Introduction and First Impressions
The GENOME is the world’s first computer case with an integrated liquid-cooling system, and this unique design allows users to simply drop in the main system components and have a complete system with liquid cooling loop (and with very little effort).
“One of the first things many of us look at when considering the purchase of a new case is whether it will accommodate the cooling subsystem that we’d like to install in our next build. Can you install big enough radiators? Is there room in the main interior space for the reservoir and pump that you have your eye on? How will it look when everything is put together? To improve PC user experience is why DEEPCOOL comes up with GENOME, which is a PC hardware component, consists of an ATX PC case and an extreme liquid cooling system.”
When I first heard about the GENOME I was nonplussed - wondering how I would even go about reviewing at since it defies conventional classification. It’s as much a CPU cooler as a case, and DEEPCOOL calls this simply a “cooling system”. But however you label it there is no doubt that this novel concept has the potential to produce a polished build with a minimal effort (if it is well-designed, of course).
If you have switched cases as often as I do (no one should - I do it once every week or two), you might appreciate any sort of labor-saving design in a case. As a reviewer moving a test system from one enclosure to the next, I just want an easy build with adequate clearance and good cable management (these requirements are true for most normal people as well). Some cases are much easier to build in that others, and I was very curious to see how something which sounds quite complex would actually come together.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | December 2, 2016 - 02:46 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: watercooling, tower 900, thermaltake, liquid cooling, E-ATX Case, case mods
Thermaltake is readying the Tower 900 for launch later this month. Clad in all-black or snow white, the Tower 900 was designed in concert with Watermod France to be modder and liquid cooling friendly with a design that allows enthusiasts to show off their DIY builds.
The upcoming Tower 900 series is part of Thermaltake’s TT Premium line and is constructed using a “dismantlable module design” that allows builder to completely strip the case down to the frame to make modding the various panels and pants easier. The case used a neat dual chamber design that puts the PC components front and center and the liquid cooling, power supply, and storage devices behind the motherboard chamber.
The front chamber is surrounded on three sides by 5mm thick tempered glass and holds up to E-ATX motherboards vertically and supports 260mm high CPU coolers and 400mm long graphics cards. There are 8 PCI expansion slots. In addition to the motherboard, the front chamber holds two 3.5”/2.5" drive trays that are visible through the case windows, two hidden 2.5" SSD mounts, and up to two large coolant reservoirs. Thermaltake suggests that the Tower 900 would work well with dual loop systems, and I tend to agree. Modders will be able to put together some very nice looking builds, especially if they use rigid tubing.
Other features include large rounded case feet, a single 5.25” drive bay nestled in the bottom of the front panel, and four USB 3.0 and one audio jack for front panel I/O up top.
Around back, the Tower 900 hosts a standard ATX power supply, up to four 3.5” or 2.5” drives in a hard drive cage (though you give up some radiator capacity on the right side if you use the HDD cage), and up to an impressive 480mm or 560mm (depending on if its 120mm or 140mm fans) radiator on both the left and right sides! In theory you could have a 560mm radiator for your multi GPU setup on one loop and 360mm radiator for the CPU on a second loop along with all four hard drives or if you can get by with the two 2.5” drives in the front chamber your CPU could also have a 480/560mm radiator of its own.
If you are into air cooling, the Tower 900 supports a total of 13 120mm or 140mm fans. One fan in the front chamber above the SSD drive trays, four on the left, four and four on the right in the back chamber, and two fans each on the top and bottom.
For those curious, the case measures 29.6” x 16.7” x 19” and weighs 54 pounds. Once it is full of water and PC components, you should probably team lift this monster heh. Additional photos and videos can be found here.
It certainly looks nice, and I can see a lot of potential for custom PCs. I am looking forward to seeing the full reviews as well as what enthusiasts are able to do with it!
