Subject: Cases and Cooling | January 5, 2015 - 07:18 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: phanteks, Enthoo EVOLV, micro-atx
The new Phanteks Enthoo EVOLV micro ATX case certainly looks nice at a glance with a separate chamber at the bottom to fit in a PSU and drives while leaving enough space up top for easy access to the motherboard mounting area. The back panel hides a six channel PWM fan controller which is nicely out of the way and also has enough space to fit wires and possibly even tubing for watercoolers. On the negative side the optical bay is vertically mounted on the back of the case, a very unique decision and one which Techgage was less than impressed with. That particular foible may not matter to those who have abandoned optical media so check the full review out as the case does have a good overall design.
"The line “big things come in small packages” has been used often to describe small form-factor chassis, so we’ll spare you this time. What we have today is Phanteks’ Enthoo EVOLV, a micro-ATX enclosure that’s big on features, but small on space. While our testing wasn’t without issues, it looks to be a diamond in the rough – as long as you’re willing to do a little polishing."
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- Phanteks Enthoo Mini XL @ Kitguru
- Cooltek C3 @ techPowerUp
- Thermaltake Core V1 Mini-ITX @ Kitguru
- BitFenix Colossus Mini-ITX and Micro-ATX Chassis @ eTeknix
- Fractal Design Define R5 @ techPowerUp
- Cooler Master Nepton 240M Review @ OCC
- EK-Supremacy EVO Nickel CSQ @ HardwareOverclock
- Raijintek Triton AIO Liquid CPU Cooler @ Kitguru
Introduction and Features
be quiet! claims to be Germany’s number one brand in PC power supplies and they are continuing to expand sales into North American markets. In this review we will be taking a detailed look at the new be quiet! Straight Power 10 800W power supply with Cable Management. There are four power supplies in the Straight Power 10 CM Series, which include 500W, 600W, 700W, and 800W models.
be quiet! designed the Straight Power 10 CM Series to provide high efficiency with minimal noise for systems that demand whisper-quiet operation without compromising on power quality. In addition to the Straight Power 10 Series, be quiet! offers a full range of power supplies in ATX, SFX, and TFX form factors.
(Courtesy of be quiet!)
All of the new Straight Power 10 Cable Management Series power supplies are semi-modular (all cables are modular except for the fixed 24-pin ATX cable). Along with 80 Plus Gold certified high efficiency, the Straight Power 10 800W modular power supply has been designed for quiet operation. It uses be quiet!’s latest SilentWings3 135mm fan for virtually silent operation (at low to mid power levels). The fan speed starts out very slow and remains slow and quiet through mid power levels.
be quiet! Straight Power 10 800W CM PSU Key Features:
• 800W continuous DC output (ATX12V v2.4, EPS 2.92 compliant)
• Virtually inaudible SilentWings3 135mm cooling fan
• 80 PLUS Gold certified efficiency (up to 93%)
• Premium 105°C rated parts enhance stability and reliability
• Powerful GPU support with four PCI-E connectors
• User-friendly cable management reduces clutter and improves airflow
• NVIDIA SLI Ready and AMD CrossFire X certified
• ErP 2014 ready and meets Energy Star 6.0 guidelines
• Zero load design supports Intel’s Deep Power Down C6 & C7 modes
• Fully Intel Haswell compatible
• Active Power Factor correction (0.99) with Universal AC input
• German product conception, design and quality control
• Safety Protections : OCP, OVP, UVP, SCP, OTP, and OPP
• 5-Year warranty
• MSRP for the Straight Power 10 800W CM PSU: $169.00 USD
Subject: Cases and Cooling | December 28, 2014 - 11:15 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: silent case, silencio, mid-tower, matx case, enclosure, cooler master, case, atx case
Sometimes you don't want your system to sound like a clogged vacuum cleaner, and that's where a silent case can help. To be fair, all cases are silent until there are running components inside (it's been scientifically proven), but with enough insulation and some quiet fans a case can provide virtual silence with a system installed and running.
The Silencio cases from Cooler Master have been around for a while, and the current iteration comes in both mid and mini tower versions. The mid-tower Silencio 652S was just reviewed over at The Tech Report, and it looks like a solid option for a quiet case without being too expensive at around $119.
