Cases & PSU
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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.