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Cases & PSU
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Thermaltake Urban T81 Case Review

   Introduction   Thermaltake shook up the market a few years ago with the release of the Level 10 chassis. It took everything we knew about what a computer case was supposed to look like, and tossed it out a window. It won Thermaltake (sometimes referred to as TT) many accolades and awards for design and innovation. The down side to this was the Level 10 set a high level of expectation that Thermaltake could not live up too with follow up cases. It is hard to please everyone and even harder to please the most hard core enthusiast as they set the tone for what makes for a great case. When faced with such a monumental task as this, it is good to take a step back and reset. The Urban series of chassis is exactly that, a reset of Thermaltake’s design team. The days of boisterous designs are being replaced with sleeker lines and more modern curves. This is an effort to attract gamers, water cooling and overclocking enthusiasts with this new Urban series of chassis. The flagship model, the Urban T81, will be put to the test in this review. We will attempt a build that should please all three segments.    About ThermalTake The brand personality of Unique, Aggressive, Vivid, and Stylish makes Thermaltake an expert in creating Exciting things and Fascinating environment for gamers and enthusiasts, also Keep them Constantly High physically and mentally. Moreover, Thermaltake Technology get close to consumers and observe lead users’ behavior and requirem...



Aerocool GT-A: High-End Midi-Tower for Gamers and DIY enthusiasts

Aerocool GT-A: High-End Midi-Tower for Gamers and DIY enthusiasts 28.07.2014, Taipei, Taiwan – Aerocool Advanced Technologies, one of world’s leading manufacturers of excellent gaming PC gear, announces a new member of the GT case series. The GT-A Midi-Tower is aiming for Gamers and DIY enthusiasts seeking a High-End chassis with a superb design and a great cooling concept. Main features include a special top-panel docking station for 2,5 and 3,5 inch drives, built-in 2-channel fan controller, two preinstalled case fans as well as much space and many options for latest high-end hardware. Aerocool’s GT-A utilizes the unified and futuristic GT series exterior design with the choice between a white and a black version. Both versions are coming with a window in the side-panel, allowing insights on user’s hardware. Aerocool even implemented a really useful docking station into the GT-A’s top panel, which allows easy access to hard drives and SSDs without the hassle of opening the chassis and installing the drive into a vacant bay. The docking station can be accessed by simply sliding down the top-cover. The inside of the GT-A Midi-Tower is well structured and comes in a dual-color design, where black edition features the colors red and black, while white version combines the colors black and white. The chassis supports common mainboard form factors including ATX, Micro-ATX and Mini-ITX. Latest on-market VGA cards with a maximum length of 310 millimeters and CPU cooler...



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Be Quiet! Gives their case a name.

It finally has a name…. At this past Computex in Taipei, Be Quiet! surprised many of us by showing off a custom design case. Nice clean lines, angled top cover, smooth front surface, matte black paint job with a bright contrasting orange trim and out cropped feet, did wonders for creating a bit of buzz. The case with no name would be their introduction into the already crowded and competitive chassis market. This is a divergence from Be Quiet!’s bread and butter, performance fans and power supplies with whisper quiet operation. We should have been expecting Be Quiet to join in the fray as noise reduction among enthusiast reaches epic importance, what better way to start a silent system other then the body that will hold everything else. There has been some speculation on the naming of this mystery chassis based on Be Quiet!’s previous products such as the Shadow Rock, Dark Rock, Dark Power, Silent Wing and Shadow Wing, true to form, Be Quiet! drops the name right in the middle of their naming convention, “Silent Base 800″. Why Silent Base 800? I would guess that it is silent, past that I have no clue. Guess we will have to wait until October, the expected release date, to find out more. What we do know is that it will be available in Black/Black, Black/Silver and Black/Orange (Just in time for Halloween). Surprisingly there is no mention of a Black/Red affair to coordinate with the vast majority of boards sold today. I leave you to check out t...



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Phanteks Enthoo LUXE Full Tower Case

After all these years reviewing computer equipment, especially case reviews, it takes a lot to get me excited. There are not too many manufacturers that will spark my interest or kindle and light that fire inside of me. Today Phanteks has now moved to the top of my list as one of those manufacturers. Phanteks as some of you may already know has been on the forefront as leader in the manufacturing of thermal solutions, with their high performance fans and air coolers. Phanteks this year took the industry by surprise when the company ventured into computer case manufacturing, introducing for the very first time their award winning Phanteks Enthoo Primo full tower chassis, a chassis specifically targeting the computer enthusiast and water cooling aficionado. Today will be looking at yet another offering from Phanteks: the Phanteks Enthoo LUXE Full Tower. The Enthoo LUXE is very similar looking to the coveted Phanteks Enthoo Primo, sporting many of the distinct features and designs of its predecessor which includes multiple radiator support, modular HD cages, power supply shroud, and all aluminum look. The Phanteks Enthoo LUXE is available in both a black and a white windowed version. The Enthoo Series is all about versatility, a spacious and clean interior and, of course, Enthoo is famous for making it very easy to build water cooling systems. Read on to see why this case has got me very excited. We are taking an up close and personal look into this new arrival from Phante...



