Manufacturer: Fractal Design

Introduction and Case Exterior

The Meshify C - TG from Fractal Design is a high-airflow ATX case design with some added style from its unique angled front panel. Throw in a tempered glass side panel and a pair of pre-installed Dynamic X2 GP-12 120 mm fans and the $89.99 price tag looks pretty good - but how did it perform? We'll find out.

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Having reviewed a few Fractal Design cases in the past three years I have come to expect a few things from their enclosures: solid construction, intelligent internal layouts, and excellent cable management. As to style, their cases are generally understated, and the Meshify's black color scheme with a tinted glass side certainly fits the bill - though the angled front mesh design catches the light and does add some visual interest.

More than a single enclosure, Meshify is now a dedicated line from Fractal Design, with a new Meshify C Mini for mATX/mITX motherboards, as well as variants of this Meshify C including a model with a solid side panel (the standard Meshify C) and one with dark-tinted glass (Meshify C - Dark TG). Regardless of which model you might be considering, they share a common design focused on high airflow (with a full compliment of filters), flexible storage options, and maximizing component space within their compact dimensions.

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Continue reading our review of the Fractal Design Meshify C Tempered Glass case!

Manufacturer: Corsair

Introduction and First Impressions

Launching today, Corsair’s new Carbide Series 275R case is a budget-friendly option that still offers plenty of understated style with clean lines and the option of a tempered glass side panel. Corsair sent us a unit to check out, so we have a day-one review to share. How does it compete against recent cases we’ve looked at? Find out here!

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The Carbide 275R is a compact mid-tower design that still accommodates standard ATX motherboards, large CPU coolers (up to 170 mm tall), and long graphics cards, and it includes a pair of Corsair’s SP120 fans for intake/exhaust. The price tag? $69.99 for the version with an acrylic side, and $79.99 for the version with a tempered glass side panel (as reviewed). Let’s dive in, beginning with a rundown of the basic specs.

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Continue reading our review of the Corsair Carbide Series 275R Tempered Glass case!

Manufacturer: NZXT

Introduction and First Impressions

NZXT has proven to be willing to adapt and innovate in the competitive DIY PC space, introducing their own software control suite (CAM) to control cooling and lighting effects in 2014, and this year launching their first motherboard. We have have seen CAM in action with products like the Kraken AiO liquid CPU coolers, which required the software to fully unlock their potential - both thermally and visually (RGB) speaking, and it's an integral part of the new H700i enclosure.

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“The H700i showcases NZXT’s vision for modern PC building. This premium mid-tower case features a unique CAM Powered Smart Device that digitally drives RGB lighting and fan performance. You can effortlessly control RGB lighting and fans, while Adaptive Noise Reduction optimizes your build’s acoustics through machine learning and ideal fan settings. Includes four integrated Aer F fans and two RGB LED to enhance the aesthetics of your build as seen through the H700i’s stunning tempered glass panel.”

Now that NZXT has brought that CAM software feature-set to enclosures beginning with the H700i mid-tower we have for you today, we will pay close attention to the way the integrated "Smart Device" - a module that controls fans and lighting - fits into the usual thermal/noise equation. OEM systems from the likes of Dell with their Alienware desktops have used similar dedicated hardware for cooling and lighting control, and it's interesting to see this enter the DIY space. How important is software control of cooling and RGB effects to you? That depends, of course, and partly on how easy it is to use.

We will take a close look in and around this new enclosure, and while it’s on the test bench we will see how the stylish H700i stacks up with thermal and noise results vs. some other recent cases - and test the H700i both with and without CAM software optimization to see what sort of difference it makes in practice. Let’s get started!

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Continue reading our review of the NZXT H700i enclosure!!

Manufacturer: Fractal Design

Introduction and First Impressions

The Define R6 marks the sixth generation of the Define series, and Fractal Design’s flagship ATX case now sports a cleverly-designed tempered glass side panel and a redesigned interior. Does the new R6 again define the ATX mid-tower market? We’re about to find out!

