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

Subject: Cases and Cooling | June 6, 2013 - 10:31 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 - 07:47 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 - 09:08 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.

330R_hero_down.png

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 2, 2013 - 12:07 AM |
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.

NZXT H230 Mid Tower Case (1).jpg

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. ”

NZXT H230 Mid Tower Case (2).jpg

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 - 05:27 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

Antec_PSU_Haswell_Compatibility_List_20130531.jpg

Notebook Adapters

Antec_Notebook_Adaptor_Haswell_Compatibility_List_20130530.jpg

Source: Antec

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

Subject: Cases and Cooling | May 29, 2013 - 06:49 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.

PC_f4_3.JPG

"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 - 02:03 PM |
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

Thermaltake Announces Haswell-Compatible Power Supplies

Subject: Cases and Cooling | May 21, 2013 - 11:52 PM |
Tagged: be quiet, Power Supplies, haswell, Intel, c6, c7

In addition to Be Quiet!, Thermaltake has announced its own list of Haswell-compatible PSUs. The majority of high end Thermaltake power supplies will work with Haswell and its new sleep states. Further, all of the current generation high-end and mid-range Thermaltake power supplies are compatible with the new CPUs.

Power supplies in the Toughpower, EVO, and Smart M family are compatible with Haswell. Specifically, the chart below details which specifc models are compatible with Haswell and the new C6 and C7 low power sleep states.

Thermaltake Haswell PSU List.jpg

The following companies have also listed Haswell-compatible power supplies:

German PSU Manufacturer Be Quiet! Lists Its Haswell-Ready Power Supplies

Subject: Cases and Cooling | May 21, 2013 - 10:50 PM |
Tagged: sleep state, PSU, Power Supplies, haswell, c7, c6, be quiet

Be quiet!, a power supply manufacturer based in Germany, has announced that almost all of its recent power supply lineups are fully compatible with Intel's upcoming Haswell processors. The PC Perspective team has talked in-depth about the new C6 and C7 sleep states used by Haswell CPUs. However, for the uninitiated, the new Intel processors have two new low power sleep states. The lowest state, C7, draws as little as 0.05A from the 12V PSU rail. That is a good thing, but not all power supplies will be compatible with the new sleep states as such low load on the 12V rail was not a concern when the PSUs were designed and manufactured. Notably, even incompatible power supplies will still work in Haswell systems, but those computers will not be able to enter the lower-power C6 and/or C7 sleep states.

Be Quiet Dark Power Pro 10 PSU.jpg

There is good news for users of Be Quiet! Power supplies, however. The following power supplies are fully compatible with Haswell and the new sleep states:

  • Dark Power Pro 10 Series (all models)
  • Straight Power E9 Series (all models)
  • Pure Power L8 Series (all models)
  • System Power 7 Series (all models)
  • Pure Power L7 Series (the 630W and 730W models only)

Older Be Quiet! power supplies will still work in Haswell systems, but use of the lowest power C7 state is not recommended. Fortunately, most desktop users can live without the new low power states (which, while nice to have, the new sleep states are more beneficial to laptop users).

As the launch of Haswell approaches, more and more PSU manufacturers are releasing compatibility information. So far, the following companies have put together compatibility lists.

Lian Li Announces New Mini-ITX Chassis with a Curve-Shaped Design and Front Acrylic Window – PC-Q30

Subject: General Tech, Cases and Cooling | May 14, 2013 - 03:20 PM |
Tagged: Lian Li, PC -Q30, mini ITX, case

Lian Li has just released a very unique case for those who want to show off their internal components, the PC-Q30.  The unique curved chassis will certainly make your system stand out as no other competitor is offering a case with this particular look.  It is mini-ITX so their are some space constraints for the highest end systems but you can still fit a good system into the (W)223mm x (H)357mm x (D)300mm chassis.

q03-28.jpg

May 14, 2013, Keelung, Taiwan - Lian-Li Industrial Co. Ltd, today announces a new brushed aluminum Mini-ITX chassis – PC-Q30. With its curve-shaped design and large acrylic front window the fully aluminum PC-Q30 allows users to show off their systems, and is sure to be the talking piece of any room.

Whether in the living room, bedroom, or office, the PC-Q30 with its curve-shape and brushed aluminium finish takes visual command without being ostentatious. Additionally, DIY builders can put their stylized internal components and intricate builds on full display – as they should not be hidden from sight.

Thanks to the two expansion slots on the top of the chassis, the PC-Q30 supports graphics cards up to 200mm (7.8”). For storage, up to four 2.5” hard drives or SSDs can be mounted in the removable hard drive cage at the bottom of the chassis.

