Nice rack! It would look better if you added a Noctua NH-U9S or NH-D9L

Subject: Cases and Cooling | March 30, 2015 - 07:32 PM |
Tagged: noctua, NH-U9S, NH-D9L, cpu cooler, air cooling

You might want to hold off reading this review as these coolers are very likely to grace our pages in the near future but if you can't wait then HiTech Legion is the place to go to check out these small coolers from Noctua.  The 125mm NH-U9S fits in 4U cases while the 110mm NH-D9L can fit in 3U spaces, making them perfect for not only rack mounted cases but also for SFF builds.   The weights are also smaller than usual, with the 92mm fan installed they weigh 618g and 531g respectively.  For small builds with processors with a moderate TDP these are certainly worth your consideration.

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"While Noctua’s new NH-U9S and NH-D9L were designed to comply with rack mount system standards, their low profile and horizontal airflow make them a natural choice for SFF and HTPC systems where CPU cooler space is limited. The Noctua NH-U9S meets 4U standards at 125mm tall, while the NH-D9L takes it a step further to meet the 110mm requirement of 3U standard."

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Watercooling your EVGA X99 with Bitspower

Subject: Cases and Cooling | March 24, 2015 - 02:12 PM |
Tagged: evga, X99 Classified, X99 FTW, watercooling, Bitspower, THOR EIX99

Now that most of the features once present on motherboards have been moved to the CPU there is far less need to watercool your chipset.  However for the extreme overclocker there are advantages to cooling the MOSFETs on the VRM and PCH as well as the CPU itself.  Modders-Inc has just reviewed the Bitspower THOR EIX99, specifically designed for EVGA's X99 Classified and FTW motherboards. The acrylic housing for the waterblocks bring a unique look to your motherboard as well as offering improvements to heat management.  By installing the cooler Modders-Inc hit 4.5 GHz on an i7 5960X, not too bad for a $160 investment.  The installation was simple but if you invest the time to design a custom watercooling loop you can get even more performance out of this kit.

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"Bitspower makes various options for water blocks that cover Gigabyte, ASRock, MSI, Asus and EVGA motherboards. Recently, we reviewed the EVGA X99 Classified and that motherboard is designed to push the CPU as high as possible if the cooling equipment allows. Bitspower’s THOR EIX99 is specifically designed to cover the EVGA X99 Classified as well as the EVGA X99 FTW motherboard, cooling the critical motherboard components and providing the thermal headroom that the MOSFETs and other parts require for a stable overclock."

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Source: Modders Inc
Manufacturer: EVGA

Introduction and Features

Introduction

EVGA has just announced the arrival of two new GS power supplies in their popular SuperNOVA line, the 550GS and 650GS. Both power supplies are 80 Plus Gold certified and feature all modular cables, high-quality Japanese brand capacitors, and a super quiet 120mm cooling fan (with the ability to operate in silent, fan-less mode at low power levels). The 550GS and 650GS are housed in a compact chassis (150mm deep) and are backed by a 5-year warranty. These new GS units are manufactured by Seasonic and will start selling for $89.99 (550GS) and $99.99 (650GS) this spring.

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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 twenty-two models ranging from the high-end 1,600W SuperNOVA T2 to the budget minded EVGA 400W power supply.

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In this review we will be taking a detailed look at both the EVGA SuperNOVA 550GS and 650GS 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 GS Gold PSUs: “The EVGA GS power supply lineup has arrived. These power supplies offer superior performance, at extremely low noise levels making these the perfect power supplies for a low noise environment. These power supplies also feature ECO mode meaning that the fan will run only when necessary, further reducing noise level and power consumption.

The EVGA SuperNOVA 550GS/650GS power supply raises the bar with 550W/650W of continuous power delivery and 90% (115VAC) / 92% (220VAC-240VAC) efficiency. A fully modular design with compact dimensions reduces case clutter and 100% Japanese capacitors ensures that only the absolute best components are used. This gives you the best stability, reliability, overclockability and unparalleled control. The EVGA SuperNOVA 550GS/650GS is the ultimate tool to eliminate all system bottlenecks and achieve unrivaled performance."

