Sometime a boxy design is a bonus; Corsair's Carbide Series AIR 540

Subject: Cases and Cooling | July 9, 2013 - 04:21 PM |
Tagged: corsair, Carbide Series AIR 540

It may not look like it at first glance but Corsair's AIR 540 can fit an EATX motherboard inside, it can also fit a mATX board but that might look a little odd inside a case this large.  The extra depth that is obvious in the picture serves two purposes, firstly to create two chambers as the PSU is installed beside the add in card bays, not below or above and secondly to ensure even the tallest CPU cooler can be installed with plenty of spare room around it.  The intake filters are completely removable and it is quite easy to do so, a theme carried on throughout this chassis.  Take a look at the full review at [H]ard|OCP.

H_air540.jpg

"Corsair is adding a somewhat nonconformist computer case design to its product stack with the AIR 540. Its product features tout better cooling, easier adaptation of high end air and water cooling, all while being a quieter solution. The AIR 540 looks to be a simple cube shape, but inside it holds an uncommon dual chamber design."

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Source: [H]ard|OCP

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.

Anidees Launches AI-4B Micro ATX PC Case

Subject: Cases and Cooling | July 7, 2013 - 02:28 AM |
Tagged: mini-itx, mini ITX, micro ATX, anidees, aluminum case

Anidees (roughly translates to "ideas" in English) recently launched a new PC case for micro ATX or mini ITX motherboards called the AI-4B. It is a steel and aluminum chassis measuring 429 x 186 x 420mm (HxWxD) and weighing 6.06 kg. Its design is somewhat similar to the company's previous AI-6 mid-tower case and includes curved edges and a black textured exterior. The front of the case is covered by a door that can be made to hinge from the left or right side, depending on user preference. Behind the door is a large mesh vent with removable dust filter that holds two 120mm Nano Tech fans (which come bundled with the case).

Anidees AI-4B Micro ATX Tower.jpg

The front IO is located on the top of the case and includes two USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, and two analog audio jacks (mic and headphone).

Anidees AI-4B Micro ATX Tower Front IO Angled.jpg

The interior of the case is also all black. Features include five PCI slots, support for a top-mounted ATX PSU, and space for two 5.25" drives and four 3.5" drives.  Other features include cable clips to aid in cable management, anti-vibration rubber mounting options for the fans and hard drives to reduce noise, and optional sound dampening material.

The Anidees AI-4B supports graphics cards up to 318mm in length and CPU coolers up to 168mm tall. Cooling options include two 120mm fans in the front and a single 120mm fan in the rear of the case. Anidees packs in three 120mm Nano Tech fans, which come pre-installed. The fans are connected to a fan controller (located under the front IO panel) that will run the fans at one of three selectable speeds.

Anidees AI-4B Micro ATX Tower Internals.jpg

The new Micro ATX chassis is available now in Europe for 79.90 Euros or 79.99 pounds (UK). The SKU with sound dampening material is 10 Euros or 10 pounds more at 89.90 Euros or 89.99 pounds. These prices translate to approximately $103 for the base model or $115 for the model with sound dampening material. The AI-4B is available now from Caseking or Amazon in Europe. Direct US availability and pricing has not yet been announced, but if it really strikes your fancy it should be possible to import it for a slight premium and shipping costs via Amazon or other retailers.

Source: eTeknix

BitFenix Ronin Chassis Coming In July

Subject: Cases and Cooling | June 27, 2013 - 01:23 PM |
Tagged: ronin, mid-tower, bitfenix

PC Chassis manufacturer BitFenix has launched its new Ronin mid-tower ATX case. It will be available in July and carries a clean matte black aesthetic with many of the useful features that enthusiasts expect to see in today’s cases.

The BitFenix Ronin measures 270 x 560 x 530mm (approximately 10.6 x 22 x 20.9-inches), and is constructed of steel and plastic. BitFenix uses its “SoftTouch” micro texture surface treatment to give the matte black exterior a unique look and feel. The exterior is all matte black with an acrylic side window. A mesh design is used along the top and front panels, and aids in ventilation. The case uses rounded corners. The front panel IO is actually on the top-front of the case and includes two USB 3.0, two USB 2.0, and two audio ports along with the requisite power button. Other than that, the case is rather simplistic in design, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

BitFenix Ronin Case.jpg

The case can accommodate ATX, Micro ATX, and Mini-ITX motherboards. Internal features include tool-less drive cages, filtered front and bottom intake fan filters, cable management and CPU backplate cut-outs, water cooling grommets, and a bottom mounted power supply. BitFenix is also offering a piece of material that will cover up the PSU and drive cages to hide the drives and cables from the side window view.

