Nesteq ASM Xzero 600W Semi-Fanless Power Supply Unit Review

Compared with companies such as Corsair and Enermax, NesteQ is a relatively small company when it comes to PSUs. When I told a few of my friends about this PSU, the majority of them had never even heard on NesteQ. However, for those of us who have been following PC hardware for a while will know that NesteQ is famed for their quiet PSUs and other products aimed at reducing noise from your system. This new PSU is no exception.

Modern PSUs are generally made from the same mould; a large fan on the bottom, a grill at the back, a power switch and the necessary internals. Although one manufacturer will sometimes bring new aesthetic designs to the table the general functionality of a PSU remains fairly standard. However, NesteQ have set these guidelines aside and have crafted a truly unique product.

In this review we will be taking a look at Nesteq’s Xzero PSU and what it can offer in comparison to the vast majority of power supplies on the market. And most importantly, are these new features genuinely useful or just gimmicks to raise the price? We shall be finding out about that and more later on.

Features

  • Highly efficient heat pipe cooling
  • Active PFC (Power Factor Correction)
  • Up to 89% Efficiency
  • ATX12V Version 2.2
  • EPS12V Version 2.91
  • BTX Version 1.0a
  • +12V Power – Plus Technology
  • Advanced Silent Mode Technology
  • Stack Effect Cooling Solution (SECS)
  • Power Monitoring Panel
  • Enhanced Easy Connecting System
  • Over Power / Voltage / Current / Temperature protection
  • Short Circuit Protection

Specifications

This unit comes in 4 flavours, 400,500,600 and 700W which all have different power characteristics. We will be testing the 600W model. NesteQ clearly take muli-rail technology seriously as all versions of the Xzero have 4 rails apart from the 700W version which has a massive 6 rails! Take note that on the 600W version the amperage on 12V rails 3 and 4 are lower that 1 and 2 so be sure to balance them accordingly.

PowerColor unleashes two brand new dual-gpu 6000 series cards

PowerColor has designed and released two new dual-GPU graphics cards. They are both based of AMD’s 6000 series GPU set. The cards will both run on an internal CrossFireX (or Hydra) connection, the HD 6870X2 will be based on a dual “Barts” card and the HD6970X2 will be based on a dual “Cayman” card.

The HD 6870X2

This card has been designed to try and slot in between the performance sectors of the HD 6970 and HD 6990. The card is programmed to run using either AMD CrossFireX or Lucid Hydra between the two GPU’s. The card will be cooled using a 92mm and an 80mm fan along with 5 heat pipes and 2 aluminium heat sinks. It would appear from the design that the left processor will run a lot hotter than the right one.
The general specifications of the card are:

  • 2240 Stream processors
  • 64 ROP’s
  • 2GB GDDR5
  • 256bit memory bus
  • 2 X DVI
  • 2 X mini display port
  • 1 X HDMI
  • 4 + 2 Phase VRM
  • 2 X 8pin power connections

No specific price has been defined by PowerColor yet but since a single HD 6850 costs between £120-£170 it would be safe to say a ballpark figure of £250 -£300 is realistic.

The HD 6970X2

Designed to be faster than the HD 6990 and the GTX 590 this card should be the faster on the market since unlike the GTX 590 and HD 6990 it is not based on cut down versions of the single GPU’s which are then later combined i.e. the GTX 590 is based on two cut down GTX 580 cores.

This card essentially like a HD 6990 except PowerColor have made it so that each core can run at full capacity and maintain the same overclocking headroom per GPU as the HD 6970. The card is cooled with a triple slot, dual fan (120mm and 140mm) and dual heatsink design. Again like the HD 6870X2 the card will be produced to either run the CrossFireX connection between its two GPU’s or the Lucid Hydra engine.

The general specifications of the card are:

  • 3072 stream processors
  • 64 ROPs
  • 4GB GDDR5
  • 256bit memory bus
  • 2 X DVI
  • 2 X mini display port
  • 1 X HDMI
  • 6 +2 Phase VRM
  • 3 X 8pin power connections

Again no official words on pricing but expect prices similar to that of the HD 6990 add about 10% because of the extra processing power.

Source: TechPowerUp

Attached files

hd6870x2.jpg (66.8 KB)  hd6870x2.jpg (73.5 KB)  hd6970x2.jpg (141.3 KB) 

Corsair announces new low profile Vengeance RAM

As many people will know there are often issues with clearance when it comes to large CPU coolers and high RAM modules. Corsair have recognised that their RAM is often used in conjunction with large CPU coolers and in response to this have released the low profile vengeance modules.

The general range Vengeance LP modules will be similar to current vengeance modules in price, voltage, frequencies and timings. The only major difference will be the height. The current vengeance modules measure in at 1.87 inches (4.8cm) high whilst these new Vengeance LP modules will be only 1.03″ (2.7cm) which is quite a substantial height reduction , good news for computer enthusiasts. A special low voltage option is available, the arctic white version will run at 1.35v.

And as far as the full range of modules go this is the detailed list of options Corsair have published:

Attached files

vengeance.jpg (106.2 KB)  vengeanceoption.jpg (85.8 KB) 

Asus Sabertooth 990FX AM3+ Motherboard Review

We’ve had quite a large focus on Intel lately with the shakeup of B3 revision boards and the recent launch of the Z68 chipset. Now gives a time where we can take a look at something new from AMD. Yes you heard right, AMD have launched something new; the 990FX chipset.

AMD have been to long without a refresh and now that the 990FX has arrived, it opens the doorway to the upcoming processors codenamed Bulldozer. Sadly Bulldozer has now been delayed till apparently August, but how true this is, only AMD know. Until then the 990FX does give some other features aside from the full AM3+ support.

990FX opens up improved DDR3 memory support, the ability to have a UEFI GUI based BIOS, and support for SLI. AMD have hogged the limelight for quite some time forcing users to buy AMD all the way with the motherboard and GPU combination if wanting multiple graphics cards. though AMD weren’t completely to blame as it was a battle between them being too proud to ask and nVidia flat out refusing to share a license with them, the 990FX chipset now sees an improvement in this area, allowing for Quad SLI on some boards.

Whilst the 990FX does sound good in terms of small benefits, it really depends on the board that will be implementing it. Today we are looking at the Sabertooth 990FX from Asus which provides military grade components and stability at an affordable price. The Sabertooth includes all of the features above but also has stability in mind by implementing some unique features in terms of keeping your system cool by using an new improved material called CeraM!x and including various sensors across the board to intelligently monitor the boards temperature and adjust the cooling to suit.

