The Mini ITX Surge Continues
For years now the enthusiast crowd has been clamoring for Corsair to bring its case building prowess down to the Mini ITX market and with the Obsidian 250D it has done just that. By combining the design features that have make Corsair's units so popular with the aesthetic touches of the most recent Obsidian lineup, the 250D is an interesting and combination of size and performance.
The Corsair 250D is unlike most other Mini ITX designs out today in that it supports a lot of full size components. You'll be able to use a standard ATX power supply, many self contained water coolers, full size graphics card and won't have to suffer through the most painful cable routing aspects of other small form factor cases.
Introduction and Technical Specifications
Koolance EXT-440CU Liquid Cooling System
Courtesy of Koolance
Koolance CPU-380I CPU Water Block with Intel CPU mounting plate
Courtesy of Koolance
Koolance has effectively transformed itself from a minor player in the cooling community to a powerhouse at the forefront of high performance liquid cooling products. Koolance recently released the EXT-440CU Liquid Cooling System, an apparatus integrating the cooling system's reservoir, pump, and radiator into an aluminum assembly. In addition to the EXT-440CU unit, Koolance provided us with their CPU-380I CPU water block for testing as a complete kit. We tested the Koolance kit in conjunction with other all-in-one and air coolers to see how well the Koolance kit stacks up. The EXT-440CU Liquid Cooling System retails at an MSRP of $274.99 with the CPU-380I water block available for a $74.99 MSRP. While not the cheapest solution, the adage "You get what you pay for" fits the bill for this Koolance kit.
Koolance EXT-440CU Liquid Cooling System, side view
Courtesy of Koolance
Koolance EXT-440CU Liquid Cooling System, rear view
Courtesy of Koolance
Koolance CPU-380A CPU Water Block with AMD CPU mounting plate
Courtesy of Koolance
Introduction and Features
NZXT is introducing the H440 Mid-Tower case in their H Series line. The new H440 chassis will be available in two different color schemes; white with black accents and black with red accents. Both versions exhibit clean lines and a sleek design. Gone are the 5.25” optical drive bays and in their place you get three 120mm intake fans. In addition to providing excellent case cooling with four included fans the H440 is also very water-cooling friendly with support for water-cooling radiators on the top, front and rear of the case. The left side panel features a large acrylic window to showcase the motherboard area and the H440 can support up to eight internal 3.5”/2.5” HDDs/SSDs: 6+2.
NZXT H440 Mid-Tower Chassis
The lower section of the H440 case, which houses the power supply, is shrouded from view and provides a lot of room for cable management. The color accented shroud features a lighted NZXT logo and there are two LEDs built into the back panel to provide light when making connections; very nice.
The NZXT H440 Mid-Tower case comes with four NZXT FN V2 fans preinstalled: (3) 120mm intake fans in the front and (1) 140mm exhaust fan on the back. Dust filters are provided for the three front intake fans and also on the bottom of the case for the PSU intake fan. And up to three more 120mm fans (or two 140mm fans) can be added to the top panel if desired.
Here is what NZXT has to say about the H440 Mid-Tower case:
“The new H440 features a doorless, ODD-free front panel made entirely of steel while a large, full-view window reveals an interior specially engineered to make any build seamless and beautiful. The H440 ensures a hassle-free experience, allowing anybody to become an expert on clean cable management. The H440 comes standard with four of NZXT’s newly designed FN V2 case fans. An unheard of 3 x 120mm in front and 1 x 140mm in rear. And newly designed steel HDD drive trays can support up to eight internal 3.5”/2.5” HDDs/SSDs: 6+2. The H440 supports both 140mm and 120mm fans, the steel top and front panels come Kraken ready, fitting radiators up to 360mm in size to offer comprehensive water-cooling performance in a sleek, minimalist package.”
