Corsair Announces Obsidian Series 750D Full-Tower PC Case

Subject: Cases and Cooling | September 24, 2013 - 03:42 PM |
Tagged: obsidian 750d, corsair

Fremont, California — September 24, 2013 — Corsair®, a designer and supplier of high-performance components to the PC hardware market, today announced the immediate availability of the Obsidian Series® 750D performance full-tower PC case. Like all Obsidian Series cases, the 750D features an elegant black monolithic design, brushed aluminum and solid steel construction, and generous expansion flexibility.

The Obidian Series 750D’s rigid, rugged exterior surrounds a frame that has ample room for high-performance components as well as sophisticated cooling for users who want to push their components to the limits. The case is designed to make building a PC fast and simple with features such as tool-free side panels and drive bays, cable routing grommets and mount points, and motherboard rear CPU access and alignment pegs.

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“When we launched our enormously successful, supersized Obsidian 900D case, enthusiasts raved about its sleek design, solid metal construction, and expandability, but not everyone needs so much room,” said Xavier Lauwaert, Director of Product Marketing at Corsair. “Obsidian 750D is built for those users that demand full-on Obsidian quality in a standard full-tower form factor with plenty of innovative features and cooling options.”

Obsidian Series 750D Specifications
Expansion Room

  • 9 expansion slots for larger motherboards and running multiple graphics cards or expansion boards simultaneously.
  • Six tool-free 3.5”/2.5” combo bays in two modular hard drive cages, with room for two more cages for up to 12 total combo drive bays.
  • Four tool-free 2.5” side-mounted drive cages for SSDs, out of the airflow path.
  • Three tool-free 5.25” bays for expansion
  • Four front mounted USB ports for easy peripheral or external storage device connection.

Cooling Flexibility

  • Three included AF140L high-airflow 140mm fans (2 front, 1 rear) for excellent airflow and low noise levels.
  • Room for up to 8 fans
  • Radiator compatibility: Top – 360mm or 280mm Front – 280mm or 240mm Bottom – 240mm Rear – 140mm or 120mm

Storage Layout Options

  • Modular hard drive cages can be located in four separate mounting locations.
  • Side-mounted 2.5” cages allow quick, easy removal of the 3.5” drive cages for better airflow or room for radiators, while maintaining capacity for up to four 2.5” drives.

Builder Friendly Features

  • Thumbscrew side panel removal and expansion slots and tool-free 3.5”, 2.5”, and 5.25” drive bays.
  • Center-post standoff holds motherboard in place while you secure the other screws.
  • Easily accessible (and removable) front, rear, and top dust filters.
  • Outstanding cable routing with rubber grommets for superior airflow and cleaner, neater builds.
  • Four USB ports (two USB 3.0) and headphone/mic jacks in the front panel for easy access.

Dimensions and Weight

  • Length x Width x Height 21.5 x 9.25 x 22 inches or 546 x 235 x 560mm
  • Weight 9.7kg or 21.4 lbs

Pricing, Availability, and Warranty
The Obsidian Series 750D has a suggested retail price of $159.99 in the US and is available immediately from Corsair's worldwide network of authorized distributors and resellers. It is backed with a limited 2-year warranty and Corsair’s excellent customer service and technical support.

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"The Obsidian Series 750D is, according to Corsair, the successor to the acclaimed 650D. This newcomer is priced at $159.99, making it cheaper than its predecessor, and it has a different mix of features. Is it a worthwhile choice, or are you better off springing for the 650D?"

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Source: Corsair

Just Delivered: Razer Naga (2014, Left Handed) + Mini Review

Subject: General Tech, Cases and Cooling | September 21, 2013 - 12:13 AM |
Tagged: razer, Naga, Lefties

So, after a few years of regular use, I wore out my Razer Lachesis. I am a lefty who never sold out to the right-handed world of computer peripherals. Joysticks do not count, I am naturally right-handed with those for some reason... scissors too... but that is beside the point. Most of the mice out there, for me to use at least, are ambidextrous and thus symmetric.

razer-naga-2014-left-06.png

The Razer Naga (2014) is the first truly left handed mouse that I have owned. These are my impressions over my first day of usage.

Being a left-handed mouse Razer decided that it would, by default, switch the left and right mouse buttons. This can be changed in the drivers by first assigning your right mouse button to a left mouse button and then assigning your left mouse button to a right mouse button. Not the other way around.