It sounds like a board that’s suitable for military operations but will it survive the bombardment of tests and benchmarks we’ll be shooting at it? Let’s find out.

Forward March!

Specifications

[TABLE=class: grid, width: 100%]
[TR]
[TD=align: center]Model[/TD]
[TD=align: center]SABERTOOTH 990FX[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD=align: center]CPU[/TD]
[TD=align: center]AMD Socket AM3+ for AMD FX Series CPU up to 8-core, Compatible with AMD Socket AM3 for AMD Phenom™ II /Athlon™ II /Sempron™ 100 Series Processors[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD=align: center]Chipset[/TD]
[TD=align: center]AMD 990FX/SB950[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD=align: center]Memory[/TD]
[TD=align: center]DDR3 1866/1600/1333/1066 MHz Support[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD=align: center]Power Phase Design[/TD]
[TD=align: center]DIGI+ VRM 8+2 phase[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD=align: center]PCIe x16 Slots[/TD]
[TD=align: center]3 (Single@x16 speed; Dual@x16/x16 speed; Triple@x16/x8/x8 speed)
1 (Black@x4 speed)[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[/TR]
[TR]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD=align: center]Multi-GPU support[/TD]
[TD=align: center]CrossFireX / SLI[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD=align: center]Storage[/TD]
[TD=align: center]6 x SATA 6Gb/s
2 x SATA 3Gb/s
1 x Power eSATA
1 x eSATA[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[/TR]
[TR]
[/TR]
[TR]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD=align: center]LAN[/TD]
[TD=align: center]Realtek® Gigabit LAN[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD=align: center]Audio[/TD]
[TD=align: center]8-ch HD[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD=align: center]IEEE 1394[/TD]
[TD=align: center]2 (1 at mid-board; 1 at back panel)[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD=align: center]USB[/TD]
[TD=align: center]4 x USB 3.0 (2 at mid-board at front panel, 2 at back)
14 x USB 2.0 (4 at mid-board, 10 at back)[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD=align: center]Exclusive Features[/TD]
[TD]“Ultimate COOL!” Thermal Solution
– TUF CeraM!X Heatsink Coating Tech.
– TUF Thermal Radar
“TUF ENGINE!” Power Design
– 8+2 Digital Phase Power Design
– TUF Components (Alloy choke, Cap. & MOSFET; certified by military-standard)
– ASUS DIGI+ VRM Utility
– E.S.P. : Efficient Switching Power Design
“Safe & Stable!” Guardian Angel
– ESD Guards
– MemOK!
– Anti Surge
“Other Special Features
– ASUS UEFI BIOS EZ Mode featuring friendly graphics user interface
– Front Panel USB 3.0 Support
– AI Suite II
“5 Year Warranty[/TD]
[/TR]
[/TABLE]

New Intel socket X79 motherboards pictured

The LGA 2011 socket is a new Intel socket set to replace the current 1366 sockets. The processors for this socket are expected to be released and officially launched in Q4 later this year.

Some of the key expectations of this new socket from Intel are that the LGA 2011 boards will come with:

  • Quad channel memory support
  • Sata III controllers integrated into the X79 chipset
  • USB 3.0 support
  • Intel Gigabit ethernet support

Two boards have been publicly displaced so far one from ASUS as seen here:

C1X79 EVO

The other being one from Gigabyte as seen here:

GA-X79A-UD3

What is interesting to note, even from the lower end motherboards is that there is a lot of PCI-E connectivity integrated into the LGA 2011 socket itself. Out of the 5 PCI-E slots on the UD3, four are wired to the LGA 2011 and 1 to the northbridge so what this essentially means is that all boards on this socket will provide at least 2 way SLI and CFX support.

The Quad channel memory is also something new we are yet to see, currently we have triple channel memory.

For the performance enthusiasts there is also apparent support for a 10-way Sata 6GB/s RAID controller with the UD3 whilst the ASUS board was a little more quiet about the features it had to offer.

Attached files

asus2011.jpg (82.3 KB)  gigabyte2011.jpg (166.4 KB) 

Nvidia releases new GTX 560m gaming laptop video card

The GTX 460m much like the GTX 460 itself was the sweet spot for gaming performance and value for money. The release of the GTX 560m is expected to now take that position for the laptop market. Offering full 1080p performance as well as DX11 support in addition to much more performance-per-watt the GTX 560m is likely to leave the GTX 460m in the distance.

The GTX 560m also offers these features:

  • NVIDIA 3D Vision technology support, the #1 3D technology for notebooks
  • NVIDIA PhysX technology support, for in-game real-time physics effects
  • NVIDIA CUDA architecture support, for GPU computing applications

Surprisingly we can see that if you own a GTX 560m laptop or notebook you will be able to support 3D vision which is a huge advantage over older Nvidia mobile GPUs.

From this week Alienware (Dell), Asus, Clevo, MSI and Toshiba will start producing and selling laptops with GTX 560m. No official word on pricing but the expectation is they will come in to fill the £600-£1000 gaming laptop range.

Attached files

gtx560m.jpg (47.2 KB) 

Cooler Master V8 CPU Cooler Review

Cooler Master are a brand that we are very familiar with at eTeknix and have always been a company that we have focussed on to see what they come up with in the future. Whilst the future is bright, we can’t but help look back at the past at a slightly older product, though even as it’s not the newest swanky thing on the market, it still holds its own by offering an amazing cooling product at a low price, especially when compared to its rivals.

We can only be talking about the much talked about Cooler Master V8, which gets its name and styling from the famous engine, without all the noise that a V8 engine is famous for. It incorporates a large heatsink design with a fan sandwiched between it and is suitable for the latest and greatest CPU sockets on the market. For complete control over the CPU cooler an included PWM fan control gives complete silence when needed and extreme cooling if that’s your bag.

Based on the awards this cooler has obtained, it seems to live up to all of the hype above but how do we get on with it after we’ve looked at the likes of the Noctua NH-C14 mammoth cooler. Will we be let down or pleasantly surprised?

Start your engines!

