Colorful New BitFenix Prodigy M Cases With Optional Side Windows Coming Soon

Subject: Cases and Cooling | August 22, 2014 - 06:03 PM |
Tagged: prodigy m, mATX, bitfenix

In response to customer feedback, BitFenix has announced new color options and optional windowed side panels for its Prodigy M chassis. New versions of the Micro ATX case will be available later this month in Fire Red, Atomic Orange, Vivid Green, and Cobalt Blue with or without a case window (which can also be available separately). The new color choices join the existing Arctic White and Midnight Black Prodigy M cases.

BitFenix Prodigy M Color With Optional Windowed Side Panel.jpg

The Prodigy M (including the new color versions) is essentially a larger version of the Prodigy chassis intended to support Micro ATX motherboards and dual graphics cards. BitFenix's steel and plastic Prodigy M chassis measures 250mm x 404mm x 359mm (~9.8"x15.9"x14.1") and features the company's "FyberFlex" flexible carrying handles on the top and bottom (the bottom handles do double duty as case feet) and SofTouch exterior finish. Two audio jacks, two USB 3.0 ports, and a single externally-accessible 5.25" drive bay round out the external I/O.

The case comes bundled with two 120mm Spectre fans installed in the rear and bottom fan mounts. Beyond that, users can add a slim 240mm radiator (27mm thick with a single GPU installed) up top and swap out the included rear fan for a larger 140mm model.

prodigy_m_g_rangle_open.jpg

The Prodigy M supports Mini ITX and Micro ATX motherboards, a bottom mounted power supply up to 160mm long, CPU coolers up to 160mm tall (with the storage rack installed), and graphics cards as long as 320mm (there are five PCI slots in total). Using the bottom case mounts, users can have two 3.5" drives and two 2.5" drives. Additionally, users can install the removable storage rack (which mounts above the motherboard for an extra two 3.5" drives and three 2.5" drives. There is also a 5.25" drive bay which could house additional storage drives with the right adapter.

BitFenix also announced the availability of windowed side panels that come in each of the six case colors. The windowed side panels will be sold along with windowed versions of the Prodigy M case or as a separate purchase that customers can add to their existing black or white Prodigy M.

prodigy_m_o_45.jpg

The new Prodigy M Color cases will be available later this month for around $100. There is no word on pricing for the individual windowed side panels, however. 

It is nice to see BitFenix responding to customer feedback, and the new colorful cases seem to be a welcome update to the series.

Source: BitFenix
Manufacturer: BitFenix

Introduction, Packaging, and Specifications

The BitFenix Colossus has grown into a family of enclosures, from the massive E-ATX original all the way down to their diminutive mini-ITX version. But somewhere in between there lies a case offering some impressive flexibility, while still retaining a small footprint.

colossus06.jpg

As the PC industry has evolved over the last decade, the days of high-performance rigs requiring large towers and full-size ATX and E-ATX motherboards are gone. Of course there is still a market (and need) for full tower systems, and the majority of enthusiast motherboards available are still full ATX. But the evolution in process technology and platforms has allowed for more and more to be done within a smaller footprint, and the micro-ATX form factor has emerged as a solid option for anything from budget systems to extreme multi-GPU gaming powerhouses. Regardless of the path you choose, all of those sweet components need a home, and finding the right computer case has long been a very personal odyssey.

BitFenix entered the PC enclosure market in 2010 with the original Colossus, and since then they have grown into a respected brand with a large and differentiated product offering. From that first massive Colossus to the popular Prodigy mini-ITX, they have created an enclosure for just about any build. And while many cases specialize in one or two particular areas, once in a while you will find an enclosure that just begs for experimentation. The micro-ATX variant of the Colossus from BitFenix is just such a case. Every aspect of this small enclosure has been given a close look by BitFenix, and there are options galore for a variety of builds.

Continue reading our review of the BitFenix Colossus Micro-ATX Case Review!!

