The beautiful and talented Corsair Graphite 760T Full Tower

Subject: Cases and Cooling | May 7, 2014 - 05:40 PM |
Tagged: graphite series, corsair, 760T Arctic White

Corsair's Graphite 760T is a metal case with a huge window to show off your components and a front panel that is secured by magnets as opposed to plastic tabs.  For pet owners and clean freaks there are two filtre panels, one for the front and one that slides out of the bottom to discourage a systems natural tendency to act as a vacuum cleaner.  The dimensions of 22.2"H x 9.7"W x 22.4"L allow for a triplet of 120/140mm fans to be installed at the front and similar single fan at the back of the case, with the PSU being inserted at the bottom.  [H]ard|OCP were more than impressed with this case, its aesthetics and performance for both cooling and acoustics put it among the best cases on the market with the icing on the cake being a price tag under $200.

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"Corsair's new Graphite Series 760T Arctic White Full Tower Windowed Case is extremely easy on the eyes and as the name implies it allows us to see in, but with the 760T it is a full clear panel that gives it an elegant look. There is room for plenty of fans with speed controllers to keep it cool as well, plus a host of other features."

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

CASES & COOLING

Source: [H]ard|OCP
Manufacturer: NCASE

Introduction, Specifications, and Packaging

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Image credit: NCASE

The NCASE M1 Mini-ITX case has been lusted after for about a year now by those of us interested in small form-factor (SFF) computing, ever since it made the news last spring by making its initial goal on the crowd-funding site Indiegogo. The last campaign to raise funds ended in August of last year, and not leaving anything up to chance the creators of the M1 contracted none other than Lian Li to make their dream a reality. Today, we have the privilege of seeing the finished product!

Making things happen

We’ve all talked about changing some existing product to fix problems or just add features that we’d like to have. But most of us probably wouldn’t take our idea to a public funding site to actually make it happen, and that’s exactly why the story of NCASE and the M1 is unique. The creators were members on hardforums, and the original thread for the M1 is now well over 500 pages long.

The story began with conversation about improving an existing mini-ITX design, with the SilverStone SG05 the original topic. (It's fascinating to watch the design evolve on the thread!) Two forum members joined forces and started creating designs, and ended up with the blueprint for an incredibly small case that still supported large GPU's and 240mm radiators. Then, it was on to Indiegogo to see if the interest was high enough to get this case built.

Judging by the results starting with that initial round of prototype funding, there has definitely been interest in this design! Lian Li's prototype case was a success, and the initial production run funding campaign quickly raised more than double the goal again… Fast forward to spring 2014, a black M1 case was delivered safely, and I for one can’t wait to get started building up a system with it!

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The M1 next to a BitFenix Prodigy: It's tiny!! (Image credit NCASE)

Continue reading our review of the NCASE M1 Mini-ITX Crowdfunded Case!!

Introduction: Budget Cooling Options and the Seidon 120V

The Seidon 120V is Cooler Master's newest 120mm all-in-one liquid CPU cooler, and its affordable price adds another option to anyone looking for an aftermarket cooler on a budget. But when we start comparing low-cost options it's valid to wonder just how much better a liquid cooler in this price range might perform over air. To find out we'll test the Seidon 120V against a popular budget air solution, and see how these aftermarket coolers compare against the stock solutions from AMD and Intel.

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Image courtesy of Cooler Master

Cooling on a Budget

When you’re pricing out a new computer build these days it’s pretty easy to put together a solid group of components for $500 or so, and these will get you going on all the latest games at HD resolution. Sounds awesome! Of course, within that tight budget certain things are going to have to wait, and right up there on the list is probably some better cooling. It’s easy enough to change out a CPU cooler later, but if the stock cooler is doing the job within the thermal specs of the processor is it really needed? Clearly, AMD and Intel are not going to ship a cooler with their product that can’t keep it cool enough under stock workloads, but having better cooling can allow for overclocking as well as extend the life of not only the CPU, but the components around it on your motherboard. Aftermarket coolers are often able to cool more efficiently as well, producing less noise.

So...many...options...