Specifications

[TABLE=class: grid, width: 100%]
[TR]
[TD]CPU Socket[/TD]
[TD]Intel Socket:*
LGA1366 / LGA1156 / LGA1155 / LGA775 *
AMD Socket:
AM3 / AM2+ / AM2[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]CPU Support[/TD]
[TD]Intel:
Core™ i7 Extreme / Core™ i7 / Core™ i5 / Core™ i3 / Core™2 Extreme / Core™2 Quad / Core™2 Duo / Pentium / Celeron
AMD:
Phenom™ II X4 / Phenom™ II X3 / Phenom™ II X2 / Phenom™ X4 / Phenom™ X3 / Athlon™ II X4 / Athlon™ II X3 / Athlon™ II X2 / Athlon™ X2 / Athlon™ / Sempron™[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Dimensions[/TD]
[TD]120 x 128 x 161.1mm[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Weight[/TD]
[TD]865g[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Heat Sink Dimensions[/TD]
[TD]120 x 120 x 158mm[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Heat Sink Material[/TD]
[TD]Copper Base / Aluminum Fins / 8 Heat Pipes[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Heat Pipes Dimensions[/TD]
[TD]ø6mm[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Fan Dimension (W / H / D)[/TD]
[TD]120 x 120 x 25mm[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Fan Speed[/TD]
[TD]800 – 1800RPM[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Fan Airflow[/TD]
[TD]69.69CFM[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Air pressure (mmH2O)[/TD]
[TD]2.94mm H2O[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Bearing Type[/TD]
[TD]Rifle Bearing[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Fan Life Expectancy[/TD]
[TD]40,000hrs[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Fan Noise Level (dB-A)[/TD]
[TD]17 – 21 dBA[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Fan Speed Adjustment[/TD]
[TD]Install on PCI Slot[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Connector[/TD]
[TD]4-pin[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Fan Control[/TD]
[TD]PWM + VR Controller[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Rated Voltage[/TD]
[TD]12V[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Start Voltage[/TD]
[TD]7V[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Operating Voltage[/TD]
[TD]10.38V – 13.2V[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Rated Current[/TD]
[TD]0.12A[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Input Power[/TD]
[TD]1.44W[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Note[/TD]
[TD]* Supplied accessories may differ by country or area. Please check with your local distributor for further details.[/TD]
[/TR]
[/TABLE]

Gigabyte integrates SSD to its motherboards

Intel’s new smart response technology allows users to improve the speed which their mechanical hard drives operate at by using a small SSD to cache the mechanical drive. However, buying a small SSD can seem to be a bit of a drag considering you will have to use one of your sata ports and additional space in your hard drive bays which can be frustrating if you only have a small mid tower case.

Therefore an integrated SSD is a great idea it allows the smart response technology provided by the Z68 chipset to make your mechanical hard drives function much much faster giving better operating system load times amongst other things. The integrated SSD however is only 20GB so will not be usable for much more than the operating system and commonly used processes (it will not be able to pre cache games, large media files etc).

In response to this gigabyte have released the Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD3-iSSD motherboard (the iSSD indicates the integrated SSD). This board comes with a 20GB intel 311 series SSD integrated onto the centre of the motherboard as shown below:

Other than the integrated SSD this Z68 UD3 is no different in specification to the other Gigabyte Z68 UD3 coming with the following features:

 

CPU:

  • Support for Intel® Core™ i7 processors/Intel® Core™ i5 processors/ Intel® Core™ i3 processors/Intel® Pentium® processors/Intel® Celeron® processors in the LGA1155 package
  • L3 cache varies with CPU
  • (Please refer “CPU Support List” for more information.)

Chipset

  • Intel® Z68 Express Chipset

Memory

  • 4 x 1.5V DDR3 DIMM sockets supporting up to 32 GB of system memory
  • * Due to Windows 32-bit operating system limitation, when more than 4 GB of physical memory is installed, the actual memory size displayed will be less than 4 GB.
  • Dual channel memory architecture
  • Support for DDR3 2133/1866/1600/1333/1066 MHz memory modules
  • Support for non-ECC memory modules
  • Support for Extreme Memory Profile (XMP) memory modules
  • (Please refer “Memory Support List” for more information.)

Onboard GraphicsIntegrated in the Chipset:

  • 1 x HDMI port, supporting a maximum resolution of 1920×1200

Audio

  • Realtek ALC889 codec
  • High Definition Audio
  • 2/4/5.1/7.1-channel
  • Support for Dolby® Home Theater
  • Support for S/PDIF Out

LAN

  • 1 x Realtek RTL8111E chip (10/100/1000 Mbit)

 

Attached files

gigabyteissd.jpg (120.7 KB)

Arctic cooling releases latest cooler in its graphics card series

Arctic cooling have announced its new Accelero Xtreme Plus II VGA cooler. This is an improved version of the existing Accelero Xtreme Plus I VGA cooler. According to arctic the cooler has been redesigned to not only bring enhanced cooling through better arrangement of heatsink fins but also the cooler has been designed with flexibility in mind allowing for a greater range of cards to be compatible with the Plus II than the Plus I cooler.

In terms of notable cards which this now supports that it previously didn’t there is added “out-of-the-box” design compatibility with the GTX 580 and the HD 6970. In terms of the cooler itself it still utilises three 92mm fans with an aluminum heat sink (with 83 fins) to cover the GPU processor itself as well as additional heat sinks for other parts of the graphics card.

The main heat sink is formed of five 6mm copper heat pipes attached to a solid copper base. In addition to the changes brought to the mounting plate to allow compatibility with more cards the Accelero Xtreme Plus II will also be shipped with more VRM and memory heat sinks.

The three 92mm fans on the cooler run at 900-2000RPM and are fully adjustable. The whole cooler totals 288mm in length so adequate space is needed to fit this cooler (11.5 inches approx). It is also worth nothing the cooler comes with G-1 thermal glue for attaching all the relevant heat sinks and components to your graphics card.

The cooler will weigh 0.9kg and the recommended RRP will be around $65 which is similar in price to the current “Plus I” version of the cooler

Attached files

accelero II.jpg (11.6 KB) 

Gigabyte release their Bulldozer UD5 board

Gigabyte has already announced its AM3+ UD7 recently but now it has announced the more affordable UD5 board to be released next month. The board will be based on the 990FX chipset and with the AM3+ socket which will have 10 phase VRM support. The board will be in black with Gigabyte’s normal Ultra Durable components that we have come to expect from mid-high end motherboards.

The board will support 3 way SLI and 3 way crossfireX. The PCI-E configuration is that there are 5 slots. Slots 1, 3 and 5 are wired to the NorthBridge. Slot 1 and 3 operate at 16X. Slot 5 operates at 8X. Slots 2 and 4 are wired to the SouthBridge chip and are both 4X. The board also includes at PCI-E 1X slot and a legacy PCI slot.

