Introduction and Technical Specifications

Introduction

01-h80i_hero_fan.png

Hydro Series™ H80i High Performance Liquid CPU Cooler
Courtesy of Corsair

The Corsair Hydro Series™ H80i High Performance Liquid CPU Cooler is the middle tier cooler in Corsair's latest revision of the series. We decided to take the cooler apart to see what makes it tick and share insight on the components used in designing this award winning cooler.

03-h80i-flat.jpg

The Hydro Series™ H80i cooling system consists of an aluminum-based 120mm x 120mm x 38mm radiator capable of supporting two 120mm x 120mm fans, attached to a CPU copper-based cooling assembly via 3/8 inch rubber hoses. The CPU cooler contains embedded magnets to better hold the CPU clip to the body of the cooling assembly. The CPU cooler also includes an integrated LED in the top of the assembly as well as Corsair Link™ connection ports and fan connection ports. The cooling hoses are attached to the CPU assembly by rotating nozzles, capable of an almost full 360 degrees of rotation.

04-coolit-pump-breakdown.PNG

CPU cooler assembly breakdown
Courtesy of CoolIT Systems

Corsair partnered with CoolIT Systems in the design and implementation of the H80i. While the CPU cooler assembly pictured is not exactly like the H80i, the CoolIT Systems designed ECO II is close enough to the H80i in design for comparison purposes. Notice how the top cap and cold plate sandwich the pump assembly in place with the pump and electronics sitting in an upper chamber and the barbs feeding into or fed from a lower chamber.

Technical Specifications (taken from the Corsair and CoolIT Systems websites)

Cold Plate Material

Copper Micro Fin

Radiator Material

Aluminum

Radiator dimensions

120mm x 152mm x 38mm

Fan Dimensions

120mm x 120mm x 25mm

Maximum Fan Speed

2700 RPM

Maximum Fan Airflow

77 CFM

Fan dBA

37.68 dBA

Fan static pressure

4mm/H20

Tubing

Large-diameter, low permeability, low evaporation rubber

Socket Support

AMD AM2, AMD AM3, AMD FM1, Intel LGA 1155, Intel LGA 1156, Intel LGA 1366, Intel LGA 2011

Coolant

Low toxicity propylene glycol/water mixture with anti-corrosion/anti-fungal package

Continue reading our deconstruction of the Corsair Hydro Series H80i Cooler!!

Author:
Manufacturer: Corsair

Quick look at a low cost Carbide

Corsair continues its push into the case markets with yet another option, the Carbide 200R, bringing the price of entry down to sub-$50.  Currently selling on Newegg.com for $45 with a coupon code, check out this quick video walkthrough of the latest case from Corsair!

Video Loading...

After spending a bit more time with the case I can tell that for the price, the 200R is a pretty solid option.  I am not a fan of the 2.5-in drive arrangement that puts the power and data cables out into the case rather than towards the back (like the 3.5-in drives have) just from a cleanliness point of view, but that's somewhat minor.  Also worth noting is that even though we have a $50, and very light chassis, there aren't any sharp edges to cut you; Corsair did a good job rounding off the edges and having the metal fold back for a safe environment. 

There are a TON of case options in the price range so it might be hard for the Carbide 200R to stand out with a simple Newegg/Amazon search, but I think the Corsair brand will help sift it to the top.

Manufacturer: SilverStone

Introduction and Features

After a four year hiatus, SilverStone's top of the line power supply series, Zeus, has returned. The all new Zeus ZM1350 was designed for elite IT professionals, PC power users, and overclockers and retains excellent characteristics from its predecessors with a continuous output capacity of 1350W (1500W peak) rated for 24/7 operation at 50°C, ±1% voltage regulation for exceptional stability, and careful selection of premium industrial grade components. Other aspects such as efficiency, modular cabling compatible with other SilverStone PSUs, switch for multi/single +12V rail selection, pots for tweaking voltages, and fan speed control are all improved to make the new Zeus ZM1350 the most sought-after power supply that SilverStone has ever designed.  

2-Zeus-Banner.jpg

The Zeus ZM1350 PSU is fully modular and certified 80 Plus Silver (80 Plus Gold level efficiency when operating on 230VAC line power).  The ZM1350 features a switch to select between single or multiple +12V rails, incorporates three small pots for adjusting the +3.3V, +5V and +12V outputs, and has a fan speed override switch on the back panel to force the fan into constant full speed operation if desired.

3-Front-side.jpg

Zeus  Power Supply Key Features:

• 1350 watt continuous power output at 50°C (1500W peak)
• 60°C operation with up to 1080W continuous power output
• Strict ±1% voltage regulation with low AC ripple and noise
• Patented six/single +12V rails selector switch
• User accessible +3.3V, +5v, and +12V rail voltage adjustment pots
• 80Plus Silver certified with 80 Plus Gold level efficiency at 230VAC
• Class leading +12V rails with combined loading up to 105A (1260W)
• Industrial grade components
• Active PFC (up to 0.99)
• Universal AC input (90-264 VAC) full range
• Advanced 100% modular cables
• Long-life dual ball bearing 80mm fan with speed control switch
• Protections: OCP, OVP, OPP, OTP, UVP, SCP, NLO
• Supports latest ATX12V 2.3 & EPS12V 2.93 standards

Please continue reading our Zeus ZM1350 power supply review!

