Author:
Manufacturer: Open Benchtable

Overview

Open-air chassis have always been an odd segment of the PC hardware market. While the ability to quickly swap out components is a major benefit to hardware reviewers like us, overclockers, and other people who are working to quickly validate lots of components, they are the antithesis of what most users are looking for from their computers. 

While we've seen some attempts at bringing the open test bed concepts to a more general audience including the Antec Skeleton and the Thermaltake Core P5 and P3, test bench products are often very low volume and are targeting a specific niche market. Due to the low volume nature, test benches are usually pretty low build quality, expensive, and don't seem to be fully formed concepts.

Today, we are taking a look at a product which aims to change all of this, the Open Benchtable.

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From first glance, you might be hard-pressed to tell that the BC1 is meant to be used with computer hardware. One of the unique design aspects of the BC1 is the ability for it to pack completely flat, in a way that may be familiar to you if you've ever had an experience assembling furniture from Ikea. 

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Everything has a place and there's a place for everything on the BC1. Included hardware such as thumbscrews, brackets, standoffs, and even the feet for the actual testbench slot into the single piece of aluminum and store securely into an 8mm thick package. This, along with the completely toolless design mean that the BC1 can quickly be assembled, used, and torn down.

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Once you start to assemble the BC1, one of the most striking features is the build quality. Where we normally see test benches made from lower quality materials like acrylic or bent sheet metal, the BC1 is made of a single slab of anodized heavy-duty AL5052 aluminum. It's difficult for me to imagine a user managing to break this test bench in any way, aside from potentially chipping anodization, without actively trying to do so.

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The first step to assembling the BC1 is to remove the feet from the middle section of the test bench. Simply remove 4 thumbscrews, and you can remove the feet from the main assembly.

Continue reading our review of the OBT Open Benchtable!

Author:
Manufacturer: VIVO

Introduction and Features

Introduction

VIVO is one of the latest entries into the burgeoning PC power supply market. VIVO is best known as a supplier of monitor and projector mounts, stands, carts, and PC enclosures. Their introductory power supply is the VIVO 24K 650W unit, which is designed to deliver 80 Plus Gold level efficiency at an affordable price.

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In addition to 80 Plus Gold certification, the VIVO 24K 650W PSU features all modular flat ribbon-style cables, a single +12V output, and uses a quiet 120mm fan for cooling.

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VIVO 24K 650W PSU Key Features:

•    650W Continuous DC output at up to 40°C
•    80 PLUS Gold certified for high efficiency
•    Fully-modular cables
•    DC-to-DC Voltage converters
•    Single +12V output
•    NVIDIA SLI and AMD CrossFire ready
•    Meets EPS12V 2.93 standards and is backwards compatible with ATX12V
•    Quiet 120mm cooling fan
•    Haswell support
•    Active Power Factor correction with Universal AC input (100 to 240 VAC)
•    Safety protections: OVP, UVP, OPP, OTP and SCP
•    3-Year warranty
•    MSRP: $59.99 USD

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Here is what VIVO has to say about their company and the new 24K 650W PSU:

VIVO is a U.S. based company that designs, manufactures, and supplies a diverse selection of products across multiple unique product markets. We have a genuine desire to create functional solutions that fit unsolved needs and better the experience of every customer we serve.

The new 24K 650W 80 Plus Gold rated power supply (PSU-650G) from VIVO is designed for lasting performance and reliability. This power supply is made with top quality components to ensure continuous clean power delivery and long life. The 650 watt real power output is enough to easily power a high end gaming computer with dual graphics cards, and the simple to use fully modular flat cables reduce clutter while improving airflow in your system. In addition, the 80 Plus Gold rated efficiency combined with a large 120mm fan will provide quiet operation and help to reduce your power bill. Our "U-style" chassis design is both durable and eye-catching, with an appearance that will look great in any windowed PC case.

Please continue reading our review of the VIVO 24K 650W PSU!!!

Introduction and Specifications

The PC-Q17 WX is a compact, all-aluminum mini-ITX enclosure designed to appeal to gamers, and it features certification from ASUS ROG (Republic of Gamers). As with so many mini-ITX cases on the market there is room for a full-length graphics card, allowing the case to house a powerful gaming build.

