Introduction and First Impressions
Antec’s P-series enclosures have been around for quite a while, and have been known as quiet, stylish cases for a premium build. It had been quite a while since the last entry in the series as the previous model, the P280, which received our Gold Award when Ryan reviewed it way back in 2011, and this current version hit the market in January of 2015. Needless to say, Antec’s Performance enclosures have some staying power. So how does this latest entry stack up?
The new P380 carries an MSRP of $229.95, placing it in the higher end of the premium enclosure market. While it can certainly be found for less (around $140 currently on Amazon) the bar is still set pretty high when the price exceeds $100, though the P380 is in a different world than Antec's Signature S10 enclosure, which launched at a mind-boggling $499 (it has since come down considerably). With the highly competitive enclosure market offering a number of spacious and quiet options, the P380 will need to differentiate to succeed.
“When only the best can satisfy your needs, the P380 is the answer. Known for its minimalistic design, the Performance series focuses on delivering the perfect balance between performance and Quiet-Computing. Whether you’re designing your ultimate dream PC or, just creating a monster file server, the P380 should be the choice, without hesitation.”
Antec is obviously confident about this newest P-series enclosure and I’ll be putting it to the test using a new, more stringent enclosure review process. We'll take a look at the case inside and out, and then see how it performs with a gaming build using both a closed-loop liquid CPU cooler, and a conventional air CPU cooler to see how the case airflow affects warm components.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | December 8, 2015 - 05:00 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: silent case, quiet computing, inverted motherboard, corsair, Carbide 600Q, Carbide 600C, atx case
Corsair has announced a new model in their Carbide lineup with the 600Q and 600C enclusures, both of which feature an inverted motherboard design - a first from Corsair.
The Corsair Carbide 600C
The two models share the same basic design, though the 600Q is optimized for silence with sound-deadening material (and a solid side panel), while the 600C offers a very large side-panel window for more style when silence is at less of a premium. Both versions use Corsair's AF140L 140 mm fans for cooling, which are connected to an external 3-speed fan controller to easily adjust based on cooling/noise needs.
The Corsair Carbide 600Q top I/O and fan controller
"Unlike many PC cases which demand enthusiasts choose between noisy, high-airflow ventilation or low-noise, restricted airflow designs, the 600Q and 600C are able to deliver the best of both. The distinctive inverted-ATX internal design places the heat producing components in the direct airflow pathway of the two AF140L 140mm intake fans and single AF140L 140mm exhaust fan, providing powerful and efficient cooling, with extra wide vents ensuring unimpeded airflow.
Specially tuned for low-noise operation, the 600Q and 600C’s three included fans have been redesigned for excellent airflow at lower noise levels, with an integrated external 3-speed fan controller allowing users to reduce the fan RPM, further lowering noise with a minimal impact on cooling performance. The result is a no-compromise approach to cooling that delivers fantastic system temperatures at extremely low noise levels.
The 600Q dedication to low-noise continues well beyond fan speeds. High density sound deadening material fitted in the front panel, side panels, and roof works to further mute system noise and ensure that the 600Q is as quiet as it is beautiful."
The Carbide 600 enclosures have an unobtrusive steel constuction, and the hinged front panel opens to reveal a pair of 5.25" optical drive bays. The interior features includes a PSU/drive bay cover to help keep things looking clean (especially for the windowed 600C version), and support for up to a 280 mm liquid cooler up front, and up to 360 mm on the bottom.
The Carbide 600C with hinged door open
Here are some of the specs and features from Corsair:
- Inverse-ATX Layout: With this new layout, airflow is easily directed at the hottest devices in your system; the GPU and CPU, and not wasted on drive cages.
- Sound Damping Throughout (600Q only): Keep your system quiet and cool with high-density sound damping material on side panels, front panel, and top panels. It’s so quiet, you’ll find yourself wondering if your PC is even powered on.
- Hinged and Latched Full Side Panel Window (600C only): Easily access your components with a single touch – and when closed, enjoy viewing every part of your build through the full size side panel window.
- Steel Exterior: Get rid of those plastic cases – the 600Q and 600C have full steel exterior panels for extra durability and gorgeous good looks.
- Three Included AF140L fans: Great airflow doesn’t have to be noisy – the three AF140L fans can push large amounts of air across your hottest devices without that annoying fan hum, and the three-speed fan controller lets you decide exactly how fast they run.
