Subject: Cases and Cooling | March 20, 2015 - 06:47 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: water cooling, mini ITX, Cougar, air cooling
Cougar recently launched the QBX mini ITX case. The small form factor chassis is aimed squarely at gamers and enthusiasts looking for a high performance PC in a tiny box.
The QBX is a completely black angular case measuring 7” x 10.2” x 14.5” packed with filtered vents. Front I/O is fairly standard including two USB 3.0 and two audio jacks. The case supports both air and water cooling while holding a ton of hardware. Specifically, the QBX is built to host Mini ITX motherboards, standard size (140mm) ATX power supplies, dedicated graphics cards (350mm), and CPU coolers up to 105mm tall. As far as storage, the QBX can hold a single 3.5” hard drive and four 2.5” solid state drives as well as a single vertically mounted slim optical drive.
The case comes pre-installed with a single 90mm rear fan, and users can install up to six additional fans on the front, top, and side panels. The front and bottom vents have removable dust filters. A 120mm or 240mm radiator can be installed on the left side panel, but at most you can install one 120mm fan to cool the radiator.
Cougar has engineered the case such that the power supply draws in cool air from the right side panel and exhausts it out of the top of the case to prevent adding extra heat to the system (it will be difficult enough to cool high end components in such a small case). Further, removing the left side panel reveals a hinged bracket that holds a fan (or the water cooling radiator) as well as the 3.5” drive bay and two 2.5” bays. Note that with a 240mm radiator installed, you will only be able to access a single 2.5” bay. This is a neat design but installing the CPU block of a closed loop water cooler is going to be a challenge depending on the length of the tubing.
There is some space behind the motherboard try to hide cables but you will likely need to do some custom cabling to not have it ultimately look like a rats nest considering how small this case is and how little area you have to work with, especially if you do end up installing all seven fans and five disk drives!
The Cougar QBX has an MSRP of $60 and will be available soon. More information can be found on this product page. Hopefully we can get one in for review to see how it stacks up to the Ncase M1 and Lian Li PC-Q33 Mini ITX cases.
Introduction and First Impressions
The Fortress FT05 is the fifth iteration of SilverStone's Fortress series of enclosures, and, like the latest Raven case, this leverages the complete removal of 5.25" bays to reduce its overall size. We've seen this before as the FT03 completely removed optical support, but this enclosure is related far more closely to the current Raven enclosure than any of its predecessors.
Introduction: The Heart of a Raven
If you're familiar with SilverStone's product lineup you'll know about the Fortress and Raven enclosures which both currently feature an unusual 90° motherboard orientation. This layout places I/O on the top of the case, and helps expel warm air straight up. The Fortress was originally a more conventional design with a standard motherboard layout, but SilverStone switched this to mirror the Raven series with the second version, the FT02. However, just as the Raven series diverged from the original design language and layout of the RV01 with later versions, the Fortress series has undergone some radical changes since its introduction. With this fifth version of the Fortress SilverStone has converged the two enclosure lines, and the FT05 is essentially a more businesslike version of the Raven RV05 - though the design's more conventional exterior also contains noise-dampening material which helps to further differentiate the two enclosures.
Much as the current Raven owes much of its design to an earlier version, in that case the RV01, this new Fortress is a return to the design of the FT02. That earlier Fortress was a large (and quite expensive) case that combined great expandability with excellent cooling, taking the RV01's 90° layout and opening up the interior for an expansive, easy-to-manage interior. A considerable amount of the second gen's interior was devoted to storage, and the front of the case was dominated by 5.25" drive bays.
The second-generation Fortress FT02 interior
Subject: Cases and Cooling | March 16, 2015 - 03:39 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: thermaltake, Water 3.0 Ultimate, watercooling, AIO
Using the Asetek Gen 4 pump and a radiator measuring 393mm x 120mm x 27mm the Thermaltake Water 3.0 Ultimate is a large cooler designed for serious overclockers. The fans are rated at 99CFM and are set up properly with PWM connections to balance noise and performance. Overclockers Club increased their i7-4770K to 4.2GHz and this cooler kept the CPU at an impressive 67 °C, topping the charts of the coolers they have tested previously. They managed to get the chip running at 4.5GHz on 1.241 volts which raised the temperature to 75 °C but that was the highest frequency that particular i7-4770K could reach. Check out their full review here.
