Introduction and Technical Specifications
The measure of a true modder is not in how powerful he can make his system by throwing money at it, but in how well he can innovate to make his components run better with what he or she has on hand. Some make artistic statements with their truly awe-inspiring cases, while others take the dremel and clamps to their beloved video cards in an attempt to eek out that last bit of performance. This article serves the later of the two. Don't get me wrong, the card will look nice once we're done with it, but the point here is to re-use components on hand where possible to minimize the cost while maximizing the performance (and sound) benefits.
EVGA GTX 970 SC Graphics Card
Courtesy of EVGA
We started with an EVGA GTX 970 SC card with 4GB ram and bundled with the new revision of EVGA's ACX cooler, ACX 2.0. This card is well built with a slight factory overclock out of the box. The ACX 2.0 cooler is a redesigned version of the initial version of the cooler included with the card, offering better cooling potential with fan's not activated for active cooling until the GPU block temperature breeches 60C.
Courtesy of EVGA
WATERCOOL HeatKiller GPU-X3 Core GPU Waterblock
Courtesy of WATERCOOL
For water cooling the EVGA GTX 970 SC GPU, we decided to use the WATERCOOL HeatKiller GPU-X3 Core water block. This block features a POM-based body with a copper core for superior heat transfer from the GPU to the liquid medium. The HeatKiller GPU-X3 Core block is a GPU-only cooler, meaning that the memory and integrated VRM circuitry will not be actively cooled by the block. The decision to use a GPU only block rather than a full cover block was two fold - availability and cost. I had a few of these on hand, making of an easy decision cost-wise.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | June 9, 2015 - 06:46 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: cooler master, G550M, 550W, modular psu, 80 Plus Bronze
At 550W and an 80 Plus Bronze rating the Cooler Master G500M is not as powerful as many of the PSUs we have seen lately, then again at $75 it is also more affordable. Unfortunately for Cooler Master the competition tends to be lower priced, with Corsair, SeaSonic and Thermaltake all having slightly better PSUs of a similar wattage for an equal or lesser price. On the other hand Cooler Master's five year warranty is longer than any of the other brands and [H]ard|OCP feels that the G500M shows improvements over previous models as it passed all of their tests. This particular model may not be a great choice but if CM continues to improve the quality of their budget priced models the next release might be a solid contender.
"Today we spend our time with a computer power supply from Cooler Master that is towards the lower end of the wattage scale coming in at 550 watts. Cooler Master claims "notably higher efficiency and voltage stability than other designs." We will see if its Bronze efficiency G550M PSU will stand up to our gauntlet and its own claims."
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- EVGA SuperNOVA 650GS @ Kitguru
- Seasonic Snow Silent 750W PSU @ Kitguru
- COUGAR GX-1050 V3 1050W Power Supply Unit Review @ NikKTech
- LEPA MaxPlatinum Series 1700 W @ techPowerUp
Subject: Cases and Cooling | June 6, 2015 - 08:51 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: small form factor, SFX, SFF, SF600, PSU, power supply, corsair, computex 2015, computex
Corsair has shown its first SFX form-factor PSU at Computex, the SF600.
Image credit: Tom's Hardware
True to its name the SF600 is a 600W PSU, and it features a fully modular design and will carry an 80 PLUS Gold certification. According to the report from Tom's Harware Corsair is using a 92 mm fan with the SF600, slightly larger than the 80 mm fans found in standard SFX power supplies, but smaller than the 120 mm fans that SilverStone has been using in its SFX-L form-factor PSUs.
Image credit: Tom's Hardware
This PSU was secretly powering the new Corsair Bulldog living room PC, also shown at Computex. Naturally there was no announcement on pricing or availability for this new PSU, but we'll keep you posted if anything official is announced.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | June 5, 2015 - 02:15 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: modular psu, G.Skill, computex 2015, computex, 80+ platinum
In addition to teasing a new line of DDR4 memory, G.Skill also announced a new line of Ripjaws branded power supplies. So far, the lineup includes four models offering wattages from 750W to 1,250W. The PS750G and PS850G are rated 80 PLUS Gold while the PS850P and PS1250P are rated 80 PLUS Platinum which is nice to see (Platinum status requires 92% efficiency while the Gold models hit 90% efficiency).
The new Ripjaws PSUs are fully modular designs using all japanese capacitors and reportedly high quality components. G.Skill is using a 140mm fan for cooling that is able to spin down to zero at low loads to reduce noise levels. Safety features include support for over current, under voltage, and short circuit protection among others (OVP, UVP, OCP, OPP, SCP, OTP). Beyond that, detailed specifications have yet to be revealed. I have reached out to G.Skill to inquire about the source or OEM of these power supplies, and will update the article if they are willing to comment at this time.