Subject: Cases and Cooling | August 3, 2016 - 12:56 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: XSPC, water cooling, water block, roundup, raijintek, Phobya, liquid cooling, Heatkiller, cpu cooler, Alphacool
Computer Base (German language, Google-translated link here) has rounded up five CPU water blocks to see which might offer the highest performance on their Intel Core i7 3960X-equipped testbed.
Image credit: Computer Base
The tested water blocks include:
- Alphacool NexXxos XP3 Light V.2
- Phobya UC-2 LT
- Raijintek CWB-C1
- Heatkiller IV Pro Pure Copper
- XSPC Raystorm Pro
The review offers an thorough look at the design of each water block, as well as an interesting look at the effects of flow-rate on performance:
"The test has been shown that with increasing flow rate decreases the temperature difference of the water before and after heat sinks. However, the question arises whether a higher flow also has a positive effect on the cooling performance itself. A negative effect of increasing flow as well: Most pumps are unthrottled very loud to work, so that a reduced pump capacity is useful for a silent water cooling."
Subject: Graphics Cards, Cases and Cooling | May 10, 2016 - 08:55 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: water cooling, radeon pro duo, radeon, pro duo, liquid cooling, graphics cards, gpu cooler, gpu, EKWB, amd
While AMD's latest dual-GPU powerhouse comes with a rather beefy-looking liquid cooling system out of the box, the team at EK Water Blocks have nonetheless created their own full-cover block for the Pro Duo, which is now available in a pair of versions.
"Radeon™ has done it again by creating the fastest gaming card in the world. Improving over the Radeon™ R9 295 X2, the Radeon Pro Duo card is faster and uses the 3rd generation GCN architecture featuring asynchronous shaders enables the latest DirectX™ 12 and Vulkan™ titles to deliver amazing 4K and VR gaming experiences. And now EK Water Blocks made sure, the owners can get the best possible liquid cooling solution for the card as well!"
Nickel version (top), Acetal+Nickel version (bottom)
The blocks include a single-slot I/O bracket, which will allow the Pro Duo to fit in many more systems (and allow even more of them to be installed per motherboard!).
"EK-FC Radeon Pro Duo water block features EK unique central inlet split-flow cooling engine with a micro fin design for best possible cooling performance of both GPU cores. The block design also allows flawless operation with reversed water flow without adversely affecting the cooling performance. Moreover, such design offers great hydraulic performance, allowing this product to be used in liquid cooling systems using weaker water pumps.
The base is made of nickel-plated electrolytic copper while the top is made of quality POM Acetal or acrylic (depending on the variant). Screw-in brass standoffs are pre-installed and allow for safe installation procedure."
Suggested pricing is set at 155.95€ for the blocks (approx. $177 US), and they are "readily available for purchase through EK Webshop and Partner Reseller Network".
Subject: Mobile | April 21, 2016 - 06:56 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: windows 10, tablet, switch alpha 12, liquid cooling, convertible tablet, acer, 2-in-1
Acer has unveiled their latest detachable 2-in-1 tablet/laptop with the Switch Alpha 12, and this device features some impressive specs - not the least of which is a liquid-cooling loop for the CPU.
According to Acer, the Switch Alpha 12 "is the industry’s first fanless 2-in-1 notebook to use a 6th Generation Intel Core i7, Core i5 or Core i3 processor," and these Intel offerings power a 12-inch 2160x1440 resolution IPS display.
Acer offers this video to showcase the device's features, including the water cooling loop:
Storage will range from 128GB - 512GB, with memory available in either 4GB or 8GB capacities. The magnetically attached keyboard offers full-sized keys with 1.4mm travel, and a full touchpad, and overall battery life is said to be 8 hours. The unit is 11.5 x 7.93 x 0.62 inches, and weighs 2.76 pounds (with keyboard connected).
The CPU cooling loop (Image taken from Acer promo video)
As to pricing and availability, Acer states that the "Switch Alpha 12 will be available in North America in June starting at $599".
