Cooler Master Launches MasterBox NR400 and NR600 Cases

Subject: Cases and Cooling | March 19, 2019 - 03:35 PM |
Tagged: tempered glass, mesh, MasterBox NR600, MasterBox NR400, enclosure, cooler master, chassis, case, airflow

Cooler Master has launched a pair of new cases today with the MasterBox NR400 and the MasterBox NR600. These budget-friendly cases offer a minimalist approach with clean lines and no flashy lighting effects, and should offer good airflow with their full mesh front panels.

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The Cooler Master MasterBox NR600 is an ATX mid-tower

The MasterBox NR400 is the smaller of the two cases, supporting mini ITX and micro ATX motherboards, with the larger MasterBox NR600 offering support for standard ATX motherboards.

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Cooler Master provides this list of features for these two new NR series cases:

  • Minimalistic Mesh Design - Elegant design elements are applied to mesh for optimal thermal performance.
  • Optimal Thermal Performance – The full mesh front panel and ventilated top panel provide a high potential for thermal performance.
  • Flush Tempered Glass Side Panel – The tempered glass side panel, fastened by thumbscrews on the rear panel, keeps the surface completely flush.
  • Headset Jack – The single 4 pole headset jack features both audio and microphone capabilities simultaneously so separate jacks are not needed.
  • Graphics Card Support Up to 346mm (NR400) / 410mm (NR600) – Generous clearance space is provided to support the latest graphics cards.
  • Cable Management – High quality, longer length rubber grommets paired with generous clearance behind the motherboard offers ample room for cable management.

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"Thermal performance is at the core of the NR Series, with the combination of two pre-installed fans for intake and exhaust and the fine mesh front panel. Generous support for radiator mounting and unrestricted ventilation on the top and front panel ensure that even the most demanding components are efficiently cooled while the two USB 3.1 gen 1 ports at the top of the case provide ample connectivity for everyday use."

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The Cooler Master MasterBox NR400 is a smaller mATX design

The MasterBox NR400 has an MSRP of $59.99, with the NR600 at $69.99. Both cases are available for pre-sale today, though no listings have yet found their way to Amazon or Newegg at time of writing.

CORSAIR Launches the Carbide Series 678C Low-Noise ATX Case

Subject: Cases and Cooling | March 12, 2019 - 09:05 AM |
Tagged: SP140, quiet, mid-tower, enclosure, corsair, chassis, case, Carbide Series 678C, atx

Launching today alongside the Crystal Series 680X (see our review here), CORSAIR's Carbide Series 678C is designated a low-noise ATX case thanks to what CORSAIR says is extensive sound damping within the enclosure.

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We have the Carbide Series 678C in for review right now (the black version), and will have that available soon as we explore just how quiet this new enclosure is, and of course how effective the airflow is from the trio of included SP140 PWM fans as we measure temps from our test platform.

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Features of the Carbide Series 678C from CORSAIR:

  • Sophisticated Style: Defined by clean lines and smooth steel construction, with a crystal-clear
  • tempered glass side panel to show off your system’s components.
  • Extensive Sound Damping: Sound damping material on the side, front and roof panels ensure quiet operation – or swap in the included dust filter on the roof when performance is your top priority.
  • A Multitude of Cooling Options: Includes space for 360mm push/pull radiators in the front and roof, 280/240mm radiators on the floor, and 140/120mm radiators in the rear.
  • Massive Cooling Potential: Powerful and efficient airflow, with room to install up to 9x 120mm or 7x 140mm fans for massive cooling potential.
  • Take Command of Your Cooling: A PWM fan controller regulates three included SP140 PWM fans and up to three more. Reduce fan speed when you want keep your system quiet, or
  • increase when you want to push its performance.
  • High-Speed USB 3.1 Gen-2 Type-C Port: Front panel connector puts future-proof connectivity within easy reach.
  • Expand Your Storage Options: Install up to 6x 3.5in and 3x 2.5in drives. A versatile HDD/ODD design includes six modular trays that can be moved to eight mounting locations to give you the exact layout you want.
  • Easy Accessibility: Both the front panel and tempered glass side panel are hinged for tool-free easy access.

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One of my favorite aspects of both new cases launched by CORSAIR today are the hinged door panels, which make accessing the components a breeze.

The case is available with either a black or white finish, and as to pricing the new Carbide Series 678C case is squarely in the premium category, launching at $199.99.

Source: CORSAIR
Manufacturer: Corsair

Corsair has launched a pair of new enclosures today including the Crystal Series 680X RGB, a roomy dual-chamber design with plenty of tempered glass and RGB to keep things visually interesting. And we just so happen to have procured one before release, preparing our launch-day review secretly, and in the dead of night. And so it is that today we can, should, and will share this with you - or as soon as you move past this rambling opening paragraph and on to the meat of the review itself.