NZXT H440 Mid-Tower Case Key Features:
• Mid-tower PC case with sleek, clean styling
• Available in matte black with red accents or gloss white with black accents
• Four NZXT FN V2 case fans preinstalled
• Two removable dust filters (front intake and under PSU intake)
• Large side window
• Lighted NZXT logo on side and two LED lights on back panel
• Support for up to eight internal HDDs/SSDs
• Support for water-cooling radiators: front, top, and/or back
• Can mount radiators up to 360mm in length
• Cable routing cutouts with rubber grommets
• Large CPU backplate cut out for easy CPU cooler upgrades
• Top panel has 2 USB 3.0, 2 USB 2.0 and audio in/out ports
• Thumbscrew side panel removal for quick access
• Supports ATX, Micro-ATX, and Mini-ITX motherboards
• 2-Year warranty
Subject: Cases and Cooling | February 4, 2014 - 04:57 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Silverstone, strider gold s, 850W
SilverStone's Strider series has been with us for quite a while and tends to be among the better PSUs around. The new Strider Gold S provides 850W of power, with up to 70A on the 12V and four 6+2 PCIe power connectors for multiple GPUs. All of that power comes in a package a mere 150x86x150 mm, barely enough to fit the 120mm fan. [H]ard|OCP strapped it to their torture devices and saw that it could outperform even some of its close relatives in the Strider family. Not only does it get a pass, it picks up a Silver Award on its way.
"Good things come in small packages and SilverStone continues its Gold S series with smaller fully modular footprints at the 850 watt power level. SilverStone claims Gold level efficiency, tight voltage regulation, a single rail design, low fan noise, and plenty of PCIe outlets. All the things that SilverStone is famous for. "
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- Antec EarthWatts Platinum 650W Non-Modular @ eTeknix
- Thortech Thunderbolt Plus 1000W Semi-Modular Power Supply @ eTeknix
- be quiet! Dark Power Pro 10 850W CM Semi-Modular Power Supply @ eTeknix
- Corsair AX1200i Modular Digital Power Supply @ eTeknix
- Seasonic S12G-450 @ Kitguru
- Silverstone Strider Gold S Series 750 W @ techPowerUp
- Corsair CS450M Power Supply Review @ Legit Reviews
- Corsair CS550M 550W @ [H]ard|OCP
Subject: Cases and Cooling | January 28, 2014 - 04:10 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: in win, 904 Premium
Most of the reviews below the fold are focusing on mATX cases but not In Win, they are large and proud of their new 904 Premium enclosure. Standing 28"H x 14"L x 27.5"W and made of rolled aluminium with a tempered glass side panel this case is not one to hide under a desk. From hotswappable bays to magnetic filters for the fans this is a very high end case and can handle watercooling setups for the serious enthusiast. [H]ard|OCP loved everything about this case but warn you it does come at a premium, the MSRP is $280.
- Akasa Newton NUC Case @ techPowerUp
- Corsair Obsidian 250D Mini-ITX @ eTeknix
- SilverStone ML04 Milo HTPC mATX Case @ Benchmark Reviews
- Silverstone Raven RVZ01 Mini-ITX Chassis @ eTeknix
- Fractal Design NODE 304 mini-ITX Chassis Review @ Techgage
- BitFenix Phenom Mini-ITX Chassis @ eTeknix
- Corsair Obsidian Series 250D Mini-ITX Case @ [H]ard|OCP
- BitFenix Phenom M @ techPowerUp
- Corsair Obsidian 250D mITX Cube Computer Case Review @ Madshrimps
- InWin 904 Case Review @ Hardware Canucks
- Corsair Graphite 230T Windowed Mid Tower Rebel Orange Chassis @ eTeknix
- Corsair's Obsidian Series 250D @ The Tech Report
- Aerocool DS Fans (120mm & 140mm) @ Funky Kit
- Aerocool DS Dead Silence Fan (120mm and 140mm) @ Kitguru
- Antec Kuhler H2O 1250 CPU Cooler Review @ Hardware Canucks
- Dynatron G199 1U Xeon Server Heatsink Review @ Frostytech
- GamerStorm Lucifer CPU Cooler @ eTeknix
- Dynatron G666 2U Xeon Server Heatsink Review @ Frostytech
- Dynatron G555 2U Xeon Server Heatsink Review @ Frostytech
Introduction and Features
Corsair's new CS Series Modular PSUs include four models; the CS450M, CS550M, CS650M and CS750M. All of the power supplies in the CS Series feature modular cables, high efficiency (80 Plus Gold certified) and quiet operation. In addition, Corsair continues to offer a full line of high quality power supplies, memory components, cases, cooling components, SSDs and accessories for the PC market.