The reason for this user experience seems to be, since all changes in the driver are applied immediately (without "ok" or "apply" buttons), Razer did not want users to accidentally lose every left mouse button. Imagine fixing that problem without a left mouse button. I would have prefered the app to, instead, fire a popup telling users to bind something else to "left mouse button" before removing it. Greying out the box is confusing and users might think they cannot, ever, rebind that button. That is just a minor complaint.

A slightly bigger issue is how they included a tilt-wheel without allowing the drivers to bind ScrollLeft and ScrollRight events. This can easily be fixed with a Razer Synapse update but why was that not included at launch? They are aware of the problem, too, as their support pages suggest users bind scroll wheel tilt to keyboard left and right. A great alternative for web browsers, but will not work in Photoshop or word processors.

Yes, you can make a custom profile for each application to input whatever horizontally scrolls them; better yet, just let us bind left and right scroll commands. Do it Razer! Dooooo it!

Weird quirks in the drivers aside, I really like the mouse. Each of the buttons, both in the side and on the top, are crisp. The build quality is solid. The body is comfortable. My only (physical) complaint is that the mouse body tends to get quite warm if you hold it for a couple of hours. That is, it feels warmer than other mice I have used. Otherwise it is basically what I have been looking for over the last decade.

So many buttons to bind!

Source: Razer

Akasa's heatsink sandwich, the Venom Medusa

Subject: Cases and Cooling | September 17, 2013 - 07:05 PM |
Tagged: akasa, venom medusa, air cooling, heatsink

If you are looking for a cooler that screams high performance then the Akasa Venom Medusa is the heatsink for you, assuming you have a double wide case.  At 1.3kg this is one of the heaviest coolers on the market, with measurements of 129.5x144x163mm (5x5.7x6.4") without fans, it is also one of the largest.  The two 140mm fans [H]ard|OCP used in their testing ensured that the cooler performed very quietly and it performs as well as any of the other high end aircoolers on the market.  The one drawback is the price, at $85 it costs almost as much as some self contained watercoolers.

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"Akasa is a smaller thermal solution company that does have a solid reputation. The Venom Medusa CPU air cooler is a massive unit that promises better cooling with eight high capacity heatpipes, dual 14cm "Viper" fans that promise more airflow, most of all we get promised it is a "Monster of All Extremes." Does it have a place in your next build?"

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Source: [H]ard|OCP

Corsair Announces Nearly-Silent RM Series Power Supplies

Subject: Cases and Cooling | September 14, 2013 - 02:53 PM |
Tagged: rm series, PSU, Corsiar, 80 Plus Gold

Corsair has introduced its new RM series of power supplies. The new lineup replaces the TX series and sits between the existing HX and AXi series. RM-series PSUs are optimized for efficient and nearly silent operation.

Corsair RM1000.png

The new fully modular RM series power supplies are 80 PLUS Gold certified and range from 450W to 1000W. The PSUs reportedly use low noise capacitors and transistors along with a 135mm fan that only starts spinning under high load (what Corsair calls the “ZeroRPM Fan Mode”) such as gaming. In addition to quiet operation, the RM series supports monitoring functionality. Using Corsair Link software, users can monitor PSU fan speed and power delivery. A cable, called the Corsair Digital Bridge Cable, runs from the PSU to either the system motherboard or a Corsair Link Hub and enables the monitoring features. This cable comes bundled with the highest-end RM1000 (1000W) unit, but is an additional charge for the other RM series.

Corsair RM1000 Cables.png

The fully modular RM1000 and its bundled cables.

The lineup includes the RM450, RM550, RM650, RM750, RM850, and RM1000 in 450W to 1KW maximum loads respectively. These new PSUs will be available at the end of October for the following prices:

RM Series Power Supply SKU Price (MSRP)
RM450 $99.99
RM550 $109.99
RM650 $119.99
RM750 $129.99
RM850 $159.99
RM1000 $199.99
Source: Corsair

EVGA Launches Mini ITX Hadron Air Case

Subject: Cases and Cooling | September 13, 2013 - 01:44 PM |
Tagged: mini ITX, hadron air, hadron, evga

EVGA has launched a new barebones Mini ITX case called the Hadron Air. The new case is in the same vein as the MiniBox chassis it showed off at Computex earlier this year. The new Hadron Air measures 12" x 6.6" x 12.1" (HxWxD) and is constructed of aluminum with a black brushed finish on the outside.

