Obsidian Series for under $100
If you need a case for your next PC build, the chances are good that Corsair has a model that you'll like. Ranging from the obscenely large Obsidian 900D to the $69 Carbide 200R and just about everything in between, Corsair has a ton of options Today we are reviewing the brand new entrant to the Obsidian series, the 350D, that brings Corsair to the Micro-ATX form factor.
The Obsidian series is the flagship chassis line from Corsair and typically means you are getting the best of the best from the expanding components company. With an MSRP of just $99 you are definitely making some sacrifices on features and on size, limiting us to Micro-ATX or Mini-ITX motherboards and systems.
The front panel has an attractive brushed finish to it with removable front panel (and fan filter).
Connections up top include headphones, microphone as well as a pair of USB 3.0 ports. There power button is right in the center with dual LEDs on each side. The reset button is just to the right of the mic port and is recessed enough to prevent accidental presses.
Subject: Motherboards | January 9, 2013 - 07:39 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: msi, micro ATX, mATX, fm2, ces 2013, CES, APU, amd, a85xma-p33
MSI announced a new micro ATX motherboard at CES this week. Aimed at supporting AMD’s APUs, the MSI A85XMA-P33 is a socket FM2 motherboard that is replacing the company’s existing A75MA-P33 motherboard. The new A85XMA-P33 is nearly identical to the previous board, but it uses AMD’s A85X chipset rather than the A75.
The A85XMA-P33 features the FM2 socket, two DDR3 DIMM slots, and six SATA 6 Gbps ports. It also has one legacy PCI slot, one PCI-E 2.0 x16 slot, and a single PCI-E 2.0 x1 slot.
Rear IO on the micro ATX motherboard includes two PS/2 ports, four USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports (plus an additional 2 via motherboard header), three (6 channel) audio jacks, and a gigabit Ethernet port. Display outputs include a single DVI and a single VGA connector.
Other features include a five phase VRM and a UEFI BIOS. No official pricing has been announced yet, but you can expect it to be around the $70 mark. MSI has posted more photos and specifications on its website.
Read more about micro ATX motherboards at PC Perspective.
PC Perspective's CES 2013 coverage is sponsored by AMD.
Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!
Subject: General Tech | October 23, 2012 - 06:50 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: trinity, motherboard, mATX, gigabyte, fm2, APU
Gigabyte recently unveiled a low-cost micro ATX form factor motherboard for Trinity APUs called the F2A75M-HD2. The motherboard is aimed at low cost home theater and small form factor builds using AMD’s Trinity APUs. It measures 225 x 174 mm and offers up a number of features despite the small size. The board itself features the FM2 processor socket, two DDR3 DIMM slots (up to 32GB DDR3 1866Mhz), and a 5-phase VRM feeding the APU power. It also features Gigabyte’s dual BIOS chip technology and a UEFI BIOS.
Internal I/O includes one PCI-E 2.0 x16 slot, one PCI-E 2.0 x1 slot, and one legacy PCI slot. Four SATA III 6Gbps ports are available, and the A75 chipset supports RAID 0, 1, and 10. Two USB 2.0 and two USB 3.0 headers are also available on the board for expansion.
Rear I/O of the Gigabyte F2A75M-HD2 motherboard includes:
- 2 x USB 3.0
- 1 x DVI
- 1 x HDMI
- 1 x VGA
- 2 x USB 2.0
- 3 x Analog audio jacks
- 1 x PS/2 port
- 1 x Gigabit Ethernet jack
While no specific availability date or MSRP was announced, you can expect this micro ATX Trinity-powered motherboard to be available soon for around $70 USD.
Read more about Gigabyte's FM2 motherboard lineup at PC Perspective.
Introduction and Technical Specifications
Courtesy of Gigabyte
PC gaming is alive and well and hardware vendors are working to create unique features in their product lines to entice this niche audience. Gigabyte has always had a soft spot for gamers who want the best components for their LAN rigs so they can own their friends in any game genre they choose to play. Gigabyte has broadened their product line to include performance gaming mice, keyboards, and PC cases. They also have a line of "G1-Killer" motherboards that Gigabyte claims is designed with 3D gaming in mind. One of their latest boards in the G1-Killer series is the G1.Sniper M3, and just happen to have a sample that we are reviewing today.
Courtesy of Gigabyte
The G1.Sniper M3 was designed into a micro ATX form factor that sports Intel's latest Z77 Express chipset and supports the third generation of Intel's LGA 1155 "Ivy Bridge" processors. It is challenging to pack enough performance features and overclocking options onto a micro ATX footprint, but Gigabyte's G1.Sniper M3 has broken the code in this department. This $180 board includes a digital power phase design with auto voltage compensation, dual UEFI BIOS, and an onboard Creative Sound Core3D quad-core audio processor for rich, high-definition audio.
