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.

Enermax Ostrog ADV Case to be Unveiled at Pax East

Enermax might not be the most recognizable hardware manufacturer in western territories but they’ve quickly assembled a huge product line including power supplies, chassis fans, liquid coolers and affordable cases. Many of these products have received positive reviews and the company has continued to expand their current offerings. Curing CES this year, Enermax unveiled the Ostrog ADV chassis sporting a visually stunning illuminated design with 262 LED diodes. The chassis also comes with two synchronized Enermax T.B Vegas fans in the front section featuring six unique LED lighting transitions. As you can imagine, this creates a really distinctive appearance and I’m interested to see how well it works with other components.

In terms of features, the Ostrog ADV has a quick release mechanism for the top and front panel as well as screwless 5.25″ bay kits. The chassis supports up to 280mm radiators and should offer pretty decent flexibility. Next up is the front panel which contains a fan controller, LED display mode selection, two USB 3.0, two USB 2.0 and HD audio connectivity. The Ostrog ADV case is currently scheduled to be shown off during Pax East and should be available for sale sometime soon. Unfortunately, there’s no word regarding the price but I’m guessing it will remain relatively affordable given the company’s current target market. Of course, when samples are provided to the press, we will be giving you our detailed thoughts.

If you’d like to see more information on this particular product, Enermax has a brief video showcases the case’s main selling points.

Image courtesy of realhardtechx

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.

Get a Custom Nexus 5X or 6P Live Case Now From Google

Using a case to protect your phone from unwanted damage is somewhat commonplace, with a variety of styles available for those wishing to look after their mobile device. For many, the typical case is considered to be unsightly. For this, Google has an answer in the form of their newly launched the $35 “Live Case” for their Nexus 5X and 6P handsets.

These Live Cases are fully customizable by the customer, able to include either an image of choice or map location as the decoration for their case and each case comes with a companion wallpaper for the phone, so it’ll fit right in. The cases don’t just look pretty either, with each case including a programmable shortcut button on their body that allows for an app to be launched straight from the case instead of the normal tapping and swiping at the screen.

Each type of case even comes with their own special feature, with the photos version shipping with a customized photo gallery while the maps version help to create a stylized map of a selected location that can be used on both the case and wallpaper for a mirrored back-and-front look. All of the customization is done from a simple web app available on Google’s website and cases come in a choice of matte or glossy finishes.

Already available directly from Google, these cases are sure to appeal to those who are tired of the boring everyday blank or bulky case and for a relatively cheap sum, allow them to show off their artistic streak right on their device.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZrinxYzhq-E

Corsair Releases Carbide SPEC-ALPHA Mid-Tower ATX Case

We had our first look at Corsair’s newest Carbide chassis during our CES visit in January and now it has been fully released and can be yours, if you want to pay the price and like the looks, of course. The SPEC-ALPHA is no ordinary looking chassis and stands out with its bold angular styling and also comes with a large side panel window for you to display the nice hardware inside the chassis.

Corsair removed any sort of 5.25-inch drive bays at the top of the chassis which in return gives a direct airflow path for improved cooling abilities. The case comes with three 120mm fans included: two in the front and one in the back. The front can also fit a 240mm radiator for those who wish to use liquid cooling instead of air cooling. A three-speed fan control is also included.

The large CPU cut-out should make for easy cooler mounting, whether you choose air or water, and you can use from mITX to ATX motherboards in this system. You get the usual 7 expansion slots on the rear and you can mount expansion cards with a length of up to 380mm. The CPU cooler can be up to 156mm which does limit a bit, but not much.

You can mount plenty of traditional storage in the SPEC-ALPHA that allows for three 3.5-inch and four 2.5-inch drives. Externally you get two USB 3.0 and two audio jacks.

The SPEC-ALPHA is available now in three color options: black and red, black and gray and white and red. The suggested retail price is set to $79.99 which actually is a more than fair price for a chassis like this. Corsair backs the chassis with a 2-year warranty.

Specifications

  • Bold Exterior Design with LED fans: You’ll never mistake it for anything else – the asymmetrical, hard-edged design of the SPEC-ALPHA and its numerous color combinations give it a bold, unique look, and the front LED fans can be viewed through the front air intakes for a glimpse of the performance within.
  • Direct airflow path to keep your CPU and GPU running cooler: Modern systems don’t need tons of drive cages in the airflow path. By removing the 5.25” drive cage, the SPEC-ALPHA has a direct path from the front intake to the two hottest components – your CPU and GPU, which can result in better, more efficient cooling.
  • Large side panel window to show off your hardware: Why hide it? All that performance hardware you built your rig with is looks great, so why not take a look at it through the huge side panel window?
  • Three included 120mm fans and built-in three-speed fan controller: Two front LED fans and a rear fan provide excellent airflow, and the built-in fan controller lets you decide exactly how much cooling you need with the flick of a switch.
  • Cable routing cutouts and tie downs: Nobody wants to see a rat’s nest of cables, so the SPEC-ALPHA has cutouts and tie-downs behind the motherboard tray to keep your cable routing neat and tidy – and out of the airflow path for better cooling.
  • Easy to Build: Tool-free drive installation and side panel removal mean you can spend less time building your PC and more time gaming with it.
  • Front 240mm radiator compatibility: Upgrade to the power of liquid cooling for your CPU or GPU with up to a 240mm hydro series cooler in front of the case.
  • Native USB 3.0 and SSD support for modern builds: Whether it be a new external drive for storage or a new SSD for your OS or games, rest assured the SPEC-ALPHA is ready for anything you throw at it.

