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.
USB 3.0 hard drive enclosure with plenty of ports, little appeal
LAST FALL'S flooding in Thailand caused massive devastation and the loss of hundreds of lives. Much less importantly, it also caused many hard drive factories to shut down temporarily, leading to a huge drop in HDD production. Drive prices are coming back down, but for some capacities cost is still prohibitive—which makes upgrading a little less tempting, never mind purchasing a portable drive for backup.
Of course, you can do your part by recycling and repurposing an old drive. And you can make that drive mobile with an enclosure like the Akitio SK-3501 Super-S3, which comes with myriad connection options and lets you give your old drive the new lease on life it deserves.
The Akitio SK-3501 is a basic-looking hard drive enclosure made of aluminum that's a magnet for greasy fingerprints and good for scratching up whatever it's resting on if you forget to attach the rubber feet. Mounting a drive inside of it requires a lot of screwing—that is, four screws to seat the drive into the internal base, and then four screws to bind the internal base to the external frame. Despite its price, the package and presentation actually feels cheap.
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.
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.
The whole point of building a mini-ITX system is to have something with a small footprint that you can tuck inconspicuously out of the way or plop on your desk without having it dominate your work/play environment. And that's well and good, but it typically means making sacrifices in your component selection. What if you didn't have to? That's the question BitFenix asks with its new Prodigy, "the first mini-ITX chassis designed with enthusiasts in mind."
According to NZXT, fans of the company's Switch 810 chassis have practically been begging and pleading for more color options, and specifically, they want to see the enclosure dressed in Matte Black and Gunmetal. Well, you apparently asked, and NZXT has responded by releasing a 'Special Edition' version of the Switch 810 in what NZXT claims are "two of the most demanded color palettes."
Pardon the wordplay, but peripheral maker Corsair is attacking its wireless headset and PC case lines with a Vengeance (with a capital 'V'). Vengeance, of course, is the moniker Corsair attaches to its gaming products, and especially its line of high performance RAM. Corsair said it's planning to expand its Vengeance line, starting with the Vengeance 2000 Wireless 7.1 gaming headset and Vengeance C70 computer case.
We're not sure slapping on a pair of wheel-like stubs to a mini-ITX computer case qualifies as an accurate representation of a miniature SUV, but according to Lian Li, that's exactly the type of vehicle that inspired its new PC-Q15 chassis. Sporting an "automobile-esque design," the PC-Q15 is another brushed aluminum enclosure from Lian Li with a compact footprint and numerous features that bely its smallish stature.
It's been several months since Lian Li's PC-Q05 was tipped online, reportedly the first chassis to support the new Thin ITX or Thin Mini-ITX format developed by Intel. The super slim chassis then made an appearance at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last January, and it's been relatively quiet ever since. Lian Li's lips are still sealed, though there's now an official product page for the PC-Q05 filled with glamor shots.