Brushed aluminum on the outside, gaming grade components on the inside.
Boutique system builder Digital Storm doesn't believe the mid-tower form factor is getting its due as a viable option for high-end gaming. In order to change that perception, the company announced a new line of PCs called Virtue with the tagline, "A higher standard in PC gaming." The mid-tower case Digital Storm is using for these new PCs sports a brushed aluminum finish and steel exterior.
Enermax named its sci-fi looking case after a Greek general.
Coenus is remembered as a faithful and fearless general of Alexander the Great, and nearly 1,700 years later, he finally has a computer case named after him. Would he approve of Enermax's namesake chassis? That's something we'll let the scholars debate, but as far as we're concerned, the latest mid-tower from Enermax looks like a solid option on paper (we haven't played with one in person), provided you're a fan of the aggressive aesthetics.
A hundred dollars doesn't stretch very far these days (dinner for two and movie with popcorn will just about obliterate your C-note), but it does get you a mid-tower computer case from Lancool. Lancool's new PC-K56N is the latest addition to the company's Dragon Lord Series, and it supposedly boasts an efficient interior with a mostly tool-less design for easy installation.
NZXT's new Source 220 enclosure suggests you don't need a big bankroll to own a brushed aluminum computer case, or even a medium-sized bankroll, or at least it appears that way at a glance. The enclosure purportedly features brushed black aluminum, supports more than half a dozen fans, and dips into budget territory with an MSRP of $55. But is it really made of aluminum?
Lian Li isn't afraid to take a design risk every now and then, even if it might lead to ridicule. This was proven with the release of the PC-777 Memorial Edition chassis that looks like a giant slug lives inside, and then again with the PC-U6 Cowry, an updated version of the PC-777 that draws even more attention to itself with LED lighting. Lian Li's new PC-A05FN mid-tower won't test your taste for aesthetics, but it's yet another example of the case maker doing things a bit differently.
Lian Li, maker of high end, all aluminum computer cases for going on three decades now, just released a couple of new enclosures aimed at two different target audiences. There's the PC-C60 that's destined to end up in an entertainment center pulling HTPC duties, and the PC-6, a "simple and elegant mid-tower," as Lian Li describes it. We have a different adjective in mind.
Fractal Design’s Define R3—the first Fractal case that will be widely available in the States—marries cool Scandinavian design with a hefty dose of acoustic foam and lots of nice touches.
It’s easy to install a 12cm or 14cm fan on the side panel in place of that acoustic damping foam.
The Define R3 is available in four colors: black, grey, silver, and white. We chose the white one because, damn, something about an all-white case with a great paint job just gives us the warm-and-fuzzies. And it really is a great paint job—it’s all smooth and glossy on the outside and matte on the inside, like the gods intended. The case’s frame and panels are all steel, and the side panels are quite heavy—due in part to the dense sound-absorbing foam panels they include. The case includes a nicely weighted front-panel door (with the hinges on the left), with acoustic foam on the inside and side vents so the front fans can continue to pull air into the chassis.
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We thought maybe Enermax had gone and fallen into a volcano, which would explain why we hadn't heard nary a peep from them in quite some time. And we're still not ready to rule out that scenario, but the good news is they're OK, and have emerged with a new case called "Volcanus," which is also the name of the mythical God of the fire of the sky.
Not without irony, Enermax touts "outstanding cooling performance" inside its newest mid-tower case sporting an "aggressive flame-themed design." The Volcanus holds up to five fans, including a front-mounted 140mm blue/red combo LED fan with an 11-mode light control.
Other features include tool-less drive bays and expansion slots, thumb screws for both side panels, motherboard tray with cut-out for installing third-party heatsinks/backplates, HDD rails with rubber grommets, cable management accouterments, and a bottom-mounted PSU slot.
Typically when we think of Lian- Li enclosures, we pictured brushed aluminum and sleek aesthetics. We also envision huge towers with enough room to build a high-end PC and hide a body, and while the former is present and accounted for, you're not going to be shoving a whole lot into the the new Mini-Q Series.
Lian Li's catering to a different kind of system builder with its PC-Q06, a compact enclosure that's able to house your components on the inside and hold a mini-ITX mobo on top. Also available are optional ATX and mATX motherboard trays, which we suspect will be of more interest to most users shopping for a test bench.
You'll find holders for two PCI brackets Lian Li says are capable of holding heavy graphics cards, as well as the ability to house one standard 5.25-inch optical drive, one standard 3.5-inch hard drive, and one standard ATX power supply. Also included are two USB 3.0 headers and high-definition audio ports on the front panel.
We're told the PC-Q06 will be available by the end of May for around $90 in silver or black, and $105 for red.
NZXT has been on a budget rampage lately and continues to add to its lineup of enclosures priced in $50 territory. The latest low-priced mid-tower to come off the assembly line is the company's just announced Gamma chassis, and it too will sell for around half a C-note.
Despite the low price tag, NZXT says it placed a "premium on effective airflow," which includes slots for 6 case fans, dedicated VGA/CPU cooling, and a front panel design the company claims allows for extra air to be sucked in. It also includes a few amenities often reserved for higher priced cases, including water-cooling holes, mounting holes for a dual-radiator at the top, and an all-black interior.
"There is no other chassis on the market that offers this kind of feature set for around $50," said Johnny Hou, Chief Designer at NZXT. "For enthusiasts looking to shave some money off their build, Gamma will provide everything you need for a high performance system at a remarkably low price."
Hou's singing a familiar tune that we've heard from the company before, and don't mind hearing again.