Lian Li Unveils The PC-J60 Premium Chassis

Lian Li has forged a reputation as one of the most prestigious case manufacturers in the industry and produces a huge range of premium aluminium designs. The company’s no-comprise approach to sourcing the best possible materials results in some extraordinary products. Granted, these do come with a price premium and many see Lian Li cases as something of a status symbol. While there is competition from In Win, Lian Li continues to expand their impressive product line-up and cater towards the high-end market. Their latest creation, entitled the PC-J60 is a mid-tower chassis measuring 210mm(W), 507mm(H) and 489mm(D). In terms of weight, the case isn’t overly heavy at 6.48KG due to the aluminium construction.

Other features include a power supply cover with an integrated 140mm fan, two 120mm fans in the front and space for another three 120mm fans in the top section. In terms of radiator support, the case can accommodate a maximum size of 60x430x160mm in the top and 120x240mm in the front. Lian Li have adopted modular HDD racks to easily remove the drive bays and create more room for system airflow. There’s also an air filter on the top, another on the bottom and vented PCI brackets. The CPU cutout is large enough to easily install hardware and access the backplate.

The case can support graphics cards up to 410mm in length and a PSU length of 210mm. On another note, the maximum CPU cooler height is set at 160mm. As you might expect, the chassis is designed to be used with ATX and Micro-ATX form factors. The front I/O houses two USB 3.0 ports and HD audio jacks.

Here we can see the high quality Jamicon fans which comes as standard with the chassis. Unfortunately, there’s no wording regarding the price but I’m expecting it to be around the £350 mark.

Oracle Asks For $9.3 Billion in Copyright Trial Against Google

Google is known for many things, from the search engine that started it all to the chrome web browser that so many uses these days. One of the things Google is known for is the Android mobile operating system, something that could Oracle want a piece of in a copyright trial against Google.

The copyright claim refers to several infringements that Google made as part of 37 java API’s that were used in the creation of the Android operating system. In total, the damages Oracle are seeking come to $9.3 billion, an absolutely staggering figure that seems to dwarf even what Google made in the last quarter ($4.9 billion).

Previously the largest copyright verdict stood at $1.3 billion in a case that Oracle won against SAP in 2010. The value of $9.3 billion was figured out by using “a weighted average analysis of what Google pays to others for the contribution of their non-Android mobile platforms in connection with generating search advertising revenue”.

When it comes to code and copyright the law is a little indecisive. Some say that code can be copyrighted and protected under law, some say it can’t be. This case should set an interesting precedent, with it being the largest intellectual property verdict in history.

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.

SilverStone ES01 PCI-E Remote PC Switch Kit

Introduction


There are many forms of being lazy, or maybe we should rather call it an extra comfort feature that expands your abilities. Today I’m taking a closer look at SilverStone’s ES01 expansion card which allows you turn your PC on and off as well as reset it remotely. This can either be used as an extra security feature or as a simple addition to the already existing methods. The ES01 is available as both a PCI and a PCI-Express card, so you can make it work in almost any system. I’ll be taking a closer look at the PCI-Express x1 version today.

SilverStone’s ES01 is a convenient remote switch kit designed to wirelessly turn your computer on or off as well as reset it. It uses the existing 2.4GHz standard with RF wireless technology which is known to work great and offer a great range. The ES01 remote kit is rated for a range of up to 20 meters which is quite cool and allows you to work the magic from afar.

The adapter comes with an included Y-cable which ensures that your computer case’s own power and reset buttons can be used concurrently with the ES01. You normally wouldn’t want to rely purely on a remote for such a crucial function, and you don’t need to. However, at the same time the ES01 it can be used without connecting the Y-cable to the chassis buttons in order to add another level of security besides BIOS passwords and software solutions to which the ES01 can be a good alternative. It will mostly be users with computers located in hard to reach areas or systems with special usage scenarios that will find the ES01 remote switch kit to be very handy, but it is up to you how you’d like to use it.

The expansion card in itself is a low profile card and it isn’t very long either. It will easily fit into even the smallest chassis and comes with an included low-profile bracket too. All it takes is two screws to switch from the normal to the low-profile bracket, so that’s a job quickly done if needed.