Get a little GAMING done with MSI

Subject: Motherboards | January 8, 2014 - 04:32 PM |
Tagged: msi, Z87M GAMING, mATX

If you like the size of the smaller Gabecubes but want to build it yourself then you need a powerful mATX board.  The aptly named MSI Z87M GAMING is a good choice with an impressive amount of slots, a pair of 16x PCIe 3.0 and a pair of 1x PCIe 2.0 as well.  It also has 4 DIMM slots and six SATA 6Gbps ports which is an impressive array for such a small form factor and that doesn't even count the variety of input and output ports on the back.   [H]ard|OCP were of two minds when it came to this board; the first reviewer encountered numerous issues installing the OS and drivers while Kyle found his to work perfectly out of box.  This board has a lot of potential but you might want to wait for a BIOS update in the hopes that you too will have a smooth setup.

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"We take a look at another offering in MSI’s "GAMING" series. This time the M-ATX form factor Z87M GAMING caught our eye. Is this a case of good things come in small packages? Based on our experiences with the rest of the series, this is one you won’t want to miss if you’re looking for an M-ATX based motherboard."

Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:

Motherboards

Source: [H]ard|OCP

ASUS Launches Six New H81 Motherboards For Budget Haswell Systems

Subject: General Tech | August 21, 2013 - 03:32 PM |
Tagged: H81, haswell, mini ITX, mATX, atx, motherboard, asus

ASUS recently announced six new Haswell-compatible motherboards using Intel's budget H81 chipset. The new motherboards come in full ATX, Micro ATX, and Mini ITX form factors. The new boards include the ATX H81-Plus, the Mini-ITX H81I-Plus, and four Micro ATX boards: the H81M-Plus, H81M-A, H81M-C, and H81M-E. 

All of the boards have two DDR3 DIMM slots, a LGA 1150 CPU socket, and four SATA ports (two SATA III 6Gpbs and two SATA II 3Gbps). Aside from the physical dimensions, the boards vary in the number and type of PCI-E 2.0 connectors and rear IO port selection. Further, the motherboards feature ASUS' DIGI+ VRM and 5X protection (eg. overcurrent) technologies.

ASUS H81-Plus.jpg

The H81-Plus features four PCI-E 2.0 x16 slots and two PCI-E x1 slots. Rear IO includes:

  • 2 x PS/2
  • 1 x COM
  • 1 x Parallel
  • 1 x VGA
  • 2 x USB 3.0
  • 2 x USB 2.0
  • 1 x RJ45 LAN
  • 3 x analog audio ports

The Micro ATX H81M-Plus has a single PCI-E 2.0 x16 slot and three PCI-E x1 slots. It does not inlclude the parallel or COM ports on the rear IO, and instead provides digital video outputs. Specifically, the H81M-Plus provides the following rear IO.

  • 2 x PS/2
  • Video:
    • 1 x HDMI
    • 1 x DVI-D
    • 1 x VGA
  • 2 x USB 3.0
  • 4 x USB 2.0
  • 1 x RJ45 LAN
  • 3 x Analog audio ports

The other micro ATX boards are variations of this design with slightly different IO and PCI-E .1 configurations. The ASUS H81M-A has the same rear IO as the H81M-Plus but has only two PCI-E x1 slots. The H81M-E is nearly identical to the H81M-Plus above except that there is no HDMI video output on the back panel. Finally, the H81M-C features two PCI-E 2.0 x 16 slots, two PCI-E x1 slots, and switches out the HDMI port for a LPT parallel port stacked on top of the DVI and VGA ports on the rear IO panel.

ASUS H81I-Plus.jpg

In addition to the ATX and Micro ATX motherboards, ASUS is launching the H81I-Plus, which is a Mini ITX motherboard for Intel Haswell processors and using the budget H81 chipset. The board has a single PCI-E 2.0 x16 connector and four SATA ports (two SATA 6Gbps). Rear IO on the Mini ITX H81I-Plus includes:

  • 1 x PS/2
  • 4 x USB 2.0
  • 2 x USB 3.0
  • Video
    • 1 x HDMI
    • 1 x VGA
    • 1 x DVI
  • 1 x RJ45 LAN
  • 3 x Analog audio jacks

ASUS has not released official pricing or availability information, but expect the boards to be available soon for under $100.

Read more about H81 motherboards at PC Perspective.

