Manufacturer: BitFenix

Introduction and First Impressions

While offering a modern look, the Nova TG is distinctly retro in two ways: first, it supports 5.25-inch external drives, and second, it has a very budget-friendly price tag of $56.99 - which seems lower still when considering the TG in the name stands for tempered glass, as this case sports a full glass side panel. It's available in black or white, and we have the black version in for review.

Nova_TG.jpg

The Nova TG pictured with a full build (image via BitFenix)

Remembering the era of generic $29 ATX cases, the Nova TG gives you a lot more than we could get cheaply in the early 2000s, and that $56.99 price tag is pretty close to an inflation-adjusted $29...probably. Comparisons to older cases aside (not that this wouldn't make an excellent case for a retro PC build if you don't need an external 3.5-inch drive) it's time to focus squarely on the present and look at a modern ATX system build in the Nova TG.

DSC_0350.jpg


Specifications

  • Materials: Steel, Plastic,Tempered Glass
  • Motherboard Support: ATX, Micro ATX, Mini-ITX
  • Power Supply: ATX & EPS 12V
  • 5.25" Drive Bay: 1
  • 3.5" Drive Bay: 3
  • 2.5" Drive Bay: 3
  • Cooling Front: 2x 120mm (1x 120mm Black Fan included)
  • Cooling Rear: NOVA TG BLK 1x 120mm Red LED Fan (included)
  • PCI-E Slots: 7 Slots
  • I/O Ports: 2x USB 3.0, Audio I/O
  • Dimensions (WxHxD): 201 x 437 x 465 mm

Price and Availability: $56.99, Amazon.com

Continue reading our review of the BitFenix Nova TG mid-tower case!

Manufacturer: be quiet!

Introduction and Case Exterior

It has been almost three years since we reviewed the original Silent Base 600 enclosure, and today we have the brand new Silent Base 601 from be quiet! in for review. Launching this week, the latest case from the German manufacturer combines a noise-reducing interior with a no-frills exterior. Gone are its predecessor's optical drive bays and hinged front panel door, allowing for a wide-open internal layout, and overall this is a thoroughly modern enclosure design.

DSC_0159.jpg

The Silent Base 601 enclosure also marks this reviewer's first experience with a be quiet! product (Lee handled the Silent Base 600 review), so I came into the this with zero expectations - and was honestly pretty surprised by the case overall. My findings (and many photos) are documented in this review, so let's get started!

Features from be quiet!:

  • Noise dampening vents provide excellent air permeability with maximum silence
  • Extra thick insulation mats of 10mm in the front, top and sides
  • Two preinstalled Pure Wings 2 140mm fans
  • 3-step fan controller caters for up to three fans
  • The PSU shroud provides a neat interior
  • Ready for radiators up to 360mm
  • Three years manufacturer’s warranty 
  • Product conception, design and quality control in Germany

The Silent Base 601 is available in both the standard version (as reviewed) or a windowed version for $10 more, and with the option of three different front accent colors - orange, black, or silver.

DSC_0158.jpg

Continue reading our review of the be quiet! Silent Base 601 enclosure!

Introduction and Case Exterior

Corsair's new Crystal Series 280X RGB enclosure brings tempered glass and lighting effects down to the size of the company's previous micro-ATX Carbide Air 240 case (reviewed here back in 2014), creating a high-end take on this compact dual-chamber design. Beyond the stylish appearance an important question presents itself: can the Crystal 280X RGB offer sufficient airflow for good cooling with all of those glass panels? We will find out!

DSC_0728.jpg

There is no more pervasive trend in the world of PC hardware than RGB lighting, and with the Crystal Series of enclosures Corsair adds the one component you will need to see as much of that colorful lighting as possible: glass, glass, and more glass. Yes, no fewer than three panels of the tinted, tempered glass variety adorn the 280X RGB, with the side, front, and top of the case covered - or, with the front and top, partially covered. About a third of the front is a solid panel, as is a third of the top, and this serves to help illustrate from the exterior that we are actually looking at a dual-chamber design.

Not so 'micro' ATX?

There are those who feel that an enclosure's internal volume must be low to qualify as "small form-factor", and that can certainly be argued; consider this design (like that of the Air 240), then, a compact take on the larger cube-like dual-chamber case that started with the Carbide Series Air 540 which we reviewed way back in 2013. As you will see, the ease with which a clean-looking build can be completed in such a case, and the ample storage and fan support, help mitigate the size. This case is wide for its height, though the rear chamber allows for the easy installation of a full-size ATX power supply, simultaneous installation of two standard hard drives and another three SSDs, and plenty of room for cable management.

DSC_0732.jpg

Continue reading our review of the Corsair Crystal Series 280X case!

Manufacturer: FSP

Introduction and Case Exterior

FSP is a familiar name in power supplies, and in the last year we have also seen the company branch out with CPU coolers (with the excellent Windale series reviewed last year) and cases. The latest of these enclosures is the CMT520, the second in their CMT series and featuring front and side tempered glass panels to showcase no fewer than four included RGB fans.

