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

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

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

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

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Source: [H]ard|OCP

Google TV versus Chromecast; is there a difference?

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

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

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

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Source: Bjorn3D

CaseLabs shrinks down their modular case

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

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

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

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Source: TechPowerUp

Phanteks Enters PC Case Market With Enthoo Primo Full Tower Chassis

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: Phanteks
Manufacturer: Cooler Master

Introduction and Technical Specifications

Introduction

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Courtesy of Cooler Master

The HAF XB mid tower case is the newest member of the Cooler Master HAF line of cases. Touted as a LAN box, this cube-shaped case has both looks and features that appeal to any enthusiasts. We decided to put the HAF XB on our test bench to validate these claims. At a base price of $99.99, the HAF XB is a bargain for the features you are getting.

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Courtesy of Cooler Master

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Courtesy of Cooler Master

Cooler Master designed the HAF XB with a scratch-resistance, flat-black colored coating applied to all surfaces. Both side panels have integrated hand-holds for easy lifting and transport to your event and the front and top panels contain non-impeding mesh grills allowing for optimal airflow across your vital system components. Integrated into the case's front panel are power and reset buttons, power indicator LEDs, audio input and output port, USB 3.0 device ports, two 5.25" device bays, and two hot-swappable hard drive bays.

Continue reading our review of the Cooler Master HAF XB case!

Cooler Master Launches CM 690 III ATX PC Case

Subject: Cases and Cooling | July 30, 2013 - 08:26 AM |
Tagged: cooler master, cm 690 III, atx

Cooler Master has announced the CM 690 III, which is a redesigned full tower case in the same enthusiast vein as the original CM 690. Cooler Master has primarily redesigned the interior with a new hard drive mounting cage, tool-less drive bays, and additional cable management space behind the motherboard tray.

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The new Cooler Master CM 690 III measures 507mm x 230mm x 502mm (HxWxD) and weighs approximately 19 lbs (8.7kg). The case is all black with mesh front and top panels. The top of the case has a small storage compartment and front panel IO options including two USB 3.0, two USB 2.0, and two audio jacks. The front of the case has three externally-accessible 5.25” bays and space for a 200mm intake fan.

The CM 690 III comes in two SKUs, depending on whether you want a side panel case window or not. The model with a side window supports up to 7 fans while the model without a window supports up to 9 fans, and up to three 200mm fans. Also, cooling support further includes grommets on the rear of the case for external radiators, support for a 240mm water cooling radiator on both the top and front panel, and a 120mm raditor on the rear. Dust filters are located on the top, front, and PSU vents.

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The CM 690 III supports graphics cards up to 423mm long and CPU coolers up to 171mm high. Users can install up to 7 3.5” hard drives or up to 10 2.5” SSDs (one behind the motherboard and one on the bottom of the case).

The updated CM 690 III will be available in August for an undisclosed price.

Cheap Cases for Gaming PCs, Rosewill Galaxy (-01, -02, -03)

Subject: General Tech, Cases and Cooling | July 28, 2013 - 10:39 PM |
Tagged: rosewill, atx case

Rosewill, no stranger to computer cases, expands their portfolio with three cheap and feature-filled ATX mid-towers. No more than a single external 3.25" bay, and aesthetics, seem to differentiate the models from one another. Every choice has: a healthy number of internal bays, some option for external 3.5", a spot for an SSD, USB 3.0, and an expected price of $50.

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Galaxy-02 (top-left) and Galaxy-03 (top-right) allow up to three 5.25" devices to be installed, two if you convert a bay to an external 3.5" slot using the supplied adapter. Galaxy-01 (below) includes a permanently mounted external 3.5" bay. I never really understood the advantage compared to an internal, but still easily accessible, mounting point; a toaster-like dock, attached internally to SATA, would get my attention.

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Each case contains three 120mm fans with options of mounting either a fourth fan, 120mm or 140mm form factors, to the side panel. For those curious, power supplies are mounted on the bottom and draw cool air from a dust-shielded opening.

All three cases are currently available for $49.99.