The remote control uses a common CR2025 Lithium manganese button battery with a 3V voltage. It has a maximum measured EIRP of 3.76dBm and naturally operates on the 2.4GHz band. It is about the size that you would know from your car key with remote functionality, but weighs far less. It also comes with a convenient ring for attachment to key rings, backpacks, purses, and more.

Feature Highlights

  • Control your computer from anywhere in the room using 2.4GHz RF remote
  • 2.4GHz receiver PCI or PCI-E card included
  • Works as far away as twenty meter
  • Includes power / reset switch Y cable
  • Includes optional low profile expansion slot cover

Specifications

Package and Accessories

The SilverStone ES01 comes in a fairly simple package which is fitting for a simple device. The front teases the remote capabilities which doesn’t leave much left to the imaginations. You instantly know what it’s for.

The rear of the box contains the specifications and functionality in several languages. Everything extra that you might want to know before you make the purchase.

Inside the box, we find the add-in card with y-cable attached, a low-profile expansion slot bracket for use in SFF chassis, the remote control and battery for it as well as a small manual.

Ever Wanted to Make Your Own Wood PC Case? This Guy Did!

When you start thinking about what your new computer or laptop would be made out of, you start to think about maybe some black plastic or a nice silver metal feel. That isn’t for everyone though and sometimes you just want to do something different, like make a wooden PC.

When you think of PC’s you tend to think of metal or plastic, but one clever person who goes by the name of LouisVW decided that he wanted to build something that looks little more smooth and natural. If that wasn’t enough they’ve gone so far as to post how they built it from start to finish, a process that seems to only create something both simple and beautiful.

Starting from the plywood sheet shown above the project started, by creating grooves on the sides to fit in panels at a later date and then cutting out space for four fans, two at the top and two at the bottom.

Next came controllers for the fans and lighting, with the back panel and power supply soon making the wooden box look like an actual PC. Below you can find a gallery of some of the stages the computer went through, ultimately ending in the masterpiece you see below.

What do you think? Interested in giving it a try yourself? Check out the instructions here and tell remember to share your builds with us at eTeknix.

SilentiumPC Introduces Regnum RG1 Chassis with Dual-Chamber

Building a system on a budget can be tricky in some areas such as the power supply where you shouldn’t skimp out and the chassis where it can be hard to find one you like for the money you have available. If you like it simple and effective while not costing much at the same time, then the newly introduced Regnum RG1 might be worth a closer look.

The Regnum RG1 features a simple and clean exterior, an internal dual chamber design for cable management and looks, and plenty of space for large hardware parts – and all that for less than £24.00.

The large main chamber in the Regnum RG1 offers plenty of space for full-sized ATX setups. The seven expansion slots provide the ability to mount plenty of add-in cards such as graphics card with a length up to 380mm. The CPU cooler can be up to 160mm high, but that’s only relevant if you go for an air-cooling setup. There is a surprisingly good cooling ability with support for up to six 120mm fans and large radiators too. One 120mm fan is installed by default at the rear, three 120mm fans can be mounted on the front, and another two can be mounted on the PSU shroud.

The large CPU cutout should make cooler installation easy and there are plenty of cable routing options. We don’t see the rubber grommets usually found in higher-end cases, but costs have to be cut somewhere to offer an ATX-sized chassis with these options at such a low price. It will still allow you to build a great looking and clean system.

Other than the seven rear expansion ports, the chassis offers two external 5.25-inch bays, but they share the space with the top fan mounts, so it is an either or there. You can install two 2.5-inch drives as well as two 3.5-inch drives, so you won’t run out of storage anytime soon. Especially not if you couple that with M.2 or PCIe storage options.

You also get two front-faced USB 3.0 ports, a headphone jack, and a microphone jack for easy connectivity. Overall, a nice package for a low cost. Speaking of costs, the Silentium PC Regnum RG1 with an MSRP inc. VAT that’s only set to 31.00 EUR or 23.90 GBP. The US price, excl tax, is set to $27.50.

Would you consider a low budget chassis like the Regnum RG1 with all its features in your next build, or will you rather go for a more premium-styled chassis?

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!

Aerocool Releases the Dream Box DIY-Kit

Seven months ago Aerocool launched a campaign on Facebook in order to find a name for their new chassis design. The chassis is anything but ordinary, so it is more than fitting that the naming of it took an unusual route too. Users came with their suggestions, and there were a lot, but in the end, it was the Dream Box name that won out and got to be the official product name.

Since then, Aerocool has been hard at work to perfect the chassis and built it to allow the end-user nearly endless build options. The only thing holding you back with this chassis is your imagination and time – and now it can be yours. Aerocool officially released the new chassis and in case you want to know more, we’ll have the full review ready for you tomorrow morning!

This DIY PC chassis kit comes in a box with a total of 118  different parts that allows users to build one of the three PC related chassis models straight out of the box. But this is only the starter kit and you can keep on both building and expand the more you buy. That’s pretty awesome and I am already picturing walls of nested systems built with this DIY kit.

