Manufacturer: Kingwin

Introduction and Features

Kingwin has just released the fifth and most powerful unit in their top-of-the-line Lazer Platinum Series, the LZP-1000. As you might guess, all of the Lazer Platinum Series power supplies are 80Plus Platinum certified, which means they should deliver top efficiency (up to 90%, 92% and 89% efficiency @ 20%, 50% and 100% load). The LZP-1000 PSU we have up for review comes with a full compliment of fixed and modular cables, a very quiet 140mm fan and includes universal AC input with Active PFC. A new feature found on the LZP-1000 is the ability to run in fanless mode at low to mid power levels thanks to Kingwin's ECO Thermal Control System and 2-way Thermal Control switch. The LZP-1000 is designed to support the latest Intel and AMD processors along with multiple high-end graphic adapters (Crossfire/SLI/3 Way SLI).

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Kingwin LZP-1000 PSU Key Features:

• 1,000W total continuous power; Easily Overclocked to 650W
• 80 PLUS® Platinum Certified: 90%, 92% and 89% Efficiency @ 20%, 50% and 100% Load
• 140MM Fan with Intelligent Auto Fan Speed Control
• ECO Intelligent Thermal Control System (Patent)
• 2-Way Thermal Control switch (fanless at low power or fan on all the time)
• Supports Intel Core i7-980X/Core i7/Core i5/Core 2 Quad/Core 2 Duo and
• AMD Phenom II x6/Phenom II X4/Phenom II X3/Athlon 64 X2 CPUs
• Compliance with ATX 12V v2.2, EPS 12V v2.91, and SSI EPS 12V v2.92 Specifications
• Crystal Cube Modular Plugs w/ Patented Power Connector Cable Management System
• Six PCI-E 6+2 pin connectors to support high-end graphic cards
• Stable +12V current; 83A (996W)
• Over Power/Under Power/Over Voltage/Short Circuit Protections
• Universal AC input (115V ~ 240V) with Active PFC
• 5-Year warranty

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Continue reading our review of the Kingwin Lazer Platinum 1000W PSU!

Introduction and Features

SilverStone's new Strider Gold Evolution series power supplies include four models: 750W, 850W, 1000W and 1200W, which are based on the original Strider Gold series. SilverStone engineers have tweaked the design to improve both efficiency and performance and they replaced the original fan with a SilverStone Air Penetrator fan with fluid dynamic bearings to make it even quieter. The Strider Gold ST1000-G Evolution that we have up for review today is rated for 1000W DC output and is 80 Plus Gold certified. It comes with a full compliment of all modular cables, including dual EPS connectors and six PCI-E connectors for multiple high-end graphics adapter support. SilverStone also includes one of their new 140mm magnetic fan filters to help reduce dust buildup inside your PC.

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Here is what SilverStone has to say about their new Strider Gold Evolution 1000W power supply:

“To make great power supplies even better, SilverStone engineers delved into the details with the Strider Gold series. In order to reduce the already low noise generated by the Strider Gold, they replaced the fan with SilverStone’s own Air Penetrator, which has superb cooling ability and is equipped with fluid dynamic bearings. This allowed for reprogramming of the fan controller to enable lower fan speed at any given loading condition compared to the predecessor. Various components were also re-tested and replaced with newer versions for minor boost in efficiency and performance. An excellent FF141 fan filter with magnets is even included in the package for use to reduce dust buildup.

With the fan and component upgrades, the Strider Gold Evolution series will again encompass wattage range from 750W to 1200W with 80 PLUS Gold level efficiency, ±3% voltage regulation, low ripple & noise, and high amperage single +12V rail as its main features. For discerning users looking to get a top-notch power supply with all features covered and more, this is the perfect solution.”

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SilverStone ST1000-G Evolution PSU Key Features:

• 1,000W 24-Hour continuous power output (1,100W Peak)
• 80 Plus Gold certification: 87%~90% at 20%~100% loading
• Ultra silent 139mm Air Penetrator fan with fluid dynamic bearings
• SilverStone FF141 magnetic fan filter included
• 100% Modular cables
• Class-leading single +12V rail with 83A
• Strict ±3% voltage regulation and low ripple and noise
• Japanese made main capacitors
• Dual EPS 8-pin connectors
• Multiple PCI-E connectors (8-pin and 6-pin)
• Capacitors attached to PCI-E cables to reduce electrical noise
• Supports ATX12V 2.3 and EPS12V
• Active Power Factor Correction

Continue reading our review of the Silverstone Strider Gold Evolution 1000 watt power supply!!