BitFenix Ronin Case Internals.jpg

The case can host up to three 5.25” drives and six 2.5” or 3.5” hard drives. There are 7 PCI slots and plenty of ventilation spots for fans. Specifically, cooling options include two bundled 120mm Spectre fans. Users can further expand the air cooling by adding the following fan(s).

  • Top: 2 x 140mm
  • Front: 2 x 120mm
  • Bottom: 1 x 120mm
  • Rear: 1 x 120mm

Further, when removing a drive bay, users can use up to 420mm long graphics cards.

The BitFenix Ronin will be available next month for an as-yet-announced price. For reference, it's model number is BFC-RON-300-KKWSK-RP. More information can be found here.

Source: BitFenix

7 way PSU showdown; 550-600W weight class

Subject: Cases and Cooling | June 24, 2013 - 03:40 PM |
Tagged: TR2, thermaltake, seasonic, PowerX, in win, GS600, G Series, Dark Power Pro 10, CX600M, Cougar, corsair, Commander III, be quiet!

There is a roundup over at Legit Reviews, with seven 550-600W PSUs of which only two models will cost you more than $100.  They are a mix of 80 PLUS Bronze and Gold, some are partially modular others non-modular and of course, they offer differing power quality and acoustic performance.  In this case the most expensive PSU also came out as the winner, but pay attention to the PSU in second place which costs half as much as the Dark Power Pro 10.

LR_43.JPG

"It is natural for an enthusiast to be dazzled by monsters such as the Corsair AX1200i and the Cooler Master Silent Pro M2 1500W; however, even the majority of the enthusiasts would not actually purchase such a beast. It is (or should be) common knowledge that even a very good gaming system does not demand more than 300W-350W and thus, as power supplies are being designed to optimally perform at about 50% capacity, 550W-600W units are plenty for the vast majority of gamers and common users. It is only with multiple video cards, large raid arrays and other “specialized” designs that power requirements may increase substantially. Knowing that and realizing the need to offer our readers insight on products which truly are of interest to them, today we bring you a roundup review of seven quality 550W-600W power supplies..."

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The Enermax Coenus; decent price, decent features

Subject: Cases and Cooling | June 24, 2013 - 10:49 AM |
Tagged: enermax, Coenus, atx

Enermax's new case, the Coenis, stands 478 x 234 x 488mm (18.8 x 9.2 x 19.2") which should give you plenty of space for large coolers and larger GPUs.  With 10 drive slots total you can also fit quite a bit of storage into the case as well.  This case puts the PSU at the bottom of the case, with a vent hole directly beneath it which should hopefully isolate a lot of the heat produced from the rest of the case, beneficial for those thinking of using watercooling.  For $70 you can have this case, which picked up a Silver from [H]ard|OCP.

H_enermaxcoenus.jpg

"Enermax marches on in its war against "plain old" ATX computer case. Today we have a chassis that is fit for a king, Alexander the Great to be specific. This case has bottom draft cooling leading its "advanced cooling system," along with a fine feature list. Alexander was undefeated in battle, will Enermax retain that legacy?"

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Source: [H]ard|OCP

Computex 2013: Noctua Heatsinks. Late, "Cool" Story

Subject: General Tech, Cases and Cooling, Shows and Expos | June 22, 2013 - 10:43 AM |
Tagged: noise cancellation, noctua, computex 2013, computex

Update (June 22-2013, 4:43pm EDT): I was contacted by Noctua about the TDP ratings... quoting from their email:

As for the question regarding the TDP rating of the original NH-D14, I'd like to stress that the cooler can *easily* handle any 130W CPU! Our D14 is renowned to be among the best performing heatsinks for overclocking on the market and and many users have pushed their CPUs well beyond 250W using this cooler.

