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Posts Tagged ‘mini-itx’

BIOSTAR Beats Everyone to the Punch with AM4 Mini ITX Boards

Wow! Biostar is getting pretty serious about their motherboards and if community response is any indication, they may have a huge win on their hands here. It looks like they released two versions sporting the mini ITX form factor in the X370GTN and B35oGTN. Based on the questions I’ve seen, it looks like several people will be excited to have a mini ITX board to pair with Ryzen and the fact that these belong to the Racing series is a nice bonus. The only mystery left is why Biostar chose to release two chipset versions of what appears to be the same board. http://www.biostar-usa.com/app/en-us/mb/result.php?model[]=879&model[]=878& If you follow the link above, you’ll notice I ran a comparison of the two boards. The only difference I can find is the chipset. Personally, I feel like several companies are missing out on the true opportunity of the X370 and B350 chipsets. B350 is like it’s bigger brother in almost every way, but it doesn’t multiple graphics card configurations. That’s the only major difference. What this means is that the B350 can offer quality overclocking and high end board features while still maintaining smaller form factors and better cost efficiency. In other words, X370 should only be on full ATX motherboards with the intention to Crossfire or SLI, while B350 should be more of the mainstream chipset, offering options for good overclocking, but also relegating itself to the mATX or mini ITX form factors. I’m su...



The Dune Case is a Smooth take on Mini-ITX

When I see the term Kickstarter, I default to a new video game getting made. I get it, Kickstarters are for much more than just games, but it seems to be the only time I really notice them is with a new game. (I’m looking at you Yooka-Laylee!) So I was a bit surprised to see a computer case trying to get launched off a Kickstarter. I was also surprised to see a case that’s round, but I think the Dune Case is on to something pretty cool looking. The best thing about the Dune Case is that it looks more like an air purifier than a computer case. This isn’t to pick on the case, but makes the point of how well it would fit in a living room decor. The cylindrical shape is something that you would normally see with numerous electronic devices that are designed to be used next to the sofa or the entertainment center. While that’s great for people who care about decorating, what intrigues the enthusiast inside of me is the airflow design. By using a 140mm fan in the top, the air is pulled from the bottom of the case and easily vented out the top like a tiny wind tunnel. The only thing I wish it had was a second fan on the bottom to help push the air through, but the PSU location would make that a bit tricky. The Dune Case is certainly something I would like to use for a home theater setup, especially since I cut the cable/dish chord a long time ago. My only concern for this case is that because it’s a Kickstarter, it has to swim on it’s own which...



NZXT is taking the Edge off with the Manta

I keep thinking I’m looking through a fish lens, but it’s actually the new design on a mini-ITX case just revealed from NZXT. The Manta is bringing a new aesthetic design to the computer case, challenging the idea that everything has to be box shaped. It looks very sharp and it seems to give a bit of a modern edge to an already modern industry. The Manta may be bringing a new aesthetic design, but there’s a practical purpose behind it as well. The first thing I latched onto about this case was how the rounded design gives more space for cable management. That’s hugely advantageous for smaller systems, especially since the Manta can house a full sized PSU. What’s also intriguing is the amount of liquid cooling space this case has. It can handle a full 280mm rad on top, as well as one in the front. It’s great to be able to fit a Kraken X61 in there, but custom loop builders will be able to do a great setup for overclocking the CPU, motherboard and the GPU. On top of all of that, there’s matte finishes, some nice color choices, a PSU cover and an included fan hub. NZXT seems to be outdoing themselves on this case which is impressive considering their offerings. Looks are important, but functionality has to be right as well. The Manta seems to have the best of both worlds. Personally, I’d love to see what some good case mods could do with this shape. Sure, I have Star Wars on the brain, but I can’t help wishing for a good K...



