case en Corsair's Obsidian Series 450D Mid Tower Focuses on Cooling Graphics Cards <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/corsair_obsidian_series_450d_angled.jpg" alt="Corsair Obsidian Series 450D Angled" title="Corsair Obsidian Series 450D Angled" width="228" height="213" style="float: right;" />Dual front fans give graphics cards a steady stream of cool air</h3> <p><strong>Corsair just expanded its Obsidian Series of computers cases with the 450D</strong>, a mid-tower chassis sporting a familiar brushed aluminum design but with increased attention on airflow. There are two 140mm AF140L intake fans behind the aluminum mesh grill on the front that provide direct airflow to where a graphics card would be, and a rear 120mm AF120L fan to expel hot air.</p> <p>If more cooling is needed, there are five additional fan mounts throughout the chassis. Alternately, you can go the liquid cooling route with room for up to a 360mm radiator in the roof (not many mid-towers support radiators that large), a 280mm radiator in front, and a 240mm radiator on the floor. In other words, you have options to play it cool.</p> <p>"From day one, our Obsidian Series has made our case lineup a force to be reckoned with." said George Makris, Product Manager at Corsair. "With Obsidian 450D we've now added a mid-tower case that has outstanding air cooling capabilities, but can house lots of water cooling parts, too."</p> <p><img src="/files/u69/450d_airflow.jpg" alt="Corsair Obsidian Series 450D Airflow" title="Corsair Obsidian Series 450D Airflow" width="620" height="549" /></p> <p>Other features include dust filters throughout, modular and tool-free 3.5-inch/2.5-inch drive mounts, two front mounted USB 3.0 ports, thumbscrews for the side panels and seven expansion slots, center-post standoff to hold the motherboard in place during installation, cable routing holes, and rubber grommets.</p> <p><iframe src="//" width="620" height="349" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>Corsair's <a href="" target="_blank">Obsidian Series 450D</a> will be available in April for $120 MSRP.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> 450d Build a PC case chassis cooling corsair enclosure Hardware obsidian series News Wed, 26 Mar 2014 16:31:42 +0000 Paul Lilly 27514 at Corsair Blitzes Budget Market with Three Affordable Carbide Cases <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/carbide_spec_cases.jpg" alt="Corsair Carbide SPEC Cases" title="Corsair Carbide SPEC Cases" width="228" height="170" style="float: right;" />These cases won't ravage your wallet</h3> <p>If you fancy yourself a budget builder or otherwise just like getting the most bang for your buck, you might be interested in a trio of new cases from Corsair. Aimed at PC gamers, <strong>Corsair's three new Carbide Series SPEC range of enclosures feature aggressive styling</strong>, modern amenities, ample air cooling potential, and wallet-friendly price tags. How friendly? Try $50 for the SPEC-01 and $60 each for the SPEC-02 and SPEC-03.</p> <p>Corsair said it stripped out anything it deemed unnecessary, leaving gamers with a line of affordable and lean enclosures with modern features like USB 3.0 ports, native SSD mounts, and lots of cable routing options. There's even a sizable side-mounted window on each case.</p> <p>"Entry level cases are usually antiquated, old designs. Some still have room for floppy drives," <a href="" target="_blank">said George Makris</a>, Product Manager at Corsair. "With the addition of the Carbide Series SPEC to our line, gamers can now get a case with modern features and great styling combined with superior cooling and expandability at a fantastic price."</p> <p>The SPEC-1 offers a single front-panel USB 3.0 port, tool-free drive bays (two 5.25-inch, four 3.5-inch/2.5-inch), 7 expansion slots, dust filters, side window, all-black interior, and a single 120mm red LED fan. For additional cooling, you'll find a pair of 120mm fan mounts on the top, two more on the front, and one at the rear.</p> <p>Corsair's SPEC-02 and SPEC-03 up the ante by adding a second USB 3.0 port, three dedicated 3.5-inch drive bays, two 2.5-inch drive bays, and more fan options, including spaces for 140mm fans.</p> <p><iframe src="//" width="620" height="349" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>All three cases will bre available in April.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> Build a PC carbide case chassis corsair enclosure Hardware News Tue, 18 Mar 2014 17:33:28 +0000 Paul Lilly 27463 at Origin PC Adds Micro Tower Option to Chronos Line of Desktop Gaming Rigs <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/chronos_micro_can.jpg" alt="Silverstone RZ01 with Monster" title="Silverstone RZ01 with Monster" width="228" height="193" style="float: right;" />Silverstone's RVZ01 is now a case option in Origin PC's Chronos line</h3> <p>Boutique builder <strong>Origin PC has expanded its small form factor (SFF) case options for its Chronos desktop line to include the Silverstone RVZ01</strong>, a micro tower chassis measuring 4 inches (W) by 15 inches (H) by 13.75 inches (D). Origin PC doesn't make any references to Steam Machines with its new case option, though with its slim profile and ability to sit horizontally or vertically, it's certainly a candidate to take residence in your home A/V rack.