Pricing and availability are also unknown at this time. G.Skill appears to be spreading its wings this year as it branches out further into other segments of the PC market. The company even has headsets and keyboards now! Are you ready to rip into these new Ripjaws PSUs? (Figuratively, of course, unless your Allyn or Lee!)
Subject: Cases and Cooling | June 4, 2015 - 10:02 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: modular psu, Fanless PSU, enermax, computex 2015, computex, atx
Enermax has a new power supply on the market that is fully modular, fanless, and digital to boot. the new 550W PSU falls under the company's DigiFanless brand and looks to be perfect for enthusiasts wanting a silent PC.
The Enermax EDF550AWN is the first 550W power supply that is both fanless and supports digital monitoring and control. The 80 PLUS Platinum rated PSU is fully modular and supports both single and multiple +12V rail configurations (user-selectable, +12V1 and +12V2 are rated at 30 amps).
There are no fans here, just lots of ventilation for passive cooling. Enermax officially rates the power supply at 40°C (104°F) maximum operating temperature while delivering the full 550W ouptut power, but in talking with Maximum PC at Computex the company stated that in its testing lab they were able to maintain the maximum output at up to 50°C temperatures before the PSU needed to shut down.
The digital nature of the PSU is related to the ZDPMS (Zero Delay Power Monitoring System) technology which allows users to monitor and control the hardware using software running on the PC it is installed in. The application displays, in real time, the total output power, efficiency, temperature, and individual rail performance. Users can also input their $/KWh electricity costs into the TCO calculator to figure out how much it costs to run their PC and the CO2 footprint. Users are also able to use the ZDMS to adjust the current output and warning notification thresholds.
Maximum PC was on site at Computex and was able to see a demonstration of the PSU monitoring software.
Enermax has included logic to shut down the power supply in the event of overheating as well as the usual fare of safety features (OCP, OVP, UVP, OPP, OTP, SCP & SIP) They even included a bracket that locks the AC cable to the back of the power supply.
From the specifications and this review from ocaholic, the 550W Digifanless PSU is a highly efficient silent PSU with some useful extras that would be perfect for a silent gaming PC, HTPC, or audio engineering PC. It is available now for around $210 from online retailers. Looking on Newegg, you can even get it for 25% off using the promo code 25YRCELEBRATE.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | June 4, 2015 - 07:06 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: SFX PSU, SFF, node 202, mini ITX, HTPC case, fractal design, computex 2015, computex
Fractal is showing off several new products at Computex, but the one that caught my eye was the new Node 202 which is a small form factor Mini ITX case perfect for the living room. The thin case is all black with a metal texture finish, rounded corners, and diagonal ventilation grilles along the sides and top. The 10.2 liter capacity case measures 377mm x 88mm x 332mm (including case feet) and can accommodate SFX power supplies, Mini ITX motherboards, and a dedicated graphics card.
The front of the case has two USB 3.0 ports and two audio jacks in the bottom left corner next to the power button. Large filtered vents are located on the right, top, and bottom of the case while the left side has a thin grill along the bottom. Needless to say, there is plenty of room for airflow and the case would do well with both air cooled and fanless systems. Users can mount the case horizontally or vertically using an included stand. Interestingly, the Node 202 divides the case into two separate chambers to isolate the graphics card from the CPU, motherboard, and power supply to facilitate cooling.
Internally, the Node 202 has room for a Mini ITX or Thin Mini ITX motherboard with CPU coolers up to 56mm tall, a 130mm SFX power supply, and a dual slot graphics card up to 310mm in length. Users can install up to two 120mm fans in the GPU chamber. Storage support tops out at two 2.5" hard drives or solid state drives (SSDs).
Fractal Design is also offering a version of the Node 202 bundled with its Integra SFX 450W power supply. The 80+ Bronze power supply will come with custom length cables and connectors designed specifically for the Node 202. It is covered by a 3 year warranty.
The PSU-less Node 202 will have a MSRP of $79.99 while the Node 202 with bundled PSU will be $139.99. Both models will be available soon in the US.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | June 4, 2015 - 05:03 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: thermaltake, Suppressor F51, e-atx
Thermaltake's new Supressor F51 is a hefty case, measuring 523x231x577mm (20.6x9.1x22.7") which allows the use of 360mm and even 420mm radiators. The buttons and front panel plugs have all been moved to the top of the case to give the front a nice clean look, the monolith style which has become so popular as of late. Internally are mounts for boards ranging from Mini-ITX to E-ATX and enough space for three extra long video cards. The drive bays, including the two 5.25" bays, slide out for easy access or full removal and foam dampening covers most of the flat surfaces to reduce noise. [H]ard|OCP were more than impressed, passing on a Gold Award for this case which is due to hit market on 6/29/15 for an MSRP of $120.
