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Posts Tagged ‘HTPC’
Noctua NH-L9 (5)

Noctua NH-L9x65 Review

Introduction Noctua is renowned for their silent performance, but lately we’ve been seeing more products that fit into the small form-factor HTPC market over the ultra-enthusiasts monster performance market. This no doubt indicates a shift in less desire for the newest high end products and more demand for parts that “get the job done.” The NH-L9x65 is one such product. Here, Noctua is introducing a very nice, low-profile CPU cooler that fits the bill entirely for keeping an ITX style computer cool in it’s constrained case space. We know Noctua can make great coolers, but now we’ll see how well this small cooler stacks up. We’ll be finding out soon enough but before we start taking a closer look, let’s pause for a brief statement about who Noctua is and what they are passionate about.

Liva x stock

ECS LIVA X Mini PC- Review

Introduction   Here we are at the beginning of a new year where we can start fresh on old habits, forgotten projects of days past, and new promises to self and others; it is all about moving forward. Last year ECS released a mini PC kit called LIVA. We were invited out to a press event in San Jose to discuss it and a few other products.  Article here.  The small black box PC was meant to be assembled before the end user installed their preferred OS. This wasn’t overly difficult for even a beginner but it may have intimidated some into looking for other solutions. LIVA had a decent amount of processing power, small footprint, built in Bluetooth/WiFi and was priced competitively. Overall it was a good first out for ECS. Now we have a new year and a fresh attempt to introduce Mini PCs to those with an imagination, limited space, HTPC or even digital signage. The LIVA X is an update to add features and correct some of the pitfalls found in the first iteration of the LIVA MINI PC. I have high hopes for the LIVA X so let’s see if it can replace my current full size HTPC solution.     ECS, the Elitegroup Computer Systems, was established in 1987, and almost 30 years of business. More than two decades, ECS has overcome a great deal of obstacles facing new businesses and has experienced the joy of significant growth and development. Her main focus has expanded to not only motherboards, but also desktop and notebook computers, graphics cards and other mo...


Introducing the NZXT DOKO! A Unique Take on PC Streaming

      A PC streaming device that brings you the full functionality of your pc, anywhere in your home.     Los Angeles, CA – DOKO is a PC streaming device that connects to your network and allows you to easily use your PC in the comfort of your living room. Run office software, stream limitless media content and play PC exclusive titles – do anything and everything your PC can do, anywhere in your home. The current problem with modern PC streaming technologies and set-top boxes is that they all come with their own pre-defined limitations. TV boxes are restricted to their own set of media channels, file formats and limited applications. PC game streaming and screen mirroring devices are all restricted by their own platforms, proprietary technologies or latency issues. Utilizing a gigabit connection to your network, DOKO offers low latency (50-80ms) high definition (1080p, 30fps) streaming with unparalleled compatibility. And unlike current streaming devices and set-top boxes, DOKO offers four USB ports with USBoverIP technology. With this technology, plugging a USB device into DOKO is just like plugging that USB device into the PC that is being streamed, no matter how far away. This gives you the freedom to use the input devices you already own and are used to. Freeing you from the restrictions of current PC game streaming technologies, DOKO lets you play any game your PC can, all in the comfort of your living room. No proprietary software or har...


Phanteks Enthoo Evolv Chassis Review

Introduction In the last few years, the PC chassis world has grown dramatically. With the large number of case makers jumping into the market, finding the right chassis has proven to be a tough job for some. However, while your options are pretty limitless with so many makers, sometimes it’s just about what options and quality they come with. So with that in mind, today we are going to be looking at a new chassis by reputable maker Phanteks. Phanteks has been known to produce some of today’s top performing air coolers while using some of the most unique and high quality designs. Phanteks joined the chassis market when it first announce the Phanteks Enthoo Primo. Since that case, they have quickly built a solid reputation on quality and attractive designs. Today we are going to bring you another Phanteks case with its own unique twist. Before we dive into the nitty gritty of the Phanteks Enthoo Evolv, let’s talk a little about Phanteks. About Phanteks “Phanteks was founded from a group of engineers with a total of 20 years of international experience in thermal solutions. They paired up with a Dutch design team and established Phanteks in 2007. Phanteks venture into the CPU cooling industry with two goals in mind, high-end quality and innovative products in thermal solutions. As a relatively young company, we strive to develop top quality and superior products. Our Phanteks Design Team is situated in the Netherlands and consists of creative researchers, ...