"Cooling capacity is dependent on air flow and the Ultimate has you covered. You have close to 300CFM of air at your command, so expect to notice the fans when you crank up the heat and with a cooler this size, a little fan noise just goes with the territory. Thermaltake has refined a few components to make the installation about as easy as it can be. The low profile Asetek pump looks good and is quiet. Even at a 4.5GHz overclock, the Ultimate still has some thermal room if your chip can handle a higher overclock."
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- Thermaltake Water 3.0 Ultimate Liquid CPU Cooler Review @ NikKTech
- Raijintek Triton Review: A Bold Alternative @ Modders-Inc
- Cooler Master Nepton 240M Review: The Power of Silence @ Modders-Inc
- Corsair Hydro H110i GT Ext. Perf. AIO CPU Cooler @ [H]ard|OCP
- Noctua NF-A4, NF-A8, NF-A9 Review @ OCC
- Noctua NH-U9S 92mm U-Type Heatsink Review @ Hardware Asylum
- Noctua NH-D9L 92mm D-Type Heatsink Review @ Hardware Asylum
- StarTech.com 42U Low-Cost Server Rack Cabinet @ Phoronix
- Raijintek Aeneas Micro-ATX Cube-Style Chassis @ eTeknix
- Fractal Design Define R5 Review: A Sleeper That Conquers With Features @ Techgage
- NZXT Source 340 @ techPowerUp
Introduction and First Impressions
The Lian Li PC-Q33 is a mini-ITX enclosure with a cube-like appearance and a hinged construction that makes it easy to access the components within.
When a builder is contemplating a mini-ITX system the primary driver is going to be the size. It’s incredible that we've reached the point where we can have a powerful single-GPU system with minimal (if any) tradeoffs from the tiny mITX form-factor, but the components need to be housed in an appropriately small enclosure or the entire purpose is defeated. However working within small enclosures is often more difficult, unless the enclosure has been specifically designed to account for this. Certainly no slouch in the design department, Lian Li is no stranger to small, lightweight mini-ITX designs like this. The NCASE M1 (a personal favorite) was manufactured by the company after all, and in some ways the PC-Q33 is reminiscent of that design - in build quality and materials if nothing else. The Q33 features aluminum construction and is very light, and while compact the design of the enclosure allows for effortless component installation. The secret? A hinged design that allows the front of the enclosure to swing down providing full access to the interior.
This approach to accessibility with a small enclosure is a welcome one, and especially so considering the price of the PC-Q33, which retails for $95 on Newegg and can be found for around $105 on Amazon as well. This is still a high cost for many considering a small build and enters the premium price range for an enclosure, but remember the Q33 features an aluminum construction which typically carries a considerably higher cost than steel and plastic. Of course if the case is frustrating to use or has poor thermals than the materials used are meaningless, so in this review we’ll look at the build process and thermal results with the Q33 to see if it’s a good value. My initial impression is that the price is actually low, but that’s coming from someone who looks at a lot of cases and develops a familiarity with the average retail prices in each category.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | March 12, 2015 - 04:52 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: power supply, modular psu, Cougar, 80+ bronze
Cougar is launching its new CMD Digital power supplies in 500W and 600W versions. In a move to differentiate itself from the crowd, Cougar has packed in an integrated fan controller and the ability to monitor and control the PSU (e.g. voltage) using software.
The new power supplies are modular excluding the main 24-pin ATX and CPU cables. Both models use a single 12V rail rated at 40A on the 500W model and 49A on the 600W PSU. Cougar uses a temperature controlled 140mm fan to keep the PSU cool. The CMD Digital is 80+ Bronze certified and features various over and under current and voltage protections (OCP, SCP, OVP, UVP, and OPP).
The following power cables and connectors are included:
- 1 x 24-pin ATX
- 3 x 4-pin Peripheral (Molex)
- 5 x SATA (6 on the 600W model)
- 2 x 8-pin PCI-E (6+2)
- 1 x 8-pin CPU (4+4)
- 2 x 3-pin Fan headers
- 1 x TSR temp sensor port
In all, it’s a fairly standard layout with enough amperage and PCI-E power connectors to support a high end GPU setup.
The integrated fan controller drives up to two case fans (more if you use a splitters, I suppose) that are connected to the back of the power supply. Further, Cougar provides a temperature sensor that you can place anywhere inside your case to monitor case temperature.
