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.

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.

Enermax Thormax Giant E-ATX Full-Tower Chassis Review

Introduction


Enermax have created some truly stunning products over the years, from stunning CPU coolers, loads of amazing chassis’, great power supplies and much more! So I’m very happy to see one of their flagship chassis in the office today, the Thormax Giant, the E-ATX edition of their ever-popular Thormax. Of course, as the ‘Giant’ part of the name would suggest, this chassis isn’t small, and it’s not especially cheap either, clocking in at around £120 here in the UK.

From the Thormax Giant, you get a lot back in return for your investment. There’s room for E-ATX motherboards, which means 9 expansion slots; more than enough for a triple GPU configuration. There’s a pair of 180mm T.B.Vegas fans pre-installed, as well as a rear 120mm fan, with room for plenty more fans should you need them and impressive water cooling potential to boot.

One thing is immediately apparent, this is one seriously aggressive looking chassis! It may look a little out of place in the office of an accountant, but it’s going to look the part for a high-end gaming rig. There’s a funky side panel window, lots of ventilation and even a 180mm Blue LED fan on the left side panel.

The right side is much the same design as the left, albeit without the window or the fan.

More aggressive shapes on the front, with loads of ventilation on the bottom half for yet another 180mm fan, with support for 200mm, as well as ventilated 5.25″ drive bay covers.

Around the back you’ll find a 120mm fan pre-installed, with support for a 140mm fan if you need it. There’s two pop-out covers at the top for cable/water routing, as well as four rubber grommeted cut-outs down the side for more of the same.

Even more ventilation on the top for optional top mounted cooling. You’ll even find room for an (up to) 360mm radiator here.

The front panel is very well equipped. There’s a flat space for storing your phone, keys, loose change, etc. There’s a control panel for the power and reset, as well as fan LED control and fan speed control. Finally, you’ll find HD audio jacks, dual USB 3.0 and quad USB 2.0 ports.

The base of the chassis has two slide-out dust filters and four very sturdy feet.

The feet can be swung outwards, providing you with an extremely stable base for your system; this is great if you have a lot of cooling in the top, making your chassis top-heavy.

Antec S10 Full-Tower Chassis Review

Introduction


Antec, one of the most historic names in the chassis business, are set to take back the enthusiast market this year with the release of their new flagship chassis, the S10. The new chassis comes with a hefty price tag, an eyewatering $499/£399.99, which is a lot of money, no matter which way you look at it. Of course, the likes of InWin, Lian Li, Silverstone and Coolermaster, to name but a few, have proven that you can command these extreme price tags, so long as you deliver the quality and features to justify it.

“The full tower S10 is the flagship case of the Signature Series by Antec, a new family of chassis characterized by a patent pending internal architecture featuring an innovative Central Air Intake System and easy expandability with a striking, yet refined, exterior design. The exclusive Three Chamber Design separates the enclosure into three thermal zones, providing clear airflow paths and efficient cooling to all of your components quietly. Seven (7) pre-installed fans plus one optional fan mount combine with support for top, center, and rear radiators to showcase the ample cooling options available in the S10. Ten (10) PCI-E slots and fourteen (6 HDD, 8 SSD) tool-less drive bays make building a high-performance system a simple process. Finished with a smooth front bezel and Opposing Brushed Aluminum Doors, the S10 provides performance, security, and style for any computer system Elite builds start with the right chassis – the S10 Signature Series by Antec”

The S10 certainly packs a mean punch in terms of specifications, with 14 drive bays, room for mini-ITX and E-ATX motherboards, as well as all the sizes in between. Component compatibility isn’t an issue, the largest graphics cards, power supplies, CPU coolers and more shouldn’t have any issues here. There’s seven pre-installed fans, room for optional water cooling and much more.

  • 14 drive bays:
    6 x Quick Release tool-less 3.5″ Bays
    8 x Quick Release tool-less 2.5” Bays
  • Motherboard support:
    Mini ITX / Micro ATX / Standard ATX / XL-ATX/E-ATX (up to 12” x 13” ) 10 PCI expansion slots
  • Chamber dimensions:
    Hard Disk Drive Chamber: 5.51 in (W) x 7.87 in (D) x 18.11 in (H)
    Motherboard Chamber: 14.76 in (W) x 7.08 in (D) x 17.51 in (H)
    Power Supply Chamber: 15.15 in (W) x 8.07 in (D) x 4.01 in (H)
  • Maximum graphics card size:
    12.5” (317.5 mm)
  • Maximum CPU cooler height:
    6.5“ (165 mm)
  • Cooling System:
    2 x 140 mm top exhaust fans (Motherboard Chamber)
    3 x 120 mm intake fans (Motherboard Chamber)
    1 x 120 mm rear exhaust fan (Motherboard Chamber)
    1 x 120 mm exhaust fan (HDD Chamber)
    Optional – 1 x 120 intake fan (PSU Chamber)
  • Side Panels 4 mm thick Anodized, Brushed Finish Aluminum Doors
  • Water cooling support – Motherboard Chamber:
    Top: 240 / 280 mm radiator
    Center: 240 / 280 / 360 mm radiator
    Rear: 120 mm radiator
  • Intake Filters:
    1 x Central Intake
    1 x Hard Disk Drive Chamber Intake
    1 x Power Supply Chamber Intake
  • Front I/O ports:
    4 x USB 3.0
    Power Button
    HD Audio In and Out
  • Unit Dimensions:
    23.70” (H) x 9.05” (W) x 23.22” (D) / 602mm (H) x 230mm (W) x 590mm (D)
  • Package Dimensions:
    27.84 in (H) x 13.23 in (W) x 26.89 in (D) /
    707 mm (H) x 336mm (W) x 683mm (D)
  • Net Weight:
    39.05 lb / 17.71 kg
  • Gross Weight:
    45 lb / 20.4 kg

As a nice bonus, aside from the usual nuts and bolts, you’ll also find a bundle of extra long SATA cables included with the S10, which will help you fit your hardware in this rather sizable chassis.

Out of the box, first impressions are promising. The S10 has a rather overbearing presence and managed to look monolithic and sleek at the same time. The left side features a dual-door design, with two thick brushed aluminium hinged doors.

There’s a door release chip at the top, which I’m sorry to see is only made from plastic. It likely won’t break, but it does feel a little cheap, especially in contrast with the virtually bulletproof side panels.

There’s another clip near the button, which helps lock the central dust filter in place.

This filter is located between the smaller front door and the large main door. The main section of the chassis draws in air from this filtered vent, keeping airflow independent of the hard drive and PSU sections of the chassis; more on this shortly.

Around the back, another dual-door design, giving the S10 a rather nice symmetrical appearance. Here you can better see that ventilation gap between the front and main sections.

The side panels are immense. The thick aluminium is ultra strong and also pretty heavy, adding a stunning visual quality to the chassis overall.

The top of the chassis has plenty of ventilation, as well as some kind of top plastic cover. This cover looks terrible, there’s no other way of putting it and if I’m honest, I don’t fully understand its purpose.

Fortunately, it just lifts right off, that looks much better in my opinion.

The front panel has a shallow 5.25″ drive bay cover, this would be great for use with a card reader, fan controller or similar device. There’s a pair of HD audio jacks and four USB 3.0 posts (dual USB 3.0 headers inside chassis). It’s worth mentioning that the USB 3.0 headers also have break-off cables for USB 2.0 to ensure maximum compatibility with your system.

What is sad to see, is the tiny power button, it has a bit of a wobble with it and when given a little jiggle, it tends to jam like this. A little poke sorts it out again, but on a chassis of this price, the little details really matter.