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As you may know the Crystal Series is a line of premium cases featuring multiple tempered-glass panels and RGB fans, and going back to 2016 we have reviewed the Crystal Series 570X, the smaller Crystal Series 460X, and most recently the Crystal Series 280X, a dual-chamber micro-ATX design. The new 680X RGB is also a dual-chamber enclosure, but on a much larger scale with support for up to EATX motherboards. It is available in both black and white finishes, and we opted for the white version to help set off the RGB fans.

The CORSAIR Crystal Series 680X RGB is a dual-chamber tempered glass ATX smart case that keeps your system running cool with room for up to eight fans and four radiators, including one 360mm. Enjoy superb airflow and brilliant RGB lighting from three LL120 RGB fans, controlled by an included CORSAIR Lighting Node PRO and powered by iCUE software. Show off a stunning view of your PC’s components with three tempered glass panels on the front, roof, and hinged side door, while an optional vertical GPU mount allows you to put your graphics card center stage. Make your next custom build incredibly easy and undeniably cool with the 680X RGB.

One of the things that stands out immediately with the Crystal Series 680X RGB are the clear glass panels, which make this feel a little more contemporary after a few years of varying degrees of dark tinting in most cases we've seen implementing tempered glass. But this is far more than another cases with a glass side panel (it also has a glass front and top panel), as its dual-chamber design - which has origins dating back to Corsair's Air 540 which we reviewed way back in 2013 - offers a level of room and ease of build that is quite a departure from the typical mid-tower design.

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Continue reading our review of the Corsair Crystal Series 680X RGB case

NZXT Announces H500 Overwatch Edition Mid-Tower Case

Subject: Cases and Cooling | February 19, 2019 - 10:02 AM |
Tagged: special edition, overwatch, nzxt, H500 Overwatch Edition, H500, gaming, enclosure, chassis, case

NZXT is announcing today that they have teamed up with Blizzard Entertainment for "the First Overwatch-themed PC chassis" with the new Overwatch Edition of their H500 mid-tower enclosure.

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"The new, special edition H500 Overwatch Edition midtower showcases NZXT’s signature design with a sleek look that any hero would be proud to have in their arsenal. Featuring an all-steel construction in black, a cable management system for streamlined building, and a luminous Overwatch logo on the front panel, this special H500 chassis is perfect for the Overwatch player looking to outfit their rig for battle."

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The Overwatch logo on the front panel is illuminated

NZXT lists these features for the H500 Overwatch Edition mid-tower case:

  • Features the iconic Black, White, and Orange colors of Overwatch
  • A luminous Overwatch logo brightly displayed on the front panel
  • Modern design and builder-friendly features
  • Premium, all-steel construction with the sleek H Series aesthetic
  • 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

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The new H500 Overwatch Edition mid-tower case is available globally from NZXT, with U.S. pricing set at $149.99.

Source: NZXT

be quiet! Dark Base 700 White Edition Enclosure at CES 2019

Subject: Cases and Cooling | January 9, 2019 - 03:24 AM |
Tagged: white, RGB, mid-tower, limited edition, inverted motherboard, enclosure, Dark Base 700, case, be quiet!

be quiet! has a limited-edition white version of their Dark Base 700 enclosure on display at CES 2019, combining high style and plenty of practical functionality in a premium mid-tower design.

Dark Base 700 marks one of the most critically acclaimed cases be quiet! ever designed. As a way to thank the loyal fans, the case is released in a white edition, limited to 3,000 pieces worldwide. The technical details remain untouched but be quiet! took great care to have a unified white finish on the different materials. For aesthetic reasons, the side window of the white edition is clear and not tinted.”

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This white version of the case offers the same features of the standard Dark Base 700, including a modular construction with a removable motherboard tray which can be inverted, and the tempered glass panel can be installed on either side based on standard/inverted configuration. The case also features a subtle RGB lighting integration that can be controlled manually or via motherboard header, and comes with a pair of Silent Wings 3 140 mm PWM fans pre-installed.

The Dark Base 700 White Edition features from be quiet! include:

  • Tempered glass side panel with rubber seal
  • Integrated RGB LEDs in the front with RGB controller and motherboard control option
  • State-of-the-art I/O panel with USB 3.1 Gen. 2 type C connector
  • High grade of versatility and modularity
  • Mainboard tray can be inverted
  • Motherboard tray can be used as a bench table
  • Side window can be installed on both sides as well
  • Removable fan bracket in the top for easy installation of fans or radiators
  • PSU shroud to hide cables and drives
  • Up to seven single HDD cages (three included)
  • Slot covers for unused HDD slots
  • Vertical GPU installation possible (riser not included)
  • Impeccable cooling and silence
  • Intelligent airflow with noise-dampening vents
  • Decoupled mainboard tray and hard drives
  • Sound insulation foam
  • Integrated 4-step dual-rail fan controller for up to 6x PWM fans

Launch timeframe is February 2019, with a retail of $189.

Source: be quiet!
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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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"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."

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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.

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Continue reading our review of the SilverStone Redline Series RL07!