Introduction and Technical Specifications

Introduction

***Editor's Note*** - Before getting into the nuts and bolts of the Core X9, please understand that this initial review is meant as a detailed introduction into the capabilities and build strengths of the Core X9 E-ATX Cube Chassis. A deeper look into the advanced capabilities of this monstrous case will be explored in a soon to be released follow-up article. Stay tuned to PC Perspective for the follow-up.

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Courtesy of Thermaltake

The Thermaltake Core X9 E-ATX Cube Chassis is one of the largest and most configurable they've developed. The case is roughly cube shaped with a steel and plastic construction. The height and depth of the unit allows the Core X9 to support up to quad-fan radiators mounted to its top or sides and up to a tri-fan radiator in front. At an MSRP of $169.99, the Core X9 E-ATX Cube Chassis features a competitive price in light of its size and configurability.

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Courtesy of Thermaltake

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Courtesy of Thermaltake

The Core X9 case was designed to be fully modular, supporting a variety of build configurations to be able to adapt to the whatever build style the end user can dream up. The case comes with a variety of mounts for mounting fans or liquid cooling radiators to the top, side, or bottom of the case. Additionally, Thermaltake integrated three 5.25" device bays as well as two hard drive bays supporting up to three drives each. The chassis motherboard is removable as well for easy install of the motherboard into the system. The chassis itself can be easily segregated into upper and lower sections for controlling system and component heat flow if desired.

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Courtesy of Thermaltake

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Courtesy of Thermaltake

Until you can acurately visually just how many radiators and fans that this case supports, you really don't have a feel for the immense size of the Core X9. From front to back, the case support 4 x 120mm fans or a 480mm radiator along either of its lower sides or in the dual top mounts. On top, you can actually mount a total of eight 120mm fans or dual 480mm radiators if you so choose. And that doesn't take into account the additional two 140mm fans that can be mounted in the upper and lower sections of the case's rear panel, nor the three 120mm fans, dual 200mm fans, or 360mm radiator that can be mounted to the case's front panel.

Continue reading our review of the Thermaltake Core X9 Cube chassis!

EKWB Issues Recall for v1.0 Predator 240 / 360 Liquid CPU Coolers

Subject: Cases and Cooling | January 13, 2016 - 12:11 PM |
Tagged: water cooling, recall, Predator 360, predator 240, liquid CPU cooler, EKWB, ek, AIO

EKWB has issued a recall for all first-generation Predator 240 and 360 liquid CPU coolers due to risk of leakage. A new version (v1.1) of both self-contained coolers has been introduced to address the issue, and EK will provide one of the new units for those seeking a replacement.

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Visual differences between Revision 1.0 (left) and Revision 1.1 (right) (via EKWB)

EKWB is also taking responsibility for any component damage that may have resulted from any leaks, offering refunds for defective units (if a replacement is not desired) and affected components.

From EKWB:

"All Revision 1.0 units produced from October 2015 until end of December 2015 are potentially affected by the risk of leakage and in order to prevent any computer component damage, the units need to be replaced. The leakage may occur between copper cold plate and bracket on the water block after it is heated up and pressure rises. Current statistics show that 1 out of 10 units leaks.

We are warning all customers of EK XLC-Predator units to discontinue use of cooling device and contact EKWB for replacement unit or refund. EKWB is taking full responsibility for this issue and will be:

  • Replacing or refunding all returned units to the customers
  • Refunding the customer any computer component damage created by a leakage

EKWB has redesigned and released a new version of EK-XLC Predator (Revision 1.1) on the 4th of January 2016 that prevents any leakage under normal working modes. All customers with Revision 1.0 units will be offered a replacement R1.1 unit or a full refund. Revision 1.0 backplate is not compatible with Revision 1.1 backplate!"

The full notice from the EKWB page is reproduced after the break.

Source: EKWB

ASUS Announces ROG Maximus VIII Formula Motherboard with EK Hybrid Liquid Cooling

Subject: Motherboards | December 30, 2015 - 04:06 PM |
Tagged: Z170, water cooling, water block, Maximus VIII Formula, EKWB, ek, crosschill, ATX motherboard, ASUS ROG, asus

ASUS ROG has announced the Maximus VIII Formula, a premium ATX motherboard with integrated EK hybrid liquid cooling which allows users to choose liquid or air cooling for the board's hottest components.

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"The latest ROG Z170 motherboard now comes with the exclusive CrossChill EK hybrid cooling block! ROG teamed up with the guys at EK to create a high-conductivity channel, so you will be ready for liquid-cooling goodness right out-of-the-box. Don’t worry if you don’t intend to upgrade to liquid-cooling straight away, because this also runs on air cooling. Why spend more money on a third-party waterblock when it’s already built-in and looks this good?"