 

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EVGA SuperNOVA 550 GS and 650 GS Gold PSU Key Features:

•    Fully modular cables to reduce clutter and improve airflow
•    80PLUS Gold certified, with up to 90% (115VAC) / 92% (240VAC) efficiency
•    Tight voltage regulation (2%), stable power with low AC ripple and noise
•    Highest quality Japanese brand capacitors ensure long-term reliability
•    Quiet 120mm Teflon Nano-Steel bearing cooling fan
•    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, and SCP
•    Compact chassis only 150mm (5.9”) deep
•    5-Year warranty

Please continue reading our review of the EVGA SuperNOVA 550/650 GS Gold PSUs!!!

Seasonic Snow Silent; if you prefer your PSU meek and pale

Subject: Cases and Cooling | March 23, 2015 - 02:30 PM |
Tagged: seasonic, snow series, modular psu, 1050W, 80 Plus Platinum

The ability to deliver stable power is the primary attribute we look for in a PSU but the aesthetics should not be ignored, especially for modders and those with glass cases.  The Seasonic Snow Silent Series 1050W PSU is aptly named for its white finish which gives it a unique look in a very crowed market but the exterior does not tell the whole story.  With a total of eight 6+2 PCIe plugs and a 12V rail capable of providing 1044W @ 87 amps this PSU will certainly handle Crossfire or SLI and it will do so fairly quietly.  TechPowerUp liked the 7 year warranty as well as the performance and look of this PSU, especially considering it is priced roughly the same as the bog standard grey model which does not have the improved fan of this model.

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"Seasonic released a special version of their Platinum offering with 1050 W capacity; it comes with a while paint job and is equipped with an FDB fan and a relaxed fan profile for less noise output, which will thrill users looking for a quiet high-performance PSU."

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Source: techPowerUp

Cougar Launches QBX Mini ITX Case

Subject: Cases and Cooling | March 20, 2015 - 06:47 PM |
Tagged: water cooling, mini ITX, Cougar, air cooling

Cougar recently launched the QBX mini ITX case. The small form factor chassis is aimed squarely at gamers and enthusiasts looking for a high performance PC in a tiny box. 

The QBX is a completely black angular case measuring 7” x 10.2” x 14.5” packed with filtered vents. Front I/O is fairly standard including two USB 3.0 and two audio jacks. The case supports both air and water cooling while holding a ton of hardware. Specifically, the QBX is built to host Mini ITX motherboards, standard size (140mm) ATX power supplies, dedicated graphics cards (350mm), and CPU coolers up to 105mm tall. As far as storage, the QBX can hold a single 3.5” hard drive and four 2.5” solid state drives as well as a single vertically mounted slim optical drive.

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The case comes pre-installed with a single 90mm rear fan, and users can install up to six additional fans on the front, top, and side panels. The front and bottom vents have removable dust filters. A 120mm or 240mm radiator can be installed on the left side panel, but at most you can install one 120mm fan to cool the radiator.

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Cougar has engineered the case such that the power supply draws in cool air from the right side panel and exhausts it out of the top of the case to prevent adding extra heat to the system (it will be difficult enough to cool high end components in such a small case). Further, removing the left side panel reveals a hinged bracket that holds a fan (or the water cooling radiator) as well as the 3.5” drive bay and two 2.5” bays. Note that with a 240mm radiator installed, you will only be able to access a single 2.5” bay. This is a neat design but installing the CPU block of a closed loop water cooler is going to be a challenge depending on the length of the tubing.

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There is some space behind the motherboard try to hide cables but you will likely need to do some custom cabling to not have it ultimately look like a rats nest considering how small this case is and how little area you have to work with, especially if you do end up installing all seven fans and five disk drives!

The Cougar QBX has an MSRP of $60 and will be available soon. More information can be found on this product page. Hopefully we can get one in for review to see how it stacks up to the Ncase M1 and Lian Li PC-Q33 Mini ITX cases.

