Introduction and Case Exterior
The Define Mini C is the micro-ATX variant in Fractal Design's excellent Define series, and this compact chassis is nearly as small as some of the mini-ITX cases we've looked at in recent months. The advantages of micro-ATX for a small form-factor build are undeniable, including added expansion slots (and multi-GPU support), and more robust power delivery for greater CPU flexibility including AMD socket AM3/AM3+ support.
I freely admit to being a small form-factor enthusiast myself, and as much as I like mini-ITX, there are times when micro-ATX just makes sense. I mentioned AMD compatibility above, but even if you're building with Intel there are reasons to consider mATX. One of these is Intel's enthusiast platform, as X99 requires at least a micro-ATX board for quad-channel memory and greater PCIe flexibility. (Naturally, at least one mITX X99 board is available, but this is limited to a pair of memory slots and - of course - has just one PCIe slot.)
As soon as I unpacked the Define Mini C, I knew it would make a perfect home for the EVGA X99 Micro2 motherboard I had on hand. This micro-ATX board makes a compelling argument for the smaller form-factor, as very little is lost vs. full ATX. The Mini C (which sounds like the name of a mini-ITX product, but Fractal's mITX variant is the called Nano S - which I reviewed a few months back) should make a great home for a powerful compact system. Let's get started!
Subject: Cases and Cooling | November 22, 2016 - 11:17 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: windowed, mid-tower, enclosure, corsair, chassis, case, carbide, 270R
Corsair introduced three new enclosures yesterday, with the Crystal 570X (our review for this case is already live), Crystal 460X (review coming soon!), and this new Carbide Series 270R mid-tower.
"Solid, sleek and understated, the CORSAIR Carbide Series 270R offers all the essentials of a high-end PC case, while retaining a spacious internal layout and versatile cooling options. Available with either a huge transparent window or solid side panel, the 270R’s minimalist exterior hides an expansive interior that’s designed to make building a PC as easy as possible. Deep cable routing channels, numerous tie-down points and convieniently located drive bays combine with a dedicated cable routing compartment that surrounds the PSU, making clean and professional builds simple.
The 270R windowed comes equipped with a red-LED lit AF120 120mm intake fan and black AF120 120mm exhaust fan, while the 270R non-windowed ships with a single black AF120 120mm exhaust . Whichever you choose, the 270R offers great out-of-box cooling while also supporting a wealth of liquid cooling radiators and cooling upgrades. Able to mount upto a 360mm radiator in the front and a 240mm radiator in the roof, the 270R can accommodate almost anything your next PC might require, both now and in the future. It’s everything PC builders need for the essential PC build."
While the other two announced cases feature tempered glass designs, the Carbide 270R is a practical alternative for shoppers on a budget. It combines an understated exterior with an internal layout that Corsair is calling "builder-friendly", and offers a compelling solution with an MSRP of only $69.99.
Corsair lists these features:
- Builder-friendly with simple and intuitive internal layout.
- Versatile cooling options with space for multiple radiator configurations.
- Clean and minimalist exterior design.
- 270R Windowed includes 1x red-LED lit AF120 120mm intake fan and 1x black AF120 120mm exhaust fan.
- 270R Non-Windowed includes 1x black AF120 120mm exhaust fan.
- Built-in cable routing compartments enables clean builds.
- Direct Airflow Path™ provides airflow to the hottest components.
Our review of the Carbide Series 270R will be completed soon, so stay tuned!!
Subject: Cases and Cooling | November 21, 2016 - 01:15 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: atx, case, corsair, Crystal Series, enclosure, RGB, tempered glass, tower, 460X
The Corsair Crystal Series 460X RGB is very similar to the 570X model which Sebastian just posted a review of, though there are some noticeable differences. It is slightly smaller in all dimensions, at 440x220x464mm and the removable top is metal as opposed to glass, which has also allowed the relocation to the front of the top panel controls and inputs. The case does use the same PSU shroud as the 570X as well as suffering from the same strain of RGB disease and it will sell for $40 less than the 570X at $140. Take a look at TechPowerUp's full review to see which of the two cases you prefer.
"After the huge success of their other cases, Corsair have now released the Crystal series, which concentrates on a clean, modern design while still being functional to both air and liquid cooling enthusiasts.The first of the Crystal Series is the 460X which comes with comes with RGB fans and tempered glass."