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BitFenix Fury 650G Power Supply Review

Innovation is the name of the game; if you want to keep your product line relevant and interesting then you need to mix things up a bit and give people a reason to be genuinely excited about choosing a part from your repertoire. In the world of power supplies, this innovation is coming slowly but surely as manufacturers determine how to better serve their PC enthusiast community with products that make their jobs a little bit easier and their builds a little more awesome. BitFenix opted to take the road less traveled with this, their first-ever power supply. They took a solid, stable 80 Plus Gold certified platform using all Japanese top shelf capacitors, then sleeved every single cable for you right out of the box. The name is somehow ironic to us, as they call it the BitFenix Fury, yet this power supply is poised to be anything BUT infuriating. Having well sleeved cables with a myriad of connector options and varying wattage ratings for your individual computing needs, could this be part of your next build? No spoilers yet on what we think of it, so let's read on.



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SilverStone Raven RVZ 01 Small Form Factor Case Review

Since the original RAVEN RV01 debuted in 2008, the RAVEN team at SilverStone has demonstrated many times how it can truly define or defy computer enthusiasts’ expectations of what a performance PC is capable of in both form and function. For 2014, the Silverstone team had a new target, which was to exceed and reshape the small form factor landscape with yet another breakthrough case design. The result of this effort is a new line of case products from SilverStone called RAVEN Z. As the first model, this Raven RVZ01 is unlike any SilverStone small form factor cases before it. Utilizing a PCI-E riser and custom designed fans, this slim, 14-liter case is capable of housing some of the biggest consumer graphics cards on the market with superb air cooling performance and the ability to also support liquid cooling. Read on and let’s see if the Silverstone Raven RVZ01 is what we have all been waiting for.



Lian Li Announces New Brushed Aluminum Mini-ITX Chasis – PC-Q01

Lian Li Announces New Brushed Aluminum Mini-ITX Chasis – PC-Q01 Easily Removable Cover For Effortless Installations June 24, 2014, Keelung, Taiwan – Lian-Li today announces a new brushed aluminum Mini-ITX chassis – PC-Q01. This compact case is designed for small office/home PC environments and features a tool-lessly removable L-shaped cover that makes installations effortless in space-confined ITX systems. Take Advantage of Increasingly Efficient SFF Hardware With its versatile storage capabilities, the 13.3L PC-Q01 provides ample space for hardware compatibility. Mini-ITX/Mini-DTX motherboards are supported, as well as double-slotted graphics cards and ATX power supplies up to 210 in length. To provide maximum storage capabilities without compromising space, on both the side panel and case floor one 3.5” and one 2.5” or two 2.5” drives can be mounted, allowing for a total of 4 drives. Passive or Fan Cooling Ideal for a quiet office, the passively cooled PC-Q01 features vent holes on the side, rear, and bottom panels. For extra cooling, a 120/140mm fan can be installed on the case floor in place of drives. Price and Availability The PC-Q01 will be available in black in the US in early June for the suggested retail prices of $64. PC-Q01 Product Information and Detailed Specifications: http://www.lian-li.com/en/dt_portfolio/pc-q01/ Product Features of the Lian Li PC-Q01: Supports mini-ITX and mini-DTX Easy-to-remove cover Quiet design Drive mounting: 3.5” x...



