MSI & Thermaltake Make Motherboard-Specific Water Block

Subject: Cases and Cooling | November 29, 2015 - 07:01 AM |
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.


Specifically, the Thermaltake Pacific M3 motherboard water block is designed to be used with the MSI Z170A Gaming M5 motherboard. This is a Skylake / DDR4 platform with USB 3.1 and SATA Express.

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!)

Source: Thermaltake

Thermaltake would like you to "Get to the Suppressa!"

Subject: Cases and Cooling | November 27, 2015 - 03:04 PM |
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."

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Source: [H]ard|OCP

Enermax updates its AIO coolers with the Liqmax II 120s

Subject: Cases and Cooling | November 23, 2015 - 01:42 PM |
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 …"

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Source: Modders Inc

BitFenix Announces Pandora ATX Mid-Tower Enclosure

Subject: Cases and Cooling | November 23, 2015 - 10:04 AM |
Tagged: pandora atx, Mid-Tower Case, enclosure, case, bitfenix pandora, bitfenix, atx case

BitFenix has released a larger follow up to the Pandora enclosure, previously a slim Micro-ATX tower. The new full ATX sized Pandora offers the same styling and optional customizable screen as the previous version, and now offers support for up to 360 mm radiators.


“The Pandora ATX offers the same much-loved unique styling as the original Pandora - but with housing capabilities for full-sized hardware and a 360mm radiator, either in the top or the front. Conceived as a versatile base for DIY projects, it is designed to show off your hardware in a tasteful manner through its large side window. The front panel is like no other, with the wrap-around side panels covering parts of it, leaving only a sober glossy black front panel housing the programmable 2.8" ICON color display visible through it. The ICON is a story in itself, allowing you to add any logo or picture you wish, for maximum personalization.”

I was impressed with the original Pandora when I reviewed it at the end of last year, but there were certainly concessions to size (beginning with the restriction to mATX or mITX motherboards) including limited cooler and taller GPU support. This was in fact a very narrow tower previously. With the new Pandora ATX you can have the same style including an optional LCD with ICON software that allows drag-and-drop customization with your own image. And while some might think ICON is a gimmick, and it arguably is, this is still a solid-looking enclosure.


So what exactly does this new Pandora ATX support? Here’s a rundown of the specs:

  • Highlights:
    • 2.8" BitFenix ICON Display
    • One-piece PSU cover and MB tray
    • Top, Front and Bottom Dust Filters
    • 360mm Radiator Support
    • 20mm Cable Clearance
    • Graphics Card Length up to 440mm
  • Materials: Steel, ABS
  • Colors (Interior/Exterior): Black/Black
  • Supported Motherboards: ATX, Micro ATX, Mini-ITX
  • LCD: 2.8" TFT, 240 x 320 (Pandora ATX only)
  • I/O: 2x USB 3.0, 2x USB 2.0, 2x 3.5mm Audio (Line Out, Mic-in)
  • 3.5” Drive Bays: x4, x3 (Pandora ATX Core)
  • 2.5” Drive Bays: x4, 2x (Pandora ATX Core)
  • Front Cooling: 1x 140mm (Included, Pandora ATX only), Max 3x 120mm OR 2x 140mm (Not Included)
  • Rear Cooling: 1x 120mm FDB Fan (Included)
  • Top Cooling: Max 3x 120mm OR 2x 140mm (Not Included)
  • Expansion Slots: x7
  • Power Supply: ATX & EPS, up to 220mm length
  • Dimensions (WxHxD): 203 x 510 x 558 mm
  • Weight: 9.92 kg (net), 11.4 kg (gross)

It seems that the only thing we don’t know about this new enclosure is pricing and availability, which have not yet been released.

Source: BitFenix
Manufacturer: EVGA

Introduction and Features


EVGA recently introduced three new Platinum certified power supplies in their popular SuperNOVA line, the 650P2, 750P2 and 850P2. All three power supplies are 80 Plus Platinum certified for high efficiency and feature all modular cables, high-quality Japanese brand capacitors, and a quiet 140mm cooling fan (with the ability to operate in silent, fan-less mode at low to mid power levels). And in addition to delivering excellent performance with quiet operation, these new power supplies are backed by a 10-year warranty!


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 currently includes thirty-four models ranging from the high-end 1,600W SuperNOVA T2 to the budget minded EVGA 400W power supply.


In this review we will be taking a detailed look at both the EVGA SuperNOVA 650P2 and 750P2 power supplies. It’s nice when we receive two slightly different units in the same product series to look for consistency during testing.

Here is what EVGA has to say about the new SuperNOVA P2 Platinum PSUs: “The unbeatable performance of the EVGA SuperNOVA P2 power supply line is now available in 850, 750 and 650 watt versions. Based on the award winning P2 power supplies, these units feature 80 Plus Platinum rated efficiency, and clean, continuous power to every component. The ECO Control Fan system offers fan modes to provide absolutely zero fan noise during low to medium load operations. Backed by an award winning 10 year warranty, and 100% Japanese capacitor design, the EVGA SuperNOVA 850, 750 and 650 P2 power supplies offer unbeatable performance and value."