Manufacturer: Seasonic

Introduction and Features

Seasonic has an excellent reputation for producing quiet ATX style PC power supplies with high efficiencies and stable outputs. However, Seasonic also has a full line of server style power supplies in both 1U and 2U form factors. In this review we will be taking a detailed look at their new SS-350M1U server style power supply, which features 80Plus Gold efficiency certification, active PFC, and modular cables. It will be interesting to see how this industrial grade unit compares to the more familiar ATX style power supplies built by Seasonic.

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Seasonic SS-350M1U Main Features:
• EPS 1U Form Factor, 350W
• ATX12V v2.31 & EPS12V compliant
• Supports the latest Intel & AMD sockets/CPUs
• 80Plus Gold efficiency certification
• DC to DC converter design
• Low ripple & noise
• Super low noise fan control
• Short circuit protection on all outputs
• Over voltage and Over power protection
• 100% hi-pot test & 100% burn in, high temperature cycled on/off

Continue reading our review of the Seasonic SS-350M1U Modular 80Plus Gold Power Supply!!

Introduction and Features

SilverStone has a long-standing reputation among PC enthusiasts for providing a full line of high quality enclosures, power supplies, cooling components, and accessories. In 2006, SilverStone introduced the Temjin TJ08, an impressive Micro-ATX tower case with dual 120mm cooling fans. It helped pioneer the idea of large tower cooling performance in a small package. Today, improved technology and the latest designs have enabled SilverStone engineers to create another innovative small tower case in the TJ08-Evolution with even better cooling performance than the original. The SilverStone TJ08-E is a premium enclosure designed specifically for SFF motherboards and features a beautiful black anodized aluminum front panel, excellent cooling performance, removable sides, top, and motherboard tray, and it packs a lot of storage capacity into a small tower chassis.

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(Courtesy of SilverStone)

To improve cooling performance, a SilverStone "Air Penetrator" 180mm fan has been installed behind the front panel to create a virtual airflow tunnel through the chassis with positive air pressure. This is a two-speed fan with a small, easily accessible speed selector switch mounted around on the side of the front I/O panel. SilverStone claims that by designing the TJ08-E with the positive air pressure concept, it enables better cooling performance than traditional chassis but also helps to prevent dust from penetrating into the chassis by use of a large, easily accessible filter on the intake fan and forcing air out of the chassis through unfiltered openings. A standard ATX power supply can be installed in a dedicated compartment, which features a top mounted air intake grill covered by a magnetic dust filter.

Continue reading our review of the Silverstone TJ08 Micro-ATX case!!!

Manufacturer: Rosewill

Introduction

Rosewill produces a whole lineup of products with seemingly incongruous variety. You can get matching brands for your blood pressure monitor, your wine opener, your DSLR bag, and your computer power supply. The vast majority of Rosewill's distribution flows through Newegg.

Their RK-9000 mechanical keyboard was manufactured by CoStar under the Rosewill branding. With that product, they brought a high quality mechanical keyboard to North America for a very decent price of just under a hundred dollars. For what might as well be considered a Filco keyboard, that is an outstanding price. It did not have media keys; it did not have backlighting; but it was a solid keyboard which felt great to type on and had outstanding performance.

Check out our video review of the Rosewill RK-9000 second generation and read on for the written review

At some point Rosewill decided to discontinue the RK-9000 without an official announcement. Beyond a sudden and sustained drop in availability, there was no evidence that the keyboard was no longer produced. A few silent months went by until Rosewill officially announced a second generation of RK-9000 mechanical keyboards. It was then clear why the RK-9000 was discontinued: it was being replaced and updated.

We were approached by the company to conduct a review of their recently released mechanical keyboards. Included was not just the Cherry MX Blue switched RK-9000, but also its three newly introduced siblings: the MX Brown switched RK-9000BR, the MX Black switched RK-9000BL, and the MX Red switched RK-9000RE. A little under three months ago we have received the review units and have been in the process of testing them ever since.

