Fractal Design Integrates USB 3.0 Support Into New Core 3000 USB 3.0 ATX Chassis

Subject: Cases and Cooling | February 5, 2013 - 09:21 AM |
Tagged: usb 3.0, mid tower, fractal design, core 3000 usb 3.0, Core 3000, atx case

Fractal Design has taken its budget-friendly mid-tower Core 3000 case, and updated it with USB 3.0 support on the front IO panel. The new SKU is aptly named the Fractal Design Core 3000 USB 3.0.

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The new case is essentially an upgrade to the Core 3000. It is a black case with white accents on the drive carriages and PCI expansion slots. The front panel of the case features two optical disc drive bays and a dust filter covered by a mess grill. The top of the case holds an exhaust port and a new front IO panel. The IO panel includes two audio jacks, power and reset buttons, power and hard drive activity LEDs, two USB 2.0 ports, and two USB 3.0 ports.

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The Core 3000 USB 3.0 case has room for two 5.25” drives and up to six 3.5” or 2.5” drives (with the top drive cage being removable). Seven PCI expansion slots, a CPU cutout, and cable management/routing holes are all standard features of the Core 3000 USB 3.0 case.

On the cooling front, the mid tower chassis comes equipped with three Silent Series R2 fans out of the box along with a total of seven fan cutouts. By default, there is one 140mm 1,000 RPM intake fan in the front, one 120mm 1,200 RPM exhaust fan in the back, and one 140mm 1,000 RPM fan attached to the top of the case.

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The available fan positions are as follows:

  • Front of the case:
    • 1 x 120mm fan
    • 1 x 140mm fan
  • Top of the case:
    • 2 x 120mm or 140mm fans
  • Rear of the case:
    • 1 x 120mm fan
  • Side of the case:
    • 1 x 120mm fan
  • Bottom of the case:
    • 1 x 120mm fan

The Core 3000 USB 3.0 case has a MSRP of $74.95 in the US. All in all, it looks to be a decent case for the price. You can find more information on the product page.

Tranquil PC Launches £99 Fanless Case For Intel NUC Platform

Subject: Cases and Cooling | February 3, 2013 - 06:14 AM |
Tagged: tranquil, nuc, fanless, case

Tranquil PC, a case manufacturer and system integrator based in the UK, recently announced a new aluminum chassis for Intel’s NUC motherboards. The new chassis acts as a heatsink and will keep your NUC system running cool without needing case fans. Tranquil is offering two versions of the case – the NUC-BY and NUC-YE – which are compatible with both the D33217CK (Thunderbolt-equipped) and D33217GKE (Gigabit Ethernet-equipped) Intel NUC boards respectively.

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The two Tranquil NUC cases are nearly identical, but they differ in the IO cutouts offered (naturally). The cases measure 110 x 164 x 47mm and resembles a black heatsink with its horizontal fins and brushed aluminum design. The chassis is reportedly able to keep the Next Unit of Computing (NUC) system 5 to 15 degrees centigrade cooler than the reference Intel NUC case that uses an active fan. Hopefully, the case-as-a-heatsink design will help to mitigate the overheating problems that many reviewers (including PC Perspective) have run into when performing network transfers to the SSD over Wi-Fi.

 

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It is a streamlined design with port only the expected port cutouts and a rubberized power button on the rear of the device. No LED-lit logos or extra buttons to speak of. You can, however, have Tranquil laser-engrave a custom message onto the chassis for an additional fee.

The front of the case features a single USB port while the rear IO will depend on your particular NUC board. The D33217CK board includes one Thunderbolt, one HDMI, two USB 2.0 ports, and a 65W DC power input jack. On the other hand, the D33217GKE motherboard has a DC-in jack, two USB 2.0 ports, two HDMI outputs, and a single Gigabit LAN jack. Additionally, the Tranquil cases have a cutout for an externally-mounted Wi-Fi antenna (as the aluminum casing is not well-suited to housing an internal antenna).

 

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Both Tranquil NUC cases are available now for a base price of £99. A VESA mount adds an additional £17. Further, VAT and shipping charges may apply depending on where you are ordering from. In USD, the Tranquil cases have a base price of $155.62. While I do not get charged VAT, I do have to pay shipping, and it is not cheap at approximately $33 to ship to the mid-west US. In my case, ordering one NUC case and having it shipped to Illinois would cost $207.41. Ouch.