EVGA Hadron Mini ITX Case_angled.jpg

The Hadron Air has curved edges and rounded corners. The front of the case is lifted up slightly by case feet, putting the case at a slight angle. There are vents on the top and right side of the case as well as an acrylic window on the left side panel. A bay for a slim slot loading optical drive and the front IO port are located on the right side of the case. The front IO includes two USB 3.0 ports and two HD audio jacks. The back of the case has a bottom mounted power supply, two PCI slots, and two water cooling passthrough grommets.

EVGA Hadron Mini ITX Case.jpg

EVGA is bundling the case with a small form factor 500W power supply. The PSU is 80 PLUS Gold rated and offers up 40A on the 12V rail. The case supports Mini ITX motherboards, two 2.5" or 3.5" storage drives, and dual slot graphics cards up to 267mm in length. As far as cooling, the case supports two 120mm exhaust fans in the top panel and the power supply has its own small intake fan. A list of compatible CPU coolers can be found here.

EVGA Hadron Mini ITX Case_bundled components.jpg

The case comes bundled with a 500W power supply, manual, AC power cord, two SATA cables, and a bracket for a slim slot loading optical drive.

The Hadron Air is available now for $189.99. The Mini ITX chassis is part of the Hadron series of cases which includes the Air and a water cooling optimized version called the Hadron Hydro which is reportedly "coming soon."

More information on the Hadron Air can be found on this EVGA product page.

Source: EVGA

In Win Unveils Full Tower Tou Chassis

Subject: Cases and Cooling | September 6, 2013 - 01:12 AM |
Tagged: in win, tou, full tower, atx, tempered glass

In Win, a manufacturer of cases, power supplies, and storage drives showed off a prototype full tower ATX case at Computex 2013 that is now officially launching as a production model in limited quantities. The case, called the Tou, is constructed of a sand case aluminum frame and surrounded by tempered glass with a mirror finish.

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The glass is such that when the internal case LEDs are off, the various case panels act as mirrors. However, when the internal blue LEDs are turned on, light passes through the glass and users can see the PC internals through the glass panels.

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The full tower chassis is roughly rectangular with angular edges, a large mesh vent on the top panel, bottom mounted 5.25” drive bay, and two handles attached to the front panel. The front panel has two skinny vents on either side to allow the front 120mm intake fan to pull in cool air. The top panel supports 360mm water cooling radiators or three 120mm fans. Front IO includes two USB 3.0 ports and two audio ports.

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Internally, the In Win Tou case supports ATX motherboards, ATX power supplies, three 3.5” hard drives, two 2.5” SSDs, and GPUs up to 380mm in length.

Feature03.jpg

According to Hexus.net, the limited edition Tou case will be available soon for around $800. IT is an interesting design, and the mirrored panels are unique. I don't care for the particular angular edges and bolt pattern on the side panel, and the internal features are at a bare minimum, which is less than I would have expected from an $800 case. I'm interested to see what case modders are able to do with it though, and how enthusiasts take advantage of the mirrored glass to show off their systems.

Source: In Win

Quoth the Raven, "SilverStone"

Subject: Cases and Cooling | September 4, 2013 - 06:46 PM |
Tagged: Silverstone, Raven RV04

When the front of your case has a pair of 180mm fans in it you know it is big, 219x581x497mm (8.6x22.8x19.5") or as they describe it on the spec sheet, 63.2 litres, which is a lot of mineral oil.  This does mean you have space for oversized coolers and massive GPUs as well as over a dozen drives of varying sizes as well as radiators for watercooling.  [H]ard|OCP were not impressed with the door on this case but were quite impressed at the capabilities of what seemed at first glance to be mediocre fan filters.  See what you think of the overall design as well as the functionality in their full review.

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"The SilverStone Raven series of computer cases have been favorites around the HardOCP offices for years. This new Raven RV04 has a somewhat different spin, literally. Long gone is the 90 degree rotation on the mainboard which brings the Raven back into the realm of "normal" cases. SilverStone is preaching an even better thermal profile."

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Source: [H]ard|OCP

Digital Storm Releases HydroLux Liquid Cooling System

Subject: Cases and Cooling | September 2, 2013 - 11:31 PM |
Tagged: Digital Storm, hydrolux, aventum II, water cooling

Last week, boutique OEM Digital Storm unleashed the HydroLux cooling system for its high end desktops. The HydroLux system is a high end, custom water cooling system for all of the major system components paired with custom software that allows users to monitor and manage the cooling system.