DEEPCOOL Announces Colorful STEAM CASTLE Micro

DEEPCOOL Announces Colorful STEAM CASTLE Micro ATX Computer Case to the Steam Punk Series — For DIY Build Enthusiasts and Gamers DEEPCOOL, the leading manufacturer of desktop CPU cooler, DC case fan and Notebook cooler, officially released its first Micro ATX computer case with side window version of the Steam Punk Series – STEAM CASTLE. Colorful Mod & Gaming Choice The STEAM CASTLE Micro ATX case is designed as gaming case for hardware enthusiasts with the very impressive appearance, which is compatible to both Micro ATX and Mini ITX motherboards. Also to meet various requests of colorful motherboard themes, DEEPCOOL provides choices with fours colors as Black (the always classic one), White (Popular with APPLE), Red and Yellow. The case offers quite large space besides the Micro body, which is available for CPU cooling(air cooling up to 200mm and liquid cooling up to 240mm), two 2.5″SSDs, long graphic card up to 320mm. In addition, to increase the amazing effect, 4 magic LED flash lights are pre-installed on the top. Features * Unique post-modern steam-punk style appearance, very impressive * Side-window and top 4 turbo-type air out-taking holes, excellent for PC MOD and gaming * Large area of rubber painting (soft touch) * Horizontal structure, perfect for top-performance or big-size air cooler installation, ensures a great cooling performance while keeps no extra vertical pressure to the motherboard (compared with tower-type ATX case) * 4 magic color ...



Lian Li Releases PC-B16 and PC-A61 Brushed Aluminum Mid-Tower Chassis

Lian Li Releases PC-B16 and PC-A61 Brushed Aluminum Mid-Tower Chassis Modular 5.25” Cage and Removable HDD Bays for Maximum Customization June 17, 2014, Keelung, Taiwan – Lian-Li Industrial Co. Ltd, today announces the release of PC-B16 and PC-A61 – two new brushed aluminum mid-tower chassis featuring a modular 5.25” cage and removable HDD bays, allowing for maximum customization. These two models share the same spacious internal design – with the PC-B16 focusing on silent operation. HDD/SSD Mounting System Adapts to Users’ Needs Both the PC-B16 and PC-A61, 59.7L and 57.5L respectively, boast Lian Li’s tool-less HDD bay system, allowing DIY builders to mount either a 3.5” or 2.5” drive on the six individually removable hard drive bays. To free up space or to enhance airflow from the two front 120mm fans, all six bays can be removed with the twist of a few thumbscrews. The 5.25” cage which houses three 5.25” bays is completely modular, giving builders flexibility to use the space as they see fit. An additional 2.5” can also be mounted behind the motherboard tray. The Monolithic PC-B16 The silence-oriented PC-B16 allows for a high performance system that is audibly invisible. Sound-absorbing foam lines the side panels, top panel and the lockable front door. House Big Hardware CPU coolers up to 170mm (6.7”) in height and power supplies up to 280mm (11”) in length are supported. VGA cards up to 420mm (16.5”) comfortably fit inside the ...



ID-COOLING Booth Review @ COMPUTEX 2014

ID-COOLING Booth Review @ COMPUTEX 2014  Jun. 6, Taipei – ID-COOLING might be unfamiliar to many of you, but in fact they’ve been in cooling business for a decade, mainly developing OEM business for different purposes. During this Computex, ID-COOLING rolls out a full line of computer hardware products, ranging from CPU air cooling to aluminum Micro cases.  They made this astounding demo computer constructed by heatpipe and aluminum fins. Actually the wings you see are used as CPU and VGA cooling.  One fascinating product that intrigues us is the FI-REEX DELUXE CPU air cooler. The heatsink is composed of a vapor chamber, six heatpipes that directly connected with the vapor chamber sharing the same vapor cavity, two more U-shaped 8mm heatpipes and a set of shining nickel plated heatsink fins. Mounted with two 140mm PWM fans, this cooler is set to handle up to 300W. Other than the unique air cooler, ID-COOLING also present a full range of air coolers, including traditional tower heatsinks and low-profile cooler for small PC builders    Moving on, we spot their AIO liquid cooler prototypes: Frostflow 240S and Frostflow 120S. ID-COOLING claims to launch them in the market within two months with quite affordable prices.  Besides cooling, ID-COOLING also developed a Micro case line. The Silencer ITX case has pure aluminum housing. This case has no fan at all but a passive heatsink for the cooling, up to 45W processor. It supports Mini-ITX boards, two 2.5” HDD/SSD and...



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NZXT Phantom 240 ATX Mid Tower Review

Things have been getting a thorough rustling in the case market in recent history. Every form factor from ITX on up to XL-ATX, has been getting some new life breathed into their respective segments with cases replete with features and styling that no one thought possible. NZXT, not being one to rest on their laurels for very long, have introduced a little something new to the ATX mid tower segment. It's something they like to call the Phantom 240. Boasting some pretty impressive specs for an ATX mid tower, yet not requiring you to take out a second mortgage on your house to buy it, this case stands to provide system builders on a budget with a truly impressive space for your hardware to be admired in. On top of this, it still offers the niceties that modern system builders come to expect. We've said it before, and it bears repeating: just because you're "ballin' on a budget," that doesn't have to mean that your system looks mediocre in the process. The question is... can this case provide its intended audience with enough features that make them feel like they aren't really missing too much? History tells us "yes," but like any good review site, we will turn our fair yet analytic eye toward the details for you to make sure that this product doesn't trim too much fat away for the sake of cost and form factor.



