Cases & Cooling Articles
Excellent looks, great performance, terrible acoustics.
ITX cases not really meant for an ITX system.
Noctua constantly redefines quality with each new generation of coolers, and the NH-U12S/NH-U14S are a testament to this.
Non-budget features at a budget price and small form factor.
Find another $90 case with more functionality; I bet you can't.
Cases & Cooling News
NZXT, the computer chassis, PSU, and peripheral company is in the news today, not because of a sleek new product, but rather a nefarious email sent to their mailing list stating they were going out of business.
Dear fans, friends, and followers of NZXT
NZXT was established in Los Angeles, California in 2004. Since then, we have produced many revolutionary and exciting products, from Cases to fan controllers. Unfortunately, the current state of the economy has taken a toll on our business, we are now facing the same financial hardships that many of our competitors have also faced. We would like to thank all who supported us throughout the years, purchased our products, and gave us feedback. We value your opinions and business. Our support contact information will continue to be available in order to provide warranty services, however, once current inventories are depleted, no new products will be produced. In leiu of this annoucement, the next ten people to purchase an NZXT Khaos case will receive a Sentry LXE at no cost.
The letter was picked up and posted as news, causing the rumor to quickly circulate the net, but the whole event appears to have been from hackers infiltrating their website. It's not known why a chassis design company was the hackers' target of choice, but co-founder Johnny Hu did issue a statement to the press clearing up the matter.
To our friends and loyal customers in the PC enthusiast community,
Yesterday at 7:30 PM PST the NZXT website was infiltrated illegally. While having access to the site, hackers made several malicious changes including sending out an erroneous newsletter to our database claiming that NZXT is going out of business. They also changed product warranties, deleted product and home page banners, etc.
Well, I'm happy to report that NZXT is NOT going out of business and to the contrary we are more excited than ever to be a part of this tremendous industry. We are poised to launch several highly anticipated products over the next two months including the Phantom full tower case we unveiled at Computex. We feel this will provide enthusiasts with one of the most fresh and unique case designs in quite some time.
I'd like to take this opportunity to offer my sincere gratitude to the community for your ongoing support of NZXT. We design our products based on what you need to build a stellar PC and welcome your feedback as to how we can help your computing experience be as enjoyable as possible. Please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions
With rumors of the company's demise being greatly exaggerated, we can still look forward to the new Phantom cases, which were unveiled at this year's Computex.
EA opened their press conference this year with a new-but-not-really Need for Speed, being developed by Criterion Games of Burnout fame. Enter Need for Speed Hot Pursuit, again.
The trailer we saw featured amazingly gorgeous cop cars pursuing illegal racers. Hell, there was even a Bugatti police cruiser! Like the previous Need for Speed III, the latest Hot Pursuit features beautiful vehicles and intense action, though the name "Criterion" inspires nothing less.
Come November 16, 2010, racing fans can dive into a whole new incarnation of this franchise within a franchise and choose their affiliation: the police or the racers.
As cops, you'll have multiple tools at your disposal, from spike strips (dropped by a chopper in the trailer) to road block units. Racers need to evade these obstacles and take out the cruiser -- wreck or be wrecked.
A Need for Speed Autolog, the now obligatory social networking aspect for racing games. Autoblog updates in real-time, reporting on your friends' progress in-game, like if one of your buddies just beat your record on a certain event. Obviously, you can then challenge your friend to a one-on-one showdown and settle the score.
More will be revealed as the release date draws near. Again, that's November of this year, and we'll have more EA news to come throughout the day.
Update: We have screenshots, very pretty screenshots. Check the trailer too, while you're here.
Click here to see more images
Asus has been experimenting with wood over the last few years, trying to develop something particularly eye-catching for those who aren't just concerned about gigabytes and gigahertz. The latest product to come out of fruition in this avenue of experimentation are some nice-looking notebooks named the U33Jc, U43Jc, and the U53Jc.