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The PC-Q17 WX is smaller than the mini-ITX cases I have looked at recently, with the trend for larger, micro-ATX sized designs prevalent in the last year or two. It is still quite a bit larger compared to the smallest designs on the market, with the NCASE M1 the smallest I have reviewed thus far. There is always an advantage in component support from a slightly larger case, and this case boasts full-length GPU and ATX power supply compatibity - though you will need a compact PSU to fit both of those concurrently (more on this later in the review).

As expected from Lian Li, this small chassis doesn’t just feature aluminum, it is all aluminum, making it ultra light with a premium feel. Getting to your components is easy thanks to side and top panels that simply snap in place with the company’s push pin style connectors, and there is a large acrylic window to show off your mini-ITX build. If you like its looks the only thing left is too see what fits inside and find out how it performs!

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Continue reading our review of the Lian Li PC-Q17 WX enclosure!

Manufacturer: Alphacool

Introduction and Technical Specifications

Introduction

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Courtesy of Alphacool

Earlier this year, Alphacool launched their "Eis" series of products, a collection of high performance liquid cooling products improving upon their existing products. The Eisblock XPX CPU water block introduces a new internal design compared with their previous NexXxOS block series, updating the internal design with an optimized jet impingement-fed micro-channel system. The block consists of a nickel-plated copper square base plate and an acetal top with an aluminum cover plate and an illuminated logo. The block offers compatibility with all current CPU socket types, including the Intel LGA2011 and LGA1150 and the AMD AM4 sockets.

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Courtesy of Alphacool

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Courtesy of Alphacool

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Courtesy of Alphacool

The block is held together with screws going through the nickel-plated base plate with a snap-on top cover. Use of a snap-on aluminum top cover gives the block a sleek appearance. Further, it allows for easy customization of the embedded LED color not to mention the top cover color by switching out the top cover plate without interfering with the block internals. Alphacool offers a variety of top cover plates and customization kits for the Eisblock XPX water block to match virtually any system theme setup. With an approximate MSRP of $73 US, the Eisblock XPX is at price parity with other high-end water block offerings.

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Courtesy of Alphacool

The Eisblock XPX waterblock comes standard with hardware supporting all current generation Intel and AMD processors, including the AMD Ryzen AM4 socket. The block's support brackets snap in place in channels along the lower sides of the block, making for easy customization of the block for different processor and socket types if necessary.

Technical Specifications (taken from the manufacturer websites)

Water Block Specifications
Manufacturer Alphacool
Dimensions (LxWxH) 65 x 65 x 30mm
Threads 2 x G1/4"
Tested Pressure 2 Bar
Material cooling plate Copper
Material top cover Aluminum / Acetal
Socket Compatibility Intel
775 / 1156 / 1155 / 1150 / 1151 / 2011 / 2011-3

AMD
AM2 /AM2+ /AM3 /AM3+ / FM1 / FM2 / FM2+ / AM4

Continue reading our review of the Alphacool Eisblock XPX CPU waterblock!

If you are going to go RGB, tempered glass is a wise choice; Corsair's Crystal 460X case

Subject: Cases and Cooling | April 6, 2017 - 01:41 PM |
Tagged: corsair, crystal 460X, tempered glass, RGB

The Corsair Crystal 460X RGB is described as a compact ATX case, at 440x220x464mm it is less deep than many ATX cases thanks to the complete lack of a standard drive cage.  It will still fit two 3.5″ drives and three 2.5″ drives hidden away on the back of the case or in line with the bottom mounted PSU.  The front and side panel are tempered glass to show of the glow of your internal components and the front fans sport LEDs which can be controlled with the six fan lighting hub. 

Check out Benchmark Reviews full article here for a closer look.

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"If there are two big trends in computer accessories and peripherals these days, it’s “tempered glass” and “RGB illumination”. And if you can combine the two, as Corsair has done with the Crystal 460X RGB Compact ATX mid-tower case, so much the better!"