Manufacturer: Corsair

Introduction and Technical Specifications

Introduction

01-h100i_hero_fan.png

Hydro Series™ H100i Extreme Performance CPU Cooler
Courtesy of Corsair

03-h80i_hero_fan.png

Hydro Series™ H80i High Performance Liquid CPU Cooler
Courtesy of Corsair

04-h60_hero_fan.png

Hydro Series™ H60 High Performance Liquid CPU Cooler
Courtesy of Corsair

The Corsair Hydro Series™ CPU water coolers come in a variety of sizes and configurations to fit the needs of all classes of computer enthusiasts. We decided to look at their latest revisions of these coolers, embodied in the H60, H80i, and H100i cooling units. We put these units up against the Swiftech Apogee HD custom cooling system on our test bench to see just how well these coolers performed. Starting at a base price of $79.99 for the Corsair H60 cooler, you really can't go wrong with the any of these standalone units.

Continue reading our review of the new Corsair Hydro Series CPU Coolers!!

Manufacturer: Thermaltake

Introduction and Features

2-Soprano-Banner.jpg
 

The latest addition to Thermaltake's Soprano Series of enclosures is the New Soprano VO900.  It’s a full-featured mid-tower case that is specifically designed for quiet operation. The New Soprano uses sound-dampening foam on both side panels, a brushed aluminum door to close off all the exposed front drive bays, and comes with two quiet fans to keep the noise down and still provide good case cooling.

3-Multi-view.jpg

The New Soprano VO900is finished in classic black inside and out and comes with a front I/O panel that incorporates USB 3.0 ports and a top mounted HDD hot-swap Docking Station that supports both 2.5" and 3.5" HDDs.

4-HDD-dock.jpg

Thermaltake Soprano VO900 Mid-Tower Case Key Features:

• Elegant streamlined design with black finish inside and out
• Brushed aluminum front door panel
• Sound-dampening foam on both side panels for quiet operation
• (1) 200mm Blue LED fan on front intake (600~800 rpm)
• (1) 120mm rear exhaust fan (1000 rpm)
• Removable front and bottom mounted dust filters
• Supports both ATX and Micro-ATX motherboards
• Two USB 3.0 ports on front I/O panel
• (4) 5.25" and (1) 3.5" exposed drive bays (behind front door)
• (5) 3.5"/2.5" internal HDD bays (with four removable trays)
• Top-mounted HDD hot-swap Docking Station (2.5" & 3.5")
• Innovative tool-free 5.25" and 3.5" drive bay mounting
• Cable-Clear cable management
• Support for liquid cooling systems
• Audiophile-style foot pads

Continue reading our review of the Thermaltake New Soprano VO9000 Case!!

Manufacturer: Corsair

Introduction and Features

2-AX860i-Banner.jpg

As promised, Corsair recently added four new power supplies to their AX Series including two new digital models, the AX860i and AX760i. The AX860i and AX760i PSUs bring most of the great features of Corsair's flagship AX1200i Digital ATX PSU (DSP control, Platinum efficiency, all-modular cables, and 7-year warranty) to PC gamers and enthusiasts who don't need a 1200W PSU and are looking in the range of 760 and 860 watts.  Both the AX860i and AX760i incorporate Digital Signal Processing to deliver extremely tight voltage regulation, clean and efficient power with the ability to make real-time adjustments to various internal parameters.  The included Corsair Link software can be used to monitor and adjust performance, noise (fan speed), and Over Current Protection (OCP) settings.  The Corsair AX860i and AX760i Digital ATX power supplies have been certified 80Plus Platinum for efficiency and come with all modular cables. 

In addition to the two new digital power supplies, Corsair is also revamping the traditional analog AX Series line with the addition of the AX860 and AX760 models, which include 80 PLUS Platinum certification, all-modular cables, and significantly lower noise levels than previous models.

3-ax860i_psu_sideview_a.jpg

Corsair AX860i Digital ATX PSU Key Features:

• Digital Signal Processor (DSP) for extremely clean and efficient power
• Corsair Link Integration for monitoring and adjusting performance
• 860 watts continuous power output (50°C)
• Dedicated single +12V rail with user-configurable virtual rails
• 80Plus Platinum certified, delivering up to 92% efficiency
• ZVS / ZCS technology for high efficiency
• Independent DC-to-DC converters
• Ultra quiet 120mm double ball bearing fan
• Silent, Fanless mode up to ~30% load
• Self-test switch to verify power supply functionality before installation
• High quality capacitors for uncompromised performance and reliability
• Fully modular cable system
• Conforms to ATX12V v2.31 and EPS 2.92 standards
• Universal AC input (90-264V) with Active PFC
• Over-current, over-voltage, under-voltage and short circuit protection
• Dimensions: 150mm (W) x 86mm (H) x 160mm (L)
• 7-Year warranty and legendary Corsair customer service

Please continue reading our Corsair AX860i Digital PSU review!