Phanteks PH-TC12LS & PH-TC14S CPU Cooler Reviews

Introduction Phanteks has recently started to branch out with more products to add to their already popular name; they have set a standard in the cooling market with some of today’s top performing air coolers. The quality and superb performance reputation they have built, helps keep the air cooling market competitive and creates a leveled playing field with other top contenders like Noctua, be quiet!, NZXT and Cooler Master. In the past, we have seen some pretty unique air coolers from Phanteks. With features from beefy tower style coolers to color matching heatsinks, Phanteks has a style that fits everyone’s needs. Today…we are going to be looking at 2 new coolers that not only looks aesthetically pleasing, but have a price point that can fit anyone’s budget. We have for you today the Phanteks PH-TC12LS and Phanteks PH-TC14S.   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, designers and developers whose only desires are to bring the latest cutting edge technology to yo...



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



Bitfenix Collosus Mini ITX Review

Lately it seems I have been covering the smaller side of things in reviews. If you read any of them, you will know that I am not a big fan of the diminutive size of Micro and Mini anything when it comes to computing. The bigger the better has been my motto. Huge cases that could fit every feature you might ever want, plus the remains of Jimmy Hoffa, have been my focus for the last few years. Despite this, not too long ago I had the chance to experiment with some of the newer small offerings from Bitfenix and MSI in the form of the Prodigy M and the Z87I Micro ATX Gaming board. I freely admit that I had a change of heart. To my surprise the performance differences between full size and snack size has been erased during this recent resurgence of the minuscule. Bitfenix is now giving me the chance to go even smaller with a Mini-ITX based Colossus M in an effort to fully rehabilitate my aversion to pint size PCs! If it is anything like the Prodigy M, they might just succeed. Let's dig in and find out!



ECS KBN-I/5200 AMD A6-5200 Mini-ITX Motherboard Review

AMD's APU series market has really picked up pace over the last few years. The most recent updates to their current road map, included the new FM2+ socket A88X based chipset and the Kaveri Processor. This has really generated a great deal of interest with many of today's budget conscious consumers. However, with no updates to AMD's enthusiast FX series chip road map, AMD's APU series is really the only new technology we are seeing at the moment from its consumer line. With that said, we are excited to see that AMD is starting to put more budget friendly APU technology out in the market and we are going to shed some light on what to expect. Today we are looking at a very new low-budget APU inspired motherboard. It includes the Kabini SoC processor (which runs the Jaguar APU Cores) on a Radeon HD8000 series graphics base, and it does it all in a tight nit space. At the beginning of the year, ECS (Elitegroup Computer Systems) announced this Kabini SoC processing unit which houses an AMD A6-5200 CPU. It also includes a Radeon 8400 GPU all in a small mini-ITX form factor APU combo. Today we got our nitty gritty hands on this tiny power house to put it to the test. We are excited to see what this Quad Core A6-5200 APU can do. Before we jump into the details of the ECS KBN-I/5200 motherboard, lets take a look at ECS (Elitegroup Computer Systems).



Biostar Hi-Fi B85N-3D Motherboard Review

Biostar has been in the motherboard business since the early 80's. While they were not always the preferred brand that enthusiasts turn to, they have definitely improved in this arena in the last few years. We saw a big improvement in their motherboard sector with the Z77 chipset launch. Now that Biostar has had this chance to improve today's newer chipset, we are going to be looking at a budget friendly chipset on the B85N-3D motherboard. This motherboard was developed on the mini-ITX platform, and, while this isn't Biostar's flagship motherboard, we are here today to put this Small Form Factor (SFF) motherboard to the test. The popularity of Small Form Factor motherboards has been on the rise, and Biostar's B85N-3D has been developed for customers looking for an HTPC or Media platform with a focus around 3D audio support. Will this motherboard be able to keep up with some of the high-end mainstream motherboards? Let's dive in and find out.