Glass can of course present some obstacles to cooling performance, particularly when the front intake is covered (as the gap between glass and fans becomes crucial), so we will see if the case's performance is equal to the elegance of its looks in this review.

CMT520.jpg

The CMT520 pictured sporting very colorful fans (image via FSP)

First a look at specifications from FSP:


  • Type: ATX Mid Tower
  • Color: Black
  • Materials: SPCC, Tempered glass x2
  • M/B Type: E-ATX, ATX, Micro ATX, ITX
  • Expansion Slots: 8
  • 3.5-inch Drive Bays: 2
  • 2.5-inch Drive Bays: 4
  • Power Supply Type: ATX
  • Component Clearance:
    • Maximum CPU Cooler Height: 163mm
    • Maximum VGA Card Length: 423mm
  • Cooling System
    • Front: 120mm RGB Fan x3 (included)
    • Rear: 120mm RGB Fan x1 (included)
  • Fan & Water Cooler Support:
    • Front: 120mm/140mm x3, or 360mm Radiator x1 
    • Top: 120mm x 3/140mm x2 or 360mm Radiator x1
    • Rear: 120mm x1
  • I/O Panel: USB 3.0 x2, USB 2.0 x2, Audio
  • Dimension LxWxH: 495 x 215 x 510 mm (19.49 x 8.46 x 20.08 inches)
  • Weight: 8.5 kg

Pricing and availability:

Continue reading our review of the FSP CMT520 RGB tempered glass case!

Manufacturer: SilverStone

Introduction and Case Exterior

The SilverStone Redline Series RL07 offers a stylish exterior with an interesting front panel design and a tempered glass side panel, and the interior is all business with a typically open layout for what should be an easy build. The solid front panel and quiet 140 mm rear exhaust fan suggest low noise levels, but how cool does this case keep the components in our test setup? We will explore both the build process and performance in this review.

DSC_1004.jpg

"SilverStone’s Redline RL07 is a tower chassis with spectacular front panel design mated to a functional and practical internal structure. It has audacious, one of a kind asymmetrical styling that pays homage to earlier aggressive Redline series chassis launched in 2012 but elevates with details often only available on cases costing much more. On the inside, the RL07 has many modern features such as power supply / drive shroud, convenient tool-less drive trays, quick access dust filter and smart backside cable routing design. So it not only has highly flexible space for installing all popular core components, it also has incredible support for a myriad of cooling configurations. There are four total 120 / 140mm fan slots around the case with maximum radiator support of up to 360mm to meet the needs of PC enthusiasts of all levels."

DSC_0702.jpg


Specifications:

  • Material: Steel front panel, steel body, tempered glass side panel
  • Motherboard: ATX ( up to 12" x 11") , Micro-ATX
  • Expansion slots: 7
  • Drive bays: 3.5" x3 (compatible with 2.5"), 2.5" x3
  • Cooling system:
    • Front: 3x 120 / 140mm fan slot
    • Rear: 1x 120 / 140mm fan slot (1x 140mm exhaust PWM fan included)
  • Radiator support:
    • Front: 120mm x2, 240mm / 280mm / 360mm x1
    • Rear: 120mm / 140mm x1
  • Compatibility:
    • CPU cooler: Up to 167mm
    • Graphics card: Compatible up to 16.3" (415 mm) length, 6.57" (167 mm) width
    • Power supply: ATX, up to 190 mm length
  • Front I/O ports: USB 2.0 x2, USB 3.0 x2, 3.5 mm audio, mic
  • Dimensions (WxHxD): 226 x 488 x 465 mm (8.9 x 19.21 x 18.31 inches)
  • Weight: 8.2 kg

First Impressions

When viewed from the front the RL07 looks pretty conventional, with a solid front panel that is common to most mid-tower cases these days (other than the high-airflow models of course), punctuated by the red line down the middle that frames the split design when viewed off-angle.

DSC_0699.jpg

Continue reading our review of the SilverStone Redline Series RL07!

Corsair Introduces Crystal Series 280X RGB Micro-ATX Case

Subject: Cases and Cooling | June 4, 2018 - 10:13 AM |
Tagged: tempered glass, RGB, micro-atx, mATX, enclosure, Crystal Series, corsair, case, 280x

Corsair has unveiled a new micro-ATX enclosure at Computex with the Crystal Series 280X, available in RGB or non-RGB flavors, and sporting no fewer than three tempered glass panels (side, front, top).

unnamed.png

"With tempered glass panels in the front, side and roof, the Crystal 280X RGB provides a stunning view of your PC. Illuminated by two LL120 RGB fans, each featuring 16 RGB LEDs, the Crystal 280X RGB also includes a CORSAIR Lighting Node PRO digital RGB lighting controller, combining with powerful iCUE software to light up your PC in a dazzling array of patterns and effects. With 32 individually controllable LEDs to light up your system, and plentiful airflow to cool multi-core, multi-GPU systems, the Crystal 280X RGB is the clear choice for your next compact MATX system."

