Manufacturer: Antec

Introduction and Features

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Antec has one of the largest selections of PC power supplies on the market today and their new High Current Pro Platinum series includes three models: the HCP-850 Platinum, HCP-1000 Platinum and the HCP-1300 Platinum.  The High Current Pro Platinum series is part of a second wave of new power supplies from Antec that replaces three older lines, the TruePower Quattro, High Current Pro (80 Plus Gold), and Antec’s Signature series.  The High Current Pro Platinum series will be the new top class of maximum efficiency and performance within Antec’s range of power supplies with modular cabling.

The High Current Pro Platinum series is based on a design, co-developed with Antec’s partner Delta Electronics and combines several technological advancements and features to provide top performance and be the very best power supply possible.  All three High Current Pro Platinum power supplies are 80Plus Platinum certified, come with all modular cables, and have been tested and certified by both NVIDIA for SLI and AMD for Crossfire systems. The High Current Pro Platinum PSUs also feature Antec’s new OC Link technology that allows two HCP Platinum PSUs to work in tandem to power even the most demanding systems.

Here is what Antec has to say about their new High Current Pro Platinum PSUs:

Antec's High Current Pro Platinum series is the pinnacle of power supplies. High Current Pro Platinum is fully modular with a revolutionary 20+8-pin MBU socket for the needs of tomorrow. By using a PSU that is 80 PLUS® PLATINUM & ErP Lot 6: 2013 certified, operating up to 94% efficient, you can reduce your electricity bill by up to 25% when compared to many other power supplies. HCP Platinum's innovative 16-pin sockets create a new level of flexibility by doubling the modular connectivity, supporting two different 8-pins connectors and even future connectors of 10, 12, 14 or 16-pins. Backed by a 7 year warranty and lifetime global 24/7 support, the High Current Pro Platinum series embodies everything a power supply can accomplish today.

Antec High Current Pro Platinum Series PSU Key Features:

• 850W/1000W/1300W continuous power output at 50°C
• 80Plus Platinum Certified (up to 94% efficient)
• Four High Current +12V rails with high maximum load
• 100% +12V output for maximum CPU and GPU support
• OC Link allows two HCP Platinum PSUs to work in tandem
• 16-Pin Socket for increased modular connectivity and flexibility
• 28(20+8)-pin Motherboard socket for future MBU support
• Quiet 135mm double ball bearing fan
• Thermal Manager – advanced low voltage fan controller
• All Japanese brand, heavy duty capacitors
• PhaseWave Design server-class, full-bridge LLC topology
• NVIDIA SLI-Ready and AMD Crossfire ready
• Intel Haswell & C7 ready
• Active PFC with Universal AC line input
• ErP Lot 6:2013 Compliant
• Fully modular cables
• Protection: OCP, OVP, UVP, SCP, OPP, OTP, SIP, NLO and BOP
• Antec AQ7 7-year warranty and lifetime global 24/7 support

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Please continue reading our review of the Antec HCP-850 Platinum PSU!!!

Manufacturer: XSPC

Introduction

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Courtesy of XSPC

The Razor GTX680 water block was among the first in the XSPC full cover line of blocks. The previous generation of XSPC water blocks offered cooling for the GPU as well as the memory and on-board VRMs, but did not offer the protection that a full card-sized block offers to the sensitive components integrated into the card's PCB. At an MSRP of $99.99, the Razor GTX680 water block is a sound investment.

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Courtesy of XSPC

The Razor GTX680 block comes with a total of seven G1/4" ports - four on the inlet side (left) and three on the outlet side (right). XSPC included the following component with the block: XSPC thermal compound, dual blue LEDs, five steel port caps, paper washers and mounting screws, and TIM (thermal interface material) for use with the on board memory and VRM chips.

Continue reading our review of the XSPC Razor GTX680 water block!

Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard and Mouse

Subject: General Tech, Cases and Cooling | August 14, 2013 - 05:46 PM |
Tagged: windows rt, mouse, microsoft, keyboard

I would normally begin a product announcement with some introduction but, this time, a quote from Mary Jo Foley seems a better fit:

These new peripherals work with Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows RT, though only "basic functionality" is provided when used with Windows RT.

Problems with Windows RT, it is now obvious, go beyond Ethernet dongles and I would be shocked if Microsoft Hardware are the only ones suffering. We have already heard Plugable, an adapter and peripherals company, complain about Microsoft and their demand for Plugable to pull Surface RT drivers from their website. I cannot see this being a few localized issues.

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These are the problems you will experience with a platform where the owner has complete control. Imagine how bad Windows RT will be if Microsoft slips behind, again, in Internet Explorer development; the only browsers allowed must be Internet Explorer reskins. But I digress.

The Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Desktop is a mouse, keyboard, and number pad with a unique appearance. Non-uniform keys pushing upward to a split should conform to the hand of a typical home row typist. WASD gamers might as well stop reading by this point. Microsoft is not known for mechanical switches so I would expect this keyboard to be typical membrane-based activation.

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Side-on shows off the depth better.

That said, most Microsoft peripherals I have used tends to keep up with mechanical in terms of durability and performance... except wired Xbox headsets. Those little turds snap within a matter of hours.

The mouse, on the other hand (literally), does not seem to include extra mouse buttons except for a dedicated Windows button. If you have not figured it out by now: gamers are not the target audience. It seems fairly standard otherwise, from a feature standpoint, although comfort and durability are the big deciding factors for many users which we are not in a position to give an honest opinion on.

Together, the devices are available within the week and retail for $129.95. The keyboard, separately, will be available in September for $80.95; the mouse, separately, will be available for $59.95. High price, but it might just be worth it for dedicated typists.

Source: Microsoft

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

Subject: Cases and Cooling | August 12, 2013 - 12:36 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."

Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:

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Source: [H]ard|OCP

Google TV versus Chromecast; is there a difference?

Subject: Cases and Cooling, Systems | August 9, 2013 - 10:34 AM |
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."

Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:

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Source: Bjorn3D

CaseLabs shrinks down their modular case

Subject: Cases and Cooling | August 7, 2013 - 01:19 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."

Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:

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Source: TechPowerUp

Phanteks Enters PC Case Market With Enthoo Primo Full Tower Chassis

Subject: Cases and Cooling | August 5, 2013 - 05:02 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 - 05:26 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 - 07:39 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