Lian Li has forged a reputation as one of the most prestigious case manufacturers in the industry and produces a huge range of premium aluminium designs. The company’s no-comprise approach to sourcing the best possible materials results in some extraordinary products. Granted, these do come with a price premium and many see Lian Li cases as something of a status symbol. While there is competition from In Win, Lian Li continues to expand their impressive product line-up and cater towards the high-end market. Their latest creation, entitled the PC-J60 is a mid-tower chassis measuring 210mm(W), 507mm(H) and 489mm(D). In terms of weight, the case isn’t overly heavy at 6.48KG due to the aluminium construction.
Other features include a power supply cover with an integrated 140mm fan, two 120mm fans in the front and space for another three 120mm fans in the top section. In terms of radiator support, the case can accommodate a maximum size of 60x430x160mm in the top and 120x240mm in the front. Lian Li have adopted modular HDD racks to easily remove the drive bays and create more room for system airflow. There’s also an air filter on the top, another on the bottom and vented PCI brackets. The CPU cutout is large enough to easily install hardware and access the backplate.
The case can support graphics cards up to 410mm in length and a PSU length of 210mm. On another note, the maximum CPU cooler height is set at 160mm. As you might expect, the chassis is designed to be used with ATX and Micro-ATX form factors. The front I/O houses two USB 3.0 ports and HD audio jacks.
Here we can see the high quality Jamicon fans which comes as standard with the chassis. Unfortunately, there’s no wording regarding the price but I’m expecting it to be around the £350 mark.
Picking the right CPU cooler for your system can be a tricky task as you have to balance your budget, the ergonomics of your chassis, the TDP of your chip, aesthetics, what kind of system performance you want to achieve and acoustics too. That’s a lot to consider and there’s certainly a huge amount of choice out there to find something that suits your needs, but it’s still a bit of a minefield. The latest cooler from legendary manufacturer Alpenföhn has been designed for the increasingly popular Mini-ITX and Micro-ATX system build market. People are making a lot of compact gaming PCs for their living room, bedroom, LAN gaming events and more, so it’s only right that we should have more coolers that are suited to building a gaming system in smaller chassis.
The ATLAS may be tiny, but it still packs an impressive 5 x 6mm heat pipes into a twin-tower and dual-fan configuration, which gives it an impressive max TDP of 200W! That’s a lot of cooling potential from a small form factor cooling. Of course, a lot of people are jumping on the AIO market for cooling these days, but there are a lot of benefits to air cooling too and even more so, there are some people who just don’t want to move to water. Either way, it’s going to be interesting to see what this little powerhouse can do on our test bench.
As you can see from the specifications, the cooler sits nice and low, at the cost of being quite wide and fat for its form factor. The cooler is just tall enough to house a pair of 92mm fans, and while this form factor of fan is often associated (in my experience) with higher RPM and a noisy output, these promise to go as low as 400RPM, but still manage good airflow and low noise, which is something we’re eager to test.
The box is quite large, which I found funny as when I first opened it, I was expecting a much bigger cooler. There’s a nice stylish picture on the front of the box, as well as details of the main spec (see above) around the box.
The size of the box quickly becomes apparent, there’s quite a treasure trove of bits and bobs to be found inside. The mounting kit includes AMD and Intel brackets, a support bar, fan clips, back plate, retention screws and rubber caps, a tube of thermal paste and Molex to fan adaptors; literally everything you’ll need and more!
Both of the fans are of a very nice quality, which all black fittings and cables, as well as some durable black rubber braiding on the cables.
Both fans come with 4-pin headers, as well as built-in Y-splitters, handy if you’re short on fan connectors on your motherboard. Even if you are short on connectors, at least you’ll also find Molex adaptors in the box.
The Cooler is really nicely designed, with a very cool looking fin-stack that is full of aggressive angles and shapes. Sure, these shapes do add to the aesthetic, but don’t be fooled, as they’re primary purpose is to increase the surface area and push the airflow around the heat pipes, helping to better dissipate heat.