Manufacturer: Seasonic

Introduction and Features

2-G-Series-Banner.jpg

Seasonic’s G Series includes four new power supplies ranging in output capacity from 360W up to 650W. The G Series was designed for customers who are building small to mid-size systems and they offer high quality but without all the bells and whistles of Seasonic’s popular Platinum and X Series. The new G Series is available in 360W, 450W, 550W, and 650W models. In comparison to the Seasonic Platinum and X Series, the G Series uses a high quality 120mm Adda fan paired with the S2FC fan control, rather than the super Sanyo Denki SanAce fan and S3FC fan control. The 360W model we are reviewing comes with standard fixed cables while the 450W, 550W and 650W models come with a hybrid combination of fixed and modular cables. All power supplies in the G Series are 80 Plus Gold certified and backed by Seasonic’s 5-year warranty.

3-G360-side.jpg

Seasonic G Series 360W Power Supply Key Features:

• 80Plus Gold certified and eco-friendly
• DC-to-DC converter design provides superior dynamic response
• Tight voltage regulation (±3%)
• Smart and Silent Fan Control (S2FC)
• High reliability 105°C electrolytic capacitors
• Conductive polymer aluminum solid capacitors
• High current gold plated terminals
• 12cm Ball bearing cooling fan
• Ultra ventilation (Honeycomb structure)
• Video card support (one or more PCI-E connectors)
• Universal AC input (Full Range) and Active PFC
• 5-Year Warranty

Please continue reading our Seasonic G Series 360W power supply review!

Manufacturer: LEPA

Introduction and Features

LEPA is a relatively new player in the PC power supply market and they continue to expand their power supply offerings with the introduction of a second generation Gold Series 650W, 750W, and 850W PSUs.  LEPA also offers five other power supplies in the original G Series ranging from 500W all the way up to 1600W! We will be taking a detailed look at LEPA’s new Gold Series 750W PSU in this review.

2-LEPA-Banner.jpg

Up until now, the LEPA name has traditionally been considered a house-brand for Enermax but the new LEPA Gold Series is manufactured by Channel Well and not Enermax – interesting. ECOMASTER is the authorized US agent for both Enermax and LEPA brand products.

3-g850-mas_lrg1.jpg

LEPA Gold 750W Power Supply Key Features:

• 750 watt continuous power output (up to 40°C)
• 80Plus Gold certified to deliver up to 92% efficiency
• Low load, Fanless Mode (=15% load)
• DC-to-DC converter design ensures system reliability
• Double Forward circuit design provides high efficiency
• High efficiency 5VSB circuit helps meet EU ErP Lot 6 (2013) standards
• Solid state capacitors and all Japanese-made capacitors for reliability
• 140mm dual-ball bearing fan with thermal programmed speed control
• Hybrid modular cabling with flat, ribbon-style modular cables
• Powerful single +12V rail (62A) offers great compatibility
• Active PFC (up to 0.99)
• Universal AC input (100-240 VAC) full range
• OP, OV, OT, SC and Brown-out protection
• ATX12V and EPS12V version compliant

Please continue reading our LEPA Gold 750W power supply review!

Manufacturer: SilverStone

Introduction and Features

2-ST45SF-G-Banner.jpg

SilverStone has a long-standing reputation among PC enthusiasts for providing a full line of high quality enclosures, power supplies, cooling components, and accessories.  SilverStone recently updated their original ST45SF small form factor power supply to 80Plus Gold status.  The new ST45SF-G is rated for up to 450W and comes with fully modular cables. The SFX form factor is frequently found in Micro ATX Media Center PCs and Home Theater PCs.

3-ST45SF-G.jpg

SilverStone ST45SF-G 450W PSU

Here is what SilverStone has to say about the ST45SF-G: "After successfully expanding and leading SFF (Small Form Factor) cases and SFX PSU into the DIY market, SilverStone engineers have continued their push for advancement in these categories by releasing a true upgrade-worthy small form factor power supply, the ST45SF-G. Despite being half the size of regular ATX power supply, the ST45SF-G can still produce continuous power output of 450W. Its 80 Plus Gold level efficiency is a great leap from the previous SFX best of 80 Plus Bronze and the full modular cables are also the first of its kind for this form factor. To enable users to easily take advantage of this excellent SFX power supply, an adapter is included to convert the ST45SF-G to mount in any ATX case in addition to ones designed for only SFX. For SFF users and for SilverStone, the ST45SF-G is more than just an upgrade, it is an important milestone for DIY desktop computer users."