Noctua apparently does not like including TDP values for their coolers because it varies heavily on the conditions (such as, of course, room and case temperature). It makes sense, of course, because then customers would go looking at reviews and see what overclocks were achieved with the system.

***

Yes, I know Computex is long over, but I missed something that I want to cover.

Noctua has been teasing active noise cancellation (ANC) for their CPU coolers for quite some time now; Tim published his brief thoughts, 13 months ago, on their press release leading up to Computex 2012. The prototype, this year, is a full unit rather than the fan from last year.

This design is a modified NH-D14 cooler with added technology from RotoSub AB to sample its own noise and destructively interfere. According to Noctua, this will be the first ANC cooling unit for a CPU. The plan, as their press release suggests, is to release a cooler with the model named "R-ANC" after its (R)otoSub (A)ctive (N)oise (C)ancellation (R-ANC) technology. To me, this seems like a confusing choice in name as it breaks away from their existing standard and limits choice in name for future models based on this technology. Personally, I would have preferred to see "NH-D14R" or "NH-D14ANC", but alas I am not a marketer.

Also, in the process of researching for this article, I have been unable to find a canonical TDP-rating for this device. I was not too surprised to have a difficult time finding it for this unreleased product, but TDP is even omitted from the established, albeit louder, default NH-D14. Some sources claim this cooler can support an Intel i7 Extreme processor, which typically requires a 130W thermal dissipation; other sources say you should be somewhat cautious with this cooler with CPUs >95W TDP; some even claim it is great for air-only overclocking. Rolling all of these sources together, assuming a kernel of truth in each, I would assume this cooler (and, by extension, its upcoming R-ANC variant) would be good for decent air-only overclocks until you reach the -E series.

But, grain of salt, have some.

No word of pricing, but Noctua believes they will have it available spring/summer of next year. For some reference, the default NH-D14 can be found for about $75-$100; expect the R-ANC to be slightly north of that.

Source: Hardcoreware

Giada D2308 Is a SFF Router-Sized Mini PC With Haswell CPU and a Discrete GPU

Subject: Cases and Cooling, Systems | June 19, 2013 - 09:42 PM |
Tagged: Intel, haswell, gtx 650, giada

Giada Technology has launched a new small form factor desktop PC with its upcoming D2308. The successor to the Giada D2305, the D2308 is a tiny PC that can be used for a variety of workloads. The mini PC, with up to a 70W system TDP, features an Intel "Haswell" processor and a discrete NVIDIA GPU (most likely mobile parts), which makes it a fairly powerful machine for the size!

The D2308 is enclosed in a black chassis with curved edges. Three Wi-Fi antennas stick up from the back of the PC. It looks rather like a home router or the mintBox PC, actually.

Giada D2308 SFF Mini PC.jpg

Internally, the Giada D2308 uses an Intel Core-i5 or Core i7 Fourth Generation Core CPU, a NVIDIA GTX 650 GPU with 1GB of video memory, up to 16GB DDR3 memory (in two SODIMM slots), a Realtek ALC662 5.1 HD audio codec, TPM module support, and two mini-PCI-E connectors for things like wireless cards or storage drives. The SFF PC can also accommodate a single 2.5" mechanical hard drive or SSD.

According to eTeknix, external IO includes two USB 2.0 ports, three USB 3.0 ports, a SD card reader, two HDMI video outputs, a Gigabit Ethernet port, and analog audio outputs. Pricing and availability have not yet been announced.

I have reached out to Giada for more information on the small form factor PC, but did not hear back from them in time for publication. I will update this post if the company responds to our questions. Although the D2308 is not a fan-less PC, it appears to have good hardware and would do well at a variety of HTPC, desktop, or office PC tasks.

Update: A Giada PC representative responded to our request for more information to let us know that the SFF PC uses the fourth generation Core i5/i7 processors and HM87 chipset along with NVIDIA GTX 650 graphics. It should be available towards the end of July.