A 140mm fan in the rear of the chassis expels hot air, while ventilation on the top and side allows for cool air to enter. A small form factor power supply up to 125mm (4.9”) is placed on rubber pads in order to reduce vibrations.

q03-04.jpg

The front of the PC-Q30 is minimalistic in aesthetics and houses the dual LED illuminated power button that glows blue when on and red while loading. The I/O panel with two USB 3.0 ports and HD audio connections is located on the left side of the front of the chassis to not interrupt the elegant aesthetics.

Price and Availability
The PC-Q30 will be available in June in the US and Canada for the suggested retail price of US$149

Source: Lian Li

Seasonic Releases Information On Its Haswell-Ready Power Supplies

Subject: General Tech, Cases and Cooling | May 11, 2013 - 09:17 PM |
Tagged: seasonic, haswell, Power Supplies, PSU, 0.05A

Following the announcements from other power supply manufacturers, Seasonic has now released a list of its own power supplies that are compatible with Intel's upcoming Haswell processor. The new Haswell CPUs, set to launch June 3rd, incorporate new C6 and C7 sleep states that draw as little as 0.05A from the 12V PSU rail. Because of the low load, some existing power supplies will have issues with the new sleep states and could result in system instability. In light of that, many manufacturers are validating their existing lineups to determine which ones are compatible.

Seasonic Haswell Ready PSUs.jpg

As of the time of publication, the following power supplies from Seasonic are compatible with Haswell and the new sleep states.

Platinum Series

  • 1200W
  • 1000W
  • 860W
  • 760W

Platinum Fanless Series

  • 520W
  • 460W
  • 400W

X-Series

  • 1250W
  • 1050W
  • 850W
  • 750W
  • 650W

G-Series

  • 650W
  • 550W
  • 450W
  • 360W

M12 II Evo Edition Series

  • 850W
  • 750W

Stay tuned to PC Perspective for more information on PSU and Haswell compatibility.

Corsair has, well, Haswell PSU support chart

Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Cases and Cooling, Processors | May 10, 2013 - 04:23 PM |
Tagged: c6, c7, haswell, PSU, corsair

I cannot do it captain! I don't have the not enough power!

We have been discussing the ultra-low power state of Haswell processors for a little over a week and how it could be detrimental to certain power supplies. Power supply manufacturers never quite expected that you could have as little as a 0.05 Amp (0.6W) draw on the 12V rail without being off. Since then, companies such as Enermax started to list power supplies which have been tested and are compliant with the new power requirements.

PSU Series Model Haswell
Compatibility
Comment
AXi AX1200i Yes 100% Compatible with Haswell CPUs
AX860i Yes 100% Compatible with Haswell CPUs
AX760i Yes 100% Compatible with Haswell CPUs
AX AX1200 Yes 100% Compatible with Haswell CPUs
AX860 Yes 100% Compatible with Haswell CPUs
AX850 Yes 100% Compatible with Haswell CPUs
AX760 Yes 100% Compatible with Haswell CPUs
AX750 Yes 100% Compatible with Haswell CPUs
AX650 Yes 100% Compatible with Haswell CPUs
HX HX1050 Yes 100% Compatible with Haswell CPUs
HX850 Yes 100% Compatible with Haswell CPUs
HX750 Yes 100% Compatible with Haswell CPUs
HX650 Yes 100% Compatible with Haswell CPUs
TX-M TX850M Yes 100% Compatible with Haswell CPUs
TX750M Yes 100% Compatible with Haswell CPUs
TX650M Yes 100% Compatible with Haswell CPUs
TX TX850 Yes 100% Compatible with Haswell CPUs
TX750 Yes 100% Compatible with Haswell CPUs
TX650 Yes 100% Compatible with Haswell CPUs
GS GS800 Yes 100% Compatible with Haswell CPUs
GS700 Yes 100% Compatible with Haswell CPUs
GS600 Yes 100% Compatible with Haswell CPUs
CX-M CX750M Yes 100% Compatible with Haswell CPUs
CX600M TBD Likely compatible — currently validating
CX500M TBD Likely compatible — currently validating
CX430M TBD Likely compatible — currently validating
CX CX750 Yes 100% Compatible with Haswell CPUs
CX600 TBD Likely compatible — currently validating
CX500 TBD Likely compatible — currently validating
CX430 TBD Likely compatible — currently validating
VS VS650 TBD Likely compatible — currently validating
VS550 TBD Likely compatible — currently validating
VS450 TBD Likely compatible — currently validating
VS350 TBD Likely compatible — currently validating

Above is Corsair's slightly incomplete chart as of the time it was copied from their website, 3:30pm on May 10th, 2013; so far it is coming up all good. Their blog should be updated as new products get validated for the new C6 and C7 CPU sleep states.