SilverStone ST45SF-G Main Features:
• Supports standard SFX form factor and ATX (via included bracket)
• 450W continuous power output at 40°C and rated for 24/7 operation
• 80 PLUS Gold level efficiency (87%~90% efficiency at 20%-100% load)
• 100% Modular cables
• Class-leading single +12V rail with 37A capacity
• Strict ±3% voltage regulation with low ripple & noise
• Silent running 80mm fan (18dBA minimum)
• Single PCI-E 8-pin and dual PCI-E 6-pin connectors
• Universal AC input (90-260 VAC) and Active PFC

Please continue reading our review of the SilverStone ST45SF-G power supply!

Manufacturer: Corsair

Introduction and Features

2-Vengeance-Banner.jpg

Earlier this year Corsair added the Vengeance series to their enclosure lineup and in this review we will be taking a detailed look at the Vengeance C70 mid-tower gaming case.  Corsair continues to bring a full line of high quality cases, memory components, power supplies, cooling components, SSDs and accessories to market for the PC enthusiast and professional alike.  The new Vengeance cases come in three different colors: Gunmetal Black, Military Green, and Arctic White. Corsair designed the Vengeance cases for travelling gamers. They feature rugged steel construction with numerous case cooling options for going on the road to the next LAN party.

3-C70x3.jpg

Here is what Corsair has to say about the Vengeance C70 Cases:

Battle-Ready

When it’s time to take your competitive gaming on the road, the Vengeance C70 mid-tower PC case is a great choice. It’s crafted out of solid steel and made to survive trips with less wear and tear, and the ergonomic carry handles help you move your gear with confidence.

Air Cover

High-performance gaming hardware requires high-performance cooling. Vengeance C70 is equipped with three 120mm fans out of the box, with mounting points for seven more to meet your exact air cooling demands.

…and Water Cover, too

Vengeance C70 is also outfitted for liquid cooling upgradability. You get 240mm radiator compatibility on top of the case, and if that’s not enough, you can remove the lower hard drive cage to fit a second 240mm radiator for a dual-loop setup.

Gear Up

A case is as much a part of your armory as any other component. With internal USB 3.0 connectors for modern motherboards, native SSD compatibility, eight expansion slots and room for long graphics cards, the C70 stands ready to take on any challenger.

Lock and Load

Easy access side panels come off with quick-release latches. The optical drive bays and 3.5” hard drive bays are tool-free. Thumbscrews secure your graphics cards, and the hard drive cages can be easily removed for better airflow or additional expansion room. Cable routing tie-downs and built-in clamps keep your system tidy.

With so many features, the Vengeance C70 does what it’s supposed to do – stay out of your way while you build or upgrade.

Please continue reading our Corsair Vengeance C70 case review!

Manufacturer: Seasonic

Introduction and Features

2-X_1050-1250_Banner.jpg

Seasonic has a well earned reputation for producing some of the best PC power supplies on the planet. Over the years, Seasonic has been the OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) of choice for companies like Corsair, PC Power & Cooling, and XFX to name just a few. But Seasonic also markets power supplies under their own brand name. The new X-Series 1050W and 1250W are Seasonic's newest and most powerfull PSUs to date. Both power supplies are based on Seasonic's X-Series line, which has brought several major advancements to the standard PC power supply platform since its introduction three years ago.

• Proprietary circuit design delivers High efficiency (80Plus Gold or Platinum certified)
• Full modular DC Connector Module features integrated VRMs (3.3V and 5V)
• Hybrid Silent Fan Control (3 modes of operation: Fanless, Silent and Cooling)
• High-quality Sanyo Denki SanAce120 dual ball bearing fan with PWM
• High-reliability 105°C grade A capacitors and solid polymer capacitors

3-Side-Nameplate.jpg

Here is what Seasonic has to say about their new X-Series Gold 1050W and 1250W power supplies:

"The X-1050 and X-1250 are the newest additions to one of our most successful retail lines currently available. Now the X-Series will extend from 400 and 460 watt fanless and then 560, 660, 760, 850 watt and now 1050 and 1250 watts for top end systems; a total of eight X-Series models in all.

80Plus Gold The X-1050W and X-1250W PSUs are certified in accordance to the 80PLUS organization's high standards, offering the newest technology and innovation for performance and energy savings with up to 90% efficiency and a true power factor of greater than 0.9 PF.

Full Modular Design (DC to DC) Common to all X-Series power supplies, the new X-150 and X-1250 feature the unique integrated DC connector panel with onboard VRM (Voltage Regulator Module) that enables not only near perfect DC-to-DC conversion with reduction of current loss/impedance and increase of efficiency but also a fully modular DC cabling that enables maximum flexibility of integration and forward compatibility.

Seasonic Hybrid Silent Fan Control An industry first, advanced 3 phased (Fanless, Silent and Cooling Mode) thermal control balances between silence and cooling. In addition, a selector switch is provided to allow you to select between Seasonic S2FC control, without fanless mode or S3FC fan control with fanless mode.

Sanyo-Denki San Ace Silent Fan The world-renowned Sanyo Denki ball bearing fans are made of the highest quality components to insure maximum quality and performance. The use of spoon shaped high-density plastic fan blades with smoothed leading edges, strict tolerance ball bearings and precision copper axel are just some features to ensure ultra-low noise performance and quality."

