A cool heatsink roundup or five

Subject: Cases and Cooling | January 9, 2014 - 11:37 AM |
Tagged: Spire Thermax Eclipse II, Cooler Master TPC-812

FrostyTech just finished their latest update to their Top 5 heatsinks, broken down into several groupings.  The top performing heatsinks have been split into two lists, one Intel and one AMD with several models appearing in both lists such as the number one cooler for both companies, the Spire Thermax Eclipse II.  In addition are two lists covering the quietest coolers for those who want cooling without the noise of the performance heatsinks interfering with their environment.  Follow the link and you can investigate their other lists, such as AIO water coolers and low profile heatsinks as well.

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"Frostytech's Top 5 Heatsinks Chart just got updated! Based on reader feedback, the new format ranks ONLY air cooled heatsinks. We added placeholders for the watercoolers to keep it informative and created a new Top 5 Liquid Cooler Chart just for the AIO's. Enjoy!"

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

CASES & COOLING

Source: FrostyTech

CES 2014: Corsair Launches Graphite Series 760T and 730T Full Tower Gaming Cases

Subject: General Tech, Cases and Cooling | January 8, 2014 - 11:18 PM |
Tagged: graphite series, full tower, corsair, CES 2014, CES

In addition to the Mini-ITX Obsidian 250D, Corsair is launching two full tower gaming cases under its Graphite series. The Graphite 760T and 730T are full tower cases constructed of steel and aluminum that incorporate many enthusiast-friendly features. The 760T and 730T share the same form factor and general design including two hinged side panels, tool-less drive bays, and support for air and water cooling options. Note that the 730T has metal side panels while the 760T has two windowed side panels and adds a fan controller. Further, the 760T comes in two color options (black and arctic white) while the 730T is only available in black.

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The pair of full tower cases join the existing mid-tower 230T in the Graphite Series. The 760T and 730T are large 22.4" x 9.7" x 22.2" cases that offer up lots of cooling, expansion, storage, cable management, and motherboard support options. The case has a large mesh front panel that has two LED-lit AF140L 140mm  fans and three 5.25" drive bays. On the top edge of the case is the front IO panel which includes two USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, two audio jacks, and power and reset buttons. The two side panels are hinged at the back and open using a handle at the front. The left side panel is transparent to show off your hardware while the opposite side panel is opaque. In all, the Graphite 760T and 730T are attractive cases with straight lines and roughly octagonal shape. The case is lifted above the ground using large case feet.

Internally, the case supports 9 PCI slots, three 5.25" drive bays, six 3.5" (or 2.5") hard drives in two modular (and removable) drive cages, four side-mounted 2.5" SSDs, seven cooling fans, ATX motherboards, and ATX power supplies. Users should have no problem fitting a beefy multi-GPU setup into the new Graphite cases.

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When it comes to cooling, the Graphite 760T and 730T support up to seven fans. Corsair includes two LED-lit AF140L 140mm fans in the front and a single AF140L fan in the rear that come pre-installed. From there users can add three 140mm or 120mm fans to the top and a single 120mm fan to the bottom of the case. Users that opt for water cooling can instead install a 360mm radiator in the top of the case and a 280mm radiator to the bottom of the case. The 760T includes a fan speed switch that switches between 12V and 7V power to control the speed (and noise) of the cooling fans. The cheaper 730T does not include this integrated fan controller, however.

Both the 760T and 730T will be available in February from Corsair's authorized distributors and will include a 2 year warranty. The Graphite 760T has an MSRP of $179.99 for the black version and $189.99 for the arctic white SKU. On the other hand, if you can live without windowed side panels, a fan controller, and only one color choice, the black Graphite 730T has an MSRP of $139.99.

Personally, I find it to be a neat looking case that I am considering for my next build assuming the reviews hold up on the build quality. What do you think about the newest entrants to Corsair's Graphite Series?

Coverage of CES 2014 is brought to you by AMD!

PC Perspective's CES 2014 coverage is sponsored by AMD.

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

Source: Corsair

Cooler Master Glacer 360L CPU Cooler

Subject: Cases and Cooling | January 7, 2014 - 08:35 PM |
Tagged: water cooling, Intel, Glacer 360L, cooler master, CES 2014, CES, amd

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Courtesy of Cooler Master

The Glacer 360L CPU cooler is the latest all-in-one cooler from Cooler Master. With a 3x120mm radiator and the ability to add new components into the existing cooling loop, this cooler is sure to make a splash.

