Author:
Manufacturer: SilverStone

Introduction and Features

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SilverStone recently introduced a new line of Platinum certified PC power supplies, which they claim are the world’s smallest 80 Plus Platinum, full-modular ATX power supplies. The new Strider Platinum Series currently includes three models, the ST55F-PT (550W), ST65F-PT (650W) and ST75F-PT (750W). All of the Strider Platinum Series PSUs are designed to provide quiet, reliable operation in a small package. The cooling fan incorporates Fluid Dynamic Bearings (FDB) for quiet-reliable operation and an intelligent fan control permits fanless operation at low power. While the typical 750W power supply enclosure measures 160mm (6.3”) deep, the Strider Platinum Series are housed in a 140mm chassis (5.5”).

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(Courtesy of SilverStone)

The main focus of this review will be on the 750W ST75F-PT model, but the good folks at SilverStone also sent along one of the 550W (ST55F-PT) models so we will include test results for both units for comparison. It’s always nice to receive two different units in the same series to help confirm operation and performance parameters.

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SilverStone Strider Platinum Series Key Features:
 
•    550W, 650W, and 750W DC power output
•    Compact design with a depth of only 140mm for easy integration
•    High efficiency with 80 Plus Platinum certification
•    100% Modular cables
•    Intelligent semi-fanless operation
•    Quiet 120mm cooling fan with Fluid Dynamic Bearing
•    24/7 Continuous power output with 40°C operating temperature
•    Strict ±3% voltage regulation and low AC ripple & noise
•    Dedicated single +12V rail
•    Conforms to ATX12V and EPS standards
•    Universal AC input (90-264V) with Active PFC
•    Dimensions: 150mm (W) x 86mm (H) x 140mm (L)

 

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Here is what SilverStone has to say about the new Strider Platinum Series PSUs:  "As desktop computers continue to advance toward ever more efficient and smaller designs, SilverStone is helping to drive the efficiency movement by releasing the Strider Platinum Series of power supplies. Created to be the smallest fully modular ATX power supplies with 80 Plus Platinum efficiency, they are also incredibly quiet with the ability to run in fanless mode. If the loading condition is below 20%, the fan in the power supply can remain off for silent operation during idle or low powered computing activities. Other great features inherited from previous Strider series includes ±3% regulation, powerful single +12V rail, 24/7 continuous power output, and multiple PCI-E cables. For those looking to build highly efficient systems in small footprints, the Strider Platinum is definitely the best choice.

Please continue reading our review of the SilverStone 750W Platinum PSU!!!

Big on size, the Carbide Series 600Q is also quietly unassuming

Subject: Cases and Cooling | December 29, 2015 - 01:27 PM |
Tagged: corsair, Carbide Series 600Q, Carbide 600Q, eatx

Corsair may have been aiming for minimalist noise and style but certainly not minimalist size, at 454x260x535mm (18x10x21") this case will handle the largest of coolers, motherboards or GPUs with space to spare.  It contains a pair of 5.25" bays, three dedicated 2.5" bays and two 3.5/2.5" bays along with eight expansion slots and a pair of both USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports.  Watercoolers will love this case, with multiple locations available for your radiator to be installed as well as numerous grommets to keep cables out of the way, aircoolers will be able to install up to 6 fans.  [H]ard|OCP gave this $150 case a Gold Award, check out the full story here.

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"Minimalist style" and "minimalist noise," is how Corsair describes its new Carbide Series 600Q computer chassis. While some might prefer a case that looks like it was designed by Voltron, Corsair goes the opposite direction with the 600Q and is looking to check all the boxes that make a chassis desirable; easy to use, quiet, and cool."

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

CASES & COOLING

Source: [H]ard|OCP
Manufacturer: EKWB

Introduction and First Impressions

EKWB now has a pair of all-in-one liquid CPU coolers on the market, and today we have the 240 mm variant on the test bench. Long known as a supplier of water blocks (the WB in EKWB stands for water blocks, after all) and other parts for custom liquid cooling, how will EKWB's foray into self-contained liquid CPU coolers fare?

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The Predator 240 take a very different approach to self-contained CPU cooling, being a pre-assembled unit comprised of separate, and removable, parts. Though pre-filled and ready to use as a CPU cooler out of the box, the Predator 240 (and to a greater degree the larger Predator 360) can be expanded to cool additional components, and customized as the user desires.

This versitility doesn't come cheap, but the Predator is actually a pretty good value when you price out the components that make up the whole. Looking through EKWB's site the water block is available separately for $54.99, the radiator is $61.99, the two fans are $17.99 each, and then there's the pump, hoses, fittings, and coolant to buy.

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Still, at $199.95 the Predator 240 is at the top of the heap for price in this category (among 240 mm options), regardless of the apparent quality of the components. And while this may have more in common with a custom loop than your typical all-in-one CPU cooler, the only thing that really matters is performance. To test this I put it to work on the cooling test bench against some of the other coolers I have on hand. We'll see what it can do.

Continue reading our review of the EK-XLC Predator 240 Liquid CPU Cooler!!

Holy Canola-ie

Subject: Cases and Cooling | December 24, 2015 - 07:01 AM |
Tagged: canola oil

ASCII.jp has been immersing computing devices in canola oil, because I guess mineral oil is too safe or something. While the article is not very receptive to automatic translation, from what I gather, they've already toasted a couple devices. This time, they took an ECS LIVA Core to the dunk tank and filled it with about four liters of said canola oil, which is about a US gallon.

Again, if you're looking to do oil cooling yourself, just use mineral oil.

