SilverStone Releases ECU03 USB 3.1 Expansion Card

USB 3.1 is the newest generation and it brings quite a few improvements over the previous generation, such as the double bandwidth capabilities. The trouble with new generations of connectors is that you’ll also need to upgrade your system to use them, at least if you got an older one. Luckily you don’t need to upgrade your entire system, you can just use an expansion card. SilverStone just released the ECU03 which is such a card and it will give your system both a USB 3.1 Type A and a USB 3.1 Type C connector.

The SilverStone ECU03 offers 10 Gbps bandwidth for excellent throughput and transfer rates, especially when multiple external drives are attached simultaneously and otherwise would create bottlenecks. The ECU03 fully supports the eXtensible Host Controller Interface (XHCI) that makes it driverless for an easy installation. The expansion card also supports the USB Attached SCSI Protocol (UASP) that increases the overall throughput by handling multiple requests at the same time.

USB is by definition highly compatible and the card is naturally backward compatible with USB 3.0, 2.0, and 1.1 devices. Motherboard support is secured through the use of a PCI-Express Gen2 x2 interface that most stationary PCs will have available for use. Even small form factor (SFF) systems are supported as the card is designed to be low-profile. SilverStone also includes a low-profile expansion slot bracket with the card right out of the box.

Special Features

  • Includes SuperSpeed USB 3.1 external USB Type-C connector
  • SuperSpeed USB 3.1 with Type A and Type C ports
  • PCI-E Gen2.0 x2, throughput up to 10Gbps
  • Compliant with eXtensible Host Controller Interface (XHCI) specification Revision 1.1
  • Compliant with USB Attached SCSI Protocol Revision 1.0 (UASP)
  • Includes optional low-profile slot cover for supporting low profile cases

AMD Unveils FirePro W4300 Low-Profile Graphics Card

AMD just unveiled a new family member to the FirePro workstation graphics card series, the new AMD FirePro W4300 low-profile graphics card that will be perfect for small form factor CAD workstations.

The AMD FirePro W4300 card features 4GB of GDDR5 memory on a 128-bit memory interface and with a bandwidth up to 96GB/s. The card’s 12 compute units come in with 768 stream processors and a 1.43 TFLOPS peak single precision floating point performance. There is support for all the latest standards such as DirectX 12, OpenGL 4.4, OpenCL 2.0, AMD Mantle, and Shader Model: 5.0.

The card has a maximum power consumption that is less than 50W, which is perfect for SFF builds. The cooling is quite discreet as it only features a single small fan, then again, with a low power consumption we don’t need that much cooling.

The AMD FirePro W4300 professional graphics card is optimized for the latest CAD applications including Autodesk AutoCAD, Inventor as well as Revit, Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks and CATIA, PTC Creo, Siemens NX, and many more. Engineering professionals can efficiently work with large geometry-intense models and apply GPU-accelerated features in their projects, such as the new Order Independent Transparency (OIT) mode supported in SOLIDWORKS.

The FirePro W4300 has four Mini-DisplayPort outputs with 1.2a support including Adaptive-Sync and HBR2 for a maximum resolution up to 4096×2160. The card only has four ports, but it does support up to six monitors with the use of MST hubs and similar extra hardware.

“We designed the AMD FirePro W4300 specifically for CAD,” said Sean Burke, corporate vice president and general manager, Radeon Technologies Group, AMD. “CAD users rely on AMD FirePro graphics cards to enable their application features to best visualize their designs, and now can continue to do so without having to compromise by using the latest energy efficient, small form factor workstations.”

Feature Highlights:

  • 4GB GDDR5 GPU memory for large projects helping to improve workflow application responsiveness.
  • AMD Eyefinity multi-display technology that allows the use of up to six ultra-high resolution displays, helping users to multitask across multiple applications and displays with ease.
  • Four DisplayPort 1.2a connections standard (with support for up to six DisplayPort monitors via MST-enabled hub) and AMD FreeSync technology3 that enables GPU control of the display refresh rate for tear-free display updates, critical for media and entertainment applications and workflows.
  • OpenCL 2.0 support enabling developers to take advantage of new features that give GPUs more freedom to do the work they are designed to do.
  • Unique power monitoring and management technologies plus the maximum power consumption of 50W in a low-profile form factor. AMD PowerTune technology4 dynamically optimizes GPU power usage and AMD ZeroCore Power technology4 significantly reduces power consumption at idle.
  • Certification on more than 100 different applications for improved performance and reliability, including the most popular design and engineering and media and entertainment applications. AMD FirePro professional graphics drivers are released several times each year and include performance and feature improvements.

The AMD FirePro W4300 professional graphics card is currently in production with an unspecified release set for sometime during 2016.

ID-Cooling IS 50 & IS 40 Low-Profile CPU Cooler Review

Introduction


Picking a good CPU, GPU and motherboard is often where people put most of their focus, as well as the majority of their budget. Picking a good CPU cooler is important too, especially since an overheating CPU can lead to reduced component life expectancy, more noise from your system and even reduced performance. Of course, you don’t all need a high-end enthusiast cooler that costs north of £100, but it’s always worth finding the best cooler that’s suitable for your needs and budget.

The two latest coolers from ID-Cooling are not only budget friendly, but their low profile design also makes them extremely versatile, especially for those building small form factor systems such as LAN gaming PCs, HTPCs and much more. The IS 50 is the bigger of the two, offering up 130W TDP, as well as a larger fan to deal with more powerful hardware, which the IS 40 is designed for up to 95W TDP, features a smaller fan and a slightly lower price; we’ll be testing them both today. I think it’s obvious which is going to perform better, but keep in mind they’re not both designed to compete, but rather offer more options for those with compact system builds.