Subject: Cases and Cooling | March 30, 2016 - 09:40 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: water cooling, overclocking, liquid cooling, EKWB
The guys over at the Tech Report spotted a rather shiny product coming out soon from EKWB. The company is adding a nickel plated memory heat-spreader kit can be used to replace your existing heatspreaders and hook into a RAM waterblock like EKWB's own Monarch X2 to allow you to liquid cool your memory and add it to your custom cooling loop.
These new modules are similar to the existing black modules, but have a nickel plated finish that is particularly shiny (see the photo below). Each kit includes the parts to replace the heatspreaders on two memory modules. Thermal pads are used to facilitate heat transfer from the memory chips to the CNC'ed aluminum heatsinks.
Users can then screw a memory waterblock (EKWB specifies the Monarch X2 Acetel/Nickel) to the top of the replaced memory heat-spreaders. Heat is then transferred from the heatsinks to the block and finally to the water loop.
The new Monarch modules are available now for $34.99. The Monarch X2 waterblock adapter is a further $38.99 if you want to water cool the DRAM. Note that the existing black anodized heatsinks are a bit cheaper at $29.99.
The heatsinks certainly look nice, and while I can see reasons to liquid cool them for aesthetics or to play around with extreme overclocking water cooling your memory using them will get expensive in short order considering you need to buy both kits for every two memory DIMMs (I hope you don't have X99 with all slots populated heh).
If you really want to cool all the things and add a bit of 'bling' to your system look no further!
Subject: Graphics Cards, Systems | March 10, 2016 - 11:38 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: zotac, zbox, VR, SFF, nvidia, mini-pc, MAGNUS EN980, liquid cooling, GTX980, GTX 980, graphics, gpu, geforce
ZOTAC is teasing a new mini PC "ready for virtual reality" leading up to Cebit 2016, happening later this month. The ZBOX MAGNUS EN980 supplants the EN970 as the most powerful version of ZOTAC's gaming mini systems, and will come equipped with no less than an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980.
(Image via Guru3D)
Some questions remain ahead of a more formal announcemnent, and foremost among them is the version of the system's GTX 980. Is this the full desktop variant, or the GTX 980m? It seems to be the former, if we can read into the "factory-installed water-cooling solution", especially if that pertains to the GPU. In any case this will easily be the most powerful mini-PC ZOTAC has released, as even the current MAGNUS EN970 doesn't actually ship with a GTX 970 as the name would imply; rather, a GTX 960 handles discrete graphics duties according to the specs.
The MAGNUS EN980's GTX 980 GPU - mobile or not - will make this a formidable gaming system, paired as it is with a 6th-gen Intel Skylake CPU (the specific model was not mentioned in the press release; the current high-end EN970 with dicrete graphics uses the Intel Core i5-5200U). Other details include support for up to four displays via HDMI and DisplayPort, USB 3.0 and 3.1 Type-C inputs, and built-in 802.11ac wireless.
We'll have to wait until Cebit (which runs from March 14 - 18) for more details. Full press release after the break.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | November 5, 2015 - 09:28 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: water cooling, water block, liquid CPU cooler, liquid cooling, Lian Li, CPU Water Block, CB-01
Computer component manufacturers often diversify their offerings to stay competitive, but it's still surprising to see Lian Li enter the CPU cooling market - and with a water block, no less!
The CB-01 is the company's first water block, and it features support for all current sockets from Intel and AMD. Lian Li is emphasizing style and build quality with the new block, which adds support for LED lighting as well.
“The cold plate has a heart of solid copper in a nickel coating and a final layer of tin-cobalt for extra cooling, durability, and corrosion resistance. The top is a translucent acrylic block that visibly guides the cooling waters through the microchannels. The simple yet sturdy mounting fits virtually all modern and past motherboard sockets securely. For a bit of flare, there are holes pre-drilled for 5mm LED lights.”