</p> <p>"This is Origin PC’s smallest and thinnest Chronos desktop ever designed and yet it is relentlessly powerful!," said Kevin Wasielewski, Origin PC CEO and co-founder. "With so much power and performance inside a sleek and slim package, our new Chronos micro-tower is one of my favorite systems for any living room, bedroom, or office setting."</p> <p>Origin PC says the new chassis option can accommodate up to an Asus Maximus VI Impact motherboard (mini ITX), up to an Nvidia GeForce GTX Titan Black graphics card, and Origin PC Frostbyte 120 sealed liquid cooling system. The OEM also offers the same professional CPU and GPU overclocking that it does on its other systems.</p> <p><img src="/files/u69/chronos_silverstone_rz01.jpg" alt="Chronos Silverstone RZ01" title="Chronos Silverstone RZ01" width="620" height="178" /></p> <p>The new case option is <a href="" target="_blank">available immediately</a> with systems built around it starting at $1,199.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> case chassis chronos Hardware micro tower OEM origin pc rigs silverstone rvz01 News Mon, 10 Mar 2014 13:33:28 +0000 Paul Lilly 27409 at Lian Li's PC-A51 Mid-Tower Case Features a Reverse Airflow Design <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/pc-a51.jpg" alt="Lian Li PC-A51 Case" title="Lian Li PC-A51 Case" width="228" height="224" style="float: right;" />Cool air is pulled in from the rear and expelled out the front</h3> <p><strong>Lian Li's been busy turning its prototype PC-A51 chassis into a real product</strong>, and that mission is now complete. What makes the PC-A51 unique is that it sports a reverse airflow design in which cool air is pulled in from the back of the case through a filtered 120mm fan and pushed out through a front-mounted 140mm fan that sits above the front-mounted PSU. An additional 120mm or 140mm fan can be installed on the floor of the case.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">According to Lian Li</a>, the PC-A51 is the result of user feedback after showing a prototype off to the DIY community. In addition to reverse airflow, the PC-A51 also features Lian Li's new HDD/SSD mounting system. System builders can install either 3.5-inch or 2.5-inch drives in any of the five individually removable bays. If the bays are removed, up to three 2.5-inch drives can be mounted directly to the tray, plus an additional one on the backside of the mobo tray.</p> <p>The PC-A51 is a compact case though it's able to fit CPU coolers up to 6.8 inches in height and power supplies up to 6.2 inches in length. Graphics cards can be as long as 15.7 inches, and there's room for a 240mm or 280mm radiator up top.</p> <h3><img src="/files/u69/pc-a51_open.jpg" alt="Lian Li PC-A51" title="Lian Li PC-A51" width="620" height="572" /></h3> <p>Four versions of the PC-A51 are shipping to the U.S. They include the PC-A51A (silver) and PC-A51B (black) for $149, PCA51WX (internal black w/ window) for $189, and PC-A51WRX (red and black w/ window) for $199.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> Build a PC case chassis enclosure Hardware Lian Li pc-a51 News Fri, 14 Feb 2014 15:57:03 +0000 Paul Lilly 27266 at XFX's First Gaming Enclosure "Type 1 Bravo" <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u160391/xfx.jpg" width="250" height="266" style="float: right;" />Type 1 Bravo case looks to be a formidable options for PC gamers</h3> <p>XFX has introduced its stab at a PC gaming enclosure, naming it the Type 1 Bravo, and it's more than just a pretty face. The mid-tower type enclosure has room for eight 2.5" or 3.5 drives, as well as three 5.25" optical drives and four dual-slot graphics cards. It'll also pack a five-year warranty from XFX and retail for $129.99. </p> <p>The case comes pre-installed with 140 mm fans as exhaust, as well as a 200 mm fan mounted as standard kit. A side-panel window allows you to see eight expansion slots for the dual-slot graphics cards, and top exhaust can support up to a single 200 mm fan or one between 90&nbsp; and 140 mm. </p> <p>You've got two USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports in the front of the case as well as HD audio jacks, and the chassis measures 518 x 232 x 222 x 562 mm, weighing 10.5 kg. It looks to be a solid case for anyone looking to build a gaming PC, so if you're in the market to get one this might be a good option for future tinkerers with so many games on the horizon.</p> case chassis news PC gaming xfx News Mon, 10 Feb 2014 02:49:33 +0000 Brittany Vincent 27224 at Corsair Obsidian 900D vs. Cooler Master Cosmos II <!--paging_filter--><h3>Corsair Obsidian 900D vs. Cooler Master Cosmos II</h3> <p>The <strong><a title="cooler master cosmos II" href="" target="_blank">Cooler Master Cosmos II</a></strong> debuted in 2011 to much fanfare. Indeed, it was the chassis of our dreams. It housed our precious <a title="Dream Machine 2011" href="" target="_blank">Dream Machine that year</a>, and was easily the best “super-tower” available. In 2013, the <a title="corsair 900d review" href="" target="_blank">Corsair 900D</a> came on the scene boasting a similarly mammoth stature, and was itself chosen for <a title="Dream Machine 2013" href="" target="_blank">Dream Machine 2013</a> duty due to its water-friendly nature and towering physique. Both cases represent the pinnacle of PC case design, so they must do battle.