The front panel looks stunning but is disappointingly just matte plastic. This is a stark contrast to the premium side panels and I’d have loved to see that aluminium trend continue around onto one of the parts of the chassis you’ll likely be seeing the most.

Despite the mixture of plastics on the top and front with the aluminium side panels, the chassis does manage a nice uniform look and the stealthy black finish is something to be admired.

There’s not much going on around the back, just a 120mm fan mount, a towering array of expansion slots and two water/cable routing grommets.

The PSU mount is self explanatory enough.

Below it, you’ll find a slide out PSU dust filter.

The hinged doors  on this chassis are mounted on pegs, so you can easily lift them off when you need to. Although, it is worth pointing out that there’s no locking system here, the doors are magnetically held shut, but that’s not going to stop sticky fingered individuals any time soon.

The base of the chassis is quite interesting, as the is mounted on a plinth, so the front and back look like they’re floating above the base, which is quite cool. The base is plastic and a little flexible, so I wouldn’t suggest using it as a gripping point when moving the chassis, but it feels sturdy enough when the chassis is upright. I also discovered, the hard way, that the lack of a locking system for the side panels resulted in the rear panel falling off while taking this picture, whoops.

Fractal Design Define S Full-Tower Chassis Review

Introduction


Fractal Design is one of the biggest names in the chassis industry. Time and time again they’ve delivered premium quality products for the enthusiast market and today they’re promising us a repeat performance. The Define S is their latest and hopefully one of their greatest chassis’, bringing all the support for high-end hardware you could hope for.

The Define S is equipped with all the usual high-end features that you would expect from a Fractal Design product. We’ve got sound-dampening materials, an innovative internal layout, extreme air and water cooling support, ModuVent fan vent covers and high-quality Dynamic Series fans.

Everything you need to get you started is included in the box, such as this nice collection of high-quality screws and fittings.

The first impression of the Define S is very good indeed. It clearly borrows heavily from the Define series in terms of external design, although that uniform look has become quite the norm for most Fractal Design products. As you can see, we’ve got the side panel window edition, although there is a solid panel edition with extra sound dampening material on the interior for those who favor silence over appearance.

The right side panel is a solid panel and both side panels are held in place with a pair of fixed thumbs screws at the rear; this allows quick and easy access to the chassis interior.

The front panel is very similar to other Define series chassis’, however, the front panel is no longer a hinge door design, as the optical bays have been completely removed to allow more room for cooling components.

Around the back, you’ll find a 120/140mm fan mount at the top, with a Dynamic Series 140mm fan pre-installed. There are seven expansion slots, each fitted with a high-quality reusable cover.

The top panel has a nice clean look thanks to the ModuVent fan vent covers. These are removable for those who want to install top mounted fans or radiators;  those who want to leave them in place can benefit from improved sound dampening.

The main I/O is neat and tidy, with all the basics in place and a pair of USB 3.0 ports. Interestingly, the port connectors are black, not the usual USB 3.0 blue, which helps keep the front panel looking nice and uniform.

The underside has four small feet, which have rubber grip pads on them to help reduce vibration, whilst also providing ground clearance for any bottom mounted cooling.

The bottom filter is magnetic fitting and washable, which should make maintenance nice and easy.

In Win 707 Full-Tower Chassis Review

Introduction


Following hot on the heels of our review of the gorgeous In Win 703 Mid-Tower, which was one of the best value for money mid-towers we’ve ever reviewed! We’ll now be taking a look at the 703’s big brother, the 707 Full-Tower chassis.

The 707 is designed for high-end gaming system builds and comes with an impressive array of specifications that make it perfect for the job. There’s room for huge E-ATX motherboards, some of the larger PSUs on the market, eight expansion slots and eight hard drive bays. You’ll also find an impressive array of fan and radiator mounting options, with a huge 206mm of clearance for a CPU tower cooler; more than enough for any high-end rendering, workstation or gaming system.

The left side panel has a huge tinted window, which will be perfect for showing off your system. Those of you who are fans of In Win products will notice that this is the same side panel as the In Win GR-One, which is due to the fact that the 707 is based around the GR-One, but it has of course been tweaked and improved significantly, as you’ll see throughout this review.

Both the left and the right side panel are cut from thick steel, so there’s no chance of them flexing or rattling anytime soon. Both panels are held in place by a pair of thumbscrews at the back for easy access and you’ll also find an extra fan vent on the right side panel, which is great for shifting any unwanted heat from your motherboards VRM.

The front panel of the 707 is absolutely stunning and while the colours look miss-matched due to my camera flash, the aluminium finish on the front panel and the plastic cover of the 5.25″ drive bays matches up very nicely under normal lighting conditions. It’s also one of the coolest looking front panels I’ve seen and the red trim certainly adds to the overall aesthetics.

Around the back of the 707, you’ll find four rubber routing grommets at the top, a 140/120mm fan mount with a 140mm fan pre-installed, eight expansion slots and a lot of extra ventilation down one side.

The top panel has room for up to three 120mm fans, or a water cooling radiator of up to 360mm.

The front I/O panel is nicely designed and features all the usual connections.

There are four large feet on the base, which provide great stability while also giving ample ground clearance for any bottom mounted cooling. There are two clip-in mesh filters on the base, one for the PSU air intake, the other on the bottom fan/radiator mounts.

BitFenix Shinobi Window XL Full-Tower Chassis Review

Introduction


When you’re planning a new system build, sometimes a common mid-tower chassis just isn’t enough. If you’re planning on something big, with large radiators, huge graphics cards, monster size power supplies and more, then you’re going to need a big chassis! Fortunately, BitFenix has got us covered, with their Shinobi XL, a feature packed full-tower that should fit virtually any hardware you can think of.

As the name would suggest, this chassis is similar to the BitFenix Shinobi, the XL obviously defines that this is the extra-large version of the original, giving you even more room to play around with for your new build.

BitFenix is one of the most recognizable chassis brands on the market, having had huge success with several chassis over the years; such as their Prodigy and Colossus series. I’ve been very impressed with their products in past reviews, so I’m expecting great things from the Shinobi XL.

The XL is very capable, with room for a vast range of air and water cooling solutions, E-ATX and XL-ATX motherboards and all the popular BitFenix extras such as FlexCage, SofTouch and more!

I have the windowed edition at my disposal today, which features a huge side panel window. What’s interesting is that the window held into the panel with plastic push-click pins, this means you can easily take the window out of the panel. While this won’t be something your average user will need to do, it’ll no doubt please chassis modders.

Both the left and right side panels are made from thick steel and held in place by a pair of thumbscrews at the back.

The chassis is quite wide, but certainly proportionate to its height. There are two strips of ventilation, one down each side. The front panel has also been treated to that lovely SofTouch coating, which gives the Shinobi XL a sleek and rather stealthy appearance. Finally, we’ve got a staggering five 5.25″ drive bays! Not sure who needs that many, but they’d be great for converting to hot swap drive bays.

Around the back, you’ll find four rubber grommets at the top, a 120/140mm fan mount, with a 120mm fan pre-installed, nine expansion slots and the PSU cut-out; the PSU cut-out alone should give you some impression of the scale of this chassis.

The top panel has a large ventilated section, as well as two strips of ventilation near the edge; matching the design of the front panel.

The main I/O section has four USB 3.0 ports that are fed by dual USB 3.0 headers on the interior of the chassis, there’s even a high-power USB charging socket; perfect for charging your tablet/phone.

There are four large with rubber grip base and three washable dust filters on the base of the chassis. The PSU filter slides out, while the other two clip into place, which are great for anyone planning on mounting a radiator in the base of the chassis.

