NZXT Kraken X31; midget beastie or large squid?

Subject: Cases and Cooling | March 21, 2016 - 04:05 PM |
Tagged: nzxt, Kraken X31, AIO

The NZXT Kraken X31 is smaller than its cousins, the radiator is a compact 120x30x155mm and uses a 120mm fan to move heat.  NXZT seems to offer proprietary controller software, called Cam software, but once you read the difficulties [H]ard|OCP had obtaining and using the software you will see why they recommend sticking with SpeedFan.  The performance is not quite as effective as most 140mm or 280mm coolers but on the other hand it operates at a significantly lower volume, 40.9dBA at most.   If you are looking for a decent performing and quiet cooler then check out the full review.


"NZXT is also moving some of its AIO cooler strategy into the realm of making it smaller and more efficient. The Kraken X31 ticks that checkbox plus a few others, such as software control, variable pump speed, 16 inch tubing leads, and a six year warranty. (Place your own "Release the Kraken," joke here.)"

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


Source: [H]ard|OCP
Manufacturer: Thermaltake

Introduction and Features



There has been growing interest in recent years in quiet computing with more users looking for components that will help them build a quiet PC. Thermaltake’s new Suppressor F31 Silent ATX mid-tower chassis is aimed squarely at this audience. Thermaltake has been around since 1999 and is a well-respected name in the PC industry. They offer a full line of cases, power supplies, cooling components, and accessories.

The Suppressor F31 chassis is available with or without a side window and comes in black. Thermaltake also offers several other variations in the Suppressor line, which include the Suppressor F31 Power Cover Edition (large baffle located over the PSU area) and the Suppressor F51 Mid-Tower case (slightly larger chassis capable of mounting an Extended-ATX form factor motherboard). We will be taking a detailed look at the Suppressor F31 Window ATX Mid-Tower Chassis in this review.

The Thermaltake Suppressor F31 is wider than most mid-tower enclosures (250mm/9.8”) and incorporates sound dampening panels on the front, top and both sides. Note: the Window version replaces the left side panel sound dampening material with a large acrylic window. The top panel has three separate sound dampening panels that can easily be removed to make room for additional case fans or a top mounted liquid cooling radiator. The Suppressor F31 comes with two quiet case fans installed: one 120mm intake on the front and one 120mm exhaust on the back.


The roomy chassis offers numerous options for adding more case fans (up to nine total) for increased airflow as well as several options for installing liquid cooling systems of various sizes (single, dual, and/or triple fan/radiators). All of the potential fan locations are designed to mount either 120mm or 140mm fans. The front panel can mount one 200mm fan and the top panel can mount two 200mm fans if desired.


(Courtesy of Thermaltake)

Suppressor F31 Window ATX Mid-Tower Case Key Features:
•    Mid-Tower ATX enclosure (HxWxD, 497x250x515mm, 19.5x9.8x20.3”)
•    Large clear acrylic side window (also available without a side window)
•    Supports ATX, Micro-ATX and Mini-ITX motherboards (F51 supports E-ATX)
•    Extremely quiet case for noise sensitive applications
•    Sound dampening panels on front, side, and top
•    Easily removed dust filters on front, top and bottom panels
•    Two included Thermaltake fans (120mm intake and 120mm exhaust)
•    Numerous cooling options for adding fans and/or liquid cooling
•    (2) USB 3.0, (2) USB 2.0 and HD audio jacks on the top I/O panel
•    Three internal 3.5” hard drive / 2.5” SSD trays
•    Three optional 3.5”/2.5” drive mounting locations behind mobo tray
•    Two external 5.25” drive bays
•    Tool-free mounting for all 3.5” internal and 5.25” external drives
•    Up to 278mm (10.9”) clearance for graphic cards
•    Up to 420mm (16.5”) for long graphic cards (with HDD cage removed)
•    Up to 180mm (7.1”) of space for tall CPU coolers
•    Price: $99.99 USD

Please continue reading our Suppressor F31 case review!!!

Arctic Cooling doubles up with the Liquid Freezer 240

Subject: Cases and Cooling | March 11, 2016 - 03:36 PM |
Tagged: arctic cooling, Liquid Freezer 240, AIO

Arctic Cooling has expanded their AIO CPU cooler lineup with the Liquid Freezer 240, which will fit on any modern AMD or Intel CPU.  As with the smaller Liquid Freezer 120 the CPU mounting bracket locks into place, making the install a breeze.  When [H]ard|OCP strapped it onto a CPU overclocked to 4.4GHz they were quite pleased to see this cooler take top spot, 69.7C under full load.  It was rather quiet as well, 41.7dBA is very acceptable for such a powerful cooler.  Pricing is equally impressive, $100 for the best AIO cooler they have tested.  No wonder it picked up a Gold Award.


