 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: side window, P9 Window, mid-tower, Full-Tower, fan controller, enclosure, case, atx case, antec
Antec has listed a new P9 Window tower enclosure on their site ahead of Computex, and while it's listed as "not available" at the moment, that should change by the end of the month.
So what is this P9 Window? It's a straightforward case with a big side window, excellent storage and cooling support, and dual onboard fan controllers.
"Don’t let the sleek, understated exterior fool you. The P9 Window is loaded with builder-focused features that deliver performance, Quiet Computing, and future-proof expandability right out of the box. The interior volume, the variety of cooling options, and the modular HDD cages are just a few of the features that make the P9 Window stand out in the Performance One series."
- Motherboard Support: ATX, micro ATX, mini ITX
- Expansion Slots: 8
- 13 Total Drive Bays:
- 3 x Tool-less 5.25” ODD Bays
- 8 x Tool-less 3.5” HDD trays (each compatible with 2.5” SSD)
- 1 x 3.5” HDD (inside the 5.25” drive cage)
- 2 x Tool-less 2.5” Dedicated SSD Bays
- Cooling System:
- 2 x Front 120mm (included) fan
- 1 x Rear 120mm (included) fan
- 3 x Top 120mm or 2 x 140mm fan mounts (optional)
- 1 x Bottom 120mm (optional)
- 2 x 120mm HDD cage fan mounts (Optional)
- Water cooling support:
- Front: Supports 240mm radiator
- Top: Supports240/280/360 mm radiator
- Pump / Reservoir mounting brackets included
- Removable / Relocation of HDD cages for water cooling pump
- I/O Ports:
- 2 x USB 3.0
- 2 x USB 2.0
- 2 x Fan controls
- Audio In/Out
- Washable air filters (front intake and PSU)
- Supports up to 430 mm VGA cards
- Bottom mounted ATX PSU (not included)
- Dimensions: 22.44” (W) x 23.50 (H) x 11.26” (D)
- Weight: 20 lbs
Pricing shown in Antec's listing is a reasonable $109 for a full-tower design like this, and we'll doubtless get a chance to see how its performing soon enough as reviews start coming out.
Introduction and First Impressions
The NZXT Manta is a mini-ITX enclosure that boasts better than average room for components and cooling, and is packaged in a rather unusual, rounded design.
There is a reason for the Manta's somewhat bulbous appearance, and it's part of a recent trend in mini-ITX enclosure design; bigger is better. While you might think that mITX is all about fitting components into the smallest enclosure possible, there have been some recent examples of cases which expand the chassis to micro-ATX sizes (or above).
The Manta from NZXT is actually large enough to be a micro-ATX case, and its total volume exceeds their S340 enclosure; a full ATX design (!). So why on earth would you want a mini-ITX enclosure with that much volume? Three words: cooling, cooling, and cooling.
As you can see from NZXT's graphic above, the Manta's protruding top and front panels provide a the additional space needed to allow for thicker cooling setups.
Before we dive in for a closer look at the new Manta enclosure, let's take a look at the full specs from NZXT:
- Motherboard Support: mini-ITX
- Expansion Slots: 2
- Drive Bays
- Internal 3.5”: 2
- Internal 2.5”: 3
- Cooling System
- Front: 2 x 140/120mm (2 x 120mm included)
- Top: 2 x 140/120mm
- Rear: 1 x 120mm (Included)
- Radiator Support
- Front: Up to 280mm
- Top: Up to 280mm
- Rear: 120mm
- CPU Clearance: 160mm
- GPU Clearance: 363mm
- PSU Length: 363mm
- Power Supply Support: ATX
- External Electronics:
- I/O Panel LED On/Off
- 1x Audio/Mic
- USB 3.0
- Dimensions (WxHxD): 245 x 426 x 450mm (9.65 x 16.77 x 17.72 inches)
- Weight: 7.2 kg (15.87 lbs)
Our thanks to NZXT for providing the Manta enclosure for our review.
At first glance the Manta is a departure from the typical enclosure design. The rounded panels are built around a standard rectangular frame, so it's really quite conventional underneath.
The look from the front of the enclosure really shows off the rounded sides, and this will certainly not be everyone's favorite look - but anything beyond the norm tends be divisive in this market.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | April 20, 2016 - 10:20 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: standing desk, Lian Li, enclosure, DK-04, desk enclosure, case, aluminum
Lian Li has officially announced their standing desk shown at CES 2016, and the DK-04 offers variable (powered) height adjustment.
The DK-04 in standing position
"Standing desks aren’t just fashionable, they’re proven to be beneficial and healthy in multiple ways. Lian Li sought to design a new computer desk chassis in this spirit. Users can configure up to four different height settings, from 67.5cm to 116cm, for the desk to automatically adjust to at the press of a button. The DK-04 can serve as a standing desk for work and switch to a sit-down gaming desk in an instant!"