In the box, you’ll find a fairly straightforward mounting kit for AMD and Intel CPUs, as well as a spanner and a tube of thermal grease that’s handy for re-installations and maintenance. The mounting kit for both coolers is identical, so there’s no need to show you each separately.

SilverStone Announces ECM20 Dual M.2 PCIe Card

SilverStone released a new PCIe add-in card that brings a duality of M.2 support to your system, the ECM20. It can connect a PCIe based M.2 SSD via the PCIe x4 connector and at the same time it can connect a SATA based M.2 via the 6Gbps SATA connector on the rear of the board.

No need to worry if the adapter supports your M.2 SSD here, as it supports both kinds. The only difference is where you plug it in and connect it. You can also use both at the same time, so there is no trade-off either. The board is clearly labeled as to where what goes and the M-Key is used for the PCie based M.2 while the B-Key is used for the SATA based M.2 drive. There isn’t any need for extra power cables either, as the PCIe port can provide plenty of power for such two small NGFF drives.

The card is fully plug-and-play and doesn’t require any drivers to be installed. That simplifies the installation a lot and the Silverstone ECM20 also comes with a low-profile bracket for mounting it in smaller chassis types.

There shouldn’t be any compatibility issues due to module length either; We all know that M.2 drives come in a lot of different lengths. The 2280-type is probably the most common supported form factor, but the adapter also supports 2230, 2242, and 2260 modules.

 

Gelid Launched Low Cost and Low Profile 1U Intel CPU cooler

Cooling is an important factor in compact builds such as SFF and 1U rack mounted systems, but it’s something that can be tricky at times. You either get something that isn’t very effective or you get something that is loud.

Gelid has just launched their newest cooler, the Polar, and it is designed for just this. It is a low-profile CPU cooler compatible with Intel’s LGA 1150, 1155, and 1156 sockets. The tiny cooler supports Celeron, Pentium, Core i3, and Core i5 processors with a TDP up to 65W.

The heatsink height is just 27mm, so it will fit almost any chassis and the fan is inserted into it and won’t take up any extra space. Speaking of the fan, it is a 75mm fan and it features an intelligent PWM Fan Control and has an RPM between 1400 and 2000. It is a silent ball bearing fan and it can push an air flow of 29.6/50.3 CFM/CMH.

The width and length are both 92mm so it shouldn’t interfere with any other components such as RAM or PCIe slots, nor power or fan connectors. The noise level is rated between 16 and 28.9 dBa.

It is rated for 50 thousand hours of lifetime and is backed by a five-year warranty. Best of all, the suggested retail price is just $14 USD or €12 Euro.

 

Noctua Presents Two Asymmetrical 140mm CPU Coolers

Noctua announced two new CPU coolers for people who would like the improved airflow and decrease noise production that a 140mm fan has to offer, but at the same time worry about clearance space for RAM and PCI-Express slots. The two new fans are the NH-D15S that is a single fan version of the elite-class dual tower model NH-D15 and the second being the NH-C14S that replaces the proven top-flow cooler NH-C14.

“140mm coolers have become the default choice for enthusiasts who seek superior cooling performance for overclocking or near-silent operation, but these tend to block the top PCIe slot on many current motherboards,” says Mag. Roland Mossig, Noctua CEO. “With the NH-D15S and NH-C14S, we’ve updated our successful 140mm dual tower and top flow coolers with asymmetrical layouts that ensure the best PCIe compatibility.”

The NH-C14S is the successor to the award-winning NH-C14 an it is an elite-class top-flow CPU cooler. Thanks to its deeper fin stack and the renowned NF-A14 PWM fan, the single fan NH-C14S provides similar quiet cooling performance to its dual fan predecessor while being even more versatile.

You have the choice whether you want RAM clearance or an extreme low profile cooler. With the fan installed on top of the fins, the cooler is compatible with RAM modules of up to 70mm height and with the fan installed underneath the fins, the total height of the cooler is only 115mm.

 

The ND-D15S is tailored for both RAM and PCIe compatibility thanks to the clearance gained from the asymmetrical single fan design.

The recessed lower fins guarantee 100% RAM compatibility with memory modules of up to 65mm height and users who have sufficient room can also upgrade the cooler with either a 120mm or round 140mm fan on the front fin stack for even more performance in dual fan mode.

 

Both of the new CPU coolers come with Noctua’s trusted, pro-grade SecuFirm2 multi-socket mounting system, the proven NT-H1 thermal compound, and a Low-Noise Adaptors.

The NH-C14S is currently shipping and will be available shortly whereas the NH-D15S will ship sometime in June. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices are €74.90 for the top flow NH-C14S and €79.90 for the tower NH-D15S cooler. Both come backed by a full 6 years manufacturer warranty.

Reeven BRONTES (RC-1001) Low Profile CPU Cooler Review

Introduction


Reeven is still a fairly new company based in Asia that focus on cooling products and also fan controllers. It’s hard to find any Reeven products in the UK as they don’t seem to have any resellers over here, which is a real shame. The products really do look very nice and I think there is certainly a place for them here. We have been sent three coolers that Reeven are looking to push into the UK market, last month we showed you the Reeven Justice and we are going to look at the second one, the Reeven Brontes. The Brontes is a compact low profile CPU cooler, these are for people who are looking for a small office PC or a HTPC rather than a fully kitted out gaming rig or a benching build.