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

CASES & COOLING

 

FSP launches their new Dagger SFX PSU family

Subject: Cases and Cooling | March 29, 2017 - 12:00 PM |
Tagged: SFX PSU, modular phone, FSP Group, 80 Plus Gold

With small form factor systems growing in popularity, the market for SFX PSUs is increasing as well.  FSP have just released their new Dagger family of SFX PSUs with two models, a $100 500W and a $110 600W.   Both of these PSUs feature single 12V rails and are rated 80 Plus Gold, the internals are based off of server quality PCBs and offer DC to DC power.

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They ship with a removable backplate to allow them to be used in full sized builds as well, with the small size of the PSU leaving more space in your case for cooling solutions and air flow.  The PSU itself is cooled by an 80mm fan, about as large as you can fit in the 125x63.5x110 mm shell.

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The Dagger is fully modular, with flat cables to make cable management even easier.  The PSU ships with two PCIe 6+2 power connectors, five SATA, two molex and a floppy plug in addition to the motherboard power cables.  You can check out the video below, or click through to read the full PR from FSP.

Source: FSP

MOAR POWER! 1200W of Platinum rated Strider PSU from Silverstone

Subject: Cases and Cooling | March 28, 2017 - 03:37 PM |
Tagged: Silverstone, Strider Platinum ST1200-PT, 1200W PSU, modular psu, 80 Plus Platinum

Externally the new Silverstone Strider Platinum ST1200-PT is identical to the 1000W model, sharing the same 80 Plus Platinum rating as well as a fan which does not start to spin until the PSU hits 40% load.  The internals are somewhat different, as this PSU can deliver up to 100A on the 12V line and do it without any issues as you can see in [H]ard|OCP's review.  Indeed the only drawback to this PSU is one it shares with others from SilverStone; the price is on the high side compared to the competition.  Then again the quality also surpasses many other PSUs in the same class, so perhaps the premium price is worth it for you?

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"SilverStone comes to us with huge Platinum efficiency power with its Strider PSU rated for 1200 watts of constant power delivery. The PSU also sports a beefy feature set to go along with being able to support even the healthiest enthusiast computer build. Fanless modes below 40% power, dust filtering, and 16 sets of SATA connectors lead the list."

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

CASES & COOLING

Source: [H]ard|OCP

Cougar Panzer Max, the case name you just want to shout

Subject: Cases and Cooling | March 27, 2017 - 02:37 PM |
Tagged: Cougar, Panzer Max, eatx

Calling the Cougar Panzer Max a tank is something of an exaggeration but at 266x612x556mm (10.5x24x21.9") it is certainly large and capable of housing even eATX motherboards.  The size also allows up to eight drives to be installed as well as eight 120mm or almost as many 140mm fans or the equivalent radiators, with a full installation you will be glad of the handles on the top.  TechPowerUp gives this case high marks but the Panzer Max did fall short of perfection, see if you agree with what they felt could have been better implemented by Cougar in their full review

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"The Cougar Panzer Max is a full-tower representation of the Panzer chassis. It is larger, bulkier, has more space, and looks a lot more menacing to boot. It really does resemble a tank, which is what "Panzer'' means in German. So in this review, we take the Panzer Max for a joy ride, fill it with some ammunition, and see if it is a straight shooter."

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

CASES & COOLING

 

Source: TechPowerUp
Author:

Introduction and Features

Introduction

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SilverStone continues to push the envelope of power density with the release of their new SX800-LTI small form factor power supply. Following close on the heels of the SX700-LPT, the new unit now packs 800 watts into a small chassis. SFX form factor cases and power supplies continue grow in popularity and in market share and as one of the original manufacturers of SFX power supplies, Silverstone Technology Co. is striving to meet customer demand.

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(SX=SFX Form Factor, 800=800W, L=Lengthened, TI=Titanium certified)

SilverStone has a long-standing reputation for providing a full line of high quality enclosures, power supplies, cooling components, and accessories for PC enthusiasts. With a continued focus on smaller physical size and support for small form-factor enthusiasts, SilverStone added the new SX800-LTI to their SFX form factor series. There are now eight power supplies in the SFX Series, ranging in output capacity from 300W to 800W. The SX800-LTI is the third SilverStone unit to feature a lengthened SFX chassis. The SX800-LTI enclosure is 30mm (1.2”) longer than a standard SFX power supply case, which allows using a quieter 120mm cooling fan rather than the typical 80mm fan used in most SFX power supplies.

