Zalman’s Z9-U3 isn’t a great case but, at a cost of $70, it would be difficult to expect this mid-tower chassis to move many mountains.
The case’s design isn’t all that different from the company’s previously released Z9 chassis. Changes include the removal of the case’s grilled side in favor of an acrylic window and the happy inclusion of USB 3.0 connectivity on the chassis’ front—two ports, with internal headers. Although the switch from a grilled side to acrylic means that you’re down two potential fan slots, the case supports five fans in total (ranging from 12cm to 14cm) and comes with three preinstalled for you.
Note: This review was originally featured in the January 2013 issue of the magazine.
XFX may be looking to expand beyond graphics cards and power supplies.
CeBIT, the world's leading high-tech event, officially kicked off today in Hanover, Germany, and we're already seeing some interesting developments emerge from the convention. One of them is an aluminum computer case from none other than XFX Force, a company most people associate with graphics cards, power supplies, and an assortment of accessories. Lo and behold, it looks like XFX is interested in adding case design to its resume.
A metal brushed front door hides the the optical drive bays.
Thermaltake's press releases always leave a lot to be desired, but one thing it made clear in announcing its new Urban S21 mid-tower is that it's designed for users who look for "everything but a flamboyant appearance." In other words, simplicity and understated elegance is the name of the game, as opposed to over-the-top aesthetics that scream, "Hey, look at me!" Playing a key role in Thermaltake's design is the use of brushed metal.
The Scout 2 Advanced ships in new Ghost White and Midnight Black color options.
Cooler Master is relaunching its CM Storm Scout 2 mid-tower enclosure with a new "Advanced" edition. What's different about it? Well, it now comes in two new color options, Ghost White and Midnight Black, a decision Cooler Master made based on user feedback. The Ghost White version also comes with two limited edition Ghost White fans with white LEDs in the front of the chassis, as well as an additional rear exhaust fan.
The PC-9N uses a railing mount design in place of a traditional motherboard tray.
Lian Li has a new take on the motherboard tray of old. Rather than use a slab of steel with a single CPU cutout, the motherboard tray in the PC-9N features several rectangular cutouts, giving way to what Lian Li calls a "railing mount" design. This is supposed to help with thermal performance, as it allows air to flow up and under the motherboard, and also provides additional cable routing options.
Good looks, solid installation, a few eyebrow-raising quirks
If you’re big on case lighting—you Cylon fan, you—you’re going to absolutely love NZXT’s latest Phantom chassis. It’s rare to see such attention to detail paid to simple illumination, as with the three separate strands of lighting found on the exterior, interior, and rear of NZXT’s Phantom 820. Cooler still, you can manually cycle through a variety of colors for the lights, so as to find the one that matches whatever mood you’re in at any given moment.
A soprano could sing inside of this case and you’d never hear it
Finding a chassis that successfully combines practical noise dampening, useful features, and cooling can be a bit of a needle in the haystack sometimes—but in this case (pardon the pun), that’s Thermaltake’s New Soprano. The solid construction of this chassis creates an upgrading or installation experience that’s free of frustration. Our only complaint with the case, if you can really call it that, is that it lacks pizazz.
Note: This review was taken from the February 2013 issue of the magazine.
What started off as a two-man pipe dream is now a crowdfunding campaign with backing from Lian Li.
Desktop PCs are shrinking, and if you need evidence of that, just take a look at Intel's Next Unit of Computing (NUC) to see where mainstream systems are ultimately headed. Where does that leave power users and gamers? Well, there still exists a healthy array of full tower desktops and enthusiast-grade components, but for those who want to venture into smaller territory, the next frontier might be the mini ITX form factor. Dell's already gone there with its Alienware X51 PC, but why stop there? Two guys from [H]ardOCP's forums asked themselves the same question, and the answer they came up with is that if they want a mini ITX case intended for PC enthusiasts, they'd need to design it themselves. And so they did.
Arc Midi R2 will be available to purchase in March for $110.
Fractal Design is bringing back its Arc Midi enclosure for an encore performance. Now in its second act (we awarded the original an 8/10 verdict), the new Arc Mini R2 once again has high-performance computer systems in mind and is able to accommodate "even the thickest radiators in both the top and front panels without extensive modifications." If you're not interested in wartercooling, Fractal Design includes three Silent Series R2 fans along with an integrated fan controller.
How do we love thee, Azza Genesis 9000 full-tower case? Let us count the ways. Is it your gorgeous, pearl-white (or charcoal) chassis? The thin, blue or red lit-up lines that adorn your body and provide us with fond memories of the oh-so-delightful Tron: Legacy? The ample space within your interior that allows us to install a motherboard, a kitchen sink, and two power supplies at once? The list continues.