A SFF case from Lian-Li you can pick up in stores now

Subject: Cases and Cooling | January 11, 2012 - 04:39 PM |
Tagged: SFF, PC-TU200, Lian-Li

One frustrating thing about seeing all of the great new products at CES is that you can't always get your hands on them as many products are unreleased as the companies are showing off prototypes.  Take a break from the unobtainable with Think Computers who just wrapped up a review of the Lian-Li PC-TU200.  It is a squarish mini-tower, measuring 220mm x 320mm x 360mm (8.7" x 12.6" x 14.1") and will house Mini-ITX and Mini-DTX style motherboards.  Thanks to some decent spacing, you can fit many varieties of discrete GPUs and there is room for four 3.5" drives and a pair of 2.5" drives for those who want to include an SSD.  The exterior features a carrying handle, two USB 3.0 ports and eSATA connections, making it great for LAN parties and other purposes.  Check out the full review here.

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"I have to say I am a huge fan of small form factor (SFF) cases. Not only because they are small but I am amazed at all of the features they can pack into such a small case. Today’s case is no exception. It fits Mini-ITX and Mini-DTX motherboards, has internal USB 3.0 and eSATA compatibility, a large 140mm intake fan, room for both 3.5-inch and 2.5-inch hard drives, a really cool side panel release system and even a handle on top for easy transportation. The case I’m talking about is the PC-TU200 from Lian Li. Read on as we have the review."

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CASES & COOLING

 

Fractal Design thinks small with their Define Mini MicroATX Tower

Subject: Cases and Cooling | December 15, 2011 - 01:00 PM |
Tagged: fractal design, Define Mini, MicroATX, SFF

SPCR has reviewed a case for those designing mATX cases, a shrunken version of the Fractal Design Define R3, the Define Mini.  The case is 210mm x 395mm x 490mm (8.3" x 15.5" x19.3") and places the PSU at the bottom which in this case made add stability to the design.  Careful attention was paid to the acoustical qualities of the case, with the stock fans cooling the system it produced 16dBa which should easily be drowned out by background noise.  Even in such a small case there is still room for six easy-to-access hard drives, six large fans, large CPU heatsinks, long graphics cards and the cable management holes will help make your build tidy.  No wonder this case received a recommendation from Silent PC Review.

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"The Fractal Design Define Mini is a smaller version of the popular Define R3. It might just be the answer to those looking for a solid microATX tower with all the trappings and conveniences of a modern ATX case."

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CASES & COOLING

 

DeepCool's new heatsink has a shallow footprint

Subject: Cases and Cooling | November 14, 2011 - 06:25 PM |
Tagged: SFF, quiet, IceEdge 400XT, Deepcool

At only 127x100x85mm and 585 grams the new Deepcool IceEdge 400XT heatsink seems rather small, as does it's 92mm fan.  It is not quite half the size of top end coolers but is certainly less than 2/3rds the size.  FrostyTech tested to see how the reduced weight and surface area impacted the effectiveness of this cooler in their latest review. The results placed it in the middle of the pack for both cooling performance and noise levels, with many other low noise heatsinks providing better cooling; however they also tend to be much larger.  If you are cooling a i5 or Llano based system with limited space then Deepcool's new heatsink is worth looking into.

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"Deepcool's IceEdge 400XT heatsink is a mid-size tower cooler that stands a modest 127mm high and weighs 585 grams. At its heart are four, 6mm diameter copper heatpipes and a 92x100mm stack of dark nickel plated aluminum fins. As with DeepCool's other heatsinks, the IceEdge 400XT ships with a novel rubber clad 92mm PWM fan. Every bit of the fan frame that makes contact with the heatsink is covered in a rubbery material so motor vibrations are greatly diminished. The 92mm DeepCool brand fan spins at 2200-900RPM and moves ~40CFM air according to the maker."

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Source: Frosty Tech

Good things come in small ZBOXes; a tiny present from Zotac

Subject: Systems | October 21, 2011 - 12:25 PM |
Tagged: zotac, ZBox Nano AD10, SFF, llano

The mini PC has been growing in popularity as its capabilities grow from barely being able to play back standard definition streamed flash to smoothly displaying HD content from a Blu-Ray drive.  One of the long standing members of this market, Zotac, fired off a ZBOX Nano AD10 Mini PC to Think Computers so that they could test it out.  At only 5"x5"x1.77" it is tiny and inside hides an AMD E350, AMD Radeon HD 6310 graphics, 7.1 channel audio, and a 320GB HDD, external USB 3.0 and eSATA plus both 802.11n WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity.  At $300 fully loaded Think Computers highly recommends this box for those needing a tiny PC.

