Subject: General Tech, Cases and Cooling, Systems | September 27, 2013 - 02:42 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: SteamOS, Steam Controller, reverse-consolitis
Steam Controller is the third, and final, announcement in the Steam Hardware event. Sure, the peripheral looks weird. It looks very weird. The first thing(s?) you will notice, and likely the driving influence for the iconography, is... or are... the touch pads which replace the expected thumbsticks. The second thing you will notice is the "high resolution" (no specific resolution or dimension was provided) touchscreen.
The most defining aspect of the controllers, as previously stated, is its pair of trackpads. This input method might actually stand the chance of precise controls while maintaining comfort for a couch. To start, I will quote Valve:
In addition, games like first-person shooters that are designed around precise aiming within a large visual field now benefit from the trackpads’ high resolution and absolute position control.
The emphasis was placed by me.
Last year, almost to the date, I published an editorial, "Is the Gamepad Really Designed for Gaming?" In it, I analyzed console controllers from an engineering standpoint. I blamed velocity-based joystick control for the need to enable auto-aim on console titles. Quoting myself, which feels a little weird to be entirely honest:
Analog sticks are a velocity-oriented control scheme where the mouse is a relative position-oriented control scheme. When you move a joystick around you do not move the pointer to a target rather you make it travel at some speed in the direction of the target. With a mouse you just need to move it the required distance and stop. It is easier to develop a sensitivity to how far you need to pull a mouse to travel to the target than a sensitivity to how long to hold a joystick in a given direction to reach a target. Joysticks are heavily reliant on our mental clocks and eye coordination.
Each trackpad can also be clicked, like the thumbsticks of current controllers just probably more comfortably, to provide extra functionality. From a User Experience (UX) standpoint, I can envision a first-person shooter which emulates a (velocity-based) joystick when the right trackpad is pressed (assuming it is very light to press and comfortably to rub your thumb against while pressing) but switches to position-based when touched but not pressed.
The implication is quick rotation when firing from the hip, but positionally-based targeting when precision is required. Maybe other methods will come up too? I find the technology particularly exciting because Valve, clearly, designed it with the understanding of position-based versus velocity-based control. This challenge you rarely hear discussed.
The touchscreen is also a large clickable surface. The controller recognizes touch input and overlays the contents of the screen atop the user's screen but it will not commit the action until the touchpad is pressed. This is designed so the gamer will not need to look at their controller to see what action they are performing.
Personally, I hope this is developer-accessible. Some games, as the WiiU suggests, can benefit from hiding information.
Haptic feedback also ties into the trackpads. Their intent is to provide sensations to the thumbs and compensate for loss of mechanical sensation with thumbsticks. Since they are in there, Valve decided to offer a large, programmable, data channel to very precisely control the effect.
They specifically mention the ability to accept audio waveforms to function as speakers "as a parlour trick".
The devices will be beta tested, via the Steam Machine quest, but without wireless or touchscreen support. Instead of a touchscreen, the controller will contain a four-quadrant grid of buttons mapped to commands.
Thus wraps up the three-pronged announcement. Valve directs interested users to their Steam Universe group for further discussion.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | September 24, 2013 - 03:42 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: obsidian 750d, corsair
Fremont, California — September 24, 2013 — Corsair®, a designer and supplier of high-performance components to the PC hardware market, today announced the immediate availability of the Obsidian Series® 750D performance full-tower PC case. Like all Obsidian Series cases, the 750D features an elegant black monolithic design, brushed aluminum and solid steel construction, and generous expansion flexibility.
The Obidian Series 750D’s rigid, rugged exterior surrounds a frame that has ample room for high-performance components as well as sophisticated cooling for users who want to push their components to the limits. The case is designed to make building a PC fast and simple with features such as tool-free side panels and drive bays, cable routing grommets and mount points, and motherboard rear CPU access and alignment pegs.