Antec P380 Full-Tower Chassis Review

Introduction


Today is a very special day indeed, as it marks the day I finally get my hands on the all-new Antec P380! I first saw this chassis at the start of the year, when we visited the Antec suite at CES 2015. I was very impressed with what I saw, but trade shows aren’t always the best place to get in close and really study a product. Antec used to be one of my favourite chassis manufacturers, I stress used to be, as they were one of the biggest players in the industry, creating some of the most popular chassis around. In recent years, Antec has seen fierce competition from the likes of Corsair, Silverstone, NZXT, Thermaltake and Coolermaster, to name but a few. The P380 is supposed to mark the triumphant return of Antec to the premium gaming chassis market, so let’s see if it’s got what it takes!

“When only the best can satisfy your needs, the P380 is the answer. Known for its minimalistic design, the Performance series focuses on delivering the perfect balance between performance and Quiet-Computing. Whether you’re designing your ultimate dream PC or, just creating a monster file server, the P380 should be the choice, without hesitation.” – Antec.com

As you can see from the specifications below, the P380 is very well equipped. It has room for a mini-ITX motherboard, right up to E-ATX motherboards with 9 expansion slots; certainly more than enough room for a high-end workstation or gaming rig. There’s 465mm of GPU clearance too, so even the biggest cards on the market should fit without any issues. There’s also a lot of fan and radiator mounting options throughout; great news for both air-cooling and water-cooling enthusiasts.

This chassis certainly has presence. It’s big, it’s heavy and it oozes high quality from the moment you take it out of the box. Down the left side, you’ll find a huge side panel window; perfect for showing off your new build.

On the from left corner, there’s a pair of USB 3.0 ports, a pair of USB 2.0 ports and HD audio jacks. While the power and reset buttons are tucked down the front edge on both the left and right side of the chassis; as not everyone has their chassis on the same side of their desk.

The right side panel is just a blank panel, but from here you can better see the top panel ventilation, which is on both sides at the top of the chassis.

The front panel is simple, yet elegant. It’s cut from a thick piece of beautifully finished aluminium and the curves at the top and bottom gives the chassis its sleek appeal, despite its large size.

Around the back, you’ll find two thumb screws at the top, which hold the top panel in place, a 120mm fan mount with a 120mm fan pre-installed, 9 expansion slots, two rubber grommets and a lot of extra ventilation holes.

The top also features a thick aluminium which nicely compliments the front panel.

There are four thick rubber feet on the base of the chassis, perfect for helping reduce vibrations and to give the PSU air intake some ground clearance.

One thing I really love about this chassis, to the point where I’ve been wondering why all chassis manufacturers don’t do this, is the PSU dust filter. It slides out from the left side of the chassis, it’s so simple, but it also means you don’t have to pull your chassis out from under the desk just to get to the filter!

The front panel, however, has a filter that slides out from the bottom. Call me crazy, but this isn’t ideal as it means I’ll need to tip my chassis on its back to clean it.

The only other way I can think of cleaning this filter is to lift the chassis onto a table and slide the filter out. However, awkwardness aside, it’s a great quality filter and perfect for maintaining clean front airflow.

eTeknix 2014 Christmas Tech Buying Guide

Christmas time is almost here and as we wrap up warm over winter, we’re also wrapping up on a year of incredible products here at eTeknix HQ. We’ve had hundred of reviews this year, but no doubt many of you are eagerly writing your letters to Santa, or at least dropping hints to your parents, partner or friends for what you want for Christmas. Of course, there’s no doubt a fair few of you who are eager to treat themselves to something cool this Christmas. We’ve scratched our heads and had a really good think about what some of our favourite bits of technology are from this last year, and if you’ve still got some money left after the manic Black Friday sales, perhaps some of these products will be perfect for you.

While I admit that I couldn’t fit all of our favourites onto this list, its certainly a killer list of great products and they’ve all won awards from us here at eTeknix for one reason or another. If you’re after a headset, a chassis, a new keyboard, graphics card, or other cool gadget, you’ll find something that’s right for you in our guide.


Astro A38 Wireless Gaming Headset

The Astro A38 headset really stood out for me, not only is it one of the more stylish looking headsets I’ve ever reviewed, but the sound quality is nothing short of incredible. They’re a little expensive, but you certainly get what you pay for and Astro have yet to create a product that was anything less than stunning. They’re a perfect gift for yourself or someone else and ideal for those who love to listen to music and play games on the go, and the wireless technology and NFC pairing makes them very user friendly.

Check out our full review here – £144 from Astro Gaming


NZXT H440 Mid-Tower Chassis

A great PC deserves a great chassis and the H440 is certainly one of my all-time favourites. It’s not the biggest, and it may not even be the best chassis ever, that much is subjective, but it’s certainly got a lot of great features.  From the PSU shroud that helps keep cable management looking neat and tidy, to the comprehensive set of dust filters, thick sound dampening material lined panels and the large side panel window; you’ll find a lot to love about this chassis.

Check out our full review here – £89.99 from Overclockers


Thermaltake Core V71 Full Tower Chassis

Not all chassis’ are created equally, the Core V71 packs an incredible range of features that make it an ideal choice for high-end systems. The Thermaltake Core V71 looks great, but the real magic comes from its extreme flexibility. It has class leading radiator and fan mounting support and there’s no doubt that you’ll be able to build a stunning air-cooled system thanks to its array of 200mm pre-installed fans, or an incredible custom water cooling loop thanks to its modular interior. If you need extreme performance without spending crazy amounts of money, this chassis needs to be at the top of your list.

Check out our full review here – £131.34 from CCL Computers


Cooler Master Novatouch TKL Keyboard

Treating yourself to a high-quality mechanical keyboard is a solid investment for anyone who uses their computer a lot. Mechanical keyboards are expensive, but their overall build quality and performance goes a long way to justifying the cost. The NovaTouch TKL isn’t your average mechanical and features something called Hybrid Capacitive Switches that offer a truly premium and luxurious typing experience. If you want to treat your fingers to a more enjoyable typing experience, try out this keyboard!

Check out our full review here – £149.99 from Overclockers


Zowie FK1 Gaming Mouse

I have yet to use a Zowie mouse that wasn’t impressive and the FK1 is by far one of their best. While this mouse only offers minor revisions over its previous model, such as a slightly larger body and an improved sensor, it’s performance is second to none. It’s ambidextrous, has one of the best performing sensors available, great ergonomics and a stylish design. If you’re serious about your gaming and want something that offers eSports levels of performance, then you’ll love what the Zowie FK1 has to offer.

Check out our full review here – £49.99 from Overclockers


Nvidia Shield Android 5.0 Gaming Tablet

Mobile gaming is something that never really excited me, but Nvidia have really pulled out all the stops with their Shield Tablet. It’s powered by the incredibly powerful Tegra K1 graphics chip and it’s one of the fastest tablets on the market. It recently received an update that added the latest Android 5.0 operating system, as well as enabling Nvidia’s GRID cloud gaming service and all this comes on top of features like in-home game streaming, 4K video output, wireless controller support and a whole lot more. The Shield Tablet is easily one of the most versatile portable on the market.

Check out our full review here – from £239.99 at Overclockers


Nvidia GeForce “Maxwell” GTX 970 Graphics Card

Nvidia are on our list once again, first they dominate the mobile gaming market, now they’re showing their worth once again in the desktop GPU market. While we admit that the GeForce GTX 980 is an incredible graphics card, you’ll not be disappointed by their GTX 970 as it offers most of the performance of its bigger brother at a much more affordable price tag. This card is packed with the latest features, it looks fantastic and for gaming, it’s one of the best cards you can buy right now. If you want to welcome your computer into the world of high-end PC gaming, this is a great place to start.

