Posts Tagged ‘HTPC’
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...
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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Introduction: Sometimes you just get lucky and happen to find a well built case that fits within a tight budget, but also looks extremely good and includes features you would not normally find at a budget price. Today we might have a good example of that. I’m talking about a new arrival from Cooler Master, the N-200. This is the latest addition to Cooler Master’s brand new N Series compact ITX / Micro ATX mainstream cases. The Cooler Master N-200 comes with water cooling support and improved air cooling performance, wrapped in a subtle and simplistic design. It could be the case that may really meets your needs and leaves your wallet happier too. The N-200 from Cooler Master not only supports a 120mm radiator at the back, but is the first mini tower that supports installing 120mm or even 240mm radiators in the front of the case! Thanks to its all mesh front panel and two high quality Cooler Master Xtra Flo fans with large air vents, it boasts excellent cooling performance. Furthermore, despite its extremely compact size, the N-200 supports 160mm tall CPU tower coolers, and long high-end VGAs, (including the HD 7990). It even has support for four 2.5″ SSDs and three of 3.5″ HDDs. Read on as we take an up close and personal look at the Cooler Master N-200 Mini Tower to see if it is the affordable answer you are looking for. Our Thanks goes out to Cooler Master for providing us with the review sample. Here’s a brief statement from them....
The company be quiet! has been a big hit recently, we had the opportunity to review our first be quiet! cooler, the Dark Rock Pro 2, and today we have a chance to take a look at another cooler called the Shadow Rock Topflow. This cooler was designed to be quite different then your typical tower cooler. We wonder if the orientation of the cooler will perform better, or hinder its performance results. Today we are going to put it to the test and find out.
The non-reference Sparkle Dragon Cyclone GTX 650 derives its name primarily from the custom cooler (though you also get a factory overclock) that Sparkle has designed. It includes three fans that are swap-and-drop, allowing consumers the choice of Turbo, Stock, or Silent options to install in order to suit their preferences and needs. It's definitely innovative, but can the card compete in criteria other than price and fan design?
With the popularity of small form factor builds becoming more common place over recent years, sometimes finding the right CPU Cooler can be a challenge. With the tight spaces in small factor builds, it really takes a special cooler to do the job correctly. Today we will be looking at the Noctua NH-L9i CPU Cooler. From an aesthetics stand point, we see that Noctua remains true to its brand by sticking to its traditional colors with the tan and brown fans. While this cooler looks small compared to the traditional line up from Noctua, this small form factor CPU cooler has a unique look of its own. From a performance stand point, we are going to see if it also holds true to Noctua's past performance. While this cooler was not designed to support high overclocks, today we are still going to put it to the test and see what it can do.
One of the several names that comes to mind when you’re talking about superior air cooling performance is Phanteks. Phanteks in a very short time has become a leader in the air cooling heavy weight arena, especially with their high performance gargantuan air coolers, like the PH-TC14PE for example. Phanteks is now entering the ring with a new light-weight contender called the Phanteks PH-TC90LS. It is a new arrival with a very low profile. It looks like it is especially geared for those small form factor gaming cases and HTPC builds we now see flooding the market. Its design seems to cater to the limited amount of space that they provide. Today, I have the pleasure of reviewing a new addition to the Phanteks family of coolers, The PH-TC90LS. It is a very small, low profile cooler with the same technologies we have seen in Phanteks larger builds, like their special P.A.T.S. and C.P.S.C. technologies. The PH-TC90LS sports a low profile of just 95x95x45mm. It is made of a nickel plated copper block, with three 6 mm heat pipes embedded within the block, as well as an aluminum finned heat stack & a 90mm low profile white PWM fan. All this is packed together in a very small footprint. Read on to see if this light weight contender can score a knockout punch like its bigger brothers.
We've seen several Kepler-based graphics cards from Nvidia, and have noted their ability to provide great performance at competitive prices. And today is a bit of a continuation of that trend, as we're looking at the GeForce GT 640, a lower-end card that comes with a retail price of around $100 and targeted to consumers on a very tight budget that don't need a powerhouse gaming card. While the ECS GT 640 does target modest goals, we love great value, so the question is can this card perform reasonably well enough to earn a recommendation from us? Let's see how it shapes up. Click through for more.
There are several instances, especially in technology, when taking up less space is important. Finding a good low profile cooler can be challenging, especially since the more compact designs don't always have the reputation of high performance. Today we will be looking at a low profile CPU Cooler that is designed be able to keep up with some of the popular larger coolers, yet do it in a more compact size. We have a low profile CPU Cooler by Noctua on the test-bench, and this one is called the NH-L12.
Zotac may be known for gaming graphics cards, but the company is also well known for producing smallform mini PCs. The ZBOX ID84 Plus is the latest in a long line of these mini systems, and it comes with a very attractive price tag of about $319, perhaps a very affordable HTPC setup for those on a tight budget who lack the need of something fancy or expensive, but still want the versatility of managing daily uses a computer can provide. The ID84 Plus looks like a sleek little unit, so let's take a closer look and see how it fares. Click through for more.