The best part of this story is just how odd it is given the race to arc-welding (it's not a podcast so you can't Bingo! hahaha!) supplies we have been experiencing over the last several years. Simply put, some companies never thought that component manufacturers such as Intel would race to the bottom of power draws.

Source: Corsair

Cooler Master Launches New N-Series Cases

Subject: Cases and Cooling | May 8, 2013 - 03:43 PM |
Tagged: cooler master, n200, n400, n600, atx case

PC case and cooling manufacturer Cooler Master has launched a slew of new cases, including the N200, N400, and N600 cases. The new N series spans from Micro ATX to full tower cases. All three cases are black with mesh fan grills with front IO that supports two USB 3.0, two USB 2.0, and two audio ports.

Cooler Master N400 Mid-Tower Case.jpg

The N200 is the smallest of the three cases. It is constructed of steel (with a plastic front bezel) and measures 202 x 378 x 445mm. The N200 case can host mini-ITX or micro-ATX motherboards, up to two optical drives, four SSDs, and three hard drives. The case comes with two Cooler Master XtraFlow fans, but it can also fit a thin 240mm radiator in the front of the case if you remove the SSD drive bays. A 120mm rear fan rounds out the cooling options. It supports CPU HSFs up to 160mm tall.

Cooler Master N200 Mini-ITX and Micro ATX case.jpg

The N400 is a bit larger at 190 x 426 x 501.4mm. The mid-tower case can support full ATX motherboards, 320mm long GPUs, and up to eight 120mm fans. A maximum of eight hard drives and seven expansion cards are also supported. Cooler Master provides two XtraFlow fans with the case.

Cooler Master N600 Case.jpg

Cooler Master’s N600 rounds out the new case series. The case measures 207 x 455 x 520mm and is constructed of a plastic polymer. In addition to the included XtraFlow fans, the case can accommodate up to 8 more 120mm fans. It has a removable hard drive cage that allows gamers to use graphics cards up to 430mm GPUs. A 240mm water cooling radiator can be installed in the top of the case as well. The N600 has a large mesh front panel that allows for front intake fans.

According to TechPowerUp, the Cooler Master N200 will be available in Europe later this month for 33 Euros while the larger N400 and N600 cases will be available in June for 42 Euros and 67.5 Euros respectively. Those prices work out to about $43 for the N200, $55 for the N400, and $89 for the N600, though that could change a bit as there is no word on official US pricing yet. Personally, I'm not a fan of the aesthetics, but at least the prices aren't terrible.

Source: TechPowerUp

NZXT Unleashes Feature-Packed H630 Ultra Tower Case

Subject: Cases and Cooling | May 8, 2013 - 01:46 PM |
Tagged: ultra tower, nzxt, h630, grid hub, case

NZXT has unleashed a monstrous new PC case onto the tech world with the H630 Ultra Tower. The new chassis is constructed of powder coated steel and ABS plastic. It can accommodate XL-ATX motherboards, two 360mm radiators, 8 hard drives, and a bunch of fans within its sound dampened interior. The H630 case weighs approximately 31 pounds and measures 547 x 245 x 567mm (HxWxD).

NZXT H630 Ultra Tower White.png

On the outside, the NZXT features a glossy white or black powder coated finish. You will not find any case windows or bling, but the design is clean and simple. It offers filtered fan intakes and an IO panel located on the right side with two USB 2.0, two USB 3.0, and two audio ports as well as a SDXC card slot. Two 5.25” drive bays adorn the top-front of the case.

The inside of the case is rather spacious with an optical drive bay, three removable hard drive bays, an opening for a bottom mounted PSU, and a large motherboard tray that can hold boards up to XL-ATX in size. Water cooling enthusiasts will be pleased to know that they can mount a 360mm radiator in the top and front of the case, which is a pretty impressive feat without needing to use an externally-mounted rad (like I had to with my case). If you opt for additional air cooling, you can further fit two 140mm fans in the bottom of the case, one 140mm case in the HDD cage, and one 140mm case in the rear of the case. Needless to say, that’s a lot of cooling options!