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Courtesy of Cooler Master

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Courtesy of Cooler Master

The Glacer 360L CPU Cooler builds on the design of Cooler Master's previous generation all-in-one cooler, the Glacer 240L, with enhanced cooling surface area and the promise of expandability. This all-in-one cooler features a copper and brass based 3x120mm radiator and a powerful 3500 RPM pump, integrated into the CPU block housing. The CPU block itself is copper based to ensure the best heat transfer capabilities and minimize galvanic corrosion with the radiator. Additionally, Cooler Master has designed the Glacer 360L to be upgradeable, allowing for user addition of other cooling apparatus to the loop.

 

Cooler Master has not yet released pricing information or retail availability information for the Glacer 360L CPU cooler at this time. Please go here for additional information.

Additional information after the break.

 

Coverage of CES 2014 is brought to you by AMD!

PC Perspective's CES 2014 coverage is sponsored by AMD.

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

CES 2014: Corsair AX1500i Announcement

Subject: General Tech, Cases and Cooling, Shows and Expos | January 7, 2014 - 09:00 AM |
Tagged: PSU, corsair, CES 2014, CES, Arc Welding, 1500W PSU

Yadda yadda arc welding yadda Allyn yadda yadda podcast bingo.

For the last seven or eight years, Corsair has released a boatload of power supplies, running the whole gamut of potential customers, since their initial HX620W release in 2006. Their current line-up is broken into eight distinct series. Some are modular, some are fully modular, and others are not. Several models hold the lowercase "i" suffix which signify USB connectivity to monitor and adjust the unit from their Corsair Link utility.

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Today, Corsair is announcing the AX1500i fully modular power supply. At 1500 watts, this should be an effective upper limit on desktop power consumption. The real news is its efficiency: 94% efficient at half load on 115V input (North America). The PSU exceeds the specification set out for 80 PLUS Platinum and falls within the current draft of 80 PLUS Titanium (consumer).

It is also designed to be quiet and even fanless when drawing under 450 watts.

The suffix on the AX1500i signifies that it also integrates with Corsair Link through USB. Temperature, draw, loads, fan speed adjustments, and power efficiency are exposed to the user who wants to see a few more graphs in their secondary monitors... because if you have a single 1080p panel then you are doing something wrong somewhere.

The AX1500i is expected to retail for $449.99 in Q2 2014 and is backed by a 7-year warranty.

Press blast after the break!

Coverage of CES 2014 is brought to you by AMD!

PC Perspective's CES 2014 coverage is sponsored by AMD.

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

Source: Corsair

CES 2014: Corsair Raptor K40 RGB LED & Raptor M45

Subject: General Tech, Cases and Cooling, Shows and Expos | January 7, 2014 - 09:00 AM |
Tagged: membrane keyboards, corsair, CES 2014, CES

The headline is, "Corsair Unleashes Raptors in Las Vegas". We do not have any footage of the disaster so, in its place, we will post stock footage of a similar calamity in Chicago from over three years ago.

Thank you, Team Coco.

So many dead bees. They... only sting once.

Actually, the Raptors at CES are keyboards (with RGB LED backlighting) and mice. This line is a step below their mechanical offerings so these do not include the newly announced Cherry MX RGB switches. The Corsair K40 is based on typical membrane switches but, unlike the vast majority of keyboards based on that cheaper technology, is said to be "full-key rollover on USB". This typically means that each key is unique (rather than grouped into a matrix) and the USB limitations are circumvented by registering as multiple keyboards.

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This keyboard is advertised as "anti-ghosting" although, like NKRO keyboards, it does not block ghost inputs... it simply cannot ghost in the first place. Ghosting occurs when the user presses three (or more) specific keys which sends the same signal as maybe a half dozen other keys on the same segment of the matrix. If each segment is basically a single key? No problem can exist. Higher-end keyboard manufacturers advertise anti-ghosting because it is a marketing term despite actually being above the problem in its entirety.

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The M45 optical gaming mouse is 5000 DPI and has 7 programmable buttons.