The DK-04 lowered to sitting position
I had a chance to check out the DK-04 in person at this year's CES, and it was an impressive piece of hardware. My first question? How much will it cost, of course! Lian Li didn't have an answer for me back in January, but official pricing was included in today's annoucement.
The cost? MSRP is $1499, and the DK-04 will be available on May 10, 2016.
If you've priced ergonomic office furniture the $1499 price tag won't seem quite so shocking, especially for a powered sit/stand design made entirely from aluminum (don't forget this is also a PC enclosure).
The DK-04 is also a full-sized PC enclosure under the glass top
Of course, in the world of PC components it's obviously going to require a specific use-case to justify an enclosure that costs as much as a fairly high-end gaming PC.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | April 8, 2016 - 03:09 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: mid-tower, enclosure, corsair, case, Carbide SPEC-ALPHA, atx case
Corsair has officially released the Carbide SPEC-ALPHA case they were showing off at CES 2016, and this mid-tower is a striking design that offers an alternative to more traditional look of the company's recent Carbide offerings.
The White/Red SPEC-ALPHA at CES
"With its modern, angular appearance, the SPEC-ALPHA really stands out in a crowd. But its looks aren’t all that are modern – the SPEC-ALPHA features native USB 3.0 support, room for up to four SSDs, and a three-speed fan controller for the three included 120mm fans. A large window shows off internal components and the Direct Airflow Path layout, which provides superior cooling by getting rid of unnecessary drive bays."
The inclusion of a 3-speed fan control is definately welcome at this price, which is an attractive $79.99 MSRP. We'll have to wait until we get one in to test to see how it performs, but at first glance it looks promising. Doubtless the look won't be for everyone, but if you look at a lot of enclosures (like someone I know) unusual designs are always welcome!
Inside the Black/Red version
Technical specifications from Corsair:
- Expansion Slots: 7
- 5.25” Drive bays: N/A
- 3.5” Hard Drive Bays: 3
- 2.5” Drive Bays: 4
- Cooling Layout:
- Front: 2 x 120mm (2 x 120mm LED included)
- Top: 2 x 120mm
- Rear: 1 x 120mm (included)
- Radiator Compatibility:
- 240mm: Front only
- 120mm: Front, or Rear
- Integrated dust filters for front and bottom intakes
- Front I/O Panel includes:
- USB 3.0 port (x2)
- Three-Speed Fan Controller
- Headphone and Microphone jacks
- Power on and Reset buttons
- Dimensions (LxWxH) 518 x 220 x 474 mm (20.39 x 8.66 x 18.66 inches)
- Maximum GPU Length: 380 mm
- Maximum CPU Cooler Height: 156 mm
- Maximum PSU Length: 190 mm
- 2 Year Warranty
(Image credit: Corsair)
As stated above the Carbide SPEC-ALPHA retails for $79.99 and is available now.
Introduction and First Impressions
Today we’re looking at an enclosure from VIVO, a new company on the scene who has created their new Titan mid-tower enclosure to enter the enthusiast case market. We’ll see how it stacks up in an already crowded market.
A search on Amazon for enclosures will turn up the usual suspects, from Antec to Thermaltake (with BitFenix, Corsair, In Win, NZXT, Lian Li, Phanteks, SilverStone, and others in between). And right there in those search results is VIVO. Their Athena mid-tower is a nice-looking budget enclosure that sells for only $54.99, and with the Titan VIVO offering a more understated design, and some modern conveniences.
The Titan is spacious, with an open internal layout that places drive storage behind and below the motherboard tray, a common trend (Corsair’s Carbide 400C and the NZXT H440 have similar layouts). The cost of such a design (as with the aforementioned competitors) is a reduction in drive support, as only two 3.5-inch and a single 2.5-inch drive bay are included (with support for an addition pair of SSDs inside the case). This trend has its detractors, to be sure, but if your needs are limited to an SSD and a pair of hard drives, you’ll be just fine - and the Titan offers a pair of 5.25-inch bays, if desired.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | February 19, 2016 - 02:11 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: inverted motherboard, enclosure, corsair, Carbide 600C
A few weeks ago Sebastian published a review of Corsair's Carbide Series 600Q and today you can take a peek at its brother, the Carbide 600C. The 600C differs in that it lacks the full noise shielding foam and has a hinged, latching side-panel, with a large window to show off your components. It is 454x260x535mm (17.9x10.2x21") and so can handle even an eATX motherboard. The inclusion of two 5.25" bays will please some but the sparse number of 3.5" bays is not likely to impress anyone who uses multiple drives. There are many pluses for those who like a clean interior and the three fans and fan controller which come with the case is a nice touch. Read more over at techPowerUp.