Environmentally friendly is one of the approaches claimed here, but that is just on top of the more regular Asus notebook level of quality that you'd probably expect from the experienced company. In addition to their snazzy looks, these new notebooks will support the latest standards and technologies, such as USB 3.0, NVIDIA GeForce 310M GPUs with Optimus support, and Core i3, i5, and i7 mobile processors running off of a HM55 chipsets. As another nice little touch, the notebooks have webcams with closable lens, so you don't have to stay up worrying that a hacker, or your teacher, is spying on you.
This first shot of these nifty notebooks was taken by website SemiAccurate. In a few weeks I'll be headed to Computex in Taiwan, and I'll try to take a closer look at them myself.
NZXT, a company that doesn't shy away from coming up with new case designs, has just sent word of the Vulcan.
The Vulcan is a Micro ATX is small enough to be carried around easier with the rubber handle, but big enough to offer the good cooling potential for overclockers, and enough space for the big video cards of modern PC gaming. As Micro ATX cases go, the Vulcan is fairly large -- but nonetheless is 40% smaller than an ATX full tower.
For fans we have one a front 120mm intake fan and a back 120mm exhaust fan, with room for an additional (not-included) 120mm, 200mm, and 80mm fan. For a Micro ATX case, having up to five possible cooling fans is well beyond average, and as a cherry on top, there is a dual 8W channel fan controller as well.
Additionally, there is enough clearance inside to mount a decent size CPU cooler, or video cards as large as the Radeon HD 5970.
Additional features include a CPU heatsink backplate cutout, lots of wire mesh for better air flow, a removable hard drive cage, wire routing holes, and a LED switch.
Perhaps the looks of the Vulcan might not appeal to everyone, but the feature set probably will.
Look for the Vulcan appearing at the end of the month, for about $70 USD.
Click here to see more images
If it is a good as the say this is going to make waves
Air-cooling is often the choice of the hobbyist overclocker; water cooling by the more serious overclockers; and LN2 by the pro's. As for phase-change coolers -- well, they are more of a niche product. There have been some good phase-change models in recent years but they never seem to have caught on in a big way.
NEC is claiming they have a new CPU cooler design that just may change things up however.
The new design, which uses a circulating liquid chlorofluorocarbon for a coolant, is claimed by NEC to use 60% less power than a water-cooler, and 80% less power than an air-cooler with fans. And perhaps the best-of-all claim provided by NEC is that this cooler is fairly inexpensive to produce, compared to other CPU water-coolers on the market.
So a recap: great cooling, fairly cheap, and eco-friendly (because it uses less power). Hopefully this product will live up to these claims.
This new phase-change cooler design was developed in part with assistance from the Japanese government's New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization initiative. The new cooler will make its first commercial appearance in data centers next year, and we imagine a consumer home version will be forthcoming after that.
Lian Li -- generally known for higher-end cases that are designed for non-gamers -- have really gotten creative with this upcoming case, called the PITSTOP T1 Mini-ITX Spider Test Bench 2010 Special Edition.
You can no doubt see how it earned the 'Spider' part of its long name. Though it is a bit hard to tell in the photo, this is a fairly small case. It is made out of about 1kg of aluminum, and measures 227x272x345mm.
Though guessing by the name the case is aimed at those who need a test bench, it might be a bit too flashy for those folks -- however we think there must be some folks out there would find this product interesting enough to consider buying.
You can fit a ATX PSU at the bottom, and a mini-ITX motherboard sits in the open at the top. It looks like you'll be able to mount two drives on the creature's hind quarters.
The PITSTOP T1 Mini-ITX Spider Test Bench 2010 Special Edition is coming in May, and will be available in red, black, and silver. The black and silver will sell for about $110 while the red is the special edition, and it'll be about $125.
Thermaltake reliably releases refreshes to their chassis line-up, so it is no surprise to see the V5 Black Edition rear its head today.
It's a mid-sized mid-tower case, measuring 508mm x 223mm x 490mm, and weighing in at just over 7 kilograms.
The V5 Black Edition seems to appealing to LAN gamers, or other folks who might want to move their machines around easily, as the case has a big grip. A side panel window lets you check out your computer's guts as well, when you are moving it about, with the big handle.
What else do we have here... well you have a bottom mounted PSU, nine drive bays, and standard front I/O ports, such as USB, eSATA and for audio.