Check out our full review here (Asus Strix GTX 970) – from £247.99 at Overclockers


Asus Rampage V Extreme LGA 2011-3 Motherboard

Intel really set a new standard for PC performance this year with the launch of their consumer X99 chipsets. It’s not a cheap upgrade right now, but a new support for the latest high-end CPUs, DDR4 memory and a wave of new features make this motherboard perfect for the enthusiast and professional markets. The Asus Rampage motherboard series has long been a popular choice and the V Extreme is certainly one of the best available right now.

Check out our full review here – £329.99 from Overclockers


Gigabyte Z97X Gaming5 1150 Motherboard

Extreme motherboards are one thing, but they’re a little out of the reach of your average consumer. The Gigabyte X97X Gaming 5 series of motherboards offers a lot of exciting features that make them a great choice for high-end gaming PCs, without the colossal price tags that you’ll find with enthusiast grade products. We loved this motherboard when we review it and while the black and red colour scheme is getting a little bit repetitive in the gaming market, it’s still a great looking board that is perfect for a wide range of systems.

Check out our full review here – £109.99 from Overclockers


Gigabyte Brix Ultra Compact System

A lot of the fame and glory goes to big gaming rigs with multiple graphics cards, loads of hard drives, water cooling and all that other crazy stuff, but this system turns all that on its head. The Brix may be small, but it packs enough power to be worthy of our Extreme Performance award! When space is limited, this little rig will fit on the back of your monitors VESA mount and it packs enough performance to get through a heavy workflow with ease. It’s a little expensive, but for a full-fledged PC that’s small enough to fit in a backpack, it’s a bargain!

Check out our full review here – £503.96 from Scan


PC Specialist Vortex 440 System

If you’re looking to upgrade to an X99 equipped system, then it’s likely that you’ll also be investing in DDR4 memory, a new CPU and a whole host of other components, so why not take all the fuss out of the process and invest in one of the best systems we’ve reviewed this year, the PC Specialist Vortex 440. We loved this system, partly because it was packed full of high-end hardware, but also because it was incredible value for money. Despite what the high price tag may suggest, the Vortex 440 actually worked out cheaper to buy than it would to build it yourself; now that’s a deal we can get behind!

Check out our full review here – around £1500 (customisable) from PC Specialist


OCZ Arc 100 240GB SSD

There’s a lot of SSD hard drives on the market right now and there are so many great ones that it’s now very easy to find one suitable for your system. The OCZ ARC 100 really stood out for us as it offers excellent performance, solid reliability, lots of features and it’s also competitively priced (per GB). Upgrading to an SSD is a great way to give your system a new lease of life, your system will boot faster and all of your games will benefit greatly from the speed boost. There is a cheaper 120GB model available, but the 240GB is the best balance of storage and value, making it a great choice for a boot drive.

Check out our full review here – £94.99 from Overclockers


Asus RT AC68U Dual Band Wireless Router

A really great router is something a lot of people overlook, it can be daunting spending a lot of money on tech like this, but the rewards soon pay for themselves. With more and more devices becoming internet connected, it’s likely that you’re not reaching the full potential of your devices networking capabilities. If you’re wanting to stream movies around your house from a NAS, play games online, while browsing the web from smartphones, tablets, consoles and other devices, then you’re going to see huge benefits from a router that can handle the most demanding workloads without sacrificing performance. The Asus RT AC68U looks great and offers a simple way to improve your home network. It’s expensive, but you certainly get what you pay for.

Check out our full review here – £166.98 from Overclockers


Crucial 32GB 2133MHz Quad Channel DDR4 Memory Kit

DDR4 memory marks the first major update to RAM memory formats in desktop systems in years, but it comes with a steep price tag. However, should you choose to make the leap for your high-end X99 platform build, then you should really consider the Crucial 32GB 2133MHZ kit. If you’re not too bothered about the aesthetics, this memory really does impress in terms of performance and offers excellent value for money vs many of the other DDR4 products on the market.

Check out our full review here – £319.99 from Overclockers


So, what will you be asking Santa for this year?

Fractal Design Define R5 Mid-Tower Chassis Review

Introduction


The Fractal Design Define series has been one of the corner stones of the chassis industry for years now. Fractal Design have always been known for the exceptional build quality, silent performance and bold looks; although this much is true of almost all the chassis’ that Fractal Design produce. With that in mind, I’m very excited to have their latest iteration at my disposal today, the Fractal Design Define R5; the latest flag-ship chassis from the legendary Swedish manufacturer.

The Define R5 has been a long time coming, it was just over two years ago that I reviewed the Define R4. As much as I love the Define R4, two years is a long time and PC hardware has already changed a lot in that time; it will be interesting to see how Fractal Design have tweaked and improves the design to reflect that.

The Define R5 comes equipped with two 5.25″ drive bays, eight 2.5″/3.5″ bays and two 2.5″ drive mounts behind the motherboard; there’s no doubt that this chassis can handle a lot of storage. You’ll find room for mini-ITX, Micro ATX and most importantly, ATX motherboards. Combine this with room for graphics card of up to 310mm with the hard drive cages installed, or 440mm with them removed, up to 35mm of cable routing space, PSUs of up to 300mm and a whole lot more; the Fractal Design Define R5 is certainly capable of housing an ultra high-end system.

The chassis keeps the bold design that Fractal Design are known for. There are a few vents on the left side of the front panel to allow air into the chassis. The case is sealed up pretty tight to help keep any unwanted noises as muted as possible, but there’s a removable side panel cover, behind which you’ll find an optional side panel fan mount.

The right side panel is a blank panel, but you’ll notice even more ventilation on the right edge of the front panel. Both the left and right side panels are held in place by a pair of thumb screws.

The I/O panel is really nicely designed, you’ve got a pair of HD audio jacks and four USB ports; so connectivity shouldn’t be a problem. There’s a small reset button recessed into the top, a nicely designed power button and the top of the front panel is cut away for a recessed power LED.

The front panel features a thick layer of high-quality sound dampening material. The front door panel has been designed with a dual hinge, allowing you to open it from either the left or the right; it’s up to you.

Tucked away in the top left corner you’ll find a three speed fan control switch; you can connect up to three fans to this. The 5.25″ drive bay covers are removable from the front for easy access.

There is large high-quality dust filter in the front that can be easily removed. Behind this you’ll find a high quality 140mm fan with room for an additional 140mm fan below it.

There is another 140mm installed in the back of the chassis, although you could swap this out for a 120mm fan if you wanted to. There are elongated screw holes to allow height adjustment of your fan or radiator; this is great for preventing conflicts with other components or the chassis itself. There are seven expansion slots, each fitted with a reusable and ventilated metal cover.

This is one of my favourite features of the Define R5. The bottom dust filter covers all the way from the back of the PSU to the front of the chassis. The thing I like most is that the filter can be slid out from the front of the chassis, meaning you don’t have to pull the chassis out from under your desk to get to the filter! It’s amazing how many chassis manufacturers do this the other way around.

Corsair Graphite Series 780T Full Tower Chassis Review

Introduction


Corsair are back once again with yet another flagship chassis product; the Graphite 780T. Their latest chassis is a premium grade full-tower, set to be the new king of their popular Graphite series which already has several award-winning chassis products in its range, such as the popular 600T.

We first saw this chassis at Computex 2014 earlier this year, not that we could miss it given that this chassis is certainly on the larger side. Our initial impression of the case were good, it looked stunning and packed full of features, but this week is the first time we’ve been able to get properly hands on with it and take a good long look at what it has to offer. At £150 the 780T isn’t cheap, so there’s no doubt that this is for the high-end user/enthusiast market. This means it needs to offer some pretty impressive features, build quality and a whole lot more to justify the wallet busting price tag.