CB-01 Features (from Lian Li):
- Lian Li style and craftsmanship in a CPU water block
- Copper heat sink with nickel and tin-cobalt plating
- G1/4” thread size
- Cold plate area 60×60mm
- Thinly cut microchannel with area of 32.2×27.3mm
- Supports all Intel sockets: LGA 1366/2011/1155/1156/775
- Supports AMD sockets: AM2+/AM3/AM3+/FM1/FM2
- 5mm LED mounting
Availability is listed as “coming soon”, and no MSRP was announced.
Subject: General Tech, Cases and Cooling | August 27, 2015 - 12:17 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: water cooling, liquid cooling, Intel, ek, AIO
EK (EK Water Blocks) is pouncing on the AIO liquid cooling market with its new EK-Predator series. The new cooler series combines the company's enthusiast parts into pre-filled and pre-assembled loops ready to cool Intel CPUs (AMD socket support is slated for next year). Specifically, EK is offering up the EK-Predator 240 and EK-Predator 360 which are coolers with a 240mm radiator and a 360mm radiator respectively.
The new coolers use copper radiators and EK Supremacy MX CPU blocks the latter of which has a polished copper base so there is no risk associated with using mixed metals in the loop. A 6W DDC pump drives the loop with the pump and a small reservoir attached to one side of the radiator (allegedly using a vibration dampening mounting system). EK ZMT (Zero Maintenance Tubing) 10/16mm tubing connects the CPU block to the pump/radiator/reservoir combo which uses standard G1/4 threaded ports.
EK pairs the radiator with two or three (depending on the model) EK-Vardar high static pressure fans. The fans and pump are PWM controlled and connect to a hub which is then connected to the PC motherboard's CPU fan header over a single cable. Then, a single SATA power cable from the power supply provides the necessary power to drive the pump and fans.
The EK-Predator 360 further adds quick disconnect (QDC) fittings to allow users to expand the loop to include, for example, GPU blocks. EK Water Blocks is reportedly working on compatible GPU blocks which will be available later this year that users will be able to easily tie into the EK-Predator 360 cooling loop.
Available for pre-order now, the EK-Predator 240 will be available September 23rd with an MSRP of $199 while the larger EK-Predator 360 is slated for an October 19th release at $239 MSRP.
If the expected performance is there, these units look to be a decent value that will allow enthusiasts to (pun intended) get their feet wet with liquid cooling with the opportunity to expand the loop as their knowledge and interest in water cooling grows. The EK-Predators are not a unique or new idea (other companies have offered water cooling kits for awhile) but coming pre-assembled and pre-filled makes it dead simple to get started and the parts should be of reputable quality. The one drawback I can see from the outset is that users will need to carefully measure their cases as the pump and reservoir being attached to the radiator means users will need more room than usual to fit the radiator. EK states in the PR that the 240mm rad should fit most cases, and is working with vendors on compatible cases for the 360mm radiator version, for what that's worth. Considering I spent a bit under $300 for my custom water cooling loop used, this new kit doesn't seem like a bad value so long as the parts are up to normal EK quality (barring that whole GPU block flaking thing which I luckily have not run into...).
What do you think about EK's foray into AIO water cooling? Are the new coolers predators or prey? (okay, I'll leave the puns to Scott!).
Subject: General Tech, Systems | June 1, 2015 - 07:30 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: steam os, living room gaming, liquid cooling, gaming, DIY, corsair, computex 2015, computex, barebones, 4k
Today at Computex, Corsair unveiled a new barebones gaming PC aimed at the living room. The compact Bulldog PC is an upgradeable barebones DIY kit that offers gamers an interesting base from which to build a living room PC capable of 4K gaming. The chassis resembles an overbuilt console in that it is a short but wide design with many angular edges and aesthetic touches including stylized black case feet and red accents surrounding the vents. A hidden panel in the lower right corner reveals two USB 3.0 ports and two audio jacks. It looks ready to fight in the next season of Robot Wars should you add a flamethrower or hydraulic flipper (heh).
The Bulldog kit consists of the chassis, motherboard, small form factor power supply, and a customized Hydro H55F series closed loop liquid CPU cooler. From there, users need to bring their own processor, RAM, and storage devices. There is no operating system included with the kit, but it, being a full PC, supports Windows, Linux, and SteamOS et al.
