Anidees AI-06 V2 Silent Mid-Tower Chassis Review

Introduction


Today in the eTeknix office we have the brand new Anidees AI-06 V2 mid-tower chassis, which offers up a big revision of their popular AI-06 model. Taking an already robust chassis, adding in more flexible storage solutions, a card reader, improved cooling support, a larger side panel window (on the relevant model) and more. Today, we have the Silent equipped model, which comes fitted with sound dampening materials on the interior, although windowed and standard solid side panel without noise dampening materials edition are also available.

Equipped with an aluminium finished from panel door, multiple radiator and fan mounts in the front, top, back and bottom of the chassis, removable storage bays, an SD card reader and more, we’re really looking forward to taking a closer look at this chassis, so let’s get it out of the box and see what it has to offer.

  • Rotate door with Aluminum line-finished for elegant look.
  • Moveable front mesh design for ventilation and easy maintenance.
  • Accommodates 120 mm radiator in the rear, 120/140mm radiator in the bottom or 240 mm radiator on the top or front.
  • Dust filters on the front and at the bottom.
  • Rear retaining holes for water cooling kit.
  • Cable management and CPU retaining hole for easy maintenance.
  • Air cooling support 6 fans, 140mm fan*5, 120mm fan*1
  • Supports up to 140 mm fan x 5
  • New Velcro fastener design for better power supply stability
  • USB 3.0*2, USB 2.0*2, SD Card reader, Fan controller on the top
  • Smoky Transparent side window (optional)

As you can see, the silent edition comes with a solid side panel on the left. The panel is held in place by a pair of thumb screws at the back, nothing fancy, but a well-tried and tested design overall.

There’s some branding in the bottom corner here, it’s quite tastefully placed and this means the front panel can be left looking nice clean.

Another heavy panel on the right, looking good in that lightly textured matte black paintwork.

The front panel is really smart, finished with a good layer of brush textured aluminium, giving it a nice premium look and feel.

The door is held shut with magnets on the right side, allowing you to easily open it up to access the front panel component.

In the door cavity, you’ll find a thick layer of noise-dampening materials, which should soak up a lot of unwanted noise from your systems cooling solution. There are three 5.25″ drive bays on offer also, each with an easily removable lock-in cover.

Further down, you’ll find a large ventilated panel for the front mounted cooling.

Around the back, you’ll find a 120mm fan mount, seven expansion slots, two water/cable routing grommets and the PSU cut-out; all pretty standard stuff, but that’s no bad thing.

The covers are reusable and come with some ventilation to help with overall airflow.

The top panel follows the design of the front of the chassis, curving at the edge to create a nice flowing design and featuring even more of that lovely brushed aluminium.

There’s a well equipped I/O panel towards the front, with SD card reader, four USB ports, HD audio jacks, and two nicely designed buttons for the power and reset. What’s also worthy of our attention is that there is a three-way switch, which functions as the built-in fan controller.

the base of the chassis features lots of ventilation for any base mounted cooling, as well as the PSU air intake. The PSU benefits from a slide out filter, but the remaining ventilation uses a simple clip-in mesh.

InWin 909 E-ATX Aluminium & Tempered Glass Chassis Review

Introduction


Building an extreme gaming rig, enthusiast grade workstation of simply a system that offers some akin to installing a work of art in your office space can be quite an expensive endeavour. The InWin 909, the latest addition to their already quite extensive selection of premium chassis, looks like the perfect chassis for the job, and while it comes with a bit of a hefty price tag, the sheer volume of aluminium and tempered glass, as well as the extensive component support on offer looks set prove that you really do get what you pay for.

Impressively Detailed Craftsmanship

“909 is constructed with solid materials, and its chamfered edge design and sleek anodized aluminium are beautifully crafted to masterfully create a streamlined and smooth enclosure inside/out.” and “features a single piece 4mm brushed aluminium shell and an elegant back panel that hides unnecessary rear I/O cables. The clutter-free design demonstrates the elegant aesthetics of simplicity.”  – InWin

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ebJVLcP_ass

Specifications

Equipped with luxurious 4mm brushed aluminium panels, topped off with 5mm thick tinted tempered glass, the InWin 909 is certainly classed as a premium grade product, a far cry from the steel, plastic and plexiglass of seemingly thousands of chassis products available on the market today. Of course, building materials are one thing, but with USB 3.1 Type-C connectivity, LED lighting, dust filters, support for E-ATX motherboards, multiple high-end graphics cards, extensive water and air cooling, and so much more, metal and glass is just the start of what the InWin 909 in all about.

In the box, you’ll find a hefty component bag, featuring the usual documentation, a good assortment of screws and bolts, as well as USB 3.0 header adapters, and motherboard power cable extensions to help accommodate the sizable 909 dimensions.

The InWin 909 is certainly sizable, with a huge tempered glass side panel that covers the not only fairly tall, but quite long chassis. It’s likely that if you’re putting this on, under, or beside your desk, it could stick out quite a bit, so it may be best to get out a tape measure and ensure you even have room to accommodate it, as well as suitable breathing room at the back for ventilation. The glass certainly looks impressive, with a heavy tint that doesn’t give much away, however, if you throw some lighting into the chassis interior, you’ll soon see the benefits.

There’s a nicely designed I/O panel on the left side of the chassis too, giving you access to a master lighting control, three USB 3.0 ports, one USB 3.1 Type-C, HD audio jacks, a power button and LED indicators. This is great if you plan to put this chassis up on top of your desk (where we/InWin think it belongs) but it could be impractical if you have it on the floor, as the ports will be awkward to reach.

Another huge glass panel on the right side, meaning that no matter which angle you view the InWin 909, it’s going to look pretty stunning. Just keep in mind, immaculate cable management is vital here, as everything will be on show, so make sure you use the cable tidies that are included in the component bag.

The front panel is formed from the same piece of aluminium as the top and bottom of the chassis, giving it a flawless flowing design that just emanates quality. The black brushed detailing brings out all the little details in the metal work too and it is topped off with a lovely In Win logo strip on the bottom half.

Each of the side panels is mounted on a rubber coated peg and held in place by four aluminium thumb screws for easy access.

Around the back, there’s all kinds of ventilation, fan and radiator mounts, but aside from the PSU cut-out at the bottom, you’ll notice a complete lack of slots for the expansion cards and the motherboard as they’re set further inside the chassis; we’ll show you how in just a moment.

Rosewill B2 Spirit HPTX Full-Tower Chassis Review

Introduction


Rosewill is one of the most popular chassis manufacturers in the US, offering up an impressive product range that caters to every part of the market. Recently, Rosewill has moved their products across the Atlantic, giving the wider world a taste of their chassis, power supplies and more! With that in mind, we’re very happy to see their flagship product, the B2 Spirit, in the eTeknix office today.

“Rosewill’s flagship case, the B2 SPIRIT delivers an aesthetic touch with a stealthy appearance, although seeing can be deceiving… Underneath its silent strength is a formidable arsenal with serious expansion flexibility. Whether you are building a massive storage monster, a sophisticated cooling system, or a pure performance beast, the Rosewill B2 SPIRIT has got you covered – with style!” – Rosewill

The B2 Spirit, a name derived from the legendary B2 stealth bomber, is not to be taken lightly. Equipped with room for (up to) HPTX motherboard, a colossal amount of storage drives, extensive cooling, it’s an extremely capable chassis for the enthusiast and workstation market.

“Rosewill B2 SPIRIT is compatible with the largest HPTX mainboard. Two sets of HDD cages support up to 13 HDDs and/or SSDs. You can easily install multiple graphics cards (up to 15.75” long) into the chassis. With strong performance comes great cooling exigency. The B2 SPIRIT supports up to seven 140 mm fans. But if that’s not enough, two 280 mm liquid-cooling radiators can be installed on the top and front.” – Rosewill

The only downside of being able to support such a large motherboard and so much more hardware is the size and weight. The B2 spirit is a thundering 39.24 lb (approx 18kg) and has some rather colossal external dimensions too.

The chassis is huge, no doubt about that part, with a massive matte black side panel and a sizable window that’s perfectly placed to show off the PSU, GPU and CPU cooler hardware.

Down the right-hand side, another large matte black panel, and just like the left, it’s held in place by a pair of thumbscrews at the rear of the chassis.

The front panel is coated in a stealthy soft-touch rubber, giving it a hard-wearing matte finish. There are four 5.25″ drive bays at the top, and they should give you some impression of the overall size of the chassis.

Each bay comes with a clip-in cover to held keep the design nice and uniform.

The bottom half of the front panel has a magnetic door, opening it up shows a good thick panel that should block a lot of system noise, as well as two smaller doors for the front panel cooling.

Each “door” opens out allow you to slide out their individual dust filters for quick and easy maintenance.

While the fans mouse to the same door using quick release clips, meaning you can remove the entire fan housing and clean that easily too! This is very handy, I like this feature a lot as I live in a dust area, so have to clean my fans and filters often.

Around the back, you’ll see again just how tall this chassis is. At the top, you’ll find four rubber grommets for cable/water routing, a 140mm exhaust fan, 10 ventilated expansion slots and the PSU cut-out.

The top panel keeps the same matte rubber finish of the front panel, giving it a nice and uniform appearance. But what’s this? The top panel is closed up and theses a little slider on the side?

That’s right, the B2 Spirit has a deployable roof for the top panel cooling. If you need to fire up your top fans for extra cooling performance, pop the roof open and get extra cooling, if you’re wanting silence, stop the fans and close the top back up again! This is another cool feature, not something we haven’t seen before, but still a welcome addition.

The front panel has a nice and large power button with the reset button to the right of it. The main I/O panel is hidden under a slide-away cover to keep it free from dust and debris.

Behind the cover, you’ll find four USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports and HD audio jacks, so you’ll certainly not be left wanting for connectivity here.

The base of the chassis has four large feet with hard-wearing rubber grips on the bottom. There’s also a 3/4 length dust filter to cater to any bottom ventilation, especially so for the power supply.

Aerocool Aero-500 Windowed Mid-Tower Chassis Review

Introduction


Aerocool is back on eTeknix once again and today, we’ll be taking a look at their budget friendly mid-tower, the Aerocool Aero-500. There’s a big market for affordable cases with great amounts of component compatibility and the Aero-500 certainly ticks a lot of the right boxes. You’ll find it capable of housing a high-end gaming system, some water cooling, long graphics cards, and much more and that’s sure to make it appeal to a wide range of system builders, especially given its affordable price.