"Arctic Cooling claims its new Liquid Freezer 240 is "Extremely Powerful yet Quiet," "Designed for Extreme Cooling Performance" and that it has "Optimal Heat Dissipation." This All-In-One CPU cooler has a 240mm radiator that is poised to do great things with a stock Push/Pull 4-fan configuration and excellent cold plate."

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Source: [H]ard|OCP

Rosewill is breaking away from their previous reputation as a bare bones PSU supplier

Subject: Cases and Cooling | March 9, 2016 - 01:40 PM |
Tagged: rosewill, Quark-550, modular psu, 550W

Rosewill have grown from providing what were inexpensive PSUs with little to no extra features into something much more interesting for those who do not need a 1000W PSU.  The new Quark-550 that [H]ard|OCP recently tested is a good example, it is fully modular, it has a single 12v rail with a capacity of up to 45A and internal components from both Nippon Chemi-con and Rubycon.  Once strapped to their torture bench, [H]ard|OCP saw decent results, in line with the competition for stability and efficiency but as the unit retails for $100, roughly $20 higher than other comparable units it did not receive an award.  If you find it on sale it is still a good choice for a mid-range build.


"Rosewill was a Newegg "house brand" that has broken out to other retailers and you might have seen its name on all types of products. Today we are seeing what Rosewill accomplishes when it brands a 550 watt "Platinum" PSU. The 550W PSU market is crammed with competition...good competition at good prices."

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Source: [H]ard|OCP
Manufacturer: Corsair

Introduction and First Impressions

The Corsair Carbide 400C is a mid-tower enclosure that offers a very large window to show off your build through a side panel that’s also a hinged, and latching, door.


With the Carbide 600 series Corsair introduced a new full-tower enclosure with an understated style, and some very nice features. The matching 400 series offer a slightly smaller version of these enclosures, with a few changes. These new Carbide 600 and 400 series cases offer both noise-reducing quiet versions (600Q, 400Q), as well as clear side-panel versions (600C, 400C). We recently looked at the full-tower Carbide 600Q, which performed well from a thermal standpoint, and, to a greater extent, with noise output.

The case we’ll be taking a look at today is the mid-tower cousin of the Carbide 600C, and this 400C drops the larger enclosure’s inverse ATX design in favor of a standard layout, but retains most other aspects of the design. Corsair’s 400 series duplicates many aspects of the larger, and more expensive, 600 series full-tower enclosures, and are priced $50 less. From the outside the 400C looks like a slightly smaller version, but once inside there are some notable differences.


The Carbide 400C does not offer the noise dampening of the 400Q, dropping in favor of a large window and hinged, latching door. This tradeoff has allowed Corsair to market both version at the same price point, leaving it up to the consumer to decide where their priorities are. As mentioned, the 400 series are not simply smaller version of the 600C/600Q, as the internals are quite different. For instance, the PSU mount (and plastic shroud covering it) moves down to the case floor with to o400 series, and there are no 5.25-inch bays this time.

Beyond the changed layout, this clear version will likely differ from the results we saw with the 600Q. Thermal performance might be affected by the ATX layout, but the lack of insulation could mitigate this. Another factor is the noise output from a “C” version, which would presumably be significantly louder than the very quiet 600Q previously tested. We’ll cover all of that - along with build quality and ease of installation - in this review.

Continue reading our review of the Corsair Carbide 400C case!!

Corsair Releases SF450 and SF600 SFX Power Supplies

Subject: Cases and Cooling | March 8, 2016 - 11:06 AM |
Tagged: small form-factor, SFX, SFF, SF600, SF450, PSU, power supply, corsair

Corsair has released their first SFX form-factor power supplies today, with the SF450 and SF600. Both are fully modular designs, and offer high-quality components as well as an 80 Plus Gold certification.


The Corsair SF600 SFX power supply

The power output for these PSUs are indicated by the naming, with the SF450 outputting up to 450W, and the SF600 up to 600W. These power supplies both feature "Zero RPM Fan Mode", which allows them to run without the fan during less strenuous loads, and all capacitors are Japanese made, and rated for up to 105 °C operation.

Here are the specifications and features from Corsair:

  • SFX Form Factor: Designed for high performance small form factor systems.
  • 80 PLUS Gold certified: High-efficiency operation for less excess heat and lower operating costs.
  • Fully modular cable set: Detachable DC cables make builds and upgrades easy, with clean, great-looking results.
  • 100% All Japanese 105°C capacitors: Premium internal components ensure solid power delivery and long term reliability.
  • Zero RPM Fan Mode: Virtually silent operation at low and medium loads.
  • Seven year warranty: Your guarantee of reliable operation that will last across multiple system builds.
  • MSRP: SF600 $119.99, SF450 $89.99


The SF600 pictured with its flat, ribbon style cables

Pricing is listed at $89.99 for the 450W version, and $119.99 for the 600W version. As to availability, the companty states that the SF450 and SF600 are "available immediately worldwide from Corsair’s worldwide network of authorized retailers and distributors".