The box for the Brontes is quite simple and as you would expect for such a small unit, rather small. It has all the information you need about the cooler such as which sockets it fits and some nice pictures showing you what to expect inside.

Here is a bit more about the specification of the Reeven Brontes. As you can see, it supports all the popular socket types from both Intel and AMD. As with a lot of low profile coolers though, there is no support for 2011.

Inside the box we get a nice bunch of brackets and fittings to allow us to mount the CPU cooler, the fittings are for both AMD and Intel. One of my pet hates with certain manufacturers is giving a sachet of thermal paste rather than a syringe. The sachet can only be used once, meaning if you need to re-attach the cooler to upgrade the CPU or anything else, then you will have to purchase more separately. Ok, it’s nice that they provide the thermal paste in the first place but syringes are far more usable.

The fan for the Brontes is really quite unique. It is tiny measuring only 100mm x 100mm in diameter an only 12mm wide. The fan comes pre-attached to the cooler so you are ready to go straight out of the box so there is no fiddling around with fan brackets. As you can see, they use the usual colours for Reeven which is black and yellow. I do like how the company sticks with the same two colours all the time, however it could put people off if they are trying to colour match with the fan with the rest of the system, yellow and black is a lovely combination, but there is only a fraction of the market that uses it.

With the fan back on the Brontes you can see how the cooler looks as a whole. I really like the sleek look and it’s great to see that they have sleeved the cable also. The cooler has 4 nickel-plated copper heat pipes to ensure that the heat from the CPU travels to the fins effectively

With a side profile, we can see just how low profile this cooler is. It is 59mm in height so it is perfect for your ITX systems.

One thing I do always love about Reeven products is the way they create their heat sinks. The larger units are works of art and its great to see they have used the same design on their smaller low profile units. The Brontes has a really nice quality feel to it and the last fin of the cooler has the Reeven logo cut out of it giving this really nice finish.

The underside is nickel-plated copper, which ensures the best possible thermal conductivity, as well as a little more eye candy. You can also see that it is actually off centre, this helps you when it comes to installing as if it was central it might foul your RAM. This is a really nice idea to give the user optimal choice.

Installation for the Reeven Brontes couldn’t be easier, it’s simply a case of attaching either the AMD or Intel brackets to the cooler and lining up the holes with the ones on the motherboard, obviously applying the thermal paste first.

Then, simply screw the 4 screws (with rubber washers) through the back of the motherboard to hold the cooler in place.

When the cooler is in place there is plenty of space in between the RAM and the Brontes meaning you can use RAM with large heat sinks if you like.

So, we have seen how this product looks, let’s see how it performs!

Noctua Launches NH-L9x65 Low-Profile CPU Cooler and NF-A6x25 PWM Fan

Noctua’s colour choice is something that’s always up for debate, but no one can argue that they don’t make great cooling products. They aren’t strangers to cooling solutions for ITX based gaming systems or HTPCs and for just such they’ve just released the new NH-L9x65 low-profile cooler as well as a 4-pin PWM version of their popular NF-A6x25 60mm fan.

The NH-L9x65 is a taller and enhanced version of Noctua’s NH-L9 low-profile cooler. It should fit snuggly into almost any chassis with its 65mm height, which is the same height as a low-profile expansion card. With 65 instead of 37mm height and four instead of two heat-pipes, the NH-L9x65 is more powerful than its smaller siblings yet still retaining the 95 x 95mm footprint. No RAM or PCIe compatibility issues.

“Our NH-L9 coolers have become a default choice for customers seeking premium grade quiet coolers in the sub-40mm class, but with a height of only 37mm, their performance is inevitably limited”, explains Mag. Roland Mossig (Noctua CEO), “The new NH-L9x65 provides the increased performance necessary to cool high end CPUs quietly while still offering excellent case and component compatibility.”

The NH-L9x65 comes with the professional SecuFirm2 multi-socket mounting system for both Intel and AMD, Noctua’s NT-H1 thermal compound and a 6 years manufacturer’s warranty. The cooler is currently shipping to resellers and should be available shortly for an MSRP of €44.90 / $52.90.

ITX based systems often lack the ability to mount ordinary 120mm fans and instead have options for 60mm and 80mm fans. The new PWM version of the NF-A6x25 sports Noctua’s custom designed NE-FD1 IC for fully automatic speed control via 4-pin fan headers and comes with a Low-Noise-Adaptor to reduce the maximum speed during PWM control from 3000 to 2300rpm

“With the trend towards highly compact, ITX based builds, 60mm fans are in demand again”, says Mag. Roland Mossig (Noctua CEO), “Since more and more ITX mainboards offer PWM speed control on the case fan header or even multiple PWM headers, we’re now providing a 4-pin PWM version of our popular, award-winning NF-A6x25 model.”

The new SSO2 bearing 60mm NF-A6x25 fan is packed with a full accessory kit and it’s also shipping to resellers now. The MSRP is set to €14.90 / $17.90.

Thanks to Noctua for providing us with this information

HyperX Releases FURY DDR4 Memory and Adds High-Capacity Predator DDR4 Kits

Kingston announced the DDR4 version of their HyperX FURY memory and they are their first product line to offer automatic overclocking via plug-and-play for the next generation of high-end X99 based systems.