With a long history of creating some fantastic chassis, Aerocool are always a welcome site here at eTeknix. Sure, we love our flagship models with crazy spec and price tags, but every now and then, a down to Earth and affordable product is just as good, especially given that these are the products people are more likely to actually invest in for their own system.

Features

  • Superb gaming case aimed for great airflow performance.
  • Specially designed top metal cover with extended depth to easily install 240mm water cooling system.
  • Bay covers are designed with a simple flip mechanism for easy removal of bay cover without removing the front panel.
  • Support hi-end graphic cards up to 374mm.
  • Supports max. CPU cooler height of 155mm.
  • Supports max. PSU length of 180mm.
  • Magnetic metal mesh sheet on top panel is easy to remove for cleaning and adds style to the chassis.
  • Removable PSU dust filter for easy cleaning.
  • Supports up to 4×3.5” HDD and 2×2.5” HDD/SSD.
  • 1 x USB3.0 + 2 x USB2.0 / HD Audio + Mic.

With support for an (up to) ATX motherboard, a pair of 5.25″ drives, a good amount of 3.5″ and 2.5″ hard drives, seven expansion slots, an ATX PSU, a good size air cooling tower and even a little room for a slim 240mm water cooling radiator; pretty much everything you could hope for from a decent gaming PC build.

First impressions of the Aero-500 are certainly positive, with a huge side panel window giving us a great look at the interior and a pair of easily accessible thumb screws at the back to open it up.

The right side panel has a large recess, which should give us a little extra room for cable routing/management behind the motherboard.

The front panel is certainly my favorite aspect so far, with a huge ventilated section that will provide plenty of cool air to your system, and those stylish 5.25″ drive bay covers with quick release paddles.

The silver parts are only plastic, but they do look like metal tabs; such as the ones found on more expensive Aerocool chassis products. It’s worth pointing out that this i on the import model, as the UK version features black clips.

Around the back, you’ll find a 120mm fan exhaust with a 120mm Aerocool fan pre-installed. Below that, you’ve got a screw guard to the right of the seven expansion slots, and finally a PSU mounting area at the bottom.

The top panel has a large ventilated section with dust filter as well as the main I/O panel.

The dust filter is magnetic too, so you can easily pull it off, give it a clean and quickly get it re-installed.

Towards the front you’ll find two built-in fan controllers, with the options for high, low and off, giving you great control over acoustics and cooling. Aside from that, the usual HD audio jacks, 2 x USB 2.0 and a single USB 3.0 ports.

The base has some large feet, which gives it great stability and some firm rubber grips that will help prevent it sliding around your floor, but also eat up a few (if any) vibrations from your system. There’s a small clip-on dust filter for the PSU; it’s nothing fancy, but it’ll get the job done.

Fractal Design Node 202 mini-ITX Chassis Review

Introduction


Fractal Design are one of the best chassis manufacturers in the world, having created a stunning range of products over the years, as well as branching out into the world of PSUs, CPU coolers and more. Today they look set to dominate the living room, with the release of their Node 202 mini-ITX chassis. What makes this one so special is that it is designed to house a high-end system, but maintains that slim form factor, allowing you to put it under your TV or on your desk with ease; perfect for a gaming system/steambox or a HTPC configuration.

“The Node 202 is the ultimate PC case for those looking for a beautifully designed, compact chassis that can house a capable gaming build. This small footprint is an intelligently built unit where extreme detail was placed into the design phase to get every line and spec in perfect harmony. With both horizontal and vertical orientation possibilities, the Node 202 can be placed anywhere in the house. The sleek design makes it very attractive next to the TV in the living room or on your desk in the office.”

With a small footprint and a volume of just 10.2 liters, it’s hard to belive that this chassis can house a pair of 2.5″ hard drives, motherboard, CPU cooler, PSU and more impressive of all, a pretty large graphics card.

Specifications

  • Mini ITX motherboard compatibility
  • 2 – 2.5″ SSD unit positions
  • 2 expansion slots
  • 2 – 120mm optional fan positions in graphics card chamber
  • CPU coolers up to 56 mm in height
  • PSU compatibility: SFX PSUs up to 130mm long
  • Graphics card compatibility: Maximum dimension of graphics card is 310x145x47mm (LxHxD)
  • Can be placed both vertical and horizontal position
  • 3 dust filters included (for CPU, GPU and PSU)
  • Case volume: 10.2 litres
  • Colors available: Black
  • Case dimensions – Horizontal (WxHxD): 377 x 82 x 330 mm
  • Case dimensions – Horizontal, with feet/protrusions/screws (WxHxD): 377 x 88 x 332 mm
  • Case dimensions – Vertical, with feet/protrusions/screws (WxHxD): 125 x 385 x 332 mm
  • Net weight: 3.5 kg
  • Package dimensions (WxHxD): 145 x 463 x 388 mm
  • Package weight: 5.2kg

To make the build even easier, the model we have today comes with that rather fantastic Integra SFX 450W 80 Plus Gold power supply pre-installed, meaning that you can get your system up and running a lot quicker, and that 450W delivery is going to be more than enough for even the most demanding CPU/GPU combinations.

“The Integra SFX 450W PSU that comes inclusive with the enclosure provides stable power to the most demanding systems. It comes with customized connectors and tailored cables perfectly fitted for use within the Node 202, contributing to hassle-free installation and cable management.”

  • 80PLUS® Bronze certification
  • 80mm, temperature controlled fan
  • Maximum operating temperature at full load: 50°C (50°C @ 100%)
  • Fully Intel Haswell C6/C7 compliant
  • 3 years warranty
  • Taiwanese capacitors
  • OPP / OVP / UVP / SCP / OCP Protection
  • Can be placed both vertical and horizontal position
  • 100,000 hours life expectancy (MTBF)
  • SFX 3.3 PSU specification compliance
  • ErP 2013 compliant (<0.5W system power draw)
  • Colors available: Black
  • Unit measurements (WxHxD): 125 x 64 x 100 mm
  • Net weight: 1.0 kg

So specs and things aside, let’s move on to the actual hardware. First up, we can see the packaging is fairly simple, with a big sticker on the front letting us know we’ve got the Integra SFX 450W included in the chassis, as well as a handy 3-year warranty.

Around the back, there is a fantastic technical breakdown of each component, showing you exactly which features you’re going to get from this build.

First things out of the box, a simple user guide, warranty booklet and general product information.

You’ll also find a nice little box of accessories.

This includes a bundle of cable ties, all the usual fitting screws, and some stick-on rubber feet.

One of the most important components is this adaptor for the PCI-E slot, allowing the GPU to lay parallel to the motherboard, allowing for a slimmer chassis design.

Finally, there’s a slot-in vertical mount, giving you another great way to display your system.

It’s very sturdy and comes with four rubber grip feet on the base to prevent it from sliding around.

Now onto the best part, the chassis its self! It’s certainly nice and slim, and should blend easily into your AV setup; if that’s where you wanted it at least. There’s a little bit of ventilation down the left side, giving some extra airflow to the graphic card area.

Down the right side, a lot more ventilation, giving air intake to the motherboard and PSU mounting area, with even more ventilation on the top for heat exhaust from any CPU cooler you’re using.

The finish is sublime, a mostly plastic exterior, but with a soft matte finish that gives it a premium look and feel.

Aside from the subtle Fractal Design logo, you’ll also find all the usual ports and controls down here. One little touch that I very much like is the black USB 3.0 ports, as they’re visually less distracting than the usual blue ones, and that can’t be understated for those wanting a clean-looking HTPC build.

Around the back, we’ve got the motherboard I/O cut out, two expansion slots, and the PSU pass through port.

The PSU actually mounts on the front right corner, but an internal cable means you only have to connect the PSU power at the back, where you can easily hide the cables out of sight.

On the base of the chassis, a lot more ventilation. There’s a small vent on the right, allowing airflow to the PSU, as well as a long vent on the left for the PSU air intake.

Aerocool Dream Box Chassis Kit Review

Introduction


What will your next chassis be? I’m sure you’ve asked yourself a few times when you’re planning a build. Do you go for the big and expensive one that’s going to look great and offer lots of space, or do you save on costs and get something more reserved, allowing you more budget for that graphics card you like? How about the Aerocool Dream Box? I can assure you, you’ve likely never thought of having this chassis in your build list, but given that this can be virtually any  shape, size or configuration you desire, it’s certainly one of the most interesting chassis we’ve ever seen land here at eTeknix HQ.

From mini-ITX to E-ATX, the Dream Box can hold any of them. The idea is that you take this “chassis” and built it how you want it. I use the word “chassis” in quotes, because a chassis isn’t exactly what you’re buying here. What this really looks like to me is a several hundred piece Meccano set with a few screw holes to put on a motherboard and PSU, and well, that’s because that’s exactly what it is. Free from the box-like constraints of most chassis, you don’t even have to build a chassis from this, you can build whatever you want. We’ve seen people build helicopters, bridges and more. Today though, we’ll be building a PC case, that’s what we want to see.

“Dream Box” is a revolutionary DIY kit created by Aerocool to give you the flexibility to build a computer case like no other! Furthermore, you can make anything you want out of this DIY kit. The creation can be a table, a lamp, a cup holder, a coat hanger, a toy and the list goes on and on. There are NO LIMITATIONS!! THE ONLY LIMITATION IS YOUR IMAGINATION!! Have fun with “Dream Box” DIY kit!! Make your own creations and make your dreams come true. BE UNIQUE! BE COOL! BE AEROCOOL!

Aerocool provides a guide to building a tower from the parts, but that’s a little boring, so we’re just going to let you watch this video then we’ll move on and “try” make something of our own doing.

The box gives us a few examples on the front, such as a full-tower chassis, a helicopter style mini-ITX build and a headphone stand. I love the bright yellow box too, it certainly stands out.

On the back, another set of random examples of what you can do; a cup holder and a hat and coat stand!

There’s a run down of the components too and well, there are a LOT of components. We’ve got a grand total of 118 parts and around 500 screws; this build isn’t going to be quick, that’s for sure!

Opening the box, you’ll find that every single component is carefully packed in protective foam. This not only keeps the parts safe but also makes them incredibly easy to find while building your system, almost like a custom tool drawer.

All the components come in four of these trays and as you can see, there’s really not much in terms of a chassis here, at least not yet.

All of the components are of a fantastic quality, all aluminium tubing and a gorgeous matte black paint job that gives everything a premium look and feel. Here you can see the longest and shortest poles, as well as the two sizes of mounting plates (used for motherboards and other hardware).