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What Rosewill was unaware of was that I am a proud owner of the original RK-9000 keyboard. This review is more than a review of Rosewill’s new products, but also will be a comparison between the new product and their original offering. Despite sharing a Newegg product page with its ancestor, the new keyboard is not identical. For good measure, I also have a Razer BlackWidow Ultimate lying around -- slightly dilute the oversaturation of the letter R in tested product names… albeit, not the company names.

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A new contender has enterkeyed.

If you happen to have an original RK-9000, is it time for an upgrade? If you are interested in all of the hoopla about mechanical keyboards, is this the correct time and place to dive in?

Check out our meticulous review of the new Rosewill RK-9000 mechanical keyboards.

Manufacturer: Thermaltake

Introduction and Features

Thermatake's Toughpower Cable Management Series includes five models ranging from 1,000W up to 1,500W. The Toughpower Cable Management 1350W PSU we have up for review today can deliver 1,350W. Thermaltake states that all of the Toughpower Cable Management Series power supplies are built with the latest technological advances in circuitry design with industrial grade components and feature high efficiency (80 Plus Silver certified), smart cable management, and come backed by Thermaltake's 5-year warranty.

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Here is what Thermaltake has to say about the Toughpower Cable Management Series: "Proper airflow within computer system plays an extremely important role in making sure CPU, Graphic Cards, Hard Drives and other critical components are getting adequate cooling. Thermaltake Cable Management Technology allows users to only use the cables needed from the power supply that reduces the amount of cable clutter within the computer to improve cooling and reduce system noise."

Thermaltake Toughpower Cable Management 1350W PSU Key Features:

• 24/7 @ 50°C: Guaranteed to deliver 1350W continuous power
• Compliance with Intel ATX 12V v2.3 and SSI EPS 12V v2.91 standards
• 80 PLUS Silver certified: 87-91% efficiency @ 20-100% load
• Double-forward switching circuitry offers low power loss and high reliability
• DC-to-DC converters provide high efficiency and stable performance
• Robust, dedicated dual +12V rails (60A for 12V1 and 60A for 12V2)
• High quality 105°C Japanese capacitors: ensure superb performance and reliability
• Multi-GPU ready: comes with 8 x PCI-E 6+2 pin connectors
• Designed to support quad core, i7 and Core i5 CPUs
• Silent operation with intelligent 140mm cooling fan speed control
• Fixed and modular smart cable management system
• Universal AC input (90~264V) with Active PFC
• Dimensions:150 x 86 x 200mm (W x H x L)
• Over-current, over-power, over-voltage, under-voltage and short circuit protection
• Safety/EMI approvals: CE,TUV,FCC, UL, CUL, GOST and BSMI certified
• 5-Year warranty

Continue reading our review of the Thermaltake Toughpower 1350 watt power supply!!

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Manufacturer: NZXT

Introduction, Features, Technical Specifications

Introduction

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PC enclosures continue to evolve as new hardware comes to market like Intel's new Sandy Bridge-E and Ivy Bridge processors, affordable solid state drives, and custom liquid cooling solutions. It is more critical than ever that users pay strict attention to not only what a PC case looks like, but what hardware it supports. Since it was founded in  2004, NZXT has been developing unique PC cases to satisfy the appetites of PC gamers and hardware enthusiasts alike. Their latest creation dubbed the Switch 810 is a full-tower "hybird" case that is optimized to support liquid cooling or air-cooled solutions.

 

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The Switch 810 brings together many crowd favorites like right-mounted hard drives with removable HD cages and support for 140 to 240mm radiators to give users a plethora of options for cooling their PC components. If you don't want to go the liquid cooling route, the Switch 810 has room for 10 fans on the front, back, top, and bottom panels. PC builders can use 120mm or 140mm fans, and NZXT starts them off by including four 140mm fans with the Switch 810 to provide excellent airflow for any PC setup.

Continue reading our review of the NZXT Switch 810 Full Tower PC Case!