The features and price tag of this case compare favorably with Fractal Design's Define R5 enclosure - recently reviewed here at PC Perspective. The 652S boasts massive storage capacity for up to 9 hard drives or 10 SSDs, along with support for long GPUs and liquid cooling, making it a nice option for quiet cooling depending on performance.
Pretty clean looking build you have there, Cooler Master
The case looks good if you like a minimalist design, though the review did find the included fans to be a bit loud. Check out the full review over at The Tech Report for a detailed look at the Silencio 652S.
Introduction, Specs, and First Impressions
BitFenix has been making enclosures for the PC market since 2010 (with the massive Colossus E-ATX case), and came to prominence a couple of years later with the introduction of the Prodigy enclosure. While the company has expanded to produce power supplies and peripherals they are still primarily a case manufacturer, as evidenced by the now 31 different models on their product page. Not content to iterate on their existing designs, BitFenix has consistently introduced new chassis ideas for different form-factors and needs.
We reviewed the Colossus Micro-ATX case back in March, and it is again an enclosure built for the venerable micro-ATX form-factor that we’re looking at here. Quite the opposite of the Colossus Micro-ATX's squat design, the Pandora is smooth and very slim.
In the world of computer cases there are many variations, but they are mostly boxes with splashes of style and the occasional window. Companies like In Win are at the opposite end of the spectrum, but the design choices for a case with commitment to artistic intent often entail a considerable price tag, and In Win consistently prices itself out of the mainstream market. So what about the middle ground? Enter the BitFenix Pandora. It boasts eye-catching looks, a slim design that seems even more so given the curved panels, and even has a color LCD screen that can be programmed with the image file of your choice!
The Pandora features a programmable color LCD display, to which I affixed this incredible logo
I don’t want to dissolve into meaningless superlatives, but the Pandora is a striking design. When it was shown at Computex earlier in 2014 it was listed as a mini-ITX enclosure, and while it definitely supports mini-ITX motherboards it is the final product’s micro-ATX support that we focus on in this review. And while it would have been large as a mini-ITX enclosure the Pandora is fairly small as an mini-ATX case, most notably due to that slim profile. This comes at a price, as there won’t be as much room for storage with such a narrow width (and those looking for any optical drive support must look elsewhere). And speaking of price, while the "core" version of the case starts at around $110, this version with programmable display is currently selling for just under $160. Steep, but not outrageous either.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | December 22, 2014 - 08:16 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: wall mount, Steam Machine, PC-05S, mini-itx, Lian Li, enclosure, cases, aluminum case
Techspot posted a review of the unreleased Lian Li PC-05S case over the weekend, and as you can see it’s a lot more interesting than the generic name might suggest.
The case features aluminum construction (of course - it’s a Lian Li!) and a tempered glass side to showcase the build. And what better way to show off a build than hanging it on the wall like a picture? Well, the reviewer didn’t show this but the case is described as a “wall mountable open-air chassis” by Lian Li on their site. Overall, Techspot liked the PC-05S and called it “a beautiful case that is well-designed inside and out”.
Looks great on a desk!
At just over 14 lbs (without components) this will require some planning to mount on a wall. The dimensions (WHD) are 15.1” x 18.3” x 5.8”, and it has a similar layout to Steam Machine cases like the SilverStone RV01 which we reviewed back in January. Like the RV01, the PC-05S requires a mini-ITX motherboard and orients the GPU at a 90° angle (via an included ribbon adapter) to fit in such a slim enclosure. The PC-05S also requires an SFX power supply (such as the SilverStone SX600-G we reviewed recently) and supports 240mm radiators.
Many more photos and full specs are available on the main product page, and the Lian Li PC-05S is slated for a February 2015 release. The cost? $319.
Introduction and Features
SilverStone has a long-standing reputation for providing a full line of high quality enclosures, power supplies, cooling components, and accessories for PC enthusiasts. Today we are going to mix it up a bit and focus our attention on smaller rather than larger. Not everyone needs or wants a 1,000W plus PC power supply. And if you have a small form factor case or are struggling to find room inside a cramped ATX enclosure, SilverStone’s new SX600-G SFX power supply may just be the solution you are looking for.
The new SX600-G SFX power supply was designed for small form factor cases but comes with an ATX adapter plate so it can be used in a standard ATX enclosure as well. In addition to its small size, the SX600-G features high efficiency (80 Plus Gold certified), all modular flat ribbon-style cables, and provides up to 600W of continuous DC output; pretty impressive for such a small package. Also new is the ability to operate in semi-fanless mode (cooling fan turns off at low power).
