Introduction and Specifications
The Phanteks Enthoo Primo is a massive full-tower case with a monolithic appearance, and a ton of cooling support. It's tall, heavy, and certainly looks every bit the premium enclosure the price tag indicates. So how did it perform? Read on to find out!
We've reviewed other cases in the Enthoo series from Phanteks, and these have been a solid choice in their respective price ranges. The cases we've looked at offer excellent construction, nice appearance, and excellent component support. The Enthoo Primo sits at the top of the lineup, and it looks it; a nearly 26-inch tall case that is nearly as deep, it's so large it even has a second ATX power supply mount (a dual PSU adapter is offered as a separate purchase).
So what market does this Enthoo Primo case serve? It could house any sort of enthusiast or high-end workstation/server setup, supporting EATX and even SSI EEB motherboard form-factors. There's a ridiculous amount of liquid cooling potential, though given its size the average all-in-one cooler will need to stay close to the processor given the length of typical AIO cooler hoses. This thing is begging for a custom watercooling loop (sorry, I didn't oblige in this review).
The Enthoo Primo is fitted with an aluminum faceplate
Subject: Cases and Cooling | September 2, 2016 - 12:00 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: atx, enclosure, corsair, case, carbide, Air 740, dual-chamber, airflow, cooling
Corsair has announced a new member of the Carbide Air family with the new 740, and this dual-chamber case is all about airflow.
A follow-up to the Carbide Air 540, the 740 is a cube-like design, and a fairly roomy 16.8 x 13.4 x 20.1 inches in size. There's plenty of internal room for large components, and tons of room for cooling. How much room? Corsair says the Carbide Air 740 can hold "up to eight 120mm or seven 140mm fans, a 240mm/280mm top radiator, 240mm/280mm floor radiator, and 240/280/360mm front radiator – all at once."
Specifications from Corsair:
- Dual-chamber Direct Airflow Path design: Utilizes dual-chambers to deliver cooler air to your CPU, graphics cards, motherboard, memory, and other PCI-E components without your drives or power supply getting in the way.
- Industrial-style ergonomics and space-saving internal design: Offers massive internal volume by moving the power supply and drive bays into a separate chamber.
- Includes three custom Air Series AF140L intake and exhaust fans: Based on the award-winning AF140, the included fans provide great airflow performance at lower noise levels than typical case fans.
- Amazing cooling expansion room: For up to eight 120mm or seven 140mm fans, a 240mm/280mm top radiator, 240mm/280mm floor radiator, and 240/280/360mm front radiator – all at once.
- 8 x Expansion slots: Can house up to 4 graphics cards.
- I/O Port: 2 x USB 3.0, headphone and mic.
- Dimensions: 426mm x 340mm x 510mm
Corsair has priced the Carbide Air at $149.99, and it's available now.
- Stay tuned as we will have a review of this new Corsair Carbide Air 740 enclosure soon!
Full press release after the break.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | August 10, 2016 - 09:54 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: tempered glass, SSD Chroma, RGB, mid tower, enclosure, e-atx, chassis, case, bitfenix, aurora, ASUS Aura
BitFenix has announced the Aurora chassis, their latest enclosure which features tempered glass side panels and RGB lighting effects.
Both sides of the Aurora are covered by tempered glass, with the component side a clear panel, and the back a dark-tinted panel to help hide cables behind the motherboard tray.
One interesting feature is called “SSD Chroma”. BitFenix explains:
“‘ASUS AURA’ certified ‘RGB Chroma Control and SSD Chroma’ are co-developed with Asus Republic of Gamers giving you the ability to customize and illuminate the SSDs.”
Specifications and highlights from BitFenix:
- Colors: Black│White
- Materials: Steel, ABS
- Supported Motherboards: E-ATX│ATX│M-ATX│Mini-ITX
- Expansion Slots: 7
- Drive Bays:
- 3.5”: 2 + 2
- 2.5”: 2 + 1
- Front: 120mm x 2 or 140mm x 2
- Rear: 120mm x 1 (Included)
- Top: 120mm x 2 or 140mm x 2
- Component Clearance:
- CPU Cooler: Up to 160mm height
- Graphic Card Length: Up to 400mm
- Power Supply: Up to 220mm
- I/O: USB 3.0 x 2│USB 2.0 x 2│HD Audio MIC & Headphone
- Weight: 10.58kg
- Dimensions: 215 x 490 x 520mm
Highlights: BitFenix LED Lighting Controller & SSD Lighting Bracket│20-25mm Cable Management Space│Graphic Length up to 400mm│Support Dual 280mm radiator│Removable HDD cage│Removable PSU Dust Filter
Pricing and availablility for this new BitFenix Aurora are
not yet known late August and $99 US.
Introduction and First Impressions
A newcomer in the PC enclosure space, RIOTORO has a lineup of unique-looking products to offer in a market flooded with options at every price-point. With this full-tower PRISM CR1280 enclosure the company says that they are providing not just a home for your components, but “the world’s 1st fully RGB case with unparalleled personalization options”.
Clearly, RGB lighting has been one of the biggest trends in PC hardware for the past year or so, and if you are so inclined the PRISM CR1280 promises fully customizable color with lighted accents on the front of the case, and included RGB intake fans.