The Tranquil PC NUC case with its brushed aluminum and fanless design is extremely nice. Unfortunately, that build quality does not come cheap, and will add to the overall cost of putting together your NUC system. If you have the money for it though, it looks to be one of the best cases available for the new 4” x 4” NUC motherboards.

More information is available on the Tranquil PC website.

Source: Fanless Tech
Manufacturer: EVGA

Introduction and Features

EVGA was founded in 1999 with headquarters in Brea, California. They currently specialize in producing NVIDIA based graphics adapters and Intel based motherboards and they are continuing to expand their product line to include enthusiast grade power supplies, starting with the NEX1500 last year and now adding the SuperNOVA NEX750G and NEX650G models.

Back in September 2012 we reviewed the SuperNOVA NEX1500 digital power supply that delivered 1500 watts of power and came bundled with EVGA’s SuperNOVA software that allows monitoring all of the power supply’s functions in real-time from your desktop. We liked the NEX1500, especially the SuperNOVA monitoring software, so when EVGA asked us to review the new SuperNOVA NEX750G Gold, we said yes and assumed it would incorporate similar features to the flagship SuperNOVA NEX1500. While the NEX1500 PSU was targeted towards an elite few with deep pockets, the new NEX750G and NEX650G models are aimed at more mainstream, cost-conscious consumers. And to our disappointment, neither of the new power supplies feature digital control, so they can't be used with EVGA's SuperNOVA monitoring software.

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Here is what EVGA has to say about the new SuperNOVA NEX 750G Gold PSU: “The EVGA NEX750G Gold PSU is a premium quality power supply intended to meet the needs of the most demanding enthusiasts systems. Designed with enthusiast needs in mind the NEX series is the best choice to power next generation enthusiast computers. Combining 750W of continuous power with exceptional performance, stunning efficiency, and cutting-edge design and features, the NEX750G Gold is what you need to take your system to the next level.

You can also count on EVGA to provide the utmost reliability and performance, with 100% Japanese capacitors and a durable dual-ball bearing fan. The NEX750G Gold is designed from start to finish to be the best choice for today's most demanding enthusiast computers. Bring you’re a-game with the NEX750G Gold power supply!"

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Please continue reading our review of the EVGA SuperNOVA NEX750G PSU!!!

If you aren't whitening your case, it is yellowing ...

Subject: Cases and Cooling | January 31, 2013 - 01:29 PM |
Tagged: Retr0bright, DIY, ultraviolet, crest

Back in the ancient days of computing before cases came in all colours of the rainbow, we made due with a standard creamy white colour, which over time became a shade of yellow usually associated with Bingo halls or greasy spoon diners.  While white or cream coloured cases have gone out of style, there are still systems which are housed in nasty yellow stained plastic cases and Hardware Secrets can tell you how to whiten them to the colour TV commercials would have you believe your teeth should be.  The trick is called Retr0bright and uses both a hydrogen peroxide bath and UV lighting to restore cases to a more appealing white.  The process isn't perfect, make sure you read their caveats before beginning your project.

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"Plastic parts of older computers become yellow or brown over time, so you end up with a computer that looks yellow or brown instead of white or gray. In this tutorial, we will show you how to restore old plastic parts to their original color by using a homemade peroxide-based solution called Retr0bright."

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

CASES & COOLING

Kingwin's new Power Force PSUs arrive

Subject: Cases and Cooling | January 29, 2013 - 01:46 PM |
Tagged: PSU, Kingwin, Power Force 850W, modular psu

Kingwin's $110 Power Force 850W PSU is not as well appointed as other 850W PSUs but is also much lower in price.  With four 6/8 pin PCIe connectors and 8 SATA power connectors some users might feel a bit cramped but with 70A of power on the 12V line it seems that the unit can be useful for many. [H]ard|OCP tested the PSU to see if it is indeed worth the purchase price and were glad to see it pass all their tests, though perhaps not with flying colours.  This is the first Power Force PSU that they have seen, if Kingwin can keep the quality high and the price low they may make some inroads into recognized PSU suppliers.

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"While not a "go to" enthusiast brand, Kingwin has produced some excellent computer desktop power supplies over the last five years and these have usually be great values. Does Kingwin continue the trend with its new Power Force 850W model sporting good efficiency, modular cabling, and reasonable pricing."