Source: ETeknix

EVGA SuperNOVA Power Supplies Fully Compatible With New Haswell Sleep States

Subject: Cases and Cooling | June 19, 2013 - 01:33 PM |
Tagged: haswell, c6, c7, power supply, evga

Intel’s latest Fourth Generation Core “Haswell” processors are now official, and additional power supply manufacturers have since stepped up to provide their own Haswell PSU compatibility lists. EVGA is the latest PSU vendor to do so, announcing that all of tits SuperNOVA branded units are fully compatible with the new CPUs and new C6 and C7 sleep states.

EVGA NEX 1500 Classified 1500W Power Supply.jpg

The following EVGA power supplies are compatible with Haswell and the lowest power (0.05A) sleep states:

  • EVGA SuperNOVA NEX 1500 Classified (120-PG-1500-XR/VR)
  • EVGA SuperNOVA NEX750G Gold (120-PG-0750-GR)
  • EVGA SuperNOVA NEX750B Bronze (120-PB-0750-KR)
  • EVGA SuperNOVA NEX650G Gold (120-PG-0650-GR)
  • EVGA SuperNOVA 1300 G2 (120-G2-1300-XR)
  • EVGA SuperNOVA 1000 G2 (120-G2-1000-XR)

The list of compatible units spans across the range of SuperNOVA PSUs, from 650W to the monstrous 1500W model.

For a refresher on Haswell’s new C6 and C7 sleep states, check out our previous coverage of the issue as well as coverage of compatible PSUs from other vendors.

Source: EVGA

Logic Supply Launches New LGX ML250 Fanless PC

Subject: Cases and Cooling, Systems | June 19, 2013 - 12:33 PM |
Tagged: Passive, Logic Supply, Ivy Bridge, fanless

Logic Supply recently responded to customer requests for a high-end passively cooled system with its new LGX ML250 fanless PC. The new system is intended for industrial and mobile computing work where you need a rugged system that can be used in a wide range of environments.

LGX ML250.jpg

The LGX ML250 uses a metal chassis that doubles as a heatsink for the CPU. On the front of the case is a single power button and two USB 2.0 ports. On the rear IO panel, users are presented with:

  • 2 x COM ports
  • 1 x DisplayPort
  • 1 x HDMI
  • 1 x DVI
  • 1 x PS/2
  • 4 x USB 2.0
  • 2 x USB 3.0
  • 2 x RJ45 LAN jacks
  • 3 x analog audio outputs

Internally, the fanless PC uses an ASRock IMB-170 motherboard, Intel Sandy Bridge or Ivy Bridge CPUs, up to 16GB (2x8GB) DDR3 memory, and (up to) either a 1TB mechanical hard drive or 120GB SLC SSD for two SATA drive slots.

CPU options include the Sandy Bridge Celeron B810, the Ivy Bridge Core i3-3120ME, or the Ivy Bridge Intel Core i5-3610ME at 2.7GHz. The PC also includes Wi-Fi via a mini-PCI-E card. It can be pre-installed with your choice of Windows 7/8 or Ubuntu Linux operating systems. The LGX ML250 is rated for 40-degrees Celsius environmental temperatures.

Mr Walsh of Logic Supply stated that the company received numerous requests for a sub-$1000 machine with decent specs, IO, and with a fanless design. "The default config uses one of the new industrial-series ASRock boards -- the IMB170. From what I can tell, few IPC companies are using these boards in fanless systems, which is amazing given their price/performance specs."

The ML250 starts at $773 and is available for pre-order now. The price tag is steep, but it is a full system that is mostly aimed at industrial applications.

Source: Logic Supply

The NZXT generation of self contained watercoolers

Subject: Cases and Cooling | June 13, 2013 - 05:03 PM |
Tagged: nzxt, kraken, Kraken X40, Kraken X60

[H]ard|OCP recently tried out the two new Kraken coolers from NZXT, the non-i versions of the X40 and X60.  The smaller X40 will possibly be more popular as its smaller size will allow it to be used in conjunction with more cases but the X60 should not be shunned just because it is big.  You might shun it because of its higher price, arguably there are better coolers at the same price point.  The X40 on the other hand walked away with a gold award as not only does it perform well, its price is similar to some high end air coolers.  Check them out here.

h_nxzt.jpg

"Pardon the cliche', but it must be done. NZXT RELEASES THE KRAKEN! Now since that is out of the way, we take a long [H]ard look at NZXT's new line of Kraken branded sealed system water coolers for your CPU. This type of cooler is quickly becoming the norm for many enthusiasts looking for a quick and easy cooling solution."