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“We have seen quite a few different Mini PC’s lately. They make great Internet surfing and media machines for home theater setups. Not that long ago we took a look at Zotac’s ZBOX HD-AD02 mini PC, which proved to be a great and very function mini PC, but was a little on the large side. Today we have the ZBOX Nano AD10, which has to be one of the best-looking and smallest mini pc’s we have looked at. I know you are going to say it so we will say it now, it looks like a Mac Mini only smaller! Inside this small design you have an AMD E350 CPU, AMD Radeon HD 6310 graphics, 2GB of DDR 3 and a 320GB hard drive. Let’s check out the ZBOX Nano and see if performs as well as it looks!"

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Systems

 

Zotac really does offer you a hand held PC with their ZBox Nano AD10

Subject: Systems | September 8, 2011 - 02:15 PM |
Tagged: ZBox Nano AD10, zotac, SFF

Zotac really takes small form factor PCs seriously.  The new ZBox Nano AD10 that you can see below costs $320 fully loaded and hides an AMD E-350 with Radeon HD 6310 on a Hudson M1 motherboard with 2GB DDR3-1066 and a 5,400 RPM 320GB HDD.  As Josh mentioned on the podcast it also has a proper antenna to make sure you get a solid WiFi signal, thought there is a gigabit ethernet port if you need it.  It might not produce incredible benchmarks but its video playback is perfect.  The Tech Report loves this Nano, it is an OS away from being a complete machine and is available for a very reasonable price.

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"Zotac's Zbox Nano AD10 puts AMD's Brazos platform quite literally in the palm of your hand. Join us for a closer look at the new standard in enthusiast-friendly ultra-mini PC."

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Systems

 

Thermaltake's new case proves that good things can come in small packages

Subject: Cases and Cooling | August 26, 2011 - 01:09 PM |
Tagged: SFF, mITX

The Thermaltake Element Q Mini-ITX case measures just 13" x 8.7" x 5.1" but still manages to have space for a DVD/BluRay drive along with the rest of the required parts of your PC, though you are going to have a hard time using anything but onboard graphics.  The price is also small, $65 for a miniITX case is a great deal, especially when it looks as good as teh Element Q.  For any sort of SFF or HTPC project this case is a great way to start; as The Tech Report proves in their recent review.

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"For just $65, Thermaltake's Element Q Mini-ITX chassis offers a 200W PSU, support for 5.25" optical drives, and subtle styling reminiscent of the Golf GTI. We take a closer look to see if this really is the PC equivalent of a hot hatchback."

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CASES & COOLING

When small is better, Wesena's ITX2 Mini-ITX HTPC Chassis

Subject: Systems | August 16, 2011 - 07:02 PM |
Tagged: Wesena, ITX2 Mini-ITX, SFF, htpc

The Wesena ITX2 Mini-ITX chassis is only 197x197×75mm (7.8"x7.8"x3") and is bundled with a small Media Center remote but no power supply, unfortunately.  Missing Remote loved the brushed aluminium look and were very impressed with the compact interior, there is no wasted space at all.  That does make things a little toasty inside during the burn in test using a Core i3-540, so be warned that a lower power chip is a good idea and makes sense for a machine that will strictly be used as an HTPC.  Take a look at the full review.

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"The quest for the perfect and smallest home theater PC (HTPC) is one that has gained momentum over the last few years. We have seen the proliferation of these small form factor (SFF) Mini-ITX cases first hand in our reviews of the Habey EMC-600B and another offering from Wesena, the ITX7 chassis. The Wesena ITX2 is essentially the little brother of the ITX7, sharing many similarities to it but in an even smaller enclosure. As with any device there are compromises made when making something small even smaller, but do the benefits along with the lower cost make the ITX2 the best option."

