Alphacool Eisbaer 240 CPU Cooler, the Germanic Icewind

Subject: Cases and Cooling | August 16, 2016 - 02:23 PM |
Tagged: Alphacool, Eisbaer 240, AIO, watercooler

Alphacool's Eisbaer 240 AiO CPU watercooler sports a dual 120mm bay radiator along with a DC-LT pump.  The tubing is also designed by Alphacool and sports an interesting quick disconnect coupling which allows you to integrate another radiator, reservoir, or even an entire second loop for your GPU if you so desire.  As well the fluid reservoir on the waterblock features a window to allow you to quickly check your water levels and to see if there are any bubbles present in your loop.  All of this sounds good but the question of performance remains; stop by Hardware Canucks to see this impressive cooler in action.


"Prebuilt AIO or a potentially complicated custom loop? Alphacool believes we shouldn't have to choose and their Eisbaer 240 combines both under one roof and could blaze a new trail."

Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:


be quiet!'s Silent Base 800, moderate price and moderate features

Subject: Cases and Cooling | August 10, 2016 - 01:38 PM |
Tagged: be quiet!, Silent Base 800

It has been quite a while since Lee's review of the be quiet! Silent Base 800 so it is worth revisiting this case over at The Tech Report.  The price has not changed from the original launch but there do seem to be more colours available, up to and including orange. There are several features which could influence you to purchase the case, top mounted I/O ports and power button and the Pure Wings 2 fans included in the case.  On the other hand there is a distinctive lack of a reset button and the case is rather narrow and extra large GPUs will require the removal of drive cages.  Check out the full review to see whether this case holds any interest for you.


"be quiet!'s Silent Base 800 full tower case features extensive silencing features throughout for quiet operation. We tested this case to see whether be quiet!'s noise-killing efforts deliver."

Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:


BitFenix Announces the Aurora Enclosure with Tempered Glass and RGB Lighting

Subject: Cases and Cooling | August 10, 2016 - 09:54 AM |
Tagged: tempered glass, SSD Chroma, RGB, mid tower, enclosure, e-atx, chassis, case, bitfenix, aurora, ASUS Aura

BitFenix has announced the Aurora chassis, their latest enclosure which features tempered glass side panels and RGB lighting effects.


Both sides of the Aurora are covered by tempered glass, with the component side a clear panel, and the back a dark-tinted panel to help hide cables behind the motherboard tray.


One interesting feature is called “SSD Chroma”. BitFenix explains:

“‘ASUS AURA’ certified ‘RGB Chroma Control and SSD Chroma’ are co-developed with Asus Republic of Gamers giving you the ability to customize and illuminate the SSDs.”


Specifications and highlights from BitFenix:

  • Colors: Black│White
  • Materials: Steel, ABS
  • Supported Motherboards: E-ATX│ATX│M-ATX│Mini-ITX
  • Expansion Slots: 7
  • Drive Bays:
    • 3.5”: 2 + 2
    • 2.5”: 2 + 1
  • Cooling:
    • Front: 120mm x 2 or 140mm x 2
    • Rear: 120mm x 1 (Included)
    • Top: 120mm x 2 or 140mm x 2
  • Component Clearance:
    • CPU Cooler: Up to 160mm height
    • Graphic Card Length: Up to 400mm
    • Power Supply: Up to 220mm
  • I/O: USB 3.0 x 2│USB 2.0 x 2│HD Audio MIC & Headphone
  • Weight: 10.58kg
  • Dimensions: 215 x 490 x 520mm

Highlights: BitFenix LED Lighting Controller & SSD Lighting Bracket│20-25mm Cable Management Space│Graphic Length up to 400mm│Support Dual 280mm radiator│Removable HDD cage│Removable PSU Dust Filter

Pricing and availablility for this new BitFenix Aurora are not yet known late August and $99 US.

Source: BitFenix

High-End CPU Cooling Roundup: 5 Water Blocks Compared at ComputerBase

Subject: Cases and Cooling | August 3, 2016 - 12:56 PM |
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."

Read more at the source link (translated).