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Looking at the front panel alone it would be very difficult to tell the Define R6 from its predecessors, as it still has the trademark solid front door panel, nicely finished here with aluminum. 5.25-inch drive support is down to a single bay, but it is there if you need it for an optical drive or fan controller - though the Define R6 also includes a new PWM fan hub (more on that later on).

The most obvious change to the design is the tempered glass side panel, which makes sense considering that has been the biggest industry trend of the past couple of years. Fractal Design does it a little differently than you’ll see elsewhere, however, with a pop-in design that makes screws optional. The Define cases were already very clean and simple externally, and this implementation of a glass side panel fits that aesthetic perfectly.

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Improvements such as the third-gen ModuVent top panel and additional storage and cooling capacity from the redesigned interior make this release a bigger upgrade than it might at first appear, and in this review we’ll go over the case inside and out to see how this latest Define enclosure stacks up in this ever-crowded market.

Continue reading our review of the Fractal Design Define R6 case!

CES 2018: Corsair Shows New SPEC-OMEGA and Obsidian 500D Cases

Subject: Cases and Cooling | January 9, 2018 - 07:01 PM |
Tagged: tempered glass, Spec Omega, liquid cooler, enclosure, corsair, cooling, case

Corsair’s new case offering at CES features the Carbide Series SPEC-OMEGA, which adds a premium tempered glass option to the SPEC lineup.

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With SPEC OMEGA there are the trademark angular design elements we have seen from the ALPHA cases, but this new case features tempered glass window panels to compliment internals that are fully open (no bottom shroud covering the PSU and storage) for better airflow and a simplified build process.

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Also making an appearance are new Obsidian models, Corsair's premium enclosures featuring varying levels of tempered glass and aluminum with the Obsidian Series 500D in two versions.

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A version with three panels of tempered glass (both sides and the front) was on display, alongside a version with an aluminum front panel and tempered glass sides. Both versions have hinged side panels with magnetic closures for easy component access.

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As to pricing and availability, the Carbide Series SPEC-OMEGA is available for order now in black, white, or red for $99.99 from Corsair, and the Obsidian Series 500D cases shown do not have a release date just yet but are expected to retail from $149 for the standard model up to $249 for the 3-panel tempered glass version shown.

Source: Corsair
Manufacturer: SilverStone

The PM01 Gets an Upgrade

SilverStone’s Primera PM01-RGB is an updated version of the PM01 we reviewed last year, and in addition to new RGB lighting effects indicated by the name, the PM01-RGB also features a tempered glass side panel rather than the plastic window of the first version. We will take a look at the matte black version - (glossy black and white are also available) and see how it performs.

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SilverStone fans will likely have noticed that the Primera PM01 had some of the Raven DNA, with a sloping top panel and slightly aggressive style, though somewhat softer than cases like that first RV01 enclosure. The Primera PM01-RGB is a standard ATX mid-tower, and due to a large partition hiding the lower section of the case it is a little smaller internally that it appears from the outside.

While things were a little tight with a liquid cooler installed on the upper mounts with our PM01 last year, the case still held a standard build without issue and offered very good cooling thanks to the large mesh front panel and included intake fans. And it’s this front intake area that provides much of the difference this time around, as it now features RGB lighting for the fans along with an integrated light strip for the side panel, both of which are managed with an onboard LED control (or ASUS Aura Sync with compatible motherboards).

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Continue reading our review of the SilverStone Primera PM01-RGB ATX case!

Manufacturer: Corsair

The Smaller Crystal Series Case

Corsair’s Crystal Series of mid-tower enclosures offer plenty of tempered glass to show off your build and are available with both single-color and full RGB case fans pre-installed. We previously reviewed the RGB version of the larger Crystal 570X, and today we are looking at the RGB version of the more compact Crystal 460X.

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The Crystal cases differ in more than size, as the big 570X is a four-panel design that includes tempered glass on the left side, right side, case front, and top. This smaller Crystal 460X is a two-panel design with tempered glass on the left (component) side and case front, with a standard steel back panel and vented top. There is a cost difference between the two as well, with the $139.99 MSRP of the RGB 460X set $40 below the 570X at $179.99.