280X_RGB_WHT_BUILT_28.jpg

The Crystal 280X is a dual-chamber design, and supports full-length GPUs up to 300 mm, radiators up to 240 mm on the front and case floor with up to 280 mm rads up top, and offers support for 2x 3.5-inch and 3x 2.5-inch storage drives.

280X_RGB_WHT_BUILT_29.jpg

Available in white or black, the Crystal 280X will retail for $159.99 for the RGB version, and $109.99 for the version without RGB. It is available now from Corsair's official store.

A black review unit is being evaluated as we speak, so stay tuned for the full review!

Source: Corsair

NZXT Announces H500 and H500i Cases with Tempered Glass

Subject: Cases and Cooling | May 22, 2018 - 09:00 AM |
Tagged: tempered glass, nzxt, mid-tower, H500i, H500, enclosure, case, CAM, budget, affordable

NZXT has announced a pair of new cases with the H500 and H500i, mid-tower designs both featuring a tempered glass side panel. We looked at the previous H700i case a few months back, and these similar H500 cases combine elements of the H700i and popular S340 to create a pair of budget-friendly options at $69.99 for the standard model. and $99.99 for the CAM-powered H500i.

H500_BlackWhite-system-main.jpg

The NZXT H500 (left) and H500i (right, with optional vertical GPU bracket)

“With the H500, we’ve taken everything we learned from both our top-selling S340 line and our recent H Series products to offer an updated, feature rich chassis that continues our commitment to designing affordable premium hardware. From the stunning tempered glass to its durable all-steel construction, the H500 and H500i give builders of all levels everything they need to build an extraordinary gaming machine.”

NZXT breaks down the features of both models:

  • H500 / H500i features:
    • Modern design and builder-friendly features
    • Premium, all-steel construction with the sleek H Series aesthetic; available in four color combinations
    • Tempered glass side panel showcases your build
    • Wire management is made easy with an intuitive, patent-pending cable management system
    • Water-cooling installation is simplified using a removable bracket for either all-in-one CPU coolers or custom loop configurations

H500i_Black Blue-system side.jpg

Matte Black with Blue is one of four color options

  • H500i exclusive features:
    • The Smart Device, a built-in RGB and digital fan controller powered by CAM, delivers HUE+ and GRID+ functionality and includes two pre-installed fans and RGB LED strips.
    • An optional Adaptive Noise Reduction fan control mode in CAM measures CPU and GPU temperatures, as well as ambient and system component sound levels to create custom fan curves that optimize the balance between cooling and noise
    • Integrated, CAM-powered RGB lighting allows for dynamic personalization of each and every build
    • Vertical GPU mount (optional) showcases the gaming power inside

H500_Black White-open Side Straight.jpg

The H500 cases offer some of the integrated cable routing seen on the H700i

The new H500 series cases will be available "early June" and are offered in four color combinations: matte white, matte black. matte black/red, and matte black/blue. Pre-orders are available from NZXT's online store.

Source: NZXT
Manufacturer: BitFenix

Introduction and First Impressions

The Portal isn't a new case by any means, but it's still a unique mini-ITX offering from BitFenix that blends an unusual design with an easy build process thanks to a sliding "dual-frame" design for unfettered component access. It offers a compact footprint while still supporting a full-length graphics card, and the aluminum exterior provides light weight and a high-end appearance.

DSC_0606.jpg

Our review sample includes a top window to showcase the graphics card, and between the white finish and black trim and stand this case really stands out. How well did it perform? Read on to find out!


Specifications

  • Chassis Type: ITX Chassis
  • Colors: Black or White
  • Materials: Aluminum, SECC Steel, ABS, Transparent acrylic
  • Compatibility:
    • Motherboard: Mini-ITX
    • CPU Cooler: Up to 125mm Height
    • Graphic Card Length: Up to 300mm
    • Power Supply: SFX Form Factor
  • Storage Capacity: 
    • 3.5" HDD x2
    • 2.5" HDD 1+2
  • Cooling Capacity
    • (Front) 120mm x 1 (Included)
    • (Rear) 80mm x 1 (Included)
    • Radiator Capacity (Front): Up to 120mm
  • Front I/O ports: USB 3.0 x2, 3.5 mm Audio
  • Dimensions with stand (WxHxD): 247 x 395 x 411 mm (9.72 x 15.55 x 16.18 inches)
  • Weight 5.81 kg (12.81 lbs)

DSC_0613.jpg

The Portal doesn't look like your typical mini-tower mITX case, but there is just enough room for a full system inside.

Continue reading our review of the BitFenix Portal mini-ITX enclosure!

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.

DSC_0065-3.jpg

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.

DSC_0290.jpg

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!

DSC_0790.jpg

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.

DSC_0789.jpg

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