Cooler Master Elite 110 Mini-ITX Case Review

Small form factor PC builds are among one of the more popular topics on many PC forums. Building affordable small form-factor power-house PCs has taken a huge leap forward recently as many manufacturers are starting to saturate the market with more small form factor hardware. Mini-ITX motherboards and small, yet powerful graphics card availability is on the rise. With that increased demand becoming more apparent, we are also starting to see other SFF (small form factor) accessories appearing on store shelves. With that said, today we are going to take a look at a Cooler Master Elite 110 chassis. This one is designed to meet those looking to build either a budget friendly or a powerful gaming PC in a tiny foot print. Just how much versatility and style can Cooler Master pack into the Elite 110?? Read on to find out!



 
 
 
 
 

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.



BitFenix Colossus Mini-ITX and Micro-ATX

Introduction Styled after the legendary BitFenix Colossus, Colossus Mini-ITX and Colossus Micro-ATX bring a futuristic yet refined design to the mini-ITX and Micro-ATX form factors. The top and sides feature our signature SofTouch™ Surface Treatment for an undeniably quality finish, and exclusive LiteTrak™ Technology forms a virtually unbroken line of light across the front and sides of the case that can not only switch color, but also pulsate at the touch of a button. On the inside, users will be treated to an epically flexible interior that can accommodate multiple expansion cards and storage options. Two USB 3.0 ports enable lightning-quick file transfers, while small refinements such as rolled-edge cable pass-throughs, magnetic heat shield, and a powder-coated interior make Colossus Micro-ATX and Colossus Micro-ATX a joy to build in. Delivering aggressive looks with the flexibility to match, the small yet powerful Colossus Micro-ATX and Colossus Micro-ATX are the next big thing.     Specifications Materials Steel, Plastic, SofTouch™ Colors (Int/Ext) Black/Black Dimensions (WxHxD) 250 x 330 x 374mm Dimensions (WxHxD) Micro-ATX, Mini-ITX 5.25″ Drive Bays x 1 3.5” Drive Bays x 4 2.5” Drive Bays x 3 Cooling Top 120mm x 2 (optional) Cooling Bottom 120mm x 2 (1 included) or 200mm x 1(optional) or 230mm x 1 (optional) 120mm x 1 (included) or 140mm x 1 (optional) PCI Slots x 5 I/O USB 3.0 x 2, HD Audio Power Supply PS2 ATX (bottom, multi direction) Ex...



Nanoxia Deep Silence 4

Introduction Nanoxia announced that the first of the new Deep Silence cases the Deep Silence 4 is available at their distributors. The Deep Silence 4 is the smallest case of the Deep Silence series so far, designed for Micro-ATX or Mini-ITX motherboards. This unit is ready for Water cooling, it has modular HDD-cages, a full noise-insulation, a stepless 2-channel fan control, front USB 3.0 connectors and tool free mounting of optical devices. By removing the upper two HDD cages, users can also install VGA cards with a maximum length of 395mm. With all HDD cages in place, graphic cards of up to 265 mm can be accommodated. After removing the upper two HDD-cages it is also possible to install a compact 120mm water cooling solution behind the front Panel.This case is available in three color schemes: Dark Black ,Anthracite and White. It also has the distinct European style.It is an elegantly styled case that would look great as the basis of a home theater system or a small footprint gaming system. Deep Silence 4 specifications as follows Specifications Model Deep Silence 4 EAN Dark Black 4260285296406 EAN Anthracite 4260285296451 EAN White 4260285296475 Housing Type Minitower Form Factor Micro-ATX, Mini-ITX 5.25-inch external bays 2 x 3.5 inch external bays 1 x (optional) 2.5 / 3.5 inch internal bays 6 x 2.5 / 3.5 “+ 1 x 2.5” Case fans (front) 1 x 120 mm Case fan (rear) 1 x 120 mm Case fans (top) optional 1 x 120/140 mm Height (approx.) 380 mm Width (approx.) 200 ...