Here is what Corsair has to say about their CS Series Modular PSUs: “The CS Modular Series is designed for basic and midrange PCs, but offers features and performance traditionally reserved for higher-end models. 80 Plus Gold efficiency and a thermally controlled fan ensure quiet operation and lower energy use, and the modular, detachable cable set makes installations and upgrades faster and better looking.”
“80 Plus Gold rated efficiency saves you money on your power bill and produces less heat than less efficient power supplies. The flat black modular cables allow you to enjoy fast, neat builds. And, like all Corsair power supplies, CS Series Modular is built with high-quality components and is guaranteed to deliver clean, stable, continuous power.”
Corsair CS Series Modular PSU Key Features: (from the Corsair website)
Subject: Cases and Cooling | January 20, 2014 - 07:36 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: coolermaster, Nepton 280L, liquid cooling system
FrostyTech have seen a lot of coolers over the years, lately there has been a large influx of liquid cooling systems to review which for the most part all perform relatively the same. It has been a long time since they saw a new product offer a big increase in performance but Coolermaster came through with their new Nepton 280L. Part of the great performance is likely due to the heat exchanger, 30mm thick and 311x140mm in size with a pair of 140mm PWM fans to allow you to choose the most powerful cooling possible or to reduce fan noise at the cost of temperature. On high nothing could touch this cooler and even better, it stayed near the top when running quietly and you can pick it up for $150.
"Coolermaster's Nepton 280L is the best performing all-in-one CPU watercooler Frostytech has tested... thus far. More surprisingly for us, the Nepton 280L managed to rise to the top of the 200W Intel LGA2011, 150W & 85W Intel LGA115x/775 and 125W AMD synthetic thermal heatsink test results charts. After testing +750 CPU thermal solutions, it's kind of nice to be surprised."
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- NZXT Kraken G10 Liquid Cooling GPU Adapter Review @ HiTech Legion
- Corsair Hydro H105 CPU Cooler @ Kitguru
- Zalman LQ320 Liquid Cooling System Review @ Frostytech
- be quiet! Dark Rock 2 CPU Cooler @ TechwareLabs
- Antec Nineteen Hundred Ultimate Gaming Case @ NikKTech
- Fractal Design Node 304 Mini-ITX Case Review @ Legit Reviews
- NZXT Phantom 530 @ Kitguru
- SilverStone Raven RV04 @ Benchmark Reviews
- NZXT Talk Us Through The New H440 Chassis @ eTeknix
Subject: General Tech, Cases and Cooling | January 18, 2014 - 08:44 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: camera, mouse, camera mouse, Japan
Have you ever been sitting at your laptop or desktop thinking, "I really need a selfie right about now and this webcam simply will not do"? I have no idea what is wrong with you. Do you not have a cellphone if spontaneous self-photography means that much?
But at least a Japanese company has your back... or is it front?
For the love of... it's even being held the wrong way!!!
Introducing the Camera Mouse. It is a mouse with a camera in it. It is useful if you want to take pictures of things with your mouse. It will be sold by King Jim Co., LTD. which is one of the largest office supplies manufacturers in Japan.
While I have been thinking about this news story, I have been thinking about legitimate use cases. It has been a struggle. I just cannot understand why someone would want to purchase a 1600x1200 camera which is hard-wired to their computer. Thus far, I have only come up with a single possibilities (although it would require significant software development resources that I doubt they intend to provide). The only way I could see myself purchasing this mouse is if it came with OCR and translation software so that I could point it at my monitor and automatically translate any text on screen.