Manufacturer: NZXT

Introduction and Features

NZXT recently released three power supplies in their new HALE82 Series, with output capacities of 650W, 750W, and 850W. This new lineup compliments NZXT's 80Plus Gold HALE90 Series and is targeted towards gamers and other power hungry enthusiasts. The HALE82 units are built by Seasonic and are 80Plus Bronze certified (82%~85% efficiency). The HALE82 850W PSU we have up for review comes with a full compliment of fixed and modular cables, a dual ball bearing 120mm fan, includes universal AC input with Active PFC and is backed by NZXT's 5-year warranty.

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NZXT HALE82 850W PSU Key Features:

• 80+ Bronze Certification - The HALE82 series from NZXT operates with high efficiency: at 20%, 50%, and 100% loads, efficiencies are 82%, 85%, and 82% respectively.
• 100% Japanese Capacitors - High quality components promote longer lifespan and better reliability.
• 120mm Two-Ball Bearing Fan - For smooth, silent rotation and optimal air intake.
• Strong Single +12V Rail - A single +12V rail provides stability and ease of use with the ability to deliver clean currents under a heavy load.
• Modular Design - Includes a selection of flat cables that allow the user to pick and choose which cables they want to use, maximizing cable management and airflow inside chassis.
• Large Tower Support - Extended 8pin connector for bottom mounted cases or large cases.
• Dual 8pin connector - For high end motherbaords dedicated to overclocking.
• Keeping it Safe - The HALE80 series offers over voltage, current, power, temperature, under voltage, and short circuit protection.
• Warranty: 5-Years
• Price: $139.99 USD (Directron.com December 2011)

Continue reading our review of the NZXT HALE82 850W power supply!!

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Manufacturer: Cooler Master

Cooler Master Aims to Impress

Right at the start of 2012, Cooler Master released a new case that was trumpeted as an "Ultra ATX" design.  And while the name itself is purely a Cooler Master creation, the Cosmos II chassis fits the name more than anything we have seen in recent memory.  Even though we posted this video on our PC Perspective YouTube channel before CES, I didn't get a chance to write up this short post and embed our host of images below.  

This is an impressive chassis design with tons of features and great layout decisions that needs to be seen to be understood - hence the video review below!

Cooler Master's new Cosmos II case is going to cost you $349 and while that price is extremely high, the fact is this is designed exactly for the PC builder that doesn't want to compromise on anything.  It weights nearly 50 pounds without a single component installed and feels like it could take more than its fair share of beating without showing damage.  Still, it is unique and stylish enough to look good at the same time. 

If you have the space and the money for the Cosmos II, then you will undoubtedly be happy with the purchase.

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If you still want to see some photos of the Cosmos II, I have included an assortment of them below along with some descriptions and notes. 

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Continue reading our review of the Cooler Master Cosmos II Case!!

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Manufacturer: Corsair

Introduction, Features, Technical Specifications

Introduction

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Courtesy of Corsair

Corsair expanded their product line exponentially in 2011 by adding a variety of PC components like mechanical keyboards, gaming mice, performance CPU coolers, desktop and headset sound systems, solid state drives, and their trademark system memory modules. One of the truest innovations we saw from Corsair this year was their self-contained watercooling units. Corsair developed the H100 to be their flagship CPU cooler that uses a dual-radiator configuration to bring enthusiasts an efficient and responsive cooling solution.

 

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Courtesy of Corsair

The Corsair H100 debuted in June 2011 and is the only self-contained watercooling unit on the market that sports a massive 240mm radiator and digital fan control buttons to adjust the CPU cooler for quiet, performance, and balanced modes. This CPU cooler retails for around $119 before shipping at most vendors, but many enthusiasts wonder how it stacks up against other comparable options from Corsair, Antec, and Thermaltake. Personally, I would also like to see what performance differences I will see using the H100 against a few of the top air-cooled heatsinks I have in our office.

Continue reading our review of the Corsair Hydro Series H100 CPU Cooler!!

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Manufacturer: Corsair

Corsair Carbide Series

Corsair's successful entry into the case world has taken quite a few people by surprise including consumers and many competitors in the case market.  With the first Corsair Obsidian series, the 800D, Corsair standardized many features that were only seen in much more niche products like cable routing openings on the motherboard tray and fan filters.  Since that release in September of 2009 we have seen the 600T in the Graphite series as well as the 700D and 650D added to the Obsidian. 