The Raptor K40 gaming keyboard will be available this month for $79.99. The Raptor M45 will also be available in January for a list price of $59.99. Both products have a two year manufacturer warranty.

Press release after the break!

Coverage of CES 2014 is brought to you by AMD!

PC Perspective's CES 2014 coverage is sponsored by AMD.

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

Source: Corsair

Corsair Hydro Series H105 Liquid CPU Cooler

Subject: Cases and Cooling | January 7, 2014 - 09:00 AM |
Tagged: water cooling, Intel, Hydro Series, H105, corsair, CES 2014, CES, amd

The newest member of the Corsair Hydro Series ™ all-in-one liquid coolers is the H105 CPU liquid cooler.

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Courtesy of Corsair

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Courtesy of Corsair

The Hydro Series ™ H105 Liquid CPU Cooler features a dual-fan radiator capable of hosting up to four 120mm fans (two on the front and two on the back). The radiator has been redesigned compared with past models to enhance its cooling potential. Corsair increased the radiator thickness to 38mm (compared to the 25mm thickness on the H100), increasing the radiator's surface area for better heat dissipation potential compared with the 25mm models. Further, Corsair redesigned the CPU mounting block to make it entirely tool-free. The CPU block is a round copper base plate with an integrated pump and illuminated Corsair logo.

 

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Courtesy of Corsair

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Courtesy of Corsair

Corsair added a new level of customization to the H105 by including two additional color rings, allowing you to change the color ring along the top of the CPU water block to match your case theme. In addition to the base grey, Corsair includes red and blue rings for the top of the waterblock.

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Courtesy of Corsair

The Corsair Hydro Series ™ H105 Liquid CPU Cooler supports a variety of AMD and Intel CPUs and motherboards out of the box including the following: AM2, AM3, FM1, FM2, LGA 1156, 1155, 1150, 1366, and 2011.

The Corsair Hydro Series ™ H105 Liquid CPU Cooler will be available in January 2014 from all worldwide retailer partners for an MSRP for $119.99. The unit also comes with an impressive 5 year warranty.

Press release after the break.

Coverage of CES 2014 is brought to you by AMD!

PC Perspective's CES 2014 coverage is sponsored by AMD.

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

Source: Corsair

CES 2014: Corsair Launches the Obsidian 250D Mini ITX Case

Subject: General Tech, Cases and Cooling | January 7, 2014 - 09:00 AM |
Tagged: obsidian 250d, corsair, CES 2014, CES

Do you like the design of Corsair's Obsidian Series PC cases, but don't have room for a mid-tower or full tower form factor? Well, Corsair may have a solution for you with the release of its new Obsidian 250D, which is the company's first Mini ITX chassis. The Obsidian 250D brings the aesthetics and many of the builder-friendly features of its larger brethren in a small sub-$100 brushed aluminum and steel case.

Specifically, the Obsidian 250D measures 11.4" x 10.9" x 13.81". The cube-like case is all black with a basic brushed aluminum texture. Corsair branding, a single 5.25" drive bay, two USB 3.0 ports, and two audio jacks adorn the front while vents sit on the left, right, and rear sides of the case. Further, the top panel of the case is removable and is how you get to the internal hardware. The case is propped up on integrated feet as well.

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Corsair's new Mini ITX case supports both air and water cooling. The case comes pre-installed with one AF140L and one AF120L fan, and users can install a total of 5 fans (including the bundled fans). On the water cooling front, users can install a 120mm or 140mm radiator in the front of the case as well as a 120mm or 240mm radiator on the side of the case. One nice feature on the cooling front is that Corsair has included removable dust filters on the front, side, and PSU vents.

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Despite the Mini ITX form factor, the case actually allows users to cram a fair amount of hardware into it. In all, the Obsidian Series 250D supports two PCI slots, four hard drives, a single optical drive, a full size power supply, and Mini ITX motherboards. Users can install a graphics card up to 290mm in length, which is most cards on the market at a bit over 11-inches. The case supports ATX power supplies up to 200mm. When it comes to storage options, users can install up to two 2.5" drives and two 3.5" drives (or four total 2.5" drives) which is not bad. Additionally, this Obsidian case features cable management tie down points and tool-less drive bays.

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The Obsidian 250D has an MSRP of $89.99 and will be available for purchase later this month in the US. The mini ITX chassis comes with a 2 year manufacturer warranty. It looks like a decent case, and I'm interested to see what reviewers have to say about it when it comes to ease of working with and installing hardware into.