As you can see from the specifications below this chassis is incredibly capable, with support for everything from tiny Mini-ITX motherboards right up to E-ATX, so even workstation motherboards will be right at home here. There is an abundance of storage bays, as well as extra dedicated 2.5″ bays, room for four radiators ranging in size from 120mm right up to 360mm, as well as plenty of room for taller CPU coolers. There are 9 expansion slots that’ll be ideal for multi-GPU configurations and with 355mm GPU support, you’ll have no trouble getting even the largest cards on the market into this chassis.

The packaging is pretty straight forward, with a mock-up of the chassis on the front.

Around the back you’ll find a breakdown image detailing all of the major components and the chassis specifications are on the side of the box (see above).

In the box you’ll find the chassis, which comes with protective film on the side panel, around the front panel and protective tape to hold the dust filter covers in place while in transit.

In the box you’ll also find a smaller package with all the major fitting screws and a few cable ties.

Silverstone Raven RV05-BW Chassis Review

Introduction


Silverstone are back again with the latest entry in their now legendary Raven series. We’ve always loved the Raven chassis here at eTeknix and while we’ve not reviewed the entire range, I have spent some time tinkering with each of them personally. Just check out our Reviews of the RV04 and the RVZ01 here to see what else they have to offer. Of course if you’re eager to check out their latest and greatest, then you’ll do better to stick around for the rest of this review first.

The Raven series is something of a flagship range for Silverstone, often pushing innovation and very unique designs for the gaming PC market. They’ve often been big, relatively expensive and uniquely styled compared to rival offerings, but the RV05 looks set to do thing a little differently. The 5.25″ drive bays are gone, allowing much more room for the motherboard and other components, while also allowing Silverstone to cut the overall size of the chassis down considerably, this is backed up by a much more affordable price tag when compared to the older Raven models, which often cost a little over £100 at release, where as the RV05 is a much more wallet friendly £80.00.

The lower price point may tell you that the RV05 has fewer features than its older brothers, but that really isn’t the case here. As you can see, the chassis may have dropped the 5.25″ drive bays, but has instead added a slim slot-loading optical bay. Cooling is handled by two powerful Air Penetrator 180mm fans, although you can remove these in favour of 120mm and 140mm fans if you wish. Tall CPU coolers and long graphics cards are also supported.

The packaging is really nicely design and while a box is just a box, the extra effort on design does indicate that this is a premium product.

 

The chassis is really well packaged, with a protective cloth cover over the chassis and plentiful protective padding on either side.

In the box you’ll find a high quality multi language manual, some screws and cable ties, and a magnetic dust filter.

Chieftec DX-02B Full-Tower Chassis Review

Introduction


Chieftec used to be one of the biggest names in the UK chassis market, but a snag in their distribution efforts meant the company had to pull out of the market for a few years. This isn’t to say they failed, as the company has being going strong ever since in global markets, but this year marks their return to the UK and to celebrate we’ve decided to grab hold of one of their current popular chassis to see what all the fuss is about. Now some of you may know already that the DX-02B full-tower that we have here today isn’t a new product, it has been on the market for a year or two now, albeit not in the UK until now. So while this may not be their latest and greatest, it should get the ball rolling and you can expect even more great Chieftec reviews from us in the coming weeks and months.

“DX-02B –An unpredicted story of success continues with Chieftec´s new model DX-02B. A whole generation of gamers and modders will remember the legendary CS-601, better known as the Dragon DX. Hundreds of thousands of people have grown up with this case in the last decade. With the DX-02B you are receiving a case, which convinces with its design, and its high-end quality finishing. Besides the integrated fan controller, the case also has an elegantly conceived Hot-Swap solution for hard drives.” reads the Chieftec website

Targeted at the enthusiast system builder market the DX-02B packs in plenty of features that tailor it towards high-end systems. There are style points that will no doubt appeal to the gaming and modding scene, but from what I know so far, it also looks heavily tailored towards those who require high-performance systems for professional use, so think rendering rigs, work stations and networking. Ticking so many boxes is no bad thing and I’m eager to see what this chassis has to offer, so lets jump right to it and take a closer look at what Chieftec have to offer.

Features:

  • Ergonomically positioned front interfaces
  • Rubber inlets pre-installed, allowing for water cooling system
  • Patented locking mechanism for drives
  • Two low-noise 200mm cooler fans in the case ceiling for optimised air flow
  • Support up to 340mm VGA Card

As you can see from the specifications below the DX-02B will hold anything from mATX right up to EATX motherboards, loads of storage bys, hot swap bays and plenty of fan mounts; well take a close look at them all in just a moment.

The packaging is nicely designed, a few logos at the top and bottom with a huge and clear image of the chassis on the front.

Around the back we have a technical break down of the major features as well as the full specifications (see above) on the side.

In the box you’ll find a user manual, molex Y-splitter adaptor, SATA cable, screws, cable ties, pull ties, front panel 5.25″ to FDD adaptor and 5.25″ to FDD drive bay adaptor.

Massive Lian Li PC-V2130 Aluminum Full Tower Announced

Lian-Li, the masters of the aluminium chassis market, have finally announced their PC-V2130 brushed aluminium full tower. I say “finally” as it was over a year ago that we first saw this case sitting proudly on their booth at Computex 2013 and we absolutely loved it.

The PC-V2130 is an update to their popular PC-V2120, but with the addition of extensive water cooling support, an improved and more versatile hard drive systems, better cable management and more, the V2130 is already shaping up to be one of their best high-end cases to date. It’s far from cheap, but this is not your average consumer chassis and the sheer size, capabilities, build quality and features will go a long way to justifying the price tag.

[youtube width=”800″ height=”450″]http://youtu.be/e0_yJ5vkaQc[/youtube]

A tool-lessly removable top panel allows for 240/280mm radiators to be easily installed. Two more 280mm radiators can be installed at the front and bottom of the chassis, respectively. Two grommeted holes above the rear 120mm exhaust fan allows for more water cooling support.

The PC-V2130 features 8 grommeted holes for simplified cable management. 31mm (1.2″) behind the motherboard tray gives builders plenty of space to work with.

The PC-V2130 is stacked full of high-end tool-less features to ease installations. On the inside of the chassis, Lian Li’s tool-less PCI slot mounting mechanism allows for simple expansion card installation. On the outside, the entire front bezel can be removed with just the removal of a couple of thumbscrews – enabling easy access to the 2 front 140mm fan dust filters. The side panels can be taken off with just the press of two latches.

The wheels design enables easy moving of a fully loaded system. A locking mechanism on the rear wheels prevents the chassis moving when set in place.

The I/O panel is located on the top of the PC-V2130, and is hidden by a stealth cover when not in use. Connectivity includes four USB 3.0 ports and HD audio connections.

The PC-V2130 will be available in black PC-V2130A (Silver), PC-V2130B (Black) and PC-V2130X (Internal Black with Window) in North America for the suggested retail price of PC-V2130A / PC-V2130B $499 ; PC-V2130X $569.

Thank you Lian-Li for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Lian Li.

Rosewill RISE Slim Full-Tower PC Chassis Revealed

Rosewill revealed their RISE chassis this week, a new slim ATX full-tower chassis series that will come in two variants, the RISE and the RISE Glow; although the only major difference is that the Glow comes equipped with illuminated fans. As the name would suggest, the cases are a slim design and this should make them nice and easy for slotting next to your desk, especially fi you need room for a full-ATX system, but you’re running a little short on floor space as each case measures 233 x 440 x 550mm.