“When we launched our enormously successful, supersized Obsidian 900D case, enthusiasts raved about its sleek design, solid metal construction, and expandability, but not everyone needs so much room,” said Xavier Lauwaert, Director of Product Marketing at Corsair. “Obsidian 750D is built for those users that demand full-on Obsidian quality in a standard full-tower form factor with plenty of innovative features and cooling options.”
Obsidian Series 750D Specifications
- 9 expansion slots for larger motherboards and running multiple graphics cards or expansion boards simultaneously.
- Six tool-free 3.5”/2.5” combo bays in two modular hard drive cages, with room for two more cages for up to 12 total combo drive bays.
- Four tool-free 2.5” side-mounted drive cages for SSDs, out of the airflow path.
- Three tool-free 5.25” bays for expansion
- Four front mounted USB ports for easy peripheral or external storage device connection.
- Three included AF140L high-airflow 140mm fans (2 front, 1 rear) for excellent airflow and low noise levels.
- Room for up to 8 fans
- Radiator compatibility: Top – 360mm or 280mm Front – 280mm or 240mm Bottom – 240mm Rear – 140mm or 120mm
Storage Layout Options
- Modular hard drive cages can be located in four separate mounting locations.
- Side-mounted 2.5” cages allow quick, easy removal of the 3.5” drive cages for better airflow or room for radiators, while maintaining capacity for up to four 2.5” drives.
Builder Friendly Features
- Thumbscrew side panel removal and expansion slots and tool-free 3.5”, 2.5”, and 5.25” drive bays.
- Center-post standoff holds motherboard in place while you secure the other screws.
- Easily accessible (and removable) front, rear, and top dust filters.
- Outstanding cable routing with rubber grommets for superior airflow and cleaner, neater builds.
- Four USB ports (two USB 3.0) and headphone/mic jacks in the front panel for easy access.
Dimensions and Weight
- Length x Width x Height 21.5 x 9.25 x 22 inches or 546 x 235 x 560mm
- Weight 9.7kg or 21.4 lbs
Pricing, Availability, and Warranty
The Obsidian Series 750D has a suggested retail price of $159.99 in the US and is available immediately from Corsair's worldwide network of authorized distributors and resellers. It is backed with a limited 2-year warranty and Corsair’s excellent customer service and technical support.
"The Obsidian Series 750D is, according to Corsair, the successor to the acclaimed 650D. This newcomer is priced at $159.99, making it cheaper than its predecessor, and it has a different mix of features. Is it a worthwhile choice, or are you better off springing for the 650D?"
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- Corsair Obsidian 750D @ Kitguru
- Cooler Master Cosmos SE Full Tower Case Review @ Legit Reviews
- Corsair Obsidian 350D @ Hardware.info
- Corsair Obsidian 750D @ eTeknix
- In Win Tou Tempered Glass Special Edition @ eTeknix
- Cooler Master COSMOS SE Review @ OCC
- SilverStone Temjin TJ04-E Evolution Chassis Review @ OCIA
- Cooler Master Silencio 352 mATX Mini Tower @ eTeknix
- X2 6018B MOD Series chassis @ NikKTech
- BitFenix Ronin Mid-Tower Chassis @ eTeknix
- XSPC Photon 170 Tube Reservoir Review @ HiTech Legion
- Cooler Master V8 GTS 140mm POM Heatsink CPU Cooler @ Benchmark Reviews
Introduction and Features
Corsair offers a full line of high quality power supplies, memory components, cases, cooling components, SSDs and accessories to the PC market. Corsair's new RM Series includes six models; the RM450, RM550, RM650, RM750, RM850 and RM1000. All of the power supplies in the RM Series feature all-modular cables, an energy-efficient design (80 Plus Gold certified) and quiet operation thanks to their ability to run without a cooling fun up to 40% load. The RM Series offers many of the same features as the Corsair HX Series (fanless operation, Gold level efficiency, fully-modular cables) but are a little less expensive. And all RM Series power supplies are Corsair Link ready, which means you can monitor the PSU fan speed and +12V output right from your desktop if you have a Corsair Link system set up on your PC. Previously the Corsair Link option was only available on Corsair’s premium AX Series Digital power supplies.