The two mid-size poles, as well as some joint caps and the angle bracket.

More joint adaptors here, offering a wide range of installation options, as well as the ATX PSU support bracket.

Extra fittings allow you to extended poles, angle brackets are self-explanatory, and those C rings are used for mounting virtually anything to the poles; hard drives, fans, motherboards, radiators, you name it.

Finally, we have the I/O panel, a frighteningly empty instruction book and about five hundred screws!

The I/O panel is quite nicely designed, with a thick braided cable keeping all the important stuff neat and tidy, there are four USB ports, HD audio jacks and a nicely designed power and reset button arrangement. so that’s all the basics covered, let’s try to build something!

NZXT Manta Mini-ITX Chassis Review

Introduction


The NZXT Manta is here at last! Just a few weeks ago we were lucky enough to meet NZXT at CES 2016 in Las Vegas, where the company unveiled their latest mini-ITX chassis to the world. The Manta is unlike anything else NZXT has done before, taking inspiration from the world of supercars and bringing sweeping aerodynamic curves and creating a chassis that looks unlike anything that has gone before it; but is it any good? That’s what we hope to find out.

  • New manufacturing technology offers unparalleled build quality
  • Elegant, curved steel paneling and window
  • Double the cable management space
  • Dual 280mm liquid cooling support
  • Kraken X61-ready with push/pull capabilities
  • Integrated PSU shroud for a beautifully clean build
  • Fully filtered, easy-to-remove intake

The Mini-ITX chassis market is big business these days, with many users wanting stylish and compact gaming systems for their bedrooms, home office, HTPC, LAN events and so much more. With single GPU gaming systems being more popular, partly due to lackluster dual-GPU support by many modern games, mini-ITX motherboards are becoming increasingly popular. With the Manta having room for a large GPU of up to 363mm, plenty of storage bays, and a full ATX PSU, it’s certainly ticking all the right boxes.

It may be suited for a smaller motherboard, but the Manta is a little bigger than most, giving it exceptional cable routing space, room for a 280mm water cooler in the front and top, and room for a PSU shroud for a clean interior design.

As you can see, the chassis doesn’t look anything like what we’re used to seeing in terms of design. The left side panel curves up at the bottom front edge, and bulges out slightly giving it a fantastic curved look. I know it’s not going to be to everyone’s taste, but I think it’s great to see something a little different. I could joke that it looks like an H440 that’s put on weight, but it’s also considerably shrunk down in overall size compared to the H440; it looks seriously cool! Thought the side panel, you can see the PSU shroud, which comes with an LED backlit NZXT logo, as well as getting a great interior view of the rest of the chassis.

The right side panel isn’t exactly standard either, following the same sweeping curves of the left panel, but with one added benefit, it’s size and shape provide double the cable management of most chassis and that’s certainly no bad thing!

The front panel is just as curvy as the rest, but you’ll also notice how the side panels, top panel, and the front panel don’t quite join up. This is to provide a lot of filtered ventilation, as smaller chassis can often run a little hotter, but that’s not going to be an issue here, as cooling is one of the strongest features on the Manta. Plus, the floating side panel effect just adds to the overall uniqueness of the chassis.

The side panel sweeping upwards at the front leaves it with a large opening at the base of the front panel, albeit one that’s slightly out of sight. This provides even further airflow to the front panel cooling.

Around the back of the Manta, you’ll find a fan mount for a 140mm fan mount, which comes with elongated screw holes to allow you to adjust the height; this is particularly useful for AIO water coolers as it can greatly increase compatibility. There’s also an integrated light for the rear I/O on the motherboard, which is a big improvement on the old LED system we’ve seen on previous NZXT chassis, mostly because it’s going to be a lot brighter thanks to multiple lights and it’s directly over the motherboard I/O. There are a few thumb screws for the side panels, pretty straight forward stuff there, and if you look further down, an opening at the bottom to allow better airflow to the underside PSU air intake.

There’s a good size dust filter for the PSU, which can be removed from the back for quick and easy maintenance.

The top of the chassis has a slight indentation, helping further emphasize those curves and lines.

Aside from that, you’ll find a fairly straight forward I/O with a pair of USB 3.0 and HD audio jacks.

The power indicator is towards the front edge and a master power button on the left side; pretty much everything you need.

On the base of the chassis, you can see how that airflow channel is going to help bring cool air through to the PSU and front panels while the dust filter will help ensure your system stays as cool and clean as possible. Those feet are super strong, wide and have anti-slip/anti-vibration rubber strips, so the chassis is going to be nice and stable.

Here’s a closer look at the PSU dust filter, easily removed, washed and reinstalled.

Fractal Design Core 500 Mini-ITX Chassis Review

Introduction


Fractal Design have a long history of creating high-end, very high-quality products, but in recent years they’ve also turned their attention to a more consumer friendly end of the market, with more affordable, yet still very stylish and well-made products, such as the Core 500 we have in the eTeknix office today.

“The Core 500 is the perfect PC case for those looking for a small, compact chassis that lets you build your computer without compromising on component selection.”

Designed for mini-ITX motherboards, but still offering support for a large GPU, a standard ATX PSU and more, the Core 500 is bound to appeal to those wanting a compact workstation or gaming system. With prices around £50 here in the UK, it’s also going to appeal to those who don’t have a huge amount of money to spend on their chassis, leaving more of the budget to focus on better performing internal components.

Key features

  • Brushed aluminum-look front panel with a sleek, three-dimensional textured finish
  • Very compact case with a volume of only 19.5 liters
  • Extremely good water cooling support for its size, supporting radiators up to 280mm long
  • Smart drive bay placement allows you to fit up to three 3.5″drives, three 2.5″ and one 5.25″ drive simultaneously
  • Supports Mini-ITX motherboards, ATX power supplies and graphics cards up to 310mm in length
  • Supports tall CPU cooler towers, up to 170mm in height
  • Featuring a Fractal Design Silent Series R3 140mm rear exhaust fan for great cooling
  • Big magnetic filters for the side and top air intake together with a PSU filter ensures a dust free interior

There’s certainly enough room for some high-end hardware in this chassis, with ample drive mounts, a 5.25″ bay and more.

Specifications

Mini ITX, Mini DTX motherboard compatibility; NOTE: motherboards with SATA ports that are angled 90 degrees may conflict with installation in the case.
2 expansion slots
3 – 3.5″ HDD positions
3 – 2.5″ dedicated SSD/HDD unit positions
1 – 5.25″ bay (removable)
CPU coolers up to 170mm in height
ATX PSUs, up to 170mm in length (non modular PSUs); ATX PSUs, up to 160mm in length (modular PSUs)
Graphics cards up to 310 mm in length (note: graphics cards longer than 170 mm will not fit with PSUs that exceed 170 mm)
Colours available: Black
Case volume: 19.5 liters
Case dimensions (WxHxD): 250 x 203 x 367 mm
Case dimensions – with feet/screws/protrusions: 250 x 213 x 380 mm
Net weight: 4.4 kg
Package dimensions (WxHxD): 285 x 335 x 450 mm
Package weight: 5.3 kg

What’s interesting is that while the chassis does come fitted with an R3 fan in the back, you can still add more fans to the top, and even a decent size AIO cooler.

  • Rear: 1 – 120/140 mm fan (included is 1 Fractal Design Silent Series R3 fan, 1000 RPM speed)
  • Top: 2 – 120/140 mm fan (not included)
  • Water cooling compatibility (note: not compatible with AIO water cooler units that feature the pump on the radiator):
    • Top – 280, 240, 140 and 120 mm radiators. (Thickness limitation of 100 mm for both radiator + fan) (240 and 280 mm radiators require removal of the ODD bay) (280mm radiator can be maximum 325mm in length)
    • Rear – 120 mm radiator (not compatible with the rear 3.5″ HDD position)
  • Dust filters: Magnetic filters on side and top panel, PSU filter

First impressions of the chassis are positive, as it has a really good weight to it, feels pretty solid and as is always the case for Fractal Design products, it has a flawless black paint job and matching black plastic trim.

There’s a huge strip of ventilation down the left side, perfect for airflow to your graphics card, and there’s a little more ventilation on the right side, which is where your PSU will exhaust, as the PSU is mounted towards the front of the chassis.

The front panel is fairly straight forward, with the 5.25″ drive bay at the top. Not a lot of people use the 5.25″ drive these days, but it’s still nice to have one, especially on a chassis that’s likely to end up under your TV. There’s some ventilation towards the front, with a vertical strip on the left and right edges, which are angled to break up what would otherwise be a bland and boxey design.

The front I/O has all the basics, with two USB ports for you flash pens, controllers or Wi-Fi dongle, as well as easily accessed audio jacks for your headset.

Around the back, you’ll see there are four thumb screws holding the single piece left, top and right side panel component in place. The power cable pass-through is in the bottom left, which leads through to the PSU mount at the front edge of the chassis. There’s a high-quality 140mm fan pre-installed, which is certainly a welcome addition, but there are optional 120mm mounts there if you need them. Finally, we have a pair of expansion slots which come fitted with reusable ventilated metal covers.

On the base, a slide out dust filter for the PSU, as well as four durable feel with anti-vibration/slip rubber washers on the bottom.

Corsair Carbide 400Q Mid-Tower Chassis Review

Introduction


The Corsair Carbide series is one of the most established and popular ranges in the entire PC chassis market. There have been many entries in this range, such as the Air 540, Air 240Spec-01, 100R, 330R, and the recently released 600Q, which was and is the bigger brother of the 400Q we’ll be reviewing today.

Designed to suit a wide range of system builds, there isn’t much the Carbide series doesn’t have to offer. The 400 chassis comes in two variants, the 400C, which comes with a large side panel window, and the 400Q, which comes with a solid side panel, as well as thick layers of sound dampening material for whisper quiet performance.

“The Carbide Series Clear 400C and Quiet 400Q were designed as refined, elegant, and compact ATX chassis with modern layout and features. By removing the 5.25” ODD bays, the 400 series reduces the footprint of the chassis front to back, and simultaneously improves on cooling since there are no drive bays in the airflow path. “

The 400Q is certainly well equipped, and it’s capable of housing some fairly high-end hardware that should make it appeal to those wanting a gaming system build, but let’s skip through these technical details and take a closer look at it ourselves!

As you can see, the 400Q has a fairly understated appearance. That’s not to say it looks boring, but it’s certainly not leaping out to grab your attention while still giving off a premium quality vibe. There’s a solid steel panel on the left side, with a fair bit of ventilation on the edge of the front panel for any front mounted fans/radiators.