 “We are excited to expand our HyperX DDR4 offerings with FURY for the entry-level enthusiast who wants to maximize their gaming and user experience with simple plug-and-play memory,” said Edward Baily, Business Manager, HyperX. “FURY DDR4 is ideal for someone looking for premium components with faster speeds, high performance with maximum reliability and great aesthetics, all for a minimal investment.”

The Kingston HyperX FURY DDR4 modules are a cost-efficient high-performance memory that takes advantage of the new platforms low 1.2V power consumption and comes with a low profile heat spreader and black PCB. The memory modules are available at 2133MHz, 2400MHz and 2666MHz speeds and in various kits and configurations from 8 to 64GB.

HyperX FURY DDR4 Features and Specifications:

  • Easy to install: plug-and-play functionality
  • Automatic overclocking: reach faster speeds and higher capacities just by installing the memory, no adjustments in BIOS needed
  • Cost-efficient: the perfect combination of price and DDR4 performance
  • Unique: asymmetrical, signature FURY heat spreader
  • Design: low profile, black heat spreader color, and matching PCB
  • Reliable: 100% factory tested
  • Compatible: tested with all popular brands of motherboards
  • Guaranteed: lifetime warranty, free technical support
  • Capacities: 8GB, 16GB, 32GB & 64GB kits
  • Frequency: 2133MHz, 2400MHz, 2666MHz
  • CAS Latency: CL14-CL15
  • Voltage: 1.2V
  • Operating Temperature: 0°C to 85°C
  • Storage Temperature: -55°C to 100°C
  • Dimensions: 133.35mm x 34.24mm
  • Compatible: with Intel X99 chipset

In addition to the new FURY DDR4 memory line, Kingston also expands the Predator family with 32GB and 64GB kits for those who want even more performance and speeds up to 3000MHz.

HyperX Predator DDR4 Features and Specifications:

  • Fast: lowest latencies paired with faster clock speeds to deliver unbeatable DDR4 performance
  • Unique: charcoal black heat spreader with black PCB brings dramatic style to any system build
  • Compatible: Intel XMP ready profiles optimized for Intel X99 series motherboards
  • Reliable: 100% factory tested at speed
  • Guaranteed: lifetime warranty, free technical support
  • Capacities: 16GB-64GB kits
  • Frequency: 2133MHz, 2400MHz, 2666MHz, 2800MHz and 3000MHz
  • CAS latency: CL12–CL15
  • Voltage: 1.2V–1.35V
  • Operating temperature: 0°C to 85°C
  • Storage temperature: -55°C to 100°C
  • Dimensions: 133.35mm x 55mm
  • Compatible: Intel XMP ready profiles optimized for Intel X99 series motherboards

Thanks to Kingston for providing us with this information

Century Micro Launches First Low-Profile DDR4 DIMMs

It doesn’t help much to have an entire system designed for low-profile enclosures if the default 31.25mm sized RAM modules will stick out the top. As such, the Japanese company Century Micro has launched the world’s first half-height low-profile DDR4 DIMM modules (CK4GX4-D4RE2133VL81).

These new 4GB modules have a height of just 18.7 mm and use DRAM chips made by SKHynix. The JEDEC speed is set to 2133MHz and with 15-15-15 timings while the module consumes the normal 1.2V DDR4 draw.

The spotted modules are selling in 16 GB kits consisting of four 4GB modules and costs 51,980 JPY including taxes, which is about £275.35.

Thanks to TechPowerUp for providing us with this information

Images courtesy of TechPowerUp

Raijintek Zelos Low Profile CPU Cooler

Introduction and Packaging


Raijintek is a relatively new company, established last year in Europe they are still quite a small company. Having said that, they already have a range of air coolers, such as the TISIS, a few liquid coolers like the TRITON and a VGA cooler. They also have made a range of cases such as the AENEAS and the METIS and are looking to expand into power supplies and other products in the coming years.

We have our hands on Raijinteks Zelos today, its the smallest cooler that Raijintek with a low profile of only 44mm and has a tiny footprint of 94cm square so it will fit in the tightest of spaces. Let’s take a look at it and see what it looks like as well as see how well it performs.

The top of the box has a nice little bit about who Raijintek are and shows the spec of the cooler and also that it will fit most Intel and AMD sockets.

The other sides have basically the same information as the top, or are pics of the cooler like the one below, nothing particularly exciting, but the pictures are good quality and the more information the better.

What is particularly interesting with this cooler is that inside this box there is a plastic “burger box” style packaging that protects the cooler and keeps all the bits together, it’s really quite pleasant and I would like to see this more often, specially with smaller coolers.

Inside the package, you will find the heatsink, the fan, a bracket for AMD mounting, the screws, a little spanner and a sachet of thermal paste. I’m not a massive fan on sachets of thermal paste. Don’t get me wrong, it is nice that they supply paste, but syringes are far superior than a sachet, there is plenty of paste to do two applications with this cooler, but due to there being no way to seal the sachet, after the first application its time to throw it in the bin.

Phanteks Announces Low Profile and Slim Dual-Tower CPU Coolers

Phanteks has announced two new CPU coolers for tight spaces, the TC12LS low-profile CPU cooler and the PC14S Slim Dual-Tower CPU cooler.

The low profile cooler dubbed TC12LS only has a height of 47mm without fan and 74mm with a fan mounted. It has six 6mm nickel-plated copper heat pipes and slim stacked aluminium fins. It comes with the new seven blade PH-F120MP PWM High Static Pressure fan that can generate an airflow of 53.3 CFM, runs at 500 to 1800 RPM (± 250 RPM) and has a maximum noise generation of 25dBA.