Subject: Motherboards | April 10, 2012 - 12:11 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Z77, ROG, PCI-E 3.0, maximus v gene, mATX, lga1155, asus
Now in its fifth generation, ASUS ROG (Republic of Gamers) has launched its Maximus V Series motherboards with the Maximus V GENE. This micro-ATX powerhouse is built using the latest Intel Z77 chipset, which supports Intel’s latest LGA1155 processors. Featuring full PCI-Express Gen-3 capabilities with Intel’s 3rd Generation processor the Republic of Gamers team equips the Maximus V GENE with exclusive features such as the Extreme Engine DIGI+ II power control design, SupremeFX III gaming audio, Intel Ethernet with ROG GameFirst software and the newly added mPCIe Combo card.
ROG Exclusive mPCIe Combo Card offer users the best expansion options
The mPCIe Combo card is a new innovation by the ROG team, combining the twin functions of mPCIe with mSATA into a single, extensible add-in card that still allows full use of the PCI-Express slots for multi-GPU graphics. Use an mSATA SSD with Intel’s Smart Response Technology to greatly improve hard-drive performance or as an ultra-fast OS drive to free up standard SATA ports for other uses. The combination of a standard mPCIe socket on the other side allows unique upgrades such as WiFi, Bluetooth, 3G/4G, GPS and other connectivity options.
Premium Hardware, Optimized Design, Best Overclocking
The Maximus V GENE is true to the Republic of Gamers core, as a motherboard built for overclocking. Do not accept imitations or compromise with first generation digital designs. The upgraded Extreme Engine DIGI+ II includes a 8+4+2 (CPU, iGPU, DRAM) phase design offers the best in precise digital power control from two DIGI+ controllers. Combined with class leading ROG UEFI BIOS functions, such as the new pre-configured memory IC profiles, specially sourced electrical components and industry first trace designs the Maximus V Gene yields an unmatched overclocking experience for enthusiasts.
SupremeFX III Sound – Premium Gaming Audio
Designed to bring gamers the best possible integrated audio, the SupremeFX III sound is a wholly separate audio PCB, identified by its ‘redline’ adjoining the main GENE V motherboard. SupremeFX Shielding technology maximizes the audio quality by further isolating the audio processing from EMI, encasing the chipset under a custom aluminum cap. Combined with a large 1500uF buffer capacitor to provide sufficient energy for even the loudest sounds, SupremeFX III attains a lossless audio of up to 110dB SNR. The addition of X-Fi Xtreme Fidelity, EAX Advanced HD 5.0, Creative Alchemy and THX TruStudio PRO complete the lineup of audio technologies that offer an incredibly immersive gaming experience.
Intel Ethernet, ROG GameFirst and LucidLogix Virtu MVP
Intel Ethernet and ROG GameFirst software combines up to 35% saving in CPU usage with network traffic prioritizing, while LucidLogix Virtu MVP support enables a new hybrid graphics mode that boosts overall GPU performance by up to 60%.
Subject: Systems | March 15, 2012 - 06:50 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: ASUS ROG Rampage IV GENE X79, SFF, mATX, hd7970, Intel Xeon E5-2690
The mATX ASUS ROG Rampage IV GENE X79 motherboard can hold more power than you might assume from its size, as you can see at VR-Zone. Even though the board looks tiny compared to the heatsink needed to cool the Xeon E5-2690 and the triple slot HD7970 seems to barely fit beside the OZC Revodrive 3 X2 480GB, the components do work at full speed making this beast a real power house. As Yoda said, "Size matters not."
"What if I have about US$5000 to spend - Could I have a true 8-core/16-thread CPU in a small form factor setup without compromising on storage, thermals or online gaming prowess?" Well, we show that we can!"
Here are some more Systems articles from around the web:
- PC Specialist Vortex XT-270FB @ Kitguru
- iBUYPOWER Erebus GT: Custom Cooling for Less @ AnandTech
- HP Omni 27 Quad Review @ TechReviewSource
- HP Phoenix h9se: The Pavilion Goes Beyond Thunderdome @ AnandTech
Subject: Cases and Cooling | March 2, 2012 - 03:01 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: xigmatek gigas, xigmatek, SFF, mATX
When you build a machine based on an mATX board, you tend to be aiming for a compact system that can be hidden away or is at least small enough that it is unobtrusive. Xigmatek decided to toss that style away when they designed the Gigas, quite possibly the only mATX enclosure which weighs more than 20lbs. At 10.94" x 12.68" x 15.59" you have a lot of space to work with and will find space for a lot more drives than you might expect even with a full size GPU and 1kg+ heatsink. This is a perfect enclosure for some of the high end mATX board for sale currently, but as TechPowerUp points out in their review there are no grommets for watercooling if you wanted to upgrade your cooling solution.