The selection of aftermarket coolers available is, well, ridiculous. As easy as it is to get lost looking at, say, every virtually identical stick of DDR3 memory, scrolling through product pages for CPU cooling is on another level entirely. Liquid cooling systems are much easier to navigate, as there are not only fewer of them, but the pricing segmentation allows for easier selection if you’re on a budget.  For instance, the Seidon 120V at around $50 was the least expensive AIO option on Amazon when this review was started (actually coming in at 47.99 shipped, though this has been fluctuating quite a bit lately). Finding a suitable budget air cooler was not so easy, and it needed to be at least comparable to the performance of a liquid cooler, while coming in at or below the $50 mark of the 120V. (This might take a while…)

On the air-cooling side of things narrowing the selection to $50 or less doesn’t help much, as there are still (roughly) 50 million to choose from in that price range. There are going to be so many different preferences and opinions on these, so an easier alternative would be to simply follow the consensus pick, e-tail style. This intensive research project involved visiting Amazon and typing “cpu cooler” into the search box. (OK, that was pretty easy!) The plan was to put whatever came up first under $50 in the cart. Turns out the most popular air-cooler is also under $50 (not surprising). This top result was also from Cooler Master, their Hyper 212 EVO which was selling for under $34 shipped. Done.

Continue reading our review of hte Cooler Master Seidon 120V Liquid Cooler!!

BitFenix Releases Their "Fury" on the Power Supply Market

Subject: Cases and Cooling | April 30, 2014 - 12:16 PM |
Tagged: Power Supplies, modular psu, bitfenix

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BitFenix, well known among system builders for their sizeable lineup of enclosures, today announces a new line of power supplies. The “Fury” PSU’s are will be offered in 550W, 650W, and  750W versons, and feature 80 PLUS Gold certification. What’s special about them? They come pre-sleeved with braided cables for a custom look.

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TechPowerUp has a review of the 750 watt model up, and though the power supply performed respectably they had reservations on the reported MSRP of $169 (though no official prices have been released). BitFenix says the PSU’s will carry a 5-year warranty, which should make investing in the Fury a bit more palatable.

Not interested in shelling out for a fancy-looking PSU just yet? The folks at Performance-PCs.com are already offering a giveaway on their Facebook page.

The Fury line is set to be released in May, and we’ll see soon enough what kind of demand there is for a PSU with a premium on style in a very crowded market.


From BitFenix:

The BitFenix Fury Power Supply Series delivers a trifecta of performance, reliability, and aesthetics like no other PSU before it. From the brushed aluminum accents and stamped BitFenix logos, to the metallic fan grill and powder coated exterior, Fury is the first PSU designed to not be hidden away, but shown off. The semi-modular design allows for better cable management, and the cables themselves are sleeved with Alchemy sleeving for a premium look. Beyond good looks, Fury delivers the performance and reliability demanded by today's modern hardware with 80Plus Gold certification, single-rail power delivery, and active power factor correction. Equipped with exclusive BitShield™ Six-Point Protection and a five-year warranty, users can count on Fury to power their systems day-in and day-out.

Nanosleeve™ Braided Cables

With an ultra-dense weave and superb flexibility, the Nanosleeve braiding found on our Alchemy cable extensions is the premier choice of the world's top modders. The cable that come with Fury are pre-sleeved with this exact sleeving - no more voiding your warranty and spending hours sleeving cables yourself. With Fury, you get that premium modded look straight out-of-the-box.

Source: BitFenix
Manufacturer: Corsair

Introduction and Features

Corsair announced their latest flagship power supply, the 1,500 watt AX1500i Digital ATX PSU earlier this year at CES. We recently received a retail unit to review and have spent the past week putting it through our suite of tests. The new AX1500i Digital proved to be a very interesting power supply and brings not one, but several outstanding features to the high-end enthusiast market. Over time, we all grow numb to marketing terms like “most technologically advanced”, “state-of-the-art”, “ultra-stable”, “super-high efficiency”, etc., but in the case of the AX1500i Digital PSU, we have seen these claims come to life before our eyes.

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Right out of the box, the AX1500i Digital power supply is capable of delivering up to 1,500 watts of continuous DC power (125 Amps on the +12V rail). If that is not impressive enough, the PSU can do it while operating on 115 VAC mains and with an ambient temperature up to 50°C (internal case temperature). This beast was made for multiple power-hungry graphic adapters and overclocked CPUs.

The Corsair AX1500i is one of the very first power supplies to obtain 80 Plus Titanium certification, which requires a PSU to operate with at least 90% efficiency between 10% and 100% load, and with at least 94% efficiency at 50% load.

