Subject: Cases and Cooling | June 4, 2017 - 11:04 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: water cooling, SFX-L, SFF, phanteks, mini ITX, htpc, evolv shift x, evolv shift
Phanteks Project 217 prototype case is finally official and will be known as the Evolv Shift and Evolv Shift X. Both are small form factor cases that feature a unique tower design that has the approximate footprint of a large graphics card, but manages to fit quite a bit of hardware inside by building up rather than out. The skyscraper style cases measure 6.7” wide and 10.63” deep. The Evplv Shift is the shorter of the two at 18.9” tall while the Evolv Shift X is 25.9”. The Mini ITX cases are constructed from a powder coated steel frame, aluminum cover panels, and tempered glass side panels.
HardwareCanucks shot video of the new SFF cases!
The Evolv Shift and Shift X both have black aluminum insides and a silver aluminum front panel. There are fam vents around the edges of the front panel and two USB 3.0 ports tucked away on the side. The top of the case covers the motherboard I/O and has a cutout in the back for routing the I/O cables out of the case - on the Shift X this piece is also aluminum but on the Shift it is plastic to cut costs. The two tempered glass side panels and front and back panels are held on by thumbscrews to allow for easy removal to work on the build. Being able to take all four sides off should make to easier to build in the small space.
Other case features include removable case feet that enables you to lay the case horizontally on one of its two sides (so you can show off the CPU side or GPU side), dust filters up front, and separation of the two front fans and compartments so that one can be an intake and the other exhaust if you wish. For such a small case there is quite a njt of cable management going o with rubber grommets and horizontal cable tracks (with a magnetic door for easy access) to hid away your cables and pass them from the PSU compartment to the motherboard compartment). Interestingly the GPU is mounted vertically and the bracket can be rotated and adjusted left and right so that you can choose to see the back of the graphics card or (finally!!) the front of the card with the artwork -- that’s right a case that lets you see and show off the stickers and cooler of your graphics card! (hehe, it has always irked me they put the artwork on the part of thr GPU you usually never see once it's in the case.)
Internally, the case is divided into two main areas with the power supply on bottom along with room for water cooling pumps and reservoirs and the motherboard, processor, and graphics cards stacked on top of the PSU area. The Evolv Shift and Evolv Shift X both support small form factor power supplies (SFX and SFX-L), Mini ITX motherboards, and even large graphics card thanks to the riser cable and vertical mounting. The larger Shift X can also hold ATX PSUs with the caveat that you have to give up the PSU shroud.
Cooling support includes air and water coolers with up to three 120mm or 140mm fans up front and one 120mm or 140mm fan in the bottom. The case will come with two 140mm fans out of the box.
As far as storage is concerned the case had room for two 2.5” drives and either one 3.5” drive on the Shift or two 3.5” drives on the Shift X.
Oh, and there is also an included RGB controller if you want to add a bit of bling to your dual windowed skyscraper PC.
The Evolv Shift and Evolv Shift X are coming later this year for $110 and $160 respectively.
These look to be very unique cases that will look good on a desk or even in the living room as a home theater PC. I am looking forward to the reviews on these as I am curious how well the case can keep high end components cool and how easy they are to build a system in.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | June 3, 2017 - 11:16 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: computex, bitfenix, mid tower, E-ATX Case, RGB LED, gaming, tempered glass
BitFenix had several new PC cases on display at its Computex booth, but the one that caught my eye was the sub-$100 Enso mid-tower that has some premium features including a large tempered glass side panel, RGB LED and fan controllers, removable filters, and various cable management features. The BitFenix Enso has a clean design that out of the box limits the RGB to a nice looking front panel while allowing enthusiasts to go crazy with aftermarket LED strips and LED fans if they wish.
The BitFenix Enso mid-tower (Image credit: KitGuru)
The new Enso chassis measures 8.2" x 19.2" x 14.4" (209 x 487 x 442mm).and is clad in all black with clean lines and edges that strikes a balance between boxy and gaudy (heh). The front is a smooth panel that slightly angles out (no external drive support here) with RGB LEDs in all four corners. The front I/O is up top with two USB 3.0, two audio, and power and reset buttons. The left side is almost entirely comprised of a tempered glass side panel that is held on by black thumbscrews.