The right side is pretty much the same, another solid panel, and even more ventilation for the front panel.

The front panel keeps that bold theme going, with a very minimal, although nicely finished panel. The only thing breaking up the design is an equally understated Corsair logo; the only really visible branding on the chassis exterior.

Around the back, you’ll find a 120mm pre-installed exhaust fan, with elongated mounting holes, allowing you to adjust the height of the fan; this will also increase AIO cooler compatibility. There are seven expansion slots, each fitted with reusable and ventilated filters. Down at the bottom, a PSU mount with a slide out dust filter; nothing too fancy, but everything you would need is here.

The top panel comes fitted with a hard cover that is held in place by magnets. This cover will help reduce noise from the system.

Under the cover, you’ll find 120 and 140mm elongated fan and radiator fittings, handy if you need to add extra cooling performance to the build. You’ll get a 240/280mm radiator here easily.

On the front panel, there are all the basics, such as the power and reset buttons, a pair of high-speed USB 3.0 ports and HD audio jacks.

Silverstone Raven RVX01 Mid-Tower Chassis Review

Introduction


The Silverstone Raven series has long been established as one of the most-unique chassis ranges on the market, offering a range of products that suit slim Mini-ITX system builds, right up to high-end full-tower systems. One thing is for certainly, all of the Raven series chassis to date have been mighty impressive, both in terms of design and functionality and that’s a trend I hope to see continued today.

“After completing the evolutionary RAVEN RV05 with 5.25” drive bay design completely removed, the RAVEN team created another forward thinking line of cases with the introduction of the “RAVEN X” subcategory. This line will not only retain the essence of what made the original RAVEN series great with features such as signature aggressive styling and 90 degree rotated layout, but also cater to enthusiasts looking for more exciting designs in an entry-level price point. With the smallest ever footprint for a ATX RAVEN tower case, the RVX01 has remarkably accommodating interior that can easily fit large ATX motherboards up to 12” x 11”, full size graphics card, four 2.5”/3.5” drives, and spaces for up to three radiators.” – Silverstone

The RVX01 is not only the latest gaming chassis from their Raven series, but it’s also one of the most interesting. Not only is it designed to be more affordable, it’s also the smallest, but with that in mind, it still promises are premium chassis experience and support for some serious high-end hardware. Affordable, well made, good looks and great compatibility… sounds pretty perfect to me!

  • Signature RAVEN styling touches
  • 90 degree motherboard mounting from legendary RAVEN RV01
  • Three 120mm Air Penetrator fans included for sublime vertical air cooling
  • Positive pressure design for excellent cooling/quietness and dust-prevention
  • Quick access filter for convenient maintenance
  • Support up to three sets of liquid cooling radiators

There are three colour options available, red, blue and green. You’ll also find enclosed and windowed panel variants of each also, giving you plenty of variety to choose from overall. There’s room for up to an ATX motherboard, ATX PSU, monster sized 13.7-Inch expansion cards, tall CPU coolers and while there is room for fans, there’s a very impressive trilogy of Silverstones 120mm Air Penetrator fans pre-installed!

The chassis certainly make a visual impact when you first set eyes on it. The panels are coated with a stealthy black, which blends in perfectly with the matte finish black plastics. A mixture of extreme angles give it an aggressive appearance, but it still manages to look fairly refined at the same time.

We obviously have the black and red variant at our disposal today and while we don’t have the window panel (which is a real shame), it would be located here on the right side panel, as this chassis employs a rotated motherboard design.

The front panel keeps that aggressive at full power, with more strong angles and two LED lights mounted in an angular and almost evil eyes fashion.

Tucked into the top of the front panel, a pair of control switches for the power and reset. They’re just made from a cut-away in the plastics, which is a little bit of a cheap way of doing it, but they work and if it saves costs to the consumer, it’s not so bad. There’s an I/O panel with dual USB 3.0 ports and HD audio jacks.

Around the back, you’ll notice a distinct lack of a standard I/O port for the motherboard, as that is located on the top of the chassis. Instead, you’ll find a ventilated section for the PSU air intake.

On the base of the chassis, there’s a lot going on, as we’ve got that lovely bright red trim and four large and durable rubber grips on the feet.

Those big feet provide ample ground clearance for a full-length slide-out dust filter, behind which you’ll find a wall of superb quality Air Penetrator fans. These fans can push a mighty amount of air with minimal noise, which is obviously what you want for a chassis fan!

Thermaltake Core P5 ATX Wall-Mounted Chassis Review

Introduction


Before I started in this industry, I thought that most PC cases were created fairly equally. For the most part, you could get a lot of wildly varying designs, but for the most part, the were rectangle boxes and that’s that. That’s a trend that has been rapidly changing and it seems we can’t go more than a few months without seeing yet another completely bonkers and/or innovative chassis design hit the market. Not wanting to be left out of this trend, Thermaltake are back with their new Core P5 wall-mounted chassis.

“Take presentation to the next level with the Core P5 Open Frame chassis by Thermaltake. The fully modular design of the Core P5 allows flexibility for 3-way placement layouts (Wall mount, Horizontal and Vertical), dual GPU layout locations: Horizontal and Vertical and placement locations for liquid cooling components. Uncover greatness with the Core P5’s panoramic viewing angle with its large acrylic window to protect and present. Seeing is believing, the Core P5 brings the ultimate in PC hardware viewing wherever you mount or display.”

This is certainly not your typical chassis design, as not only can you stand it on its side, you can lay it flat on its back, or even more importantly, you can mount it on the wall and have your PC displayed like a giant work of art.

As you can see, this isn’t a small chassis at all, so if you’re wanting to wall mount it, you best have a strong supporting wall to deal with it. There’s room for an ATX motherboard, a good amount of storage and a fairly significant amount of air and water cooling hardware.

In the box, you’ll find a whole host of mounting components. The chassis comes virtually flat-packed, so be prepared to do a good bit of building prior to installing your system. There are brackets here for the PSU, expansion slots and more, as well as two wide and durable feet for those wanting to display it on their desk/floor.

There’s also an extra HDD tray and a riser card for mounting the GPU at 90-degree (optional).

There’s are the corner poles which the window panel mounts on, and they’re seriously heavy! They should look great in contrast with the black paintwork of the chassis.

The main section of the chassis isn’t exactly lightweight either, but given that it has room for a huge radiator on the side, an ATX motherboard, the PSU and so much more, all laid out and separated, it’s obvious why it’s so big. The chassis is treated with a matte finish black paint, giving it a nice and uniform appearance.

There are five durable cable routing grommets dotted around the tray.

You’ll also find a series of smaller cut-outs in strategic places to help with smaller cables.

Behind the motherboard, there’s a large CPU cooler mounting cut-out, behind which you can see some of the HDD bays, which are located inside the Core P5.

There’s an additional bay on the front, which can be used to mount one of the HDD trays; perfect for showing off your favorite SSD or HDD.

The radiator mount is nicely designed, with a choice of 120mm and 140mm spacings and with room for up to a 480mm unit, it’s going to be great for custom loop cooling enthusiasts.

It’s quite thin overall, so the actually base compartment of the chassis shouldn’t protrude from the wall too much. Of course, it’s still thick enough to deal with some hard drives on the interior, as well as cable management.

The side of the chassis has the I/O panel, as well as a small Tt logo.

There’s the usual power and HDD LEDs, a large power button and reset button, four USB ports and HD audio jacks.

Around the back, there’s a little ventilation to help any water cooling hardware, some screw holes to support mounting the chassis to a wall and six thumb screws to open up the back of the case.

Lian-Li PC-X510 WX Mid-Tower Chassis Review

Introduction


Lian Li, the chassis’ industries own masters of aluminium chassis design, are back once again. Lian Li have a rock solid reputation for exceptional build quality and design, just look at some of the other Lian Li chassis’ reviews we’ve done here at eTeknix for example; DK-01 Desk, PC-T80 Test Bench, PC-V359 Cube, PC-A79 Full Tower, PC-Q30 Mini-ITX, PC-CK101 Train, PC-TU100 Mini-ITX, PC-90, PC-B12 and PC-7HX! Time and time again Lian Li have won awards from us here at eTeknix, as well as from many other sources all around the world. So with that in mind, I’ve got pretty high expectations of the new Lian Li chassis, the PC-X510 WX and with a retail price close to £350, it looks set to be something pretty special.

Lian Li released the following product tour video, although it’s certainly not the best in terms of presentation, so don’t feel bad if you start to skip through some of it. However, it does give us a nice look at the overall size of this chassis, and it’s certainly quite tall for a “mid-tower”.

It’s very well equipped, with a decent amount of storage bays for 2.5″ or 3.5″ drives, with the obvious omission of 5.25″ drive bays, although that’s hardly uncommon these days.

The reason for the super tall design? The X510 uses multiple chambers to better control heat and airflow. There’s a smaller section at the base for the PSU, which is semi-connected to the main chamber for the motherboard while there is also a separate chamber at the top just for storage drives.

Built from vast amounts of black brushed aluminium and finished with tempered glass on the left side panel, the X510 certainly looks impressive. As well as clocking in at a massive 620mm high, a consequence of that chambered design, but on the plus side, it’s not very long, so shouldn’t take up too much floor space.

The glass panel is held in place by thumb screws, should you need to remove it for any reason, although the only one I can think of is so that you can give it a good clean.

There’s a few cut-outs on the aluminium panel, behind which you’ll find a dust filter, giving ample airflow to the front fans without spoiling the clean looks of the front panel.

The right side panel is another massive slab of black brushed aluminium and it’s far prettier than my pictures could ever capture. There’s also more ventilation here, giving even more airflow to the front mounted cooling; you can also see the fans through the mesh if you look carefully.

The front panel looks stunning, with a curved top edge that gives it a more flowing and sleeker design, with only a small Lian Li logo towards the bottom for branding.

A closer look at the top right corner, you’ll also find two small LED lights set into the aluminium; these are for power and HDD activity.

Around the back, we get a good indication of just how tall this chassis really is, looking about 50% taller than your average mid-tower design.

At the top, there’s a single 120mm fan exhaust for the storage bay compartment, as well as the master control dial for the built-in fan speed controller.

Further down, we have yet another 120mm fan exhaust, which features a cut-out and grommet system below it that’ll be great for some water cooling configurations.

Eight expansion slots, each fitted with a reusable and ventilated cover.

Finally, we have the PSU mounting plate, which comes fitted with thumbscrews, allowing for quick and easy installation and removal of the power supply.