 
 
 
 
 

NZXT H230 Silent Mid-Tower

Introduction: Today I was given the opportunity to look at and review yet another offering from NZXT. Among the many different cases they manufacture, their H series in particular has become one that has truly sparked my interest. Over the past several years, NZXT has become one of the premier manufacturers. They have been ahead of the pack with innovative designs and features while targeting both the gaming and enthusiasts’ arena. Today we will be looking at a new budget oriented Mid-Tower chassis, the H230 which is also part of their H or silent series of cases. If you’re not familiar with the NZXT H series line of cases, the NZXT H230 brings some of the same sound deadening abilities as its two predecessors, only this time it’s in a more affordable package. The new NZXT H230, a Mid Tower Chassis fits right in alongside NZXT’s award winning H2 and H630 silent series of cases. The NZXT H230 comes complete with a tool-free 5.25” latch design, removable HDD cage, seven expansion slots and USB 3.0 connectivity. Read on to see if it brings all of the essentials together for a silent, cool, hassle-free computing experience.   Our Thanks goes out to NZXT for providing us with the review sample. “NZXT, a company built upon gamer’s dreams, hopes to create products that put consumers first. With the objective of designing unique products catered for hardware enthusiasts and gamers, NZXT has grown into a globally renowned brand recognized for dedicati...



Xigmatek Nebula Mini ITX Case

Xigmatek has just released a new Mini ITX case that is aimed at the Home entertainment and gaming market. It is called Nebula and they state “that it resembles something out of this world”. The top is coated with grand piano black paint and the side panels are in a jet black scratch resistant finish. It has an innovative air intake system at the base of the case, it also has an HD light on the bottom of the case. Here is quick list of features and specs:   Features – Includes pre-installed high performance silent (black with black fan blades) Xigmatek XOF fan with FCB (Fluid Circulative Bearing) for ultimate exhaust capabilities. – I/ O panel includes 2 x Super-Speed USB 3.0, HD Audio In/Out jacks, Power/Reset. – Capable of mounting Mini-ITX Motherboards. – Innovative 2 X 3.5” HDD can be converted to 2.5” SSD for easy mix and match. – Included 1 additional 2.5” SSD mounting holes inside chassis – All 3 side panels are tool-less and designed with quick release mechanism. – Can install full sized power supplies – Can mount up to 200mm Gaming Graphic cards Specifications Dimension L) 206x (H) 330x (W) 206mm Drive Bay 3.5″ Internal x 2 (tool-free retainers) or 2.5” Internal x 2 Expansion Slot 2 slots Motherboard Mini-ITX Power Supply Standard P/S2(ATX) or EPS Cooling System Rear fan: Preinstalled one 1200 RPM 120mm silent Xigmatek XOF black bladed fan I/O Panel USB 3.0 x 2 and HD Audio in/out jacks ...



 
 
 
 
 

Cooler Master Elite 130 Mini-ITX Case Review

Introduction With Mini-ITX gaming systems on the rise lately, it’s no wonder why more and more manufacturers are getting into the Mini-ITX market. Cooler Master is a name that I’m sure everyone reading this is familiar with. They have been around for a LONG time and make TONS of different PC-related goods including cases, CPU coolers, laptop coolers, keyboards, mice, headsets, and the list goes on. A year or two ago, Cooler Master came out with the Elite 120 Advanced Mini-ITX case that was small on size but big on room and features. Cooler Master has just released their latest Mini-ITX in the series, the Elite 130! The Elite 130 takes the base setup from the Elite 120 Advanced and removes the internal HDD bays in favor of 120mm water cooling support. It also adds in a unique drive mounting system to make up for it. They were kind enough to send us one to check out so let’s get it on the bench for testing!     A little about the Elite 130 from Cooler Master: “One of the most compact, yet fully featured chassis for high performance M-ITX computing. Included is a large mesh front panel that offers reserved styling while allowing extreme airflow. It’s designed to fit in the most minute available desk space while supporting high performance hardware. Elite 130 supports: the largest VGAs from NVIDIA or AMD, 5 x HDDs and/or SSDs, a full-sized power supply, and even a thick 120mm DIY or AIO watercooling radiator.” – Cooler Master Le...







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