Here is what Corsair has to say about their RM550 PSU we will be looking at in this review: “The Corsair RM550 is fully modular and optimized for silence and high efficiency. It’s built with low-noise capacitors and transformers, and Zero RPM Fan Mode ensures that the fan doesn’t even spin until the power supply is under heavy load. And with a fan that’s custom-designed for low noise operation, it’s whisper-quiet even when it’s pushed hard.
80Plus Gold rated efficiency saves you money on your power bill, and the low-profile black cables are fully modular, so you can enjoy fast, neat builds. And, like all Corsair power supplies, the RM550 is built with high-quality components and is guaranteed to deliver clean, stable, continuous power. Want even more? Connect it to your Corsair Link system (available separately) and you can even monitor fan speed and +12V current directly from your desktop.”
Corsair RM550 PSU Key Features:
• Silent, fan-less operation up to 40% load
• 80Plus Gold certified, delivering over 92% efficiency under real world loads
• Fully modular, low-profile flat cables help maximize case airflow
• Corsair Link ready!
• High-quality capacitors provide uncompromised performance and reliability
• Active PFC and Universal AC input (100-240 VAC)
• Safety: FCC, ICES, CE, C TUV US, RCM, TUV, CB, CCC, BSMI, GOST, ROHS, WEEE, KC, TUV-S
• 5-Year warranty and lifetime access to tech support and customer service
Subject: General Tech, Cases and Cooling | September 21, 2013 - 12:13 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: razer, Naga, Lefties
So, after a few years of regular use, I wore out my Razer Lachesis. I am a lefty who never sold out to the right-handed world of computer peripherals. Joysticks do not count, I am naturally right-handed with those for some reason... scissors too... but that is beside the point. Most of the mice out there, for me to use at least, are ambidextrous and thus symmetric.
The Razer Naga (2014) is the first truly left handed mouse that I have owned. These are my impressions over my first day of usage.
Being a left-handed mouse Razer decided that it would, by default, switch the left and right mouse buttons. This can be changed in the drivers by first assigning your right mouse button to a left mouse button and then assigning your left mouse button to a right mouse button. Not the other way around.
The reason for this user experience seems to be, since all changes in the driver are applied immediately (without "ok" or "apply" buttons), Razer did not want users to accidentally lose every left mouse button. Imagine fixing that problem without a left mouse button. I would have prefered the app to, instead, fire a popup telling users to bind something else to "left mouse button" before removing it. Greying out the box is confusing and users might think they cannot, ever, rebind that button. That is just a minor complaint.
A slightly bigger issue is how they included a tilt-wheel without allowing the drivers to bind ScrollLeft and ScrollRight events. This can easily be fixed with a Razer Synapse update but why was that not included at launch? They are aware of the problem, too, as their support pages suggest users bind scroll wheel tilt to keyboard left and right. A great alternative for web browsers, but will not work in Photoshop or word processors.
Yes, you can make a custom profile for each application to input whatever horizontally scrolls them; better yet, just let us bind left and right scroll commands. Do it Razer! Dooooo it!
Weird quirks in the drivers aside, I really like the mouse. Each of the buttons, both in the side and on the top, are crisp. The build quality is solid. The body is comfortable. My only (physical) complaint is that the mouse body tends to get quite warm if you hold it for a couple of hours. That is, it feels warmer than other mice I have used. Otherwise it is basically what I have been looking for over the last decade.
So many buttons to bind!
Subject: Cases and Cooling | September 17, 2013 - 07:05 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: akasa, venom medusa, air cooling, heatsink
If you are looking for a cooler that screams high performance then the Akasa Venom Medusa is the heatsink for you, assuming you have a double wide case. At 1.3kg this is one of the heaviest coolers on the market, with measurements of 129.5x144x163mm (5x5.7x6.4") without fans, it is also one of the largest. The two 140mm fans [H]ard|OCP used in their testing ensured that the cooler performed very quietly and it performs as well as any of the other high end aircoolers on the market. The one drawback is the price, at $85 it costs almost as much as some self contained watercoolers.