"Is it a mATX chassis? No! Is it a mid-tower case? No! What is it? It is the Xigmatek Gigas! Too big to be a compact mATX cube, but too compact to be considered a mid-tower. Will the Gigas end up being the Frankenstein of cases, or manage to impress with this new approach?"
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- Corsair Carbide 300R @ OC3D
- NZXT Switch 810 Hybrid Full Tower @ Pro-Clockers
- Cooler Master Elite 431 Plus Mid Tower Case Review @ Hi Tech Legion
- Corsair Carbide 300R Case Review @ HardwareHeaven
- Cooler Master CM 690 II Advanced Chassis @ Kitguru
- Cooler Master 690 II Advanced Black and White Mid-Tower Chassis Review @ eTeknix
- Thermaltake Level 10 GT Snow Edition Review @ circuitREMIX
- SilenX EFZ-120HA5 Heatsink Review @ Ninjalane
- NZXT Havik 120 CPU Cooler Review @Hi Tech Legion
- SilenX EFZ-120HA5 Cooler @ HardwareBistro
- Be Quiet! Shadow Rock Pro SR1 CPU Cooler @ Kitguru
Subject: Systems | October 4, 2011 - 01:48 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: A8-3800, gigabyte, A75M-UD2H, mATX
When you take an A8-3800 and pair it with a Gigabyte A75M-UD2H you end up with more than just an HTPC. The flexibility built into the Llano series will give you far more than an Intel Atom or an AMD Neo could ever dream of. The connectors range from new USB 3.0, DisplayPort, HDMI and DVI-D along with older style D-SUB, serial and parallel ports as well as audio, ensuring this system build will meet the needs of a variety of users. Visit Missing Remote if you are looking to build an inexpensive AMD based PC.
"New platforms are particularly interesting to us as home theater PC (HTPC) enthusiasts because it gives us a chance to clearly see how a generation of progress can be transformed into tangible benefits. Not long ago, integrated graphics processors (IGP) were strictly the choice of budget-minded consumers, but the recent relocation of the graphics processing unit (GPU) from the chipset to the processor made it a “first-class” citizen and brought new life to the solution while birthing a new concept – integrated processor graphics (IPG). AMD was not the first to release an IPG, or APU (accelerated processing unit) as they refer to it, but with the introduction of the Brazos/Zacate line earlier this year, a glimpse of Lynx/Llano’s promise became available."
Here are some more Systems articles from around the web:
- AVADirect Compact Gaming PC: Small Case, Big System @ AnandTech
- HP Pavilion Elite h8-1050 Review @ TechReviewSource
- Rendering and HPC Benchmark Session Using Our Best Servers @ AnandTech
- HP Compaq 8200 Elite Ultra-Slim: The Littlest Desktop @ AnandTech
- Dell XPS 8300 @ kitguru
- ZOTAC ZBOX Plus – Media PC @ TechwareLabs
Subject: Systems | July 5, 2011 - 12:52 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Silverstone, Fortress FT03S, zotac, Z68-ITX Wi-Fi, mATX
Using the Silverstone Fortress FT03S, an mATX case measuring 235mm x 284mm x 487mm (9.25" x 11.18" x 19.17") Hardware Heaven crafted a great machine for HTPC use or for those wanting a quiet and diminutive work station. Inside is a Zotac Z68 board, a Core i3 2100, an Intel 80GB X25-M SSD, two 4GB Corsair Vengenace DDR3 DIMMs, a Sony Blu-Ray drive, an Asus Essence STX Sound Card and the Sapphire Ultimate HD6670 as a discrete GPU. All of that seems a fairly tight fit, but Hardware Heaven shows that even more powerful parts could be contained within. Check out the full build process here.
"Last month we took a look at building a Fusion based HTPC which was based around an m-ITX motherboard and silent case. This system offered good media playback and decent general computing however there are consumers who require more performance from a compact system. Therefore today we are going to look at building a compact, stylish system based on Intel's Z68 chipset in ITX form (The Zotac Z68-ITX) and the Core i3-2100."
Here are some more Systems articles from around the web:
- Sapphire PURE WHITE FUSION E350 and Sapphire PURE FUSION MINI E350 Mainboards @ X-bit Labs
- Chillblast Fusion Impact 3D Review @ XSReviews
- Aria Gladiator HD2-K @ OC3D
- How to build a computer Part #1 - Choosing a processor @ eTeknix