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a class="thickbox" href="/files/u152332/900d300_downb_small_1.jpg"><img src="/files/u152332/900d300_downb_small_0.jpg" alt="Corsair’s new Obsidian 900D “super-tower” is tall and roomy, but much less beefy than the Cosmos II." title="Corsair’s new Obsidian 900D" width="620" height="803" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Corsair’s new Obsidian 900D “super-tower” is tall and roomy, but much less beefy than the Cosmos II.</strong></p> <h4>ROUND 1</h4> <p><strong>Size and Weight</strong></p> <p>Both cases are big, but it’s how they carry their bulk that makes all the difference. The Cosmos II weighs 48 pounds, while the 900D weighs 41 pounds. The Cosmos II is 27.7 inches tall while the 900D is 27.2 inches, so the two are very close in size. To be honest, we originally felt that the Cosmos II was too heavy because it’s built like a tank. Then we lifted the Corsair 900D out of its box and were a bit let down by its relatively light weight. It just feels too lithe for a case of its size, and there’s no easy way to move it, whereas the Cosmos II has built-in handles, which makes transport much easier. Therefore, we give the Cosmos II the nod, because we wish the 900D had a bit more heft to it and an easier way to move it than squat and grunt.</p> <p><strong>Winner: Cosmos II</strong></p> <h4>ROUND 2</h4> <p><strong>Total Capacity</strong></p> <p>It’s safe to say you’d need to have a drug cartel’s bankroll to ever outgrow either of these cases, but it’s still important to gauge overall capacity. For starters, the Cosmos II has 13 3.5-inch drive bays compared to the 900D’s nine bays, though you can buy two more three-drive cages for a total of 15. The 900D has one additional 5.25-inch drive bay to its credit—four total. Both cases hold ATX and E-ATX mobos, as well as smaller boards, but the Cosmos II holds several larger variants, such as XL-ATX, SSI CEB, and SSE EEB. The Corsair 900D has room for dual PSUs, however, mounted vertically, whereas the Cosmos II can hold only one. Both cases have more than enough room for any combo of GPUs your bank account can tolerate. Since both cases are very evenly matched in this category, and can easily swallow even a Dream Machine, with room to spare, this one is a tie.</p> <p><strong>Winner: Tie</strong></p> <h4>ROUND 3</h4> <p><strong>Build Quality</strong></p> <p>When you drop $350 smackaroos on a chassis, you expect top-notch build quality, and unfortunately only one of these cases lives up to that expectation, and that’s the Cosmos II. Though both cases are made with a steel frame and feel extremely solid, the fit and finish of the Cosmos II seems much more polished than that of the 900D. With the Cosmos II, everything that moves glides smoothly, doors and latches lock into place tight and secure, and you never get the feeling that any part of the case is brittle or untrustworthy. The 900D, however, has two glaring weak spots—its disappointingly flimsy lower bay doors, and it’s flaccid 3.5-inch drive-bay assemblies. Both of these rickety contraptions feel out of place on a chassis of this class, and require too much fumbling for our well-heeled tastes. The lower drive-bay doors are surprisingly wobbly, with a magnetic retention mechanism that barely works.</p> <p><strong>Winner: Cosmos II</strong></p> <h4>ROUND 4<strong>&nbsp;</strong></h4> <p><strong>Cooling Options</strong></p> <p>If you’re running air-cooling, both of these cases provide more mounting locations than you can shake a heatsink at, though they are modestly outfitted out of the box with just a handful of 120mm spinners. When it comes to liquid-cooling opportunities, though, the Corsair 900D is the clear winner, providing ample radiator mounting options on almost every surface of its spacious interior. Not only can you mount a 480mm radiator on the top and the bottom, you can put a 360mm rad in the front too, or two of them in the bottom if you’re cray cray. The Cosmos II can handle a 360mm up top but there is no way to mount a radiator to the front of the chassis. You can also mount just a single 240mm rad down below due to the PSU’s horizontal orientation, plus the Cooler Master provides mounting rails for only one radiator.<strong>&nbsp;</strong></p> <p><strong>Winner: Corsair 900D</strong></p> <h4>ROUND 5</h4> <p><strong>Modularity</strong></p> <p>Cases such as these are not mere storage containers, but rather canvases that allow you to express your inner geek via expansion, modification, and customization. To that end, both cases are fairly modular, allowing you to remove fans and drive cages to install cooling components or to manage cables. The Corsair 900D lets you remove and rearrange pretty much everything, including the lower and upper drive bays as well as the PSU location. The Cosmos II, on the other hand, offers fewer options due to the PSU’s location and the steel shelf that divides the chassis’s lower quadrant. You can still remove the upper and lower drive cages, but your options for moving the drive cages around are limited. You also can’t change the location of the power supply, nor can you add a second one if you need to, which is a situation we confronted while building this year’s Dream Machine.