Using the company’s Cougar UIX software, users can monitor and control fan speeds, monitor system component utilization (CPU, HDD, etc), monitor power consumption, adjust voltage levels, and log various power delivery stats.
Cougar has not yet released pricing, but it will be available in April.
From the features, it sounds like a decent power supply though my opinion would heavily be influenced by the included software. Despite ample computing resources, I like to run a lean system with as little running in the background as possible. If Cougar UIX sips resources and it holds up to the advertised power delivery ratings, I would consider it.
Hopefully we can get one in for review soon and Lee can put it through its paces.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | March 10, 2015 - 02:50 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Silverstone, PS11B-W
At 215.3 x 426.5 x 481.5mm (8.5 x 16.8 x 19") the SilverStone PS11B-W is built for ATX motherboards but it is not so large a micro ATX board would look ridiculous installed within it. The simplicity of the design is reflected in the $50 asking price which is perfect for those just looking for a functional enclosure to house their components. Air cooling will likely be sufficient for most builds, two 120/140mm fan slots in the front as well as two 120mm on the back and one on both the top and bottom will keep air moving or give a good mounting position for an AiO watercooler. Check out Benchmark Reviews full article here for more information.
"The SilverStone PS11B-W is a versatile entry level enthusiast case, featuring bottom-mount PSU, USB 3.0, variable size fan mounts and locations, a variety of hard drive mount options, and space enough for the most gigantic of graphics cards on the market. In this article for Benchmark Reviews, I’ll be putting the SilverStone PS11B-W to the test. Can the SST-PS11B-W deliver on all it’s promises? Let’s find out."
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- Antec P380 Full-Tower @ eTeknix
- be quiet! Silent Base 800 Mid Tower Case Review @ Neoseeker
- Corsair Carbide 100R Silent Edition Mid-Tower @ Kitguru
- Sentey Eagle Plus @ Bjorn3d
- Enermax iVektor Mid-Tower @ eTeknix
- Antec Nineteen Hundred @ techPowerUp
- InWin 703 @ Kitguru
- Corsair Carbide 100R Silent Mid-Tower @ eTeknix
- Thermaltake Core V51 @ Kitguru
- Xigmatek Mach Mid-Tower @ eTeknix
- Corsair Hydro Series H110 280mm AIO CPU @ [H]ard|OCP
- Corsair H80i GT @ HardwareHeaven
- CRYORIG H5 Universal CPU Cooler Review @ NikKTech
- Noctua NH-U9S CPU Cooler Review @ Neoseeker
Subject: Cases and Cooling | March 10, 2015 - 01:42 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: PSU, Silverstone, olympia 1000W, kilowatt, endurance
Seven years ago [H]ard|OCP reviewed a SilverStone Olympia 1000W PSU and it has seen regular usage since then, which lead them to wonder if there have been any changes now that the PSU is four years past warranty. The testing did reveal certain changes of which the most troubling was the PSUs inability to finish the full load test at 100 or 120v . When tested at 750W the PSU had no issues and while the voltage regulation was not quite as tight as it was it is still impressively stable for a PSU of this age. Power output has also suffered, with an increase in noise, enough to take it out of specification and the PSU was also louder than it was way back then. Take a read through this article for an idea how this particular PSUs performance has changed over time.
"Many people ask about long term computer power supply testing, and simple truth is that it is too expensive for HardOCP to do in-house as it would require hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of resources. However, we can give the inquisitive a non-scientific look at how well a personal PSU does in our testing 7 years later."
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- How Does My Power Supply Impact Overclocking? @ [H]ard|OCP
- EVGA SuperNova 1000 PS Silent Series Power Supply Review @HiTech Legion
- Thermaltake Toughpower Grand Platinum 1200W @ [H]ard|OCP
- EVGA 430W @ [H]ard|OCP
- Seasonic TFX 350W @ Kitguru
Subject: Cases and Cooling | March 8, 2015 - 01:17 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: thin mini itx, SFF case, SFF, mini ITX, fanless, akasa
Akasa recently introduced two new fanless Mini ITX cases under its Euler brand. The new Euler T and Euler M are all aluminum enclosures that cool up to 35W processors passively using an aluminium heatsink and the case’s own surface area to dissipate heat.