The TC12LS Low Profile CPU cooler should be available at most local retailers in December at an MSRP of $39.99.

The second new cooler from Phanteks is the TC14S Slim Dual-Tower CPU cooler that surrounds the fan with its slim aluminium fins. Just like the low profile cooler, it has six 6mm nickel-plated copper heat pipes. It measures 160mm in height and has a width of just 51mm to follow Intel’s Keep-Out-Zone and avoid issues with RAM or VRM. To blow the air it has the new seven blade PH-F140HP II PWM fan that can perform an airflow of 68.1 CFM, runs at 500 to 1600 RPM  (± 250 RPM), and has a noise level of 25.3 dBA.

The TC14S Slim Dual-Tower CPU cooler should be available at most local retailers in December at an MSRP of $49.99.

Both new coolers are backed by a 5-year warranty and use Phanteks’ patented P.A.T.S. technology which has been proven to withstand high temperatures and increases cooling performance by deflecting thermal radiation from other heat sources.

Thanks to Overclock3d for providing us with this information

Images courtesy of Phanteks

GELID Launches Slim Silence CPU Cooler for AM1

 

Just because you have a low-power AMD AM1 CPU doesn’t mean you don’t want it to be properly cooled, especially if it’s built into a tight space like 1U rack enclosure. GELID Solutions has the solution for this with their new low-profile Slim Silent AM1 CPU cooler.

The Slim Silence AM1 cooler comes with a silent 70mm ball-bearing fan that provides a high airflow and has an intelligent PWM controller which only provides the additional air flow when it is really necessary. It measures just 26mm in height, which in return makes it perfect for any slim chassis with limited space.

Sound isn’t usually a thing people worry about when building rack computers, but since this cooler is just as suited for tiny SFF cases it would be great if it wasn’t too loud. And it isn’t thanks to the PWM fan. The sound levels are rated between 15 and 27.7 dBa depending on spinning speed.

“If you are looking for an AM1 aftermarket cooler we have it with PWM too“, said Gebhard Scherrer Sales Director of GELID Solutions Ltd.

The Slim Silent AM1 CPU cooler comes backed by a five-year warranty and is really cheap at that. If you built a budget system on an AM1 platform, you don’t want to blow the build budget out of proportions with a pricy aftermarket cooler. The new Slim Silent AM1 cooler is available now and has an MSRP of just $11.00 in the US and €8.65 in Europe.

Thanks to GELID for providing us with this information

Images courtesy of GELID

EverCool Introduces HPS 810CP Low-Profile CPU Cooler

EverCool has launched their latest CPU cooler designed for mITX, SFF and 1U enclosures, the HPS-810CP. The new cooler looks a bit more like a GPU cooler to some but should give effective performance in the intended area of use.

The HPS-810CP is built on a set of dense aluminium fins in combination with two 6mm thick copper heat pipes and a Heat Direct Transfer core (HDT). The fan draws the heat away from the motherboard and CPU with the included 80mm slim-profile fan that has a rotation speed between 1500 to 4000 RPM. This produces an airflow of 12.99 to 34.65 CFM and the static pressure generated is 0.02 to 0.143 inch-H2O. The generated noise is rated between 16.2 and 37.5 dBa depending on the RPM.

At a weight of 260 gram and measuring 87.5 x 92.3 x 27.4 mm, the tiny HPS-810CP can cool processors with a TDP up to 95W. It is compatible with all AMD AM2 or newer sockets as well as Intel LGA 1366 / 1165X and 775. It’s not compatible with LGA2011. No word on pricing or availability yet.

This new HPS-810CP CPU cooler from EverCool might not be a beauty to look at, but you can’t argue with the specifications. Used on a low TDP processor in a home or office environment should produce a silent operation on low rotation speeds while tight spaces and high TDP server environments should be suited equally well; a situation where noise is rarely an issue.

Thanks to EverCool for providing us with this information

Images courtesy of EverCool

SilverStone SST-AR06 Low-profile CPU Cooler Review

Introduction and Packaging


SilverStone last year, released a new series of coolers called the Argon series, today were going to take a look at the latest one of these; the SilverStone AR06, a low profile CPU cooler. SilverStone are very well well known for their cases such as the iconic TJ07 and TJ11, both excellent cases for system builders and modders alike. They also have a very successful range of power supplies and some AIO coolers. When you think of SilverStone you generally think of quality, good design, usability and when things do occasionally go wrong, good customer service. I’m really looking forward to this one as I recently struggled to find a low profile cooler that worked well, looked good and was cost effective. Let’s hope their new range stands up to their high expectations.

As you can see from the specification below, the cooler supports a range of sockets for both Intel and AMD. It comes installed with a 92mm blue and white PWM fan.

The front of the box features an image of the cooler and boasts about its low profile 58mm height. It has a quick rundown of the main features of the cooler too, such as its “HDC” technology which we will take a look at in a moment.

Around the back we have the same information about the cooler but in many more languages.

One of the sides of the box, it gives you a full specification list, including fan speed.

The other two sides have some nice promotional photos and again mention the HDC technology.

In the box you’ll find the cooler with the fan already attached, an instruction leaflet, AMD and Intel brackets, 4 long hexagonal screws with corresponding nuts, a set of 4 hex nuts and 4 small screws to connect the bracket to the cooler.

Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB 2800MHz Quad Channel DDR4 Memory Kit Review

Introduction


With every new DDR memory release comes a decline in operating voltage and a decrease in heat output. In the transition from DDR2 to DDR3 and now DDR4 we’ve seen voltages plummet and having memory heatsinks is no longer necessary. This allows memory brands to release high performance memory kits in compact low profile form factors that require minimal cooling. Corsair’s Vegeance LPX 2800MHz 16GB DDR4 kit is a great example of this – it boasts a super-high frequency yet it still has a low profile design making it ideal for use in compact system builds and with large tower heatsinks that are definitely going to be necessary to cool some of Intel’s swanky new Haswell-E Core i7 5XXX processors.

What’s even more interesting about this particular kit is the XMP 2.0 feature. As you may or may not know when you use memory higher than 2666MHz with Haswell-E CPUs the base clock has to be changed from the default 100MHz. Corsair’s Vengeance LPX memory actually has an XMP profile which not only sets the memory frequency, timings and voltage but it also sets the CPU strap and base clock to the correct level. This is ideal because if you’re only a modest PC user having to set all those things yourself is quite daunting, the task even daunted me slightly when overclocking.

2800MHz goes well beyond the sweet spot of high performance DDR3 which was around 2000-2400MHz, we should expect to see some excellent performance from this new Corsair kit but the real question is: how well can most applications take advantage of this extra memory frequency? Let’s find out in today’s review.

Specifications

Packaging and Accessories

We won’t dwell on the packaging too much as it is very plain and simple: four modules neatly packed into a small rectangular box. This kit is a quad-channel variety so each module is 4GB in size.

A Closer Look

Corsair’s new Vegeance LPX range looks very similar to the DDR4 Vengeance LP range. In this case they actually have metal heat-spreaders not plastic ones but that aside the aesthetic similarities are striking. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing either: the design is clean and the fact Corsair offer a variety of colours (black/blue/red) is also a big advantage.

AMD Radeon R7 250XE Starts Appearing In Japanese Stores

It looks like AMD have launched a card, but neglected to tell anyone about it. The new Radeon R7 250XE may not be the most exciting card in AMDs range, actually it’s pretty much destined to be one of the least exciting, but it’s still important none the less. The new card appears to have been launched to counter the Nvidia GeForce GT 730/740 range.

The entry-level card features a low-profile, single slot design, so it may be a tempting option for compact HTPC and office style system, or just those who need a to upgrade from an on-board GPU solution. The card is said to be based around a 28nm Cape Verde refresh, features 640 stream processors, a 128 bit wide GDDR5 memory interface and is equipped with 1GB of memory. Core clock is 860 MHz and 4.5GHz for memory. The card is priced around $60-70 and we’re uncertain if it’ll be launching to a wider market, since AMD haven’t even told anyone about the original launch.

Thank you TechPowerUp for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of TechPowerUp.

PMC Announces FlashTec NVRAM Drives with More Then 10 Million IOPS

There is no shortage of Solid State news surrounding the Flash Memory Summit this year. PMC has now announced their new “ultra-fast storage class memory tier that accelerates critical applications in all-flash arrays and scale-out storage used in data centers and enterprise deployments”.

PMC’s new Flashtec NVRAM drives combine the endurance and speed of DRAM with the persistence of NAND flash memory, to deliver performance that is ten times greater than the fastest solid-state drives.

Using the PCI Express 3.0 interface, the Flashtec NVRAM drives connect directly to the host to optimize CPU utilization and maximize overall system performance. Up to 10,000,000 IOPS and sub-microsecond latency. The new Flashtec solution is based on the industry-standard NVMe interface, which enables plug-and-play PCIe connectivity.

The Flashtec NVRAM drives can be used either as a persistent memory extension that is mapped directly to the host (more than 10,000,000 IOPS random 512kb), or as NVMe block storage for more efficient DMA transactions (more than 1,000,000 IOPS random 4K read).

Derek Dicker, vice president of the NVM Solutions Group at PMC said, “Native PCIe-based solutions are a major disruption to the SSD market because they provide a direct link between the CPU and flash, breaking the traditional performance scale. The PMC Flashtec family sets a new benchmark for storage performance, and our standards-based architecture allows our customers to get their storage solutions to market much sooner with differentiated features tuned for cost, performance and endurance.”

The new drives will use PMC’s own NVMe controllers that allow for SSDs with up to 8TB of capacity, and performance of up to 875,000 random 4K read IOPS. Dual-port functionality is also featured, allowing for high availability of enterprise class applications, redundancy and sustained reliability.

Occupying only one low-profile PCIe socket, having an included NVMe driver and Super Capacitor that operates for five years without maintenance simplifies the integration and might even free up the need for an UPS.

PMC’s Flashtec NVRAM drives are available in capacities of 4GB, 8GB and 16GB, and production quantities are anticipated by Q4 of 2014.  PMC’s NVMe flash controllers are available in either 16- or 32-channel versions, and are currently in high-volume production. You can also visit PMC this week at the 2014 Flash Memory Summit at booth #416.