Source: Rosewill

Argon from SilverStone, inexpensive cooling for three sizes of system

Subject: Cases and Cooling | July 22, 2013 - 04:44 PM |
Tagged: Silverstone, heatsink, AR02, AR01

SilverStone have released three new Argon branded coolers, the mid-sized AR01, the small AR02 and the extra large AR03, of which [H]ard|OCP reviewed the first two models.  The AR01 is 120mm x 50mm x 159mm and uses three heatpipes to move the heat up to where it can be dispersed by the 120mm fan.  The AR02 is 92mm x 50mm x 134mm which makes it great for smaller systems though the 92mm is an odd size and could be hard to replace if you so desired.  Both coolers are under $35 to pick up, so while not the best performing heatsinks on the market they do very well when you look at the price to performance ratio.  You can see the full review here.

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"SilverStone comes to us today with a new series of air cooler for your AMD or Intel branded processor. The Argon series is pointed squarely at the lower cost end of its product stack. So how do these 6mm heatpipe units with "Direct Export Technology" stand up to testing in a world of great air coolers with much higher prices?"

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Source: [H]ard|OCP

New Intel PCN Addresses NUC Overheating Issues

Subject: General Tech, Cases and Cooling | July 20, 2013 - 03:29 AM |
Tagged: Intel, dccp847dye, nuc, SFF, pcn, wi-fi

Intel recently posted a Product Change Notification (PCN, number 112432-00) regarding one of its first NUC bare-bones systems, model number BOXDCCP847DYE. The PCN seeks to address the overheating issues that several hardware review sites encountered when performing large file copies across the network using the built-in Wi-Fi card. Intel has reportedly found a solution by adding a 9.5mm thermal pad to the underside of the top cover. The thermal pad will make contact with the mSATA SSD and facilitate heat transfer from the drive into the metal chassis.

Intel PNC Upgrade to Bottom NUC cover aids cooling.jpg

The overheating problems spotted by PC Perspective (in our review) and other tech sites lead to system freezes and restarts. When transferring large amounts of data across the network, the built-in mPCI-E Wi-Fi card would heat up, and because the SSD is mounted just above the Wi-Fi card, the system would lock up or crash when the SSD overheated. Thus, Intel’s workaround is to improve the cooling of the SSD such that it (hopefully) will no longer overheat and users will not have to resort to buying a USB Wi-Fi dongle or running an Ethernet cable to the switch.

According to the PCN, the solution works and system retailers should expect shipments of the BOXDCCP847DYE with upgraded cover to arrive as early as August 1st. Notably, Intel is planning to ship out all pre-modification inventory before moving onto shipping updated bare-bones systems. It may be some time before consumers can be sure they are getting the updated model. In the meantime, users can always opt to use one of the many third party NUC cases that take full advantage of passive cooling techniques.

Source: Intel (PDF)

Cooler Master Unveils Massive V8 GTS CPU Cooler

Subject: Cases and Cooling | July 20, 2013 - 02:03 AM |
Tagged: v8 gts, Intel, hsf, cpu cooler, cooler master, amd

Cooler Master has unveiled a massive CPU cooler called the V8 GTS. The new high end air cooler measures 154 x 140 x 153.5mm and weighs 1.9 pounds. It combines a horizontal vapor chamber, eight heat pipes, triple aluminum fin stacks, and two shrouded PWM fans with red LEDs.

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The V8 GTS is compatible with both Intel and AMD CPU sockets, including LGA 775, 1150 1155, 1156, 1366, and 2011 on the Intel side and AM2, AM3, AM3+, FM1, and FM2 on the AMD side. A horizontal vapor chamber is used for the CPU baseplate to effectively move heat away from the processor an into the heatpipes.

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Eight 6mm heat pipes further transfer heat to three total aluminum fin stacks. Further, two 140mm PWM-controlled fans move cool air across the fins to facilitate cooling high end and overclocked processors. The fans can spin between 600 and 1,600 RPM and are rated for between approximately 28 and 82 CFM respectively.

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Other features of the Cooler Master V8 GTS include red LEDs and a black shroud. The cooler is designed to allow plenty of room for clearance around the RAM area to allow for memory with heatspreaders to be used. It is rated to be able to cool up to 250W. It may be rather heavy and may or may not be a hemi, but it certainly looks cool (heh)!

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The CM V8 GTS is model number RR-V8VC-1GPR-R1 and comes with a 2 year warranty. Cooler Master has not yet detailed pricing or availability. In the meantime, Hardware Secrets managed to get their hands on the massive cooler to put its performance to the test.