GamersNexus Disassembles an EVGA Hybrid Liquid Cooler

Subject: Cases and Cooling | August 1, 2016 - 09:38 PM |
Tagged: evga, asetek, liquid cooler, closed-loop

Well this is interesting. GamersNexus has about a twenty minute video (and a couple-page editorial) where they disassemble an Asetek / EVGA liquid cooler for GPUs. He spends the first half of the video with a discussion of previous videos, an overview of the industry and its split between vendors and manufacturers, and an explanation of various components including the difference between CPU and GPU plates. The second half of the video disassembles the cooler, talking about it as he goes.

The disassembly begins at ~9 minutes.

The availability of closed-loop coolers introduced me to water cooling. While I could be very careful to do everything right, I just don't trust myself to assemble a liquid-filled (non-conducting or otherwise) component that close to electronics. Part of that could be attributed to my childhood, where a dead PC meant no computer for x number of weeks, or months, because we could barely afford one at all. An assembled (and warrantied) cooler, though, while still intimidating when the tubes get even slightly torqued, is clearly designed to go in hassle-free and remain working without maintenance. That's a good part of why, while it's pretty obvious what is inside these units, seeing it first-hand is fascinating (at least for me).

Source: GamersNexus

Seasonic Flagship PRIME 750W, when they upgrade they mean business

Subject: Cases and Cooling | July 25, 2016 - 04:53 PM |
Tagged: modular psu, Seasonic PRIME, 750w

It has been about a year since Seasonic released a brand new PSU as they do not tend to flood the market with incremental upgrades to their PSU families.  While this may hurt their business a little as newer users do not see reviews or advertisements frequently, long term enthusiasts take note when a new PSU arrives.  This fully modular PSU offers a single 12V rail capable of delivering 744W @ 62A and offers six 6+2 PCIe power cables, it even still has a floppy connector for those desperate times when you need to pull one out.  [H]ard|OCP strapped the PSU to their torture bench and this Seasonic unit came out with a Gold medal.  Check out the full review here.


"Seasonic has never been big on marketing-speak. Outside of its impressive specifications, and a list of features, this is all it has to say. "The creation of the PRIME Series is a renewed testimony of Seasonic's determination to push the limits of power supply design in every aspect." Let's see if that is true, or the shortest sales pitch ever."

Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:


Source: [H]ard|OCP

Video Perspective: EVGA DG-87 Case Preview

Subject: Cases and Cooling | July 22, 2016 - 05:50 PM |
Tagged: video, huge, evga, dg-87, dg-8, case

EVGA started showing off designs for a unique, and enormous, case in 2015. It has since been rebranded and has undergone some minor work at the plastic surgeon to emerge as the EVGA DG-8 series of chassis. EVGA sent me the flagship model, the DG-87, that features an integrated fan controller to operate intake and exhaust airflow individually. EVGA took some interesting chances with this design: it's bigger than just about anything we have ever used, it rotates the case orientation by 90 degrees so that what was normally your side panel window is now facing you and it routes all of your cables and connections through a side section and out the back side of the case. 

If you haven't seen it before, this video is worth a watch. Expect a full review sometime in August!

Scythe's Fuma cooler, stocky and quiet but not ready for overclocking contests

Subject: Cases and Cooling | July 20, 2016 - 04:12 PM |
Tagged: scythe, fuma, heatsink

Scythe's Fuma heatsink is a fair size at 137x149x130mm with a weight of 920g, including the two 120mm fans, though shorter than many on the market.  That stock design could cause some problems if your RAM has impressively sized heatsinks but for most modules you should not have any issues and it does not impinge on your first PCIe slot.  In the tests Modders-Inc performed reasonably well when cooling an i7-4770k at stock speeds, unfortunately an overclock of 4.4GHz did see the cooler struggle and the CPU frequency was throttled back almost immediately.  For lesser loads the low RPM fans will be able to keep your temperatures reasonable and do so without creating much noise.  If you have a midranged CPU and want a quiet cooler in the $55 range, drop by to check out the full review.