In addition to the integrated water cooling support the Maximus VIII Formula includes the usual bells and whistles we've come to expect from these ROG motherboards, including advanced overclocking support and premium audio, and the Formula also offers RGB headers and lighting controls and "ROG Armor". There is also advanced storage support from both M.2 and U.2 connectors, and provides advanced wireless via built-in 2x2 802.11ac with an external antenna included.

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Specifications from ASUS:

  • Processor: LGA1151 socket for 6th-generation Intel Core i7 / i5 / i3 / Pentium / Celeron processors
  • Chipset: Intel Z170 Express
  • Memory: 4x DIMMs, up to a maximum of 64GB, DDR4 3733 (OC), Intel Extreme Memory Profile (XMP)
  • Expansion slots: 
    • 2x PCIe 3.0 x16 slots (single at x16, dual at x8/x8 mode)
    • 1x PCIe 3.0 x16 slot (maximum at x4 mode)
    • 3x PCIe 2.0 x1 slots
  • Graphics (Integrated Intel HD Graphics processor):
    • DisplayPort 1.2 with maximum resolution of 4096 x 2034 at 60Hz
    • HDMI with maximum resolution of 4096 x 2160 at 24Hz
    • Intel InTru 3D / Quick Sync Video / Clear Video HD Technology / Insider
  • Multi-GPU: Two-way/quad-GPU NVIDIA® SLI and AMD three-way/quad-GPU CrossFireX technology
  • Storage:
    • 1x U.2 (supports PCIe 3.0 x4 NVM Express storage)
    • 1x M.2 Socket 3 with M Key, supports 2242/2260/2280/22110 devices
    • 2x SATA Express
    • 8x SATA 6.0 Gbps (4 shared with SATA Express)
  • Networking/LAN: 
    • Intel I219-V Gigabit LAN and ASUS LANGuard
    • Integrated 2×2 dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi with external antenna included
  • USB: 
    • 2x USB 3.1 (1x Type-A; 1x Type-C)
    • 10x USB 3.0 ports (6 on back panel, 4 mid-board)
    • 4x USB 2.0 ports (mid-board)
  • Audio: ROG SupremeFX 2015 8-channel high-definition audio
    • ESS ES9023P high-definition DAC
    • 2V RMS Headphone Amp into (32-600 ohms)
    • SupremeFX shielding technology
    • Sonic SenseAmp
    • Jack-detection, multi-streaming, front-panel mic jack-retasking
    • Optical S/PDIF-out port on back panel
  • Dimensions / form factor: ATX, 12.0 x 9.6in (30.5 x 24.4cm)

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Pricing and availabilty were not announced. Full press release after the break.

Source: ASUS ROG

Thermaltake Water 3.0 Riing RGB 240 and 360 Announced

Subject: Cases and Cooling | December 8, 2015 - 07:01 AM |
Tagged: water cooling, water cooler, thermaltake, cpu cooler

Thermaltake has announced the Water 3.0 Riing RGB, which is a water cooler with multi-color LEDs. Two SKUs will be available, which differ in radiator size. As the title of this post suggests, your choice will be between double-wide (240mm) and triple-wide (360mm) radiators. The lights surround the fan in a ring, and can be modified by a remote into a few different settings. Thermaltake notes that these settings persist after a reboot. I would think that's expected, but the wording sounds like a subtle reference to something. Over my head regardless.

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I should note that there appears to be a typo in Thermaltake's specification sheet. On the Water 3.0 Riing RGB 360, it claims that its dimensions are 326x120x27mm. 326mm is the same length as its rubber tubing and, to say the least, it seems very unlikely that they intend to fit three, 120mm fans (360mm total) into a length that's 326mm long (plus fit the hosing off one side). The 240 model is listed as being 270mm long, which leaves 30mm for spacing and tubing, and that seems about right. I assume that they accidentally wrote the tube length as the radiator length. I have attempted to contact Thermaltake PR for clarification. I'll update the post if I get through and receive a response. This should be fine for most users looking to install a triple-wide radiator, but you should hold off if a few centimeters make or break your build.

No pricing or availability has been released yet.

Source: Thermaltake

They may be relatively new but Raijintek knows what they were doing with the Triton 280

Subject: Cases and Cooling | November 16, 2015 - 05:53 PM |
Tagged: AIO, water cooling, raijintek, Triton 280

Before you dismiss the strange looking waterblock on the Raijintek Triton 280 you should know the kit ships with a red, green, and blue bottle of dye which is why you can see into the pump.  Not only that but this waterblock will fit onto any AMD or Intel processor released in the last decade so even an older system can be refreshed by this $80 cooler.  With the price, compatibility and style covered all that is left to do is measure the sound and see how effective the cooler is in action.  To do so all you have to do is vist [H]ard|OCP; prepare yourself to be impressed.