Digital Storm Hydrolux Cooling.jpg

The Hydrolux loop is essentially a highly customized water loop with some interesting extra features. The water loop is designed to cool the CPU, VRMs, and GPUs with water. The various water blocks have chrome fittings and are connected using red tubing. A large cylindrical reservoir, high flow pump, and two 360mm radiators make up the rest of the water loop. The two radiators each have three LED-lit 120mm fans. Other features include quick disconnects to facilitate easy component upgrades and a high flow pumps rated at 300 gallons per hour.

digital-storm-hydrolux.jpg

Using the HydroLux software, users can monitor the temperatures of the components (CPU, GPU, HDD, ect) and the water temperature itself. The LEDS used in the chassis and on the fans can be set to certain user-selected colors or to automatic mode which will gradually change the color from blue to red as the system temperature increases from higher system load be it gaming, rendering, or other intensive activities.

Digital Storm HydroLux Cooling Software.jpg

Enthusiasts are also able to choose from three pre-set modes that will control the fan speeds to get the best balance of noise and cooling performance.

The HydroLux cooling system will be available on all of Digital Storm's desktops, including the new Aventum II. In short, while it is essentially just a custom water loop, the company has added some nice features to make it interesting and if you are going the OEM/boutique route it looks to be one of the better pre-built custom water options.

CODE Keyboard Is Probably Pretty Good

Subject: Cases and Cooling | September 2, 2013 - 02:12 AM |
Tagged: WASD Keyboards, mechanical keyboard, keyboard, CODE

... But if you read the blog post, you would think it is the one keyboard to rule them all.

The CODE is the product, literally, of a collaboration between Stack Overflow co-founder Jeff Atwood and Weyman Kwong of WASD Keyboards. I recognize the tongue-in-cheek humor and I acknowledge that the team are clearly (that was not a Cherry MX switch pun... that I would admit to) well suited to the challenge of designing a keyboard for programmers.

code-trio.jpg

Before we run through the opinion, its key touted perks are:

  • Cherry MX Clear switches
    • Similar to Cherry MX Brown with much more resistance. Hard to bottom out.
  • DIP switches to customize functionality without software.
  • White LED backlighting
  • Very stable rubberized ergonomic flaps and angled pads.
  • Detachable Micro USB cable

The thing is, WASD Keyboards already allows users to purchase customized keyboards. As far as I can tell, the CODE is just a variant of the existing WASD V2 104-key Custom Mechanical Keyboard with white backlighting. Both Keyboards are priced at $149.99. The CODE limits your choice but provides you with the illuminated keys and the MX Clear switches, normally a $10 upgrade, in exchange for just taking what you are offered without question. Okay, you can ask for a 104-Key or an 87-Key version, so one question is allowed. Still, the CODE is a good value; as I mentioned, you basically get free key lighting and a free upgrade to Cherry MX Clear.

code-v2-87-dip2.jpg

But it is still not an epiphany for mechanical keyboard lovers.

At one point, I hoped to take some time for a hobby and modify a mechanical keyboard to fit my specifications. I envisioned an aluminum body enclosing solidly built buckle-spring keys. I did not know about Cherry MX Green switches at the time. For keycaps, I imagined two pieces of glass sandwiching a translucent white plastic sheet masked with a black symbol for each letter. I figure the feel of glass would be more pleasing to the fingers than warm plastic. Each key would, of course, be let from underneath with a soft white (blue-doped-white) LED. Each translucent sheet would softly diffuse the light except for the shadow of whatever characters the key represents.

That would be a revolution... for me. I think I would like the feel of cool glass under my fingers.

So I guess I leave the post with a question for the viewers: What would your "perfect" keyboard be?

Source: CODE

Cooler Master Elite 130 Is A Mini ITX Case With Full Mesh Front Panel

Subject: Cases and Cooling | August 29, 2013 - 09:21 PM |
Tagged: mini ITX, htpc, elite 130, cooler master

Cooler Master recently released the Elite 130 Mini ITX case, which is an update to the existing Elite 120. The Elite 130 measures 9.4” x 8.1” x 14.9” (240mm x 205mm x 377.5mm) and will be available for under $50.