NZXT H630 Ultra Tower.jpg

NZXT has also outfitted the H630 with sound dampening material, which should help to soften the noise of all the hardware enthusiasts are likely to pack into the case--though I would wait for reviews to see how well the material works. Additionally, the H630 has 9 expansion slots, cable routing holes, the company's 10-port Grid fan hub, and two 2.5” SSD mounts hidden behind the motherboard tray.

NZXT H630 Ultra Tower Black.jpg

The new H630 Ultra Tower should be available in the US for around $150 by the end of May and in the UK for £129.05 sometime in June. For the price, it seems like an impressive deal. I’m tempted, though I’m not sure if it will fit under my desk. You can find more photos and specifications on this NZXT product page.

Source: NZXT

Small and inexpensive but still powerful, Evercool's Venti HPQ-12025

Subject: Cases and Cooling | May 6, 2013 - 06:49 PM |
Tagged: evercool, Venti HPQ-12025

If you need an inexpensive and relatively small heatsink then FrostyTech has a review you should check out.  At a mere 125x68x160mm and 588g the Evercool Venti HPQ-12025 is tiny compared to many on the market and at $30 it is significantly less expensive than larger competitors.  With that small footprint you could be forgiven for thinking that performance would suffer but FrostyTech's testing shows it to be a solid midrange performer and still reasonably efficient when running the fan at its lowest speed.

FT_HPQ12025_frnt.jpg

"Airflow is driven by a single 120mm PWM fan whose snow white 7-bladed impeller rotates at your basic 2200RPM to 800RPM. Noise output is moderate. Because computer enthusiasts tend to be picky bunch, Evercool have tossed in one extra set of wire fan clips."

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

CASES & COOLING

Source: FrostyTech

Noctua Releases PWM Controlled NF-A14 140mm Case Fan

Subject: Cases and Cooling | May 3, 2013 - 06:32 AM |
Tagged: pwm, noctua, nf-a14, fan

Austrian PC Cooling manufacturer Noctua has released a new fan called the NF-A14. The new fan is PWM controlled and aimed at case or watercooling radiator cooling. The NF-A14 uses a square frame and features higher static pressure than the NF-P13 along with a maximum speed of 1500RPM.

Noctua NF-A14 PWM 140mm Case Fan.jpg

The fan kit comes with the fan itself, mounting screws, a rubber mounting system to reduce vibration, a 30mm extension cable, low-noise adapter, and a 4-pin Y splitter cable that allows two PWM fans to be connected to a single motherboard fan header. The new Noctua NF-A14 comes with a 6 year warranty.

Noctua NF-A14 PWM 140mm Case Fan1.jpg

You can find more information on Noctua’s website as well as the full press release after the break.

In other cooling news:

Source: Noctua

Possible power supply issues for Intel Haswell CPUs

Subject: Cases and Cooling, Processors | May 1, 2013 - 03:07 PM |
Tagged: power supply, Intel, idle, haswell, c7, c6

I came across an interesting news story posted by The Tech Report this morning that dives into the possibility of problems with Intel's upcoming Haswell processors and currently available power supplies.  Apparently, the new C6 and C7 idle power states that give the new Haswell architecture benefits for low power scenarios place a requirement of receiving a 0.05 amps load on the 12V2 rail.  (That's just 50 milliamps!)  Without that capability, the system can exhibit unstable behavior and a quick look at the power supply selector on Intel's own website is only listing a couple dozen that support the feature. 

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This table from VR-Zone, the source of the information initially, shows the difference between the requirements for 3rd (Ivy Bridge) and 4th generation (Haswell) processors.  The shift is an order of magnitude and is quite a dramatic change for PSU vendors.  Users of Corsair power supplies will be glad to know that among those listed with support on the Intel website linked above were mostly Corsair units!

A potential side effect of this problem might be that motherboard vendors simply disable those sleep states by default.  I don't imagine that will be a problem for PC builders anyway since most desktop users aren't really worried about the extremely small differences in power consumption they offer.  For mobile users and upcoming Haswell notebook designs the increase in battery life is crucial though and Intel has surely been monitoring those power supplies closely. 

I asked our in-house power supply guru, Lee Garbutt, who is responsible for all of the awesome power supply reviews on pcper.com, what he thought about this issue.  He thinks the reason more power supplies don't support it already is for power efficiency concerns:

Most all PSUs have traditionally required "some load" on the various outputs to attain good voltage regulation and/or not shut down. Not very many PSUs are designed yet to operate with no load, especially on the critical +12V output. One of the reasons for this is efficiency. Its harder to design a PSU to operate correctly with a very low load AND to deliver high efficiency. It would be easy just to add some bleed resistance across the DC outputs to always have a minimal load to keep voltage regulation under control but then that lowers efficiency.