The top has a mesh grill with support for two 120mm fans along with a removable magnetic fan filter. There is also room for a 120mm fan in the back and two 120mm fans up front (where there is also a removable filter that pulls out from the left side of the front panel). There is not enough room up top for a water cooling radiator up top, but there is plenty of room for up to a 240mm radiator in the front.
The bottom of the case has a compartment for the bottom mounted up to 220mm power supply (which also has a removable dust filter) and two 3.5” drives along with space to hide excess cables. This area is covered by a simple black shroud that should make cable management easier.
Dropping support for external drive bays and extra 3.5” bays, BitFenix is able to support E-ATX motherboards, long graphics cards (up to 320mm, their demo used an Asus Strix GTX 1080), and water cooling radiators in a compact mid-tower case. BitFenix states it is possible to mount a 360mm radiator in the front, but it the specifications suggest if you would be limited to two fans with matching vents.
Lots of tie downs and space to hide cables! (Image credit: Bitwit Kyle)
The right side panel is blank, and removing it reveals the back of the motherboard tray. There is room for three 2.5” SSDs with one behind the motherboard and two behind the front fans. The motherboard tray has a large CPU cutout, lots of spots to tie up cables, and rubber grommets for passing cables through to the motherboard and graphics card. Having move of the components sitting behind the motherboard tray means that making a clean looking build will be a bit easier (no drive power cables to hide).
The front panel RGB LEDs are “addressable” which is to say that they can be controlled via the controller at the back or via software where BitFenix is working with Asus to allow its RGB LEDs to be controlled with its Aurora software. There is also a fan controller that looks to accept PWM and control 3-pin fans from that signal. The case is also compatible with LED fans and LEDs strips (the BitFenix demo used strips from Asus that could be controlled with the Asus software). As far as the front panel, you can choose a color or activate a gentle pulsing color change mode that cycles through the colors of the rainbow.
(Image credit: Bitwit Kyle)
Out of the box, the BitFenix Enso will have the front panel LEDs and controllers, but users will need to purchase fans and/or LED strips separately. This is not necessarily bad news though because it allows enthusiasts to pick the fans and LEDs they want (or don’t want), and it also allows the case to hit the budget sub-$100 market with lots of nice DIY-friendly features.
According to a BitFenix representative, the BitFenix Enso will arrive around the end of Q3 2017 or towards the beginning of Q4 with an MSRP of $79.
It looks like an impressive budget case, and if they can hit that $79 target it should be a great value that will let you show off your DIY build without breaking the bank! From the videos at Computex, I am really liking the design as well. What are your thoughts?
Subject: Cases and Cooling | June 3, 2017 - 06:01 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: water cooling, Lian-Li, LCS, copper radiator, copper, computex, cinsys, AIO
Guru3D made an interesting find at Lian-Li's Computex booth this year where they managed to take photos of a new all in one (AIO) liquid cooler that sports an all copper loop. Specifically, the company was showing off a new Lian-Li branded liquid cooler from Cinsys with a 240mm radiator. The "X-R240 Expandable water cooling heat radiating system" features a raw copper radiator surrounded by a metal shroud (reportedly aluminum) that houses 120mm fan mounts and a pump, large removable tubing, and a thin nickel plated copper CPU water block.
Lian-Li X-R240 expandable water cooler. (Image credit: Guru3D)
Looking at the photos from Guru3D, the Lian-Li X-R240 AIO certainly looks classy and should perform fairly well with the copper block and copper radiator (which is nice to see in an AIO where aluminum is common). The large tubing appears to be fairly long enabling the radiator to be placed up to or in the front of a mid-tower case, though I am curious how flexible it will be in a smaller case in tight quarters (if I am remembering my watercooling correctly, the larger diameter should mean it will be less likely to kink though). Further, it looks like the tubing is removable and users will be able to expand the loop to add additional blocks and/or radiators which is nice though you should be careful to avoid adding non-copper (aluminum/silver/ect) components to the Lian-Li loop. Angled and/or swivel barbs on the CPU blocks would have been nice as well since the straight barbs on the thin CPU block could make installation more difficult.