So in terms of graphics card configurations you can run:

  • 1 card at 16X
  • 2 cards at 16X
  • 3 cards at 8X

The board also has 8+2 channel HD audio, 4 USB 3 ports (2 front 2 back) , gigabit ethernet, Dual bios and the ability to boot from drives larger than 2TB.

Pricing is about £170 as you can already pre-order this board from Aria PC here:
http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Motherboards/AMD+AM3%2B+%28900+Chipset%29/Gigabyte+990FXA-UD5+AMD+990FX+%28Socket+AM3%2B%29+DDR3+PCI-Express+ATX+Motherboard+?productId=44725

The full specifications of this board are as follows:

CPUAM3+ Socket:

  • Support for AMD AM3+ FX processors
  • Support for AMD AM3 Phenom™ II processors / AMD Athlon™ II processors
  • (Please refer “CPU Support List” for more information.)

Hyper Transport Bus 

  • 5200 MT/s

Chipset 

  • North Bridge: AMD 990FX
  • South Bridge: AMD SB950

Memory 

  • 4 x 1.5V DDR3 DIMM sockets supporting up to 32 GB of system memory (Note 1)
  • Dual channel memory architecture
  • Support for DDR3 2000(O.C.)/1866/1600/1333/1066 MHz memory modules (Note 2)
  • (Please refer “Memory Support List” for more information.)

Audio 

  • Realtek ALC889 codec
  • High Definition Audio
  • 2/4/5.1/7.1-channel
  • Support for Dolby Home Theater
  • Support for S/PDIF Out

LAN 

  • 1 x Realtek RTL8111E chip (10/100/1000 Mbit)

Expansion Slots

  • 2 x PCI Express x16 slots, running at x16 (PCIEX16_1, PCIEX16_2) (Note 3)
  • 1 x PCI Express x16 slots, running at x8 (PCIEX8) (Note 4)
  • 2 x PCI Express x16 slots, running at x4 (PCIEX4_1, PCIEX4_2)
  • 1 x PCI Express x1 slot (All PCI Express slots conform to the PCI Express 2.0 standard.)
  • 1 x PCI slot

Multi-Graphics Technology 

  • Support for 2-Way/3-Way AMD CrossFireX™ and NVIDIA SLI™ technology

Storage InterfaceSouth Bridge:

  • 6 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors (SATA3_0~SATA3_5) supporting up to 6 SATA 6Gb/s devices
  • Support for SATA RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID5, RAID 10 and JBOD
  • 2 x Marvell 88SE9172 chips:
  • 2 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors (GSATA3_6, GSATA3_7) supporting up to 2 SATA 6Gb/s devices
  • 2 x eSATA 6Gb/s connectors on the back panel supporting up to 2 SATA 6Gb/s devices
  • Support for RAID 0 and RAID 1

USBSouth Bridge:

  • Up to 14 USB 2.0/1.1 ports (8 ports on the back panel, 6 ports available through the internal USB headers)
  • 2 x Etron EJ168 chips:
  • Up to 4 USB 3.0/2.0 ports (2 ports on the back panel, 2 ports available through the internal USB header)

IEEE 1394VIA VT6308 chip:

  • Up to 2 IEEE 1394a ports (1 port on the back panel, 1 port available through the internal IEEE 1394a header)

Internal I/O Connectors 

  • 1 x 24-pin ATX main power connector
  • 1 x 8-pin ATX 12V power connector
  • 8 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors
  • 1 x CPU fan header
  • 2 x system fan headers
  • 1 x power fan header
  • 1 x front panel header
  • 1 x front panel audio header
  • 1 x S/PDIF Out header
  • 3 x USB 2.0/1.1 headers
  • 1 x USB 3.0/2.0 header
  • 1 x IEEE 1394a header
  • 1 x serial port header
  • 1 x clearing CMOS jumper
  • 1 x Trusted Platform Module (TPM) header

 Back Panel Connectors 

  • 1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse port
  • 1 x optical S/PDIF Out connector
  • 1 x IEEE 1394 port
  • 8 x USB 2.0/1.1 ports
  • 2 x USB 3.0/2.0 ports
  • 2 x eSATA 6Gb/s connector
  • 1 x RJ-45 port
  • 6 x audio jacks (Center/Subwoofer Speaker Out/Rear Speaker Out/Side Speaker Out/Line In/Line Out/Microphone)

I/O Controller 

  • ITE IT8720 chip

H/W Monitoring 

  • System voltage detection
  • CPU/System temperature detection
  • CPU/System/Power fan speed detection
  • CPU overheating warning
  • CPU/System/Power fan fail warning
  • CPU/System fan speed control (Note 5)

BIOS

  • 2 x 32 Mbit flash
  • Use of licensed AWARD BIOS
  • Support for DualBIOS™
  • PnP 1.0a, DMI 2.0, SM BIOS 2.4, ACPI 1.0b

Unique Features 

  • Support for @BIOS
  • Support for Q-Flash
  • Support for Xpress BIOS Rescue
  • Support for Download Center
  • Support for Xpress Install
  • Support for Xpress Recovery2
  • Support for EasyTune (Note 6)
  • Support for Easy Energy Saver
  • Support for Smart Recovery
  • Support for Auto Green
  • Support for ON/OFF Charge
  • Support for Cloud OC
  • Support for 3TB+ Unlock
  • Support for Q-Share

Bundle Software

  • Norton Internet Security (OEM version)

Operating System 

  • Support for Microsoft Windows 7/ Vista/ XP

Form Factor 

  • ATX Form Factor; 30.5cm x 24.4cm

Note(Note 1) Due to Windows 32-bit operating system limitation, when more than 4 GB of physical memory is installed, the actual memory size displayed will be less than 4 GB.

(Note 2) To support a DDR3 1866 MHz (and above) memory, you must install an AMD AM3+ CPU first.

(Note 3) For optimum performance, if only one PCI Express graphics card is to be installed, be sure to install it in the PCIEX16_1 slot; if you are installing two PCI Express graphics cards, it is recommended that you install them in the PCIEX16_1 and PCIEX16_2 slots.

(Note 4) The PCIEX8 slot shares bandwidth with the PCIEX16_2 slot. When PCIEX8 is populated with a PCI Express expansion card, the PCIEX16_2 slot will operate at up to x8 mode.

(Note 5) Whether the CPU/system fan speed control function is supported will depend on the CPU/system cooler you install.

(Note 6) Available functions in EasyTune may differ by motherboard model.