Even then, I expect the vast majority of foreign language content would be in a web browser and two of those automatically translate text anyway. It would help for text in images or text in videos but otherwise I could not see the point even then. Moreover, all of this assumes the software even exists in a reasonable package (Bluestacks running Google Translate is probably no more useful than a cell phone).
But who knows. I could be missing the bigger picture. I could be missing the subtle nuances of their target audience. Maybe I just need to see things at two megapixels from under a sweaty palm.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | January 17, 2014 - 09:46 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: water cooling, thermaltake, full tower, eatx, core v71
Thermaltake recently launched the Core V71, which is an attractive full tower case with a modular drive bay design and plethora of cooling options. The cold rolled steel (SPCC) chassis is all black with large mesh front and top panels. A large side panel window and LED fans show off the internals.
The full tower Core V71 measures 23" x 9.1" x 22" (583x230x560mm) and supports E-ATX motherboards, 8 PCI slots, 185mm tall CPU coolers, up to 400mm long graphics cards (with hard drives removed, 310mm with the drives installed), two 5.25" drive bays, and eight 3.5" or 2.5" hard drives. The drive cages are tool-less and can be completely removed from the case. In fact, users can take out the drive cages and support bar to completely rid the PC of drive bays. Alternatively, users can utilize two hidden drive bays on the back of the motherboard tray to maintain a clean design without completely sacrificing 3.5" storage.
The case has a spot for a standard ATX PSU in the bottom of the case and numerous rubber grommets for routing and hiding cables behind the motherboard tray.
As far as cooling, users can go with water cooling radiators and/or air cooling. The cooling possibilities work out as follows:
- Top: 2 x 200mm / 140mm or 3 x 120mm
- Front: 2 x 200mm / 140mm or 3 x 120mm
- Rear: 1 x 140mm / 120mm
- Bottom: 2 x 120mm
That works out to as many as nine 120mm fans or four 200mm fans and three 120mm fans if you opt for air cooling. On the water cooling front, users could put as many as two 420mm (or smaller) radiators, one 240mm radiator, and one 120mm radiator. This would be a good use case (heh) for NZXT's Kraken G10 GPU water cooling mount with allows users to cool their GPU(s) using CPU-style closed loop water coolers in 120mm and 240mm varieties or even going all out with a custom water cooling loop for every component in the system. There are a lot of possibilities with this full tower case!
In all, the Core V71 appears to be a really nice full tower option with decent looks, tool-less bays, and ample cooling mounts. The case will be available soon with an MSRP of $160 in the US. For a new full tower that's not bad and has my interest!
Subject: General Tech, Cases and Cooling, Shows and Expos | January 16, 2014 - 03:19 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: valve, Steam Dev Days, Steam Controller, CES 2014, CES
Valve has always been a company based on experimentation and it looks like the Steam Controller is not the lighthouse which guides SteamOS through the fog. Just a week after presenting the prototype at CES, a 3D mockup of a new one makes not-insignificant changes. Gone is the touchscreen and the first revealed button placement. Frankly, just about the only things untouched on the front face are the twin touchpads and the palm grips.
Image Credit: Leszek Godlewski (Twitter)
To fully understand the breadth of the changes, the announcement image is included below. There is basically no discussion about the back so that aspect might be untouched.
The changes were apparently made to assist compatibility with games ported from more traditional input schemes. Looking at the original prototype, there was no obvious mapping from a Sony or Microsoft-based controller to those buttons spread out for both the left and right thumbs to access. The new setup is the typical four face buttons on the right and four more buttons on the left as a surrogate directional pad. If they continue to iterate down this path I hope that the directional pad is more effective than most from the last two generations. It looks like the four directions are separated from one another which does not inspire confidence.
There are two stories which entangle on this one. The first is that Valve is willing to perform rapid iteration until they achieve what they consider a maximum. That is the method to quickest success especially since it allows cross-pollination between designs.
The second is that it also makes the public a little bit nervous.
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