"Heatsink designs are driven by the fundamental principle that a larger surface area equates to better heat dissipation than a smaller area. Factoring in componential consent, modern aftermarket CPU tower heatsinks had to get creative to compensate and dial-in the efficiency needed, hence the rise of dual-tower cooler designs"

Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:


Source: Modders Inc

Corsair's SFX PSU, the SF600 600W

Subject: Cases and Cooling | July 12, 2016 - 04:00 PM |
Tagged: small form factor, SFX, SF600, SF Series, PSU, 80 Plus Gold

Lee reviewed the Corsair SF600 back in June but you might not have been shopping for a new PSU, especially a SFF one.  Take another look at the performance of this PSU over at [H]ard|OCP, which should be enough to power an RX480 or GTX1070 based system if you are eyeing a new system build.  They agreed with our results, giving out a Gold Award but also mentioning the SilverStone SX600-G, an older PSU with a smaller price tag and a feature or two that might interest you more than Corsair's new PSU.


"Corsair has gotten into making computers smaller lately with its Bulldog 4K Living Room Gaming System, and now it is going to share its SF600 power supply that follows the SFX standard form factor, which is tiny for a 600 watt PSU. Given its diminutive stature, has Corsair packed it to the gills with good power?"

Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:


Source: [H]ard|OCP

Corsair Releases ML Series Fans With Magnetic Levitation Bearings

Subject: Cases and Cooling | July 12, 2016 - 09:42 AM |
Tagged: magnetic levitation, fans, Corsair ML Series, corsair, case fan, air cooling

Corsair has announced the launch of their ML Series fans, which use the company's new Magnetic Levitation Bearing, along with a custom rotor design. Corsair says this combination will "deliver higher airflow, lower noise and better cooling".


Corsair ML Series fans (Image credit: Corsair)

"When powered, the magnetic levitation bearing completely suspends the fan blades from the motor housing, delivering almost frictionless operation. The huge reduction in friction, in comparison to all conventional physical contact bearings, allows the ML Series to offer lower noise at higher RPMs giving PC Enthusiasts a true no-compromise fan."

Corsair will offer 10 variants of this new ML Series, with 120 and 140 mm versions in different colors, as well as RGB options (of course!).


Corsair ML120 Pro LED in white (Image credit: Corsair)

"ML Series also provides next-level fan customization. ML PRO fans feature removable color co-coordinated corners fitted to the fan’s vibration dampening rubber grommets, allowing easy color matching to accent your build’s color scheme. ML PRO LED goes even further, mounting four ultra-bright LEDs into the central fan hub to radiate vibrant, even lighting through the fan’s frosted blades."

As to performance, Corsair offers this information from their press release:

"All ML fans offer a huge PWM range, giving users total control over how their fans perform. Value silence above all else? At their lowest speed of 400 RPM, the ML Series will push more airflow at near silent 16 dBA (decibel A-weighting). Performance junkie? ML Series fans push up to 97 CFM (cubic feet per minute) of air. Be it a low noise case, high density radiator or anywhere in-between, the ML Series delivers best-in-class performance."

Corsair provides this video for the launch of the ML Series:

The fans are available immediately, and prices start at $24.99 for a single ML120 Pro fan, with 2-packs of the standard version starting at $34.99

Source: Corsair

Phononic's New Hex 2.0 TEC Is CPU Cooling Alternative For SFF Systems

Subject: Cases and Cooling | July 9, 2016 - 05:57 PM |
Tagged: thermoelectric, SFF, air cooling, TEC, mini ITX, phononic

An interesting cooling option for small form factor systems popped up in my email recently that is a new twist on an old technology. A company called Phononic has developed the Hex 2.0 which is a compact heatsink that pairs a tower air cooler with a TEC baseplate. At 810 grams and measuring 125 mm tall, the Hex 2.0 is Mini ITX friendly and is claimed to be competitive with closed loop water coolers with up to 240mm radiators (more on that below).

Phononic Hex 2 TEC Cooler.jpg

Hex 2.0 uses many of the same high quality components and design choices of traditional tower air coolers. A shrouded 92mm fan is sandwiched between two aluminum heatsinks with 40 fins each. There are eight 6mm heatpipes  that pull heat from the hot side of the thermoelectric (TEC) cooler and dissipate the heat. The TEC (which has a copper baseplate) uses an electric current and two dissimilar conductors and the principle of electron transport to pull heat from the “cold side” of the cooler to the “hot side” of the cooler. That hot side then needs to be cooled, and Phononic has chosen to use a tower air cooler for the job (people in the past have also paired TECs with water loops). The TEC is the notable bit about the Hex 2.0, and is what allows the small heatsink to offer as much cooling performance as it does in such a small package.