Attached files

990fx.jpg (98.3 KB)

EVGA set to release its first CPU cooler

EVGA are all set to release there new CPU cooler which they have ambitiously named the Superclock. It is clear EVGA are aiming this at enthusiasts, but will EVGA need more than just the brand to sell this cooler? First off we know EVGA best for its motherboards and graphics cards and the company already make coolers for their own graphics cards so why not make CPU coolers too?

The Superclock is a tower designed cooler which has support for both AMD’s and Intels latest offerings. It has five copper heatpipes painted black to match the heatsink fins. The heatsink fins are made from aluminium and and are all held together by the heatpipes with direct touch technology on the base. Also included is a 120mm PWM clear fan with red leds which attaches to the side of the cooler. Although this may or may not sell on its own, there is a good opportunity for bundle packages with EVGA’s motherboards, but will retail for approximately £30.

Even though the cooler does look a bit large, when compared to some other coolers on the market, it doesn’t too out of place. We’ll soon see how well EVGA do with the start of this product line.


Attached files

evga1.jpg (8.1 KB)  evga_superclock_1.jpg (49.9 KB)  evga_superclock_2.jpg (45.9 KB)

In Win Dragon Rider Full Tower Chassis Review

In Win and their products have featured here at eTeknix only the once, but even then we were quite keen to sing their praises. Sure there were some niggly little faults but we did have a pre-production version so we expect little gripes to pop up from time to time. When you look at the product range from In Win, you will most likely have no clear comparison in your head of what their cases rival as they are very different and step out of the box with their unique styling and features, yet still put up a fight to some of the big brands that are holding the market well.

The Dragon Rider is considered the bigger brother to the Dragon Slayer that we took a look at in the not so distant past and features similar styling in many ways but in a bigger form. We also see some of the great features that In Win have invested into their whole range including slides for your drives, tool-less design and some funky lighting to make the front stand out that little bit.

The Dragon Rider keeps with the chainmail armour and solid build quality but does it offer up a wow factor or is it just a bigger immataion of the Dragon Slayer? We find out as we attempt to tame the beat that is the Dragon Rider!


Specifications

[HR][/HR]

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Release date set

The release date has been confirmed! November 8th 2011. It is no longer Infinity Ward working on this one though, Sledgehammer games are going to be working along side Raven Soft with this title. Newcomers Sledgehammer will be developing the single player campaign and Raven Soft (known for Quake 4) will be developing the online multiplayer.

The trailer was shown during the NBA Western Conference finals a few nights ago and soon after, Activision released the trailer to the web. The trailer sounds a lot like a Modern Warfare 2 advert, although it is a continuation of the story from MW 2, so that was to be expected in a way. As those of you who have seen the trailer know, the story takes place in several locations around the globe. These locations include Paris, London and New York city, just to name a few.

There was speculation that a PC version of the game would not exist but it has been confirmed that a PC version will be released. This game has been in development for a while now, just two weeks after MW 2 was released, development began on MW 3.

The big question is, can Activison, Sledgehammer and Raven Soft beat what Battlefield 3 is bringing to the table?

If you have not already seen the trailer, we thought we’d include it here for you:

Attached files

modern-warfare-3-background.jpg (65.9 KB) 

AMD Catalyst 11.5b Hotfix

AMD have today released a hotfix to their 11.5 drivers in an aim to boost performance and fix a few issues with some games. This is a second hotfix released by AMD, but its nice to know that they are releasing this minor update inbetween 11.5 and 11.6 to keep everything running smoothly.

The new hotfix includes the following:

  • Includes performance optimizations and resolves various quality issues for the upcoming release of Brink™
  • Resolves transcoding video lagging issues seen when converting multiple H.264 clips to MPEG2 Blu-ray video
  • Resolves the intermittent mouse cursor lag issue seen by some users
  • Resolves intermittent flickering issues seen in the following applications in a system using an AMD Radeon™ HD 6000 series graphics card with DDR3 memory and running in DirectX® 9 mode:
  • Civilization 5
  • Dead Rising 2
  • Fallout 3
  • Mafia 2
  • NBA 2010
  • ShenGuiChuanQi
  • Starcraft 2
  • Warcraft III
  • World of Warcraft

Support for additional Stereo 3D-capable displays:

  • Viewsonic V3D241wm-LED
  • 3D Projectors
  • Enables AMD CrossFire™ scaling for Brink
  • Enables AMD CrossFire scaling for The Witcher 2
  • Improves performance for Dirt 3

You can download the drivers for both Windows XP and Windows 7 over in our downloads area

Attached files

AMD-radeon-100.jpg (3 KB)

Jetway NC85-E350-LF Fusion Motherboard Review

AMD Fusion has been something that a lot of the staff at eTeknix have been raving on about, as it shows what the future is to hold in a very small form factor. We’ve already looked at two Fusion boards in the past which gave fantastic results and fit the market they are suited for very well.

Today sees us look at another Fusion based board that seems simple yet effective design from Jetway. We’ve looked at server boards from Jetway in the past, mainly based around the Atom platform, and whilst the features don’t generally scream out, they usually offer a no frills option to consumers who simply want the main features that the chipset offers with a quiet and low-powered operation.

Does the NC85-E350-LF live up to this and how does it rival against the other Fusion boards that we’ve seen in the past?

Let’s get down to it and take a look!

Specifications

[TABLE=class: grid, width: 100%]
[TR]
[TD] CPU[/TD]
[TD] Support AMD Zacate E350 Dual core 1.6GHz APU[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD] Chipset[/TD]
[TD] AMD Brazos Zacate + Hudson D1 Chipset[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD] Memory[/TD]
[TD] 2 * SODIMM Sockets for un-buffered Single Channel 64-bit DDR3 800-1066 SDRAM up to 8 GB[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD] Expansion Slots[/TD]
[TD] 1 * 32-bit PCI slot
1 * Mini PCI-E[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD] Storage[/TD]
[TD] 4 * Serial ATA2 3Gb/s connectors[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD] Audio[/TD]
[TD] VIA VT1705 6-Channel HD Audio CODEC[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD] Ethernet LAN[/TD]
[TD] 1 * Realtek RTL8111E PCI-E LAN chip for Gigabit LAN[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD] USB[/TD]
[TD] Embedded 10 * USB 2.0/1.1[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD] Rear Panel I / O[/TD]
[TD] 6 * USB 2.0/1.1 ports
1 * PS2 KB/MS port
2 * RJ-45 ports
1 * Audio I / O port
1 * VGA port
1 * DVI-D port
1 * HDMI port[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD] Internal I / O[/TD]
[TD] 2 * USB 2.0/1.1 headers for 4 USB 2.0 ports
CPU / Chassis Fan connectors;
1 * 24-pin ATX Power connector
1 * 18 bit Single Channel LVDS header
1 * COM Port & 1 * GPIO header
1 * CIR header[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD] BIOS[/TD]
[TD] AMI 16MB SPI Flash ROM[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD] Certificate[/TD]
[TD] CE,FCC,RoHS,Eup[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD] Functional[/TD]
[TD] ATM, Automation, medical Equipment, Security, Networking, POS, General Application, Gaming Machine, Transportation[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD] Temperature[/TD]
[TD] Operating within 0~50 centigrade
Storage within -20-85 centigrade[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD] Form Factor[/TD]
[TD] Mini ITX Form Factor(170mmx170mm)[/TD]
[/TR]
[/TABLE]