"Akasa is a smaller thermal solution company that does have a solid reputation. The Venom Medusa CPU air cooler is a massive unit that promises better cooling with eight high capacity heatpipes, dual 14cm "Viper" fans that promise more airflow, most of all we get promised it is a "Monster of All Extremes." Does it have a place in your next build?"
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- Raijintek Themis @ techPowerUp
- Silverstone AR01 and AR02 CPU Cooler Review @ HiTech Legion
- Thermalright AXP-200 Low-Profile CPU Cooler @ NikKTech
- The Best CPU Coolers: 10-Way Roundup @ Techspot
- XSPC Raystorm 750 EX240 Liquid Cooling Kit Upgrade @ HiTech Legion
- SilverStone SST-TD03 All-In-One Liquid CPU Cooler @ Benchmark Reviews
- Fractal Arc Midi R2 Computer Case Review @ Madshrimps
- Lian Li PC-Q28 Aluminum Mini-ITX Tower PC Case @ Benchmark Reviews
- Corsair Hydro Series H100i Extreme Performance CPU Cooler Review @ Legit Reviews
- Zalman Reserator 3 Max watercooling setup @ Rbmods
- NZXT Kraken X40 & X60 CPU Water Cooler Reviews @ Legit Reviews
- Fractal Design Arc Midi R2 Mid-Tower Chassis Review @ Techgage
- Corsair Carbide 330R Silent Mid-Tower Case Review @ HiTech Legion
- Corsair Obsidian 900D Super Tower Case @ NikKTech
- Phanteks Enthoo Primo Full-Tower Case Review @ HiTech Legion
- Corsair Carbide Series 330R Quiet Case @ Kitguru
- Antec GX700 ATX Computer Case @ [H]ard|OCP
- Rosewill Throne Full Tower Case Review @ Hardware Canucks
- Aerocool GT-S (Black Edition) Chassis @ Funky Kit
- EVGA Hadron Air Mini ITX Case Review @ Hardware Canucks
Subject: Cases and Cooling | September 14, 2013 - 02:53 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: rm series, PSU, Corsiar, 80 Plus Gold
Corsair has introduced its new RM series of power supplies. The new lineup replaces the TX series and sits between the existing HX and AXi series. RM-series PSUs are optimized for efficient and nearly silent operation.
The new fully modular RM series power supplies are 80 PLUS Gold certified and range from 450W to 1000W. The PSUs reportedly use low noise capacitors and transistors along with a 135mm fan that only starts spinning under high load (what Corsair calls the “ZeroRPM Fan Mode”) such as gaming. In addition to quiet operation, the RM series supports monitoring functionality. Using Corsair Link software, users can monitor PSU fan speed and power delivery. A cable, called the Corsair Digital Bridge Cable, runs from the PSU to either the system motherboard or a Corsair Link Hub and enables the monitoring features. This cable comes bundled with the highest-end RM1000 (1000W) unit, but is an additional charge for the other RM series.
The fully modular RM1000 and its bundled cables.
The lineup includes the RM450, RM550, RM650, RM750, RM850, and RM1000 in 450W to 1KW maximum loads respectively. These new PSUs will be available at the end of October for the following prices:
|RM Series Power Supply SKU||Price (MSRP)|
Subject: Cases and Cooling | September 13, 2013 - 01:44 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: mini ITX, hadron air, hadron, evga
EVGA has launched a new barebones Mini ITX case called the Hadron Air. The new case is in the same vein as the MiniBox chassis it showed off at Computex earlier this year. The new Hadron Air measures 12" x 6.6" x 12.1" (HxWxD) and is constructed of aluminum with a black brushed finish on the outside.