Hex 2.0 has connections for a 4-pin CPU_Fan connector, Mini USB for software monitoring and control, and a 6-pin PCI-E power connector. The four pin controls the 92mm fan which typically idles at 1000 RPM but can max out at 2,650 RPM, 33 dBA, and 44 CFM. The Mini USB connects to the motherboard and users can use a dashboard application to monitor the cooler, choose a cooling mode (to balance noise and performance), and control the LEDs on the cooler. The 6-pin connector powers the TEC cooler which appears to be capable of drawing up to 35W of power. The fan is able to spin down to zero RPM when the processor is not under load as the TEC and heatsink is able to pull and dissipate enough heat without the fan though the exact point where it would need to turn on will depend on your case and its own airflow.

Interestingly, this product is already available and reviews have already been posted around the net. According to TweakTown, the Hex 2.0 does indeed compete with 120mm liquid coolers such as the Silverstone Tundra TD03 (which is a decent cooler that I’ve used before) and Antec Kuhler H20 1250 (I’ve not tested that one but Morry did a full review of it). When placed in “insane mode” and the fan is allowed to spin up to maximum RPMs, the Hex 2.0 thermoelectric cooler actually beats the 240mm Corsair H100i GTX in quiet mode. While it will be louder, that is pretty impressive to see a 92mm fan HSF up there in cooling performance with a much larger water cooler!

This cooler is nicely packaged in a silver aluminum and black nickel plated aesthetic. Cooling performance seems to make it a possible alternative cooling option for SFF builds that can give you similar cooling performance in a case where a pump and radiator would be difficult or impossible for fit. That’s the upside. The downside to this cooler is the price. At $149.99, this is going to be a tough sell though it is not entirely unexpected considering the niche nature of it. The 1 year warranty leaves a lot be desired as well, I would have liked to see something a bit longer especially at that premium price.

What are your thoughts on this pint sized TEC(h)?

Source: Phononic

Silverstone's TD03-SLIM, small and quiet AIO watercooling for your SFF systems

Subject: Cases and Cooling | July 8, 2016 - 03:46 PM |
Tagged: Silverstone, TD03-SLIM, AIO, SFF

Silverstone's TD03-SLIM AIO cooler is designed to fit in anyone's case, and their budget as well.  The radiator is a mere 153x120x22mm, a measurement which includes the fan and the tube is 310mm in length to allow you flexibility when placing it in your system.  The size does mean that it cannot cool as effectively as larger AIO watercoolers and should not be used in overclocked systems, however it does operate more quietly than other coolers of similar size.  Drop by Modders-Inc for a closer look.


"One of the good things about AIO CPU coolers is that you do not have to worry about component clearance for the most part on your motherboard. Since memory manufacturers have all but given up making sensibly sized RAM heatspreaders the standard, AIO's have become the cooler of choice for many."

Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:


Source: Modders Inc

CoolChip Technologies Teases New Kinetic Cooler For Skylake Processors

Subject: Cases and Cooling | July 4, 2016 - 02:11 AM |
Tagged: Skylake, passive cooling, kinetic cooling, kinetic cooler, hsf, coolchip

Early last year startup CoolChip Technologies partnered with Cooler Master to show off a prototype kinetic cooler at CES 2015. The two companies were allegedly working on a new processor heatsink that would be priced in line with current heatsink + fan designs but would be smaller, quieter, and less prone to collecting dust! Unfortunately that revolutionary HSF product never materialized (just like the Sandia Labs prototype), and while we may still see that cooler some day it appears like it is not going to be anytime soon. With that said, it is not all bad news for fans of these promising processor coolers, because if a recent social media tease by the startup is any indication CoolChip technologies has decided to move forward with its own branded kinetic cooler!

Specifically, CoolChip teased a new and upcoming product launch aimed at cooling Intel Skylake CPUs with up to 70W TDPs. Along with the statement that the kinetic cooler is “coming soon!” the company posted three images of the new cooler, and it looks awesome.