SX600-G SFX 600W PSU Standard ATX 600W PSU
The last time we looked at a SilverStone SFX power supply was in 2012 when we reviewed the updated ST45SF-G, which was rated at 450W. SFX power supplies continue to occupy a niche market and address a slightly different set of needs than the standard ATX units we typically use and review at PCPerspective.
Here is what SilverStone has to say about their new SX600-G SFX PSU: “After releasing the breakthrough SFX power supply in 2012 with the ST45SF-G, SilverStone has pushed the technical envelope even further with yet another industry defining design in the SX600-G. This small form factor PSU has the exact same dimensions as its predecessor but its power density has increased from 567W per liter (in the ST45SF-G) to 756W per liter. The result is a standard sized SFX PSU with an incredible 600W of continuous power, a level that is capable of supporting any single graphics card system with ease.
Besides the power increase, the SX600-G comes standard with flexible, flat modular cables similar to those in the PP05-E short cable kit for vastly improved cable management in smaller cases. It also has added semi-fanless capability that was first introduced to SFX PSUs by the ST30SF so its quiet running fan can remain turned off during ideal low load or idle conditions for complete silence. As before, an ATX adapter bracket is included to enable users to install this PSU into any small or even larger cases that do not have SFX mounting holes. For the most ardent SFF enthusiasts, the SX600-G is truly a dream come true that combines the convenience of SFX size and all the top of the line features one can expect from high-end ATX PSUs into one product.”
SilverStone SX600-G SFX Power Supply Key Features:
• Supports standard SFX form factor (and ATX via included adapter)
• 600W Continuous DC output (up to 40°C)
• High efficiency with 80 Plus Gold certification
• 100% Modular cables, flat ribbon-style
• Intelligent semi-fanless operation
• Strict ±3% voltage regulation with low AC ripple and noise
• Class leading single +12V rail with 50A (600W)
• Two PCI-E 6+2 pin connectors
• Protections: OCP, OVP, OPP, and SCP
• Universal AC input and Active PFC
• MSRP $129.99 USD
Subject: Cases and Cooling | December 15, 2014 - 08:36 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: small form factor, SFF, ncase, mini-itx, m1, enclosure, case, aluminum case
The NCASE M1 once famously posed next to a can of soda, and the rest is (unlicensed) history...
The M1 next to a can of some mystery drink that I've never seen before
Now the M1 is back for another round of pre-orders, with the price set at $185 for the microscopic, all-aluminum enclosure. The catch is that once again the enclosure ships directly from the OEM (Lian Li) in Taiwan, which means that import duty and taxes will be extra. Shipping this writer's abode in the province of the USA known as "Michigan" ranged from $30 for the slowest imaginable ocean freight, to a (comparatively) reasonable $55 for much faster air shipping.
Christmas is coming... Why not order 2? Or 5?
You may have been one of the (approximately) millions who read our review of this fantastic little enclosure, but just for old time's sake you can always read it again! The review features many photos of the case interior and exterior, as well as a some build examples to give readers an idea of what to expect before committing to the case sight-unseen.
Exploded view of the aluminum (or aluminium for our readers in the UK) construction
So what's different with the 3rd version? Here's the official change log from the hardforum page:
- Braces added to bottom corners of chassis for increased rigidity/decreased probability of wobbling
- 0.3mm decrease in side and front panel height
- Extra QC for wobbling & panel uniformity
- Changed model ID plate to read "V3.0" in place of "V2.0"
- SFX bracket raised 2mm and flange trimmed for better SFX-L support
- Additional motherboard standoffs added for compact mATX boards (226x173mm max w/SFX bracket)
- Slightly increased CPU cutout size
The M1's dimensions are just (HxWxD) 240mm x 160mm x 328mm, which translates to 9.45" x 6.30" x 12.91". The pre-order is currently open, but no offical word on when the newest production run will be finished and shipping just yet.
Finding Your Clique
One of the difficulties with purchasing a mechanical keyboard is that they are quite expensive and vary greatly in subtle, but important ways. First and foremost, we have the different types of keyswitches. These are the components that are responsible for making each button behave, and thus varying them will lead to variations in how those buttons react and feel.