The Hadron Air has curved edges and rounded corners. The front of the case is lifted up slightly by case feet, putting the case at a slight angle. There are vents on the top and right side of the case as well as an acrylic window on the left side panel. A bay for a slim slot loading optical drive and the front IO port are located on the right side of the case. The front IO includes two USB 3.0 ports and two HD audio jacks. The back of the case has a bottom mounted power supply, two PCI slots, and two water cooling passthrough grommets.
EVGA is bundling the case with a small form factor 500W power supply. The PSU is 80 PLUS Gold rated and offers up 40A on the 12V rail. The case supports Mini ITX motherboards, two 2.5" or 3.5" storage drives, and dual slot graphics cards up to 267mm in length. As far as cooling, the case supports two 120mm exhaust fans in the top panel and the power supply has its own small intake fan. A list of compatible CPU coolers can be found here.
The case comes bundled with a 500W power supply, manual, AC power cord, two SATA cables, and a bracket for a slim slot loading optical drive.
The Hadron Air is available now for $189.99. The Mini ITX chassis is part of the Hadron series of cases which includes the Air and a water cooling optimized version called the Hadron Hydro which is reportedly "coming soon."
More information on the Hadron Air can be found on this EVGA product page.
Introduction and Features
Corsair’s Carbide Series currently includes eight models in different sizes, shapes, and colors (mostly black but the 500R is available in white) which includes the 200R, 300R, 330R, 400R, 500R, and the Air-540 High Airflow Cube case.
In this review we are going to take a detailed look at Corsair’s Carbide Series 330R quiet mid-tower case. The 330R incorporates superior sound absorption material for quiet operation, numerous cooling options, and support for multiple, extended length VGA cards. The 330R enclosure features a full length, hinged front door and comes with one 140mm intake fan in the front and one 120mm exhaust fan on the back with five optional fan mounting locations along with support for liquid cooling radiators.
(Courtesy of Corsair)
Here is what Corsair has to say about their Carbide Series enclosures: “Corsair Carbide Series® mid-tower PC cases have the high-end features you need, and nothing you don’t. Designed to be the foundation of awesome yet approachable gaming PCs, they combine the latest technology and ergonomic innovations with lots of room to build and expand, and amazing cooling potential!”
(Courtesy of Corsair)
Carbide 330R Quiet Mid-Tower Case Key Features:
• Supports E-ATX, ATX, Micro ATX and Mini ATX motherboards
• Extensive noise dampening material on the front door, side panels, and top panel to quiet noisy internal components
• Hinged front door is reversible, with angled air intakes to reflect internal noise away from the user
• Direct airflow to components – the front 140mm fan is unrestricted by hard drive cages and protected by a low-restriction dust filter
• Removable top panel, with top fan mounts pre-drilled for 240mm or 280mm fans and/or liquid cooling radiators
• Excellent cooling and low noise levels with up to five separate fan mounting locations
o Front: 140mm fan included (upgradable to dual 120mm or 140mm)
o Top: Dual 120mm or 140mm
o Rear: 120mm fan included
• USB 3.0 on front panel with internal motherboard connectors
• Four 3.5” / 2.5” hard drive bays with full SSD compatibility
• Three 5.25” front exposed drive bays
• Tool-free installation of 5.25” and 3.5” drives
• Up to 450mm (17.6”) of space for long graphics cards
• Up to 160mm (6.3”) of space for CPU coolers
• Cable routing cutouts to keep cables out of the airflow path
Subject: Cases and Cooling | September 6, 2013 - 01:12 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: in win, tou, full tower, atx, tempered glass
In Win, a manufacturer of cases, power supplies, and storage drives showed off a prototype full tower ATX case at Computex 2013 that is now officially launching as a production model in limited quantities. The case, called the Tou, is constructed of a sand case aluminum frame and surrounded by tempered glass with a mirror finish.
The glass is such that when the internal case LEDs are off, the various case panels act as mirrors. However, when the internal blue LEDs are turned on, light passes through the glass and users can see the PC internals through the glass panels.
