Subject: Cases and Cooling | June 4, 2018 - 10:13 AM | Sebastian Peak
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).
"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."
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.
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!
Subject: Cases and Cooling | May 22, 2018 - 09:00 AM | Sebastian Peak
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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!
- Chassis Type: ITX Chassis
- Colors: Black or White
- Materials: Aluminum, SECC Steel, ABS, Transparent acrylic
- 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)
- BitFenix Portal: $99.99, Amazon.com
The Portal doesn't look like your typical mini-tower mITX case, but there is just enough room for a full system inside.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
“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!
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!
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.
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.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | January 9, 2018 - 07:01 PM | Sebastian Peak
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.