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Image Credit: ASCII.jp

The PC was passively cooled, using just the circulation caused by currents of relatively warm oil. I say relatively warm, because the Core M has a single-digit expected wattage. They allowed OCCT to run for eight hours, which yielded a stable temperature of about 44C in a 24C room. Again, this is without pumps or radiators or anything like that. The only difference between this and passive air cooling is how effective oil is at absorbing heat, in speed and capacity, compared to air. That said, air is a fairly good insulator, so that should imply that oil has a better chance.

Source: ASCII.jp

XFX wants to show its True Wattage with the XTR 850W PSU

Subject: Cases and Cooling | December 18, 2015 - 03:07 PM |
Tagged: xfx, XTR 850W, modular psu, 80 Plus Gold

XFX has a lot of branding on the new XTR series of PSUs including EasyRail, which means it uses a single 12V rail, on this model providing up to 840W @ 70A as well as a "True Wattage" guarantee and 80 Plus Gold. [H]ard|OCP put these claims to the test when they reviewed this PSU and did not find it lacking.  There were a few tests which the PSU did not excel at but when they tested voltage regulation this PSU finished miles ahead of the competition.  [H] also mentions that this unit was previously sold as the Pro Series Gold, the internals of the two are identical as is the serial number so keep an eye out when shopping so you can see if you can get a deal. Also worth noting is the 5 year warranty, it is always nice to see a company stand behind its products.

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"XFX is targeting serious gamers and hardware enthusiasts with its new XTR Series of PSU. XFX suggest other power supplies do not always deliver, "The Wattage you see isn’t always the wattage you get." We will certainly find out if that is true with the XTR 850W PSU delivers the power and efficiency it promises in its marketing."

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

CASES & COOLING

Source: [H]ard|OCP

The plain exterior of the AZZA Zen 8100 hides a beautiful interior

Subject: Cases and Cooling | December 18, 2015 - 01:13 PM |
Tagged: azza, zen 8100

AZZA opted to skip the flashy exterior so common on cases today in the Zen 8100.  The case is 21.6x8.7x22.6" which allows you to fit in even E-ATX boards and gives you plenty of space for installing large coolers and GPUs.  The storage area has a separate door, an interesting addition, with space for four 5.25" drives as well as up to eight 3.5/2.5" drives not counting two more on the back.  Two of those bays are hot-swapable, if for some reason you desire to use the feature.  Overclockers Club would have liked to see this case support 240mm radiators but the configuration will not make that an option.  Apart from that one missing feature they give this case a top rating, it is worth looking at if you need a larger sized case in the near future.

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"Onwards! Alright, it's not often I don't have much on the negative side to say. AZZA has a few minor flaws for an overall decent chassis, one of which is the fans. Having fans with a fixed speed is great for some quiet operations, but it doesn't help with a loaded case, as only so much unwanted hot air can be pushed out. An easy fix for AZZA would be to have them as 3-pin fans instead of being powered by 4-pin Molex cable."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

MSI CPU Guard 1151 Addresses Skylake Bending

Subject: Cases and Cooling | December 16, 2015 - 07:01 AM |
Tagged: MSI Die Guard, MSI CPU Guard, msi

Personally, I am running a Haswell CPU (“Devil's Canyon”). I don't have any experience with building Skylake-based systems. A few of my coworkers at PC Perspective do, though. They seem to think that the issue is a bit out-of-proportion, except maybe in situations where a PC with a large CPU cooler needs to be transported. Also, Morry has used a similar product, the MSI Die Guard, with his delidding project for QuakeCon 2014, and it failed to prevent his die from cracking. Granted, protecting a bare die is much different from bracing a CPU that still has its heatspreader.

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Image Credit: MSI

Those two issues should be kept in mind, though. We're skeptical of the problem in general and, even then, the one time that we used a similar product, it didn't (entirely) do what it was supposed to. Again, none of these situations involved me, personally.

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Image Credit: MSI

But now onto the announcement. MSI is releasing the CPU Guard 1151 for new Skylake-based processors. It also works as a “die guard” too, so if you intend on popping the headspreader off, you don't need to choose between two parts. This supposedly works in either scenario. It clamps the processor into the socket, although I can't see how it would do much more than an 1151 socket (and its clamp) itself. MSI did use it during an overclocking competition though, on a delidded Skylake, so there's that.

No pricing or availability are yet available. It could be something to look out for, especially if you haven't installed your processor yet. If you have, you would then need to think about the effort to undo whatever you already have to install this. It's up to you.

Source: MSI (Email)

LEPA's new EXllusion 240 mixes form and function ... at a cost

Subject: Cases and Cooling | December 11, 2015 - 12:52 PM |
Tagged: lepa, EXllusion 240, AIO, water cooler

Similar to the Raijintek Triton AIO cooler that [H]ard|OCP recently reviewed, the LEPA EXllusion 240 watercooler allows you to open up the loop to add colour to your cooling fluid or even replace it with one of your choice should you so desire.  This AIO uses a 240mm radiator and a pair of 120mm fans and comes with red, green and blue dyes for your coolant, though not the yellow advertised on the box.  The cooler performed decently in their tests, the problem they found with this cooler was the $120 price tag, which is noticeably higher than the competition.  Read the full review for performance details right here.

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"LEPA and its new EXllusion 240 All-In-One CPU cooler touts 400 watts of cooling ability, a patented copper cooling plate, a larger volume of liquid in the block itself, and a "silent" pump, all with a refillable design. Overall it has the look of a quality built AIO, but is the EXllusion worth 120 of your hard earned dollars?"

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

CASES & COOLING

 

Source: [H]ard|OCP
Manufacturer: Antec

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?

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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.

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Continue reading our review of the Antec P380 Full-Tower enclosure!

Corsair Introduces Carbide 600 Series Inverted ATX Enclosures

Subject: Cases and Cooling | December 8, 2015 - 05:00 PM |
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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Source: Corsair