The shallow length of the chassis has been achieved by moving the front stack of storage bays to the bottom of the chassis, leaving more room for longer graphics cards and other devices. This does mean that storage is a little limited for a chassis of this class, but for most users the 2 x 5.25″ , 2 x 3.5″ and 1 x 2.5″ drive bays will be more than enough.

The chassis comes equipped with three 120mm front intakes and a 140mm and a 80mm rear exhaust, as well as two 140mm top exhausts. All the usual compliments are here too, with two USB 3.0 ports, four USB 2.0 ports and HD Audio jacks on the front panel.

No word on price or availability just yet, although I would expect this to be a premium grade chassis, so upwards of $100 doesn’t sound unrealistic. I expect more details will follow in the coming weeks.

Thank you TechPowerUp for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of TechPowerUp.

Thermaltake Core V71 Full Tower Chassis Review

Introduction


Today is a great day in the eTeknix office, as I’m very happy to have yet another high-end chassis from the legendary Thermaltake. The Core V71 was first seen earlier this year at CES 2014 and we saw it again at Computex in Taipei a couple of months ago, now we’re finally able to get hands on with this beast and put it to the test.

The Thermaltake Core V71 has been designed with customisation in mind, its capable of handing extreme gaming rigs that have been built around extreme levels of air or water cooling. It features extensive radiator support and comes equipped with three powerful 200mm fans as standard, which already sets it apart from many competing brands in terms of air cooling. Of course all the support included for high-end builds will come at a premium, as you can expect to pay in the region of £120 for this beast, but when it comes to premium grade system builds, that really is only a drop in the ocean compared to the cost of your other components such as graphics cards and a CPU. Either way, it will be interesting to see just how much return on investment you can get for paying a premium on your chassis and compared to products of a similar spec from the likes of Corsair and Fractal, it’s still competitively priced.

The chassis has been designed with a highly modular interior, with fully removable hard drive bays, two storage stealth mounts behind the motherboard that support 2.5″ or 3.5″ drives, extensive water cooling and radiator support, room for ATX motherboards, large power supplies, plenty of cable routing space and more. First up we can see on the two charts below just how extensive the cooling support is on the V71, with room for two radiators up to 420mm in length and a multitude of smaller ones in various configurations and an equally vast array of fans.

The V71 comes fitted with one 140mm rear fan and three 200mm fans as standard, one on the top and two in the front, but there is still room for a fourth should you really want some thundering airflow.

The box is pretty standard with a high contrast image of the chassis on the front and the full specifications down the side. Nothing fancy, but at least you know your budget isn’t being wasted on a fancy box.

In the box you’ll find everything you need to get you started. An internal speaker, some cable ties, all the screws needed to install a motherboard, PSU, hard drives, GPU’s etc, as well as a 4+4 pin motherboard extension cable and a simple installation guide.

Core X5 Series PC Cases Announced By Fractal Design

Fractal Design has introduced its new series of PC Cases, the Core X5, distinguishable by its intuitive and easy-to-access interior, while also providing a removable HDD cage and tray system, supporting up to four 3.5″ or 2.5″ disk drives.The PC case series is made up of four different models, the 3500 / 3500W / 25000 and 1500, each offering its unique support for different user conditions.

Taking a look at the 3500/3500W, it can be seen that the cases fit a wide body ATX Mid Tower specification, having also a Windowed side panel version which allows users to display their build. It comes with either two (for the 3500) or three (for the 3500W) 140mm fans, a built-in three-step fan controller and supports either two 249mm radiators or one 280mm radiator. In terms of disk space, the 3500/3500W version can fit up to four 3.5″ or 2.5″ hard drives, having the tray equipped with vibration dampening silicone grommets. For the more demanding, two additional SSD drives can be fitted behind the motherboard tray as well.

Moving on to the 2500 version, a clean and modern exterior design presents itself along with exceptional cooling and component compatibility features. The case model comes with two 120mm fans, a built-in fan controller and support for a 280mm and 240mm water cooling radiators. Up to four 3.5″ or 2.5″ hard drives can be mounted in two hard drive cages featuring vibration dampening and an additional SSD mounting can fit one SSD drive behind the power supply position.

Last but not least, the 1500 model features an extremely compact micro ATX Mini Tower design. It delivers a clean, modern exterior along with a high feature of compatibility and cooling. The model comes with two 120mm fans, a built-in fan three speed fan controller and support for two 240mm water cooling radiators. Up to four 3.5″ or 2.5″ hard drives can be fitted in trays as well in this series’ “little brother”, equipped with vibration dampening features, with an additional SSD tray placed behind the power supply position.

When it comes to pricing, the 3500 can be found at a price tag of $79.99 / €69.99 / £59.99 while the 3500W comes with a price tag of $89.99 / €79.99 / £69.99. The other models, 2500 and 1500, can be found at a price tag of $59.99 / €49.99 / £44.99 and $59.90 / €49.99 / £44.99 respectively.

Thank you TechPowerUp for providing us with this information

Images courtesy of TechPowerUp

Coolermaster HAF Stacker 935, 315R & 315F Modular Chassis Review

Introduction


When it comes to big chassis, we have products like the 900D, Xigamtek Elysium, Antec Nineteen Hundred and more, but they’re all little runts compared to what we have in the eTeknix office today. The Coolermaster HAF Stacker may not be the biggest chassis we’ve ever seen, but with just a simple screw driver it has the potential to be as big, bold and over the top as you like! A blend of full tower and mini-ITX chassis products that are modular beyond all belief, allowing you to bolt them together, link up cables, components, cooling and more between them to create one or more systems work together like never before.

The HAF Stacker is a beast, it is obviously a big case and with the epic size comes an equally epic price tag. The HAF 935 is a 2-in-1 boxed product, coming with the full tower and one of the mini-ITX modules (915F), this will set you back around £160. In addition to this you can buy the mini-ITX modules separate. We have the HAF 915F at our disposal today today which is an extra £68, but can also be bought for the same price in HAF 915R format, the difference being that the F has a front mounted PSU, the R is mounted in the back and we’ll explain why later. So in the eTeknix office we have the HAF 935 + 915R, that’s one full tower and two mini-ITX modules. Total retail price for this will be £228, which obviously puts the HAF Stacker out of the reach of your average consumer, but if it wasn’t immediately apparent that this is ultra-high-end enthusiast grade hardware, then you’ve clearly never heard of the HAF Stacker before.

The modular nature of the chassis products I have at my disposal means I can build a system that’s nearly 5ft tall, containing 3 motherboards, 3 power supplies, in fact it can simply fit three full systems! Or of course you can build one colossal, Godzilla crushing mega-rig, like none that have gone before it. Of course doing such a thing would require a gargantuan amount of components and of course a LOT of money to do something like this justice, I would love to do it, but this isn’t a build-log, this is a chassis review (sorry). I will however do as much as I can with this chassis and what we really want to look at is the build quality, feature set and really get in there and take a look at just how crazy you have to be to even attempt a build in a chassis of this size.

As you can see from the specification list below, there isn’t really much of anything that the HAF Stackers cannot do, component compatibility is as high as it gets and big radiators, huge racks of storage, dual socket motherboard, multiple motherboards, large PSU’s, super sized GPU’s and lots of them, it doesn’t matter what you want to put in here, it will fit.

Big products come in big boxes, the box features the same design we’ve come to expect from the top Cooler Master ranges and has a nice image of the HAF Stacker chassis on each side of the box.

Around the back we have a diagram that details many of the major features such as the dust filters, fan mounts, hard drive support etc.

A much smaller package for the HAF 915, although this is certainly the longest mini-ITX chassis I’ve ever seen!