Cooling options is always key for a gaming case. This case comes with a rear 120mm, a blue-LED 200mm on the top, and room for two more fans if you want (120mm on the front, and on the side).
Looks like $70 will be the price in America for this case. Thermaltake put a video together -- if you want to get intimate with the V5 Black Edition, the video is below:
Modular, with a balance between price and features
OCZ, one company always looking to expand their product offerings, are showing a new PSU over at CeBIT this week.
The 750W Fatal1ty is aiming to be a full-featured modular power supply, but available for price less than most of the competition. It has a 135mm red LED fan keeping the Japanese made solid-state capactiors cool. The PSU has a single +12V rail design, and has recieved a 'bronze certification', with 85% power efficiency.
This is the newest of many "Fatal1ty" branded products, named after one of the most well known ex-pro-gamers, Johnathan "Fatal1ty" Wendel.
No price has been firmly set for this product, but as we said, it is expected to be affordable.
Two common misconceptions about PC gaming is that it costs a lot of money to build a gaming computer, and that building a computer is a really difficult thing to do. NVIDIA is out to set these folks wrong with a new product they are now offering: basically, it is a box of parts, that you can use to build your own NVIDIA-branded gaming computer.
To help first-time builders, there is also documentation, and a step-by-step video showing how you can put together all the little bits in the box into a gaming machine. As can be expected, your computer will be look very 'NVIDIA-ish' once it is done, with the standard green and black of NVIDIA's corporate logo.
For the price tag of $500 USD, the computer system would have no troubles playing the most of the latest games smoothly, powered by the aging, yet still capable, 9800 GT.
You should be able to save yourself even more money by shopping around yourself, but really, for $500 this isn't that terrible of a deal. Especially if you would not really know how to go about shopping for the parts for a new computer. Here are the parts included:
|Processor||Intel® Pentium E5300|
|Operating System|| Not Included |
Supports (Windows XP, Vista, 7)
|Memory||2 GB DDR2|
|Graphics Card||NVIDIA® GeForce® 9800 GT|
|Hard Drive||3.5” SATA 250 GB (7200 rpm)|
|Optical Drive||DVD R/RW|
|Power Supply||500 Watts|
|Networking||Integrated 10/100 Ethernet, No wireless LAN|
|Keyboard and Mouse||Microsoft keyboard and mouse|
|Chassis||CoolerMaster Elite 334 NVIDIA Edition|
|Front Productivity Ports||2 USB, 1 Audio|
|Back Ports|| 1 Serial port |
1 VGA port
4 USB 2.0 Ports
3/6 Flex Audio Jacks
1 PS/2 mouse port
1 PS/2 keyboard port
|Audio||Integrated 7.1 channel sound with front audio ports|
|Dimensions||D 19.1” x W 8.0” x H 16.3”|
These days, if you really do things on the cheap, you can get a gaming-capable computer for about the price of an Xbox Elite. So please, next time you hear you have to spend $2000 to get a decent gaming PC, don't believe it!
This NVIDIA offering might not be the best bang for buck you are likely to find, but it probably will appeal to those looking for an easy time for their first build.
Sharkoon, a maker of fine computer cases, has leveled up their mid-ATX Rebel9 case. The new, revised model is called the Rebel9 Pro.
Let's see what we have here. First off, the cases are black. Made out of steel, with an internal lacquer -- but with an aluminum front panel. There are nine optical bays, that can be also be used for 3.5" drives, with mounts. On the front panel, we have two USB ports, one eSATA port, audio ports, and of course, the power and reset buttons. The back of the case has two hose extensions, if you were aiming to use a water cooler here.
The case is about 6 kilograms, and measures 455 x 202 x 440mm.
But wait. There's more.
There are two different sub-models of this model. An "Economy Edition", with no pre-installed fans, but brackets for one 120mm on the from, two 120mm fans on the side, and a 80mm or 120mm on the back of the case, as well as a 120mm or 140mm on the top. (That's five potential fans, if you were counting.) The "Value Edition" comes with a 120mm fan on the front, a 120mm on the back, and a 250mm fan on the side panel.
This case look pretty nice. Maybe we'll bring one in for review to get a closer look.
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