Duke Nukem is here after what feels like ‘forever’

Duke Nukem : Forever is Due to be released on the 14th of June, after a 15 year wait. 2K confirmed the game was finally complete and is set to ship internationally on June the 10th. The game is being released for all platforms – Xbox 360, PS3 and PC. Users who buy or have bought Borderlands: Game of the year edition will receive access to an exclusive demo on June the 3rd also users who pre-order the game will receive the same deal.

The president of 2K games Christopher Hartmann stated “Duke Nukem Forever is the game that was once thought to be unshippable, and yet here we are, on the precipice of history. Today marks an amazing day in the annals of gaming lore, the day where the legend of Duke Nukem Forever is finally complete and it takes that final step towards becoming a reality.”

Will this game be worth the 15 year wait? The original was nothing more than Doom with more ‘Bad ass’ mixed in, the president of 2K seems to believe so with statements such as “annals of gaming lore” Lets hope this game isn’t a huge flop and does not cause mass internet rage.

Attached files

62k_games_logo.jpg (10.8 KB)  Duke-Nukem-Forever.jpg (46.2 KB) 

First Ever Live Trial of LTE (4G) In The UK

The UK’s first trial of LTE (4G) will be occurring in Cornwall, South West England and telecoms giants BT Wholesale and Everything Everywhere (T-mobile and Orange) will be running the tests. They are running a proof of concept trial which is designed to see what mobile broadband speeds are available within the field and this is to involve 100 mobile and 100 fixed line users.

The CEO of Everything Everywhere, Tom Alexander said “We strongly believe that, by sharing our network and mobile assets in this way, we can make a valuable contribution to the economics of rural broadband services. Our work with BT is providing a test bed for new technologies such as 4G LTE which, with the correct allocation of sub 1GHz spectrum from the Government, has the potential to make a real impact on the way in which we communicate in the future.”

Sally Davis, the CEO of BT Wholesale stated “This is a great mixed economy example of innovation and collaboration by two organisations pushing the boundaries of technology for the benefit of customers. The expectation of what we will learn is truly exciting, as much for the customers who are unable to get a broadband service in a number of rural communities across the country.”

The partial reason for the remote location is to see how LTE can help to bring fixed line broadband to rural areas, where the construction fibre networks is not financially or economically feasable. These trials may help to speed up the introduction of LTE nationwide. America already has this service nationwide and has done for some time. With any luck we will too.

Attached files

4G-Trial-Region-eTeknix.jpg (49.9 KB)  bt-wholesale.jpg (6.1 KB)  bt.jpg (8.1 KB)  Everything Everywhere logo.jpg (22 KB) 

Dell releases XPS 15Z

The Dell XPS 15Z has been designed to compete directly with the Macbook Pro. It features a 15 inch wide screen display with a 1366 x 768 resolution, although a 1080p option is also available. You can choose between either an Intel Core i5 or Core i7 CPU. Graphics wise it comes with an Nvidia GeForce GT 525M with 1GB graphics memory and for those who want a little bit more in the graphics department, a 2GB option is also available. There is also the option for up to 8GB of DDR3 memory. This all runs on the Intel HM67 Chipset. It weighs 5.54 pounds and is less than an inch thick, Dell say this is the thinnest 15 inch notebook for sale.

As well as all the key components, the XPS 15Z comes with a huge selection of peripherals. It boasts Bluetooth 3.0, Intel Centrino Advanced A/G/N Wi-Fi, Intel Wireless Display technology, HDMI v1.4, Mini DisplayPort, Gigabit Ethernet, three USB 3.0 ports and eSata. It also has a 9-in-1 memory card reader, a backlit keyboard which is also spill resistant and the trackpad also supports multi touch as well as gestures. All this squeezed into a shell sized at 24.68 x 384.85 x 260.37 mm.

This is a great competitor to the MacBook Pro and it should be interesting to see what Apple bring to the table next. As well as being competitive in the specifications, the price is also very good at £899.99 ($999.99) for the standard model whereas the equivalent MacBook Pro is £1,549 ($2,523.19).

Attached files

Dell-Logo-150×150.jpg (4.1 KB)  Dell-XPS-15z-Picture-2-300×201.jpg (20.6 KB)  Dell-XPS-15z-Picture-300×239.jpg (9 KB)

New i3 processors to be released Q3 2011

Intel has planned the launch of 3 Dual core i3 processors for later this year. They are all low end processors so will be aiming for the standard desktop PC market such as the likes of Dell and HP sub-£500 systems. The processors are as follows:

  • i3 2130 2 Cores @ 3.4GHz 3MB cache
  • i3 2125 2 Cores @ 3.3GHz 3MB cache
  • i3 2120T 2 Cores @3.3GHz 3MB cache

Both the 2130 and 2125 are based on the current 32nm architecture and have Thermal design power of 65 W. The only difference between the 2125 and the current 2120 is that it comes with integrated HD 3000 graphics as opposed to HD 2000 graphics. The HD 3000 graphics are clocked slightly higher at 850MHz core clock resulting in better performance for those looking for an all in one integrated solution.

The 2120T is an energy efficient CPU so much like the 2100T will come with a reduced TDP most likely 35-45W. All three processors will be based on the LGA 1155 (sandy bridge) socket. These new CPU’s will probably launch around September in time for new back to school computer stocks.

Attached files

i3.png (55.5 KB) 

Win a SteelSeries Medal of Honor 5XB Headset

We just can’t stop ourselves at eTeknix by giving you yet ANOTHER chance to win some goodies. This time we are giving you the chance to win a SteelSeries Medal of Honor 5XB headset as well as some cool runner up prizes.