Cooler Master Elite 130 Angled.jpg

The Elite 130 weighs 6.8 pounds and is constructed of a steel alloy body with a polymer mesh front panel. The all black chassis has a mesh front panel with IO on the left and a single 5.25” drive bay. There is an 80mm vent on the right panel and a vent (without a fan) on the left side panel. The rear of the case features two PCI slots and a single rubber grommet for water cooling or USB 3.0 pass through cables. The case supports standard ATX power supplies through the use of an extension bracket. The PSU sticks out slightly from the back of the case and a vent on the case’s top panel allows for the power supply to pull in cool air from the outside rather than from the case internals.

Cooler Master Elite 130 Mini ITX Case Rear IO.jpg

Front IO on the Cooler Master Elite 130 includes two USB 3.0 ports and two audio jacks.

Internally, the Elite 130 supports a single 5.25” drive, two 3.5” hard drives, and a single solid state drive mounted in a side bracket. Alternatively, users can forgo an optical drive in favor of having three total 3.5” drives or four total 2.5” drives.

Cooler Master Elite 130 Cooling.jpg

The case comes pre-installed with a 120mm intake fan and users can add a single 80x15mm fan on the right side panel. Users can swap out the front intake fan for water cooling radiator.

The Elite 130 supports Mini ITX motherboards, graphics cards up to 13.5,” CPU coolers up to 2.5” tall, and power supplies up to 180mm long.

According to Maximum PC, the Cooler Master Elite 130 is available from Amazon for $43.26. The Mini ITX case comes with a two year warranty.

Lian Li Shows Off Massive PC-A79 Full Tower

Subject: Cases and Cooling | August 28, 2013 - 04:18 PM |
Tagged: Lian Li, Lian Li PC-A79, full tower, e-atx, XL-ATX, hptx, aluminum

Lian Li recently showed off a new full tower case -- clad in the company’s traditional brushed aluminum -- called the PC-A79. The PC-A79 measures 24.3” x 9” x 23.4” and offers up ample space for high end PC components.

Lian Li PC-A79 Full Tower Workstation Case.jpg

On the outside, the Lian Li PC-A79 is covered in dark brushed aluminum. It has two front case feet and two rear wheels to make transporting the system easier. The front of the case hosts 12 individually filtered mesh 5.25” bay covers. There are also two LEDs for power and HDD activity in the top right corner of the front panel. The bezel surrounding the bay covers can be removed with needing tools to allow for easy removal of the bay covers and hard drives (depending on which way you install the hard drive cages). The left side panel comes with two pre-installed 120mm fans. Interestingly, Lian Li has designed a connector and routed the fan wires such that the side panel can be removed without needing to worry about disconnecting the fans. Additionally, the top of the case has a filtered vent that can hold up to two 140mm fans (or a 280mm radiator). The fans get screwed into a bracket which in turn is screwed into the top panel, making installation a bit easier.

Front IO on the PC-A79 is hidden under a cover on the front edge of the top panel. IO options include two audio jacks, four USB 3.0 ports, and a single eSATA port.

Rear IO includes six water cooling grommets, a single 120mm exhaust fan, a bottom-mounted PSU, and 11 PCI slots. There is a filter for the bottom mounted power supply that can be removed from the side of the case which is a nice option to have.

Internally, the full tower supports motherboards up to HTPX, E-ATX and XL-ATX in size, graphics cards up to 350mm (13.78”) in length, and CPU coolers up to 165mm (5.7”) tall. The PC-A79 comes with three hard drive cages, each of which can hold three 3.5” hard drives and two 2.5” solid state drives. In addition to the drive cages, users can mount two 2.5” drives on the bottom of the case for a total of nine 3.5” drives and eight SSDs. The drives mount into the cages using brushed aluminum brackets that double as handles. The drives slide into the cages and are locked in place by a thumbscrew latch. The case features a removable motherboard tray with a large CPU cutout and eight rubber grommets that allow for routing cables behind the motherboard tray.

Lian Li PC-A79 Full Tower Workstation Case Internals.jpg

The case supports up to seven total fans (not counting the PSU fan), including:

  • 2 x 120mm side panel fans
  • 3 x 120mm front panel fans (mounted on hard drive cages)
  • 2 x 120 or 140mm fans on top panel

The massive full tower case will be available in September with an MSRP of $389. While PC gamers may opt for more sylish cases, the Lian Li PC-A79 would be a good fit for workstation builds.