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Source: [H]ard|OCP

Streacom Unveils Cube-Shaped DB4 Fanless (HSF) Chassis

Subject: Cases and Cooling | June 10, 2013 - 08:54 AM |
Tagged: streacom db4, streacom, hsf, Fanless PSU, fanless, cpu cooler

Streacom recently showed off a new cube-shaped case called the DB4. The new case measures 250 x 250 x 250mm (a bit under 10 inches cubed) and doubles as a passive heatsink for internal components.

The Streacom DB4 is a large cube with vertical finned sides that is held aloft by a thin angled bar. The case is intended to be used as the base for a passively cooled desktop PC. Each side of the cube-shaped DB4 case can cool 65W TDP parts, for a total cooling potential of 260W. In addition to being able to cool processors and low-end graphics cards passively, the case also cools the bundled ZeroFlex 250W fanless power supply.

Streacom DB4 Fanless Cube Chassis.JPG

Unfortunately, Streacom is not showing off the internals or detailing how the PC components are connected to the side(s) of the case. When asked for details by Fanless Tech, Streamcom responded that "we will reveal the internal alyout after all patents are through."

Streacom expects to have the case available for sale sometime between late September or early October for 200 Euros. This is a neat case that is not only fanless, but a work of art. I could see myself using this. What do you think about the Streacom DB4?

Source: Fanless Tech

Computex 2013: New Haswell-Ready PSUs From SeaSonic Pictured

Subject: General Tech, Cases and Cooling, Shows and Expos | June 7, 2013 - 12:56 PM |
Tagged: seasonic, PSU, m12II evo, m12II bronze, haswell, computex 2013, computex

Following Intel's announcement of new Haswell sleep states, various power supply manufacturers have released compatibility lists detailing which PSUs are able to deliver the low load necessary to support the power sipping sleep states on the 12V rail (which has not been much of a concern until Haswell).

One such PSU manufacturer was Seasonic, who has quite a few Haswell-ready power supplies across several lineups including its Platinum, G, and M12II series, among others. Included in that compatibility list were two new power supplies that Seasonic is showing off at Computex this week: the Seasonic Platinum 1200 and Seasonic M12II Bronze Evo Edition.

SeaSonic Platinum 1200

The Platinum 1200 is a high-end modular power supply that is capable of powering beefy multi-GPU setups. It is 80+ Platinum rated and is up to 92% efficient at 50% load.

Platinum 1200.jpg

Sesonic M12II Bronze Evo Edition

The Seasonic M12II Bronze Evo Edition is an updated version on past models and includes two SKUs that come in at 750W and 850W. It is a fully modular unit with flat black cables and fan control tech. It is 80+ Bronze and Energy Star rated, and is compatible with Intel's 4th Generation Core processors.

M12II 850 Evo Edition PSU.jpg

Also read: The full list of Haswell-compatible Seasonic power supplies @ PC Perspective.

Source: SeaSonic

Computex 2013: EVGA Shows Off Latest MiniBox Chassis With Support For High End GPUs

Subject: Cases and Cooling | June 6, 2013 - 07:31 AM |
Tagged: evga, minibox, mini-itx, gtx titan, gk110, gaming, computex, computex 2013

First shown off at CES 2013, the EVGA Minibox is a small form factor chassis for Mini-ITX systems that can accommodate large graphics cards. EVGA has managed to enable users to pack a lot of hardware into this tiny form factor chassis. As a demonstration of the case's capabilities, the company showed off the latest version using a full system build with Core i7-4770K and GTX TITAN interals at Computex this week in Taipei.

The Minibox chassis itself is a dark brushed metal case with two USB 3.0 ports on the front IO and space for a slot loading optical drive. The MiniBox chassis further features a motherboard tray that supports Mini-ITX boards, two 2.5" SATA hard drive bays – and best of all – enough room to install full size GPUs. In order to support lengthy graphics cards, EVGA is including a small form factor 500W power supply that is mounted on the floor of the case..