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HTPC

Zotac has zee box for SFF fans

Subject: Systems | August 11, 2011 - 11:47 AM |
Tagged: htpc, zotac, zbox, SFF

For those looking for a new nettop, the ZBOX HD-AD02 Plus is a new choice on the market. At a mere 7.4" x 7.4" x 1.7", it is easily hidden in any surroundings and with a list of connections including analog and optical audio out, HDMI, DVI, two USB 2.0 ports, ethernet, and most importantly two USB 3.0 and a single eSATA port.  With a 250GB HDD installed, that means you can have access to high speed external storage.  The system uses an AMD E-350 which means that not only will you be able to play HD video without worry you will be able to get some light gaming in as well.  Head on over to ThinkComputers to see the new ZBOX in action.

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"All-in-One PC’s have been getting quite popular over the past few years. When Intel released the Atom processor we really saw All-in-One PC’s become affordable. One of the most popular All-in-One series of PC’s is Zotac’s ZBOX. These really appealed to the SFF (Small Form Factor) and HTPC (Home Theater PC) crowd. Now Zotac is bringing AMD’s Fusion E-350 APU in to the ZBOX’s series. Today we will be taking a look at the ZBOX HD-AD02 Plus that packs the E-350 1.6GHz APU as well as integrated Radeon HD 6310 graphics, 2GB of DDR3, 250GB hard drive and WiFi. Let's take a look and see if it is the perfect SFF system for you!"

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Systems

Pick up the Habey EMC-600B HTPC case for under $100

Subject: Systems | June 24, 2011 - 02:08 PM |
Tagged: SFF, mITX, htpc, case

One challenge when building an HTPC is finding an enclosure that won't end up being half of the cost of building the machine.  You could use a cheap SFF case but it will look a little gauche when sitting beside your other home theatre equipment.  Habey now offers a choice with a $70 case and 120W PSU combo that would blend seamlessly into a living room with the new EMC-600B.  There were compromises made in the design to keep the costs low, the most important of which is the lack of anywhere to put an optical drive which is exacerbated by the lack of any extra USB ports on the case.  If that doesn't completely deter you then check out Missing Remote's full review.

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"The Wesena ITX7, HDPlex H10.ODD and Vidabox vCase3 are all great cases with a direct focus on HTPC aesthetics and each has their pros and cons. The one con almost always present when discussing HTPC chassis is PRICE--SFF chassis with home theater A/V focused designs are frequently over the $100 price range, not including the power supply. What Habey is offering in their EMC-600B enclosure is a stylish aluminum SFF chassis for mini-ITX only that occupies a tiny footprint with a nice appearance to fit just as appropriately in your A/V stack as in your bedroom--and it includes a power supply, all for under $70."

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Systems

Habley Shows Off Small Atom PC Capable Of Playing Two 1080p HD Streams

Subject: Processors, Systems | June 12, 2011 - 08:57 PM |
Tagged: SFF, Intel, htpc, hd, DIY, atom

Habley has recently shown off a new small, embedded computer dubbed the SOM-6670E6XX. The new computer is the size of a post-it note; however, it sports an Atom E600 processor running at 1.0Gh as well as an integrated GMA600 graphics core. To be more specific, the motherboard in question measures 70mm x 70mm.

The CPU and GPU blend is able to support two displays and pipe two HD video streams to each. Using Media Player Class Home Cinema 1.5, the computer is able to play both a 1080p MPEG4 trailer of the X-Men First Class film and a HD FLV version of SpiderWic simultaneously. While playing both films, the CPU saw around 93% usage and 210 MB of RAM from the Windows Embedded 2009 operating system. Further, while playing an HD FLV film trailer while also watching an HD YouTube clip, the processor was again pegged at 93% usage; however, in this test the RAM usage was much higher, at 422 MB. The test system used, in addition to the SOM-6670, it consisted of a SOMB-073 Carrier board (which provides the various IO including video and audio output, mouse and keyboard input, and SATA ports), 1GB of on-board RAM, and a 5400RPM laptop form factor (2.5”) 120GB hard drive.

Including the two monitors, at 1280x768 (over HDMI) and 1920x1080 (SDVO) respectively, the system drew 18 watts during usage. You can see the test system of the small HD-capable computer in action in the video below. What uses do you have in mind for a micro-sized computer such as this?

Source: MaximumPC