Thank you The SSD Review for providing us with this information

Images courtesy of The SSD Review

KFA2 GTX 750 Ti OC 2GB Graphics Card Review

Introduction, Specifications and Packaging


Nvidia’s GTX 750 Ti is a great graphics card, when we reviewed it a few months ago we were impressed by the level of power efficiency and performance that you got for the price of $150. However, at the same time the reference design delivered by Nvidia wasn’t exactly inspiring – the cooling solution appeared to be half an Intel stock cooler (and that’s being generous) while the card lacked any form of stylish design and had a relatively impractical rear I/O. As a result of those flaws we’ve been excited to see what Nvidia partners were going to produce to make the GTX 750 Ti a better graphics card. Today we have a GTX 750 Ti from KFA2, the KFA2 GTX 750 Ti OC. In North America and Asia our readers will be able to buy the same product under the Galaxy brand name where the product goes by the name of the “Galaxy GTX 750 Ti GC Slim“. As you may have noticed this graphics card uses a low profile design – although I think the Slim moniker is misleading as it is still a dual slot width. KFA2 have also given a relatively generous overclock which you can see in the table below.

Specifications Analysis

KFA2’s overclock is fairly modest given the potential of the GTX 750 Ti, they have added 52 MHz to the core clock, 65MHz to the boost clock and left the memory to operate at stock frequencies. The pricing comes in at $160 which isn’t the Nvidia suggested reference price of $150, but currently $160 is the de-facto retail price for GTX 750 Tis.

Packaging and Bundle

The packaging comes with KFA2’s usual gaming animations and points out some key Nvidia features.

On the back we see more of those Nvidia features detailed.

The included bundle is very basic, just a Driver CD and a setup guide. I’m quite disappointed to see that this is hinted at as a low profile graphics card but it actually has now low profile adapter when KFA2 could have easily and cheaply provided that. As it stands the card itself is low profile but the bracket is not.

Raijintek Pallas Low Profile CPU Cooler Review

Introduction


Today I’ll be taking a look at one of the latest products from Raijintek, who you may know as one of the coolest new names in the PC industry given that they’ve not been around very long, but they’re already gaining considerable reputation for their high quality, high performance and affordable prices. Their latest coolest, the Pallas is targeted at the low profile market, ideally for those who want a slim HTPC or narrow enclosure to slot into their home entertainment setup.

The cooler stands at just 68mm with the fan installed on cooler, which means its going to be compatible with an incredibly amount of HTPC cases and its 140mm design should also ensure that it’s cooling performance and acoustics are pretty decent since it users a larger, but lower RPM slim-line 10013 PWM fan. Available for £31.99 + shipping, the Pallas isn’t overly expensive, but it’s enough to have us expecting solid performance and quality, as there are plenty of slim coolers on the market for less money that do a fairly good job and with the current trend of people building slim SteamBox style systems, there is an increasing demand for high performance, quiet and slim CPU coolers for the new ranges of slim gaming cases that are hitting the market.

As you can see, the Pallas is nicely equipped with a copper and aluminium construction, it features 6 head-pipes and a 13mm slim-line fan with 4-pin PWM connection.

This being a low profile cooler, the box is pretty compact and overall the box is nicely designed with plenty of images of the cooler as well as the main specifications and socket compatibility on the top.

In the box you’ll find all the fixtures and fittings you need to get it installed. A pair of fan clips, thermal paste, plastic backplate, screws, bolts, spacers and the AMD / Intel mounting brackets.

Viper 3 Low Profile Series Memory Kits Revealed By Patriot

Patriot has revealed its latest memory which is dedicated to overclocking and extreme gaming. The Viper 3 series is about 3cm tall, providing clearance for large CPU coolers. Its heat shield does not limit CPU cooling options and provides thermal dissipation to extend the lifetime of the modules. Those who are looking for no hassle plug-and-play performance, these Viper 3 Low Profile modules provide full support for Intel XMP to make overclocking easy. Simply install the Viper 3 Low Profile Series modules in any XMP 1.3 enabled system and it will automatically select the maximum overclocking performance. No further tweaking is required to obtain maximum performance from these memory modules.

Built using high quality materials and hand-tested to ensure compatibility with the latest Intel and AMD processors, more specifically they are compatible with Intel 7 and 8 and AMD’s AM3+, FM1 and FM2 series processors. The Viper 3 Low Profile Series modules are dual and quad channel packed, being available in 8 GB, 16 GB and 32 GB Kits, with speeds of 1600 MHz – 1866 MHz – 2133 MHz.

A price has not yet been revealed for the Viper 3 Low Profile Memory kits, but those interested in more details about where to buy or all available memory kit combos can head over to Patriot’s official website for more information.

Thank you HardwareZone for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of Partriot.

Thermalright Release AXP-200 Low Profile CPU Cooler

Thermalright’s AX-100 low profile CPU cooler proved very popular with enthusiasts and now Thermalright have launched a successor to the AXP-100 with the AXP-200. It uses a very similar design with six 6mm heat pipes, a nickel plated copper base and over-sized 150mm fan running between 700 to 1300RPM.

The heatsink is slightly more enlarged than its predecessor but it is nice to see space is still of the essence with the use of a half thickness fan. All the heat pipes are capped too and have the Thermalright logo at the end. The AXP-200 supports Intel LGA775/1156/1366/1155/2011/1150 and AMD AM2/AM2+/AM3/AM3+/FM1/FM2 processors – in other words everything. The fan mounting system is adjustable and capable of mounting 140mm and 150mm fans. Its dimensions are 150 (L) x 140 (W) x 60 (H) mm and it weighs 475 grams. Its maximum height is 2.87 inches.

The product can currently be bought in Europe for €50.