Beyond the RGB lighting, however, the PRISM CR1280 has a rather unusual industrial design. There is angular black plastic over a steel body, and a large edge-to-edge side panel window (not to mention those bare aluminum feet). It looks like a premium enclosure, and it’s certainly priced like one with an MSRP of $169.99 (selling for $149 currently). Is it worth it? Read on to find out!
Fractal Design has reduced their excellent Define S enclosure all the way down from ATX to mini-ITX, and the Define Nano S offers plenty of room for a small form-factor case.
Large mini-ITX cases have become the trend in the past year or so, with the NZXT Manta the most recent (and possibly the most extreme) example. Fractal Design's Nano S isn't quite as large as the Manta, but it is cavernous inside thanks to a completely open internal layout. There are no optical drive bays, no partitions for PSU or storage, and really not much of anything inside the main compartment at all as Fractal Design has essentially miniaturized the Define S enclosure.
We have the windowed version of the Define Nano S for review here, which adds some interest to a very understated design. There is still something very sophisticated about this sort of industrial design, and I must admit to liking it quite a bit myself. Details such as the side vents for front panel air intake do add some interest, and that big window helps add some style as well (and builders could always add some increasingly ubiquitous RGB lighting inside!).
Subject: Cases and Cooling | June 1, 2016 - 11:38 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: enclosure, Dark Base 900 Pro, Dark Base 900, computex 2016, computex, case, be quiet!, atx case
A pair of enclosures from be quiet! have been announced, with the Dark Base 900 and Dark Base 900 PRO, and both models offer modular construction for greater build flexibility.
Here are some of the specs and features from be quiet!:
- High flexibility through high modularity
- Modular motherboard tray can invert and also slide vertically to make space for radiators, etc.
- Motherboard tray is decoupled to avoid vibrations
- Removable motherboard tray can be used as a test bench, or install system completely outside the case first
- Separated HDD cages for maximum flexibility - each holds one 3.5” or two 2.5” drives
- Removable ODD cage
- Standard storage support: 2x ODD / 7x HDD / 15x SSD
- Highest compatibility to water cooling
- PWM fan control
- 3x SilentWings 3 PWM 140mm fans pre-installed
- Aluminum finish on top and front
- 4mm tempered glass side panel
- LED strips with 5 colors
- QI charger for mobile devices
The system looks spacious, and offers removable cages for storage drives:
The motherboard tray is removable, and it can also be inverted if desired for an alternate internal layout:
And what premium enclosure would be complete without LED lighting? The PRO version of the Dark Base offers LED strips with your choice of 5 colors:
The Dark Base 900 has an MSRP of $199, and the Dark Base 900 PRO is $249, with availability set for June 28.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | May 23, 2016 - 11:50 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: tempered glass, steel, SECC, mid-tower, In Win 303, in win, enclosure, case, atx case
In Win's 303 enclosure has been released, and this mid-tower offers a very clean, simple look, and provides the option of a tempered glass side panel to show off your build.
"The IN WIN team presents the 303, a simple, yet elegant computer chassis crafted from steel and tempered glass. The distinctively clean front panel is complemented with a bright LED design to balance the overall appearance.
The IN WIN logo is highlighted “Neon” as well as the lucent stripped I/O front panel. These gorgeous LEDs also have the purpose of indicating when the PC is activated."
The In Win 303 is available with a white or black finish
The 303 is constructed primarily of SECC (electrogalvanized steel), which should help them keep costs down versus aluminum designs at the expense of some added weight.
The 303 offers buyers a choice between a pair of side panel styles, with both tempered glass and solid aluminum options. As to the former, the company states you are "able to remove the beautiful 3mm tempered glass side panel by just pressing the handle," while the aluminum panel is affixed with thumbscrews.
In Win 303 interior
While officially released with a product page up on In Win's site, actual retail availability in the U.S. might have to wait until after Computex, as listings have yet to appear on Newegg or Amazon for the new 303 (at time of publication).
Subject: Cases and Cooling | May 19, 2016 - 10:43 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: steel, matx case, Lian Li, enclosure, case, atx case
Lian Li is now producing steel enclosures (gasp), which translates into some more affordable options on the market from this venerable brand that typically produces products from aluminum and glass.
(left to right) Lian Li PC-K5, PC-K6, and PC-K6S
“Lian Li has been known for its signature brushed aluminum aesthetic for decades. For many years, a number of customers have requested more affordable alternatives. The Ebonsteel series is intended to provide this option for those who seek the best value in PC cases. While these chassis are built with steel rather than aluminum, they are still very much Lian Li cases – tool-less building features, grommeted panel cutouts for cable management, vibration-dampened PSU mounts and drive cages, removable mesh filters on fan mounts – they include many of the bells and whistles of a typical Lian Li case!”
The three new enclosures Lian Li is featuring in their news release include the mid-tower PC-K5 and PC-K6, and a silent version of the latter named PC-K6S. Of these the PC-K5 is a budget-minded option, with an MSRP of $56 for the standard version, and $60 if you'd like a side panel window. The PC-K6 is a more premium offering, with an MSRP of $93, with the silent version at $109.
As to availability, I'll quote the press release here: "The Ebonsteel cases will be available in mid June for K5, and late June for K6, K6S."
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.