</p> <p><strong>Winner: Corsair 900D</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a class="thickbox" href="/files/u152332/cosmos_ii_-_main_small_0.jpg"><img src="/files/u152332/cosmos_ii_-_main_small.jpg" alt="The Cosmos II is one of the largest cases ever made, and has a shipping weight of 50 pounds. " title="Cooler Master Cosmos II" width="620" height="820" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>The Cosmos II is one of the largest cases ever made, and has a shipping weight of 50 pounds. </strong></p> <h3>And the Winner Is…</h3> <p>As we come to the finish line both cases are tied, so the winner is not immediately apparent. After searching our souls, examining our PC fantasy builds, and consulting with our shaman we arrived at a winner—the <strong>Corsair 900D</strong>. It’s the winner for one simple reason: It offers more flexibility for ambitious builders who want the option to expand their builds in the future, including running liquid-cooling, for which it’s the best case around, period.</p> 2013 case chassis cooler master cosmos II corsair obsidian 900d maximum pc tower Cases December 2013 Features Mon, 03 Feb 2014 19:37:04 +0000 Josh Norem 27164 at Phanteks Enthoo Primo Review <!--paging_filter--><h3>Phanteks Enthoo Primo Review: A big, monster case with a few little quirks</h3> <p>We appreciate it when a case manufacturer dares to go above and beyond the standard construction techniques we see time and time again. Enter the <strong>Phanteks Enthoo Primo</strong> case—a chassis that sounds more like a sneeze than a container for your expensive hardware, but one that comes with a few tricks hidden within its jet-black frame. However, a few peculiar quirks make us hesitant to give this $250 chassis a full-on recommendation.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a class="thickbox" href="/files/u152332/main_left_small_0.jpg"><img src="/files/u152332/main_left_small.jpg" alt="Give up your gym membership; lifting this case up and down is all the workout you’ll ever need." title="Phanteks Enthoo Primo" width="620" height="755" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Give up your gym membership; lifting this case up and down is all the workout you’ll ever need.</strong></p> <p>To begin with, we were annoyed with the Primo’s packaging. Not that the box it arrived in didn’t adequately protect the near-40-pound steel chassis with the help of a ton of foam, but rather that Phanteks covered the case with protective wrap that was stickier and gooier and more difficult to take off than what we’re used to dealing with. And there’s quite a lot of it, too.</p> <p>Moving on to the case itself, the Primo’s five 5.25-inch bays are screwless and easy to access by popping off the grilled covers on its front. We just wish we could switch the case’s front-panel door from swinging open right-to-left to left-to-right—like on a refrigerator. The Primo’s six drive bays all use easy-to-install trays to hold your storage in place, and the case itself comes with two areas on the rear of the motherboard tray where you can double-stack SSDs (so, four total).</p> <p>Slapping an ATX, eATX, or mATX motherboard into this case is pretty easy, given its pre-installed standoffs. Swapping an aftermarket cooler into a build is similarly simple, thanks to the huge, cut-out hole on the upper half of the motherboard tray.</p> <p>Installing a standard video card into the Primo is a bit trickier since a large reservoir bracket covers the right half of the motherboard area. We didn’t have any room whatsoever to slap a 10.5-inch GTX 480 in the case as-is; we had to first remove the bracket’s cover and, even then, it was an extremely tight fit. Video cards measuring 11 inches or more need not apply. Yes, you can remove the bracket entirely, but it’s just one more somewhat annoying step in the installation process.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a class="thickbox" href="/files/u152332/enthoo-primo_5_small_0.jpg"><img src="/files/u152332/enthoo-primo_5_small.jpg" alt="Phanteks goes to great lengths to help you conceal cables, but its water-cooling apparatuses get in the way a bit." title="Phanteks Enthoo Primo" width="620" height="620" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Phanteks goes to great lengths to help you conceal cables, but its water-cooling apparatuses get in the way a bit.</strong></p> <p>The reservoir bracket, when in place, severely hampers one’s ability to effectively manage cables within the case. But even with a standard ATX motherboard installed, two of the case’s seven rubberized cable mounting holes on the tray itself are ever-so-slightly covered up; it’s not a deal-breaker, but mildly annoying given the sheer size of the full-tower chassis.</p> <p>The case’s connectivity is pretty standard: two USB 2.0 ports and two USB 3.0 ports on top. The connectors themselves are covered by lovely rubber tabs, but these tabs aren’t themselves attached to the case in any fashion—making them neat to look at but super easy to lose. An additional button controls the case’s lovely lighting, a thin blue strip that runs over the front-right side and up onto the case’s top.