Images courtesy of Thermalright

Prolimatech Samuel 17 Low Profile CPU Cooler Review

Low profile CPU coolers are taking off in popularity these days as people look to build their own NAS systems, HTPCs and portable gaming rigs. With so many low profile CPU coolers out there it is easy to get overwhelmed but today we are hoping to simplify things a bit as we are taking a look at another low profile CPU cooler this time courtesy of Prolimatech. The Prolimatech Samuel 17 is a low profile CPU cooler boasting six 6mm heat pipes and support for an 120mm fan and it measures in at just 45mm tall before adding a fan. The Samuel 17 is Prolimatech’s only low profile CPU cooler that they have ever made and they specifically market it for HTPC systems.

With a whole host of competitors to the Prolimatech Samuel 17 (such as the Gelid Slim Hero, Scythe Big Shuriken 2, Noctua NH-L12 and so on) we are really hoping that it can deliver something good because the competition is pretty stiff these days in the low profile CPU cooler market.

Intel Plans To Sell Mini-ITX CPU Coolers

A leaked product marketing slide from Intel suggests that they will be developing their own retail mini-ITX cooler for ultra thin mini-ITX platforms. The HTS1155SLP from Intel is a small form factor cooler design for DH61AG and other ODM mini-ITX H6X motherboards. The entire unit weighs in at 264 grams for the heatsink and 54 grams for the blower fan. The fan operates between 1180 and 3380 RPM and the heatsink comes with TC-1996 Intel Thermal Interface Material (TIM).

There’s no words on pricing availability or even accuracy of the leak but it doesn’t exactly look far fetched. In the All-In-One (AIO) and Small Form Factor (SFF) space, traditional third party cooling solutions are often not thin enough. Intel’s solutions resemble that of a notebook CPU cooler so will be for very small systems. It uses three 6mm copper heat pipes to transfer heat to a small heatsink array. The blower that ventilates every does support PWM and has a 21 inch cable for flexibility with cable management.

Expect to see these pop up in a variety of mini-ITX and SFF systems with enough space such as the Zotac Zbox or Sapphire Edge PC series. Given the pictured retail box we may also see those sold separately but that is still to be confirmed.

Image courtesy of MyCE

Scythe Big Shuriken 2 Rev.B Low Profile CPU Cooler Review

Scythe’s Big Shuriken series has been the CPU cooler of choice for a lot of system builders who are opting for small form factor systems or HTPCs and need a low profile yet high performance CPU cooler. Scythe’s original Big Shuriken was incredibly popular and so Scythe responded with the Big Shuriken 2 which adds another heat pipe and support for the X79 LGA 2011 platform. Today we are taking a look at this new Big Shuriken 2 from Scythe and seeing how it stacks up against other low profile CPU coolers. Measuring in at just 58mm high the main selling point of the Big Shuriken 2 is its height but Scythe are also looking to push the performance side of things with five 6mm heatpipes.

For those who are interested we’ve got some detailed specifications for you to see below but without any further ado let us proceed with the rest of the review.

Gelid Slim Hero Low Profile CPU Cooler Review

Gelid Solutions are a company who’s products we review on a regular basis. They make some of the best value for money CPU coolers on the market, a great selection of fans to suit a wide variety of needs and probably the best thermal paste on the market – GC Extreme. Today we have something very innovative, if not majorly exciting, nonetheless it still fills an important market segment. The Gelid Slim Hero is a low profile CPU cooler that is aimed at the space constrained end user, the HTPC owner and someone who is also on a tight budget, wants good bang for their buck and likes a reasonably silent system too.

You can see the full specifications of the Gelid Slim Hero here on the Gelid website, but the basic jist of the design is four 6mm heatpipes, a slim 120mm PWM fan and a total height of just 59mm. The Gelid Hero is going up against other low profile CPU coolers like the SilverStone NT06 Pro and the Noctua NH-L12 that we have already reviewed here at eTeknix. Anyone that follows our reviews on a regular basis may also be interested to know we have a review of another low profile CPU cooler coming up soon, the Scythe Big Shuriken 2 – so stay tuned for that.

Anyway, back on topic, and the Gelid Slim Hero is going to be supporting all modern sockets except LGA 2011. In most circumstances this CPU cooler is going to be ideal for cooling low heat processors like Core i5 and Core i3 processors from the Sandy and Ivy Bridge generations. On the AMD side this CPU cooler would also be perfect for FM1 and FM2 APU powered HTPC and small form factor systems. What’s nice to see is that even though this is a budget conscious product, Gelid are still offering a 5 year warranty and include a tube of high quality GC2 thermal paste to help you get the most out of this unit.

Computex: Noctua Unveil 65mm L-Type Low Profile Cooler

If the Noctua NH-L9 series of CPU coolers was just too small for your needs at 37mm then you’re in luck because Noctua are releasing essentially what is a bigger version for those people where space is still an issue but you’d got a bit more room than 37mm and would like a bit more performance as a result. At Computex Noctua have showed us the 65mm low profile L-Type CPU cooler which is just 65mm high. It is 95mm by 95mm wide and so offers 100% RAM Compatibility and PCI Express card compatibility on mini-ITX motherboards.

It is great that Noctua have foreseen the main use of their product as they design it to ensure compatibility. The include fan is a NF-A9x14 PWM fan. Noctua did not announce a release date as this design is still a prototype but hopefully we will be seeing it soon because with Haswell mini-ITX is only going to get more popular.

Stay tuned to eTeknix for more Computex coverage in our Computex section.

Image(s) courtesy of Noctua