Please continue reading our Seasonic X-1250 PSU review!

Manufacturer: PC Perspective

Thoughts about Interface Design in General

I have been in several situations where a variety of people claim the gamepad is superior for gaming because that is what it was designed for. No elaboration or further justification is given. The controller is designed for gaming and is therefore clearly better. End of – despite often being start to – discussion in their minds.

Really it is a compromise between the needs of popular games and the environment of a couch.

Interface design is complicated. When you design an interface you need to consider: the expected types of applications; the environment of the user; what you are permitted to use; what tolerances are allowed; what your audience is used to; and so on, so forth. There is a lot to consider when you design an application for a user and I could make an educated guess that it is at least as hard to design the input device itself.

The history of keyboard design is a great example of tradeoffs in input devices.

Sometimes it is better to be worse...

Dvorak.svg_.png

The first wave of keyboards were interfaces to the mechanical typewriter. These keyboards were laid out in alphabetical order because as long as each key is accessible and the user could find the letter they wanted – who cares, right? We already have an order for the alphabet that people understands so the users should not have too much difficulty in finding the letter they need.

Another constraint quickly game to light: typists were too fast and the machines jammed.

The engineers now needed to design an input method which could keep up with the typist. Correcting the machine itself was somewhat futile so the solution was to make the typist as slow as possible. The most common letters in the English language were spread all over the place and – while possibly by fluke – the left hand is favored, as in made do more work, over the often dominant right hand.

The problem required making the most aggravating keyboard layout engineers could imagine. QWERTY was born.

What has been designed to threaten QWERTY? Read on to find out.

Manufacturer: EVGA

Introduction and Features

EVGA might not be the first name that comes to mind when looking for a high-end power supply but they are about to change that with the introduction of the SuperNOVA NEX1500 Classified 1500W power supply. Not only is the SuperNOVA NEX1500 Classified the highest capacity power supply we have reviewed to date, it also comes bundled with EVGA’s SuperNOVA software that allows monitoring all of the power supply’s functions in real-time from your desktop.

EVGA was founded in 1999 with headquarters in Brea, California. They currently specialize in producing NVIDIA based graphics adapters and Intel based motherboards and they are now expanding their product line to include enthusiast grade power supplies, starting with the NEX1500. EVGA plans to add 750W and 650W models to follow.

2-SuperNOVA-Banner.jpg

The EVGA SuperNOVA NEX1500 Classified power supply can deliver up to 1500W combined load while operating on 120VAC mains and can be “overclocked” to 1650W if operated on 240 VAC mains.  It used to be that ~1200W DC output was about as high as you could go on 120VAC mains but as the overall PSU total efficiency has increased higher outputs are now possible. The NEX1500 supports either single or multiple +12V rail modes (DIP switch selectable) and can deliver up to 124A on the +12V rail (133A in OC mode). WOW – you can weld ½” steel plate with 120A!! (OK, I might have trouble keeping the arc stable at 12V, but that is still some serious current.) This bad-boy even comes with a handle and is backed by a 10-Year warranty. And just to tickle your interest, here are a few stats you might be wondering about:
• 1500W Continuous power output @50°C (1650W in OC mode)
• 124A +12V rail (133A in OC mode)
• SuperNOVA control and monitoring software included (USB interface)
• (19) PCI-E connectors and (2) EPS12V connectors
• OEM is Etasis Electronics Corp. (well-known in the server industry)
• MSRP $449.99 USD (available now)

Here is what EVGA has to say about the new SuperNOVA NEX1500 Classified PSU:
“The EVGA NEX1500 Classified is the ultimate enthusiast power supply. Designed to support the toughest hardware, the EVGA NEX1500 Classified supports ground-breaking new features like SuperNOVA enthusiast software control, Overclock Mode that increases the maximum power output up to 1650W, and fully modular, individually sleeved cables.

You can also count on EVGA to provide the utmost reliability and performance, with 100% Japanese capacitors and a durable ball bearing fan. The NEX1500 Classified is designed from start to finish to be the best choice for today’s most demanding high-end computers. Get to the next level with the EVGA NEX1500 Classified Power Supply!"

3-NEX1500.jpg

EVGA SuperNOVA NEX1500 Classified 1500W PSU Key Features:

• SuperNOVA, exclusive power supply control and monitoring software
• Control and adjust +12V voltage for maximum overclocking potential
• Switch between single or multiple +12V rails for ultimate control
• Overclock Mode allows PSU to deliver up to 1650W with 230VAC input
• Unbeatable 10-Year Warranty and unparalleled EVGA Customer Support
• 80PLUS Gold certified, with up to 90% efficiency under typical loads
• Highest quality Japanese brand capacitors ensure long-term reliability
• Individually sleeved cables for outstanding looks and cable management
• Fully modular to reduce clutter and improve airflow
• NVIDIA SLI Certified
• Sanyo Denki ball bearing fan  for exceptional reliability and quiet operation
• Universal AC input (100-240V) with Active PFC
• Heavy-duty Protections: OVP, UVP, OCP, OPP, SCP and OTP
• Dimensions: 150mm (W) x 86mm (H) x 200mm (L)

Please continue reading our review of the EVGA SuperNOVA NEX1500 PSU!!!