"The Corsair Carbide 600C comes with an inverted motherboard layout and aims to offer a perfect mix for those looking to take advantage of such an interior with a wide body, plenty of liquid-cooling compatibility, a 3-stage fan controller, and great cable management."
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- Corsair Carbide 400C Case Review @ Hardware Canucks
- Thermalright Le Grand Macho Passive CPU Cooler @ NikKTech
- Deepcool Dukase Midi Tower Review @ NikKTech
- EKWB EK-XLC Predator 360 All-In-One CPU Liquid Cooling Unit @ Modders-Inc
- CRYORIG A80 Hybrid Liquid Cooling System Review @ NikKTech
- Cryorig H5 Universal CPU cooler @ HardwareOverclock.com
- Thermalright Le Grand Macho Passive CPU Cooler Review @ NikKTech
Subject: Cases and Cooling | February 12, 2016 - 07:00 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: small form-factor, SFF, NCASE M1, Kimera Industries, enclosure, crowdfunding, Cerberus, case
Micro-ATX offers a compelling option for smaller system builds without the limitations inherent with the mini-ITX form-factor, and a new company aims to offer one of the smallest micro-ATX enclosures possible while still supporting full-size components. That company is Kimera Industries, a newcomer (founded in 2014) that will be turning to Indiegogo to fund the Cerberus mATX enclosure, to be built right here in the United States.
Known previously as Project Nova, the Cerberus is reminiscent of the NCASE M1, a crowdfunded mini-ITX design that is ridiculously small even for mITX. In addition to supporting the larger mATX form-factor motherboard, the Cerberus is constructed from steel (rather than the M1's aluminum), and boasts an extremely compact size for an enclosure that can easily house a dual-GPU gaming setup.
“At just 18.2L, Cerberus is smaller than nearly all mATX (and many mITX) cases in industry today, yet supports flagship graphics and high-end PC components, making it a potent enclosure for hardware enthusiasts that want a compact and portable computer without compromises on performance.”
A look at the interior with a complete system installed shows just how much can be crammed into this small space, just as with the NCASE M1. The inclusion of a hinged bracket for a liquid cooler (or other components) is a nice touch that should aid in system building with the Cerberus.
So, just how small is the Cerberus? A look at the full specs (available here) reveals dimensions of 320 mm height, 170 mm width, and 364 mm depth (12.60 x 6.69 x 14.33 inches). The enlosure, made from 20 gauge steel internally with 18 gauge steel panels on the outside, weighs in at 11.68 lbs.
Here’s a list of the features of the Cerberus enclosure from Kimera:
- Size: At just 18.2L, Cerberus is smaller than some of the most popular mITX cases on the market, from Fractal Design’s Node 304, or BitFenix’s Prodigy. When compared to most mATX cases, Cerberus typically bests the competition by 10L or more - a whopping 40%+ volume reduction.
- Quality: Made entirely of powder coated steel, and assembled in the United States, Cerberus is built to last for the long haul, with thoughtful features such as user-replaceable parts, durable metal hardware, and all-steel panel clips and pins.
- Design: Cerberus embraces a minimalist, refined aesthetic, with a luxurious matte finish and industrial design that embraces clean edges and understated features over bright lights and garish plastic accents.
- Customizability: With multiple colors on offer, additional colors available as stretch goals, and the option to add an optional metal handle and/or plexiglass window, Cerberus is engineered to be customized to enthusiasts’ exact preferences.
- Flexibility: From SFX and ATX PSU support, to the hinged side bracket, to the innovative Infinite Vent system, Cerberus retains some of the most diverse hardware support in industry, and can comfortably contain systems as simple as HTPCs and as sophisticated as water-cooled, multi-GPU gaming powerhouses.
- Craftsmanship: Through a unique partnership with Sliger Designs, every Cerberus is built by trained and talented engineers on Sliger’s production floor, located in Sparks, Nevada, USA. By manufacturing enclosures domestically, instead of through nondescript factories in China or Taiwan, Kimera Industries is able to maintain strict quality controls, communicate constantly with engineers on the floor, and greatly expedite production and shipment of units to backers - all while supporting local workers, businesses, and communities.
The Cerberus is also available in white, shown with optional handle
The Indiegogo campaign launches March 1st, and additional information can be found at the Kimera Industries site.
Introduction and First Impressions
The Enthoo EVOLV ITX it is not a new enclosure, but this striking color scheme - black with a glossy red interior - is. We'll take a thorough look at this mini-ITX enclosure in this review, and see how well it performs enclosing a gaming build.