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"Raijintek is a relatively new company and has only been producing products for a couple of years. Raijintek states it focuses on "extreme engineering, remarkable performance, amazing design," and several other things. Does this new Triton 280 AIO cooler hit any of those targets when it comes to cooling your CPU?"

Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:

CASES & COOLING

Source: [H]ard|OCP

Lian Li Announces CB-01: The Company's First CPU Water Block

Subject: Cases and Cooling | November 5, 2015 - 09:28 AM |
Tagged: water cooling, water block, liquid CPU cooler, liquid cooling, Lian Li, CPU Water Block, CB-01

Computer component manufacturers often diversify their offerings to stay competitive, but it's still surprising to see Lian Li enter the CPU cooling market - and with a water block, no less!

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The CB-01 is the company's first water block, and it features support for all current sockets from Intel and AMD. Lian Li is emphasizing style and build quality with the new block, which adds support for LED lighting as well.

“The cold plate has a heart of solid copper in a nickel coating and a final layer of tin-cobalt for extra cooling, durability, and corrosion resistance. The top is a translucent acrylic block that visibly guides the cooling waters through the microchannels. The simple yet sturdy mounting fits virtually all modern and past motherboard sockets securely. For a bit of flare, there are holes pre-drilled for 5mm LED lights.”

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CB-01 Features (from Lian Li):

  • Lian Li style and craftsmanship in a CPU water block
  • Copper heat sink with nickel and tin-cobalt plating
  • G1/4” thread size
  • Cold plate area 60×60mm
  • Thinly cut microchannel with area of 32.2×27.3mm
  • Supports all Intel sockets: LGA 1366/2011/1155/1156/775
  • Supports AMD sockets: AM2+/AM3/AM3+/FM1/FM2
  • 5mm LED mounting

Availability is listed as “coming soon”, and no MSRP was announced.

Source: Lian Li

Gigabyte GTX 980 WATERFORCE Liquid-Cooled Graphics Card

Subject: Graphics Cards | October 21, 2015 - 07:18 AM |
Tagged: water cooling, nvidia, liquid cooled, GTX 980 WATERFORCE, GTX 980, GPU Water Block, gigabyte, AIO

Gigabyte has announced the GeForce GTX 980 WATERFORCE water-cooled graphics card, and this one is ready to go out of the box thanks to an integrated closed-loop liquid cooler.

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In addition to full liquid cooling, the card - model GV-N980WAOC-4GD - also features "GPU Gauntlet Sorting", meaning that each card has a binned GTX 980 core for better overclocking performance.

"The GTX 980 WATERFORCE is fitted with only the top-performing GPU core through the very own GPU Gauntlet Sorting technology that guarantees superior overclocking capabilities in terms of excellent power switching and thermal efficiency. Only the strongest processors survived can be qualified for the GTX 980 WATERFORCE, which can fulfill both gaming enthusiasts’ and overclockers’ expectations with greater overclocking headroom, and higher, stable boost clocks under heavy load."

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The cooling system for the GTX 980 WATERFORCE begins with a full-coverage block that cools the GPU, RAM, power delivery, without the need for any additional fan for board components. The tubes carrying liquid to the radiator are 45 cm SFP, which Gigabyte says "effectively prevent...leak(s) and fare a lower coolant evaporation rate", and the system is connected to a 120 mm radiator.

Gigabyte says both the fan and the pump offer low noise output, and claim that this cooling system allows the GTX 980 WATERFORCE to "perform up to 38.8% cooler than the reference cooling" for cool and quiet gaming.

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The WATERFORCE card also features two DVI outputs (reference is one dual-link output) in addition to the standard three DisplayPort 1.2 and single HDMI 2.0 outputs of a GTX 980.

Pricing and availability have not been announced.

Source: Gigabyte

ASUS ROG GX700 Water Cooled Gaming Laptop Specs Revealed

Subject: Systems, Mobile | October 9, 2015 - 06:00 PM |
Tagged: water cooling, NVIDIA GTX 980, liquid cooled, i7-6820HK, gx700, gaming laptop, g-sync, ASUS ROG, asus

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We already saw an announcement from ASUS (at IFA 2015) for their water-cooled Republic of Gamers GX700 gaming laptop, and now we have more details about this unique product, though some are still pending. The specifications (including the full version of the NVIDIA GTX 980) would make a great gaming desktop system, and that's kind of the idea as the performance increases substantially when the laptop is docked in its liquid-cooling base.

There are certainly questions about this concept that won't be answered until hardware in hand, but it's going to be interesting to see just how well a liquid cooling system will work in a dockable format like this.