Manufacturer: Corsair

Introduction and Features

Corsair continues to bring a full line of high quality power supplies, memory components, cases, cooling components, SSDs and accessories to market for the PC enthusiast and professional alike.  Corsair's updated Professional Series HX power supplies include four models; the HX650, HX750, HX850 and HX1050.  All of the power supplies in the Professional Series feature modular cables, premium quality components, an energy-efficient design (now 80 Plus Gold certified) and quiet operation; and they are backed by a 7-year warranty and lifetime access to Corsair's comprehensive technical support and customer service. The most obvious differences between the new models and the old Professional Series HX PSUs are the new 80 Plus Gold efficiency certification (upgraded from 80 Plus Silver) and the ability to operate in fanless-mode.

2-hx850_psu_sideview_cable_.jpg

Here is what Corsair has to say about their new Professional Series HX PSUs:

"Legendary Performance and Reliability

Corsair Professional Series HX power supplies are designed for PC builders and upgraders who need a highly efficient, quiet, and supremely-reliable power supply, with a modular cable-set that makes installation a breeze.

Quiet Operation at Low Loads

Thanks to their highly-efficient design, Corsair Professional Series power supplies generate minimal heat, and are able to operate in a silent, fully-fanless mode at up to 20% of the PSU’s maximum load (170W for the HX850). This means that Professional Series HX PSUs will be completely silent when you’re performing less intensive tasks, such as web browsing or chatting in forums. And the thermally-controlled fan spins up gradually above 20% load, so that it still operates quietly during normal use and when gaming. Basic PC power supplies have fans that spin all the time your PC is on – whether you’re pushing your graphics card to the limit or just surfing the web – making them noisier and more intrusive.

Modular Cables for Easy Installation

Professional Series power supplies have a comprehensive modular cable set that allows you to use only the cables you need for your particular set of components. The benefits of this include a cleaner, neater installation, and that ‘professionally-built’ look, plus increased airflow through the case due to reduced cable clutter. The cables are also long enough to support full-tower cases.

80 PLUS Gold: High Efficiency – Low Heat

Efficiency is the measurement of how effectively a power supply converts AC power from your wall outlet to the DC power used by your PC’s components. If your power supply isn’t efficient, it will generate more heat, which requires more cooling and more fan noise. And, it might even affect your power bill.

Professional Series HX PSUs are among the most efficient on the market. Each model has 80 Plus Gold certification, which ensures up to 90% energy-efficiency. This helps to keep your PC cool and quiet, and it may even save you money too.

Reliable

Professional Series HX PSUs are built with premium components, such as 105°C capacitors, and are capable of continuous power delivery at a temperature rating of 50°C, ensuring maximum performance and reliability even in the most demanding and hot-running performance PCs.

The Corsair Advantage

Corsair Professional Series PSUs are backed by a reassuring 7-year warranty and comprehensive customer support via telephone, email, forum and the Tech Support Express helpdesk."

Please continue reading our review of the Corsair Professional Series HX850!

Manufacturer: Corsair

Introduction and Externals

Corsair manufactures a wide variety of components and peripherals for PC enthusiasts. They essentially target the most enthusiastic customers in whatever market they enter – breaking the ice with the coldest and harshest critics who are never above nitpicking faults and flaws. Despite tossing their first generation products to the sharks they perform uncharacteristically well for a new contender almost every time. They look before they leap.

IMG_2014.jpg

The Corsair K60 and K90 were launched simultaneously and represent Corsair’s first attempt at producing a mechanical keyboard. Corsair has included media keys, a metal volume wheel, and a Windows-key lock on both keyboards if you find yourself yelling, “I HATE THIS KEY!” at your desktop because your game is now minimized and cannot receive your hatred.

 

IMG_2028.jpg

Rubberized when down, not when up -- but stable either way.

I never said I wasn't one of the nitpickers.

Both keyboards are built around an aluminum chassis with a nonslip coating to each key. Each keycap has a sharply defined edges compared to the more round edges found on a Razer Blackwidow and other similar keyboards. Neither keyboard has rubberized tips on their ergonomic flaps although slipping has not been an issue in my testing.

Check in after the break to learn more about Corsair's first mechanical keyboards.

Manufacturer: Corsair

Introduction and Features

Manufacturers are continually looking for ways to differentiate their products from the rest of the field and highlight new or improved features to make you want to buy their products.  Leave it to Corsair to actually come up with a truly new and unique power supply for the PC enthusiast market!  The Corsair AX1200i is a smart PSU that incorporates a Digital Signal Processor (DSP) to deliver extremely clean, efficient power with the ability to make real-time adjustments to various internal parameters.  The included Corsair Link software can be used to monitor and adjust performance, noise (fan speed), and Over Current Protection (OCP) settings.