The raw copper is a nice aesthetic touch, though once it is installed in your case and sitting behind fans it is going to be hard to see and Guru3D does note that over time the copper will oxidize and discolor. Still, it might be useful for modders to get that steam punk look and feel. Thankfully it looks like there is plastic (and maybe foam) separating the copper radiator from the aluminum shell/shroud though it's less of an issue since the outside of the radiator isn't going to be submerged in water (hopefully!).
The company will reportedly be releasing other models beyond the 240mm shown at Computex presumably by the same OEM (Cinsys). A 360mm radiator and some GPU blocks would be nice to see! Hopefully Morry or Sebastian can get one in for testing soon!
What are your thoughts on Lian-Li using raw copper? Do you prefer plated copper?
Subject: Cases and Cooling | June 1, 2017 - 10:38 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: SFX-L, SFF, High Power, computex, be quiet!, 80+ gold
German PSU maker be quiet! Had several new power supplies on display at Computex. Perhaps the most interesting for small form factor enthusiasts are the two new SFX-L power supplies. The aptly named SFX-L-500W and SFX-L-600W are fully modular 80+ Gold rated power supplies that are not much bigger than the 120mm temperature controlled fan that cools it.
SFFNetwork examined the new PSUs at Computex.
According to AnandTech, be quiet! Is using High Power as the OEM for these power supplies rather than its usual partner FSP. The High Power platform offers up a single 12V rail design that supports multi GPU setups with the inclusion of 4 PCI-E power connectors. At least on the 600W variant (not sure on the 500W) the PSU is rated at 50A on the 12-volt rail, which is nice to see. The fan does not support spinning down to zero when under light load, but it does spin down to lower RPMs and has a temperature controlled fan curve that be quiet! claims is sufficient for even noise sensitive applications like HTPCs (hopefully Lee gets his hands on these soon and can confirm the advertised specs).
Both of the new small form factor (SFF) power supplies come with a three-year warranty which seems to be pretty standard for power supplies these days though five would be nice to see especially when they are going to be going into tiny cases with less airflow than the traditional ATX desktop. Speaking of ATX, the SFX-L PSUs come with an adapter that will allow you to install the SFF unit into a standard ATX power supply mount should you want to use it in a larger case.
The 500W and 600W PSUs have US MSRPs of $109 and $129 respectively.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | May 29, 2017 - 05:57 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: thermaltake, Smart Pro RGB, 850W, modular psu
The Smart portion of the Thermaltake Smart Pro RGB seems to refer to the Riing 14 RGB fan that can produce up to 256 colours with five different lighting modes to choose from, and built-in memory to save your light shows. [H]ard|OCP turned the RGB off immediately, then proceeded to test the power the PSU provides, as you would expect. The PSU passed all the tests, but not with flying colours, as some performance measures such as voltage regulation did not match the competitions. On the other hand, if you need RGBs on your PSU then Thermaltake's Smart Pro RGB models are worth your consideration.
"Frag-harder RGB lighting is all the rage, and so of course we are now seeing those in PSUs too. Thermaltake has a healthy 850 watt PSU here for review today that actually hits the sub-$100 mark by 1 cent. Fully modular with great DC output; is there anything not to like? You can turn the RGB off. And a 7 year warranty."
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- SilverStone SX800-LTI SFX-L @ [H]ard|OCP
- Corsair HX850 Platinum @ Kitguru
- Corsair TX 750M @ Kitguru
- FSP Dagger 600W SFX @ Kitguru
Subject: Cases and Cooling | May 29, 2017 - 04:21 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: bitfenix, Shogun
BitFenix's Shogun case stands 250x565x525mm in size and allows coolers of up to 175mm in height and GPUs of up to 410mm. It is not the largest case on the market but it is certainly no SFF enclosure, fitting E-ATX motherboards though the tray has mounting points for even mini-ITX if you have a strange idea in mind. The front panel is subtly hidden in the gap between the front bezel and the cases top with enough of a gap you should not have any issues fitting a thumb drive in. Bitfenix gave this metal and glass case high marks for functionality, even if they weren't personally in love with the overall aesthetics.