When Corsair showed us the first versions of the Carbide series in Taiwan during Computex 2011, it was finally addressing the primary complaint that many had about its cases: price.  The Carbide 500R can be found today for about $139 and the 400R for under $100.  

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The Corsair Carbide 400R (left) and 500R White (right)

Check out our video review of the pair of Carbide cases below!

You can find the Corsair Carbide cases for sale directly on the Corsair.com website or at Newegg.com:

My preference would be to get the 400R model with the noticeable price difference (relatively speaking) as it offers nearly identical performance and features, minus the larger side fan, very basic fan controller and removable drive cages.  Both are top notch designs for the low-cost gamer though and earn our PC Perspective Gold Award!

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Manufacturer: Seasonic

Introduction and Features

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 Platinum-860 and Platinum-1000 are Seasonic's newest and most advanced PSUs to date and the Platinum-1000 is their first 1kW unit. 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 two 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 San Ace dual ball bearing fan with PWM
• High-reliability 105°C grade A capacitors and solid polymer capacitors

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Continue reading our review of the Seasonic Platinum 80 Plus 1000W Power Supply!!

Manufacturer: Corsair

Introduction and Features

Corsair Memory continues to expand their PC power supply offering with the introduction of four new modular power supplies in their Enthusiast Series; the TX550M, TX650M, TX750M and TX850M. Corsair designed all of the new modular power supplies to deliver clean, stable, continuous power at an affordable price for PC gamers and performance enthusiasts. All of the Enthusiast Series TX Modular power supplies feature an energy-efficient design (80Plus Bronze certified), quiet operation and are backed by a 5-year warranty with lifetime access to Corsair's comprehensive technical support and customer service.

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Here is what Corsair has to say about their new Enthusiast Series TX Modular PSUs:
"Corsair Enthusiast Series power supply units are designed for hardcore PC gamers, performance enthusiasts, and anybody who appreciates a combination of high performance standards and affordability. Enthusiast Series PSUs are 80 Plus Bronze certified, and are available in both modular and non-modular configurations.

Based on the award-winning Enthusiast Series TX V2 line, Enthusiast Series Modular PSUs add a modular cabling system for improved installation flexibility. It provides a great combination of exacting performance standards and affordability. "

Continue reading our review of the Corsair TX550M and TX750M Power Supply!!

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Manufacturer: Antec

The Eleven Hundred Case from Antec

Antec has been making a fairly strong push back into the enthusiast market as of late by sponsoring specific gaming events like Blizzcon and by preparing and releasing new products in the company's very popular lines of chassis.  We have already taken a look at the Antec P280 case and in truth the Eleven Hundred we are looking at today is VERY similar to it.  It is constructed on the same base chassis but has some interesting changes on the doors, the front panel and cooling options.

Even more than just new products, Antec as a company is moving in the right direction internally, addressing customer complaints and re-focusing the company to its core demographics.  Company representative Jessie Lawrence actually sat down with me for an interview (our first edition of The Inside Perspective) last month where talked about new products and how Antec could improve its product line to gain the attention of the enthusiast crowd again.  Based on that discussion it would seem that Antec is aiming to be one of the leaders in cases again.

Today we are looking the beginnings of this promise, the Antec Eleven Hundred.  While the P280 was built towards a user that wants a particularly quiet computing experience, the Eleven Hundred finds itself targeted at performance users; those of us that want more fans, more cooling.  With a retail price of about $120, the Eleven Hundred should find its way into quite a few gaming PCs. 

Look below for our video review of the new case and keep reading for a collection of photos and more input on the design!!

I think the new Antec Eleven Hundred will be exactly the case that a lot of our readers want to see.  While not officially a full tower case, with support for 13-in graphics cards and XL-ATX motherboards, there won't be many people that don't find enough room in this design.  The inclusion of the grommetted routing openings and the HUGE CPU back plane hole are definitely great features to find their way to the Antec lineup.  Things like USB 3.0 front panel connections, dedicated 2.5-in drive bays and the eight (8!!) available 120mm fan location really round out the Eleven Hundred.  