EVGA SuperNOVA 650W P2 and 750W P2 PSU Key Features:

•    Fully modular cables to reduce clutter and improve airflow
•    80 PLUS Platinum certified, with up to 92% efficiency
•    LLC Resonant circuit design for high efficiency
•    Tight voltage regulation, stable power with low AC ripple and noise
•    Highest quality Japanese brand capacitors ensure long-term reliability
•    Quiet 140mm Double ball bearing fan for reliability and quiet operation
•    ECO Intelligent Thermal Control allows silent, fan-less operation at low power
•    NVIDIA SLI & AMD Crossfire Ready
•    Compliance with ErP Lot 6 2013 Requirement
•    Active Power Factor correction (0.99) with Universal AC input
•    Complete Protections: OVP, UVP, OPP, OCP and SCP
•    10-Year warranty and EVGA Customer Support

Please continue reading our review of the EVGA SuperNOVA 650/750 P2 PSUs!!!

They may be relatively new but Raijintek knows what they were doing with the Triton 280

Subject: Cases and Cooling | November 16, 2015 - 05:53 PM |
Tagged: AIO, water cooling, raijintek, Triton 280

Before you dismiss the strange looking waterblock on the Raijintek Triton 280 you should know the kit ships with a red, green, and blue bottle of dye which is why you can see into the pump.  Not only that but this waterblock will fit onto any AMD or Intel processor released in the last decade so even an older system can be refreshed by this $80 cooler.  With the price, compatibility and style covered all that is left to do is measure the sound and see how effective the cooler is in action.  To do so all you have to do is vist [H]ard|OCP; prepare yourself to be impressed.


"Raijintek is a relatively new company and has only been producing products for a couple of years. Raijintek states it focuses on "extreme engineering, remarkable performance, amazing design," and several other things. Does this new Triton 280 AIO cooler hit any of those targets when it comes to cooling your CPU?"

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Source: [H]ard|OCP

Introduction and First Impressions

DEEPCOOL's Gabriel is part of their Gamer Storm series of products, and this low-profile design is rated up to 95 W to keep the latest processors cool under load. So how does it perform? We'll take a close look at the performance of this mini-ITX inspired air cooler in today's review.


(Image credit: DEEPCOOL)

There are so many inexpensive options for air cooling on the market that it's almost overwhelming. At the top of the list in popularity are low-cost tower coolers from Cooler Master, with the ubiquitous Hyper 212 Evo at around $30, and the slightly smaller Hyper T4 at $25. But with a height of 159 mm for the 212 Evo and 152.3 mm for the T4 these coolers are not going to fit in every situation - and certainly not in a slim enclosure. There are plenty of low-profile CPU coolers on the market, one of the lowest being the Noctua NH-L9i, a $40-ish cooler which stands just 37 mm tall (with the fan!), but the tan and reddish-brown color scheme isn't for everyone, and the ultra-low profile design (which is also limited to a 92 mm fan) won't be required for many builds.

So when I began looking for a low-profile air cooler for my own use recently one of the options that cought my eye was this Gabriel, part of DEEPCOOL's Gamer Storm line.  The Gabriel had the advantage of being just $34.99 on Newegg when I picked it up, making it less expensive (and less tan and brown) than the Noctua. At 60 mm tall with its 120 mm fan installed, the Gabriel should fit in most low-profile enclosures, considering even half-height expansion cards are a bit taller at about 69 mm. The Gabriel also offers an understated look with a grey (well, mostly grey) fan. Of course appearances mean nothing unless it's well made and cools effectively, and for myself the question became, is this going to rival the experience of a Noctua (long my preferred brand) CPU cooler?

Continue reading our review of the DEEPCOOL Gamer Storm Gabriel CPU cooler!!

Manufacturer: Noctua

Introduction and Technical Specifications



Courtesy of Noctua


Courtesy of Noctua

Noctua is a well respected manufacturer in the highly competitive CPU cooler space, offering products optimized for high efficiency and low-noise. The newest members of their S series coolers, the NH-D15S and NH-C14S, are based on known designs tweaked for maximum compatibility to ensure proper fit on your hot new Haswell, Haswell-E, or Skylake supported motherboard. Both coolers come standard with Noctua's SecuFirm2™ mounting mechanism, ensuring a secure mount between the cooler and CPU.