Please stay tuned to PC Perspective for more CES 2014 coverage!

Coverage of CES 2014 is brought to you by AMD!

PC Perspective's CES 2014 coverage is sponsored by AMD.

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

Source: Corsair

CES 2014: Corsair Unveils Cherry MX RGB Keyboard

Subject: General Tech, Cases and Cooling, Shows and Expos | January 6, 2014 - 07:00 PM |
Tagged: CES 2014, CES

While most of the information has already been discussed, Corsair and Cherry have now officially debut their first MX RGB keyboard. These special switches allow for 16.8 million colors to be selected for any individual key. Corsair provided us with a video of several effects in action from a wavy rainbow to shock waves emanating from specific points - even more practical configurations such as alternate colors for the WSAD and the arrow keys.

Keyboards containing three of the four main switches (Red, Blue, and Brown) will be available in the second half of this year. There is the curious omission of the Black switches, essentially Reds with a tougher spring, but I was honestly not expecting anything but the Reds.

The initiative is called the "MX RGB Project" (which is a suitable name albeit a little bland). The models shown at CES are based upon the Vengeance K70. There is currently no word, yet, about which models will be presented at launch later in the year.

The main point of this announcement, however, is to note that the keyboards will be on display from now until the evening of January 9th.

Coverage of CES 2014 is brought to you by AMD!

PC Perspective's CES 2014 coverage is sponsored by AMD.

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

Source: Cherry

ASUS ROG Front Base Dual-Bay Gaming Panel

Subject: Motherboards, Cases and Cooling | January 6, 2014 - 01:00 PM |
Tagged: ROG, front bay panel, CES 2014, CES, asus

The ASUS ROG Front Base Dual-Bay Gaming Panel is a multi-bay command center housing system ports and a 4 inch integrated display for all your gaming and system needs in an easy to access location.

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Courtesy of ASUS

As part of the ASUS ROG product line, the ROG Front Base Dual-Bay Gaming Panel integrates seamlessly with any of the ASUS Z87-based ROG Maximum VI motherboard offerings in addition to the Rampage IV Black Edition motherboard. The command panel includes support for sound configuration in conjunction with the ROG SupremeFX sound technology, as well as fan and overclocking configuration.

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Courtesy of ASUS

The ASUS ROG Front Base Dual-Bay Gaming Panel supports the following features:

  • Quick EQ Switch with five equalization modes
  • Integration with SupremeFX Audio board with included dual-line analog-audio front-panel cable
  • Overclocking and fan control through integrated display and control buttons
  • Temperature monitoring capabilities
  • USB fast charging with system powered off
  • Escape Mode button that automatically returns user to system desktop and mutes sound volume

More after the break.

Coverage of CES 2014 is brought to you by AMD!

PC Perspective's CES 2014 coverage is sponsored by AMD.

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

Source: ASUS

ASUS ROG Poseidon Series Liquid Cooled Graphics Cards

Subject: Graphics Cards, Cases and Cooling | January 6, 2014 - 01:00 PM |
Tagged: water cooling, ROG, nvidia, gtx 780, gtx 770, CES 2014, CES, asus

In keeping with their tradition of pushing the innovation and performance boundaries through their ROG product line, ASUS today released NVIDIA-based 7-seried video cards featuring as part of their Poseidon series of liquid cooled products. ASUS released both a GTX 780 and GTX 770-based product with the hybrid Poseidon cooling solution.

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Courtesy of ASUS

All Poseidon series graphics cards come with a hybrid cooling solution, using a combination of fan-based and water-based cooling to propel these cards to new performance heights. The card's GPU is cooled with the DirectCU H20 cooler with water pathed through the integrated barbs to the copper-based cooler. The water inlets are threaded, accepting G1/4" sized male fittings. The memory and VRM components are cooled by a massive dual-fan heat pipe, exhausting air through the rear panel port. Both cards feature the red and black ROG coloration with the Poseidon series name displayed prominently along the right front edge of the card.