HEXUS Spots EVGA Minibox At Computex 2013.jpg

HEXUS reporters spot the EVGA Minibox at Computex 2013. Look how small it is!

There will be at least two SKUs of the Minibox, depending on whether you want to go with air or water cooling. According to Bit-Tech.net, the air cooled version will use two 92mm fans in the top of the case and one 80mm fan for the bottom-mounted PSU. The water cooled SKU will be slightly larger but have enough room for a water cooling radiator (likely 240mm). Beyond that, details are scarce, but the air cooled version is said to be available as soon as next month with water cooled options becoming available later this year.

The Minibox looks to be one of the better Mini-ITX cases out there (although the price is still unknown), and should be popular among enthusiasts wanting a small box that does not sacrifice gaming potential.

Source: HEXUS

Fractal Design Launches ARC XL and ARC Mini R2

Subject: Cases and Cooling | June 5, 2013 - 04:47 AM |
Tagged: XL-ATX, fractal design, computex 2013, computex, case, arc xl, arc mini r2

Fractal Design is using Computex 2013 to launch two new cases, called the ARC XL and ARC Mini R2. As their names suggest, the ARC XL is a massive brushed aluminum case capable of supporting motherboards up to XL-ATX in size while the ARC Mini R2 is a Micro ATX case that is compatible with Micro ATX and Mini ITX motherboards.

Fractal Design ARC XL

The ARC XL chassis measures 232 x 572 x 552mm and weighs 13.8kg. The full tower case features a texturized aluminum exterior with a clear side window and top-mounted IO panel. The front of the case holds a large mesh grill with white Fractal Design logo. Above the front intake are four 5.25" drive bays. The front IO panel is mounted on the top of the case and includes two USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, audio in/out jacks, and power/reset buttons.

Fractal Design ARC XL.jpg

Internally, the ARC XL chassis supports motherboards up to XL-ATX in size, up to eight 3.5" hard drives, and space for two 2.5" solid state drives behind the motherboard tray. In total, the case supports seven 140mm fan positions. Fractal design includes three Silent Series R2 case fans with the chassis. Dust filters in the front, top, and bottom fan vents. Water cooling enthusiasts will be pleased to know that they can install 360mm radiators on top and 240mm radiators in the front of the case (with the hard drive cages removed). Other features include 9 PCI expansion slots, space for a bottom mounted PSU, integrated 3-fan 3-speed fan controller, and space for cable routing behind the motherboard tray.

Fractal Design ARC XL_back.jpg

Fractal Design's ARC XL case will be available in July or early August with an MSRP of $129.95 USD (119.95 EURO).

Fractal Design ARC Mini R2

The ARC Mini R2 is a miniature version of the ARC XL suitable for smaller systems using Micro ATX or Mini ITX motherboards and either water or air cooling.

The Mini R2 has a large mesh grill on the front panel as well as two optical drive bays. The front IO includes two USB 3.0 ports, audio in/out, power and reset buttons, and the fan controller switch. The case measures 210 x 405 x 484mm and weighs 9kg.

Fractal Design ARC Mini R2.jpg

Internally, the ARC Mini R2 supports Micro ATX or Mini ITX motherboards, up to six 3.5" hard drives, two 2.5" SSDs (behind motherboard tray), and 4 PCI expansion slots. Graphics cards up to 260mm are supported with the hard drive cage installed, or 400mm with it removed. There is space for cable routing behind the motherboard and water cooling grommets on the back of the case to support external radiators.

Cooling is handled by three bundled Silent Series R2 fans controlled by an included fan controller. The case can support a total of seven fans, including:

  • Front: 2 x 120mm (1 included)
  • Rear: 1 x 120mm (1 included)
  • Top: 1 x 120mm plus 2 x 140mm (1 included)
  • Bottom: 1 x 120mm

Watercooling support includes the ability to mount a thin 360mm radiator on top as well as a 240mm radiator over the front intake (with the optical drive and hard drive bays removed respectively). Fractal Design includes removable dust filters over the front, top, and bottom vents.

Fractal Design ARC Mini R2_open.jpg

The Micro ATX ARC Mini R2 will be available for $89.95 (79.95 EURO) in August or early September.

In all, they look like decent cases, though I would have loved to see some additional color options on the ARC Mini R2! (heh).