CoolChip 1U Low Profile Kinetic Cooler.jpg

Resembling something a Predator might be using to cool their PC, the CoolChip cooler has a stationary base plate with a motor that spins a small array of fins in a manner that facilitates heat transfer from the base plate to the spinning heatsink (which is in lieu of a fan -- the heatsink is the fan) via a very thin layer of air that keeps the heatsink balanced as well. That spinning heatsink portion is then further surrounded by stationary rings of fins likely connected to the base plate using heatpipes for that extra bit of cooling potential. The inner impeller (vertical) fins are angled one direction while the outer stationary ring of horizontal fins are angled the opposite direction. The impeller pulls cool air in and pushes it outwards through the stationary fins and out into the case where case fans will then exhaust that hot air out of the case. CoolChips has an animated illustration of how this impeller design cools versus a traditional heatsink and fan design which is available on their website.

Other features of the small kinetic cooler include a braided cable with fan header to get power from the CPU_Fan header on the motherboard. It is not clear if this connector is 4 pin and supports PWM or not though. One of the more promising bits of this teaser is the photo of the cooler in retail packaging which adds at least a little bit of credence that we might actually see this product launch at some point. The package appears to include the 1U Low Profile Kinetic Cooler itself, a motherboard backplate, and a small tube of thermal paste (TIM).

Possibly the coolest (heh) part of this teased product is the third photo which suggests that there will be multiple color options for the impeller which would allow users to customize the heatsink color to match their PC’s design scheme.

CoolChip 1U Low Profile Kinetic Cooler Color Options.jpg

You can check out the post for yourself here. I am really excited to finally see new information on kinetic cooling, and this CoolChip cooler in particular looks really interesting and I hope that it actually materializes and I can finally read some reviews on it! What are your thoughts on kinetic cooling for PCs?

Also read:

Das Keyboard 5Q Kickstarter Announced

Subject: Cases and Cooling | June 30, 2016 - 03:14 PM |
Tagged: das keyboard, mechanical keyboard, Omron, RGB LED

Das Keyboard has just launched a crowd-funding campaign for their new Das Keyboard 5Q. The company is known to make high-end keyboards with a focus on productivity, even to the point of marketing some models with blank keycaps to force users to learn QWERTY. This model is an “extra bright” RGB LED keyboard that uses these lights to deliver data to the user's peripheral vision (because you're not looking at your keyboard while you type, right?)


Over the last year or so, RGB LED peripherals have become more commonplace. A new RGB LED keyboard from a gaming company will come in at around the $120 - $170 USD price range. Das is known to be on the higher end of the pricing curve, though. The Das Keyboard 5Q is expected to retail for $229 (although backers perks starting at $109 contain the keyboard -- and Das Keyboard is an established company, so it seems likely that these rewards will be fulfilled).

What you're getting for this cost is a high-quality, mechanical keyboard (with Omron switches) that has an open API. Their examples range from slowly alerting you of notifications, which can be expanded with a press of the volume button, to displaying your CPU load. Their pitch is that you cannot dismiss your keyboard and it's always on your desk, so, using color, it can continually notify you how much free time you have until something needs your attention. You'll need to decide for yourself if that seems reasonable and will help you be productive, or if it will just add to your anxiety, preventing you from zoning out into a good chunk of work.

As always, Kickstarters are backing products, not purchasing them, but Das Keyboard expects backers to receive their keyboards by January 2017.

Cooler Master MasterBox 5, Canada Model because that makes it cooler

Subject: Cases and Cooling | June 28, 2016 - 01:57 PM |
Tagged: cooler master, MasterBox 5

The Cooler Master MasterBox 5 is not a small case, at 450x220x440mm it will fit up to eATX motherboards, radiators of up to 280mm on the front, or 360mm with an adapter.  The lower price point means that there is a lack of grommets, however the empty spaces in the backplate allow you a lot of flexibility for cable management and watercooling paths.  The size will also allow you to install any GPU or CPU cooler on the market, not to mention making installation of your system easier.  You can see Modders Inc's full review here.


"Cooler Master's current chassis line prioritize function and its design aim is to provide users with the flexibility to make any system they want inside. As part of Cooler Master's massive streamlining process beginning from last year, the simplified look is a distillation of what a Cooler Master case is at its core."

Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:


Source: Modders Inc

ASUS Responds to GTX 1080 "Reviewer VBIOS" Concerns

Subject: Cases and Cooling | June 17, 2016 - 12:52 PM |
Tagged: asus, GTX 1080, strix, vbios

Yesterday, there were several news stories posted on TechpowerUp and others claiming that ASUS and MSI were sending out review samples of GTX 1080 and GTX 1070 graphics cards with higher clock speeds than retail parts. The insinuation of course is that ASUS was cheating, overclocking the cards going to media for reviews in order to artificially represent performance.


Image source: Techpowerup

MSI and ASUS have been sending us review samples for their graphics cards with higher clock speeds out of the box, than what consumers get out of the box. The cards TechPowerUp has been receiving run at a higher software-defined clock speed profile than what consumers get out of the box. Consumers have access to the higher clock speed profile, too, but only if they install a custom app by the companies, and enable that profile. This, we feel, is not 100% representative of retail cards, and is questionable tactics by the two companies. This BIOS tweaking could also open the door to more elaborate changes like a quieter fan profile or different power management.

There was, and should be, a legitimate concern about these types of moves. Vendor one-up-manship could lead to an arms race of stupidity, similar to what we saw on motherboards and base frequencies years ago, where CPUs would run at 101.5 MHz base clock rather than 100 MHz (resulting in a 40-50 MHz total clock speed change) giving that board a slight performance advantage. However, the differences we are talking about with the GTX 1080 scandal are very small.

  • Retail VBIOS base clock: 1683 MHz
  • Media VBIOS base clock: 1709 MHz
  • Delta: 1.5%

And in reality, that 1.5% clock speed difference (along with the 1% memory clock rate difference) MIGHT result in ~1% of real-world performance changes. Those higher clock speeds are easily accessible to consumers by enabling the "OC Mode" in the ASUS GPU Tweak II software shipped with the graphics card. And the review sample cards can also be adjusted down to the shipping clock speeds through the same channel.


ASUS sent along its official statement on the issue.

ASUS ROG Strix GeForce GTX 1080 and GTX 1070 graphics cards come with exclusive GPU Tweak II software, which provides silent, gaming, and OC modes allowing users to select a performance profile that suits their requirements. Users can apply these modes easily from within GPU Tweak II.
The press samples for the ASUS ROG Strix GeForce GTX 1080 OC and ASUS ROG Strix GeForce GTX 1070 OC cards are set to “OC Mode” by default. To save media time and effort, OC mode is enabled by default as we are well aware our graphics cards will be reviewed primarily on maximum performance. And when in OC mode, we can showcase both the maximum performance and the effectiveness of our cooling solution.
Retail products are in “Gaming Mode” by default, which allows gamers to experience the optimal balance between performance and silent operation. We encourage end-users to try GPU Tweak II and adjust between the available modes, to find the best mode according to personal needs or preferences.
For both the press samples and retail cards, all these modes can be selected through the GPU Tweak II software. There are no differences between the samples we sent out to media and the retail channels in terms of hardware and performance.

While I don't believe that ASUS' intentions were entirely to save me time in my review, and I think that the majority of gamers paying $600+ for a graphics card would be willing to enable the OC mode through software, it's clearly a bad move on ASUS' part to have done this. Having a process in place at all to create a deviation from retail cards on press hardware is questionable, other than checking for functionality to avoid shipping DOA hardware to someone on a deadline. 

As of today I have been sent updated VBIOS for the GTX 1080 and GTX 1070 that put them into exact same mode as the retail cards consumers can purchase. 

We are still waiting for a direct response from MSI on the issue as well.

Hopefully this debacle will keep other vendors from attempting to do anything like this in the future. We don't need any kind of "quake/quack" in our lives today.

Silverstone expands their Argon series with the AR08

Subject: Cases and Cooling | June 15, 2016 - 03:48 PM |
Tagged: Argon Series, Silverstone, AR08

We have seen numerous examples of SilverStone's Argon series of heatsinks, dating back to the AR01 which Morry reviewed in 2014.  The AR08 is a new member of the series, 285g and 92x50x134mm with a 92mm fan and a $35 price tag.  The small size and price make a good choice for those on a budget and who chose a smaller case which precludes the use of a Morry special cooler.  As you might expect, the competition for this cooler is the stock cooler which came with your processor, which in [H]ard|OCP's testing that would be an i7-4770K.  Check out the full review to see how well it can outperform the stock cooler, in both heat and sound management.