The starter kit includes various components, including aluminum pipes, various connectors with different angles, mounting C-rings for other connections as well as PC-related parts such as mainboard-tray, PSU tray and one I/O panel. The Dream Box can be also used for assembling tables, lamps, cup holders or even all kind of toys and useful gadgets.

Due to the fact that the largest part of the framework is done using the aluminum pipes, a real sturdy and solid base is achieved. All connected joints are further fixed by screws in order to assure high stability. Users are also encouraged to share their builds on Aerocool’s Facebook page in order to inspire others with your own blueprints.

The Aerocool Dream Box DIY kit is available worldwide now and it comes with an MSRP of €134.90 EUR in Europa and $149.90 USD in North America (excluding VAT/Tax).

Lian Li Announces PC-7N Classic Mid-Tower Chassis

Lian Li’s newly announced PC-7N chassis comes with a classic and minimalistic look on the outside, but quite a few improvements on the inside. The new PC-7N includes an improved and customizable storage rack for drives, tool-less building features, and great clearances in a lightweight chassis.

As a mid-tower chassis, the PC-7N can hold the most common sized ATX or mATX motherboards. Clearance is a factor in this chassis and you can easily mount CPU coolers with a height up to 170mm and graphics cards as long as 370mm without hard disk trays mounted in front of the card. With trays, you can still mount cards with a length up to 250mm.

Lian Li built the PC-7n with tool-less mounting options for easy installation. The chassis comes with four drive trays included which all are fitted with vibration-dampening rubber washers. Each of the trays can be installed in one of the eight available slots and they’ll be directly cooled by the two front intake fans. The drive trays are secured by a removable aluminum arm that in itself is secured by a thumbscrew. You can also add up to two 5.25-inch drives to this chassis and those trays also feature tool-less installation.

Cooling wise the PC-7N has the basic features and nothing out of the norm. You get two front intake 120mm fans and one rear 120mm exhaust fan. The front intake and the PSU area both have dust filters to help keep your system as clean on the inside as possible. There’s also basic water cooling support for those that wish a liquid cooled setup. The front allows for radiators with a size up to 140mm x 280mm x 60mm and the rear also features liquid cooling grommets.

There is plenty of space for the PSU due to the clean internal build which allows you to mount PSUs with a length of up to 270mm. That should be plenty for even the most powerful power supplies on the market. You also get eight expansion slots for easy setup with up to four dual-slot cards, and a front panel with audio and USB 3.0 ports.

The PC-7N is scheduled for an availability at the end of March and it will be available in two colours. The manufacturer suggested retail price is set to £84.90.

Feature Highlights

  • Customizable modular drive rack
  • Fits four 3.5” HDDs or 2.5” SSDs
  • Water cooling: up to 140mmx280mmx60mm on internal bracket
  • Removable front panel and mesh filter; two 120mm intake fans, one 120mm exhaust fan
  • Accommodates VGA cards up to 370mm long
  • Accommodates CPU coolers up to 170mm tall
  • Accommodates PSUs up to 270mm long
  • MSRP: £84.90
  • Availability: End of March

IN WIN H-Tower Now Available From Overclockers UK

IN WIN manufacturers some of the most unusual and wacky PC chassis designs the industry has ever seen. Many of their products seem like prototypes which you wouldn’t expect to see grace the enthusiast market. However, the company always tries to innovate and offer something truly unique instead of mass producing lower priced cases. Granted, they do make some budget options, but the majority of their clientèle comes from spectacular chassis designs. For instance, the D-Frame and S-Frame caused a great deal of media attention and discussion from hardware enthusiasts. The S-Frame in particular is a major talking point due to the open air design and premium construction. This incredible piece of technology isn’t cheap and costs upwards of £600. This makes it a very niche product and caters to the 0.001% of PC builders with a very high budget.

The company’s latest chassis takes this one step further with the release of the IN WIN H-Tower. This behemoth is capable of transforming the case’s structure wirelessly. When the H-Tower is in motion, the side panels unfold outwards to reveal a spacious interior with the motherboard main plate rotating 90 degrees to showcase your hardware.

Here we can see a detailed look at the model’s specification:

– Material: Aluminium, SECC
– Colour: Black/Red
– Internal Drive Bay: 3.5” x 1, 2.5” x 4
– M/B Form Factor: E-ATX (12” x 13”), ATX, Micro-ATX
– Power Supply: ATX12V, PSII and EPS
– Power Supply Mounting Area: Length up to 230mm
– I/O Port: USB3.1 Type C (19-pin) Connector x 1, USB3.0 Type A Connector x 3, HD Audio
– I/O Expansion Slot: PCI-E Slot x 8
– Supports High-end Graphic Card (Length up to 340mm, Height up to 200mm)
– Thermal Solution: Supports 120mm Top Fan x 3, 360mm Radiator (Height up to 35mm), Supports at Least 200mm Height CPU Heatsink Based on Different Mounting Position
– Dimension (HxWxD): Closed: 617 x 322 x 502mm (24.3″ x 12.7″ x 19.8″), Open: 620 x 680 x 785mm (24.4″ x 26.8″ x 30.9″)
– Net Weight: 23.03kg
– Gross Weight: 32.1kg

Overclockers UK is now stocking the H-Tower, but it’s limited to around 50 units worldwide. This means, it’s very expensive and Overclockers UK has a limited number for sale. When it comes to pricing, the H-Tower costs an astronomical £1889.95, and around $2400 in the USA.