- PSU and 5.25” Bay Cover: Clean up the inside of your case by tucking all those cables and less-attractive drives behind a clean, refined PSU and 5.25” bay cover. Or remove them for assembly – it’s up to you.
- Watercooling Ready: Fit up to a 280mm radiator up front and up to a 360mm radiator on the bottom – along with a 140mm rear fan mount.
- Easy to Clean: Easily access dust filters on front and bottom meaning you’ll never spend more than a minute getting dust out of your system.
- Easy to Build: Tool-free drive installation, tool-free side panel access, and tons of cable routing options and tie downs means you can spend less time building your PC and more time using it.
The Carbide 600Q and 600C will be available in this month, and both models carry an MSRP of $149.99.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | December 8, 2015 - 07:01 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: water cooling, water cooler, thermaltake, cpu cooler
Thermaltake has announced the Water 3.0 Riing RGB, which is a water cooler with multi-color LEDs. Two SKUs will be available, which differ in radiator size. As the title of this post suggests, your choice will be between double-wide (240mm) and triple-wide (360mm) radiators. The lights surround the fan in a ring, and can be modified by a remote into a few different settings. Thermaltake notes that these settings persist after a reboot. I would think that's expected, but the wording sounds like a subtle reference to something. Over my head regardless.
I should note that there appears to be a typo in Thermaltake's specification sheet. On the Water 3.0 Riing RGB 360, it claims that its dimensions are 326x120x27mm. 326mm is the same length as its rubber tubing and, to say the least, it seems very unlikely that they intend to fit three, 120mm fans (360mm total) into a length that's 326mm long (plus fit the hosing off one side). The 240 model is listed as being 270mm long, which leaves 30mm for spacing and tubing, and that seems about right. I assume that they accidentally wrote the tube length as the radiator length. I have attempted to contact Thermaltake PR for clarification. I'll update the post if I get through and receive a response. This should be fine for most users looking to install a triple-wide radiator, but you should hold off if a few centimeters make or break your build.
No pricing or availability has been released yet.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | December 7, 2015 - 02:20 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: scythe, Ninja 4, air cooling
The Scythe Ninja series of coolers have been around for a while and they have recently updated their design with the Ninja 4. Including the packaged PWM fan the cooler measures 130x155x155mm (5.1x6.1x6.1") and weighs 900g, hopefully not heavy enough to bend your pins. The cooling performance that Modders-Inc saw was impressive at high speed but even more impressive at the meduim setting which saw temperatures within 3C of the high speed results but with reduced noise generated by the fan. Keep your eyes out for more on this cooler as it will appear in an upcoming review right here on PCPer.
"If at first you don't succeed, try, try, try again. Nobody gets things right the first time and even if done well, needs change over time so a revision is almost always guaranteed to happen. It is not about striving for perfection because what that is cannot be a clearly defined point, but it can be approached."
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- CRYORIG M9i @ techPowerUp
- NZXT Kraken X61 280mm All-in-One Liquid Cooling Solution @ Bjorn3d
- EK-XRES 140 Revo D5 PWM inclusive Pump @ HardwareOverclock
- Cooler Master MasterGel Maker Nano @ eTeknix
- SilverStone RAVEN RVZ02 @ Benchmark Reviews
- Thermaltake Suppressor F31 Silent @ eTeknix
- IN WIN 805 Midi Tower Chassis Review @ NikKTech
- Phanteks Enthoo Evolv ITX Case Review @ Neoseeker
Subject: Cases and Cooling | December 3, 2015 - 04:38 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: water cooler, SFF, mini-itx, liquid CPU cooler, H5SF, cpu cooler, Corsair H5 SF, corsair
Corsair has launched the ultra-compact liquid cooler from their Bulldog chassis as a standalone product, and it's a unique solution for mini-ITX CPU cooling.
Originally announced at this year's Computex as part of the Bulldog DIY system, this low-profile liquid cooler is designed to allow users of some of the smallest mini-ITX systems to not only keep their CPU's cool, but even allows some serious overclocking with up to 150 W of thermal dissipation. The design uses a blower-style fan that pushes air accross a compact radiator, and the entire unit is only 84 mm high for use in spaces that wouldn't ordinarily be able to support a powerful CPU cooler.