Source: Lian Li

Seasonic seems to be competing against its self with the X-Series

Subject: Cases and Cooling | August 27, 2013 - 03:56 PM |
Tagged: X-650, Seasonic X-Series, PSU, modular psu

Seasonic's X-650 PSU is fully modular, allowing you to choose exactly what cables you use though the ATX power is mandatory.  It has four 6+2 PCIe power connectors and can deliver 648W @ 54A to the 12V rail making this a solid choice for a multi-GPU system.  The performance on [H]ard|OCP's test bench was excellent, the only complaint they've had is that Seasonic really hasn't changed much about their PSUs in quite a while.  That might be a little boring for reviewers but for enthusiasts, great performance at a variety of wattage is a good thing.

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"Seasonic's X-Series computer power supply comes to us boasting a patented fully modular design that minimizes voltage drops and impedance while greatly maximizing efficiency, cooling, and overall performance. Being a Seasonic unit, we can also count on it targeting the users looking for a quiet computing experience."

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Source: [H]ard|OCP

Lian Li Shows Off PC-Q33 Prototype Mini ITX Case

Subject: Cases and Cooling | August 25, 2013 - 06:34 PM |
Tagged: PC-Q33, mini ITX, Lian Li, aluminum

Lian Li recently posted information about a new prototype chassis on the Xtreme Systems forum. The new case, called the PC-Q33 is a Mini ITX chassis with a unique hinged front panel that allows unfettered access to the internal hardware. Coming in bare aluminum or black brushed aluminum, the case supports Mini ITX or Mini DTX motherboards, 220mm long graphics cards, 200mm long power supplies, and 180mm tall CPU coolers. The PC-Q33 itself measures 229mm (W) x 330mm (H) x 248mm (D) which works out to approximately 9” x 13” x 10”.

Lian Li PC-Q33 Mini-ITX case_front.jpg

Silver case feet hold up the case which has mesh grills on the front and both side panels. There is a mesh vent for a 120mm fan on the back of the case along with a vent on the bottom of the case for the bottom mounted power supply. Lian Li has stated that a removable dust filter may be added to the case if there is enough interest. Users can unscrew the side panels to access the hardware or additionally unscrew two thumscrews to release the top and front panels which open on a hinge to make installing all of the components easier.

Lian Li PC-Q33 Mini-ITX case.jpg

Internally, the case supports three 2.5” drives and two 3.5” drives. Drives can be installed in a cage below the motherboard or on the inside of the front panel. The back of the case features two grommets for water cooling tubes (for external radiators) along with a removable PSU bracket and two expansion slots (ie for a graphics card).

Lian Li has asked enthuiasts to comment on the new prototype case, which you can do here.

Personally, I think the PC-Q33 looks great and I hope that it comes to fruition as a real product. The hinged front panel is a neat idea and should make it extremely easy to work on the PC. I could definitely see myself using a case like this for my next Mini-ITX build along with a card like the ASUS GTX 760 Direct CU Mini. I’m also interested to see what the modders and water cooling enthusiasts are able to do with the new case!

Cooler Master Shows Off Cosmos SE At GamesCom

Subject: Cases and Cooling | August 24, 2013 - 02:17 PM |
Tagged: mid-tower, gamescom, cosmos se, cosmos, cooler master, aluminum

At GamesCom in Germany earlier this week, Cooler Master showed off an updated mid-tower version of its Cosmos S: the Cosmos SE. This new case was on display at the company's GamesCom booth and is an aluminum mid-tower clad in all black. The Cosmos SE shares a similar outward appearance and form factor to the existing (full tower) Cosmos S, except it is shorter and features a redesigned front bezel. The side panel window shape is the same on the two Cosmos S-series cases. The new Cosmos SE does keep the solid aluminum handles and raised legs, however. The front IO is located above the 5.25" bays on the top edge of the case and includes two USB 3.0, two USB 2.0, and two audio jacks.

Internally, the case can accommodate ATX motherboards, three 5.25" drives, and at least five 3.5" or 2.5" hard drives or SSDs. A bottom mounted power supply sits below the motherboard, but with enough room for two dual slot graphics cards.

Cooler Master Cosmos SE Mid-Tower PC Case.jpg

As far as cooling, the Cosmos SE can fit a 240mm radiator on the top of the case and a 360mm radiator with the front hard drive bays removed. Cable management has reportedly been tweaked as well.

The case looks nice but the ability to mount a 360mm rad (even at the cost of removing the 5.25" bays) to the top of the case would have been a welcome feature.

Unfortunately, beyond the photos coming out of GamesCom, details on the new case are scarce. Pricing and availability in particular are still unknown.

Are you excited for the Cosmos SE?