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Courtesy of ASUS

Both Poseidon series graphics cards, the ROG Poseidon GTX 770 and ROG Poseidon GTX 780, include ASUS' DIGI+ VRM and Super Allow Power power circuitry to ensure stability and component life under the most grueling conditions. When paired with the Poseidon cooling, the GPU ran 20% cooler and 3 times quieter than a comparable reference card with card operating temperatures 16 C lower than the same reference solution.

More after the break.

Coverage of CES 2014 is brought to you by AMD!

PC Perspective's CES 2014 coverage is sponsored by AMD.

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

Source: ASUS

Sharkoon's big bad Bulldozer enclosure

Subject: Cases and Cooling | January 2, 2014 - 12:42 PM |
Tagged: sharkoon, bulldozer

If subtle just isn't your thing then the Sharkoon Bulldozer might be a good case for you.  At 480 x 235 x 460mm (18.9 x 9.2 x 18.1") this is a large case and the numerous LED lights will make this case stand out even more, not to mention the unique paint job on the interior.  There are 10 drive bays which can be modified for 3.5" or 2.5" drives with one bay removable to give your GPU some extra space.  eTeknix liked the bottom mounted PSU and cable runs which make for a clean looking system but you will really have to like the exterior look if you consider buying this case.

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"Sharkoon are not what I would call most people’s first choice when it comes to picking a new chassis, at least not here in the UK. However, we’ve seen a couple of Sharkoon products in the eTeknix office over the last couple of years that really impressed us, not only for being great cases, but also because they offered great value for money. This has left us eager to see more from Sharkoon and today we will be taking a look at their new Bulldozer chassis, a budget friendly ATX chassis that is available in a choice of three colours. Blue, Green or Red LED edition are available, with the blue model coming in a grey chassis, while the green and red LED models come in a black chassis."

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

CASES & COOLING

Source: eTeknix

Valve Releases Steamworks API for Steam Controller

Subject: General Tech, Cases and Cooling | December 19, 2013 - 12:42 AM |
Tagged: valve, Steam Controller

The Steam Controller is a gamepad where touch replaces analog joysticks. Developed internally at Valve, its design focused on being a comfortable gaming accessory which did not compromise on the accuracy allowed by an absolute position-based input device (ie: a mouse). Velocity-based inputs, such as thumbsticks, have the hand-eye and/or timing problem where we need feedback to know when to cease giving input to actually stop. It is a lot easier to make a good estimate of how far to move your hand (or finger, or eye) and perform that action without further feedback necessary.

It is just how we behave.

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Valve is very confident in their design and believes that it is accurate enough to emulate a mouse. In fact, most games (if and until the Steam Controller gains traction) will be operating in "Legacy Mode" which emulates a mouse and keyboard. They are requesting that the community develop many shared profiles, on a game-by-game basis, to give a large catalog of known configurations by the time the device ships publicly.

But what about the not "Legacy Mode"? The main announcement is that Valve has shipped the controller's Steamworks API to allow developers direct access to its hardware. In other words, rather than emulate a mouse and keyboard, the developer can use the hardware in the way they see fit. Of course this will be most useful for the touchscreen (if a blank 4-quadrant button is insufficient) and the haptic feedback but can also mean new methods of emulating the velocity-based input of a gamepad.

Remember, I said velocity input is less accurate for things like rapid rotation between randomly oriented targets. Flight games often prefer long continuous input which are great for joysticks and thumbsticks. Simply put, traditional gamepads are "better" at certain things (driving games, flight games, third-person games where accuracy is not important but quickly pressing one of four-or-so commands is, etc.). Many developers will want this controller to solve those problems, too.

Keep an eye out at Steam Universe for more updates like these; they occur rapidly as of late.

Will PC Power and Cooling be Silenced?

Subject: Cases and Cooling | December 13, 2013 - 11:12 AM |
Tagged: modular psu, 750w, silencer mk III, pc power & cooling

PC Power & Cooling have been providers of high quality PSUs for a long time and are keeping up the pace, recently with the updated 750W Silencer Mk III.  They have a unique style, black and white colouring and a proprietary connector for their modular cabling that both looks and connects better than some of the recessed plastic connectors seen on other models.  Unfortunately since OCZ purchased the company they have gone from being the PSU all other companies try to match to a mid-range supplier that provides decent PSUs but lack the incredible quality they once possessed, as you can see by [H]ard|OCP's Pass marking without an award.  This may well be one of the last models you see labelled PC Power & Cooling, with OCZ's bankruptcy the continuation of the PSU business is in doubt.