Let us know in the comments section what you think of this case.

Upcoming Antec P9 Window Edition Chassis Leaked!

The Antec P9 looks set to make a return later this year, as image have surfaced showing off a major revision to the design which is not currently on their EU website. The chassis has a nice big design, offering up room for ATX, Micro-ATX or Mini-ITX motherboards, with up to eight expansion slots at the back. The PSU is bottom mounted, with a huge amount of room, so even high-end PSUs should fit with ease. There’s slide out washable dust filters on the front panel, so maintenance should be nice and easy.

Cable routing looks very promising, with lots of room behind the motherboard, and lots of routing spaces where you would need them most. Expandability looks especially interesting, with a huge bank of 3.5/2.5″ drive trays towards the front of the chassis, but there’s also a pair of dedicated 2.5″ drive bays behind the motherboard, as well as an extra 3.5″ bay in the 5.25″ slot. These are especially handy, as the entire front hard drive bays can be removed, which frees up a vast amount of vertical and horizontal space for thick radiators and other custom look water cooling hardware. It looks like the chassis will handle a 240mm radiator in the front, 240/280/360mm in the top, as well as mounting areas for reservoir and pump hardware.

Obvious additions such as the side panel window are going to be great for those eager to show off their build and with room for enthusiast hardware such as extra-long graphics cards, thick radiators, high-end PSUs and more, you’ll no doubt be eager to see what’s going on through that window panel.

We’re expecting prices in the region of £70-80, keeping in line with Antec’s current pricing structure. We’ll update you as soon as we have more information.

‘Dune Case’ Brings Mac Pro Styling to Mini-ITX PCs

When it comes to technology, we have a tendency to want to make everything smaller and 2016 seems like one of those years where this is the case for PC systems. The mITX-based small form factor PCs are making a large entry on the market thanks to new high-performing motherboards and graphics cards in this size. The new Dune Case takes the same route, but it cuts the corners of the case and presents itself as a cylindrical PC chassis.

This is a chassis shape that we previously only have seen on Apple’s Mac Pro and I really hope that Apple won’t come after these guys on that basis. Enough doomsday thinking and back to the case in question, the Dune Case. The new cylindrical PC chassis is being launched on Kickstarter to get the whole thing off the ground with a full retail launch planned once successfully through the Kickstarter campaign.

The Dune Case is built with a simplistic design and out of aluminium. The inside is composed out of three chambers where there is room for an mITX motherboard on the one side and a graphics card or other add-in card with a length up to 185mm on the other side. This sets some limitations, but the creators used some innovative ideas to make the best of the available space. The graphics card is mounted on a swing-out door and connected with a custom riser cable. This allows for easy access to the middle chamber where you can mount two 2.5-inch drives and tuck away all the hideous cables that could interfere with the airflow in the small chassis. The PSU option is limited to standard SFX PSUs, but there are quite a few good one of those on the market too.

The cooling is handled by a 140mm fan mounted at the top for a natural upwards airflow. There is no mention of how high the CPU cooler can be and this could be an issue. From the looks of it, you don’t have much more space for the motherboard and CPU cooler together than a normal 2-slot graphics card would take up. The only mentioning of the cooler height is that they used an Intel stock cooler for testing.

The front IO is actually located on the rear where you’ll find four USB 3.0, one headphone, and one microphone port next to the two HMI 1.4 ports and the RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet LAN port. These are connected to an internal PCB that then again is connected to the actual ports on your motherboard and graphics card.

Now that we have covered what it is, let us get to what I see as some serious issues with this and why I changed my mind about backing this – at least for now. The way the motherboard is mounted in the chassis and the fan being located at the top, you miss any ability to connect anything extra here. You are limited to the front-IO ports that you have forwarded internally when setting it up. The limitation to HDMI 1.4 is another serious issue as it removes any ability for 4K 60 FPS output – unless you want to use both ports and trunk the signal.

Overall the project seems hurried. The idea is great and the basic version stands, but it feels more like an alpha version than a finished product. It also feels a lot like an Apple imitation, both with the design, serious limitations, and slogans like “build outside the box” and “think outside the box”. The specifications lack in basics such as available CPU cooler height and overall the presented information and pictures look more like an idea proposal than a finished product. There are still 35 days left on the Kickstarter campaign, so there’s still time for them to fix some of these things. The campaign goal is set to $130,000 and at the time of writing, it has gathered $18,926 from a total of 142 backers.