Source: ASUS

ASUS Shows Off FM2+ Motherboards Compatible With AMD Kaveri APUs

Subject: Motherboards | July 28, 2013 - 04:40 PM |
Tagged: hUMA, Kaveri, hsa, fm2, asus, APU, A88X, A55, PCI-E 3.0, mATX

ASUS recently announced two new socket FM2+ motherboards that are compatible with AMD’s upcoming “Kaveri” Accelerated Processing Units (APUs). The new boards are the A88XMA and A55BM-A/USB3 and use the A88X and A55 AMD chipsets respectively. Pricing and availability have not yet been released, but the new boards confirm that users will need new motherboards in order to take advantage of AMD’s next generation APUs (though the new FM2+ boards are backwards compatible with the existing APUs, it will not work the other way around). Both motherboards should be available around the time of the Kaveri processor launch (2H 2013).

ASUS A88XMA Kaveri Motherboard (2).jpg

The AMD A88XMA FM2+ Motherboard.

Both the ASUS A88XMA and A55BM-A/USB3 motherboards come in the mATX form factor. The boards both have FM2+ processor sockets and expansion slots including a single PCI-E 3.0 x16 slot, one PCI-E 2.0 x1 slot, and one legacy PCI slot. The support for PCI-E 3.0 is new for AMD motherboards, and the extra bandwidth may prove useful for as graphics cards get faster and AMD works on its hUMA and HSA architectures to create a layer of virtual memory that can be simultaneously addressed by CPUs and GPUs. There will still be latency to deal with over the PCI-E bus, but more data can be moved back and forth in the same amount of time.

ASUS A88XMA Kaveri Motherboard Rear IO.jpg

The two ASUS FM2+ motherboards also share the same rear IO options, which include:

  • 2 x PS/2
  • 3 x Video outputs:
    • 1 x HDMI
    • 1 x DVI
    • 1 x VGA
  • 2 x USB 3.0
  • 2 x USB 2.0
  • 1 x Gigabit Ethernet
  • 3 x Analog audio jacks

The RJ45 jacks are backed by a Realtek 8111G Gigabit Ethernet controller and the audio jacks are handled by a Realtek ALC887-VD chipset. Finally, they also have UEFI BIOSes in common, but from there the two boards diverge in hardware capabilities.

The ASUS A88XMA is the higher-end of the two boards, and features a FM2+ socket, four DDR3 DIMM slots, and six SATA 3 6Gbps ports. It utilizes the AMD A88X chipset which is aimed at enthusiast platforms.

ASUS A55BM-AUSB3 Kaveri Motherboard.jpg

ASUS' A55BM-A/USB3 budget motherboard.

On the other hand, the A55BM-A/USB3 motherboard uses the cheaper A55 chipset. That motherboard features an FM2+ socket, two DDR3 DIMM slots, and six right angle SATA 2 3Gpbs ports. The A55Bm-A/USB3 should be significantly cheaper as a result of the A55 chipset and resulting hardware reductions. In most other respects, ASUS has managed to make the two baords remarkably similar, including aesthetics and basic board layout.

According to Bit-Tech, the two boards are are part of a larger family of boards with the new FM2+ sockets. As such, we should see additional ASUS boards that fill in the gaps between the two models closer to AMD's Kaveri launch. As noted above, ASUS has not provided official pricing or release date information yet.

Source: Bit-Tech

Cooler Master Launches New N400 and N600 N-Series Cases

Subject: Cases and Cooling | July 9, 2013 - 02:33 PM |
Tagged: n600, n400, mATX, cooler master, atx

Cooler Master recently launched two new N-series ATX computer cases in the US. The new N400 and N600 will join the existing N200 mini tower.

The two new polymer computer cases feature a full mesh front panel, support for 240mm water cooling radiators on the right side panel, seven PCI expansion slots, and room for several storage drives and fans. Front IO on the N400 and N600 cases include two USB 3, two USB 2, and two audio ports.

The N400 is the smaller of the two at 7.5” x 16.7” x 19.7.” It supports graphics cards up to 320mm as well as motherboards of mATX or ATX form factors. Further, the N400 can support two 5.25” optical drives, eight 3.5” hard drives, and three 2.5” solid state drives (SSD).