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"PC Power & Cooling is back on our test bench today and it has been a while. Today it is promising "industrial-grade performance and stability," with "ultimate efficiency," and "ultra-quiet operation" with its Silencer Mk III 750 watt PSU. We put it to the test to see if OCZ has done anything to return its PSUs to your next build."

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

CASES & COOLING

 

Source: [H]ard|OCP

NZXT G10 Allows Users To Unleash The AIO Water Cooler Kraken On Graphics Cards

Subject: Cases and Cooling | December 12, 2013 - 01:03 AM |
Tagged: water cooling, nzxt, kraken, gpu cooler

NZXT has a new cooling product coming out next week that caught my attention recently. Called the KRAKEN G10, it is a bracket and fan assembly that allows users to attach All In One (AIO) water coolers – those traditionally aimed at CPUs – to graphics cards. The Kraken G10 consists of a steel bracket with a CPU waterblock mounting hole, 92mm fan, and water tube routing space.

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The Kraken G10 is a stylish approach to pairing cheap sealed water coolers to graphics cards with reference PCBs – a feat that has traditionally been limited to adventurous enthusiasts armed with zip ties and a good deal of patience. The bracket is compatible with many recent GPUs from both AMD and NVIDIA, and it allows enthusiasts to mount AIO water coolers from NZXT as well as other manufacturers. The water cooler is then able to efficiently cool the GPU while the pre-installed 92mm fan works to keep the VRM and memory areas of the graphics card cool. The G10 bracket measures 177 x 32.5 x 110.6 mm (WxHxD) and comes in white, black, or red with white fan blades and NZXT logos on the side and fan.

NZXT KRAKEN G10 GPU Bracket With Fan.jpg

Specifically, the KRAKEN G10 supports the following graphics card models (with reference PCBs only).

AMD NVIDIA
  • R9 290X
  • R9 270X
  • HD 7870
  • HD 7850
  • HD 6970
  • HD 6950
  • HD 6870
  • HD 6850
  • HD 6790
  • HD 6770
  • HD 5870
  • HD 5850
  • HD 5830
  • GTX TITAN
  • GTX 780
  • GTX 770
  • GTX 760
  • GTX 680
  • GTX 670
  • GTX 660 Ti
  • GTX 580
  • GTX 570
  • GTX 560 Ti
  • GTX 560
  • GTX 560SE

Further, users can use the G10 to mount the waterblocks of the following sealed loop water coolers.

Antec Corsair NZXT Thermaltake Zalman
KUHLER H2O 920V4 H110 KRAKEN X60 Water 3.0 Extreme LQ-320
KUHLER H2O 620V4 H90 KRAKEN X40 Water 3.0 Pro LQ-315
KUHLER H2O 920 H55   Water 3.0 Performer LQ-310
KUHLER H2O 620 H50   Water 2.0 Extreme  
      Water 2.0 Pro  
      Water 2.0 Performer  

It is a niche, but useful, product that can allow users to more easily upgrade the cooling of their graphics cards to allow for higher overclocks and/or quieter operation. The NZXT KRAKEN G10 will be available on December 16, 2013 for $29.99 from NZXT’s website. Update: It appears the first batch of G10 brackets has sold out already. Fret not, a second batch of Kraken G10s will be available towards the middle of next month according to NZXT. (End of update.)

NZXT KRAKEN G10 GPU Bracket Installed In System.jpg

Are you planning to unleash the Kraken G10 on your GPUs (I expect crypto currency miners might be especially interested in this product heh).

Source: NZXT

Cool, queit and customizable; Enermax wins again with the iVektor ATX case

Subject: Cases and Cooling | December 10, 2013 - 11:17 AM |
Tagged: enermax, iVektor, atx case

The Enermax iVektor is an ATX case with quite a few drive bays, all tool-less installation and space at the top of the case for a radiator if you prefer watercooling.  Three 5.25" bays and seven 3.5" of which four can be converted to 2.5" for SSDs ought to give you enough space for storage and controllers.  Up to six 120mm fans can be installed, that number drops to four if you install a 240mm radiator at the top of the case.  [H]ard|OCP were impressed with both the thermal performance and low noise of the case as well as the with customization possible, earning this ~$80 case a Gold Award.