The full tower chassis is roughly rectangular with angular edges, a large mesh vent on the top panel, bottom mounted 5.25” drive bay, and two handles attached to the front panel. The front panel has two skinny vents on either side to allow the front 120mm intake fan to pull in cool air. The top panel supports 360mm water cooling radiators or three 120mm fans. Front IO includes two USB 3.0 ports and two audio ports.
Internally, the In Win Tou case supports ATX motherboards, ATX power supplies, three 3.5” hard drives, two 2.5” SSDs, and GPUs up to 380mm in length.
According to Hexus.net, the limited edition Tou case will be available soon for around $800. IT is an interesting design, and the mirrored panels are unique. I don't care for the particular angular edges and bolt pattern on the side panel, and the internal features are at a bare minimum, which is less than I would have expected from an $800 case. I'm interested to see what case modders are able to do with it though, and how enthusiasts take advantage of the mirrored glass to show off their systems.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | September 4, 2013 - 06:46 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Silverstone, Raven RV04
When the front of your case has a pair of 180mm fans in it you know it is big, 219x581x497mm (8.6x22.8x19.5") or as they describe it on the spec sheet, 63.2 litres, which is a lot of mineral oil. This does mean you have space for oversized coolers and massive GPUs as well as over a dozen drives of varying sizes as well as radiators for watercooling. [H]ard|OCP were not impressed with the door on this case but were quite impressed at the capabilities of what seemed at first glance to be mediocre fan filters. See what you think of the overall design as well as the functionality in their full review.
"The SilverStone Raven series of computer cases have been favorites around the HardOCP offices for years. This new Raven RV04 has a somewhat different spin, literally. Long gone is the 90 degree rotation on the mainboard which brings the Raven back into the realm of "normal" cases. SilverStone is preaching an even better thermal profile."
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- SilverStone Fortress FT04 Case @ AnandTech
- Aerocool Strike-X GT Devil Red Edition Mid-Tower @ eTeknix
- Thermaltake Chaser A71 Full Tower PC Case Review @ Legit Reviews
- Nanoxia Deep Silence 2 @ Kitguru
- NZXT Phantom 530 Review @ Hardware Canucks
- Thermaltake Chaser A71 VP400M1W2N Computer Case @ Benchmark Reviews
- Spire X2.6018 Mid-Tower @ Funky Kit
- Rosewill FBM-01 Mini-Tower Case Review @ HiTech Legion
- Enermax Coenus (ECA3290A) Mid-Tower Case Review @ HiTech Legion
- Phanteks Enthoo Primo @ techPowerUp
- Cooltek Coolcube Maxi Micro-ATX/Mini-ITX Case @ NikKTech
- Thermaltake WATER3.0 Extreme Liquid CPU Cooler Review @ Techgage
- SilverStone Tundra TD02 & TD03 CPU Liquid Coolers @ [H]ard|OCP
- Which is The Best Position for a Tower CPU Cooler? @ Hardware Secrets
- be quiet! Shadow Rock 2 CPU Cooler Review @ HiTech Legion
- Noctua NH-D14 SE2011 CPU Cooler @ eTeknix
- Thermalright Archon SB-E X2 CPU Cooler @ NikKTech
- Sandia Cooler: Air Bearing Heatsink Prototype Update @ Frostytech
- Gelid Black Edition Heatsink Review @ Frostytech
- be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 2 @ techPowerUp
- Thermaltake BigTyp Revo CPU Cooler Review @ OCC
- Scythe Mugen 4 CPU Cooler @ Funky Kit
- SilverStone SST-AR01 CPU Cooler @ Benchmark Reviews
- DeepCool Gammaxx S40 Heatsink Review @ Frostytech
- Scythe Ashura CPU Cooler @ Funky Kit
- SilverStone SST-AR03 CPU Cooler Heatsink @ Benchmark Reviews
- be quiet! Shadow Rock 2 CPU Cooler Mini @ eTeknix
- Enermax's white and black ETS-T40 CPU coolers @ The Tech Report