Cooler Master N400.jpg

The case has space for up to eight fans, and Cooler Master has pre-installed two 120mm XtraFlow fans. Dust filters cover the front and side intake vents.

Cooler Master N400 Internal.jpg

The internals of the N400 are a bit more basic than those of the N600. There are no cable routing grommets or water cooling grommets that pass through the rear panel. As a result, this case should be cheaper than the N600.

The Cooler Master N400 is available now for $60

In addition to the N400 and N200, Cooler Master will be releasing the N600. The N600 builds upon the n400 design by adding more drive space and a few extra features to aid in cooling and cable management. The N600 measures 8.1” x 17.9” x 18.9.”

Cooler Master N600.jpg

It supports both Micro ATX and ATX motherboards as well as graphics cards up to 430mm long. As far as cooling goes, users can install up to 10 fans, and Cooler Master bundles in two 120mm XtraFlow fans. A 240mm water cooling radiator can be installed in the right side panel as well as the top panel. Also, water cooling grommets are installed on the back case panel to allow for external water cooling radiators.

The case can support up to three 5.25” drives (tool-less), seven 3.5” drives, and five 2.5” SSDs (four in an SSD drive cage and one behind the motherboard tray). It also supports a bottom mounted PSU and has various rubber grommets around the motherboard tray for cable management.

Cooler Master N600 Internal.jpg

The N200, N400, and N600 were available in Europe in June, and now all three are coming to the US. You can grab the N200 and N400 right now for $50 and $60 respectively, but specific pricing and availability on the N600 is not yet available. It should be coming soon for around $90 (estimated), however. 

In all, the N400 and N600 seem like decent additions to the company’s N-series lineup. More information can be found on the Cooler Master website.

Podcast #249 - Corsair 350D, Frame Rating in 4K, the Oculus Rift and more!

Subject: General Tech | May 2, 2013 - 11:59 AM |
Tagged: podcast, video, Indiegogo, corair, obsidian, 350d, mATX, frame rating, 4k, titan, 7990, 690, Oculus, rift, VR, 3d, amd, amd fx, vishera, hUMA, hsa

PC Perspective Podcast #249 - 05/02/2013

Join us this week as we discuss the Corsair 350D, Frame Rating in 4K, the Oculus Rift and more!

You can subscribe to us through iTunes and you can still access it directly through the RSS page HERE.

The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!

  • iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the iTunes Store
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  • MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file

Hosts: Josh Walrath, Allyn Malventano, Scott Michaud and Morry Teitelman

Program length: 1:04:02

  1. Week in Review:
  2. News items of interest:
    1. Ryan: Windows Movie Maker lets you record webcam videos!
    2. Jeremy: anti-pick - hotels that don't offer a RJ45 jack in the rooms!
    3. Allyn: Ventev USB charging stuff (home / auto)
  3. 1-888-38-PCPER or podcast@pcper.com
  4. Closing/outro

 

Author:
Manufacturer: Corsair

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. 

IMG_973601.jpg

The front panel has an attractive brushed finish to it with removable front panel (and fan filter).

IMG_974203.jpg

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.

Continue reading our review of the Corsair Obsidian 350D chassis!!

CES 2013: MSI Launches A85XMA-P33 Micro ATX Motherboard With FM2 Socket

Subject: Motherboards | January 9, 2013 - 04:39 AM |
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.

MSI A85XMA-P33.jpg

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.

Coverage of CES 2013 is brought to you by AMD!

PC Perspective's CES 2013 coverage is sponsored by AMD.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

Source: Softpedia

Gigabyte Launches F2A75M-HD2 Micro ATX Motherboard

Subject: General Tech | October 23, 2012 - 03:50 AM |
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.

Gigabyte F2A75M-HD2 (2).jpg

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.

Gigabyte F2A75M-HD2 (3).jpg

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.

Gigabyte F2A75M-HD2.jpg

Read more about Gigabyte's FM2 motherboard lineup at PC Perspective.

Source: Gigabyte