"SilverStone's Argon Series AR08 looks to address those building a budget mid-level computer that balances performance and budget. It does however bring some enthusiast features with it like direct contact heatpipes, a 92mm PWM "diamond edged" fan, and noise dampening technologies. "

Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:


Source: [H]ard|OCP

iBuypower Demos Project Snowblind

Subject: Cases and Cooling | June 7, 2016 - 08:30 AM |
Tagged: project snowblind, ibuypower

So... how an LCD works is quite interesting. They do not produce light, but rather, they block it. On televisions and monitors, they are put in front of colored filters that, themselves, are in front of a white (give-or-take) light source. When they are fully open, you see the subpixel's value of red, green, or blue. When they are fully closed, you see as black as the panel is capable of producing.

This brings us to Project Snowblind, which iBuypower demoed at Computex 2016. Again, we didn't have a physical presence there (Ryan was about 500 miles away in Macau at the time) but other sites did, so we're embedding PCGamer's video below. Basically, they put an LCD panel -- just the shutter part -- on the case's side window. This allows them to output a mask over the view into your components, even with animation. They apparently even successfully made it tint the light as it passes through somehow.

Video Credit: PCGamer

The technology currently dedicates an HDMI port to itself, which could be a scarce resource for multi-monitor users with a single graphics card, but a USB version is expected at some point. It's purely aesthetic, but I could see it having a practical, aesthetic purpose: dimming. I'm not sure if iBuypower will officially support this, but I could see users outputting black, or even just a really deep shade of grey, onto their case windows if they want to, say, darken the room to view a movie.


Currently no word on pricing, availability, or the like.

Source: PCGamer

Silverstone's TD02-E, decent all round and easy on the pocket

Subject: Cases and Cooling | June 6, 2016 - 04:01 PM |
Tagged: water cooling, Tundra Series, TD02-E, Silverstone, cpu cooler, All-in-One cooler

A few years back you may remember that  Morry did a review of the SilverStone Tundra Series TD02 AiO watercooler.  More recently, Modders Inc reviewed the newer model the TD02-E, part of their high performance line.  The waterblock is compatible most modern processors but you will need a decent sized case to accommodate the radiator as it measures 278x124x27mm with two 120mm fans. The cooler performed admirably, especially for its ~$90 price tag and did so at reasonable noise levels, going full out at 2500RPM it measured  50.2 dBA, or 38dBA at a more modest 1400RPM.


"Silverstone Technologies has made quite a career making cooling solutions for the PC DIY market. Their solutions are also quite often a unique alternative with out-of-the-box oriented ideas and far from having a "me too" design philosophy. With the all-in-one liquid cooling solution's popularity, Silverstone also has thrown their hat in the ring with alternatives from the typical Asetek OEM"

Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:


Source: Modders Inc

FSP's new Hydro X series; technically the less expensive model?

Subject: Cases and Cooling | June 6, 2016 - 02:55 PM |
Tagged: fsp, PSU, Hydro X, 650W, 80 Plus Gold

With all the hoopla and brouhaha caused by Computex last week some smaller launches were missed, such as the FSP Hydro X 650W PSU.  This particular PSU is non-modular but does carry a five year warranty, an 80 Plus Gold rating and a single 12V rail capable of providing 649.92W @ 54.16A.  [H]ard|OCP's testing showed it to be a solid PSU, providing stable power and meeting with the claimed standards.  Unfortunately there is currently a bit of an issue, though FSP is working to resolve it.  This PSU sells for $95 but the previous fully modular model can be picked up for $85 or less, even though the MSRP is technically higher.  [H] reached out to FSP about this issue and you can see how they plan to resolve the issue in the full review.


"FSP does not have much to say about its Hydro X in terms of marketing speak, but it does hit the high points that enthusiast system builders are looking for: "Silent operation, High efficiency ≧ 90%, Full Japan-made electrolytic capacitors, Powerful single +12V rail design, Ribbon cables, and Complete protection: OCP, OVP, SCP, OPP, OTP."

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Source: [H]ard|OCP