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- Corsair Crystal 570X RGB chassis with with tempered glass @ Guru of 3D
- Corsair Crystal Series 570X RGB Tempered Glass Chassis @ Kitguru
- Lian Li PC-O9WX Tempered Glass Case @ Kitguru
- XFX Hard Swap Quick Change Fan Review @ OCC
- be quiet! Silent Base 600 Review @ OCC
Introduction and Exterior
Corsair has just dropped a trio of new cases into the market, and I happen to have all of them in my secret enclosure testing bunker. While reviews for the other two are in the pipeline, the first of these to be completed is this impressive new Crystal Series 570X. Not only does this case have tempered glass galore (and an ultra-premium look and feel), but it also features customizable RGB lighting effects.
Glass has clearly (pun intended) been trending in the case world of late, and there are more tempered glass options at affordable price points than ever. There is still room for a premium option or two, and Corsair joins the ranks of In Win for a high-style enclosure with this Crystal 570X. At first glance the case looks like it's mostly tempered glass, and for the most part the exterior is just that. Glass panels comprise front and back sides, as well as the front and top of the case. In fact, only the back and bottom panels of the Crystal 570X are steel.
Here are some key points for the Crystal 570X from Corsair:
- Four tempered glass panels on the sides of the case: Possibly the most beautiful case CORSAIR has ever made. With tempered glass enclosing the entire chassis, every component of your build is on display.
- Customizable lighting: Light up your build with brilliant LED effects. Three included SP120 RGB LED fans and included LED controller keeps your components running cool. Each fan is equipped with vivid, configurable LED lights, enabling you to personalize your build.
- Room for virtually anything: Mounting points for 6 case fans and fully compatible with 360mm, 280mm, and 120mm radiators. Removable fan trays in the front and top of the chassis allows for additional space or mounting cooling outside of the chassis.
- Cable management made simple: Cable routing channels with included velcro cable straps for clean cable management.
- Easy to clean: Easily access dust filters on front, top, and bottom mean you’ll never spend more than a minute getting dust out of your system.
Introduction and First Impressions
The Source S340 from NZXT has been one of my favorite enclosures since I reviewed it early in 2015, offering a fantastic price/performance proposition with a street price between $69 and $79. Fortunately, this outstanding compact ATX design isn't going anywhere, and since my original review NZXT has introduced a premium Designed by Razer version, and this new S340 Elite was released just last month.
What makes the Elite so, well, elite? There are some key changes with this new version, including a tempered glass side panel, VR support from an external HDMI port and an included puck for storing a VR headset and cables, as well as new plastic cable management clamps behind the motherboard tray, an extra SSD mount up front, and a pair of USB 2.0 ports along with the previous USB 3.0 ports up top. While the VR support won't be required for everyone, the tempered glass panel alone makes this an attractive option at its $99.99 retail price, which is a very modest $20 premium over the standard version's $79.99 MSRP.
This review will be a little less in-depth compared to the usual review, as the S340 chassis is unchanged internally from our full review last April. Still, there is enough new here to take a fresh look at the S340 Elite, and it will be good to test it again with the current testbench components and see how it has held up.
The tempered glass side panel is the star of the 340 Elite
Introduction and First Impressions
Corsair’s Carbide Series Air 740 is a high-airflow cube-like ATX case, and it has a different look and some different options compared to the previous Air 540. Both Air cases are dual-chamber designs, with tons of room behind the motherboard tray for storage and hiding cables (and watercooling components). The cube style might not be to everyone’s liking, but if you do like the aesthetics there is a lot of case to cover here. Let’s get started!
The original Carbide Air enclosure has been around for a few years, and Ryan reviewed Air 540 back in 2013. The new Air 740 is more a refinement than a new enclosure, and internally the two cases are very similar. Corsair has dropped the 5.25-inch external drive bays with the 740, and the door has a very nice hinged/latching design now. Style is a little more aggressive, but the fundamentals are the same: a cube design offering two large chambers, and generous venting to promote high airflow.
The Air 740 has a hinged, latching door
Subject: General Tech | October 19, 2016 - 03:14 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: phanteks, matx case, Enthoo Pro M, Enthoo, enclosure, atx case
Sebastian reviewed the Enthoo Pro M back in August, a well received case with a layout similar to an EVOLV ATX or Fractal Design Define S. Phanteks have recently updated the exterior of the case, replacing the plastic side window and panel with a side panel made completely of tempered glass. You can see how the upgraded model looks over at Kitguru. There is also a variant which looks the same as this model, but with an acrylic side panel for those concerned about the price or mistrusting of a glass side panel.