Again more specifications around the back, but lets skip right to it and take a closer look at what’s in the box.

Aerocool GT-S White Full Tower Chassis Review

Introduction


There is a big market out there for PC products that are unique, that have that certain X-factor that really makes them stand out. This is especially true in the gaming market, where custom rigs and flamboyant chassis design often prove popular with those building their own gaming system, there is often a desire to have something awesome next to your desk that you would want to show off to your friends. Aerocool have already produced some pretty epic chassis designs over the last few years, just look at the X-Predator, the BX500 and the Dead Silence Cube, they obviously know how to make a great product that can stand-out, question is, can the do it again?

The GT-S White Edition has been designed to look like a blend of PC case and sports car, maybe even a little bit of Transformer thrown in their for good measure. There is a black edition of the case available, but Aerocool were kind enough to send us the white edition, of course specifications remain the same between each colour choice.

As you can see from the specifications below, the GT-S is a very capable chassis, it has room for a wide range of motherboards all the way up to XL-ATX, which you’ll need if you’re wanting to take full advantage of the 10 expansion slots, making this a tempting choice for quad-GPU configurations. Those looking for plenty of storage will not be disappointed either thanks to a large set of 5.25″, 3.5″ and 2.5″ drive bays.

The packaging is really nicely designed and gives us three clear photos of the chassis design with a sports car inspired theme.

Around the back of the box you’ll find a run down of the major features and selling points of the GT-S, these include support for multiple long GPU’s, tall CPU coolers, heavy-duty design, tool free hard drive bays and pre-installed fans.

In the box you will find a user’s manual that will guide you through the installation process and features of the chassis, and you’ll also find a USB 3.0 to 2.0 adaptor, screws / bolts, cable ties and a 5.25″ front panel adaptor.

Tucked in the side of the packaging was also this white front panel, this goes on the front of the case and we’ll take a look at what that looks like in our build section.

It is very easy to install and uses five strong magnets to hold it in place.

2014 Range Of Lepa Products At CeBIT 2014

Lepa are a component manufacturer that fly under the Enermax banner, and while their products are often similar to Enermax, it is because they share many of the same design team and researchers between the two brands. Lepa has generally been targeted at different markets than Enermax, but now that the brand has built up a solid reputation of their own, we are starting to see more and more of them in western markets.

Below we have their new range of budget friendly coolers, based around the Enermax ETS-T40 (our review) design they offer great cooling performance and funky colour choices that would suit almost any kind of system build.

The new Lepa 120mm and 240mm coolers are again based around Enermax products, but feature high performance fans and a unique exterior pump design.

A wide range of new chassis products will be hitting the market this year, ranging from midi to full towers and we’ll be getting these in for review in the coming weeks and months, so stay tuned for more information on these.

The PSU market get’s their new MX range, offering up the MX Bronze, Gold and Platinum series with the none modular (white), semi-modular (red and black) and semi-modular G800M (black).

Their latest prototype was secured under a cover, but was their demonstration of their future PSU products and features a fully passive design for completely silent performance, perhaps we will see more details about this at Computex later this year.

Boom! Saving the best for last. The P1700M is full modular and features a staggering 1700W of power at Platinum efficiency rating, if you’re interested in building a monster of a BitCoin mining rig, then this GPU should be on your shopping list. Build quality is incredible and all the finest components money can by have been poured into it, we can’t wait to get our hands on one and put it through its paces.

That’s everything from the Lepa booth for today, but we’ll be back later with even more coverage from this years CeBIT 2014 in Hanover.

Enermax Display Many New Chassis Products At CeBIT 2014

Here we are at the Enermax booth at CeBIT 2014 and the first thing we noticed is that it is packed full of new products that will be hitting the market this year. First up we have a range of new low-to-mid budget gaming chassis that are packed full of features, cooling options, window side panels, air filters and a whole lot more that will no doubt please those looking to build their next gaming rig.

First up we have the Thormax Midi tower which features a huge side panel window, room for a 240mm water cooling radiator a modular storage bays.

Then we have the slightly less aggressive design of the Thorex midi-tower which features modular storage bays, additional side panel fan mounts and room for up to 2 dual slot graphics cards.

The Ivektor Q Midi Tower features much of the same specifications as the Thorex with the addition of a unique front panel design with an integrated LED display for your system temperature.

The popular Ostrog chassis is making a return this year with the Ostrog Q, bringing a new front panel design, better cooling and side panel fan mounts.

The ECA2080 Micro-ATX chassis has a bold design thanks to it’s soft-touch style front panel, while also featuring a pair of USB 3.0 ports and a single USB charger port. On the interior you’ll find 3 x 2.5″ hard drive mounts and 3.5″ / 2.5″ hard drive mounts.

The higher end of their chassis ranges features the epic Thormax GT full tower, which features a very aggressive design that is targeted towards the gaming market. The side panel features a headset hanging bracket, while the interior will handle E-ATX motherboards, large PSU’s, four large graphics cards, a 240mm and 360mm water cooling radiator and plenty of modular storage bays.

The Ivektor Midi-Tower features a super cool looking white soft-grip coating, room for three large graphics cards, a built in fan controller, modular storage bays, two high quality 140mm fans in the front and room for a water cooler in the back.

Finally we have the lovely ECA 1010 Mini-ITX chassis, with a plastic front panel that features a rather convincing brushed aluminium style finish, loads of ventilation, room for a ATX PSU and a large graphics card, making it an ideal choice for a SteamBox style / LAN gaming build.

There is plenty more to see here at the Enermax booth and we’ll be back very shortly with more great coverage from here as well as many other brands here at CeBIT 2014.

Silverstone Display Upcoming Fortress FT05 & Raven RV01 Chassis At CeBIT 2014

Here we are once again at the Silverstone booth at CeBIT 2014 and out on display we have four great chassis products, two existing ones and two more that will be hitting the market very soon. The PS09 is something we’ve already seen here at eTeknix and you can read our full review right here and the larger PS10 is fairly similar, but offering up more space and room for ATX motherboards Vs the PS09’s Micro-ATX motherboard support. What were really interested in are the two big cases on the right, the first being the Silverstone RV05 and the second being the FT05.

The RV05 is Silverstones latest entry to their Raven series, which I think is one of the most epic and unique chassis ranges on the market today, to give you an idea of what I mean you can read our review of the RV01, RV04-B and the RVZ01. The RV05 features a smaller exterior form factor that it’s older brothers, but still has a lot of space on the interior thanks to its innovative design. We actually saw a little of this case back in January at CES 2014 and we really can’t wait to get one in for review.

eTeknix CES 2014 – Silverstone Suite RV05

The FT05 is the latest entry in the Fortress series, which again features much of the innovation and extreme performance of the Raven, but with a much bolder and cleaner design. While on some levels this is the same case on the interior, it’s most certainly aimed at a different part of the market. Just check out our FT04 review to see how great these chassis can be, if that isn’t enough to get you excited about the FT05, then nothing will be.

eTeknix CES 2014 – Silverstone Suite FT05

We’ve got even more coverage from the Silverstone booth at CeBIT 2014 on its way, so stay tuned for more updates from here and from the rest of the show.

http://www.eteknix.com/silverstone-fortress-series-ft04-chassis-review/

Silverstone RV04-B Raven Full Tower Chassis Review

Introduction


Silverstone are pioneers when it comes to high performance chassis products, and their legendary Raven series is right at the front of the pack. This isn’t the first Raven product we’ve reviewed and if it’s anything near as good as the (now a few years old) Raven RV01 that I reviewed last year, then we’re in for a real treat today. Of course we’ve also reviewed an even newer Raven series product more recently; the Mini-ITX compatible RVz01, which you can read here.