Courtesy of Noctua

The NH-D15S CPU cooler is a dual tower cooler with a single fan sandwiched between the two radiator towers. The unit can support a maximum of three fans, but may suffer compatibility issues with certain motherboards when used outside of its default single-fan configuration. Noctua designed the cooler with their typical hybrid approach, combining a copper base plate and heat pipes with aluminum finned cooling towers. The base plate and heat pipes are nickel-plated for looks and to prevent corrosion. At an MSRP of $89.99, the Noctua NH-D15S comes with a premium price to match is colossal size.


Courtesy of Noctua

The NH-C14S CPU cooler is single radiator cooler in a horizontal orientation with a single fan. The radiator's horizontal orientation gives the cooler a lower height in comparison to a cooler with the traditional veritical radiators while maintaining equivalent cooling performance. In typical Noctua fashion, the NH-C14S combines a copper base plate and heat pipes with aluminum finned cooling towers for an optimal hybrid cooling solution. The base plate and heat pipes are nickel-plated for looks and to prevent corrosion. The NH-C14S also retails at an MSRP of $89.99.

Continue reading our review of the Noctua S series CPU coolers!

Manufacturer: be quiet!

Introduction and Features


Be Quiet! is a well-respected brand, particularly in Europe, for PC power supplies and they are continuing to expand their product offering to include high-end ATX mid-tower enclosures. Be Quiet! introduced the Silent Base 800 mid-tower case last year and they have released the Silent Base 600 mid-tower case in 2015. As you might expect, the Silent Base Series is designed for very quiet operation while still offering excellent performance and cooling. We will be taking a detailed look at the new Silent Base 600 Window enclosure in this review.


The Be Quiet! Silent Base 600 ATX Mid-Tower enclosure isn’t quite as tall as the Silent Base 800 (2.5” shorter). It comes in three different color schemes (Black/Black, Orange/Black, and Siler/Black) like the 800 and is available with or without a side window. Our review sample is the black-on-black model with a window.

The Silent Base Series is targeted towards users looking to build a quiet high-end gaming or multimedia system. The Silent Base 600 comes with two Be Quiet! Pure Wings 2 fans (140mm intake and 120mm exhaust) pre-installed along with numerous options that support additional fans or liquid cooling if desired.

The Be Quiet! Silent Base 600 offers the perfect symbiosis of noise prevention and cooling performance, good usability, and an extensive capacity for high-end hardware.”  


Be Quiet! Silent Base 600 Mid-Tower Case Key Features:
•    Mid-Tower ATX enclosure available in three different color schemes (with or without a side window)
•    Supports ATX, Micro-ATX and Mini-ITX motherboards
•    Innovative construction assures excellent cooling efficiency and air circulation
•    Easily removed dust filters on front and bottom panels
•    Sound dampening mats used on front panel and both side panels
•    Anti-vibration decoupling provided for fans, HDDs and power supply
•    Double-glazed side panel window provides superb soundproofing
•    Two included Pure Wings 2 fans (140mm intake and 120mm exhaust)
•    Three-speed fan control switch
•    Removable top panel, with top fan mounts pre-drilled for dual 120mm or 140mm fans
•    Excellent cooling and low noise levels with up to six fan mounting locations
•    Front: 140mm fan included (upgradable to dual 120mm or 140mm)
•    Top: Dual 120mm or 140mm
•    Rear: 120mm fan included
•    Bottom: 120mm or 140mm
•    (2) USB 3.0, (2) USB 2.0 and audio jacks on the front panel
•    Three internal 3.5” hard drive bays
•    Three internal 2.5” SSD mounting locations
•    Three external 5.25” drive bays
•    Tool-free mounting for all 3.5”/2.5” internal drives
•    Up to 294mm (11.6”) clearance for graphic cards
•    Up to 413mm (16.3”) for long graphic cards (with HDD cage removed)
•    Up to 170mm (6.7”) of space for CPU coolers
•    MSRP: $119.99 USD ($109.99 without side window)

Please continue reading our Be Quiet! Silent Base 600 case review!!!

Choose your own pump, the Monsoon Modular Reservoir System

Subject: Cases and Cooling | November 9, 2015 - 04:51 PM |
Tagged: water cooler, reservoir, Monsoon Modular Reservoir System, Monsoon

As you can see in the picture below the Monsoon Modular Reservoir System requires some assembly before it can be used but once you have set it up you will have a unique looking reservoir.  The clear tube that holds your cooling liquid is perfect for those who want to build a case with fluorescing or just coloured liquid to match the theme of your mod.  The fact that you can choose your own pump motor, keeping size in mind, will also appeal to modders and quiet computing fanatics, you will not be stuck with one that does not meet your need.  The kit Modders-Inc ordered ran them just under $70, not the cheapest reservoir on the market but within reason for their target audience.


"Of the all the reservoir types available in the market, the tube res has always been preferred mainly due to its large visibility and ease of installation. However, for the most part the design hadn't changed much until a couple years ago compression style reservoirs emerged into the market. Monsoon has developed their own compression style reservoir that has just …"

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Source: Modders Inc