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"Enermax has long been an enthusiast brand associated with some of the best computer power supplies made in the industry. Over the last couple of years it has also developed a very strong following in computer case arena with DIYers. Today we look at the iVektor case designed by Enermax and it looks to be a strong contender for your next build."

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

CASES & COOLING

Source: [H]ard|OCP

CES 14: Corsair & Cherry Partner on RGB-backlit Keyboard(s)

Subject: General Tech, Cases and Cooling | December 4, 2013 - 12:52 AM |
Tagged: mechanical keyboard, corsair, Cherry MX, cherry, CES 2014

The three little letters that instill fear in tech journalists (and vendors) right around the holiday season: CES. This will be the first of many news posts coming out of that event -- it is still a month away! Companies are already preparing for what will come after the holidays. Brace yourselves!

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Corsair and Cherry have just released a preview of their upcoming CES announcement. Mechanical keyboards (at least those based on Cherry MX switches) were only rarely backlit. Pretty much every model of Cherry MX-based keyboard with per-key LED lighting was, at one point, developed by iOne (they produced the XArmor line of backlit keyboards and collaborated with Razer on the BlackWidow). I am not particularly sure what the difficulty was from an engineering standpoint but I do know it was rare.

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Cherry, themselves, are assisting the next evolution of this technology. The company has developed a special version of their MX Red-class switch with built-in RGB illumination. The mixture of these three colors allows for a key to be lit by any color in the visible spectrum (up to the precision allowed by hardware and software). Their press release suggests 8-bit per channel control (~16.7 million colors). Their exclusive launch partner for this 2014 debut will be Corsair.

Clearly their K-series keyboards sold well.

If you want to learn more about the Cherry MX switches, be sure to check out our overview from 2012. Also, check out the Cherry website for a ridiculously informative breakdown of the switch all each of its components. Seriously, this puts my animation to shame; it is kind of depressing.

Also, check out the press blast after the break.

Source: Cherry

Noctua puts their new NH-U12S on a diet

Subject: Cases and Cooling | November 25, 2013 - 10:37 AM |
Tagged: noctua, NH-U12S, heatsink

Noctua have attempted to strike a balance between performance and profile with the NH-U12S, slimming it down to allow for tall heatspreaders to be used on RAM but without shaving off too much performance.  From the tests performed at [H]ard|OCP it seems that Noctua did exactly what they claimed, there is plenty of space to fill all your DIMM slots with any brand of RAM and the performance at stock speeds was better than average.  It is a little more expensive than some alternatives and is not the best at cooling an overclocked CPU but but of you want a slim profile and reasonably quiet performance this is a good choice.

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"The Noctua NH-U12S is well known in enthusiast circles for a few reasons. Noctua states it is because, "the NH-U12S is a complete premium quality solution that combines outstanding performance, quiet operation and excellent compatibility." And quite frankly Noctua would be very correct. Where does the value stand today?"

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: [H]ard|OCP

AMD Releases Catalyst 13.11 Beta 9.2 Driver To Correct Performance Variance Issue of R9 290 Series Graphics Cards

Subject: Graphics Cards, Cases and Cooling | November 7, 2013 - 11:41 PM |
Tagged: R9 290X, powertune, hawaii, graphics drivers, gpu, GCN, catalyst 13.11 beta, amd, 290x

AMD recently launched its 290X graphics card, which is the new high-end single GPU solution using a GCN-based Hawaii architecture. The new GPU is rather large and incorporates an updated version of AMD's PowerTune technology to automatically adjust clockspeeds based on temperature and a maximum fan speed of 40%. Unfortunately, it seems that some 290X cards available at retail exhibited performance characteristics that varied from review units.

Retail versus Review Sample Performance Variance Testing.jpg

AMD has looked into the issue and released the following statement in response to the performance variances (which PC Perspective is looking into as well).

Hello, We've identified that there's variability in fan speeds across AMD R9 290 series boards. This variability in fan speed translates into variability of the cooling capacity of the fan-sink. The flexibility of AMD PowerTune technology enables us to correct this variability in a driver update. This update will normalize the fan RPMs to the correct values.