It’s been almost two years since we reviewed Corsair’s flagship power supply, the Professional Series Gold AX1200.  While the new AX1200i retains many of the original features it now comes with 80 Plus Platinum efficiency certification and a built-in DACS (Data Acquisition and Control System) thanks to Corsair Link technology.

2-detail_axi_psu_cutout_b_g.jpg

(Courtesy of Corsair)

Here is what Corsair has to say about their new AX1200i Digital ATX power supply unit:  "The revolutionary AX1200i is the first desktop PC power supply to use digital (DSP) control and Corsair Link to bring you an unprecedented level of monitoring and performance customization. The DSP in the AX1200i makes on-the-fly adjustments for incredibly tight voltage regulation, 80 PLUS Platinum efficiency, and clean, stable power.

Real-time monitoring and control with Corsair Link. Put the AX1200i under your control by connecting it directly to a USB header on your motherboard with the included cable, or to a Corsair Commander (available separately). Then, download the free Corsair Link Dashboard software for unrivaled power supply monitoring and control options.

Monitor power input and output, efficiency, fan speed, and internal temperature, directly from the Windows based application. Or, take it to the next level and set up and modify fan speed profiles, or even select from virtual “single rail” or “multi-rail” software modes, with selectable OCP points. "

Corsair AX1200i Digital ATX PSU Key Features:

• Digital Signal Processor (DSP) for extremely clean and efficient power
• Corsair Link Integration for monitoring and adjusting performance
• 1,200 watts continuous power output (50°C)
• Dedicated single +12V rail with user-configurable virtual rails
• 80Plus Platinum certified, delivering up to 92% efficiency
• ZVS / ZCS technology for high efficiency
• Independent DC-to-DC converters
• Ultra quiet 140mm double ball bearing fan
• Silent, Fanless mode up to ~30% load
• Self-test switch to verify power supply functionality
• Premium quality components
• Fully modular cable system
• Conforms to ATX12V v2.31 and EPS 2.92 standards
• Universal AC input (90-264V) with Active PFC
• Over-current, over-voltage, under-voltage and short circuit protection
• Dimensions: 150mm (W) x 86mm (H) x 200mm (L)
• 7-Year warranty and legendary Corsair customer service

Please continue reading our Corsair AX1200i Digital PSU review!

Manufacturer: SilverStone

Introduction and Features

2-GD07-Banner.jpg

Earlier this year, SilverStone released two brand new enclosures designed for HTPC enthusiasts, the Grandia Series GD07 and GD08.  The two cases are nearly identical except for the front panel and some differences in the internal drive cage layout.  The GD07 sports a stealthy clean look with a lockable front door for security that conceals all the drives and I/O functions while the GD08 comes with a traditional exposed front and classic black anodized aluminum front panel. Both enclosures have been completely re-engineered and include the latest features like oversized motherboard and expansion card support, USB 3.0 ports, and excellent case cooling while being less expensive than some of SilverStone’s premium HTPC enclosures (the GD07 is currently selling for $139.99 and the GD08 is selling for $149.99 USD). We are taking a detailed look at the SilverStone GD07 HTPC case in this review.

SilverStone Technology was one of the original manufacturers to enter the HTPC case market and they continue to offer one of the largest selections of HTPC enclosures available today.  SilverStone currently offers 18 different HTPC enclosures spanning three different series including the Crown, Grandia and Lascala lines.  In addition to designing premium HTPC enclosures, SilverStone has a long-standing reputation among PC enthusiasts for providing a full line of high quality computer chassis, power supplies, cooling components, and accessories. 

3-GD07-3.jpg

SilverStone Grandia Series GD07 HTPC Chassis Key Features:

• Full-size HTPC enclosure
• Positive air pressure design for excellent cooling with minimal noise
• Quick-access air filters helps prevent dust buildup
• Lockable front door and power button ensure system security
• Supports Micro-ATX, ATX and Extended-ATX motherboards
• Supports extended length graphic cards up to 13.6” long
• Four external 5.25" optical drive bays behind front door
• Five internal 3.5" and two internal 2.5” drive bays
• Excellent case ventilation with multiple dedicated vents
• Three 120mm cooling fans included
• USB 3.0 ports

Continue reading our review of the SilverStone Grandia Series GD07 HTPC case!

Manufacturer: Cooler Master

Introduction and Features

2-20th.png

  
Cooler Master is a well know name among PC enthusiasts and they are currently celebrating their 20th anniversary!  In addition to a full line of PC enclosures, Cooler Master offers power supplies, coolers, and numerous accessories for mobile computing, notebooks, servers, and gaming. In this review we will be taking a detailed look at the new Cooler Master HAF XM enclosure, which is a very interesting mid-tower version of their popular HAF X series full-tower enclosure.