In addition to its small size, the SX800-LTI features very high efficiency (80 Plus Titanium certified), all modular flat ribbon-style cables, and provides up to 800W of continuous DC output (850W peak). The SX800-LTI also operates in semi-fanless mode and incorporates a very quiet 120mm cooling fan.

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SilverStone SX800-LTI PSU Key Features:

•    Small Form Factor (SFX-L) design
•    800W continuous power output rated for 24/7 operation
•    80 Plus Titanium certified for very high efficiency
•    Quiet operation with semi-fanless operation
•    120mm cooling fan optimized for low noise
•    Powerful single +12V rail with 66A capacity
•    All-modular, flat ribbon-style cables
•    High quality construction with all Japanese capacitors
•    Strict ±3% voltage regulation and low AC ripple and noise
•    Support for high-end GPUs with four PCI-E 8/6-pin connectors
•    Safety Protections: OCP, OPP, OVP, UVP, SCP, and OTP

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Here is what SilverStone has to say about their new SX800-LTI power supply:

Since its launch in 2015, the SFX-L form factor has garnered popular recognition and support among enthusiasts with its larger 120mm fan able to achieve better balance of power and quietness in small form factor PCs than what was possible with standard SFX. And as a leader in power supply miniaturization, SilverStone has continued its efforts in advancing the SFX-L forward to reach ever higher limit.

The SX800-LTI not only has unprecedented 800 watts of power output but also has the highest level of 80 PLUS efficiency with a Titanium rating. It includes all features available from top of the line SilverStone PSUs such as flexible flat cables, all Japanese capacitors and advanced semi-fanless capability. For those looking to build the most efficient small form factor systems possible with great quality and power, the SX800-LTI is definitely the top choice.

Please continue reading our review of the SilverStone SX800-LTI PSU!!!

Manufacturer: Phononic

Introduction: A Hybrid Approach

The Hex 2.0 from Phononic is not your typical CPU cooler. It functions as both a thermoelectric cooler (TEC) - which you may also know as a Peltier cooler - and as a standard heatsink/fan, depending on CPU load. It offers a small footprint for placement in all but the lowest-profile systems, yet it boasts cooling potential beyond other coolers of its size. Yes, it is expensive, but this is a far more complex device than a standard air or even all-in-one liquid cooler - and obviously much smaller than even the most compact AiO liquid coolers.

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“The HEX 2.0 combines a proprietary state-of-the-art high performance thermoelectric module with an innovative heat exchanger. The small form factor CPU cooler pioneers a new category of cooling technology. The compact design comfortably fits in small chassis, including mini-ITX cases, while delivering cooling capacity beyond that of much larger coolers.”

Even though it does not always need to function as such, the Hex 2.0 is a thermoelectric cooling device, and that alone makes it interesting from a PC hardware enthusiast point of view (at least mine, anyway). The 'active-passive' approach taken by Phononic with the Hex 2.0 allows for greater performance potential that would otherwise be possible from a smaller TEC device, though our testing will of course reveal how effective it is in actual use.

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HEX 2.0 features an Active-Passive design (Credit: Phononic)

The goal for the HEX 2.0 CPU cooler was to provide similar cooling performance to all-in-one (AIO) liquid coolers or the very largest fan-heat sinks in a package that could fit into the smallest PC form factors (like miniITX). The active-passive design is what makes this possible. By splitting the CPU heat into two paths, as shown in Figure 1 (Ed. the above image), the thermoelectric device can be sized at an optimal point where it can provide the most benefit for lowering CPU temperature without having to be large enough to pump the entire CPU thermal load. We also designed electronic controls to turn off the thermoelectric heat pump at times of low CPU load, making for an energy efficient cooler that provides adequate cooling with zero power draw at low CPU loads. However, when the CPU is stressed and the CPU heat load increases, the electronic controls energize the thermoelectric heat pump, lowering the temperature of the passive base plate and the CPU itself. The active-passive design has one further benefit – when used in conjunction with the electronic controls, this design virtually eliminates the risk of condensation for the HEX 2.0.

Continue reading our review of the Phononic HEX 2.0 Thermoelectric CPU Cooler!