"The Bitfenix Shogun may not look the part when it comes to its naming, but it does offer a nice and mostly functional feature set coupled with great overall build quality. It also sets itself apart by allowing the user to expand the motherboard tray for an E-ATX board."
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- Fractal Design Focus G ATX @ Kitguru
- Cooler Master Cosmos II 25th Anniversary @ techPowerUp
- Scythe Fuma @ techPowerUp
- ID-Cooling FrostFlow 240L AIO @ Kitguru
- Noctua NH-D15 SE-AM4 120mm U-Type Tower Heatsink Review @ Hardware Asylum
- FSP Windale 6 Cooler @ Kitguru
Computex 2017: RIOTORO Announces CR500 Tempered Glass, CR1288 Prism RGB Full-Tower, and CR1088 Mini-Tower Cases
Subject: Cases and Cooling | May 29, 2017 - 01:27 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: riotoro, RGB
We first heard about RIOTORO at the CES before last, where they launched their CR1280 Prism case with its RGB lighting. They’ve since added quite a few models across different product segments.
Now, at Computex, they’re introducing three new models: the CR1288, the CR1088, and the CR500. The first two build upon existing products, while the last occupies a new segment for the company.
I’ll start with the CR1288 Prism, which fills a similar role as their aforementioned CR1280 Prism. It’s unclear whether this will replace that case, or whether they will both co-exist. Either way, RIOTORO claims that it has better cooling, noise reduction, and access for installation than its predecessor. It also looks quite different from the front, with a big, vertical stripe up the center of that side. It retains the CR1280 Prism’s front panel controls.
The CR1288 Prism Full-Tower
The CR1288 Prism is listed as a Q3 launch with a $159.99 USD expected street price.
Next is the CR1088 “Ultra-Compact Tower Case”. Like the CR1288, this is a redesign of the CR1080, although it’s unclear whether they will co-exist. This case is a little larger than a cubic foot, 15.7” long x 9” wide x 14.1” high, but supports a full-sized ATX motherboards and graphics cards. The design routes air across the typical hot spots, and it separates the power supply and drives (2x 3.5” and 3x 2.5”) into its own compartment, with cable routing for cable management.
The CR1088 Mini-Tower
The CR1088 is listed as a Q3 launch with an $89.99 USD expected street price.
Last is the CR500, which definitely does not replace any existing model. This is a lower-cost mid-tower with a tempered glass window, a separate compartment (which I’m guessing is for the power supply and drives, like the CR1288), and tool-free installation (with cable management). It’s made out of steel, and can mount up to a 240mm radiator.
The CR500 Mid-Tower
The CR500 is listed as a Q3 launch with a $79.99 USD expected street price. RIOTORO says that it will have a $69.99 USD introductory price, but it’s unclear what that means (ex: if it’s a pre-order, and from who).
Introduction and Specifications
Alphacool's Eisbaer is a line of pre-assembled liquid CPU coolers using standard parts that add quick-release connections to make adding components to the loop simple. Today we'll have a look at the 360 mm and 280 mm versions of the Eisbaer and see what kind of performance you can expect from an all-in-one solution from a respected brand in custom liquid cooling.
"With the Alphacool “Eisbaer”, we’re offering an extremely quiet high-performance cooler for every CPU on the market currently. A closed water cooling system that’s easy to install and can be easily and safely expanded with its quick-lock closure."
Not all AiO liquid coolers are created equal, of course, with different materials and approaches; and there are generally tradeoffs to be made between design and pricing. The best performance can result in pumps and fans that produce more noise than a high-performance air solution, while some liquid coolers manage to balance noise and performance in a way that makes liquid a far more attractive option - especially when overclocking a CPU.