The first 100 backers were able to secure themselves a Dune Case for just $129, but they are all gone. Normal early bird offers are still available for $159 and once they are gone you’ll have to pledge $169 to get one of these cases. Once it goes retail, it’s planned for a $189 MSRP. There’s an additional $11.50 shipping fee for the NA area while international backers will have to find that out later. It’s unspecified for now. The postage part is a little weird considering the campaign is launched out of Germany – but it might be where they cases will be manufactured.

Is this a PC chassis that you could be interested in or does it have too many issues to be an option? What about the design, do you like it? Let us know in the comments. I for one will wait for the next version. I like the idea, but not the execution.

Check out the Amazing 17-Liter Project Nova Chassis

Some of the best ideas are born out of necessity because they are needed but don’t exist yet. The same goes for the 17-liter chassis currently known as Project NOVA. Aibohphobia wanted to add more RAM to his system built-in a Mini-ITX NCASE M1, but there wasn’t any room to add more. Disappointed with the available mATX cases, he set out to design his own and it looks amazing so far.

Project NOVA is designed to be as small as possible and still have a maximum of flexibility and space for high-end hardware. This easily goes beyond what has been seen before, at least when we don’t count specialized systems with specially designed hardware components. The Project NOVA can do all this with default hardware.

The NOVA is only 300 mm high, 170 mm wide, and 333 mm deep. It is built from 20 gauge steel panels and frame while the handle on the top is machined aluminium. It is however currently unknown if the handle will make it to the final version. In my opinion, it isn’t needed and the case would look better without it. It could also save some costs.

Speaking of costs and the actual reason for this post, the case that started out as a project for a single system will turn into a commercial product. We don’t have the final details yet as they won’t be revealed until the 11th February, so in three days. We do however already know that it will be launched as a crowdfunding campaign which I have no doubt will be successful. It looks amazing while the design has been finalized and the prototype stands, so all that is missing to get it off the ground is some funding.

So, how much can you actually fit into this tiny chassis? The answer is a lot. It comes with 5 expansion slots and room for an mATX motherboard. There is clearance for 113mm CPU cooler height when we assume it will use a 25mm thick fan and side bracket left in. The side bracket can hold a 120mm or 140mm AIO cooler support while the PSU area supports both normal SFX and the longer SFX-L PSUs.

The above specifications allow for the basic hardware parts such as motherboards and graphics cards, but there also needs to be space for all our files. The NOVA has a dual 2.5-inch drive tray and you can also place a 3.5-inch sized drive instead of using the 5th expansion slot. That coupled with the available M.2 storage these days should be more than enough for most users.

As previously mentioned, the NOVA allows for AIO cooling solutions to be mounted on the side bracket, but the rest of the system also needs some cooling. For this, you can mount a 92mm fan at the rear and a 120mm fan at the front. The bottom allows for either two 120mm fans or a 92mm fan when a 3.5-inch drive is mounted there. Every little bit of space has been used and optimized for the best possible hardware support.

The top mounted slim fan seen in the image below has since been removed as testing showed little to no difference whether it was mounted or not.

The finished product as seen here is built with an i7 5930K, two GTX 980 in SLI, Gigabyte X99M Gaming 5 motherboard, 32GB Crucial 2400MHz DDR4 memory, a Samsung 840 EVO 250GB SSD, an NZXT X41 CPU cooler, and the SilverStone SX600-G PSU.

A system that can kick some serious butt and when you take the size into consideration, it’s mind-blowing. Here’s a comparison that shows just how small it is.

I’ve attached a few more images below, but I can also highly recommend the official build log that takes you on a trip from the start of the project and into its final stage, that is if you got a couple hours spare as you’ll quickly loose yourself in it. There is a lot to view and read.

Phanteks Launches Eclipse Series P400 and P400S

We had a little look at Phanteks Eclipse series during our visit to CES in Vegas last month and now Phanteks officially launched the new Eclipse P400 and P400S chassis. The two cases are identical on the basic features and the difference between the two is that the S model is the silent edition. Both versions of the Eclipse P400 are available in three colours: Satin Black, Anthracite Grey and Glacier White.

The Eclipse Series P400 and P400s are compact mid-towers that still have space for a lot of hardware. The interior chassis design is based on the Enthoo Series and the case is built with a full metal exterior and it comes in both windowed and closed versions. Other features include the RGB lighting system with colour control for external ambient and the option to attach extra interior RGB lighting strips.

 

The Eclipse P400 series is also equipped with dust filters all around, it features all-in-one radiator mounting location in the front for up to 360mm units, and a power supply shroud to hide the things you don’t want to show off. The P400S comes with the same features as the P400, but it also has additional features for an improved acoustical performance. The P400S includes top ventilation covers with soundproofing layer, front and side panels with soundproofing layers and also an integrated 3-speed fan controller.