"Thermaltake is upping its game with its new Suppressor F51 E-ATX Mid-Tower Chassis. New sound deadening technology, expanded cooling options, all while supporting motherboards from mini-ITX to E-ATX in size. The F51 has a fully modular tool-less design that also has dust filtering in mind."
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- Thermaltake Suppressor F51 and Water 3.0 Ultimate @ Kitguru
- In Win 707 @ techPowerUp
- Phanteks Enthoo Evolv @ Kitguru
- Zalman ZM-T3 Case Review @ Hardware Secrets
- be quiet! Silent Base 800 Case Review @HiTech Legion
- Deepcool Tristellar @ techPowerUp
- Noctua NH-D9L D-Type CPU Cooler Review @ NikKTech
- Antec P70 Mid-Tower @ [H]ard|OCP
- SilverStone Tundra TD03-E AIO Liquid CPU Cooler @ [H]ard|OCP
- beQuiet! Dark Rock TF Heatsink Review @ Hardware Asylum
- CRYORIG H7 Universal @ techPowerUp
- Scythe Ashura CPU Cooler @ Benchmark Reviews
Subject: Cases and Cooling | June 4, 2015 - 04:16 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: cooler master, MasterCase, MasterCase Pro, MasterCase Maker 5, freeform
Cooler Master announced three cases aimed at the modding community at Computex 2015. Part of their new 'Make It Yours.' campaign are the MasterCase and MasterCase Pro as well as the MasterCase Maker 5. All of the external parts are modular and easily removed with a clip and click system implemented on the cases allowing you to not only change the configuration of your case but also to modify them or design new ones if you have the tools.
All the cases follow a similar overall design to the MasterCase5 pictured above, a 460mm tall tower, deep enough to fit 260mm radiators and long enough for lengthy high end GPUs. With a half dozen mounts for 140mm fans the case should move heat efficiently and depending on the fans you chose, quietly as well. The MasterCase5 sports handles on the top, though it is perhaps a bit large to be considered portable they could come in handy for cases that spend time being shown off at conventions and shows. The Pro model forgoes the rear handle for an elevated mesh cover good for installing a radiator while the Maker 5 has a solid top but vented front door for those who might want to do their own work to the top. All have a separate bottom compartment for your PSU and drive bays for both 2.5 and 3.5" drives which can be mounted in a variety of ways or removed altogether.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | June 2, 2015 - 11:25 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: Silverstone, Raven RVX01, computex 2015, computex
SilverStone has shown off a new Raven ATX enclosure at Computex, and the RVX01 offers a new take on this well-known enthusiast gaming enclosure.
The RVX01 pictured at the show (Image credit: techPowerUp)
This new design features the same 90 degree motherboard orientation as the current RV05 (reviewed here) but has a slimmer profile at 7.68" wide (WxHxD listed as 195 mm x 473 mm x 470 mm), and this new version also has stylish red accents to offset the matte black panels.
Details are scarce, but from a look at the photos it appears that the GPU bracket from the original Raven is back, and the report also describes triple 120 mm fans along the bottom in place of the dual 180 mm fans from the current version.
The RVX01 pictured from a slightly different angle (Image credit: techPowerUp)
We'll keep you posted when we have an official announcement for this newest Raven, and hopefully we'll have one in for review whenever it becomes available!
Subject: Cases and Cooling | June 2, 2015 - 09:07 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: PC-O8, Lian Li, enclosures, dual-compartment enclosure, DK-02, desk chassis, computex 2015, computex, cases
Lian Li is showing two new versions of their massive desk system chassis at Computex, as well as a new dual-compartment enclosure.
The DK-Q2 Desk Chassis
From Lian Li:
"Like the previous desk chassis, the aluminum body and tempered glass surface highlight the minimalism of this practical fusion of desk and chassis. The updates on these new models add simplicity to system building, more refined aesthetics and ergonomics. New thinner body and stronger adjustable legs add to the look and workplace efficiency of this growing line of computer desks."
PC-O8 dual-compartment enclosure
From Lian Li:
"The PC-O8 dual-compartment chassis combines aluminum and tempered glass to show off DIY builders high-end, intricate setups, while hiding cables and less eye catching components in the large compartment behind the motherboard tray."
Pricing and availability for these new enclosures has not been announced.