NZXT's H630 is silent but very bright

Subject: Cases and Cooling | August 19, 2013 - 01:42 PM |
Tagged: nzxt, H630 Silent, full tower

This case is not the cream colour that once graced the enclosures of computers everywhere but a very bright and clean white.  The default cooling system consists of 200mm fans which help to keep the noise generated by the system at a minimum but you can choose to use 120 or 140mm fans as well as to mount radiators if you choose watercooling.  At 245 x 547 x 567mm (9.6 x 21.5 x 22.3") you will be able to fit the tallest CPU coolers and longest GPUs without issue and the huge number of expansion bays should satisfy storage junkies.  Thanks to the wide variety of toolless installation adapters and living up to the name silent, [H]ard|OCP gave this case a Silver Award; it is worth checking out if you are shopping for a full tower.

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"NZXT leads its H630 charge with the key talking points of, "Clean. Modern. Silent." Surely we think these are thee things that many enthusiast look for when putting together a new system build. Its huge fan support, steel construction, and airflow qualities that are reported to be specifically engineered for silent high performance operation are reviewed here."

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Source: [H]ard|OCP

Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard and Mouse

Subject: General Tech, Cases and Cooling | August 14, 2013 - 08:46 PM |
Tagged: windows rt, mouse, microsoft, keyboard

I would normally begin a product announcement with some introduction but, this time, a quote from Mary Jo Foley seems a better fit:

These new peripherals work with Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows RT, though only "basic functionality" is provided when used with Windows RT.

Problems with Windows RT, it is now obvious, go beyond Ethernet dongles and I would be shocked if Microsoft Hardware are the only ones suffering. We have already heard Plugable, an adapter and peripherals company, complain about Microsoft and their demand for Plugable to pull Surface RT drivers from their website. I cannot see this being a few localized issues.

microsoft_kbmnum_desktop_hero.jpg

These are the problems you will experience with a platform where the owner has complete control. Imagine how bad Windows RT will be if Microsoft slips behind, again, in Internet Explorer development; the only browsers allowed must be Internet Explorer reskins. But I digress.

The Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Desktop is a mouse, keyboard, and number pad with a unique appearance. Non-uniform keys pushing upward to a split should conform to the hand of a typical home row typist. WASD gamers might as well stop reading by this point. Microsoft is not known for mechanical switches so I would expect this keyboard to be typical membrane-based activation.

microsoft_kbmnum_side.jpg

Side-on shows off the depth better.

That said, most Microsoft peripherals I have used tends to keep up with mechanical in terms of durability and performance... except wired Xbox headsets. Those little turds snap within a matter of hours.

The mouse, on the other hand (literally), does not seem to include extra mouse buttons except for a dedicated Windows button. If you have not figured it out by now: gamers are not the target audience. It seems fairly standard otherwise, from a feature standpoint, although comfort and durability are the big deciding factors for many users which we are not in a position to give an honest opinion on.

Together, the devices are available within the week and retail for $129.95. The keyboard, separately, will be available in September for $80.95; the mouse, separately, will be available for $59.95. High price, but it might just be worth it for dedicated typists.

Source: Microsoft

NXZT's HALE90 series of PSUs is getting long in the teeth but still a contender

Subject: Cases and Cooling | August 12, 2013 - 03:36 PM |
Tagged: modular psu, PSU, NZXT HALE90, kilowatt, 80 Plus Gold

For $230 the NZXT HALE90 v2 1000W PSU needs to perform well to justify the price, especially as the 1200W model currently costs the same amount.  [H]ard|OCP has the tools to test this PSU to the limits and that is exactly what they did; the unit received a passing mark but no award as the quality of it's voltage regulation was right in the middle of the pack, no better nor worse than the competition.  It is a very efficient PSU if that is one of your prerequisites, it is rather attractive and offers a large selection of modular cabling.  Check out the full review for the exact specifications.

H-Hale90_1k.jpg

"The new NZXT HALE90 v2 1000 watt computer power supply has more than a few marketed points that talk it up like; clean currents, rock steady performance, eccentric design, and infused design elements. All that aside, we will put it through our brutal testing suite and find out if it is worth your hard earned cash."

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Source: [H]ard|OCP

Google TV versus Chromecast; is there a difference?