Corsair provides this chart comparing performance against SFF air coolers
"Further expanding Corsair’s best-selling Hydro series line of liquid CPU coolers, the H5 SF is Corsair’s first liquid cooler designed specifically to meet the thermal demands of small form factor PCs. Easy to install and just 84mm tall, the H5 SF is compact enough to fit inside the most confined PC case, yet still offers up to 150W of heat dissipation, enough to cool today’s demanding high-end CPUs with overclocking headroom to spare.
The all-new design fits directly on top of any Mini-ITX motherboard with no need to attach the H5 SF to any external fan mounts or brackets, maximizing compatibility across a wide range of Mini-ITX and small form factor cases. A high-performance copper cold plate efficiently draws heat away from the CPU, where it’s then transferred into the integrated 120mm x 40mm radiator and exhausted by the H5 SF’s low-noise tuned 120mm blower fan. What’s more, the H5 SF’s blower fan also draws air over other heat producing motherboard components such as VRMs and chipset heatsinks, helping to keep your whole system cool.
Fully compatible with Corsair’s Obsidian Series 250D, Carbide Series Air 240, and Graphite Series 380T cases, the H5 SF is also critical to Corsair’s upcoming Bulldog chassis, allowing the new case to deliver low-noise, 4K living room gaming without compromising CPU choice. Now enthusiasts can take advantage of Bulldog’s H5 SF cooling for themselves and fit even the most demanding of CPUs, into the smallest of cases."
The mounting system is unique, with a bracket that attaches inline with the screws securing the mini-ITX motherboard, requiring no additional contact with the enclosure. It's a clever idea that permits the installation of this liquid solution wherever an air cooler of up to 84 mm is possible.
Here are the specifications from Corsair:
- Socket Support: AMD: AM2, AM3, FM1, FM2, Intel LGA: 115X, 1366
- Cold Plate Material: Copper
- Radiator Material: Aluminum
- Radiator dimensions: 167mm x 40mm x 57mm
- Total cooler height: 84mm
- Fan dimensions: 120mm x 32mm
- Fan speed: 1000 - 1800 RPM
- Fan airflow: 12 - 24 CFM
- Fan pressure: 2.5 - 8.3 mmH2O
- Fan noise level: 36 - 42 dB(A)
- Tubing: Low-Permeability Tubing
- Warranty: Five years
The H5 SF carries an MSRP of $79.99, and this cost (which is in keeping with Corsair's existing 120 mm pricing) seems pretty reasonable considering the unique implementation and thermal capability. Available starting today, the H5 SF is already listed for sale on Newegg.com for the $79.99 MSRP.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | December 2, 2015 - 09:39 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: phanteks, mini-itx, matx case, Enthoo Mini XL, dual system, dual motherboard
Phanteks has announced a new version of their Enthoo Mini XL enclosure, adding their PSU splitter to the package to allow both systems to use a single PSU, and now including the optional mini-ITX upgrade kit.
"With the overwhelming response from the community, users have requested for a solution to the Enthoo Mini XL's dual system configuration setup. Today, Phanteks announces the release of the Enthoo Mini XL Dual System. The Mini XL Dual System will have Phanteks Power Splitter and the Mini ITX upgrade kit pre-installed. With Enthoo Mini XL Dual System, users can run two fully functional system independently of one another. The Mini XL Dual System provides users to have the option of having a high powered gaming system and workstation or Gaming system and streaming system all in one case."
The need for a dual-motherboard system is confined to a small percentage of builders, but the appeal of this enclosure package might create some additional interest. It's a cool idea, and while the Mini XL has been around since January the PSU splitter is a fairly new product, and interesting on its own.
"Using the Power Splitter, a dual system configuration can operate independently of one another. Powering ON/OFF on one system will not affect the other and vice versa. As long as one system is running the power supply will be fully operational until both systems are off."
The Enthoo Mini XL Dual System enclosure will be available this month, and the press release listed 209.90 Euro (about $222 US) indicating this might not be available in the US just yet.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | December 1, 2015 - 06:27 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Silverstone, modular psu, 80 Plus Platinum, Strider Platinum ST55F-PT, 550W
As the title implies, the Silverstone Strider Platinum ST55F-PT is smaller than you might expect a 550W PSU to be, at just under 6" square. That this PSU is designed for computers of a small size is reinforced by the fact that there is only a pair of PCIe 6+2 plugs, not a problem for small systems but worth noting if you were planning on adding a second GPU. [H]ard|OCP's testing shows that the PSU easily meets the 80 Plus Platinum standard and not only was the power delivered impressively stable but the PSU also operated quietly. It will cost you a small premium but if you need a solid, quiet and small PSU this review is worth checking out.