Source: Tech Report

Noctua Offers Free Alternative Mounting Kit for Low-Profile NH-L9a Cooler

Subject: Cases and Cooling | April 26, 2013 - 12:30 AM |
Tagged: noctua, nh-l9a, hsf, cooler, mini-itx, low profile cooler

Noctua, an Austrian company known for its high-end air CPU coolers has announced that it will be offering up alternatvie mounting kits to users of its low profile NH-L9a cooler that have incompatible motherboards. Certain mini-ITX motherboards that place components on the back of the motherboard around the processor socket are incompatible with the company’s existing SecureFirm 2 mounting kit because the backplate cannot be installed.

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The new alternative mounting system for the NH-L9a CPU cooler uses Noctua’s NM-APS3 spacers that go in place of the standard backplate. The spacers go in between the motherboard and screws, but are small enough to not run into any components installed in the area normally reserved for a CPU backplate. Two such boards that Noctua has found to be incompatible are the mini-ITX AsRock FM2A75M-ITX and AsRock FM2A85X-ITX.

Users with an incompatible motherboard and NH-L9a cooler can obtain the alternative mounting kit for free by contacting Noctua’s customer service line and providing them with a proof of purchase (scan, photo, or electronic invoice) receipt for both the Noctua cooler and an incompatible motherboard. Additionally, Noctua will be including both the standard SecureFirm 2 and alternative mounting kits in the retail NH-L9a cooler box from now on.

It is nice to see Noctua continuing its tradition of good customer care. They many not be as popular as other cooler vendors in the US but it seems they are a company willing to go the extra mile for its enthusiast customers.

Source: Noctua

Triathlor? Seriously Enermax?

Subject: Cases and Cooling | April 25, 2013 - 06:06 PM |
Tagged: PSU, modular psu, enermax, TriAthlor, 650W

Platimax, Triathlor and NAXN; perhaps Enermax is not gifted at picking names for their PSUs but for the most part they are known for creating solid PSUs which do the job they are intended to.  Setting aside the name, this 650W mostly modular PSU has four 12V rails that combine to a peak of 54A, 648W which is certainly enough to power a modest multi-GPU system.  [H]ard|OCP put it through their own special brand of torture and were pleased with the results, a pass on all of their testing albeit results which trail the competitions offerings.  That keeps this PSU in the running as far as performance but at a current cost of $120 and perhaps higher in the future, it is hard to recommend this PSU over ones that do not cost as much and provide power of a quality at least equal to if not better than the Triathlor.

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"Today we bring you an "athletic" power supply from Enermax that weighs in at 650 watts. The new Triathlor series sports plenty of features that enthusiasts will like including Silent Cooling, Flexible Cable Management, is marketed as being Rock Stable at All Loads. Enermax ads that, "The Triathlor FC is not a blinky poser."

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

CASES & COOLING

Source: [H]ard|OCP

Corsair Goes Small with Obsidian Series 350D Micro ATX PC Case

Subject: Cases and Cooling | April 25, 2013 - 02:30 PM |
Tagged: SFF, Obsidian Series 350D, obsidian, corsair

Fremont, California — April 25, 2013 — Corsair, a worldwide designer and supplier of high-performance components, today announced the Obsidian Series 350D High Performance Micro ATX PC case. Available with a solid or windowed side panel, the Obsidian Series 350D brings unprecedented expansion and cooling options to smaller, more portable, high-performance PCs.

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Like larger cases in the premium Obsidian Series line, the Obsidian Series 350D sports a clean, black, brushed-aluminum styling. The case is also designed for fast and neat builds with tool-free access and drive installation as well as an innovative cable routing system.

The Obsidian Series 350D case supports both Micro ATX and mini ITX motherboards and has plenty of interior space for liquid CPU cooling, dual 3.5” hard drives, dual 2.5” SSDs, dual 5.25” drives, and dual full-length graphics cards. It also has five expansion slots and five fan mounting points with room for two 240mm radiators. The front panel provides convenient access to USB 3.0 and audio connectors.

“The Obsidian 350D’s versatile expansion options give builders the ability to pack a lot of performance into a smaller form factor,” said Thi La, Senior VP & GM of Memory and Enthusiast Component Products at Corsair. “Its stylish, compact design makes it a perfect high-performance PC case for smaller living spaces or for gaming LAN parties.”

The MSRP is $109.99.

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Source: Corsair