Subject: Cases and Cooling, Systems | August 9, 2013 - 01:34 PM |
Tagged: asus, asus cube, google, google tv, htpc

With the release of the Google Chromecast streaming USB stick it seems apropos to revisit Google's other foray into the HTPC business, Google TV.  Specifically it is the ASUS Cube up for review at Bjorn3D which will be offered as an example.  At less than 5" a side it is a tiny device with HDMI input and output, an pair of USB 2.0 connectors, an ethernet port and a connector for an IR sensor for the remote.  It does have wireless connectivity to help keep down on the clutter if you install it somewhere noticeable.  Inside you will find a 1.2 GHz Marvell Armada 1500 chip, 1GB of RAM and 2GB of user accessible storage.  There are a variety of apps to help you find streams to watch and is certainly easier to set up than a full HTPC.  At $125 is is more expensive than the Chromecast but it is also more powerful, see how in the review.

Bj3DAsus_Cube_07.jpg

"Asus Cube is the device that features latest Google TV OS that want to be part of your living room entertainment setup. With a good design, an unique remote, and $139 price tag, can it push Google TV further where others may have failed? Let’s find out."

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Source: Bjorn3D

CaseLabs shrinks down their modular case

Subject: Cases and Cooling | August 7, 2013 - 04:19 PM |
Tagged: CaseLabs, Merlin SM8

CaseLabs is not the most common of case manufacturers as their design is very open and modular and perhaps daunting for an inexperienced system builder but perfect for modders and watercoolers.  As you can see there is no drive rack, you install drives as needed directly to the chassis which leaves a lot of space for watercooling or lighting.  The cases dimensions of 22.44" x 11.18" x 22.38" are smaller than their previous families of cases but is still large enough for full ATX motherboards and oversized GPUs.  TechPowerUp installed a system in this case, opting for only a few of the available accessories as the base model is worth almost $400 before you start shopping for optional mounts.

TPU_install1.jpg

"CaseLabs is known for their modular cases because they allow for the most intricate water-cooling setup without compromising on quality. While their cases have been quite large in the past, the Merlin series offers smaller, more traditionally sized enclosures. We take the SM8 for a spin to see how it fares."

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Source: TechPowerUp

Phanteks Enters PC Case Market With Enthoo Primo Full Tower Chassis

Subject: Cases and Cooling | August 5, 2013 - 08:02 AM |
Tagged: phanteks, full tower, enthoo primo, eatx

Phanteks, a company known for its CPU coolers, has launched into a new market with a new full tower PC case called the Enthoo Primo. The case measures 650mm x 250mm x 600mm and is constructed from a steel frame and will aluminum panels. It is a full tower case that can accomodate motherboards up to EATX in size. The Enthoo Primo is all black with clean lines, controllable LEDs, and a side panel window.

Phanteks Enthoo Primo Full Tower EATX Case.jpg

The front of the case has a door that swings open to reveal the five 5.25" drive bays and front case IO. The IO includes:

  • 2 x USB 3.0
  • 2 x USB 2.0
  • 2 x Audio jacks

The Enthoo Primo also features a LED switch that can control the case's LEDs and user-added LED fans (or strips), and a PWM fan controller for up to 11 fans. As far as cooling options go, Phanteks bundles five 140mm PH-F140SP fans.

Phanteks Enthoo Primo Full Tower EATX Case_internals.jpg

In all, the Enthoo Primo supports up to 16 total fans or five water cooling radiators. The top and front case panels are removable and come equipped with dust filters. Water cooling radiator support includes:

  • Front: 1 x 240mm
  • Top: 1 x 480mm or 420mm
  • Side: 1 x 240mm without hard drives cages installed
  • Rear: 1 x 140mm or 120mm
  • Bottom: 1 x 240mm or 480mm

Internall features include eight PCI expansion slots, EATX motherboard support (with large CPU cutout), CPU coolers up to 207mm tall, five 5.25" drives, and six 3.5" HDDs or 12 2.5" SSDs. Phanteks has also placed mounting brackets for a water cooling reservoir and pump in the top and bottom of the case respectively. Cable management is enabled by grommets around the motherboard tray, routing space behind the motherboard tray, and two removeable hard drive cages that are covered from the window to present a clean aesthetic.

Phanteks Enthoo Primo Full Tower EATX Case_hard drive cages.jpg

It is a nice looking case for enthusiasts running high end hardware and cooling setups. Phanteks' Enthoo Primo is available now in the UK for £199.99 which works out to about $306 USD. However, according to Maximum PC, the new full tower case will be available in the US in September with an MSRP of $249.99.

Source: Phanteks