Luxury case designer Lian Li announced yet another brushed aluminum ATX computer case, though this latest one is purportedly silent. The PC-B12, as it's been dubbed, features a handful of traits designed to keep noise at a minimum, including noise dampening foam attached to the removable front and side panels. There's also a downward facing exhaust baffle that's supposed to help keep acoustics to a minimum.
Fractal Design, the same company that recently took a 12-gauge shotgun to its Define XL case to prove the sturdiness of the side panel structure, extends the Define line with the newly introduced Define R4. The Define R4 isn't built to take a shotgun blast to the gut (and neither was the Define XL, it just happened to be able to survive one), but it is intended to stomp out unwanted noise with panels that are fitted with dense, sound-absorbing material.
At a time when computers are trending towards smaller towers and shrinking form factors, Lian Li decided to blatantly buck current tradition and release the PC-X2000FN, a hulking brushed aluminum enclosure with support for oversized EATX motherboards. The PC-X2000FN is made up of three separate compartments so that you can stuff a smorgasbord of components inside while maintaining some semblance or organization.
"Short" and "Full Tower" aren't a pair of descriptors that typically go together, but then again, Lian Li claims its new PC-V750 computer case isn't your typical enclosure. The PC-V750 is a "short full tower," as Lian Li describes it, and if you build a system inside it, the power supply goes in front, a design decision that allows it to "hold the hardware that enthusiasts desire while keeping a smaller footprint."
Cooler Master this week rolled out another aggressive looking computer case, the CM Storm Stryker. This latest model is a full tower enclosure and the second model in its class to include a sturdy carrying handle, just in case you want to pack this thing with high end hardware and then lug it around to LAN parties (or from room to room, as it were) "with relative ease." It's relative, because trying to carry a hulking computer case without a handle will test both your strength and agility.
Lian Li just announced that it will be previewing two new mobile PC cases at the Computex exhibition in Taipei next week -- and by mobile, we mean actually moving. The company will be showing off both the aforementioned steam engine, complete with smoke, and an SUV-look-alike dubbed the PC-Q15. Both will be doing laps around the Lian Li booth.
NZXT’s Switch 810 is aptly named: This toolless steel chassis is an excellent choice whether you’re indulging in extreme air cooling, radical water cooling, or near-silent running. It’s beautiful to behold no matter how you set it up, with white plastic panels that can be removed with a simple press of your fingertips.
The 22.3‑inch‑long by 23.5‑inch‑tall by 8.5‑inch‑wide chassis supports multiple platforms including ATX, microATX, Mini-ITX, E-ATX, XL-ATX, and Flex ATX mobo configurations. There’s plenty of room inside, with nine PCIe slots running in parallel with four tube cutouts, and plenty of convenient cable‑routing options. The Switch 810’s motherboard tray features 10 rubber-grommeted cutouts and an oversize 8-pin cable-routing hole. There’s enough room at the top of the case to fit a 60mm thick, 360mm radiator with push-pull fans. If you opt for a quiet configuration, you can slide the top-panel fan vents closed to reduce noise.
EVEN HIGH-END gaming rigs, believe it or not, can get pretty rote. In the parlance of our times, it’s what’s called a “first-world problem.” It’s a bit like being bored because you want to drive something other than your Ferrari or Lamborghini.
The solution to this problem in PC terms is CyberPower’s Fang III Black Mamba box, which is anything but ordinary. The machine is literally a high-end gaming box with a second PC grafted on top of it. This is done using an Azza Fusion 4000 case that’s big enough to take an XL-ATX board down below and a Mini-ITX board up top. Down below, CyberPower installs an Intel Core i7-3960X, 16GB of DDR3, an Asus Rampage IV Extreme board, and two overclocked EVGA GTX 590 Classified Hydro Copper cards. All this is cooled with a custom cooling solution, to boot. Storage is handled with a 2GB HDD and a pair of 120GB OCZ Agility 3 drives in RAID 0. RAIDed SSDs aren’t new, but the case’s support for four SSDs in quick-release trays, is, um, très cool.
CyberPower takes advantage of the cooling to overclock both the CPU and the GPUs. The CPU goes from its stock speed of 3.3GHz to a nice 4.5GHz, and the Hydro Copper cards are also clocked up enough to give the dual 590s a healthy speed advantage.
Cooler Master’s Storm Trooper is trimmed with a light-gray, rubber-coated plastic liner that covers the front and top of the case, creating a nice contrast with the black steel frame. It looks even better once its red fan LEDs switch on. It’s smaller than both NZXT’s Switch 810 and Xigmatek’s Elysium, measuring 23.8 inches high by 9.8 inches deep by 22.8 inches long and weighing 31.7 pounds. But this enclosure has plenty of room, boasting nine PCIe slots and space for even the longest consumer videocards.
Nine 5.25-inch drive bays occupy the front of the chassis, with a hot-swap 2.5-inch drive bay at the top of the stack. Two hard-drive cages with toolless trays can accommodate 2.5-, 3.5-, or 5.25-inch drives, and a second drive cage at the bottom of the chassis can handle four additional 2.5-inch drives. The trays aren’t shoddy, but they do feel less sturdy than what we’ve come to expect from Cooler Master.
Xigmatek’s Elysium is fricking huge. At 24.3 inches tall, 9 inches wide, a whopping 26.1 inches deep, and weighing more than 34 pounds, this monstrous full-tower enclosure is among the largest we’ve seen. Its cavernous interior can accommodate HPTX, XL-ATX, E-ATX, ATX, microATX, and Mini-ITX mobo configurations—and you can mount a second PSU at either the top or bottom for those power-hungry HPTX builds. The Elysium has 10 PCIe slots, and you can fit a 12.2-inch GPU with room to spare. But all that interior vertical space is a double-edged sword: We had to mount our PSU in the top bay, because its 8-pin ATX 12V cable wasn’t long enough to reach the motherboard from the bottom.
Twelve 5.25-inch drive bays adorn the front of the case. Two four-bay drive cages in the lower half are secured with thumbscrews and can be moved or removed, but the two 12cm front fans mounted to them must go along for the ride. Drives must be secured inside the cages with screws, and all the bays are secured using finicky plastic mechanisms. The case weirdly lacks any 2.5-inch drive mounts, so you’ll need to spring for your own adapters if you’re using SSDs.