Both cases are black with a brushed metal texture and “diamond edge” finish around the front panel. The top and sides of the small form factor cases use a fin array design that benefits the passive cooling feature. Front IO includes a circular power button and two USB 3.0 ports.
The Akasa Euler T chassis. The Euler M (not pictured) is slightly larger).
The Euler T represents a refinement of the existing Euler S chassis with support for three 2.5” drives. The case measures 245 x 215.5 x 68.5mm. It is built with Thin Mini ITX motherboards in mind. It can be paired with an optional external power supply up to 150W.
Akasa’s Euler M case is deeper measuring 245 x 274.5 x 68.5mm. The case supports regular sized desktop memory modules and Mini ITX motherboards. Thanks to its larger size, it supports four 2.5” drive bays. The Euler M has an internal DC-to-DC power adapter and can be paired with an optional external 80W power supply.
Introduction and Features
Earlier this year we took a look at SilverStone’s ST1500-GS power supply unit, which currently has the highest rated output in the Strider Gold S Series. Today we are looking at SilverStone’s second generation Strider Gold ST75F-GS V2.0, which is a 750 watt power supply that comes housed in a short chassis; only 140mm (5.5”) deep for easy integration. It’s nice to get a different model from the same series in for review to see how the series overall performs. SilverStone claims the Strider Gold S Series are the world’s smallest, full-modular ATX power supplies.
SilverStone SST-ST75F-GS V2.0 750W ATX Power Supply
There are currently five different models available in the Strider Gold S Series, which include the ST55F-G, ST65F-G, ST75-GS, ST85F-GS, and ST1500-GS. All of the Strider Gold S Series PSUs are designed to be fully modular, 80 Plus Gold certified, and small in size. While the typical 750W power supply enclosure measures 160mm (6.3”) deep, the Strider Gold ST75F-GS is housed in a 140mm chassis (5.5”).
(Courtesy of SilverStone)
SilverStone Strider Gold S Series ST75F-GS V2.0 PSU Key Features:
• 750 watts DC power output
• Compact design with a depth of only 140mm for easy integration
• High efficiency with 80 Plus Gold certification
• 100% Modular cables
• 24/7 Continuous power output with 40°C operating temperature
• Strict ±3% voltage regulation and low AC ripple & noise
• Dedicated single +12V rail (62.5A)
• Quiet 120mm cooling fan
• Four PCI-E 8/2-pin connectors support multiple high-end graphic adapters
• Conforms to ATX12V and EPS standards
• Universal AC input (90-264V) with Active PFC
• Dimensions: 150mm (W) x 86mm (H) x 140mm (L)
• $134.99 USD
Subject: Cases and Cooling | March 4, 2015 - 11:24 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: shuttle, SFF, fanless, core i7-5500u, Broadwell
The Shuttle DS57U is a new small form factor fanless PC packing Intel’s latest Broadwell processor. The Shuttle 1.3L chassis (7.9" x 6.5" x 1.5") is all black and sits vetically on raised feet. Vents run along the top of the case and the vertical design along with a large heatsink lets them offer a fanless design.
External I/O includes:
- 2 x USB 3.0
- 4 x USB 2.0
- 2 x RS232
- 1 x DisplayPort
- 1 x HDMI
- 2 x Analog audio
- 1 x SD card reader
- 2 x Gigabit Ethernet (Intel i211 and i218LM)
The PC can be attached to the back of a monitor stand or to the wall using its VESA mounting holes.
Internally, the Shuttle DS57U comes with up to an Intel Core i7 5500U processor which is a 15W dual core part with Hyper Threading clocked at 2.4GHz base and 3GHz max turbo, 4MB cache, and Intel 5500 graphics clocked at up to 950MHz. It is a barebones PC which means that users have to add their own storage, memory, and operating system. Users can add two laptop DDR3 SODIMMs (16GB max), a single 2.5” drive, and a two Mini PCI-e devices (an 802.11n wireless module comes pre-installed in the half-height slot).
The Shuttle DS57U would make for a silent home PC, media server, or an extremely overpowered home router (heh). Its feature set also makes the DS57U suited for commercial and industrial applications. The fanless Broadwell PC is available now in Europe for 192 euros (approximately $220 USD). There is no word on when it will hit this side of the pond, but its introduction is a promising start to other fanless Broadwell systems hitting the market.