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Here are the specifications we know so far:

  • CPU: Intel Core i7 6820HK
  • GPU: GeForce GTX 980, 8GB GDDR5
  • Display: 17.3-inch IPS FHD (1920x1080) G-SYNC / Optional 4K/UHD G-SYNC
  • RAM: Up to 64GB DDR4
  • Storage: Up to 1TB PCIe x4 SSD (2 x 512GB)
  • Optical: Blu-ray 6x RW
  • Card reader: SDXC
  • Networking: Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.0
  • Keyboard: Anti-ghosting keyboard with 30-key rollover; 2.5mm travel; Illuminated
  • Ports:     
    • 3 x USB 3.0 
    • 1 x USB Type-C / Thunderbolt 3
    • 1 x USB Type-C / USB 3.1     
    • 1 x mini-DisplayPort
    • 1 x HDMI
  • Audio: 1x Headphone/mini-Optical S/PDIF, 1x Microphone input
  • Webcam: 1.2MP HD camera

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A look inside at the GX700 cooling system

Exact numbers on battery capacity, dimensions, and weight are not yet available, and pricing and availability have yet to be announced.

Source: ASUS
Manufacturer:

Introduction and Technical Specifications

Introduction

Water cooling has become very popular over the last few years with the rise in use of the all-in-one (AIO) coolers. Those type of coolers combine a single or dual-fan radiator with a combination CPU block / pump unit, pre-filled from the factory and maintenance free. They are a good cooling alternative to an air-based CPU cooler, but are limited in their expandability potential. That is where the DIY water cooling components come into place. DIY water cooling components allow you to build a customized cooling loop for cooling everything from the CPU to the chipset and GPUs (and more). However, DIY loops are much more maintenance intensive than the AIO coolers because of the need to flush and refill the loops periodically to maintain performance and component health.

With the increased popularity in liquid cooling type CPU coolers and the renewed interest and availability of enthusiast-friendly parts with the introduction of the Intel Z97, X99, and Z170 parts, it was past time to measure how well different CPU water blocks performed on an Intel X99 board paired up with an Intel LGA2011-v3 5960X processor. The five water blocks compared include the following:

  • Koolance CPU-360 water block
  • Koolance CPU-380I water block
  • Swiftech Apogee HD water block
  • Swiftech Apogee XL water block
  • XSPC Raystorm water block

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Technical Specifications (taken from the manufacturer websites)

Water Block Specifications
  Koolance Swiftech XSPC
  CPU-360 CPU-380I Apogee HD Apogee XL Raystorm
Block Top Material Nickel-plated Brass POM Acetal
Base Plate Material Nickel-plated Copper Copper
Water Inlet Jet Impingement Plate Straight Pass-Thru Jet Impingement Plate
Pass-Thru Channels Micro-channels Micro-pins Micro-channels
Coolant ports 2 4 2

Continue reading our CPU Water Block Comparison on the Haswell-E article!

Aqua Computer Starts Selling a Full Cover Water Block for AMD's R9 Nano Graphics Card

Subject: Cases and Cooling | September 16, 2015 - 06:29 PM |
Tagged: water cooling, kryographics, GPU Water Block, copper, aqua computer

AMD officially launched its R9 Nano graphics card last week, and aftermarket coolers are already starting to ship. German-based Aqua Computer is the first company to offer a custom cooler for AMD’s pint-sized powerhouse. The Kryographics R9 Nano is a full cover water block that takes the already tiny card to a single slot design.

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The Kryographics R9 Nano cooler is a machined copper block that covers the entire PCB and is paired to the VRMs using thermal pads and the GPU (and HBM) using thermal compound. The single slot cooler comes in two options including a see-through translucent ruby colored acrylic glass variant and a version with a brushed stainless steel top cover. In all cases, the block itself is all copper with microchannels over the GPU portion.

The cooler uses standard G1/4 threading on the ports and is compatible with CrossFire multi-GPU watercooled setups by removing the terminating screws and adding ports on the oppposite side of the card..

According to Aqua Computer, the Kryographics cooler was able to keep the R9 Nano GPU under 35 degrees C throughout their testing using Furmark. It will be interesting to see if the new cooler would allow the chips to maintain higher clockspeeds, especially with the power target maxed out in CCC. The need to fit a radiator, pump, and tubing in the case does while still needing to use a Nano (in lieu of a Fury X) makes this a niche within a niche product, but I’m sure some enthusiast will find a use for it!

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The Kryographics R9 Nano is available for purchase now (though there is currently a shipping delay of 10 days). The base version without the see-through window has an MSRP of 89.90 EUR while the Kryographics Acrylic Glass Edition has a slight premium at 99.90 EUR. (At the time of writing, that pricing works out to about $102 and $113 USD respectively.)