There aren’t many limitations when it comes to hardware you can mount in the Eclipse P400. There is room for up to E-ATX motherboards with a width up to 272mm as well as default ATX, mATX, and mITX motherboards. The CPU cooler can be up to 170mm high while the graphics cards and other expansion cards can have a length up to 395mm without additional HDDs mounted and up to 280mm with them.

Speaking of storage drives, there is room for up to six 3.5-inch drives and two 2.5-inch drives in this great looking chassis, however only two 3.5-inch and two 2.5-inch brackets are included and you’ll need to purchase additional 3.5-inch mounts should you require them.

The new Phanteks Eclipse P400 series will be available in March for a recommended retail price of €69.90 in the basic version. The silent version will cost you an additional €10 and the same goes for a windowed version. Even the €89.90 for the most expensive model is a fair price for a case that offers as much as the Eclipse P400 does.

Hex Gear Introduces the R80 Full-Tower Chassis

Hex Gear took users, modders, and reviewers with a storm when they released their R40 chassis about 6 months ago and now they are ready with a big brother to that chassis. The new chassis is fittingly named the R80 and is a full-sized ATX version of the case with a lot more options than the smaller R40.

The R80 is Hex Gear’s take on the ultimate full tower chassis. It comes with even more room for top of the line components and cooling such as multiple graphic and expansion cards, pumps and radiators. As with the R40, there will be a lot of aftermarket kits for the R80: Solid side panels, 140 mm radiator mounts, black anodized profiles, reverse ATX conversion kit and much more.

The Hex Gear R80 is a large and heavy chassis, but it is also very sturdy thanks to being built around 4 solid aluminium profiles and thick sheet metal. One of the things that modders love on Hex Gear’s cases is that they aren’t put together with rivets that have to be drilled out before you can start to mod the chassis. Everything can be taken apart with normal tools and everything you need in that regards should already be included in the package.

There are no tool-less mounting options and quick-release mechanisms in the Hex Gear chassis’ and that is because they see them as more trouble than good – and they usually are. Instead, the case offers incredible modding potential and the ability to build a system like you want it. Plus, it really looks great with its hexagon designs.

To further ease mounting of third-party and custom parts, the case is supplied with a blank aluminium mounting bracket that easily can be customized for parts such as pumps, reservoirs or fan controllers. Hex Gear also has a row of pre-made plates that will fit some of the most common parts available.

Speaking of liquid cooling parts, the Hex Gear R80’s main compartment supports two radiators, a 420 mm and a 360 mm with a thickness of up to 60 mm thickness. The top and bottom compartment further supports radiators up to 34 mm in thickness with the covers on and unlimited thickness with the cover off.

Hex Gear didn’t announce a release date yet and it is currently marked as Out of stock on their website, but once it becomes available, this 18 kg heavy chassis will set you back £299.99. A premium price, but you’ll also get one of the coolest cases with the most options available.

Technical Specifications

  • Materials: Aluminium, Steel, and Acrylic
  • Colours Available: Black and White
  • Dimensions (WxDxH): 241.5 x 598 x 535 mm
  • Weight: 18 Kilo
  • Motherboard form factor: E-ATX (up to 305×275 mm), CEB, ATX, Micro ATX & Mini ITX
  • Drives: 4x 2.5” or 3.5”
  • Cooling: 8 x 120mm (3 x top 1 x rear 4 x bottom)
  • PCI Slots: 8
  • Suitable for air or water cooling

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.

Cooler Master Launched Case Mod World Series 2016

Case modding has become very popular again and it isn’t just something that a few select sponsored people do. A lot of people take it upon themselves to make their existing or new rigs just a little more fly. If you should be among those people, then you might want to pay attention to this as you could end up being one of the people walking away with 30,000 USD in cash and prizes. Cooler Master has launched the Case Mod World Series 2016 which is sponsored by ASUS, Avexir, Dremel, NVIDIA, and OCZ. Those are all some familiar names with some quality products.

The Case Mod World Series is designed to connect modders everywhere and 2016 is the seventh time it is being held where Cooler Master expanded the scope of the series to include local meet and greets, and modding sessions. The participants will be judged in four equally weighted areas that are complexity, design, originality, and overall look. The judgement will be done by the sponsoring companies as well as an international panel of judges: Ermanno Bonandini from Italy, Ronnie Hara from Brazil via Japan, Richard Keirsgieter from The Netherlands, Antony Leather from The UK, Richard Surroz and Brian Farrell from the USA.

“Modding has exploded in recent years and is taking root in every corner of the globe. The Case Mod World Series is about fuelling that growth. It’s about igniting the modding spirit – the maker spirit – on the web and right in your community,” said Michelle Wu, Global Community Manager. “This year, we will be running local events to involve modders everywhere. Together, with the generous support of our sponsors, we hope to enable the modding community the world over. ”

The registration is open now and will run until June the 12th, 2016. You need a Cooler Master Forum account to get going, but it is free and the Case Mod mini-site has all the details in that regard. The Info Hub will keep you updated with posts along the way and as previously mentioned, you can win a lot of prizes.