Source: Cougar
Manufacturer: SilverStone

Introduction and First Impressions

The Fortress FT05 is the fifth iteration of SilverStone's Fortress series of enclosures, and, like the latest Raven case, this leverages the complete removal of 5.25" bays to reduce its overall size. We've seen this before as the FT03 completely removed optical support, but this enclosure is related far more closely to the current Raven enclosure than any of its predecessors.

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Introduction: The Heart of a Raven

If you're familiar with SilverStone's product lineup you'll know about the Fortress and Raven enclosures which both currently feature an unusual 90° motherboard orientation. This layout places I/O on the top of the case, and helps expel warm air straight up. The Fortress was originally a more conventional design with a standard motherboard layout, but SilverStone switched this to mirror the Raven series with the second version, the FT02. However, just as the Raven series diverged from the original design language and layout of the RV01 with later versions, the Fortress series has undergone some radical changes since its introduction. With this fifth version of the Fortress SilverStone has converged the two enclosure lines, and the FT05 is essentially a more businesslike version of the Raven RV05 - though the design's more conventional exterior also contains noise-dampening material which helps to further differentiate the two enclosures.

Much as the current Raven owes much of its design to an earlier version, in that case the RV01, this new Fortress is a return to the design of the FT02. That earlier Fortress was a large (and quite expensive) case that combined great expandability with excellent cooling, taking the RV01's 90° layout and opening up the interior for an expansive, easy-to-manage interior. A considerable amount of the second gen's interior was devoted to storage, and the front of the case was dominated by 5.25" drive bays.

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The second-generation Fortress FT02 interior

Continue reading our review of the SilverStone Fortress FT05 enclosure!!

360mm of radiator; the Thermaltake Water 3.0 Ultimate

Subject: Cases and Cooling | March 16, 2015 - 03:39 PM |
Tagged: thermaltake, Water 3.0 Ultimate, watercooling, AIO

Using the Asetek Gen 4 pump and a radiator measuring 393mm x 120mm x 27mm the Thermaltake Water 3.0 Ultimate is a large cooler designed for serious overclockers.  The fans are rated at 99CFM and are set up properly with PWM connections to balance noise and performance.  Overclockers Club increased their i7-4770K to 4.2GHz and this cooler kept the CPU at an impressive 67 °C, topping the charts of the coolers they have tested previously.  They managed to get the chip running at 4.5GHz on 1.241 volts which raised the temperature to 75 °C but that was the highest frequency that particular i7-4770K could reach.  Check out their full review here.

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"Cooling capacity is dependent on air flow and the Ultimate has you covered. You have close to 300CFM of air at your command, so expect to notice the fans when you crank up the heat and with a cooler this size, a little fan noise just goes with the territory. Thermaltake has refined a few components to make the installation about as easy as it can be. The low profile Asetek pump looks good and is quiet. Even at a 4.5GHz overclock, the Ultimate still has some thermal room if your chip can handle a higher overclock."

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Manufacturer: Lian Li

Introduction and First Impressions

The Lian Li PC-Q33 is a mini-ITX enclosure with a cube-like appearance and a hinged construction that makes it easy to access the components within.

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Introduction

When a builder is contemplating a mini-ITX system the primary driver is going to be the size. It’s incredible that we've reached the point where we can have a powerful single-GPU system with minimal (if any) tradeoffs from the tiny mITX form-factor, but the components need to be housed in an appropriately small enclosure or the entire purpose is defeated. However working within small enclosures is often more difficult, unless the enclosure has been specifically designed to account for this. Certainly no slouch in the design department, Lian Li is no stranger to small, lightweight mini-ITX designs like this. The NCASE M1 (a personal favorite) was manufactured by the company after all, and in some ways the PC-Q33 is reminiscent of that design - in build quality and materials if nothing else. The Q33 features aluminum construction and is very light, and while compact the design of the enclosure allows for effortless component installation. The secret? A hinged design that allows the front of the enclosure to swing down providing full access to the interior.