Thermaltake Core V1 mITX Case Review

  Introduction The versatility of the mITX platform continues its popularity with gamers and builders of all kinds. This is partly due to the availability of a functional chassis to create these stellar systems. No matter if you want a gaming rig or a low profile HTPC there is a case for the task at hand. Thermaltake has offered a few mITX cases in the past but with some new design directions, they are at it again with the Core V1. The Core and Urban series chassis are a large shift from the style and overall designs found in TT’s past series. With smooth, sleek , functional and simplistic designs, the Urban and Core series has captured many awards and praise. That simplistic but functional idea is carrying over to the mITX platform and may be what makes the Core v1 special. “Started from the Passion with the DIY (Do It Yourself) concepts and the desires to “Delivering the perfect user experience.” Thermaltake Technology was established in November, 1999 and has been market to the world with “Thermaltake” brand name ever since. To achieve greatness, Thermaltake has the courage to explore and experiment on new possibilities, especially with excellent technical expertise and integration skill which makes Thermaltake the authority in the market” Specs


Azza Z mITX Case Review

Introduction ITX style cases never cease to amaze me. Just when you think there can’t possibly be a better/different way to house and organize your hardware, along comes another case to once again challenge your thinking on how these form factors can be laid out. This is especially important for those of you who, like myself, enjoy a bit of tasteful case modding from time to time to really make the rig stand out as being uniquely your own. It can also be just as important to those who simply require a specific shape/size to accommodate their usage scenario.   Azza, always one to bring us somewhat “outlandishly” designed cases, is now offering up their first mITX case: the Z. Somewhat conservatively designed in comparison to their other offerings and providing a unique layout that accommodates both water cooling radiators and a slim profile, can this case really offer an enthusiast what they need out of their next small form factor (SFF) build? I was bound and determined to find out, so I tried to cover pretty much all of the bases here. Now, let’s dig in!   www.azzatek.com AZZA’s Mission is simple: You satisfaction is our success! Jumpstarted with the Vision to build a premier corporate company that consistently exceeds the managed expectations of our customers, team members and partners, AZZA is driven by the Mission to provide the highest quality products of unmatched value, along with exemplary customer support. We do this via t...


Enter to Win a SilverStone ML07 HTPC Case from PureOverclock

                Simple to win. Shipping to US addresses only. Have a family member in the US that will ship to you or you just want them to have this sweet HTPC case? Then go ahead and enter! Share to make it easier for us to continue the giveaways! Want to know more about the MILO ML07 HTPC Case? Click here for more info—–>> CLICK ME! Classic SilverStone styling Support graphics card up to 13 inches Mini-ITX motherboard & SFX PSU compatible Maximum performance in slim form factor with support for liquid cooling* Fits in nearly any environment with horizontal or vertical orientation  

liva sbs

ECS: Design Your Own LIVA Competition

Design Your Own LIVA Competition   1 September 2014, Fremont, USA – ECS USA is proud to announce the kick off of its “Design Your Own LIVA” competition in North America. All the participants are able to vote for the entries for the opportunity to win grand prizes. Starting September 1, 2014, ECS will be searching for the most creative person of the year. The Grand Prize winner will win US$1,000. ECS will be promoting the competition via its media partners and local colleges and universities in Northern California including: College of San Mateo, Mills College, San Jose City College, De Anza College and Foothill College.     How to enter: 1. Participants: (1) Group or Individual (assign one representative if group type, Max. 3 people at on one team). (2) Entry number – Max 3 pieces. 2. Contest: Design your own LIVA case Round 1 (September 1, 2014 to September 30, 2014 – design draft audition: Participants submit a soft copy of design draft via Facebook. The 10 participants with the most “likes” will advance to the next round to be evaluated by judges. Round 2 (October 1, 2014 – October 31, 2014) – Real entry audition: participants make the actual LIVA case based on their design draft (ECS will provide white cases to Top 10 participants nominated in Round 1. Participants must send their photos by October 31, 2014 to be considered by our judges to enter the final contest. Final contest – November 7, 2014: ECS’ judges will pick a 1st, 2nd a...