Computex 2013: Corsair Launches Carbide Air 540 and 330R Mid Tower Cases

Subject: Cases and Cooling | June 3, 2013 - 06:08 PM |
Tagged: corsair, computex 2013, computex, carbide air 540, carbide 330r

Corsair is in attendance at Computex 2013 in Taipei, Taiwan this week to show off a number of new products. The latest product announcement is the release and availability of two new Carbide-series cases: the Carbide Air 540 and Carbide 330R.

Corsair Carbide Air 540 Mid Tower Chassis

The Corsair Carbide Air 540 is a dual chamber mid-tower ATX case that is optimized for maximum air cooling performance. The outside of the case is a boxy brushed aluminum affair with a stylized mesh grill running from the top panel to the front panel. The front panel IO ports sit below the two vertically-mounted 5.25” drives, and includes two USB 3.0 ports, two audio jacks, and power/reset buttons.

AIR540_back.png

The case is split up into two chambers and uses the company's “Direct Airflow Path” techniques. The main (left) chamber hosts motherboards up to E-ATX in size along with PCI-E cards and two hot-swap 3.5” (2.5” drive compatible) drive bays. The second (right) chamber holds the ATX power supply, 5.25” drives, and SSD drive bay (which can hold up to four SSDs). The motherboard tray separates the two chambers, but Corsair has added a number of rubber cable routing grommets to aid in cable management and connecting devices  in the main chamber to power.

AIR540_hero_down.png

A magnetic (removable) front filter protects the case from dust. Cooling options include up to six 120mm or five 1400mm fans. Water cooling enthusiasts can instead opt for up to a 240 or 280mm radiator on top and a 360mm radiator in the front of the case.

In all, the case measures 16.5” x 17” x 18” (407 x 432 x 457mm). It is available now with a MSRP of $139.99.

Corsair Carbide 330R Mid Tower Case

The other case that Corsair is launching today is the Carbide 330R. This case focuses on quiet operation and utilizes Direct Airflow Path techniques and sound dampening material throughout.

The Carbide 330R is a compact mid tower case clad in brushed aluminum with tapered edges and sharp corners. The front panel has a brushed aluminum front door, two USB 3.0 ports, two audio jacks, and power and reset buttons. Corsair is optimizing this case for low-noise operation by adding sound dampening material on the top, side, and front panels as well as using rubber case feet to reduce noise caused by vibration.

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The Carbide 330R supports motherboards up to E-ATX in size, ATX power supplies, four 3.5” (or 2.5”) drives (in tool free trays), and a single 5.25” tool-less drive bay.
Cooling options include:

  • 2 x 120mm or 140mm front panel mounts
  • 2 x 120mm or 140mm top panel fan mounts
  • 1 x 120mm rear fan mount

Users can remove the top panel cover to reveal the two 140mm fan mounts to add a 240mm watercooling radiator though you do lose out on some of the sound dampening potential when you remove that top panel.

The Carbide 330R measures 19.5” x 8.3” x 19” (495 x 210 x 482mm). It is available now with a MSRP of $89.99.

Source: Corsair

Computex 2013: NZXT Launches Silent, Tool-less H230 Mid Tower Case

Subject: Cases and Cooling | June 1, 2013 - 09:07 PM |
Tagged: nzxt, mid tower, h230, computex 2013, case

NZXT has kicked off the Computex 2013 coverage with the announcement of a new H230 mid-tower ATX case. Continuing the tradition of the H-series, the H230 is a minimalistic white or black design that incorporates sound dampening material and tool-free internal bays.
The outside of the case is simplistic, with vents and three 5.25” bays  on the front. In keeping with the silent intentions, there is no case window here. Brushed aluminum case feet lift the case off of the floor. Two USB 3.0 ports and a single microphone audio jack are available as front IO.

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The H230 is constructed of steel with some plastic parts. It measures 195mm x 447mm x 502mm and weighs 7.25kg (approximately 16 lbs.). There are two SKUs, CA-H230I-W1 in white and CA-H230I-B1 in black.