The AX1500i is a digital power supply, which offers two distinct advantages. First, the AX1500i incorporates a Digital Signal Processor (DSP) to provide digitally-controlled power. This enables the PSU to deliver extremely tight voltage regulation over a wide range of loads. And second, the AX1500i features Corsair Link, which enables the PSU to be connected to the PC’s motherboard (via USB) for real-time monitoring (efficiency and power usage) and control (over-current protection and fan speed profiles).

Silent operation (zero-rpm fan mode up to ~30% load) might not be at the top of your feature list when shopping for a 1,500 watt PSU, but the AX1500i can do it thanks to high efficiency.

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(Courtesy of Corsair)

Corsair AX1500i Digital ATX PSU Key Features:

•    Digital Signal Processor (DSP) for extremely clean and efficient power
•    Corsair Link Interface for monitoring and adjusting performance
•    1,500 watts continuous power output (50°C)
•    Dedicated single +12V rail (125A) with user-configurable virtual rails
•    80 Plus Titanium certified, delivering up to 94% efficiency
•    Ultra low noise 140mm double ball bearing fan
•    Silent, Fanless mode up to ~30% load (~450W)
•    Self-test switch to verify power supply functionality
•    Premium quality components
•    Fully modular cable system
•    Conforms to ATX12V v2.4 and EPS 2.92 standards
•    Universal AC input (100-240V) with Active PFC
•    Over-current, over-voltage, over-temperature, and short circuit protection
•    Dimensions: 150mm (W) x 86mm (H) x 225mm (L)
•    7-Year warranty and legendary Corsair customer service
•    MSRP: $449.99 USD (available in Q2 2014)

Please continue reading our review of the AX1500i Digital PSU !!!

Corsair's H75, you pay for the miniaturization

Subject: Cases and Cooling | April 28, 2014 - 03:47 PM |
Tagged: water cooling, SFF, Intel, H75, corsair, amd

Corsair's H75 has a smaller footprint than previous models, the radiator of 120 x 152 x 25mm should fit inside even smaller cases, allowing you to reduce the noise produced in the smaller case.  As well they have dropped support for LGA775, the change in mounting hardware should make it easier to install on both AMD and Intel systems.  While Morry was quite pleased with the performance of this cooler considering it's size; [H]ard|OCP had a slightly different take.  When they looked at the cooler in terms of price for performance they felt that there are better values on the market but do still recommend it for those who need a small, powerful cooler and are willing to shop around to find it on special.

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"Corsair has been in the liquid CPU cooling game for over 10 years now. As sealed system liquid CPU coolers have become the norm among hardware enthusiasts, the competition has gotten stiff to say the least. Another thing that has changed over the years is that many DIYers are going to smaller cases for their systems; the H75 looks to address this."

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Source: [H]ard|OCP

Seasonic's high quality, low power G-450 PSU

Subject: Cases and Cooling | April 25, 2014 - 02:27 PM |
Tagged: PSU, seasonic, Seasonic G-Series, 450W, g-450

The Seasonic G-450 is still more power than Josh's latest build requires but is perfect for powering a SFF system as the unit is a mere 6.25" in length.  With a pair of 6+2 PCIe power connectors and 37A on the 12V rail you will be somewhat limited in your choice of discrete GPU, reasonable consider it is a 450W PSU.  [H]ard|OCP found the quality on this unit to be good overall and excellent compared to other lower powered PSUs but found the pricing somewhat confusing as the G-550 is a mere $10 more.

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"Seasonic is continually short on marketing but long on performance, and we are good with that. Today's 450 watt G Series computer power supply makes more sense in this new world of lower power desktop CPUs and GPUs. Does the G-450 give its users solid power in this lower end of the spectrum range at the right cost?"

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

CASES & COOLING

Source: [H]ard|OCP
Manufacturer: Noctua

Introduction and Technical Specifications

Introduction

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Courtesy of Noctua

Noctua is an established player in the CPU cooler space, offering high quality solutions that cool your processors without killing your eardrums. Their U-series coolers combine unrivaled cooling performance with an innovative design to ensure quiet operation and motherboard compatibility. The flagship product of this line, the NH-U14S, is composed of a single aluminum-finned radiator with six embedded, nickel-plated copper heat pipes running through a copper base plate. For performance testing of the NH-U14S cooler, we put it up against other high-performance liquid and air-based coolers. With a retail MSRP of $75.99, the NH-U14S CPU cooler has a premium price to match its premium size and cooling potential.

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Courtesy of Noctua

Continue reading our review of the Noctua NH-U14S CPU air cooler!