As far as graphics cards, Corsair is offering several liquid cooled NVIDIA graphics cards (initially only from MSI with other AIB partner cards to follow) that are ready to be installed in the Bulldog PC. Currently, users can choose from the GTX TITAN X, GTX 980, and GTX 970.
Alternatively, Corsair is offering a $99 (MSRP) upgrade kit for existing graphics cards with its Hydro H55 cooler and HG110 bracket.
The Bulldog case supports Mini ITX form factor motherboards and it appears that Corsair is including the Asus Z97I-Plus which is a socket 1150 board supporting Haswell-based Core processors, DDR3 memory, M.2 (though you have to take the board out of the case to install the drive since the slot is on the underside of the board), a single PCI-E 3.0 x16 slot, four SATA 6.0 Gbps ports, and the usual fare of I/O options including USB 3.0, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and optical and analog audio outputs (among others).
A mini ITX motherboard paired with the small from factor Corsair H55F CPU cooler (left) and the internal layout of the Bulldog case with all components installed (right).
User purchased processors are cooled by the included liquid cooler which is a customized Hydro series cooler that mounts over the processor and exhausts air blower style out of the back of the case. The system is powered by the pre-installed 600W Corsair FS600 power supply. The PSU is mounted in the front of the system and the graphics card radiator and fan are mounted horizontally beside it. Along the left side of the case are mounts for a single 2.5" drive and a single 3.5" drive.
GPU manufacturers will be selling card with liquid coolers pre-installed. Users can also upgrade existing air cooled graphics cards with an optional upgrade kit.
The liquid cooling aspect of the Bulldog is neat and, according to Corsair, is what is enabling them to cram so much hardware together into a relatively small case while enabling thermal headroom for overclocking and quieter operation versus air coolers.
I am curious how well the CPU cooler performs especially as far as noise levels go with the compacted and shrouded design. Also, while there is certainly plenty of ventilation along the sides of the case to draw in cool air, I'm interested in how well the GPU HSF will be able to exhaust the heat since there are no top grilles.
Corsair is marketing the Bulldog as the next step up from your typical Steam Machine and game console and the first 4K capable gaming PC designed for the living room. Further, it would be a nice stepping stone for console gamers to jump into PC gaming.
From the press release:
“Bulldog is designed to take the 4K gaming experience delivered by desktop gaming PCs, and bring it to the big 4K screens in the home,” said Andy Paul, CEO of Corsair Components. “We knew we needed to deliver a solution that was elegant, powerful, and compact. By leveraging our leading expertise in PC case design and liquid cooling, we met that goal with Bulldog. We can’t wait to unleash it on gamers this fall.”
The Bulldog DIY PC kit is slated for an early Q4 2015 launch with a MSRP of $399. After adding in a processor, memory, storage, and graphics, Corsair estimates a completed build to start around $940 with liquid cooled graphics ($600 without a dedicated GPU) and tops out at $2,250.
Keep in mind that the lowest tier liquid cooled GPU at launch will be the MSI GTX 970 (~$340). Users could get these prices down a bit with some smart shopping and component selection along with the optional $99 upgrade kit for other GPU options. It is also worth considering that the Bulldog is being positioned as a 4K gaming machine. If you were willing to start off with a 1080p setup, you could get buy with a cheaper graphics card and upgrade later along with your TV when 4K televisions are cheaper and more widespread.
At its core, $400 for the Bulldog kit (case, quality power supply, high end motherboard, and closed loop CPU cooler) is a decent value that just might entice some console gamers to explore the world of PC gaming (and to never leave following their first Steam sale heh)! It is a big commitment for sure at that price, but it looks like Corsair is using quality components and while there is surely the usual the small form factor part price premium (especially cases), it is far from obnoxious.
What do you think about the bulldog? Is it more bark than bite or is it a console killer?