"The short version of this review is that Phanteks has given its Enthoo Pro M case a minor update and has changed the main side panel for a sheet of tempered glass. The slightly longer version is that Phanteks has revised its superb entry level Pro M case by replacing one of the few weak features, a flexible steel side panel with a so-so plastic window, with a gorgeous panel of tempered glass."
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- BitFenix Aurora Mid-Tower Tempered Glass @ eTeknix
- Deepcool Captain Genome Cooling System Review @ NikKTech
- ID-Cooling FrostFlow 240L Review @ OCC
- Alphacool Eisbaer 240 Expandable AIO @ Kitguru
- MSI Core Frozr L @ techPowerUp
Subject: Cases and Cooling | September 28, 2016 - 11:16 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: tempered glass, S340 Elite, S340, nzxt, enclosure, case, atx
NZXT has released a new, premium version of their excellent S340 mid-tower enclosure (which we reviewed last year), and the S340 Elite features a tempered-glass side panel, while case I/O now offers an HDMI port for VR builds.
"Expanding on the S340’s renowned durability, the S340 Elite features a tempered glass panel to showcase builds with crisp clarity. The top IO panel has been optimized with an HDMI port and additional USB ports for a streamlined VR experience. It includes a magnetic cable management puck to conveniently store VR or audio headsets with fast and flexible mounting access. The S340 Elite is strong, compact, and takes the S340 chassis to new heights."
NZXT lists the S340 Elite's main features, all new with this version of the enclosure:
- Tempered glass side panel: showcase your build
- VR cable management puck: move freely & clean cables
- Front VR accessibility: plugging your VR headset is easy & convenient
- Interior cable management clamps: easy cable management
- Additional SSD tray: increase storage options
As strong a performer as the original S340 was considering its affordable $69.99 price tag, and for a case with a full tempered-glass side panel the Elite version is priced very competitively at $99.99. A $30 premium for the added features seems like a very good tradeoff, and we already have one of these new S340 Elite enclosures in for testing, so expect a full review soon!
Introduction and Specifications
The Primera Series PM01 is a new tower enclosure from SilverStone which combines sleek looks and integrated LED lighting.
It's been a little while since we've taken a look at a new case from SilverStone, and the company has certainly not been idle during this time. The case we have for you today is the first model from the new Primera Series, which offers "the feel of a luxurious supercar" from its angular lines and mesh grills, and it features an impressive piano black high gloss finish (a white version is also available).
The PM01 is also equipped with a trio of 140 mm intake fans, which in our black review sample are outfitted with red LED lights (the white version contains blue lighting). In addition to the front fans, the case has integrated LED lighting strips above and beneath the large side panel window, and the lighting effects can be controlled with a 4-position selector button on the top of the case.
SilverStone lists these features for the PM01 enclosure:
- Includes three 140mm LED fans and built-in LED strips for stunning visual impact
- Oversized front panel mesh design inspired by supercar intake grill
- Support two 240/280/360mm radiator for AIO liquid cooler or custom water cooling
- Reserved water tank mounting holes for water cooling setup
- Removable filters with positive air pressure design for dust reduction
- Built-in 4-segment LED light controller to adjustable brightness and modes
- Super clean internal look with PSU and drive bay cover
- Includes 10-in-1 fan hub for fan cable management
The metal mesh front and rear exhaust suggest excellent airflow, and we will find out just how effectively this new case can cool a gaming build - and how quietly it does so.
Introduction and Specifications
The Phanteks Enthoo Primo is a massive full-tower case with a monolithic appearance, and a ton of cooling support. It's tall, heavy, and certainly looks every bit the premium enclosure the price tag indicates. So how did it perform? Read on to find out!
We've reviewed other cases in the Enthoo series from Phanteks, and these have been a solid choice in their respective price ranges. The cases we've looked at offer excellent construction, nice appearance, and excellent component support. The Enthoo Primo sits at the top of the lineup, and it looks it; a nearly 26-inch tall case that is nearly as deep, it's so large it even has a second ATX power supply mount (a dual PSU adapter is offered as a separate purchase).
So what market does this Enthoo Primo case serve? It could house any sort of enthusiast or high-end workstation/server setup, supporting EATX and even SSI EEB motherboard form-factors. There's a ridiculous amount of liquid cooling potential, though given its size the average all-in-one cooler will need to stay close to the processor given the length of typical AIO cooler hoses. This thing is begging for a custom watercooling loop (sorry, I didn't oblige in this review).
The Enthoo Primo is fitted with an aluminum faceplate