Until recently, the Cherry MX line of switches were the basis of just about every major gaming mechanical keyboard, although we will discuss recent competitors later on. Its manufacturer, Cherry Corp / ZF Electronics, maintained a strict color code to denote the physical properties of each switch. These attributes range from the stiffness of the spring to the bumps and clicks felt (or heard) as the key travels toward its bottom and returns back up again.
|45 cN||Cherry MX Red||
Cherry MX Brown
Cherry MX Blue
Cherry MX White (old B)
|55 cN||Cherry MX Clear|
|60 cN||Cherry MX Black|
|80 cN||Cherry MX Linear Grey (SB)||Cherry MX Tactile Grey (SB)||
Cherry MX Green (SB)
Cherry MX White (old A)
Cherry MX White (2007+)
|90 cN||IBM Model M (not mechanical)|
|105 cN||Cherry MX Click Grey (SB)|
|150+ cN||Cherry MX Super Black|
(SB) Denotes switches with stronger springs that are primarily for, or only for, Spacebars. The Click Grey is intended for spacebars on Cherry MX White, Green, and Blue keyboards. The MX Green is intended for spacebars on Cherry MX Blue keyboards (but a few rare keyboards use these for regular keys). The MX Linear Grey is intended for spacebars on Cherry MX Black keyboards.
The four main Cherry MX switches are: Blue, Brown, Black, and Red. Other switches are available, such as the Cherry MX Green, Clear, three types of Grey, and so forth. You can separate (I believe) all of these switches into three categories: Linear, Tactile, and Clicky. From there, the only difference is the force curve, usually from the strength of the spring but also possibly from the slider features (you'll see what I mean in the diagrams below).
Subject: Cases and Cooling | December 11, 2014 - 05:39 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Hardware Labs, Nemesis 360GTX, radiator, Black Ice
The Black Ice Nemesis 360GTX from Hardware Labs is a radiator sold separately for modders and extreme coolers who want a custom built water cooling system. It is designed for three 120mm fans to push air through its 54mm thick body and is optimized for low noise fans operating at sub-800 rpm speeds. The textured matte black finish is unique to this company and will look impressive on any machine but more so one specifically designed with the finish in mind. HiTech Legion tested it out and saw good cooling results even at low fan speeds.
"In looking at the new Nemesis 360GTX, I saw a lot of buzzwords thrown out there by Hardware Labs; “Stealth”, “Supercruise”, “Dark Matter”. Buzzwords usually scare me a bit, as it seems they usually turn out to be a gimmicky name for something either underachieving or completely irrelevant. Thankfully, that is not the case with the Nemesis 360GTX."
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- Fractal Kelvin T12 AIO Watercooling Kit Review @ Madshrimps
- Swiftech H240-X @ techPowerUp
- Thermaltake Core V51 Midi Tower Review @ NikKTech
- In Win D-Frame Mini-ITX @ eTeknix
- Antec ISK-600M Micro-ATX @ eTeknix
- In Win 901 Mini-ITX @ eTeknix
- Aerocool DS 200 @ techPowerUp
Subject: Cases and Cooling | December 5, 2014 - 04:35 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: corsair, Hydro H75, AIO, water cooler
[H]ard|OCP are returning to several of the CPU coolers that they have reviewed over the past year to provide a more up to date and accurate comparison of their current performance. They have deployed a new testbench and so there are a few coolers that were tested on older hardware and so the performance they observed does not refer to current hardware. In order to give you an informed opinion on the current contenders for your cash they have replicated their Corsair Hydro H75 with comparison charts that show the performance of various coolers all on the same hardware and with current pricing. If you are already familiar with the H75 then you can jump to the last page for the overall results and price to performance measurements, those who did not read their initial review should take the time to read through the full review.
"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."
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- Raijintek Zelos Low Profile CPU Cooler @ eTeknix
- Cryorig R1 Ultimate & Universal CPU Coolers @ Silent PC Review
- How Long Does It Really Take To Break-In The Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Paste @ Tech ARP
- DimasTech Mini V1 Test Bench: Purpose Driven @ Modders-Inc
- Phanteks Enthoo EVOLV Micro-Tower PC Chassis @ Modders-Inc
- BitFenix Pandora Micro-ATX Slim Case @ Benchmark Reviews
- Aerocool Dead Silence Case Review @ Hardware Secrets
- Corsair's Carbide Series Air 240 revisited @ The Tech Report