There are three categories with three places in each. The first place winner in the Tower Mod contest will walk away with $3000 USD in cash, any Cooler Master case of their choice, a V1200 PSU, MasterAir Maker 8 cooler, QuickFire Xti keyboard, Sentinel III mouse and Sirus headset. The motherboard is sponsored by Asus and is a Maximus VIII Formula while the GPU power comes from two GTX 980 Ti cards. Along with that, the first place winner gets OCZ SSD, Avexir Memory and a Dremel 8050 Micro tool. You can also see the full list of prizes for the different categories on the mini-site.

NZXT Introducing the Manta mITX case

During our visit to CES in Vegas earlier this month, NZXT invited us and a few other partners to have a look at their brand new chassis and there were no doubt that we liked what we saw when presented with the new Manta PC chassis. At that time we were told that it would be officially released today and NZXT were true to their word.

The new NZXT Manta mITX chassis is a unique enclosure for your PC with its soft and round corners. The bold outsides are matched with a level of elegancy thanks to the curved steel panelling. Inside it features double the cable management space usually found in mITX cases, it has support for a dual 280mm liquid cooling setup in the front, and comes with an integrated PSU shroud to hide the things away that you don’t want to show off.

The 245mm wide, 426mm high, and 450mm deep Manta chassis can hold an mITX motherboard as well as a few internal drives. As we can see on the picture below, the front is entirely used by the two 140mm fans which eliminate the option of external 5.25-inch drives for once. But internally you can mount more than enough storage as the case supports two 3.5-inch and three 2.5-inch drives. With the increase in storage capacity, those bays can hold a lot of raw storage capacity.

Even in an mITX chassis you need room for a dual-slot graphics card, at least most of the time. The NZXT Manta can easily fit most graphics cards with a clearance for cards with a length of up to 363mm. That is quite a bit more than the 170mm that the mITX motherboard is sized. The PSU maximum length is set to the same as the graphics card, which should eliminate any possible bottlenecks in that area. Should you go for air cooling rather than liquid cooling of your CPU, than the maximum clearance for that is 160mm.

The front panel ports and buttons are located at the top front of the chassis. On larger chassis this can cause trouble when they’re placed on a desk because they get too far away from your sitting position or be tough to use when placed under a desk because it is so close to it. On an mITX chassis like the Manta, this isn’t a problem. You find two USB 3.0 ports here as well as the obligatory audio and microphone ports.

Within the NZXT Manta you’ll also find other NZXT ideas and features such as rear I/O lighting, integrated PWM fan hub, and SSD display. The new case will be available in several colour options: Matte White/Black, Matte Black/Red, and Matte Black with or without a windowed side panel. A model for every build and personal taste.

The new Manta will be available for pre-order for £99.99 or €139.99 +VAT and the stock is expected in February. The current UK estimate is set for the third February which is very soon.

Sharkoon Releases DG7000 Midi Tower

Sharkoon’s newest chassis follows the trend of other cases and peripherals from the company when it comes to the appearance and still remind us a little bit about the Transformers. But the new DG7000 Midi Tower looks to be more of a premium item than we’re used to and it comes with quite a few great features.

The Sharkoon DG7000 is available in three different colours to match the setup that you prefer, blue, green, and red. With these colours, you should be able to find matching hardware all the way through and make an overall great looking system. The colour isn’t just in the form of coloured LED fans in the DG7000, the interior backplate has also been coloured to match.

There’s a large CPU cutout that should make CPU cooler mounting easier, but we don’t see much else when we open the normal side panel. The PSU shroud at the bottom hides the HDD drive bays and PSU area, only leaving the main compartment and 5.25-inch drive bays visible.

The DG7000 has room for three 3.5-inch hard disk drives at the bottom next to the power supply unit. There is also room for two SSDs on the rear of the motherboard tray and there should be plenty of room to route your cables this way. Speaking of the motherboard area, being a midi-tower you can mount mini-ITX, micro-ATX, and normal ATX motherboards in this case. The max power supply length can be 230mm with the hard drives at that location.

 

There aren’t many other limitations in this case as the main area is so open as it is. The graphics cards and other add-in cards can be up to 380mm long and the CPU cooler can be up to 175mm high. There is also enough room for water cooling setups in this case with a max radiator clearance in the front of 57mm including the fan. The limitation here comes from the bottom shroud that can create conflicts with thicker radiator and fan combinations.

The top and front vents have removable dust filters and there’s also one placed below the PSU area. Other than that, there isn’t that much more to say about the DG7000. It is a simple PC chassis that seems to offer a lot of space and room for the most common drive amounts.

The Sharkoon DG7000 should be available already for the suggested retail price of €69.90 Euro. You can also view the product video below of check out the official product page.

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.