The top panel is nice and sleek too, and comes with dual 120mm fan mounts, although they’re fitted with aluminium covers which will help reduce noise from the system if you’re not using the mounts.

Towards the front, a slide back cover that hides the main I/O, as well as a gorgeous mechanical button for the master power control.

Slide it back and you’ll find four USB 3.0 ports, although an adaptor is included to convert them to USB 2.0 if your motherboard can’t support all four as USB 3.0.

On the base, you’ll find four large feet that give great ground clearance to the PSU air intake, which comes fitted with a washable dust filter that can be slid out to the side of the chassis for easy maintenance.

Even the feet are aluminium, with a lovely finish to them and firm rubber grips on the base to prevent is sliding around on harder floor surfaces.

NZXT HUE+ Advanced PC Illumination Kit Review

Introduction


Tired of not having enough customisation when it comes to your chassis’ lighting sceme? Sure you can buy a few LED strips, but they’re often fixed with a single colour and changing them can be as complex as buying a whole new kit and re-installing it all, just to go from blue to red. The same goes for LED fans, they’re often single colour, many can’t be turned on or off and their colours are fixed. NZXT have the solution with their HUE+ RGB lighting kit, as it gives you control over each lighting strip/zone within your system right from your desktop, allowing you to endlessly customise it as often as you like and with minimal effort!

“HUE+ lets you light up your system like never before. It is a digitally controlled lighting solution that combines intuitive software and versatile routing options to give you unprecedented PC illumination possibilities.”

The new HUE+ uses the latest  NZXT CAM software, which comes equipped with 8-preset effects, as well as extensive customisation options to create your own. There are two channels on the lighting engine, each capable of supporting four LED strips, which can be configured to run separate effects; you get four LED strips included in the box.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ittFz72CnA

The packaging is nicely designed, showing how the HUE+ can display full RGB lighting to the interior of your system.

Around the back, there’s a quick rundown of some of the features you’ll find in the CUE software; it all looks pretty straightforward, so let’s take a closer look.

There’s a nicely detailed user manual included, which folds out and has lots of large pictures to help explain each step of the installation. It’s certainly worth reading too, as you wouldn’t want to wire all the lights in backwards and them not operate properly, if at all.

In the box, you’ll find four RGB lighting strips with modular connectors on each end.

While the strips do have 3M adhesive on the back, you can also take advantage of the four strong magnets that are placed on each strip, allowing you to quickly snap the strips into place, but also quickly remove or move them as needed; so long as your case is metal of course, 3M is needed for plastic panels.

All the cables you’re likely to need are included, such as extensions for linking together multiple light strips, a Molex to DC jack for the controller, USB motherboard header to MicroUSB for the CUE software and HUE+ to communicate with each other, and some cable ties to keep it neat and tidy.

The actual controller is quite compact, fitting into a 2.5″ hard drive form factor, albeit a little taller. There’s an angular top to give it a bit of style, with a strip of lighting in the top; even if it is on show inside your system, it should still look great.

Around the back, there are four ports, DC 5V, USB and two lighting channels. It’s all pretty self-explanatory and setup should be nice and easy.

The 2.5″ form factor is no accident either, as you’ll find four screw holes on the base to mount it to a hard drive bracket. This is handy for NZXT chassis such as the H440, which has an on-show 2.5″ mount below the motherboard.

Setting up the HUE+ is pretty easy overall, there are only four ports on the back and it’s pretty obvious where all the required cables go. The power cable and USB cable are essential to the operation of the device, but it’s up to you how you use the light strips. You can use any number of the four LED strips included, and with two channels you can set up to four strips to each one; to keep things nice and simple, I’ll be using two LED strips per channel.

Akasa Max S Passive Cooled Max S NUC Chassis Review

Introduction


We’re back once again with another entry in the NUC chassis series from Akasa, but this one, like the others we’ve previously seen has a neat trick at its disposal that makes it stand out from the crowd. The Akasa MAX MT and the Plato X both won awards from us recently and for good reason too, they’re both exceptional products full of innovative and practical features, so we’re hoping to see a similar performance from the Max S.

Equipped with support for many great NUC motherboards, the Max S comes will a passive cooling design, support for slim and slot loading ODD drives and more, making it a versatile unit for digital advertising, multimedia systems and even desktop use.

• Aluminium fanless CPU cooling design
• Stylish front panel diamond effect
• Support both Tray loading / Slot loading slim ODD
• Support one serial port
• Support IR remote function
• Compatible with the following Intel® NUC Board
NUC5i5MYBE / NUC5i5MYHE / NUC5i3MYBE / NUC5i3MYHE
NUC5i5RYH / NUC5i5RYK / NUC5i3RYH / NUC5i3RYK

Everything you need to get your hardware installed is included in the box, so the setup process should be nice and straight forward.

First impressions of the Max S are very promising, as you can immediately tell the build quality is nothing short of exceptional. It’s made from a thick piece of aluminium with a fin array on the sides and top, which will help dissipate heat, as the chassis is used to passively cool the CPU.

The same design on the right, giving it a nice uniform appearance.

The front panel looks stunning, with a brushed aluminium finished and trimmed edges giving them a little bit of silver flair. There’s a pair of USB 3.0 ports, IR pass through, HD audio jack and the power button, so that’s all the basics covered. What’s really important is the slot loading optical bay, a great tool if you’re using this for video displays, HTPC or even desktop use. Even better, there’s a second front panel included to add support for slim tray loading drives, giving you even more flexibility.

Around the back, all the usual cut-outs for NUC boards, as well as two rubber grommets for WiFi antenna should you need them. There’s a Kensington lock hole in the bottom corner too, always a nice thing to have for such a small system. The alternative backplate which is included in the box also adds support for NUC boards with Com ports, something that’s still widely used for a whole host of commercial and industrial purposes.

The base of the chassis has four small feet, giving a little ground clearance to the unit. These screws/feet also hold the base plate on the chassis and need to be removed to install your components. There’s a set of four holes on the base too, which are used for mounting the chassis on a VESA or similarly compatible solution.

Corsair Carbide Quiet 600Q Chassis Review

Introduction


Corsair may have been a little quiet in terms of chassis releases recently, but it’s because they’ve been busy cooking up something big! Their new chassis, the Corsair Carbide 600Q is designed for high-end systems and comes packed full of features that are sure to put a smile on any system builders face. With a focus on compatibility for high-end components, which are often quite large, without making a compromise on style or acoustic performance; we’re eager to take a closer look at what the latest from Corsair has to offer.

There are two models available for the new 600 chassis, a windowed model, and a quiet model. We have the quiet model at our disposal today, which comes with solid side panels that are lined with noise dampening materials. It’s certainly nice to have a choice between showing off your rig and that extra bit of silence, which one is best suited for your build is really a personal choice. For the most part, however, the quiet version is all but the same, with the exception of the right side panel.

Equipped with an inverted ATX layout, a great solution to allow direct airflow across you hardware, especially your graphics cards. There’s a good range of fan mounts for both 120mm and 140mm spacings, as well as a three-speed integrated fan controller, allowing you to further tune the systems cooling performance and acoustics. Of course, you’ll also find plenty of room for water cooling hardware, a good amount of storage drives, an ATX motherboard, long graphics cards and more!

Two 140mm fans come pre-installed, but you’ll also find a most welcome bonus fan for those who feel their system needs that extra bit of airflow.

Down the left side, you’ll find little to see, as the chassis has a fairly minimalist and monolithic design. Blank panels or not, the finish is quite nice and the stealthy black paint job gives off a nice premium quality vibe.

Another sturdy panel on the right side. Both left and right side panels are held in place by a pair of easy access thumb screws. Down the sides of the front panel, you’ll notice some rather large openings, which allow airflow to the front mounted fans; don’t worry, there is an air filter in there too.

The front panel shows you just how wide this chassis is; it almost looks wide enough to be a dual-chamber design! There’s a door at the top half of the chassis, hiding the 5.25″ drive bays and keeping it looking nice and sleek.

There’s little detail on the front, but the panels are very nicely finished, with a stealthy and almost metallic look to them, as well as a tiny Corsair logo in the corner being the only on-show branding for the whole chassis.

Behind the front panel door, you’ll find a nice layer of sound dampening material, which continues down the entire front panel, but can also be found on both side panels of the quiet model. There are 5.25″ drive bay covers here, perfect for optical drives, card readers and more.

Around the back we have an even clearer view of just how wide this chassis is, and it’s the first indication we’ve had of the inverted design, with the PSU mounted at the top and the motherboard flipped around and at the bottom.

There’s a removable bracket at the back to aid with mounting your PSU, although in most cases it can also be loaded through the side panel.

A pre-installed 140mm fan at the base, although there are optional mounts for a 120mm fan if you need them.

The top panel is just as bold as the rest of the chassis, with the exception of the small I/O panel running down the left side.

All the usual functions are here and self-explanatory, as well as a small mechanical switch for the three-speed fan controller.

The tall and wide chassis is given extra stability from four thick and rather durable feet, each featuring a thick rubber grip base.

Those large feet provide the 600Q with excellent ground clearance, giving airflow the bottom fan/radiator mounts, which come fitted with a full-length magnetic dust filter.

BitFenix Nova Mid-Tower Chassis Review

Introduction


BitFenix is back again, this time with their lovely Nova chassis. The Nova is BitFenix’s latest effort from the budget-friendly end of the market, promising great features at a price that is sure to leave your wallet or your bank balance happy. If you’re not trying to cram huge amounts of hard drives, multiple radiators and more into your system, then it is unlikely that you need much more than what the Nova offers and we’re eager to see just how much you get for your money here.

“Bitfenix Nova delivers style, performance, and silence at an incredibly competitive price. Whether you plan to build a basic office, home or gaming system, Novas simplistic design, aluminum badge, color options and optional window side panel mean it will blend in perfectly. Long air vents running along the sides of its front, hidden behind sleek mesh strips, provide plenty of airflow to cool the system. And as a result allowed us to keep Novas Top and Front panel completely closed to block fan-noise from escaping the enclosure, and dust from building up inside.”

Equipped with room for mini-ITX to ATX motherboards, room for a good size CPU cooler, large graphics cards, an ATX PSU and a decent amount of hard drives, the Nova is certainly a capable chassis. There’s also room for a couple of 120mm fans in the front and a 120mm in the back, although on the rear 120mm fan comes pre-installed.