Internally, the H230 mid tower case features tool free drive bays that can accommodate up to 6 3.5” drives and 3 5.25” drives. It can fit GPUs up to 290mm in length with the hard drive cage installed or up to 400mm with the drive cage removed. Heatsinks up to 158mm in height are supported as are motherboards up to full ATX in size (with 7 PCI expansion slots). A bottom mounted PSU slot and cable management routed behind the motherboard tray are also features. Cooling options include up to two 120mm front intake fans, a single 120mm bottom intake fan, and a single 120mm rear exhaust fan. NZXT provides the 120mm exhaust fan with the case. In the press release, NZXT states that “Our designers had one goal in mind while crafting the H230: create an affordable, silent chassis with all of the necessary essentials for a clean, functional build. ”

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The new H230 case comes with a 2-year warranty and has an MSRP of $69.99. More information is available on the H230 product page.

The full press release is below:

Source: NZXT

Antec fully supports Haswell

Subject: General Tech, Cases and Cooling | May 31, 2013 - 02:27 PM |
Tagged: antec, haswell, PSU

Antec released two lists today covering the compatibility of both their PSUs and their notebook chargers.  If you are worried that your current hardware will not support the new low power states implemented in Haswell check through the list and if your product is listed you are good to go.  If not you can treat these as shopping lists for your next PSU or notebook adapter.

PSUs

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Notebook Adapters

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Source: Antec

A cooler from Thermaltake that knows how to stay out of the way

Subject: Cases and Cooling | May 29, 2013 - 03:49 PM |
Tagged: thermaltake, non-interference cooler, NiC, heatsink

One hurdle many Ivy Bridge owners have to deal with is the proximity of the DIMM slots to the CPU socket as many high end coolers impinge on the space which high DIMMs occupy.  This has lead to the adoption of low profile DIMMs or even users removing heatspreaders from their DIMMs in order to have them fit with an installed cooler. Thermaltake is addressing this issue with their new line of NiC heatsinks which do allow the use of full sized DIMMs.  This does lead to a taller heatsink, the NiC F4 that ProClockers reviewed is 155 x 140 x 50mm so you should make sure your case is wide enough to accommodate the cooler.  The design does not seem to have effected the cooling efficiency of the design, in tests it proved to match the performance of other mid-range coolers.

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"Thermaltake’s newest CPU cooler consist of four cooler models for now and the line-up is called the NiC or Non-Interference Cooler series. The reason behind the name is that the coolers allow for the builder or end user to fill all of their motherboard DIMM slots. This is something that is often not possible with most coolers because of their massive size. With that in mind, you can be at ease to know the series allows for maximum ram slot usage. It’s great that we didn't need to fill all the memory slots but it is another issue if we have to sacrifice performance. Well, you don’t have to worry because each of the coolers on this series is rated to a certain wattage level. The Thermaltake NiC F4 model we will be looking at today is rated up to 180 watts of TDP. The other three models are the F3, C4 and C5 and are rated at 160W, 200W and 230W respectively."

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

CASES & COOLING

Source: ProClockers

Now even your mouse can minimize your game window

Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Cases and Cooling | May 29, 2013 - 11:03 AM |
Tagged: Windows key, mouse, microsoft, I Hate This Key

Has this ever happened to you while playing a shooter? You need to get to a position so you mash the alt key to sprint and... aw crap I hit the Windows key... well, now I am dead. Have you ever considered purchasing software or a gaming keyboard which allows you disable that button?

Have you ever considered purchasing a mouse which also has that button to give both hands something to fear?

mouse-start.jpg

Definitely not a member of their Sidewinder product line.

Okay, so I should be fair: the Microsoft Sculpt Comfort mouse is not designed for gaming and Windows 8-like user experiences revolve heavily around the start button. The mouse button is also more useful than a redundant Windows key; the blue pad also has swipe functionality for extra functions. According to how it is described on its product page, slide gestures are bound to respond to the computer as mouse buttons 4 and 5.

So you can probably bind them to game functions, if you feel daring.

But, in the end, I still need to congratulate Microsoft for trying to innovate computer hardware. This is more than just trying to graft touch functionality to a mouse surface, as both Apple and Microsoft have tried in the past, and tries to make the classical mouse experience better. I doubt it is for most of our audience, but not everything needs to be.

Source: Microsoft