Source: Corsair
Manufacturer: Reeven

Introduction and Technical Specifications



Courtesy of Reeven


Courtesy of Reeven

Reeven is a new comer to the computer cooling space, offering a wide range of coolers and fans for all aspects of the industry. The latest members of their cooler lineup, the Okeanos and Brontes coolers, offer high performance in two very different form factors. The Okeanos is a large dual radiator, dual fan cooler while the Brontes is a low profile C-shaped cooler touting compatibility across most form factors. While the Okeanos offers support for all known CPU and board types, the Brontes supports all mainstream systems with the exception of the Intel 2011-based CPUs and boards.

Continue reading our review of the Reeven CPU coolers!

Introduction and Technical Specifications


***Editor's Note*** - Before getting into the nuts and bolts of the Core X9, please understand that this initial review is meant as a detailed introduction into the capabilities and build strengths of the Core X9 E-ATX Cube Chassis. A deeper look into the advanced capabilities of this monstrous case will be explored in a soon to be released follow-up article. Stay tuned to PC Perspective for the follow-up.


Courtesy of Thermaltake

The Thermaltake Core X9 E-ATX Cube Chassis is one of the largest and most configurable they've developed. The case is roughly cube shaped with a steel and plastic construction. The height and depth of the unit allows the Core X9 to support up to quad-fan radiators mounted to its top or sides and up to a tri-fan radiator in front. At an MSRP of $169.99, the Core X9 E-ATX Cube Chassis features a competitive price in light of its size and configurability.


Courtesy of Thermaltake


Courtesy of Thermaltake

The Core X9 case was designed to be fully modular, supporting a variety of build configurations to be able to adapt to the whatever build style the end user can dream up. The case comes with a variety of mounts for mounting fans or liquid cooling radiators to the top, side, or bottom of the case. Additionally, Thermaltake integrated three 5.25" device bays as well as two hard drive bays supporting up to three drives each. The chassis motherboard is removable as well for easy install of the motherboard into the system. The chassis itself can be easily segregated into upper and lower sections for controlling system and component heat flow if desired.


Courtesy of Thermaltake


Courtesy of Thermaltake

Until you can acurately visually just how many radiators and fans that this case supports, you really don't have a feel for the immense size of the Core X9. From front to back, the case support 4 x 120mm fans or a 480mm radiator along either of its lower sides or in the dual top mounts. On top, you can actually mount a total of eight 120mm fans or dual 480mm radiators if you so choose. And that doesn't take into account the additional two 140mm fans that can be mounted in the upper and lower sections of the case's rear panel, nor the three 120mm fans, dual 200mm fans, or 360mm radiator that can be mounted to the case's front panel.

Continue reading our review of the Thermaltake Core X9 Cube chassis!

If you like a spartan interior then check out Corsair's Carbide 600C

Subject: Cases and Cooling | February 19, 2016 - 02:11 PM |
Tagged: inverted motherboard, enclosure, corsair, Carbide 600C

A few weeks ago Sebastian published a review of Corsair's Carbide Series 600Q and today you can take a peek at its brother, the Carbide 600C.  The 600C differs in that it lacks the full noise shielding foam and has a hinged, latching side-panel, with a large window to show off your components.  It is 454x260x535mm (17.9x10.2x21") and so can handle even an eATX motherboard.  The inclusion of two 5.25" bays will please some but the sparse number of 3.5" bays is not likely to impress anyone who uses multiple drives.  There are many pluses for those who like a clean interior and the three fans and fan controller which come with the case is a nice touch.  Read more over at techPowerUp.


"The Corsair Carbide 600C comes with an inverted motherboard layout and aims to offer a perfect mix for those looking to take advantage of such an interior with a wide body, plenty of liquid-cooling compatibility, a 3-stage fan controller, and great cable management."

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Source: techPowerUp

Lian Li's PC-7N, retro case design with modern features

Subject: Cases and Cooling | February 17, 2016 - 04:03 PM |
Tagged: PC-7N, Lian Li, atx


The new Lian Li PC-7N will appeal to those who prefer a case exterior with a simple clean design and modern conveniences inside.   The case has four tool-less drive trays for 3.5: or 2.5" drives as well as a pair of tool-less 5.25" trays, which some of us still like to have.  The case is 210x473x500mm (8.3x18.6x19.7") and can support CPU heatsinks up to 170mm as well as GPUs of up to 370mm (14.6") if you do not populate all the drive bays, 250mm (9.8") if you do.


It can support a pair of 120mm fans in the front and a single one in the rear, or a radiator of 120x240x60mm in the front if you prefer watercooling.  The power and reset buttons are located on the top of the case, next to a pair of USB 3.0 ports and audio jacks which are protected by a hinged cover to help keep gunge out of your ports. You will be able to pick it up by the end of this month for around $100


The full PR is below.

Source: Lian Li