"SilverStone comes to us today with a Platinum rated PSU that is also billed as having a "Power Density (of) 305W per liter." While this is a bit odd, the messaging seems to be big power in a little footprint. Let's see how this "ultra silent" fully modular PSU stacks up when it comes to serving up big-time power under big-time pressure."
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- Cooler Master V550S with 3D Circuit Design @ techPowerUp
- Rosewill Photon and Quark Overview: Affordable Power @ Modders-Inc
- Corsair RMx Series 1000 W @ techPowerUp
- Deep Cool DA500 Aurora 500W @ eTeknix
- eXtreme Power Supply Calculator Update
Subject: Cases and Cooling | November 29, 2015 - 07:01 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: thermaltake, msi, CPU Water Block, cooler
Normally a water block presses against the CPU heatspreader, but this one is a bit different. MSI and Thermaltake decided to team up and make a motherboard-specific cooler that pulls heat away from the CPU and the motherboard's VRM MOSFETs. This way, water chills both the CPU and its power delivery, which could be a bottleneck when overclocking.
Note that this is not a closed-loop cooler. It is designed to be embedded in a custom cooling loop, which means that the user (or a small business computer store that maintains their PC) is responsible for routing water and preventing leaks. That said, users who are looking for a high-quality cooler for their power delivery system should expect a little commitment to their build (and a little risk).
Also, since the product is designed for a specific motherboard, the user shouldn't expect to keep it hanging around from build to build. You will almost definitely use it while you have it and leave it when you move on. On the other hand, you shouldn't worry about it covering your RAM or anything -- you can be reasonably assured that it's built for your setup. (That is, unless you buy the wrong motherboard or something... d'oh!)
Subject: Cases and Cooling | November 27, 2015 - 03:04 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: thermaltake, Suppressor F31
The Thermaltake Suppressor F31 is significantly smaller than the F51, 497x250x515mm (19.5x9.8x20.3") and so cannot fit an eATX motherboard like its bigger sibling. On the other hand that size is much more manageable for many and is still large enough for radiators, Morry-sized heatsinks and full sized graphics cards. The simplicity of the exterior will appeal to many as will the many removable filters over fan intakes. As you might expect from the name, the case is designed to quiet the components running inside and did not disappoint when [H]ard|OCP tested the case. Check out their full review if your PC components need a new home.
"Thermaltake is upping its computer case game with the new Suppressor F31 chassis. It is nice and wide at 250mm and has plenty of features. "Leading-edge sound reduction panels on all sides, expand your cooling options with removable panels for the perfect balance in silent operation and cooling performance."
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- SilverStone ML08 Mini-ITX Slim Case @ Benchmark Reviews
- SilverStone Tundra TD02-Lite AIO Liquid CPU Cooler Review @ NikKTech
- EKWB EK-XLC Predator 240 All In One Watercooler @ Kitguru
Subject: Cases and Cooling | November 23, 2015 - 01:42 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: AIO, enermax, liquimax II 120s, watercooling
Enermax's Liqmax II 120s is a relatively small AIO watercooler, the radiator is 154x120x27 mm (6.1x0.8x1.0") and will fit on any modern motherboard, Intel or AMD. The two 120mm fans which come with the cooler are high static pressure fans with the moniker Batwing and have a physical screw on them which allows you to tune the fan speed manually. Modders Inc were impressed with this cooler, it performed relatively well and quite quietly and the fact thatit sells for $75 doesn't hurt either.
"When it comes to a new build I always keep cooling in mind. Not every rig I build has custom water reservoirs, custom piping or fancy radiators. Sometimes I just need a machine to work without spending an enormous amount of cash on custom parts. I find that All in One (AIO) cooling systems are easy to install, work well …"
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- ilentiumPC Fortis 3 HE1425 cooler @ HardwareOverclock
- CRYORIG C7 @ techPowerUp
- Reeven Hans RC-1205 Review @ OCC
- Phanteks Enthoo Evolve ATX Galaxy Silver Edition @ Modders-Inc
- IN WIN 805 Mid-tower Computer Case Review @ Madshrimps
- Cooler Master MasterCase 5 @ Benchmark Reviews
- Akasa Plato X Slim Fanless Chassis i5/i7 NUC @ eTeknix
- Thermaltake Core X9 Stackable E-ATX @ eTeknix
- anidees AI4 @ techPowerUp