True to the premium nature of a product line like this, Alphacool has incorportated first-rate components into the Eisbaer series including all-copper radiators, high-performance fans, and touches like anti-kink springs for the hoses. The capability of easily adding a GPU to the loop with the quick-lock closure (Alphacool offers a line of GPU products called "Eiswolf" that connect with these quick-lock closures) is a nice plus, and the use of standard G1/4 fittings ensures compatibility with custom parts for future expansion/modification.
The Eisbaer 360 spending some quality time on the test bench
Subject: Cases and Cooling | May 24, 2017 - 01:44 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: fractal design, Focus G, Focus G Mini
Fractal Design launched two new cases for those who want a good looking case and value a good deal. The Focus G is a full sized ATX case, available in black, white, petrol blue, mystic red, and gunmetal gray while the Focus G Mini is black and intended for SFF builds using an ITX or mATX motherboard. Both the cases will retail for $50US and ship with a pair of 120mm Silent Series LED fans, with a total of six mounting points for fans or radiators.
The case is large enough to hold coolers of up to 165mm in height and GPUs up to 380mm long. They have also designed it to give you 25mm of space behind the motherboard tray to make it easier to hide your cabling. Check out the full PR below the specifications.
Sweden, May 24, 2017 – The new Focus G series from Fractal Design is the cornerstone for your PC build, showcasing the hardware aesthetics at the heart of your system with elegant accents and sophisticated style.
Contemporary ATX (Focus G) and Micro ATX (Focus G Mini) case designs accommodates high-performance components with smart and efficient space utilization for a compact footprint.
Extensive cooling options are available with support for tall CPU heatsink/fan combos and water cooling with multiple radiator configurations.
Filtered front, top and base air intakes maintain a dust-free environment while expert cable management options keep wiring tidy. With edge-to-edge visibility, clean contemporary styling and two Silent Series LED fans, the Focus G series makes your hardware the center of attention.
Key features of the Focus G Series
• Two preinstalled Fractal Design Silent Series LL 120mm White LED fans • Focus G available in Black, White, Petrol Blue, Mystic Red, and Gunmetal Gray • Focus G Mini available in Black • Large windowed side panel • Six total fan positions for high-airflow capability • Filtered front, top and base air intakes for a dust free interior • Support for high-profile CPU coolers and multiple radiator configurations • 18 - 25 mm of space for cable routing behind the motherboard plate • Support for graphics cards up to 380 mm long without compromising hard drive space • Two vibration dampened universal drive bays with support for 6TB+ HDDs and 15mm SSDs, plus an additional 2.5" mount behind the motherboard tray.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | May 23, 2017 - 06:27 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: corsair, Commander PRO, Lighting Node PRO, HD140 RGB Fans
Corsair have announced several new products today; the Commander PRO, Lighting Node PRO and HD140 RGB fans. The Commander PRO is Corsair Link compatible fan controller with some extra tricks up its sleeve. Not only does it offer six fan connectors, there are a pair of internal USB ports, as well as two RGB connectors for LED lighting strips and four temperature control inputs. Combine this with the CORSAIR LINK Dashboard and you can keep tabs on everything from coolant temperatures to fan speeds.
Next up are the CORSAIR Lighting Node PRO strips, which you would connect to the Commander or to any USB 2.0 port. These strangely familiar lighting strips can be installed in your machine and individually controlled to provide a programmable light show inside your case. You can attach them via mounting tape backings or magnets and they are full of all the RGBs you could dream of.
Last, but not least are the HD140 RGB fans, which as you have no doubt already determined, are 140mm fans each with a dozen RGB LEDs. The HD indicates these are high static pressure fans suitable for use on a radiator or for air cooling. They can be connected to the Lighting Node PRO for complete control or you can use the built in modes for simple lighting.
Can you handle another full PR or would you prefer a video ...
FREMONT, CA –May 23rd, 2017 - CORSAIR®, a world leader in enthusiast memory, high-performance gaming hardware and PC components today announced the launch of the Commander PRO and Lighting Node PRO fan and lighting controllers, alongside the new HD140 RGB series of RGB cooling fans.