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

CASES & COOLING

Source: [H]ard|OCP

OCZ Technology Adds New 750W and 850W Power Supply Models to Its PC Power & Cooling Silencer Mk III Portfolio

Subject: Cases and Cooling | January 28, 2013 - 02:21 PM |
Tagged: psu. ocz, silencer mk III, 80 Plus Gold

When OCZ first purchased PC Power & Cooling there were concerns that the quality could suffer and when you invest in a 750W or higher rated PSU you probably expect that you will be using it through a few system hardware upgrades.  Since the new Silencer Mk III PSUs come with a 7 year warranty it would seem that OCZ has plenty of confidence in their products.  Not only will these PSUs perform quietly in most situations, the 80 PLUS Gold rating ensures the efficiency of the units as well.

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SAN JOSE, Ca. – January 28, 2013 - OCZ Technology Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:OCZ), a leading provider of high-performance solid-state drives (SSDs) and power management solutions for computing devices and systems, today announced that it has added 750W and 850W power supply unit (PSU) models to the award-winning Silencer Mk III Power Supply Series from PC Power & Cooling. With these new high-wattage options, the Silencer Mk III provides a professional-grade power solution rated for industrial usage and provides the performance and stability required for demanding computing environments.

“Building on our highly reputable Silencer Mk III core architecture, we are very pleased to deliver new high-wattage options that provide the ultimate in efficiency and stability while delivering ultra-quiet operation and a modular cable design for which this portfolio is highly regarded,” said Bob Roark, Vice-President of Power Management for OCZ Technology. “With the addition of 750W and 850W models, the Silencer Mk III Power Supply Series once again defines the ultimate power management solution for today’s professional and enthusiast users.”

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The Silencer Mk III 750W and 850W are rock-solid power supply solutions that meet the stringent 80 Plus Gold certification for exceptional energy-efficiency ratings and support over 90 percent efficiency under typical workloads. Featuring its popular Dual Thermal Control System (a sophisticated operation that allows either PSU model to be switched seamlessly between normal and silent modes), the Silencer Mk III works in conjunction with the load and temperature controlled fan for ultra-quiet operation. Additionally, the entire Silencer Mk III Series combines a single +12V rail, premium components (including 100 percent Japanese 105°C capacitors), rigorous protection circuitries, continuous stable output at a demanding 50°C ambient temperature, and heavy-duty chrome finish metallic cable connectors to provide excellent conductivity and lower resistance when compared to other power supplies on the market.

Where industrial-grade durability meets a sleek modular design, the Silencer Mk III 750W and 850W models are available immediately and are backed with PC Power & Cooling’s complete confidence in reliability and supported by an industry-leading 7 year warranty.

Manufacturer: Thermaltake

Introduction and Technical Specifications

Introduction

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Courtesy of Thermaltake

As the newest member of Thermaltake's Armor Revo case line, the Armor Revo Gene mid-tower case features sleek looks and exudes the humble power that only the war-worn warrior's know. We decided to put the Armor Revo Gene to the test to see how well the case works under a variety of circumstances. At a base price of $129.99, the Armor Revo Gene seems to be a well priced steal for the features designed into it.

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Courtesy of Thermaltake

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Courtesy of Thermaltake

The Armor Revo Gene features a flat-black, scratch-resistant coating on all surfaces, giving it a sleek and uniformly menacing look. The case's right panel contains a window in it upper half to show off your case innards, bisected by a grilled space for up to a 200mm side fan to help cool your PCI-Express cards. A wing-shaped aluminum front bezel helps to direct air through the front of the case in an optimal manner.

Continue reading our review of the Thermaltake Armor Revo Gene Mid-Tower Case!!

Manufacturer: Seasonic

Introduction and Features

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Seasonic has built a stellar reputation for themselves producing some of the best PC power supplies on the market. Over the years, Seasonic has been the OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) of choice for companies like Corsair, PC Power & Cooling, and XFX to name just a few. But Seasonic also markets power supplies under their own brand name. The Platinum 660W/760W/860W Series is Seasonic's newest flagship line for the retail market. We will be taking a detailed look at the Platinum 660W model in this review. All of the PSUs in the Platinum Series are based on Seasonic's X-Series, which has brought several major advancements to the standard PC power supply platform since its introduction over three years ago.

• Proprietary circuit design delivers High efficiency (80Plus Platinum certified)
• Full modular DC Connector Module features integrated VRMs (3.3V and 5V)
• Hybrid Silent Fan Control (3 modes of operation: Fanless, Silent and Cooling)
• High-quality Sanyo Denki SanAce120 dual ball bearing fan with PWM
• High-reliability 105°C grade A capacitors and solid polymer capacitors

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Seasonic Platinum 660W Power Supply

The Platinum 660W, 760W and 860W are top performers and highly efficient power supplies that at lower loads can operate silently in semi-fanless mode.