</p> <p>What we’d love to see on this case is a fan controller. A built-in circuit board allows you to connect up to 11 different fans to a single, 4-pin connector—presumably, you’d be able to control everything via your motherboard. We think a dial, switch, or some other means of changing up your fan speeds on-the-fly would be a lot easier.</p> <p>The Primo is an odd hybrid. It comes with plenty of cooling, support for plenty of devices (including two PSUs, if you dare), and offers a lot on the liquid-cooling front. However, its ease-of-use is countered by a few nagging features that, for a case this costly, should have been eliminated at the drawing board. For this much scratch, you could almost snag a 10/Kick Ass–winning Corsair Obsidian 800D.</p> <p><strong>$250,</strong> <a href=""></a></p> 2013 case chassis computer Hardware pc Phanteks Enthoo Primo Review Cases December 2013 Reviews Thu, 30 Jan 2014 19:36:03 +0000 David Murphy 27147 at Thermaltake Urban S41 Review <!--paging_filter--><h3>Lots of promise, little practicality</h3> <p><strong>Thermaltake’s Urban S41</strong> comes with all the trappings of a case that’s bound for success… and then you start to use it.</p> <p>Take, for example, the Urban S41’s front panel. If a manufacturer puts a swinging cover on the front, common sense dictates that it should be fairly easy for someone to grab the edge of said cover to, you know, open it.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a class="thickbox" href="/files/u152332/s41_small_0.jpg"><img src="/files/u152332/s41_small.jpg" alt="Good luck opening the front door—it’s seemingly made for inhumanly skinny fingers." title="Thermaltake Urban S41" width="620" height="446" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Good luck opening the front door—it’s seemingly made for inhumanly skinny fingers.</strong></p> <p>Not so with this chassis. There is no way to get any kind of traction on its front-panel cover unless your fingers are as flat as popsicle sticks or you reach all the way to the bottom of the case’s front to grasp the one section that you can get a decent grip on. Put this case under your desk, and you’re in for quite an unpleasant stretch.</p> <p>The front panel conceals the system’s four 5.25-inch bays, covered by plastic panels that feel a bit cheap to the touch. On the bottom half of the case’s front is a similarly flimsy panel that covers the case’s front 12cm fan with plenty of room to spare. Plastic bars cut across the opening between the fan and the panel, making upgrading difficult for those looking to swap in new cooling.</p> <p>Two USB 2.0 ports and two USB 3.0 ports adorn the top of the case’s front. On the top of the case itself, the power and reset buttons are joined by a “low” and “high” switch for the case’s built-in fan controller—one that you can’t actually connect more than two fans to (it controls the front 12cm and top 20cm fans by default). This case’s killer feature is the 2.5–3.5-inch docking slot built into the chassis to the rear of these buttons.</p> <p>Annoyingly, the flimsy plastic panel covering the rest of the case’s top is a trap. Applying any force to it whatsoever is likely to make it pop clean off, a fact we learned when we first attempted to pick up the case and nearly dropped it on our feet.</p> <p>The case’s side panels are covered in foam in an effort to dampen noise. Unfortunately, the largest source of noise on the Urban S41 is its top fan (whether you select the “low” or “high” setting on the fan controller), and there’s no foam on the accompanying panel to shield your ears from the racket.</p> <p>We appreciate the case’s four screwless 5.25-inch drive bays; the case’s five 3.5-inch drive trays a little less so, as they still force you to physically screw in your storage. Worst of all, though, are the screws holding the case’s slot covers in place. The thumbscrews are actually located on the rear-outside of the chassis, and they’re impossible to manipulate with your fingers.</p> <p>The Urban S41 comes with ample room between its motherboard tray and its side panel (and plenty of rubber-outlined holes) for all of your cable routing, and your motherboard standoffs are already built into the tray for you. There’s a big, fat cutout behind where your CPU will sit for easy aftermarket cooler installations, and a single 12cm fan blasts air out the rear of the chassis.</p> <p>Still, combining all of the case’s successes can hardly overcome the mountain of failures created by the rest of its annoying design.</p> <p><strong>$140,</strong> <a href=""></a></p> 2013 case chassis Hardware November issues 2013 Review Thermaltake Urban S41 Cases November 2013 Reviews Mon, 20 Jan 2014 08:02:26 +0000 David Murphy 27097 at Post CES 2014: Silverstone Shows Off a Bunch of Cases [Video] <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/silverstone_cases.jpg" alt="Silverstone Cases" title="Silverstone Cases" width="228" height="174" style="float: right;" />Our CES coverage concludes with a look at Silverstone's enclosures</h3> <p>Officially, the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) concluded last Friday, but for us, the festivities don't come to an end until <strong>Silverstone pays us a visit with its latest cases</strong> in tow. That's our story, anyway -- another explanation why Silverstone had to come to us post CES is because, well, have you ever seen The Hangover? Replace the setting with CES and insert Gordon and Jimmy as two of the characters, and you begin to see why we'd prefer to keep <em>those</em> videos under lock and key.