Personally, I still find the mix of performance and quiet design features on the P280 more appealing, though that will depend on your system goals and individual preferences. 

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Continue reading our review of the Antec Eleven Hundred gaming case!!

Manufacturer: OCZ Technology

Introduction and Features

OCZ recently introduced the ZS Series power supplies, which are targeted towards value-oriented gaming systems. The ZS Series complements OCZ's High Performance and Max Performance power supplies and provides an affordable entry point for PC enthusiasts on a budget who still want good efficiency along with NVIDIA SLI or ATI CrossFire support.

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 The new ZS-Series currently includes three different power supplies ranging in output capacity from 550W up to 750W. The ZS-750 we have up for review today features 750W of continuous output power, is 80 Plus Bronze certified and incorporates all hard-wired cables with four PCI-E connectors. The OCZ ZS Series 750W PSU is currently selling for $84.99 USD (October 2011).

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Continue reading our review of the OCZ ZS Series 750 watt power supply!

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Manufacturer: Thermaltake

Introduction, Features, Technical Specifications

Introduction

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Courtesy of Thermaltake

Performance CPU coolers have been saturating the market in bunches this year, and Thermaltake added the FrioOCK to the fray to compete against other high-end heatsinks geared toward overclockers and power PC users. We wasted no time installing the FrioOCK in our LGA 1155 teset bench to see how it stacks up against other extreme air-cooled CPU coolers!

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Courtesy of Thermaltake

The FrioOCK is a universal CPU cooler that supports a variety of socket types from Intel (LGA1366, LGA1155, LGA1156, and LGA775) and AMD (AM3, AM2+, AM2). This heatsink uses a dual-tower design with six copper heatpipes to dissipate heat from the processor. The unit also sports two 130mm fans in a push-pull configuration to wisk heat away from the CPU.

Read the entire review of the Thermaltake FrioOCK Universal CPU Cooler!

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Manufacturer: Antec

Welcome to The Inside Perspective

Welcome!  The Inside Perspective is a new series on PC Perspective that will take you further behind the scenes of the industry than we typically go, with interviews of industry personnel.  I hope you find these discussions to be both informative as well as eye opening into the world behind the reviews, behind the press releases and the marketing speak that everyone sees on a daily basis.  http://pcper.com/tip

 

The Inside Perspective 001 - Antec's Jessie Lawrence

Antec was at one time the leader in enthusiast and gamer case design and much of what the company built years ago, like the P180 series, has endured years of modifications to remain relevant and these chassis remain some of the favorites of our staff.  However, in the past several years, the case world has seen new entrants, new designs and new feature sets that Antec has been slow to adopt and as such they have fallen out of the leaders position in the mind-set of enthusiasts, even if they haven't in sales in revenue.

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With the release of the new P280 and Eleven Hundred cases though (the former of which we have already reviewed) Antec is hoping to make a resurgence into the enthusiast market.  And while I definitely was impressed with the P280 there is still some work to do and, luckily, Antec knows it and is moving forward in the right direction. 

Recently, Antec's Communications Manager Jessie Lawrence stopped by the office and we sat down for a small interview to ask him about the new case designs, what he likes about working in this cut throat industry and how Antec plans to stem the tides against the competition.

 

While we are getting The Inside Perspective started, we are including it in our PC Perspective Podcast RSS feed.  Also, the video version which we would encourage you to check out can be seen below, embedded via YouTube.  You can be sure to find all of our episodes of The Inside Perspective at http://pcper.com/tip

  • iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the iTunes Store
  • RSS - Subscribe through your regular RSS reader
  • MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file
  • Video - See YouTube embed below (RSS to come soon!)