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Big Release from Be Quiet! at Computex

Computex is finishing up and the hardware news is getting exciting. Be Quite!, a company renowned for their PSU and CPU Cooler quality, brought some pretty cool releases that are not only an improvement for their markets in Europe, but give consumers more items to choose from here in North America. The Straight Power 10 is a new PSU series that will finally be available in North America and the Pure Rock is a very nice looking budget CPU cooler, but the big release is a new computer case that will introduce Be Quiet! to the very competitive chassis market. Having a new PSU line up in North America is great due to the quality that Be Quiet! offers. The Straight Power series had only shown up in European markets but I’m sure the Straight Power 10 series will be welcomed warmly in North America. While the details may be sparse on the PSUs, the new CPU cooler has some very exciting connotations for the budget PC. Right now, the king of the budget CPU coolers is the Cooler Master Hyper 212+ and the close second is the Hyper 212 Evo. These have great price to performance ratios, but they leave a little to desire in the noise and aesthetics departments. Each cooler has what looks like unfinished tips sticking out of the top and while the Evo fan looks slightly better, both are slightly plain while holding the Cooler Master reputation of being pretty loud at full speed. Be Quiet! is now introducing their Pure Rock cooler that is planned to release at $35.00. If this cooler o...



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SilverStone ML06 HTPC Case Review

With more households "cutting the cord" to make the move to an all internet streaming solution, having access to a full fledged PC can be key to entertainment bliss. Some home smart theater equipment has YouTube, Amazon Prime, Netflix or Hulu interfaces built right in. However, none of these boxes will have access to all of the named options, or a full fledged browser. They are also not capable of playing the latest PC games. This is why having a real PC connected to your television remains the best option. There are many choices when it comes to cases for your Home Theater PC. These will range from a full tower to the really small Intel NUC sized systems. Towards the smaller side of cases you will find the SilverStone MILO series of HTPC cases. The MILO series cases are designed to blend in with existing home theater equipment with simple styling and smaller profiles. Silverstone recently added the ML06 to the MILO lineup to add another layer of options for HTPC builders using Mini ITX boards. You were able to use the ML03 and ML04 cases but the ML06 is a whopping 50% smaller than the ML03! At a reported 7 liters, let's see if the ML06 stands up to the style and smart designs of the previous MILO HTPC cases.



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SilverStone Strider Essential ST60F-ESG 600w PSU Review

One of the most common questions we ask when working on a new computer build is “what power supply (PSU) should I get?” Often times it can be a tricky decision, as many manufacturers make the same claims as one another. What can compound this decision-making process is the amount of space you have to work with in your rig. If you are building a smaller form-factor PC, the size of your PSU can limit the total wattage you can get in your PSU as well, which can confound you even more. SilverStone is here to tell you that size doesn’t mean everything. Enter their Strider Essential series power supply. For today’s review, we have their ST60F-ESG 600W unit on hand. It is rated with an 80 Plus Gold certification, is non-modular, and provides 600W of total power output. We’ll see if this PSU lives up to Silverstone’s legendary quality.



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Lian Li Makes the Ultimate Computer Desk

Every once in a while, I see something so “nerd-gasmic,” that I pass out for about an hour before I can come back to reality and write something coherent about a new release. Lian Li has done this to me with the release of their DK-01X and DK-02X desk chassis’. As soon as I saw this, I completely fell in love with the design they implemented while fantasizing about the two of us bravely conquering computer hardware across the world. Unfortunately, I had to come back to reality and while the design seems exceptional, the consumer will have to pay for it. First, let’s look at these releases as computer cases. A case is a bit counter-intuitive to what an enthusiast is trying to do in keeping one’s components from over-heating; however, a case serves a great purpose in protecting fragile hardware. With these desk chassis’, the airflow design doesn’t seem like it could be any more ideal. With three 120mm fans on each side of the case…desk…case, fresh air is brought in on one side, expelling the hot air inside on the complete opposite side. There is virtually no chance of hot air being recirculated through the components until you heat an entire room up. That’s not all though. This desk…I mean, case, would be ideal for bench testing. One of the major downfalls of many conventional bench cases is the lack of places to mount liquid cooling, which leads to shots of a nice test system having a radiator sloppily hangin...






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