</p> <p>In any event, Silverstone was kind enough to make the trip and take us through a tour of its cases, starting with two brand new models, the Raven RV05 and Fortress FT05. The newest Raven is smaller than the original, which Silverstone was able to accomplish by getting rid of the 5.25-inch drive bays, though there is a slot-fed bay if you still rely on optical media. Take a look:</p> <p><iframe src="//" width="620" height="349" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>Next up, Silverstone gave us a glimpe of its SG12 and DS380 cases. These are both small form factor (SFF) cases, the SG12 being a micro ATX with a single 5.25-inch drive bay and a sturdy handle on front, and the new DS380 being a hybrid mini ITX chassis primarily intended for NAS duties. It has eight 3.5-inch drive bays up front and four 2.5-inch drive bays inside. Take a gander:</p> <p><iframe src="//" width="620" height="349" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>Moving right along, Silverstone gave us a look at a bunch of NUC-like case and an external graphics cabinet, the latter of which the case maker worked on with Asus. Inside is a full size graphics card, 450W SFX power supply, fan, and PCB. It uses a Thunderbolt connector to hook up to your NUC or laptop for a boost in graphics performance. Here's a closer look:</p> <p><iframe src="//" width="620" height="349" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>Finally, Gordon got a close up look at Silverstone's new HTPC (GD09 and GD10) and micro-tower (RVZ01 and ML07) enclosures. Any of these cases are home brewed Steam Machine candidates. Check them out:</p> <p><iframe src="//" width="620" height="349" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> Build a PC case ces2014 chassis DS380 enclosure Fortress FT-05 Hardware Raven RV-05 SG12 Silverstone Xg2 News Tue, 14 Jan 2014 17:24:26 +0000 Paul Lilly and Gordon Mah Ung 27064 at NZXT H440 Case Ditches Optical Drive Bays for a Cleaner Look <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/nzxt_h440.jpg" alt="NZXT H440" title="NZXT H440" width="228" height="194" style="float: right;" />Say goodbye to 5.25-inch drive bays</h3> <p><strong>NZXT's latest computer case, the H440</strong>, is a forward looking enclosure that encourages you to retire your optical media. That's because it doesn't come with any 5.25-inch drive bays, so if you want to save data to discs or install games and applications the old school way, you'll need an external optical drive to get the task done. NZXT made the sacrifice in order to facilitate a cleaner design.</p> <p>"NZXT has taken a bold step and completely removed the antiquated and often unused 5.25-inch optical bays to make room for a host of chassis improvements and innovations. Looking through the H440's massive full-view window will reveal an interior specially engineered to make any build seamless and beautiful," NZXT says.</p> <p>The H440 sports an integrated power supply shroud that completely conceals cables and offers a ton of space to tuck those wires out of sight. Just above the shroud are a pair of mounted SSD trays with cable routing coutouts. Four steel HDD trays further assist storage chores.</p> <p>For cooling, the H440 is the first case to come with NZXT's next generation case fans, the FN V2. These come in the form of a 140mm rear exhaust fan and three 120mm front inake fans. There's also room for two 140mm or three 120mm fans on top. In addition, the top and front panels are "Kraken" ready and will fit radiators up to 360mm in size.</p> <p><iframe src="//" width="620" height="349" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>The <a href="" target="_blank">H440 is avialable to pre-order now for $119</a>. To go along with the case, NZXT also announced a matching mechanical keyboard, the Shine 3. This is an "extremely limited edition" plank available in black/white and black/red color options (same as the H440) featuring Cherry MX Red switches and robust LED backlight options. It's <a href="" target="_blank">available now for $150</a>.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> Build a PC case chassis enclosure h440 Hardware keyboard mechanical nzxt Peripherals shine 3 News Tue, 14 Jan 2014 16:19:50 +0000 Paul Lilly 27063 at CES 2014: Origin PC's Millennium and Genesis Cases [Video] <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/origin_pc_millennium.jpg" alt="Origin PC Millennium" title="Origin PC Millennium" width="228" height="183" style="float: right;" />First cases to feature four-way motherboard mounting options</h3> <p>Boutique builder Origin PC introduced a couple of new cases this week at CES, and in doing so, it flipped traditional case design on its head (quite literally). <strong>Origin PC's new Millennium (mid-tower) and Genesis (full-tower) cases</strong> are the first ever to allow for the motherboard to be mounted in four different orientations: Standard ATX, Inverted ATX, 90 degrees, or Inverted 90 degrees.