Inside the ECS Press Event

LIVE & LIVA ECS (EliteGroup Computer Systems) recently held what they titled the “LIVE, LIVA, LEAD, L337″ press event in San Jose to unveil some new products and to discuss the future of ECS. PureOverclock was one of the lucky few to be invited to attend this event. One of the main products ECS seemed to be most proud of and focused a large amount of their attention to was the LIVA mini PC Kit. LIVA is one of the smallest fully functional PCs capable of running Windows 8.1 I have seen. There are a few models available based on color (Black or White) and Drive space size(32GB or 64GB). The plan is to install the OS and a few other apps on the internal non upgradeable drive and use an external drive for storage, either a USB flash drive or an external Hard drive. I/O options starting from the left are a micro USB for power, Realtek RTL8111G 10/100/1000LAN, USB 2.0, USB 3.0, HDMI and VGA. The tiny passively cooled pc is powered by the 64bit Intel Bay Trail-M N2807 1.58GHz Celeron processor with 2GB DDR3L memory. LIVA is fully capable of pushing dual displays as well. Within the kit is a M.2 WiFi 802.11a/b/g/n + Bluetooth 4.0 card that needs to be installed during assembly. Hey look it is everyone’s favorite song! Let’s sing along! Just kidding please don’t! ECS setup the LIVA to support Karaoke with dual microphones and HD video playback. I will be experimenting with my own LIVA over the coming days to see what I can really do with it. Window...

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Streacom FC8 EVO Fanless Chassis Review

Introduction With the growing industry of digital media and streaming devices, the world of compact designed media players and HTPCs have grown quite a bit over the last few years. While some can suffice with a simple media device like the Roku, Western Digital Media Box and even the Chrome TV, these devices can sometimes only satisfy the basic general consumers’ needs. What about those in need of a little more power and flexibility? This is where the growing SFF (small form factor) HTPC market comes into play. Some will say you can build an HTPC with some basic PC components and drop them into a computer case and call it a day, but who wants a junky or bulky PC tower sitting in their entertainment center looking out of place. For users like us, we like our media center to be the center of attention… so you probably want something a little more aesthetically pleasing. Today, we have chance to look at a uniquely designed SFF PC chassis that can operate in complete silence. We have on our test table today the Streacom FC8 Evo Fanless Chassis. Also, when we refer to it being silent, we really mean it, because the Streacom FC8 Evo case features a completely fanless design. Perhaps its sleek aesthetics will prove to be a talking point of your entertainment center. Let’s review it and find out…   Before we move forward with the exciting features, let’s first talk about who Streacom is: History Streacom was founded in 2010 by a small but experi...


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.


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.


Diamond R7 250 Boost Review

In this ever-blossoming technology industry there are smaller companies that are often overshadowed by their behemoth competitors. There are many reasons why this occurs but one of the most common assumptions is that the smaller company is lower quality. The thinking has been that the smaller guy can’t make a product as well as the bigger guy. Diamond has been striving to prove that assumption to be false. They believe they can be a smaller company yet still offer quality and value. Diamond sent us an AMD based GPU: their R7 250 with Boost. Let's see how well their promise holds up.


DeepCool Gabriel CPU Cooler Review

Small form factor PC builds have been very popular over the last few years and when it comes to cooling your processor with an mITX motherboard, we find very few low profile coolers on the market that perform well in small confined spaces. However, today we are going to be looking at a new lower profile CPU cooler that looks to fit the bill for not only great cooling, but also great aesthetic appeal. We have the DeepCool Gabriel CPU Cooler on the bench today and we have installed this massive low profile cooler into a very confined chassis to put the cooling feature to the test. DeepCool isn't as mainstream as some of the other manufacturers in the States, but our past experiences with DeepCool show they have released some very impressive coolers for both budget builders for high-end PC enthusiasts. Before we dive in and take a full look at the DeepCool Gabriel CPU Cooler let's talk about DeepCool.


BitFenix Prodigy M

The desktop PC has evolved into a platform for enthusiasts and modders to cram as much gear into a case as they can. Sometimes it is just not practical for taking to a LAN or using as an HTPC due to the size and weight of a custom PC. There has been a concerted effort by some case manufacturers to reduce the footprint of the desktop without leaving the features of a larger chassis behind. We all have grown spoiled to the conveniences of cable routing, drive bays and countless cooling options. This is where the ingenuity and innovation of BitFenix comes into play. BitFenfix, the creator of the popular mini ITX Prodigy case is looking to fill a gap in the small form factor market. Many complained the original Prodigy did not support the larger micro ATX board and felt left out. The Prodigy M with full support for micro ATX and mini ITX boards is said to offer the same flexibility and style of the original Prodigy case with the same small footprint. Let's take a look into how BitFenix pulled this off.

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