Manufacturer: EVGA

Introduction and Features

Introduction

Back in March, EVGA announced the pending arrival of two new power supplies in their popular SuperNOVA line, the 750G2 and 850G2. Both new power supplies are 80Plus Gold certified and feature all modular cables, high-quality Japanese brand capacitors, a single high-power +12V rail, and a 140mm dual ball bearing cooling fan (with the ability to operate in silent, fan-less mode at low power levels). The 750G2 and 850G2 are also backed by a 10-year warranty (with registration). And last but not least, many PC PSU enthusiasts will be happy to know the new 750G2 and 850G2 are built on the successful Superflower Leadex Gold platform. Superflower is the same OEM that EVGA uses for several of their popular higher output, premium power supplies!

EVGA was founded in 1999 with headquarters in Brea, California. They continue to specialize in producing NVIDIA based graphics adapters and Intel based motherboards and keep expanding their PC power supply product line, which now includes fourteen models ranging from the high-end 1,500W NEX1500 Classified to the budget minded EVGA 430W power supply.

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(Courtesy of EVGA)

In this review we will be taking a detailed look at both the EVGA SuperNOVA 750G2 and 850G2 power supplies.

Here is what EVGA has to say about the new SuperNOVA G2 Gold PSUs: “Unleash the next generation in power with the EVGA SuperNOVA 850G2 and 750G2 Power Supplies. Based on the award winning G2 series Power Supplies from EVGA, these PSUs features 80 PLUS Gold rated efficiency, and clean, continuous power to every component. This provides improved efficiency for longer operation, less power consumption, reduced energy costs and minimal heat dissipation. The new ECO Thermal Control Fan System offers fan modes to provide zero fan noise during low load operations. Backed by a 10 year warranty and Japanese capacitor design, the EVGA SuperNOVA G2 is not only the right choice for your system today, it is also the best choice for your system tomorrow."

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EVGA SuperNOVA 850 G2 and 750 G2 Gold PSU Key Features:

•    10-Year Warranty and unparalleled EVGA Customer Support
•    80PLUS Gold certified, with up to 90% efficiency under typical loads
•    Tight voltage regulation (2%), stable power with low AC ripple and noise
•    Highest quality Japanese brand capacitors ensure long-term reliability
•    Fully modular cables to reduce clutter and improve airflow
•    Quiet dual-ball bearing fan for exceptional reliability and quiet operation
•    ECO Intelligent Thermal Control allows silent, fan-less operation at low power
•    NVIDIA SLI and AMD Crossfire Ready
•    Intel 4th Generation CPU Ready (Haswell, C6/C7 sleep modes)
•    Compliance with ErP Lot 6 2013 Requirement
•    Active Power Factor correction (0.99) with Universal AC input
•    Heavy-duty Protections: OVP, UVP, OCP, OPP, and SCP
•    MSRP for the 750 G2 PSU : $129.99 USD (119.99 after mail-in rebate)
•    MSRP for the 850 G2 PSU : $159.99 USD ($149.99 after mail-in rebate)

Please continue reading our review of the EVGA SuperNOVA 750/850 G2 Gold PSUs!!!

NZXT Introduces the New Phantom 240

Subject: Cases and Cooling | April 22, 2014 - 02:50 PM |
Tagged: nzxt, Phantom 240

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Los Angeles, CA – The classic Phantom styling you’ve come to love at its lowest price point yet.

Since the first Phantom was launched in 2010, NZXT has continued to bring aggressive designs and innovative feature sets to all of its chassis. Over the years, the original Phantom and Phantom 410 quickly became NZXT’s signature cases. Now, NZXT is happy to introduce its latest addition to the family, the Phantom 240.

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A product designed with several years of feedback in mind, the Phantom 240 brings a refreshing new style and full-view window to the table while keeping its signature asymmetrical shape. Included with the chassis are two of NZXT’s recently redesigned standard case fans, the 120mm FN V2, bringing additional cooling and lower noise levels.

The Phantom 240 features support for 2x 120mm fans in the front 1x 120mm fan in the rear and 2x 140mm or 120mm fans up top. Additionally, a removable hard drive cage allows for the installation of full-sized graphics cards with ease. Complete with modern external USB 3.0 and audio headers, the highly affordable Phantom 240 takes an admired design and makes it accessible for all.

Coming soon in NZXT’s signature Phantom White, the Phantom 240 will be available for just $69.99 with other colours following soon after.

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Source: NZXT