</p> <p>These aren't arbitrary options, either. According to Origin PC, the 90 degree and Inverted 90 degree motherboard orientations work best for air cooled graphics cards by utilizing your system's natural airflow. Likewise, an Inverted orientation is ideal for showing off liquid cooled video cards and/or if you prefer to place your desktop on the right side of your desk. And of course there's the Standard orientation for traditional builds.</p> <p>Gordon had a chance to tour the Millennium at Origin PC's suite. Here's a look at it:</p> <p><iframe src="//" width="620" height="349" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> </p><p>And here's Origin PC's promotion video showing off both cases:</p> <p><iframe src="//" width="620" height="349" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> Build a PC case ces2014 chassis enclosure genesis Hardware millenium origin News Fri, 10 Jan 2014 20:02:35 +0000 Paul Lilly and Gordon Mah Ung 27049 at CES 2014: Zalman Suite Tour [Video] <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/zalman_fan.jpg" alt="Zalman Fan" title="Zalman Fan" width="228" height="160" style="float: right;" />Funky fresh fan, heatsink, and case designs</h3> <p>We all love fast hardware -- burly graphics cards, oodles of RAM, multi-core processors -- but one of the unsung heros is cooling. Crucial as it may be to a stable running machine, cooling isn't always glamorous or sexy. That being the case, it was refreshing to see a few vendors showing off new fan designs, including <strong>Zalman</strong>, which brought to CES a crop of cooling (and case) products.</p> <p>Gordon made it over to Zalman's booth where he was able to see its brand new FX70, a passive heatsink with heatpipes and crinkled fins. Why crinkled? It allows Zalman to increase the surface area of the fins for superior cooling capabilities without taking up a ton of space in your case. If you need additional cooling, you can mount fans to either side. Here's a look:</p> <p><iframe src="//" width="620" height="349" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>Zalman also showed off a brand new fan design with blades that look like thunderbolts. The big feature, however, is a button on the front of the fan that allows you to select your fan speed. Check it out:</p> <p><iframe src="//" width="620" height="349" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>Before exiting Zalman's booth, Gordon caught on camera a couple of new cases. One is a prototype mini ITX case that's rather large for the form factor, but is intended for enthusiasts who want to use a small mobo but run a lot of hardware. The other case is the Zalman Z15, a bigger chassis with some nifty controls on top. In addition to fan speed controls, you can open up flaps on the top of the case for additional cooling. Take a look:</p> <p><iframe src="//" width="620" height="349" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> Build a PC case ces2014 chassis cooling enclosure fans Hardware Peripherals Zalman News Fri, 10 Jan 2014 16:09:10 +0000 Paul Lilly and Gordon Mah Ung 27048 at CES 2014: Cooler Master Shows Off HAF Stacker Case and Mechanical Keyboards [Video] <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/cm_haf_stacker.jpg" alt="Cooler Master HAF Stacker" title="Cooler Master HAF Stacker" width="228" height="163" style="float: right;" />Jimmy Thang tours Cooler Master's booth</h3> <p>Case and PC peripheral maker <strong>Cooler Master</strong> has been kicking out some nifty gear the past few months, including the HAF Stacker. Cooler Master made sure to bring its modular case design to CES where Maximum PC Online Managing Editor Jimmy Thang had a chance to check it out up close and on camera. In addition, Cooler Master also demonstrated a few brand new cases and some sweet new mechanical keyboards with unique transitional lighting effects.</p> <p>Cooler Master already unveiled the HAF Stacker, but going forward, the company plans to flesh out the ecosystem with new options and accessories such as a side window, optical drive adapter, and more storage options. Shown in the video below is the new window option, which definitely adds to the aesthetic in a positive way, plus the new cases Cooler Master has on tap for 2014. Check it out:</p> <p><iframe src="//" width="620" height="465" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>We're big fans of mechanical keyboards, and Cooler Master had a few on display at CES. Cooler Master showed off some neat lighting effects, including one in which the keys illuminate as you press them. It almost looks like your fingers are literally sparking the keyboard. Have a look:</p> <p><iframe src="//" width="620" height="465" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> Build a PC case ces2014 cm Cooler Master haf stacker Hardware keyboard Peripherals News Wed, 08 Jan 2014 17:00:01 +0000 Paul Lilly and Jimmy Thang 27035 at Corsair Launches Obsidian 250D Mini ITX Chassis and Full Tower Graphite Series 730T/760T Cases <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/obsidian_250d.jpg" alt="Corsair Obsidian 250D" title="Corsair Obsidian 250D" width="228" height="219" style="float: right;" />New computer cases big and small</h3> <p>Corsair's been making computer cases for a long time, but up until now, the company didn't have a mini-ITX chassis on its resume. That changes with the introduction of the <strong>Obsidian Series 250D</strong>, a tiny enclosure designed specifically for users looking to build a small form factor (SFF) system. On the flip side, Corsair also unveiled a couple of full tower cases, the <strong>Graphite Series 730T and 760T</strong>.