As with most high-end enthusiast grade products, you can expect a wave of premium features, sublime engineering and class leading design. Of course these kind of features don’t come cheap and the Raven RV04 will set you back around $159.99/£120, putting it online with many other premium products from the likes of Cooler Master, Fractal Design, NZXT, Corsair and more. At this price range I’ll be looking for nothing short of exceptional quality, but given that previous models blew us away, there is little doubt that this will be anything but great.

Full tower chassis are becoming more and more popular as PC users demand more and more powerful components, including multiple graphics cards, larger cooling components, RAID storage and the like. The Raven RV04 looks set to tick all of the boxes and as you can see from the specifications below, it’s very well equipped, so let’s get right to it and take a closer look at what Silverstone’s latest chassis has to offer.

The box comes with a nice photo of the front side of the chassis as well as a cool Raven graphic and run down of all the major features such as the removable motherboard tray, cable routing and included cooling fans.

Around the back you’ll find a clear list of all the major features, as well as an internal image of the chassis.

In the box you’ll find a bunch of fitting components such as motherboard tray extenders, GPU support bar, some cable ties, all the screws you’ll need and an easy to follow user guide.

XFX TYPE01 Bravo Midi-Tower Gaming Chassis Review

Introduction


XFX are better known for their award-winning power supplies and graphics cards, in fact that’s ALL they’re known for, or at least that was true until this arrived in the eTeknix office! We’ve seen the case before at a couple of trade shows, but back then it was just a prototype, and we’re no stranger to seeing things like this at shows, then the products never seeing the light of day in terms of retail.

XFX are moving into the chassis business with the launch of the XFX  TYPE01, a premium class midi-tower chassis and with some already fierce competition in this sector of the market, it’s certainly a bold move. The question is, can XFX compete with the likes of Corsair, NZXT, Coolermaster and many others in this sector of the market? Well if this case is anywhere near as good as their other PC components, then the answer is certainly yes and we’re confident that they’ve got the expertise and industry knowledge to create something spectacular.

  • Unique XFX floating case design
  •  Modern minimalist design style
  •  Seamless hidden disc drive bays with folding doors
  • Three(3) 5.25” External Toolless Drive Bays
  •  Eight (8) Internal 3.25“ Toolless Drive Bays
  • Support up to 8 fans from 120mm to 200mm
  • Up to Eight (8) PCI Expansion slots
  • Top I/O ports including Four (4) USB 3.0 and Audio I/O
  • Mic& Headphone HD audio ports
  • Open Mesh Bottom With Filter
  • Water Cool Ready
  • Isolated bottom mount PSU design
  • Solid and light ABS plastic construction
  • Standard Mid Size tower height
  • Full ATX motherboard compatibility

Priced at a staggering £130+ for pre-order at Scan.co.uk the XFX  TYPE01 really is going to be the play thing of the enthusiast, and at that price I’ll be expecting nothing short of faultless build quality and design. For your money you get plenty of support, with room for eight expansion cards, 3 x 5.25″ devices and 8 hard drives. So let’s get right to it and see just what the TYPE01 Bravo has to offer.

The box doesn’t look much, but the lines down the side are a sneaky hint at the chassis overall design that you’ll see in a moment.

Around the back we have a nice run down of the major features as well as a small tear-down image. The box reads; “THE ULTIMATE SCABBARD FOR YOUR GAMING PC. Built with gamers in mind, the XFX  TYPE01 series of PC cases offer a number of features that is sure to please. Designed to “Float” off the surface of wherever you game, it provides ample airflow to your components while its unique design is sure to turn heads.”

The case comes really well packaged, there a pair of smaller boxes on each end that are lined with thick and soft foam, which is custom cut to the shape of the chassis, more than enough to keep it well protected in transit.

Inside the chassis there was a components box, this contained all the major fixtures and fittings required to get your system installed. This includes 5 x 2.5″ drive trays, an easy to follow user guide, front panel adaptor and two small packets.

Inside the packets you’ll find a nicely labelled selection of cable ties, screws, stand-offs and case fittings.

Corsair Obsidian 750D Full-Tower Chassis Winner Announced

Today we are announcing the winner of the Corsair Obsidian 750D Full-Tower chassis that ended on Monday. We had one Obsidian 750D to give to one lucky winner. By random selection, the winner has been chosen as:

If you are interested in seeing any past competition winners then be sure to check out our competition winners page.

If you would like to participate in one of our many competitions then be sure to check out our competitions section. We currently have a lot more competitions running which you can still enter.

Winners will be contacted shortly to request shipping details so please keep an eye out on your email account for correspondence from eTeknix.

Congratulations to all the winners!

NZXT Source 530 Full Tower Chassis Review

Introduction


NZXT are well-known in the industry for their ultra high end enthusiast chassis, with products such as the Phantom 820 and the H630 simply blowing us away with their no compromise, feature packed designs. There is of course just one big downside to their more epic creations, a price tag that can really hurt your wallet. NZXT are well aware that they have a big fan base that can’t afford many of their products, so it looks like they’ve gone back to the drawing board and come up with something that packs all the big NZXT features, but for just under $90 / £70.

That isn’t exactly cheap I know, but it’s easily one of the hottest and most popular sections of the chassis market, there are countless offerings in this sector from all the major players that are incredible chassis, so it will be interesting to see just how competitive the Source 530 is in this area. As you can see from the specifications below it certainly packs a lot of features and with extensive cooling support, loads of room for storage and room for huge graphics cards to name but a few, it’s certainly sounding great on paper, so let’s get to the real deal and see how it holds up to inspection.

I normally add a photo of the packaging here, but my sample arrived in a brown box, so we shall skip over that. In the box I found the usual assortment of screws, bolts and cable ties to ensure we can fully install all major components and hard drives, as well as a simple owners manual to guide you through the process.

NZXT Launch The Source 530 Full Tower With Overclockers.co.uk

NZXT have just introduced their brand new Source series chassis the Source 530 Full Tower. Which they claim is focused on providing all of the essentials, while maintaining affordability and simplicity. In other words plenty of features for a reasonable price tag. Check out the teaser trailer below, then well move on for a look at the technical stuff.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/mOy1xsqHu34[/youtube]

Case Specs

  • Dimensions (WxHxD): 235mm x 507mm x 510 mm
  • Material: Plastic, Steel
  • Total Weight: 9.2 kg
  • Motherboard Support: ITX, MicroATX, ATX, EATX (322 x 272mm)
  • Electronic Features: Audio/Mic, I/O LED, Power/Reset LED, 2 x USB 3.0, 10-Port Fan Hub

Bays & Expansion

  • External 5.25”: 3
  • Internal 3.5”: 6
  • Internal 2.5”: 7 (1 behind motherboard tray)
  • Expansion Slots: 8

Cooling

  • Front: 2 x 120/140mm or 1 x 200mm
  • Top: 3 x 120mm (1 x 120mm included) or 2 x 140mm
  • Rear: 1 x 120/140mm (1 x 120mm included)
  • Bottom: 2 x 120mm

NZXT have already got one of the strongest chassis ranges of any company on the market, catering to the budget friendly side of the market all the way up to the ultra high end enthusiast market and personally I think it is great to see them make something for the middle market. We look forward to taking a closer look at this product in the coming weeks as we hope to have one in for review very shortly.

The price is competitive and with support for large radiators, modular hard drive cages, cable management, fully filtered airflow and more this could very quickly become one of the most popular chassis on the market.

The chase is available immediately for around $89.99 in the US, but will be available exclusively with Overclockers here in the UK for around £79.99.

Thank you Overclockers for providing us with this information.

Images Coutesy of NZXT.