Host: Ryan Shrout

Guest: Jessie Lawrence, Antec

Program Length: 13:49

Program Schedule:

  1. 01:08 Introduction
  2. 02:15 Questions about new P280 and Eleven Hundred Cases
  3. 04:40 Target audience for each new case
  4. 05:50 Background with Jessie Lawrence
  5. 09:20 Memorable moments in the industry
  6. 11:20 How can Antec return to enthusiast roots?
  7. 13:45 Conclusion

Author:
Manufacturer: Antec

Antec pushes forward

Sometimes, when you right something correctly the first time, it still fits:

Antec is one of the most storied brands when it comes to enthusiast class components like cases and power supplies.  Unfortunately, the whims of the gamer change on a breeze as most will swap between company allegiances whenever the performance or features dictate.  Antec has fallen into this trap over the last few years as many in the community moved on from the likes of the ever-present P180 to newer and more innovative designs from other companies.  Having realized this internally and making moves to take care of that slide, Antec is going to start producing some modern cases with improved specifications.

I wrote those words as the introduction to our Antec SOLO II review and they still stand true.  The SOLO II was a good case for its small size but the new Antec P280 attempts to reenergize the excitement around the Performance One series of cases, well known for the P180/190 lineage.  The P280 continues with specific features like the 270 degree swinging door and sound dampening material but does it offer up enough additional features to catch the competition that has passed Antec? 

Check out our video review below and continue reading if you want to see a collection of still photos and our final thoughts!

Overall, I think the new Antec P280 is a great case for the price, coming in at $139 (and likely lower) at launch.  The case offers what I would now call "staple" features like the grommeted cable routing openings around the motherboard and a large CPU cooler installation opening while keeping what made the Performance One series of cases great including sound dampening material on the front door and side panels and the classic swinging door.  Extras like the dedicated 2.5-in drive bays, rubber feet for the standard 3.5-in HDDs, 9 expansion slots and the side access fan filter for the power supply really show that Antec is moving in the right direction again. 

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Continue reading our Antec P280 review for photos and commentary!!

Manufacturer: Thermaltake

Introduction and Features

It's been awhile since we reviewed our last Thermaltake power supply so we were excited to see a new Toughpower Grand unit show up on our doorstep recently. Thermatake's new Grand series includes five models ranging from 650W up to 1200W. All of the Toughpower Grand series power supplies feature advanced circuitry design, high efficiency (80 Plus Gold certified), smart cable management, and come backed by Thermaltake's 7-year warranty.

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Here is what Thermaltake has to say about their new Toughpower Grand Series: "Designed to meet the highest expectations and standards of today's extreme PC enthusiasts and system builders while pushing the limit of clean and reliable power delivery system utilizing advanced circuitry design that can only be found on Toughpower Grand series of high-efficiency power supplies. Smart cable management not only enables professional-looking system builds, but also accelerates airflow through the computer case for highly efficient heat dissipation. All of the above are achieved while enabling the Toughpower Grand power supply to deliver continuous power output even when operating in 50C environment, making it the Toughest power supply on the block."

Continue reading our review of the Thermaltake Toughpower Grand 1200 watt PSU!!

Introduction and Features

SilverStone has a well earned reputation among PC enthusiasts for providing a full line of high quality enclosures, power supplies, cooling components, and accessories. Their Strider Gold series, which includes four models ranging from 750W up to 1,200W, was designed to meet the needs of professional users and enthusiasts alike. The Strider Gold ST1200-G that we have up for review today is rated for 1200W DC output and is 80 Plus Gold certified. It comes with a full compliment of all modular cables, including dual EPS connectors and eight PCI-E connectors for multiple high-end graphics adapter support. High efficiency also means less waste heat, which should result in lower operating temperatures and less fan noise.

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Here is what SilverStone has to say about their new Strider Gold 1200W power supply:

To meet the ever higher requirements imbued by professional users and enthusiasts alike, SilverStone created the Strider Gold series power supplies. The Strider Gold models are built on a similar platform as the award-winning Strider Plus series but with even higher efficiency ratings.

The Strider Gold series will encompass wattage range from 750W to 1200W for a great variety of applications. In addition to 80 Plus Gold level efficiency, all models are built to meet very high standards in electrical performance so they have ±3% voltage regulation, low ripple and noise and high amperage single +12V rail. Other notable features also included are 24/7 40°C continuous output capacity, Japanese capacitors, low-noise 135mm fan, and multiple sets of PCI-E cables. For users looking for a power supply with a faultless combination of performance, efficiency, and quality, there is no need to look beyond the Strider Gold series.

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Continue reading our review of the SilverStone Strider Gold 1200W Power Supply!!