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This approach to accessibility with a small enclosure is a welcome one, and especially so considering the price of the PC-Q33, which retails for $95 on Newegg and can be found for around $105 on Amazon as well. This is still a high cost for many considering a small build and enters the premium price range for an enclosure, but remember the Q33 features an aluminum construction which typically carries a considerably higher cost than steel and plastic. Of course if the case is frustrating to use or has poor thermals than the materials used are meaningless, so in this review we’ll look at the build process and thermal results with the Q33 to see if it’s a good value. My initial impression is that the price is actually low, but that’s coming from someone who looks at a lot of cases and develops a familiarity with the average retail prices in each category.

Continue reading our review of the Lian Li PC-Q33 SFF Chassis!!

Cougar CMD Digital Power Supplies Come With Integrated Fan Controller

Subject: Cases and Cooling | March 12, 2015 - 04:52 PM |
Tagged: power supply, modular psu, Cougar, 80+ bronze

Cougar is launching its new CMD Digital power supplies in 500W and 600W versions. In a move to differentiate itself from the crowd, Cougar has packed in an integrated fan controller and the ability to monitor and control the PSU (e.g. voltage) using software.

The new power supplies are modular excluding the main 24-pin ATX and CPU cables. Both models use a single 12V rail rated at 40A on the 500W model and 49A on the 600W PSU. Cougar uses a temperature controlled 140mm fan to keep the PSU cool. The CMD Digital is 80+ Bronze certified and features various over and under current and voltage protections (OCP, SCP, OVP, UVP, and OPP).

Cougar CMD Digital Power Supply.png

The following power cables and connectors are included:

  • 1 x 24-pin ATX
  • 3 x 4-pin Peripheral (Molex)
  • 5 x SATA (6 on the 600W model)
  • 2 x 8-pin PCI-E (6+2)
  • 1 x 8-pin CPU (4+4)
  • 2 x 3-pin Fan headers
  • 1 x TSR temp sensor port

In all, it’s a fairly standard layout with enough amperage and PCI-E power connectors to support a high end GPU setup.

The integrated fan controller drives up to two case fans (more if you use a splitters, I suppose) that are connected to the back of the power supply. Further, Cougar provides a temperature sensor that you can place anywhere inside your case to monitor case temperature. 

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Using the company’s Cougar UIX software, users can monitor and control fan speeds, monitor system component utilization (CPU, HDD, etc), monitor power consumption, adjust voltage levels, and log various power delivery stats.

Cougar has not yet released pricing, but it will be available in April.

From the features, it sounds like a decent power supply though my opinion would heavily be influenced by the included software. Despite ample computing resources, I like to run a lean system with as little running in the background as possible. If Cougar UIX sips resources and it holds up to the advertised power delivery ratings, I would consider it.

Hopefully we can get one in for review soon and Lee can put it through its paces.

Source: Cougar

A well built and reasonably priced case from Silverstone, the PS11B-W

Subject: Cases and Cooling | March 10, 2015 - 02:50 PM |
Tagged: Silverstone, PS11B-W

At 215.3 x 426.5 x 481.5mm (8.5 x 16.8 x 19") the SilverStone PS11B-W is built for ATX motherboards but it is not so large a micro ATX board would look ridiculous installed within it.  The simplicity of the design is reflected in the $50 asking price which is perfect for those just looking for a functional enclosure to house their components.  Air cooling will likely be sufficient for most builds, two 120/140mm fan slots in the front as well as two 120mm on the back and one on both the top and bottom will keep air moving or give a good mounting position for an AiO watercooler.  Check out Benchmark Reviews full article here for more information.

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"The SilverStone PS11B-W is a versatile entry level enthusiast case, featuring bottom-mount PSU, USB 3.0, variable size fan mounts and locations, a variety of hard drive mount options, and space enough for the most gigantic of graphics cards on the market. In this article for Benchmark Reviews, I’ll be putting the SilverStone PS11B-W to the test. Can the SST-PS11B-W deliver on all it’s promises? Let’s find out."

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