80Plus Platinum The Platinum Series 660W, 760W, and 860W power supplies are certified in accordance to the 80PLUS organization's highest standard, offering the newest technology and innovation for performance and energy savings with up to 92% efficiency and a true power factor of greater than 0.9 PF.

Full Modular Design (DC to DC) Carried over from the Seasonic X-Series power supplies, the new Platinum Series features an integrated DC connector panel with onboard VRM (Voltage Regulator Module) that enables not only near perfect DC-to-DC conversion with reduction of current loss/impedance and increase of efficiency but also a fully modular DC cabling that enables maximum flexibility of integration and forward compatibility.

Continue reading our review of the Seasonic Platinum Series 660 watt power supply!!

The Raidmax Orion mid-tower is smaller than it looks

Subject: Cases and Cooling | January 23, 2013 - 02:49 PM |
Tagged: Raidmax, Orion, mid-tower

Currently only $80 on NewEgg, the Raidmax Orion mid-tower case sports more features than you might expect; a front panel with two USB 2.0 and one USB 3.0, headphone and microphone jacks, power and reset buttons and an integral fan controller with two knobs, one for fan speed and one for LED brightness.  It comes with three 120mm fans, one sporting LEDs and can handle 140mm fans if you wish to swap in your own and a filtered 120mm port on the bottom of the case for your PSU.  Unfortunately [H]ard|OCP found a number of flaws with the case including hard to install drives to a lack of tool-less installation setting up a system was difficult especially when you consider its dimensions, at 511mm x 192mm x 502mm (20.1" x 7.5" x 19.8") which are too small to accommodate high end coolers and don't even think about triple SLI.

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"Raidmax is a big name worldwide in budget computer cases. Today we have a chance to look at its Orion case that sports a very long list of nice features as well as remembering the important things like air flow, cable routing, and dust control. Do all of these worthy features go along with a lower cost case?"

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

CASES & COOLING

Source: [H]ard|OCP

Introduction and Technical Specifications

Introduction

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Hydro Series™ H80i High Performance Liquid CPU Cooler
Courtesy of Corsair

The Corsair Hydro Series™ H80i High Performance Liquid CPU Cooler is the middle tier cooler in Corsair's latest revision of the series. We decided to take the cooler apart to see what makes it tick and share insight on the components used in designing this award winning cooler.

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The Hydro Series™ H80i cooling system consists of an aluminum-based 120mm x 120mm x 38mm radiator capable of supporting two 120mm x 120mm fans, attached to a CPU copper-based cooling assembly via 3/8 inch rubber hoses. The CPU cooler contains embedded magnets to better hold the CPU clip to the body of the cooling assembly. The CPU cooler also includes an integrated LED in the top of the assembly as well as Corsair Link™ connection ports and fan connection ports. The cooling hoses are attached to the CPU assembly by rotating nozzles, capable of an almost full 360 degrees of rotation.

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CPU cooler assembly breakdown
Courtesy of CoolIT Systems

Corsair partnered with CoolIT Systems in the design and implementation of the H80i. While the CPU cooler assembly pictured is not exactly like the H80i, the CoolIT Systems designed ECO II is close enough to the H80i in design for comparison purposes. Notice how the top cap and cold plate sandwich the pump assembly in place with the pump and electronics sitting in an upper chamber and the barbs feeding into or fed from a lower chamber.

Technical Specifications (taken from the Corsair and CoolIT Systems websites)

Cold Plate Material

Copper Micro Fin

Radiator Material

Aluminum

Radiator dimensions

120mm x 152mm x 38mm

Fan Dimensions

120mm x 120mm x 25mm

Maximum Fan Speed

2700 RPM

Maximum Fan Airflow

77 CFM

Fan dBA

37.68 dBA

Fan static pressure

4mm/H20

Tubing

Large-diameter, low permeability, low evaporation rubber

Socket Support

AMD AM2, AMD AM3, AMD FM1, Intel LGA 1155, Intel LGA 1156, Intel LGA 1366, Intel LGA 2011

Coolant

Low toxicity propylene glycol/water mixture with anti-corrosion/anti-fungal package

Continue reading our deconstruction of the Corsair Hydro Series H80i Cooler!!