The EVOLV series from Phanteks includes ATX, micro-ATX, and this mini-ITX versions; with all three sharing a common design language, though some of the features naturally differ. With this smallest design Phanteks decided to retain enough size to permit the use of standard components, with room for ATX power supplies, full length graphics cards, and liquid CPU cooling with up to a 280 mm radiator.
The EVOLV ATX was my first experience with a Phanteks enclosure, and I was impressed with the build quality and thoughtful design touches. There is a different approach to building with mini-ITX that introduces new elements, including the ability of a system to remain cool and quiet with components in much tighter quarters.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | February 9, 2016 - 01:33 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: small form-factor, SFF, PC-M25, micro tower, mATX, Lian Li, hot-swap, enclosure, case, aluminum case
The PC-M25 is Lian Li’s latest enclosure; a small micro-ATX tower with an emphasis on storage.
“The PC-M25 includes a hot-swap HDD rack where users can conveniently install and remove up to five 3.5” drives with rubber suspension and without needing tools. The bottom HDD tray can mount an additional three 2.5” or two 3.5” drives. This makes a total of as many as seven 3.5” hard drives for advanced RAID storage applications.”
While a small form-factor design (all aluminum, of course), there is still room for a full system including long graphics cards and power supplies; though you’ll want a lower-profile CPU cooler as there is only 80 mm of clearance above the processor. Fans are included, with 140 mm intake and 120 mm exhaust pre-installed, though there is only a screen filter on the bottom intake (below the PSU).
- Model: PC-M25 A/ B
- Case Type: Mini Tower Chassis
- Color: Silver, Black
- Material: Aluminum
- M/B Type: Micro-ATX, Mini-ITX
- Expansion Slot: 4
- HDD rack: 3.5" HDD x5 (Hot-swap)
- HDD tray: 2.5" HDD x3 or 3.5" HDD x2
- System Fan (Front) 140mm Fan x1; System Fan (Top) 120mm Fan x1
- I/O Ports: None
- Maximum Compatibility
- VGA Card length: 410mm
- PSU length: 230mm
- CPU cooler height:80mm
- PSU Type: ATX
- Dimensions (W x H x D) 199 x 322 x 441 mm (7.83 x 12.68 x 17.36 in)
- Net Weight: 3.74 kg (8.25 lbs)
Storage options for the PC-M25
The PC-M25 will be available this month with an MSRP of $169.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | February 9, 2016 - 09:06 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: RGB, phanteks, mid-tower, enclosure, Eclipse Series, Eclipse P400S, Eclipse P400, case
Phanteks has announced a new enclosure series called ‘Eclipse’, which take the internal layout of the Enthoo lineup and packages it in a pair of affordable new enclosures; the P400 and P400S.
“Without much effort, the P400 allows users to create a clean and beautiful system. Ambient RGB illumination adds character while the solid metal exterior gives the case a simple elegant design. The P400 is suitable for beginners and experienced system builders with all the extra features; the P400S comes with sound damping panels and a 3-speed fan controller to enhance acoustical performance.”
The internal layout of these enclosures will be familiar to you if you’ve seen the Enthoo series, with an open main chamber, a bottom partition for the PSU and hard drives, and all storage accessible from behind the system. There are a couple of notable differences between the Eclipse P400 and P400S, primarily the latter’s noise-reducing insulation and the addition of a 3-speed fan controller.
Exploded view of Eclipse P400S
Side panel windows are available, with added style from the ambient RGB lighting on both models. The P400 and P400S are available in black, white, or grey, and the body panels are metal, which should contribute to a more premium feel.
- Form Factor: Mid-tower
- Materials: Steel chassis, steel exterior, ABS
- Motherboard Support: ATX, Micro ATX, Mini ITX, E-ATX (up to 272mm wide, cannot use rubber grommets)
- Expansion Slots: 7
- Internal 3.5” bays: 6x (2x trays included)
- Internal 2.5” bays (dedicated): 2x (2x included)
- 120 mm fan: Front, 3x (1 included); Top, 2x; Rear, 1x (1 included)
- 140 mm fan: Front, 2x; Top, 2x
- Front I/O: 2x USB 3.0, Mic, Headphone, Reset, LED control, 3-speed Fan controller (only available for P400S)
- Side Window: Yes (also available with closed panel)
- Soundproofing panels: (only available for P400S) Front/Top/Sides
- Dimensions (W x H x D): 210 x 465 x 470 mm (8.3 x 18.3 x 18.5 inches)
No specific release date was announced, but full suggested pricing information is available:
- Eclipse P400 (PH-EC416P) Black/Grey: $69.99 / White: $79.99
- Eclipse P400S (PH-EC416PS) Black/Grey: $79.99 / White: $89.99
- (P400S pricing identical for Silent Window and Silent Closed Panel versions)