1st Prize: 1 x SteelSeries Spectrum 5XB Medal of Honor edition headset
2nd Prize: 2 x Steelseries QcK mini gaming surface

To be within a chance of winning these fantastic prizes, all you have to do is follow the instructions below:

  1. Like our Facebook Page
  2. Like SteelSeries’ Facebook Page
  3. **COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED**

Rules and regulations:

  • The winner will be picked at RANDOM from the sucessful entries.
  • Winners will be announced on the eTeknix website and forums
  • The competition is open to UK RESIDENTS ONLY!
  • Competition ends at midnight on on 12th June 2011
  • Multiple entrants will be disqualified!
  • By entering this competition, you are accepting the terms and conditions
Attached files

moh.jpg (85.2 KB)

Asus planning dual 580 graphics card

Asus has been designing and developing a dual GTX 580 video card that will feature two full GF110 graphics processors unlike the GTX 590 which contains slightly cut down versions of these chips.

As a result of the massive power requirements the card will be equipped with a 19 phase VRM and super alloy power technology. The card will be cooled using the direct CU II technology which is expected to make the card consume 3 PCI-E slots worth of space. More news won’t be available until Computex 2011 at Taiwan in June.

In addition to the dual 580 card Asus is also planning a GTX 580 Matrix edition video card. This card will come in factory default and factory overclocked versions. Both of these cards will also feature the 19 phase VRM and super alloy power technology.

The specs for the Matrix GTX 580:

  • 512 CUDA cores
  • Core clock of 782MHz for the standard version or 816MHz for the Platinum
  • 1.5GB of GDDR5 memory clocked at 4008MHz on a 384 bit interface

The matrix edition in essence will be the cream of the crop of GTX 580 cards.

The key things about these two new products are improved direct CU cooling from Asus which is growing in size from 2 Slots to 3 slots (we also first saw this 3 Slot video card on the HD 6950 Direct CU II). And new higher quality power delivery systems and components to increase overclocking capabilities and allow the GPU’s to run cooler and more efficiently. In addition to this they have voltage check points for precise monitoring which can be combined with the GPU Tweak UI interface provided with the cards.

Attached files

asus_marsmatrix_1.jpg (49.1 KB) 

HIS Radeon HD 6870 IceQ X Turbo X Graphics Card Review

This past 12 months has seen a lot of new products for AMD in terms of processors, the Fusion platform and of course graphics cards. The HD 6870 has been a top seller for them since its initial launch and have kept a steady growth of sales even with higher end competitor cards being released. As with most graphics cards that are released, a reference design of sorts is used to show the performance and a custom design card follows on later down the line. The HD 6870 saw a massive boost in sales when custom coolers were strapped to the cards and with HIS branding their IceQ X fan and heatsink, it proves our point to the letter.

Being honest, eTeknix like HIS and what their products represent, and that’s why you will always see HIS reviews plastered on this site. They are a company who believe in pushing the limits in terms of cooling and speed, which as we know, both go hand in hand. The faster a card gets, the more efficient cooling is needed, which is where HIS have developed the HD 6870 IceQ X Turbo with it’s 975MHz core clock (900MHz standard) and 1150MHz memory clock (1050MHz standard) and funky blue cooler design.

Specifications

[TABLE=class: grid, width: 100%]
[TR]
[TD]Model Name[/TD]
[TD]HIS 6870 IceQ X Turbo X 1GB GDDR5 PCI-E HDMI/2xDVI/2xMini DP[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Chipset[/TD]
[TD]Radeon HD 6870 PCIe Series[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]ASIC[/TD]
[TD]RadeonTM HD 6870 GPU[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Manu. Process (Micron)[/TD]
[TD]40nm[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Memory Size (MB)[/TD]
[TD]1024[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Memory Type[/TD]
[TD]GDDR5[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Engine CLK (MHz)[/TD]
[TD]975Mhz[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Memory CLK (Gbps)[/TD]
[TD]4.6Gbps[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Memory Interface (bit)[/TD]
[TD]256[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Power Supply Requirement[/TD]
[TD]500 Watt or greater power[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Max. Resolution[/TD]
[TD]2560*1600[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Bus Interface[/TD]
[TD]PCI Express x16[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Mini Display Port[/TD]
[TD]Yes[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]HDMI[/TD]
[TD]Yes[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]DVI[/TD]
[TD]Upper Single-link DVI-D + Bottom Dual-link DVI-I[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]VGA[/TD]
[TD]No[/TD]
[/TR]
[/TABLE]

Windows 8 to emerge late 2011/early 2012

Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer made it publicly known at a conference in Japan that Microsoft would be picking up its preparations for the next generation of Windows later this year. Steve Ballmer claimed that we would be seeing the rise of Windows 8 on a variety of form factors, Slates, tablets, mobile handsets, laptops and desktop computers.

Although Steve Ballmer gave little else away about the next generation of windows OS, widely accepted to be windows 8, it is clear Microsoft is not looking to milk its position in the desktop and laptop market but expand into the mobile computing market and take advantage of these new Tablet and slate PCs. However, it is still not yet known whether this signifies a change in the approach of Microsoft towards operating systems.

Another thing to take note of is that Microsoft is now looking to decrease the time between releases of new operating systems. Whilst there were 6 years between Windows XP and Windows Vista , there were only 2 Years between Vista and 7. It looks like there will also be a similar time frame between 7 and 8 even with the success of Windows 7.

The start of the windows 8 launch is expected to be signalled with the release of the Windows 8 phone operating system late this year.

Attached files

Windows_8_Wallpaper6.jpg (63.1 KB) 

New low profile high performance CPU cooler from Scythe

The Japanese computer firm Scythe announced a new almost unique low profile processor cooler today. The “Kozuti” CPU cooler is designed for the needs of the low profile PC chassis. The unique design sees the fan placed under the cooling fins instead of on top or on the side of them. Which reduces the height of the cooler by a substantial amount.

The CPU cooler has three 6mm heatpipes which are supported by an 80mm fan. The fan will run at speeds of 800-3300 RPM making noise of around 8.2 to 32.5dBA. Airflow will be between 6 CFM and 25CFM. The CPU cooler will be compatible with all currently sold AMD and Intel processor sockets. And at a price of around 20-25 euros this CPU cooler will make an excellent choice for those users looking to cool high end processors in compact spaces.