The design of the Crystal 460X is reminiscent of the Carbide Clear 400C (see our review here), another compact mid-tower crom Corsair with essentially the same internal layout. The appeal of these tempered glass cases is obviously to show off your build and lighting, and in that department the Crystal 460X stands out against other smaller mid-towers - in the era of tempered glass case side panels - with the matching full glass front panel.

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Continue reading our review of the Corsiar Crystal Series 460X RGB case!

Manufacturer: In Win

Introduction and Case Exterior

The In Win 301 is a mini tower case with a tempered glass side panel that sells for less than $70. How good is it? Dollar for dollar it could be the best affordable case on the market right now. That's a pretty bold statement, and you'll just have to read the whole review to see if I'm right.

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In Win is one of the most unique enclosure makers in the industry, with designs running from elegant simplicity to some of the most elaborate and expensive cases we’ve ever seen. Though well-known for the striking tou 2.0 and the show-stopping (and motorized) H-Frame, in recent years In Win has expanded its offering in the affordable enclosure space, and there is no better example of this than the case we have for you today.

The 301, smaller sibling to the 303, is beautiful in its simplicity, thoughtfully designed for ease of use (as we will see here), and very affordable - even with its tempered-glass side panel, a signature of In Win enclosures. Sound too good to be true? It is limited to micro-ATX and mini-ITX motherboards, but if you’re looking for an option for a small form-factor build with room for full-sized components, this might just end up on your short list. Let’s take a close look at this stylish mini-tower case!

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Continue reading our review of the In Win 301 tempered glass mini-tower enclosure!

Manufacturer: BitFenix

Introduction and First Impressions

A large mid-tower design featuring tempered glass side panels and a mix of aluminum and steel exterior construction, the RGB-imbued Shogun is every bit what you would expect a ‘flagship’ enclosure from BitFenix to be. So did it get our seal of approval? Read on to find out!

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The BitFenix Shogun appears at first glance to be a full-tower enclosure, but it is actually using a form-factor that BitFenix calls “super mid-tower”, and it has the seven expansion slots of a mid-tower design. It supports E-ATX motherboards on down, and has some interesting features to help set it apart in a highly competitive enclosure market.

The Shogun’s compatibility with ASUS Aura motherboard lighting effects makes it a good option for the RGB lighting inclined, and there are some nice exterior touches such as the sculpted top and bottom aluminum panels and (of course) those tempered glass sides. The Shogun competes in the premium space, but is still palatable at $149 for what is on the surface a pretty impressive-looking package.

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The open interior and glass side panel invite impressive builds (Image credit: BitFenix)

Continue reading our review of the BitFenix Shogun Super Mid-Tower Enclosure!

Manufacturer: DAN Cases

Introduction and First Impressions

The A4-SFX takes the minimalist, full-length GPU capable mini-ITX chassis design down to stunningly compact dimensions, and does so with a precise all-aluminum build and refined industrial design. Created by the one-man company DAN Cases and funded on Kickstarter, the A4-SFX share the spirit of the crowdfunded NCASE M1 that preceded it, but takes even that tiny enclosure's dimensions down considerably. It is, as the company puts it, "the world's smallest gaming tower case".

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What was omitted to bring the size down this far? Comparing the A4-SFX to the aforementioned NCASE M1 (an inevitability as both were crowd-funded and manufactured by Lian Li), the A4-SFX drops support for compact ATX power supplies in favor of SFX/SFX-L units, and CPU cooling is limited to a height of 48 mm, with no liquid cooling support. Many low-profile CPU coolers - including Intel’s stock design - fit this description, but the cooling limitation suggests stock CPU speeds are the tradeoff for such a compact case design.

So how compact is this case, exactly? The A4-SFX has a volume of just 7.25L compared to the NCASE M1 at 12.6L. Yet the A4-SFX can still house a powerful, gaming-ready system with standard components including a full sized GPU (up to 295 mm in length) and any mini-ITX motherboard and CPU.

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Continue reading our review of the DAN Cases A4-SFX Mini-ITX Enclosure!