Controlled by CORSAIR LINK software, Commander PRO is the ultimate in system control, providing complete command of up to six 4-pin PWM fans, two RGB lighting channels, four temperature sensors and two USB 2.0 headers.
Lighting Node PRO lights up your PC like never before, with two CORSAIR LINK controlled RGB lighting channels and four included individually addressable RGB LED light strips, each equipped with ten RGB LEDs for brilliant, customizable, system illumination.
Finally, HD140 RGB joins the award-winning range of CORSAIR RGB cooling fans. Each 140mm fan boasts twelve vibrant, individually addressable LEDs, software controllable in CORSAIR LINK using either Commander PRO or Lighting Node PRO.
Providing total control of your PC’s cooling and lighting, Commander PRO, Lighting Node PRO and HD140 RGB combine with CORSAIR LINK to put you in command.
Offering the ultimate in CORSAIR LINK system control, Commander PRO has everything you need to take complete control of your PC’s cooling, monitoring, and lighting. Six 4-pin PWM fan headers provide total control of your cooling fans, from dead-stop to maximum speed, and anywhere in-between, using programmable fan curves in CORSAIR LINK. Two RGB lighting channels give instant RGB control of compatible CORSAIR RGB fans (up to six fans per channel) or CORSAIR RGB lighting strips (fours strips per channel).
Commander PRO also boasts four included thermistor inputs to provide additional temperature data from anywhere in your system, allowing fan speeds and lighting effects to respond to rising temperatures automatically. With the wealth of CORSAIR LINK enabled products from AXi, HXi, and RMi PSUs to CORSAIR Hydro Series liquid CPU coolers, Commander PRO offers a simple way to connect them, thanks to its pair of internal USB 2.0 headers. This frees up space on the motherboard and reduces cable clutter in your system.
Combining all the functions of a fan controller, lighting controller, temperature probe and internal USB 2.0 hub into a single CORSAIR LINK controlled device, you only need one Commander PRO for total control.
Lighting Node PRO
Lighting Node PRO provides vivid lighting effects and custom color combinations for up to twelve CORSAIR SP RGB or HD RGB fans (six per channel) or eight CORSAIR RGB Lighting strips (four per channel). The ideal addition to a CORSAIR Crystal Series 460X or 570X case, Lighting Node PRO lets you take complete software control of your case’s RGB fans in CORSAIR LINK, granting access to a host of new lighting options, from smooth transitions to adaptive lighting that reacts to component temperatures. Included with Lighting Node PRO are four individually addressable RGB LED lighting strips, each equipped with ten ultra-bright RGB LEDs ready to light up your system. Each strip includes an extension cable for easy routing and placement inside your case, while integrated magnetic mounts in each strip make them easy to install. With everything you need to bring CORSAIR LINK controlled RGB lighting to your PC, Lighting Node PRO makes it easier than ever before to light up your PC your way.
HD140 RGB Fans
Joining the award-winning HD series of RGB cooling fans, HD140 RGB combines increased airflow with twelve individually addressable LEDs for 360° of RGB every time you turn on your PC. Equipped with a low-noise hydraulic bearing and ultra-thin fan blades, HD140 RGB fans might draw attention for their looks, but not their noise, and with 4-pin PWM control, it’s simple to customize performance using Commander PRO or any 4-pin fan header. Including an easy-access 3-button controller to cycle through vivid animation presets, HD140 RGB comes to life when connected to a Commander PRO or Lighting Node PRO, unlocking nearly endless customization and lighting effects. Available as a single, or twin-pack, HD140 RGB lets you go big on fans, and bold on lighting.
Availability, Warranty and Pricing:
The CORSAIR Commander PRO, Lighting Node PRO and HD140 RGB series of fans are available immediately from the CORSAIR worldwide network of authorized retailers and distributors. All three products are backed by a two-year warranty and the CORSAIR worldwide customer support network. For up-to-date pricing, please refer to the links below or contact your local CORSAIR sales or PR representative.