The full product specifications are as follows:

  • Model Name: Kozuti CPU Cooler
  • Compatibility:
  • Intel:
  • Sockel 775
  • Sockel 1155
  • Sockel 1156
  • Sockel 1366
  • AMD:
  • Sockel AM2
  • Sockel AM2+
  • Sockel AM3
  • Overall Dimensions: 110 x 103 x 40 mm / 4.33 x 4.06 x1.58 in
  • Weight Included Fan: 250 g
  • Accessories: Installation Guide, Thermal Grease
  • Fan-Specifications: PWM4-pin fan
  • Fan Dimensions: 80 x 80 x 10 mm
  • Fan Speed: 800 (±30%) – 3300upm (±10%) – regulated by PWM
  • Air Flow: 6.0CFM ~ 24.82CFM
  • Noise Level: 8.2 ~ 32.5dBA
  • Input Power: 2,4 W

Attached files

scythe kozuni.jpg (148.1 KB) 

AMD Llano Fusion laptop goes on sale

Some European retailers have already started listing laptops and notebooks based on the upcoming AMD mobile processors. The notebooks being manufactured by HP are the DV6 series and they contain Llano processors.

The specifications of the laptop listed are exceptional given the price.

The DV6-6110SG HP laptop comes with:

  • 15.6″ Screen
  • A6 3410MX (Quad Core Llano at 1.6GHz standard or 2.1GHz turbo)
  • HD 6750M 1GB
  • 6GB DDR3 RAM
  • 500GB HDD

More here: (http://www.passiontec.de/_fenster.php?art_id=600693537&ref_id=TradeDoubler&affId=1376965)

The price of this laptop is around 600 euros, so you can see that these Llano based laptops will offer good performance for fantastic prices. It is also expected prices will start to decline a few months after launch so by early September expect to be able to pick up one of these fantastic laptops for maybe even 500 euros.

Any Intel equivalent laptop will cost you a significant amount more. Around 750 euros for an i7 quad core laptop with some form of dedicated graphics like the HD 6750M. Although, earlier this month we saw AMD’s share of the mobile market declining between this quarter and the last , they still held a significant lead. And it is likely that this will only increase that lead until Intel can try and fight back with its new Ivy bridge processors which have been pushed back for release until Q2 of 2012.

Attached files

amd_fusion_llano.jpg (63.9 KB) 

Cooler Master Silencio 550 Chassis Preview

Now some of you may have heard on our forums that the official release date of the Cooler Master Silencio 550 was the 23rd May. We do here at eTeknix like to give you the reviews, when possible, at the earliest time that we are allowed to release them.

Unfortunately, some times other aspects of life do get in the way – it is exam season after all – and as we want to show you this product in as much detail as possible we are not going to be releasing the review straight away. It is, we feel, quite a unique product and as such we want the review to do Cooler Master justice and to highlight the good and bad (if there are any) points about this case.

In the mean time we thought we would tease you a little bit more with a small preview of the review coming soon:

It seems that quite a few cases have been released recently and while this might seem a bit repetitive it does at least allow us to compare the cases quite well.

Today’s case is the Cooler Master Silencio 550 Chassis which is trying to be slightly different to your standard case but at a price that will not break the bank. The name itself might give it away slightly but if it’s not obvious Cooler Master do claim ‘near silent’ operation when using this case. That seems like quite a tall order when most users will be using fairly hefty CPU Coolers and a decent powered PSU. All we can say from the start is that they certainly haven’t compromised the looks of this case.

Cooler Master are a huge player in the computing world and are probably best known for their cases so we are expecting very good things. They are also certainly willing to listen to the public and to give the support that is needed to their customers, which in turn is helping them to create even better products and we certainly hope this Silencio Chassis is one of those.

In Cooler Master’s words:

The dominating part of the Silencio 550 is, as the name already suggests, the very low sound it produces when the case is turned on. Insulated with silencing foam padding internally on both sides cancels the noise made by the slight reverberations of the fans and the whirrs and clicks of hard drives. Combine this with a solid-steel unshakable frame, shiftless rubber feet and two Cooler Master low noise fans and you will get a
chassis which you will hardly hear when it is on; perfect for those who value peace and quiet as a must in the computing environment.

Specifications:

[TABLE=class: grid, width: 100%]
[TR]
[TD]Available Color[/TD]
[TD]Full Black[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Material[/TD]
[TD]Steel body, Plastic front bezel[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Dimension (W / H / D)[/TD]
[TD](W) 210 x (H) 415.5 x (D) 505.2 mm / 8.3 x 17.8 x 19.9 inch[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Weight[/TD]
[TD]9.2kgs (20.3lb)[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]M/B Type[/TD]
[TD]Micro – ATX / ATX[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]5.25″ Drive Bay[/TD]
[TD]3 (without the use of exposed 3.5″ drive bay)[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]3.5″ Drive Bay[/TD]
[TD]7 Hidden[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]3.5″ X-Dock[/TD]
[TD]1 Exposed (converted from one 5.25″ bay)[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]I/O Panel[/TD]
[TD]USB3.0 x 1, USB2.0 x 1, Mic x1, Audio x 1, SD card reader x 1[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Expansion Slots[/TD]
[TD]7[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Cooling System[/TD]
[TD]Front(Intake): 120mm x 1, 800rpm silent fan pre-install

(Support 120mm fan x 2 or 140mm fan x 1 optional)

Rear (Exhaust): 120mm x 1, 800rpm silent fan pre-install[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Power Supply[/TD]
[TD]Standard ATX PS2 (optional)[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Maximum Compatibility[/TD]
[TD]CPU cooler height: 6.10-inch (154mm)

VGA card length: 11.10-inch (281mm) (With HDD cage)

15.80-inch (400mm) (Remove HDD cage w/120*25 fan)

16.80-inch (427mm) (Remove HDD cage w/o fan)[/TD]
[/TR]
[/TABLE]

More leaked news on bulldozer specs

Information leaks for Asus give us more ideas on what to be expected from next months Bulldozer launch. The information was obtained via bios information for one of the 990FX Asus motherboards. All these processors therefore are AM3+.

News of 4 processors was leaked:

  • FX-8130P 8cores @ 3.8GHz (4.2GHz turbo) TDP 125 W $320
  • FX-8110 8cores @3.6GHz (4GHz turbo) TDP 95W $290
  • FX-6110 6cores TDP 95W $240 (no info on clock speeds)
  • FX-4110 4cores TDP 95W $190 (no info on clock speeds)

Given the suggested pricing and clock speeds of the 8 core bulldozers it seems like they will be competing with the top end sandybridge processor (2600K), offering similar performance for a lower price. The 2600K costs typically $360 or more whereas the high end 8 core bulldozer will arrive for $40 less whilst the six core for around $120 less.

Attached files

AMD_Bulldozer_FX.jpg (66 KB)