The correct target RPM values are 2200RPM for the AMD Radeon R9 290X "Quiet mode", and 2650RPM for the R9 290. You can verify these in GPU-Z. If you're working on stories relating to R9 290 series products, please use this driver as it will reduce any variability in fan speeds. This driver will be posted publicly tonight.

From the AMD statement, it seems to be an issue with fan speeds from card to card causing the performance variances. With a GPU that is rated to run at up to 95C, a fan limited to 40% maximum, and dynamic clockspeeds, it is only natural that cards could perform differently, especially if case airflow is not up to par. On the other hand, the specific issue pointed out by other technology review sites (per my understanding, it was initially Tom's Hardware that reported on the retail vs review sample variance) is  an issue where the 40% maximum on certain cards is not actually the RPM target that AMD intended.

AMD intended for the Radeon R9 290X's fan to run at 2200RPM (40%) in Quiet Mode and the fan on the R9 290 (which has a maximum fan speed percentage of 47%) to spin at 2650 RPM in Quiet Mode. However, some cards 40% values are not actually hitting those intended RPMs, which is causing performance differences due to cooling and PowerTune adjusting the clockspeeds accordingly.

Luckily, the issue is being worked on by AMD, and it is reportedly rectified by a driver update. The driver update ensures that the fans are actually spinning at the intended speed when set to the 40% (R9 290X) or 47% (R9 290) values in Catalyst Control Center. The new driver, which includes the fix, is version Catalyst 13.11 Beta 9.2 and is available for download now. 

If you are running a R9 290 or R9 290X in your system, you should consider updating to the latest driver to ensure you are getting the cooling (and as a result gaming) performance you are supposed to be getting.

Catalyst 13.11 Beta 9.2 is available from the AMD website.

Also read:

Stay tuned to PC Perspective for more information on the Radeon R9 290 series GPU performance variance issue as it develops.

Image credit: Ryan Shrout (PC Perspective).

Source: AMD

Are you still lapping your heatsinks?

Subject: Cases and Cooling | November 4, 2013 - 01:14 PM |
Tagged: lapping, heatsink, DIY

Back in the ancient past of aircooling, when heatsinks did not weigh a kilogram and 120mm fans were a novelty item and not the standard many enthusiasts practiced the art of lapping.  With a water tray and automotive grade sandpaper of increasingly fine grit you could not only flatten the base of the heatsink, something that was all too necessary for some models, you could also acheive a mirror finish which helped your heat paste spread evenly.  Today you do not hear much talk of lapping either heatsinks nor the integrated heatspreader on CPUs and SPCR decided to test if it remains a good practice.  Check out the difference a proper lapping job still makes, though keep in mind lapping the IHS on your CPU will void the warranty and could weaken its structure.

SPCR_a4.jpg

Not what you want to see!

"Lapping the CPU in a heatsink test platform is probably a controversial move that's bound to provoke reactions. Funny thing is, it was done a year ago, and photos of the CPU showing the copper top exposed by the lapping have been featured in many of our reviews. Yet, not a single comment. This article goes through the problems, investigations and explorations that led us to lap our Core i7-965 Extreme test CPU, and analyzes the results and implications."

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

CASES & COOLING

Price, performance and efficiency from be quiet!, the Pure Power L8 700W

Subject: Cases and Cooling | October 29, 2013 - 02:23 PM |
Tagged: PSU, be quiet!, Pure Power L8, 700W, 80 Plus Bronze

Be Quiet! could have a value-priced winner with their Pure Power L8 700W PSU, which has enough power to handle SLI/CrossFire but with a non-modular design which should keep the price fairly reasonable.  With two 12V lines capable of providing up to 53 amps you will be able to run two powerful GPUs, though perhaps not paired flagship cards.  As far as efficiency goes, Legit Reviews found it to deserve the 80 Plus Bronze rating it carries and the power regulation and ripple were both very good for any PSU, let alone a value priced one.  You can't buy it yet but you can see the review right here.

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"Be Quiet! is an European company which, despite the strange name, is a very well-known manufacturer amongst enthusiasts, mostly for their high quality (and notoriously expensive) power supply units. We had an encounter with their very impressive Dark Power Pro 10 series a few months ago; however, impressive as it was, the price tag of such a power supply would certainly drive the vast majority of users away. Today we will be having a look at the least expensive PSU series currently offers, the Pure Power L8."

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

CASES & COOLING