</p> <p>Starting on the small side of the things, the Obsidian Series 250D is Corsair's smallest case to date. It measures 11.4 inches (H) by 10.9 inches (W) by 13.81 inches (D) and weighs 9.7 pounds before crammed full of hardware. Inside you'll find two expansion slots, two tool-less 2.5-inch/3.5-inch combo bays, two 2.5-inch bays, two high-airflow fans (there's room for up to five), and enough elbow room for a front (120mm or 140mm) or side (120mm/240mm) radiator. On the front of the case are two USB 3.0 ports.</p> <p>"Thanks to the increasingly high performance of Mini-ITX boards, it is now possible to build an extremely powerful yet compact system," <a href="" target="_blank">said Xavier Lauwaert</a>, Director of Product Marketing at Corsair. "The Obsidian 250D is made for users who want a smaller PC but don’t want to limit their hardware choices. With support for large liquid coolers, full-length graphics cards and full-size modular power supplies, 250D is Mini-ITX without compromise."</p> <p>The 250D will be available this month for $90 MSRP. If you'd rather go bigger -- much bigger -- the <a href="" target="_blank">730T and 760T</a> offer lots of room to work in. Both share most of the same specs, except the 730T doesn't have a side window or integrated fan controller, while the 760T features both amenities.</p> <p><img src="/files/u69/corsair_760d.jpg" alt="Corsair Graphite Series 760T" title="Corsair Graphite Series 760T" width="620" height="563" /></p> <p>Other features include nine expansion slots, two modular drive drives with support for six 3.5-inch or 2.5-inch drives (so 12 altogether), four tool-free 2.5-inch side mounted drive cages, three tool-free 5.25-inch drive bays, three included AF140L high-airflow 140mm fans (there's room for 8), and radiator support in the top (360mm or 280mm), front (280mm or 240mm), bottom (120mm), and rear (140mm or 120mm).</p> <p>The 760T will be available in February for $180 (black) or $190 (Arctic White), while the 730T will sell for $140 (black only) MSRP, also in February.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> 730t 760t Build a PC case ces2014 chassis corsair enclosure graphite series Hardware Obsidian 250D News Tue, 07 Jan 2014 23:31:18 +0000 Paul Lilly 27031 at Razer Shows Off Project Christine, a Funky Modular PC Concept <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/project_christine.jpg" alt="Razer Project Christine" title="Razer Project Christine" width="228" height="158" style="float: right;" />Is this the future of desktop design?</h3> <p>There's no need to try and reinvent the wheel, and some might argue the same applies to desktop PCs. Not Razer, a company that's best known for its PC gaming peripherals. Razer has set out to reinvent gaming desktops with a modular PC concept that's currently called <strong>Project Christine</strong>. The idea is to simplify the processing of setting up a PC, make future upgrades easy, and eliminate obsolescence.</p> <p>At a glance, the renderings look a little like Thermaltake's Level 10 line. Project Christine takes things to another level with a modular design that makes it super simple (in theory) to swap out modules on-the-fly. The way Razer explains it, a user can slot-in additional graphics modules and add more storage by either swapping out the existing storage drives or adding more modules, all on-the-fly.</p> <p>"Project Christine is a new concept design that will revolutionize the way users view the traditional PC. This is the first gaming system that is able to keep pace with technology and could allow consumers to never buy another PC, or gaming system, again," <a href="" target="_blank">says Min-Liang Tan</a>, Razer co-founder, CEO and creative director. "We have a history of bringing incredibly innovative concept systems to market and it’s fair to say that Project Christine is a very exciting new prospect for future development."</p> <p>The modular design and plug-and-play upgradeability based on PCI-Express architecture make Project Christine perpetually customizable. Rather than replace entire systems or foundations, users can simply add or swap out modules, as needed.</p> <p><iframe src="//" width="620" height="349" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>More info can be found on <a href="" target="_blank">Project Christine's website</a>. Check it out and then tell us if you think Razer is on to something, or perhaps literally <em>on</em> something.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> case ces2014 chassis concept enclosure Hardware modular pc project christine razer News Tue, 07 Jan 2014 19:58:44 +0000 Paul Lilly 27027 at