3-HAF-XM-Banner.jpg

Here is what Cooler Master has to say about the new HAF XM enclosure: “The pure essence of the HAF X packed into a mid-tower size. The HAF XM supports up to four huge 200mm fans (Top x 2, Front, and Side), a large 140mm rear exhaust fan, and ample space for even the most demanding system builds. Liquid cooling support, an easy-access 90 degree rotated latched side panel, front HDD and SSD X-Docks, USB 3.0, and support for a hidden 2.5” HDD/SSD behind the motherboard tray make the HAF XM the ultimate setup for those that want enthusiast-grade features in a mid-tower package.

Continue reading our review of the Cooler Master HAF XM chassis!!

Manufacturer: Thermaltake

Introduction, Features and Specifications

2-Dr-Power-Banner.jpg

Thermaltake is a well known name among PC enthusiasts. They offer a full line of PC enclosures, power supplies, cooling equipment and accessories. Today we are taking a detailed look at Thermaltake's Dr. Power II Universal ATX Power Supply Tester.  This is a second generation device that can come in very handy when you're trying to diagnose problems with your PC. A faulty or failing PSU can cause all kinds of problems (failure to startup, spontaneous re-boots, instability, etc.) and it can sometimes be difficult to know just what the source of the problem is. The Dr. Power II PSU Tester offers a quick and easy to use diagnostic tool to help confirm or rule out a bad power supply unit. 

3-Dr-Power-II.jpg

Thermaltake Dr. Power II Universal ATX PSU Tester Key Features:

• Designed from the ground up to support every ATX power supply available today, up to ATX12V v2.3
• Oversized LCD panel that accurately shows the value of each specific power rail, within one-tenth of a volt
• Accurate voltage indications for +12V, +5V, +3.3V, -12V, and +5VSB
• Built-in output connectors diagnostic system
• Low-voltage, high-voltage, no voltage, and PG alarm systems
• Easily troubleshoots system failure due to unstable power supply
• Built-in alarm system can notify user when the power supply demonstrates abnormal characteristics

Here is what Thermaltake has to say about their new Dr. Power II Universal ATX Power Supply Tester: "Dr. Power II is a fully automated power supply tester that enables users to easily and quickly determine if a power supply is defective or not; cutting overall troubleshooting time considerably. The oversized, easy-to-read LCD display and audible alarm helps users determine the exact cause of the failure, if there is one. An indispensible tool for any PC enthusiast or gamer!"

Continue reading our review of the Thermaltake Dr. Power II PSU Tester!!

Introduction and Features

Enermax has a well earned reputation for delivering reliable power supplies, enclosures, and other accessories to the PC enthusiast market. Their new Platimax Series includes five power supplies ranging from 600W to 1200W. We will be taking a detailed look at the Platimax 1000W power supply in this review. All Platimax power supplies are certified to deliver 80 Plus Platinum efficiencies and feature modular cables and quiet operation. Ecomaster is the authorized US agent for Enermax branded products.

2-banner_psu_platimax.jpg

Enermax Platimax 1000W PSU Key Features:

89Plus Ready: World's leading modular cables PSU series with 89-94% efficiency @ 20-100% load. Compliant with 80 Plus Platinum standard.
ErP Lot 6 Ready: Helps system meet ErP Lot 6 2010 (<1W at standby mode) with high efficiency +5vsb circuitry (with ErP Lot 6 enabled motherboard).
High Compatibility Ready: Single rail +12V output highly compatible with various types of high-end graphics cards at full-load operation.
24/7 @ 50°C Ready: Non-stop industrial class performance at 50°C ambient.
World Ready: 100-240 VAC universal AC input with Active PFC for Global usage.
C6 & Hybrid Ready: Maximum compatibility with C6 & Hybrid states of current and future CPU & GPU generations by Zero Load design.
DXXI Ready: 100% 6+2 pin (8P) PCI-E connectors to support new generation DXXI graphics cards.
Future Ready: 12P modular design to support upcoming new CPU & GPU 10P and/or 12P connectors.
Server Ready: SSI PSDG support for latest Intel Core Extreme/i7, Xeon and AMD Opteron and SLI or CrossFireX and downward compatible with EPS12V v2.92, v2.8.
HeatGuard: Keeps PSU fan running for 30-60 seconds after shutdown to dissipate the remaining system heat and prolong system life.
SafeGuard: Industry leading multiple protection circuitry for OCP, OVP, DC UVP, OPP, OTP, SCP, and SIP.
SpeedGuard: World's leading patented fan control starting with unmatched 550 RPM to a maximum of 1500 RPM for optimal cooling and minimum noise.
CordGuard: Fixing the AC cord tightly to receptacle to avoid accidental shutdowns of your PC.
Dynamic Hybrid Transformer Topology: Technological breakthrough using a staged dynamic transformer array for extremely high efficiency with the most durable and stable output at any load.
Twister Bearing Fan: 13.9cm Twister bearing fan with low noise and long lifetime (100,000 hours MTBF, Patented).
• 100% 105°C Japanese Electrolytic Capacitors: Highest component standards for maximum durability and stability.

3-psu_epm1000ewt_lrg2.jpg

Continue reading our review of the Enermax Platimax 1000 watt power supply!