The side panel features a huge window that runs almost the full height of the chassis, giving you a perfect view to show off your new build. Don’t like windows on your chassis? There’s a solid panel version available too. The black paint job is pretty standard stuff, but blends well with the plastics of the front panel and if black isn’t your thing, there’s also a white version available.

The right side has a blank panel and just like the left, it’s held in place by two thumb screws. The sides of the front panel have a strip of ventilation, allowing for indirect airflow that should help reduce noise from the front fans.

The front panel is plastic but is very nicely finished. There’s a single 5.25″ drive bay cover at the top and a small BitFenix logo; overall it looks smart enough to be placed in a home or office.

At the top of the chassis, you’ll find all the usual power controls, as well as two LED indicators and a pair of USB ports; one USB 2.0 and one USB 3.0.

Around the back, there’s a single pre-installed 120mm fan, as well as seven expansion slots. As with many budget chassis, the expansion slot covers are a snap-off design, apart from the top one which is reusable.

Four sturdy feet with rubber grips give the chassis good ground clearance, and there’s also a small slide-out and washable dust filter for the power supply area.

Antec GX500 Window Mid-Tower Chassis Review

Introduction


Antec is one of the most recognizable names in the PC market, having created many extremely popular products over the many years they’ve been in business. From the high-end to the low-end, they’ve always had a lot to offer for a wide range of budgets. Today, we’ll be taking a look at something from the lower end of the budget range, the very affordable GX500 Window chassis which offers just enough features to satisfy the demands of a desktop gaming build.

“The GX500 Window is designed for gamers from the inside-out, from its advanced cooling system to its I/O panel with USB 3.0. A total of three fans come standard along with washable dust filters and handy cable routing that helps keep equipment cool, dust-free and reliable. The GX500 Window also lets you organize a clean, powerful build with space for elite GPUs up to 15” (380 mm) in length, and extra space behind motherboard tray. With a bevy of in-demand features all at a supremely attractive price, the GX500 Window is more than just a low price – it’s the value case that gives you more for your money.”

We all want a high-end feature packed and premium chassis, which we know can cost north of £100 for the one you really want, but at the end of the day, a chassis that’ll get the job done is no bad thing and frees up a lot of your budget, leaving you with more funds for a faster graphics card of processor. The GX500 does tick a lot of boxes though, with room for ATX motherboards, 15-inch expansion cards, tall CPU coolers, plenty of fans, some water cooling support (although rather limited), cable routing and a side panel window.

The left side of the chassis a features a funky window section, which is nice for showing off a bit of your build, although you’re not really going to see much here, as the GPU and a lot of the motherboard areas will be visually obscured by the side panel and the 120mm side-mounted fan.

The right side panel has a raised section, keeping with the design of the left, although on this side it’ll allow extra cable routing space. Both side panels are held in place by two thumb screws at the back of the chassis.

The front is certainly presentable, with a large fan mesh for two optional front mounted fans. I certainly like the way the top panel curves down a little bit, giving a sleek overall appearance that would look tidy as part of a gaming setup or in the office.

Behind the front cover, you’ll find a pre-installed fan as well as room for one more below it. There’s not the best in the way of air filters, but the front panel mesh should do a reasonable job.

Around the back, you’ll find a slide-lock at the top, which can be used to remove the top panel fan cover. Below that, a couple of routing grommets, a pre-installed 120mm fan, 7 expansion slots and the PSU mount. Unfortunately, the expansion slot covers are a snap-off design, but that’s hardly a deal breaker.

The top panel has room for two more fans, which combined with the front, side and rear mounts, adds up to some serious air cooling potential.

Remove the top cover and you’ll find more than enough room for a pair of 120mm fans.

Adding further to the air cooling capabilities of this chassis, there is a two channel fan control setup on the front I/O, offering low/stop/high modes on each. There’s also a pair of USB 3.0 ports, HD audio and the usual power buttons and indicator lights.

The underside of the GX500 is pretty decent, with four large durable feet that give it good stability and excellent ground clearance for the PSU air intake, which comes fitted with a slide-out dust filter for easy maintenance.

Thermaltake Suppressor F31 Silent Mid-tower Chassis Review

Introduction


Thermaltake is one of the biggest names in the PC component market, with a huge range of products that range from water coolers to power supplies. We’ve seen a lot of great products from Thermaltake over the years, and today we hope to see another great addition to their already featured packed range.

“The Suppressor F31 Window mid-tower chassis is the new addition to the Suppressor Series to the Thermaltake case line. Featuring the first chassis with 250mm wide and leading-edge sound reduction panels on all sides, expand your cooling options with removable panels for the perfect balance in silent operation and cooling performance. Supporting a range of motherboard platforms from Mini-ITX to ATX solutions, unrivaled liquid cooling expansion and expandability for all high-end GPU solutions users can expect an enthusiast built design they can trust.”

The Thermaltake Suppressor F31 is their latest full-tower, following on from their F51 chassis which launched earlier this year, designed with a relentless focus on silent performance. It’s been kitted out with thick panels, vast amounts of sound dampening materials, a front panel door and extensive air and water cooling support, giving you all the tools you need to build a power and super quiet system.

https://youtu.be/vkLnHc9Er5o

Equipped with extensive support for fans and radiators, a decent amount of storage, large graphics cards and more, the F31 is certainly a capable product; I can’t wait to take a closer look at this chassis, so let’s jump right in and see.

This chassis is closed up pretty tight, with lots of sound-dampening features to help keep your build as quiet as possible. There’s a very thick side panel on the left with an optional side panel fan mount. The fan mount has a magnetic exterior dust filter for easy maintenance.

Another thick panel on the right as well as more ventilation down the sides of the front panel to provide airflow to the front mounted cooling.

The front panel is just as bold as the rest of the design, with a thick door panel and a lightly textured finished. The design is a little boxey and bland, but I quite like the monolithic appearance.

At the top of the front panel, you’ll find HD audio jacks, power controls, dual USB 3.0 ports and dual USB 2.0 ports; that’s decent amount of connectivity.

A few magnets in the front panel help keep the door closed and to help further enhance the noise proofing, there’s a thick lining of sound dampening material on the back of the door.

There are two 5.25″ drive bays, each fitted with a quick-release tool-free cover.

The bottom cover clips out easily enough, allowing you to quickly clean the filter and access the front panel cooling mounts, where you’ll find a pre-installed 120mm fan.

On the top, you’ll find a full-length magnetic dust filter, which is easily removed and cleaned when needed.

You’ll also notice that under it, the fan mounts as closed off, meaning you can keep them in place for maximum noise dampening, or take them out to install extra cooling as required.

Four sturdy feet on the bottom give good ground clearance for the full-length, slide-out dust filter.

This filter gives clean airflow to the PSU ventilation, as well as any addition base mounted cooling.

Around the back, you’ll find the side panels are held in place with thumb screws, but also normal chassis screws. I just wish I noticed these extra screws when I struggled for a few minutes wondering why the flipping panel wouldn’t slide off; I have no idea why we need a second set of screws here, but you could always leave the removed if required.

At the top, there’s a single 120mm exhaust fan pre-installed, but there’s also the option to install 140mm cooling if required. The screw holes are elongated to allow more flexibility in the height of the fan/radiator mounting, as this could help prevent hardware conflicts.

There are eight expansion slots, each fitted with a metal reusable and ventilated cover. There’s also a routing grommet to the right, as well as plenty of extra ventilation.

The PSU mounting supports normal and inverted installation, of course, if you mount the PSU with the fan facing downwards, you can take advantage of the bottom dust filter.

Raijintek Styx Windowed Micro-ATX Aluminium Chassis Review

Introduction


We’re big fans of Raijintek here at eTeknix, time and time again they’ve delivered stunning products at very attractive prices and that’s something I’m hoping to see yet again with their latest product, the Raijintek Styx.

The Styx features the very popular Micro-ATX form factor, meaning it’s great for a compact gaming system or workstation, as it’ll hold a high-end motherboard, water cooling, an ATX power supply and two graphics cards, giving it a lot of room for everything from a budget build, right up to a high-performance gaming monster. It also features a range of colours, as well as aluminium construction, so there’s no doubt that it’ll look great in a wide range of environments.

“STYX, RAIJINTEK’s new aluminum Micro-ATX case in 2015, has a remarkable elegant appearance design and high compatibility with your PC system. STYX is compatible with regular/ standard ATX Power supply, max. 280mm VGA card, 180mm height CPU cooler. STYX provides best cooling solution, 120mm fan pre-installed at rear, optional 2*120mm fan on top /side, optional 120mm fan at bottom and max. 240mm radiator cooling on top/side. Moreover, STYX offer a drive bay for Slim DVD on side. Entirely black coated inside, aluminum color hair-silk anodized appearance, STYX satisfies not only your request of looking for elegant taste, but simultaneously satisfies the joy of installing a performing case.” – Raijintek

All the basics are taken care of, with room for a good amount of storage drives, as well as a slim ODD, graphics cards of up to 280mm and CPU coolers of up to 180mm.

Cooling support is great, but keep in mind that a top mounted radiator could conflict with a multi-GPU configuration, so be sure to doubt check compatibility before doing so.

Check out this brief introduction from Raijintek, which shows you some of the great features you can expect to find in their new Styx chassis.

The Raijintek Styx immediately impressed, with gorgeous brushed aluminium panels on all sides, giving it a sleek and premium look. The left side panel is a blank panel, as the motherboard is mounted inverted, so this would be the “rear” panel behind the motherboard. The side panels are held in place with four small screws on the side, not the easiest to get into in a hurry, but at least you don’t have the large screws sticking out at the back.

The right side panel has a lot more going on, with a slim ODD slot on the bottom-front edge, which is discrete enough that you may not have seen it, had I not mentioned it. There’s also a nice side panel window, which is positioned so that you can see the motherboard, CPU cooler and rear fan mounting.

The front panel looks just as gorgeous as the side panels, with a nicely placed power button with LED trim at the top and a small Raijintek logo at the bottom; I must admit, this would look great sitting next to a TV unit as a HTPC.

There is all kinds of stuff going on around the back! At the top, you’ll find two routing grommets, which can be used to expand the water cooling or simply as a cable passthrough. There’s also a PSU cable pass-through here, as the PSU mounts towards the front of the chassis. Below all that, you’ll find five ventilated expansion slot covers, which come fitted with a clip-on screw guard.

The top of the Styx improves on the (fairly) similar Metis Mini-ITX chassis design, adding a large filtered air vent, perfect for water cooling, fans, or just improving the passive airflow.

On the base, even more ventilation for bottom mounted cooling, as well as the very important PSU mounting space. There are four rubber feet, which will help reduce vibration, but also provide a nice bit of ground clearance for the PSU exhaust.

Thermaltake Core X9 Stackable E-ATX Chassis Review

Introduction


Mini-ITX, Micro-ATX and heck, even ATX chassis are great, but they’re just too small, at least for some builds. What do you do when you need to fit an absolutely ridiculous amount of hardware into a single build? What if you have the biggest graphics cards money can buy, gigantic water cooling radiators, huge amounts of storage, multiple PSUs and more that you want to fit into your chassis? You get an absolutely freaking huge chassis, that’s what you do!

Thermaltake are known to make quite a few monster-sized chassis and one of their latest efforts, the Core X9 is certainly one of the biggest. Not only is this chassis big to start with, but it comes with a rather cool feature that allows you to take two or more of them, bolt them together and make it even bigger. This means it’s possible to have one system which spans both chassis, or even simply stack multiple systems, the choice is yours.

The specs are not for the faint of heart, with room for E-ATX motherboards, a huge amount of storage drives and a dizzying array of cooling configurations.

In terms of air cooling, you’ll find extensive room for 120mm, 140mm and 200mm fans in an extremely versatile range of configurations.

Water cooling isn’t exactly lacking in options either, with radiators of up to a staggering 480mm being supported in the top and/or bottom, but even more crazy is that you can get 420mm, 480mm and even 540mm in the front when you use two of these chassis in a stacked configuration. Basically, this chassis can hold more radiators than most people’s in-home central heating.

To help wrap you head around some of the aspects of this chassis, which I think may be lost in pictures alone, please check out this handy product animation courtesy of Thermaltake.

https://youtu.be/oVNWBqD9dFQ

The left side of this chassis features a massive side panel window. This is perfect for showing off your fancy build and to make it even more versatile, the left and right side panels are interchangeable, so you can have the window on the other side if you really want to.

Also on the left side, the main I/O which comes equipped with the usual power and LED hardware, as well as four USB 3.0 ports and HD audio jacks.

The right side panel features two huge ventilated section, each backed with a magnetic washable dust filter for easy maintenance.

On the right front edge, there’s a plastic cover, this can be removed and you can move the entire I/O panel to the right side of the chassis if you so desire.

The front panel really puts this chassis into perspective, as the three 5.25″ drive bays sitting in the middle look tiny when compared to the rest of the panel. There’s extensive ventilation here too, which dust filters on the interior, giving you lots of airflow for any front mounted cooling.

Overall, a pretty bold looking unit, assuming you have the space to situate it on, under or even next to your desk.

Around the back, you’ll find a 120/140mm fan mount with elongated screw holes to allow for height adjustments, two huge routing grommets, as well as some extra ventilation at the bottom. What’s really important here is that you can see how the motherboard is orientated; it’s not every day you see an E-ATX motherboard being supported with a horizontal mount!

Why have one PSU when you can have two? By default, only one is open on the rear left, but you can quickly remove the cover/fan mount in the bottom right to install another should you need it; like more useful for those using two of these chassis stacked together.

Each of the expansion slots come fitted with reusable ventilated covers, as well as a screw guard. Hilariously, there’s also a Kensington lock fitting on the back of this chassis, not that anyone could make a fast getaway with this behemoth.

The top panel has even more ventilation, and just like the right side panel it also has two large magnetic dust filters on the interior for quick and easy maintenance.

On the base of the chassis, you’ll find four large feet that provide good ground clearance for any base mounted cooling; there are two clip-in mesh filters here too. The base of the chassis has a large removable section, allowing you to bolt it to the top of another Core X9 and let radiators run right up the front panels of each.

Akasa Plato X Slim Fanless Chassis i5/i7 NUC Chassis Review

Introduction


We’ve got a great change of pace for you today, as we’ve broken away from the standard motherboard form factors for something a little more compact. I am of course talking about the Intel NUC motherboards, which may be tiny, but still pack a huge range of features, high-end processors such as the i5 and i7 ranges and enough connectivity to satisfy the needs of a whole range of usage scenarios.

Akasa are the masters of integrated systems and their range of NUC products is virtually unmatched by their chassis making rivals. The model we have in today, the Plato X, is super slim and despite its completely fanless design, it has enough cooling potential to chill a 5th Gen Core i7 NUC board.

• Aluminium fanless CPU cooling design
• Stylish front panel diamond effect
• Support one serial port
• Support IR remote function
• Compatible with the following Intel® NUC Board
NUC5i7RYH / NUC5i5RYH / NUC5i5RYK / NUC5i3RYH / NUC5i3RYK
NUC5i5MYBE / NUC5i5MYHE / NUC5i3MYBE / NUC5i3MYHE

In terms of spec, this little chassis is well equipped, with room for a single 2.5″ HDD/SSD, but you can squeeze some M.2 drives on your compatible NUC board should you need to.

The chassis is constructed from aluminium, which not only looks stunning with its black finish and silver time highlights on the edges of the front panel, but it also doubles up as the heatsink for the CPU. The entire chassis is designed to provide passive cooling for the internal hardware and that’s why the length of the chassis is so much longer than the 4-inch motherboard, to help better handle the heat of a high-end chip, such as the i7.

The right and left side of the chassis as the same; black aluminium from front to back.

The front panel is gorgeous, good enough to look at home as part of a sleek HTPC setup without being distracting while you’re watching a movie. It’s well equipped too, with a pair of high-speed USB 3.0 ports, an HD audio jack and the usual power buttons.

Around the back, you’ll find the motherboard I/O ports and two rubber pegs that can be removed to allow you to use Wi-Fi antenna.

There’s even a second backplate included in the box for i5 NUC boards, as well as offering support for COM port, something that’s still very widely used for a lot of industrial applications.

The top panel is held in place with four small screws, running down the middle of the top of the chassis.

The base of the chassis is nice and simple, but if you look closely you’ll see a few screw holes. There’s a mounting kit included, perfect for stealth mounting the unit or fitting it to a compatible VESA bracket.

ID-Cooling T60-SFX Mini-ITX Gaming Chassis Review

Introduction


ID-cooling are a relatively new player in the PC component market, but so far, we’ve seen some great cooling products from them and I’m eager to see how their first ever chassis stacks up against the competition. With a competitive price and promising high-end build quality courtesy of its pure aluminium casing, the T60-SFX sound like an attractive product for those looking at a mini-ITX gaming system.

Space is limited inside this chassis, but with the rise in popularity of mini-ITX form factor graphics cards, SFX power supplies and more, fitting a competent gaming system into a chassis of this size isn’t as tricky as it used to be. You’ll find there’s just enough room for a few hard drives, a reasonably sized graphics card and, of course, a mini-ITX motherboard and SFX PSU.

First impressions are very good, as the chassis is made from thick aluminium panels with a stealthy matte finish. The side panel is held in place by four large thumb screws, allowing for tool-free access to the interior. There’s also a good amount of ventilation, some to the rear of the PSU and a strip at the bottom that will help the GPU.

The same panel design around the back, helping further enhance the overall airflow, but no doubt sacrificing some sound proofing qualities at the same time.

The front panel houses even more ventilation at the bottom, as well as that rather funky looking power button and some USB 3.0 ports at the top. One glaring omission, however, is the lack of HD audio jacks, so you’ll have to rely on your motherboard’s rear I/O connectors.

Around the back, you can quickly appreciate how small this chassis is by looking at the motherboard I/O cut-out! There’s a small 92mm fan at the back to help with cooling, a pair of expansion slots and finally, the AC passthrough cable, as the PSU mounts towards the front of the chassis.

There’s even more ventilation on the base of the chassis, which is a good thing for your GPU considering the small capacity of the chassis and the fact it only supports a single fan, so you’ll be relying on passive airflow for the most part.

Silverstone Milo SST-ML08B Mini-ITX Gaming Chassis Review

Introduction


Are you ready to take your big screen gaming to the next level? The desktop gaming market may be booming, but there’s a big demand for the something small, systems that is. Having a high-end gaming PC under your TV is very much a possibility, but few make compact cases as well as Silverstone and their new Milo ML08 looks set to dominate those smaller spaces. Under your TV, perhaps you’re limited on desktop space, or you want something portable for LAN gaming, this chassis is just the right size for all of them, but more importantly, it doesn’t compromise on the size of the GPU.

“Based on the excellent RAVEN Z RVZ02 chassis, the Milo ML08 is a super slim Mini-ITX console case with highly capable accommodations. With a volume of only 12 liters, this case is small yet easy to assemble when compared to other slim cases in the same class. There is plenty of room for a powerful graphics card up to 13 inches in length while tool-less drive cages make assembly quicker than ever.” says Silverstone.

As you can see, it’s pretty well equipped, but the most important aspect is the fact that despite only being 87mm deep, this chassis can house a full-size graphics card of up to 13″ long, which is pretty amazing; you’ll see how it does that in a moment.

We’ve seen impressive mini-ITX chassis from Silverstone in the past, and it’s no secret that the Milo is based around a very similar interior design as their popular RVZ02, but with a much less aggressive exterior design.

“With clever space utilization and engineering, two major heat sources are separated via the chassis’ main chamber so CPU and graphics card can each have their own airflow path. Despite its diminutive size, the ML08 is a remarkably versatile case that can be used anywhere from being a compact desktop workstation (in vertical orientation) to a living console or HTPC (in horizontal orientation). There are even optional models of ML08 with integrated handle, making them effortlessly portable and perfect for any slim PC build.” says Silverstone.

In the box, you’ll find a nice selection of bits and bobs, such as the user manual, fitting components, vertical stand and the riser cards.

There two adaptors are what allow the GPU to fit in such a slim chassis, by allowing the GPU to lay parallel to the motherboard, helping save a huge amount of space.

First impressions of the Milo are very promising, a powder black finish gives it an almost stealthy quality, which is good when you’ve got it sitting under your TV, as a bright chassis could be visually distracting. There’s a huge ventilation panel on the left side, with a clip-on cover/dust filter for easy maintenance.

A similar story on the other side, with another large cover for ventilation. This is a slim chassis for high-end hardware, so airflow is very important.

The covers pop off easily enough, giving you a quick and easy way to clean the filters.

There’s extra ventilation on the narrow side of the chassis.

And there’s even more around the other side.

The front panel is nicely designed with a subtle, yet rather stylish cover and a sliding port cover in the center.

Slide the cover over and you’ll find a pair of USB 3.0 ports, HD audio jacks, as well as the power and reset buttons.

Around the back, you’ll find even more ventilation on the top edge, as well as a little more below the AC power pass-through connector. There’s the usual motherboard I/O cut-out, but you can now also see how the GPU is going to be situated next to the motherboard.

In Win 805 Aluminium and Glass Mid-Tower Chassis Review

Introduction


In Win, the modern masters of chassis design, are back once again. Today we’ll be taking a look at the In Win 805, a slightly more accessible product for the masses that takes many of the style points of the premium ranges that In Win offer. We’ve been blown away by their more creative products such as the S-Frame, H-Frame, H-Tower, D-Frame, Tao and many more, but it is nice to see these wonder-chassis filtering down into a more consumer friendly package, both in terms of price and ergonomics.

The 805 is designed to impress, with an aluminum frame which features LED highlighting, as well as glass panels on the left, front and right sides, giving you a great look at the chassis interior, perfect for showing off your build. There are three colours available, which colour coordinate the front I/O panel with the LED In Win logo on the side of the chassis.

No stranger to innovation, the chassis also features the new USB3.1 Type-C connector.

“805 is equipped with one all-new reversible USB3.1 TYPE-C port for ultimate data speed transfers up to 10Gb/s which is twice as fast USB 3.0*. This feature saves valuable transfer time and also the USB3.1 TYPE-C is easily accessible at both ends. The actual data transfer speeds will be determined by your motherboard specification.

Water cooling or air cooling, the 805 has got you covered here too. There’s a single 120mm exhaust fan included, but you’ll find room for two 120mm fans in the base, as well as two 120/140mm fans in the front. This also means you can fit a radiator in the front and back of the chassis, allowing you to unlock more performance and cooling for your hardware of choice.

First impression of this chassis are extremely positive, with a full-size side-panel cut from tempered glass that looks significantly better than any plastic panel ever would. The panel is held on by four aluminium thumb screws and mounted on rubber coated pegs to protect it.

The right side panel is the same, giving a great view of the interior and behind the motherboard. Keep in mind, this does mean that you’ll want to take extra care with your cable routing, as it’ll all be on show, and even more so if you’ve got lighting in your build.

the front panel is tempered glass too, showing off the metal work detail behind it, although because of this metal behind it, it’s also a lot more mirror like and harder to capture with my camera, but we’ll see it better from the interior.

The brushed aluminium panel at the top houses the USB 2.0 ports, HD audio jacks, a single USB 3.0 and a USB 3.1 Type-C connector. There’s also a pair of indicator LEDs and the power button here.

The In Win logo is behind the glass, not printed on it, a nice yet rather subtle touch.

Things look pretty standard around the back, with a large fan grille at the top for the rear 120mm fan, eight expansion slots with reusable covers and the PSU cut-out.

The top panel is a single piece of black brushed aluminium.

On the base, we’ve got two full-width plastic feet with rubber grips, these provide a nice stand but also improved ground clearance for the bottom dust filter.

This dust filter provides clean passive airflow, but also covers the mounts for two optional 120mm fans.

Akasa MAX MT Fanless NUC Chassis Review

Introduction


Big chassis get all of the fame and glory, but there are a lot of cool things happening in the world of ultra-compact chassis. Akasa is one of the biggest names when it comes to the smallest products and their range of NUC chassis is virtually unmatched. With Intel offering up some truly incredibly NUC motherboards, packing many of the latest Intel Core products, M.2 memory support, USB 3.0 and so much more, there’s now a huge range of applications for this type of system, at home in the workplace and beyond.

• Aluminium fanless CPU cooling design
• Stylish front panel diamond effect
• Two bay 2.5″ SATA mobile tray
• Support one serial port
• Support IR remote function
• Compatible with the following Intel® NUC Board
NUC5i5MYBE / NUC5i5MYHE / NUC5i3MYBE / NUC5i3MYHE
NUC5i5RYH / NUC5i5RYK / NUC5i3RYH / NUC5i3RYK

With full aluminium construction, support for a range of NUC boards, a compact form factor, dual 2.5″ drive trays and more, the MAX MT is certainly appealing, but let’s dive right in and take a closer look at what this chassis has to offer.

There are all kinds of accessories included in the box, included a second backplate to expand the motherboard compatibility, a pass through cable for COM connectors, a short and slim SATA cable and more.

The chassis is made from thick and beautifully machined aluminium, with a sleek black finish. While this does add to the aesthetics, the construction is incredibly practical too, as it is durable and the whole bulk of the chassis acts as a passive heat sink for the CPU, allowing it run completely silent.

Down each side of the chassis, you’ll see a fin array, this gives us a greater surface area to help dissipate heat.

The front panel is certainly interesting. As much as this chassis is designed to be tucked out of the way, it’s still very attractive and I’d have no issues have it out on show as part of my desktop setup or a home AV setup and the trimmed silver edges of the front panel certainly add to the appeal.

Aside from the IR port, the power button, USB and the HD audio, you’ll also notice the most important feature of this chassis; dual 2.5″ drive bays. These can be opened at the front, allowing for easy hot-swapping of 2.5″ drives, making this a great option for a compact NAS, workstation or HTPC.

around the back, you’ll find a com port, motherboard I/O, two rubber pegs which can be removed to mount WiFi antenna and a Kensington lock fitting. Of course, you can also swap this backplate for the other included in the box, which offers support for some other NUC motherboards.

across the top, even more thick fins in the aluminium, which will help improve the cooling performance even more, but also keeps the design uniform with the sides of the chassis.

The base of the chassis is compatible with VESA mounting kits, meaning you can easily install it on a bracket, on the back of a compatible monitor or TV and a whole host of other places. There are four screws here too, as the base is the only access point for installing your hardware.

Phanteks Enthoo Pro M Midi-Tower Chassis Review

Introduction


Building a high-end gaming system or workstation calls for an equally high-end chassis, something that is capable of meeting your demands for high-end cooling and the best hardware you can afford. The Enthoo Pro M follows in the footsteps of the Enthoo Evolv ATX, but swaps out a few of the design features for something with more airflow, making it a premium solution for those wanting to install high-end water cooling hardware, or air cooling solutions.

“The ENTHOO PRO M focuses on delivering great design without compromising price. Water-cooling builds will be a simple task with the help of our innovative radiator bracket and pump mounting locations. Whether you are a system builder or water-cooling enthusiast, the PRO M will give you unlimited possibilities.”

As you can see from the specifications, this is one extremely capable mid-tower, with support for everything from mini-ITX right up to E-ATX motherboards. You’ll find room for multiple expansion cards, which can be up to 420mm long with the hard drive brackets removed. There’s extensive cooling support too, with up to 280/360mm radiators in the top and front, as well as a 120/140mm in the rear. The cooling support is expanded further with dedicated spaces to mount pumps and reservoir hardware.

First impressions of the chassis are very good, just lifting it out of the box, it becomes apparent that it’s a robust chassis and the steel construction means it’s got a good bit of weight and strength to it. The matte black finish looks nice and stealthy too, giving the chassis a nice and uniform appearance. There’s a large window on the side panel, which is big enough to show off the internal hardware while hiding things like cable routing and storage bays.

Tucked down the left of the front panel, you’ll find a pair of USB 3.0 ports, HD audio jacks, and a reset button. Here you can also see the false brushed aluminum effect on the front panel plastics, which I think looks rather stylish.

The right side panel is just a blank panel. Both the left and right side panels are held in place with thumb screws, allowing for relatively easy access to the chassis interior.

The front panel is nicely designed, with a single 5.25″ drive bay with a removable cover at the top, and a huge ventilated section at the bottom, allowing huge amounts of airflow to any front mounted cooling, albeit at the cost of some noise suppression.

Around the back, you’ll find a lot of passive airflow, as well as a pre-installed Phanteks 140mm fan as the main exhaust. Further down, there are seven expansion slots, each fitted with a reusable ventilated cover and finally, at the bottom, a slide out dust filter for the PSU air intake.

The top has even more ventilation, perfect for any optional fans or radiators.

The comes fitted with a huge dust filter, which is fitted with magnets, allowing you to quickly remove it and clean it.

Ample ground clearance on the bottom courtesy of four large feet, each fitted with rubber grips.

be quiet! Silent Base 600 Window Mid-Tower Chassis Review

Introduction


be quiet! have worked hard over the years to establish themselves as a premium brand and it’s safe to say they’ve done just that. Time and time again we’ve seen award-winning products, from their enthusiast grade powers supplies, incredible CPU coolers, high-end fans and their previous chassis, the Silent Base 800. All their products have been exceptionally well designed, built and more important of all, they all had a focus on being as quiet as possible.

Following in the footsteps of its big brother, the Silent Base 600 looks like the ideal solution for a mid-tower. It ticks all the right boxes in terms of specifications for those wanting a desktop gaming PC. It features high-quality be quiet! fans, room for high-end hardware, a sound-proofed design and even a dual-layer side panel window, to give you a look inside the chassis, without compromising on noise suppression.

As you can see, it’s vaguely similar to the Silent Base 800, with the matte black exterior finish that’s great to look at, but still reasonably understated.

The right side panel is really nicely designed. be quiet! could have used a blank panel, but they chose to add a bit of style to it instead.

The front panel is nicely designed, with a stylish oversized power button at the top, as well as four USB ports and HD-audio jacks on the edge.

The front panel is mostly black panels with a brushed effect to give them a touch of style. To the sides, you’ll find two full-height strips of ventilation, each with a little bit of silver trim.

The top part of the front panel opens out, revealing 3 x 5.25″ drive bay covers. More noise dampening solutions here too, with thick sound proofing material on the door panel as well as thick anti-vibration rubber stoppers.

The bottom half remains shut, but you can slide up a dust filter from behind the top door, making maintainance super easy.

The filter is washable and very easy to remove/reinstall.

Around the back, you’ll find a little bit of passive ventilation at the top of the chassis. Further down, we’ve got a 120mm be quiet! Silent Wings fan, three routing grommets, seven ventilated expansion slot covers and the PSU cut-out.

Airflow for the PSu and any base mounted cooling is kept clean by a large slide out washable dust filter.

The top panel is raised towards the front and back, giving it a nice unique look. There’s a bit of ventilation towards the back too, perfect for any top mounted cooling. It features an indirect design too, which should help reduce noise without hurting airflow.

There are four feet on the base of the chassis, giving good ground clearance for the bottom air vents; each foot is coated with a durable rubber grip, which should prevent the chassis from sliding around, while also reducing vibrations.