The cooler is very nice to look at and it’s impressive to see those heat pipes packed in so neatly while maintaining such a short form factor. There’s room to mount one of the fans on either side of the cooling towers, allowing you to best suit the fan configuration to the space within your chassis.
There’s sturdy and quite thick block on the base, giving plenty of room to hold all five heat pipes together and this gives a good even coverage of heat pipe over the entire CPU block too, which should help cooling performance a lot.
The heat pipes stick out at the top of the cooler, but the top plate has been given a good polish, giving it a shiny and appealing look.
The bottom of the block is finishing to a mirror shine and is super flat and smooth; this should ensure a clean and even fit across your CPU of choice.
We’re big fans of Raijintek here at eTeknix, time and time again they’ve delivered stunning products at very attractive prices and that’s something I’m hoping to see yet again with their latest product, the Raijintek Styx.
The Styx features the very popular Micro-ATX form factor, meaning it’s great for a compact gaming system or workstation, as it’ll hold a high-end motherboard, water cooling, an ATX power supply and two graphics cards, giving it a lot of room for everything from a budget build, right up to a high-performance gaming monster. It also features a range of colours, as well as aluminium construction, so there’s no doubt that it’ll look great in a wide range of environments.
“STYX, RAIJINTEK’s new aluminum Micro-ATX case in 2015, has a remarkable elegant appearance design and high compatibility with your PC system. STYX is compatible with regular/ standard ATX Power supply, max. 280mm VGA card, 180mm height CPU cooler. STYX provides best cooling solution, 120mm fan pre-installed at rear, optional 2*120mm fan on top /side, optional 120mm fan at bottom and max. 240mm radiator cooling on top/side. Moreover, STYX offer a drive bay for Slim DVD on side. Entirely black coated inside, aluminum color hair-silk anodized appearance, STYX satisfies not only your request of looking for elegant taste, but simultaneously satisfies the joy of installing a performing case.” – Raijintek
All the basics are taken care of, with room for a good amount of storage drives, as well as a slim ODD, graphics cards of up to 280mm and CPU coolers of up to 180mm.
Cooling support is great, but keep in mind that a top mounted radiator could conflict with a multi-GPU configuration, so be sure to doubt check compatibility before doing so.
Check out this brief introduction from Raijintek, which shows you some of the great features you can expect to find in their new Styx chassis.
The Raijintek Styx immediately impressed, with gorgeous brushed aluminium panels on all sides, giving it a sleek and premium look. The left side panel is a blank panel, as the motherboard is mounted inverted, so this would be the “rear” panel behind the motherboard. The side panels are held in place with four small screws on the side, not the easiest to get into in a hurry, but at least you don’t have the large screws sticking out at the back.
The right side panel has a lot more going on, with a slim ODD slot on the bottom-front edge, which is discrete enough that you may not have seen it, had I not mentioned it. There’s also a nice side panel window, which is positioned so that you can see the motherboard, CPU cooler and rear fan mounting.
The front panel looks just as gorgeous as the side panels, with a nicely placed power button with LED trim at the top and a small Raijintek logo at the bottom; I must admit, this would look great sitting next to a TV unit as a HTPC.
There is all kinds of stuff going on around the back! At the top, you’ll find two routing grommets, which can be used to expand the water cooling or simply as a cable passthrough. There’s also a PSU cable pass-through here, as the PSU mounts towards the front of the chassis. Below all that, you’ll find five ventilated expansion slot covers, which come fitted with a clip-on screw guard.
The top of the Styx improves on the (fairly) similar Metis Mini-ITX chassis design, adding a large filtered air vent, perfect for water cooling, fans, or just improving the passive airflow.
On the base, even more ventilation for bottom mounted cooling, as well as the very important PSU mounting space. There are four rubber feet, which will help reduce vibration, but also provide a nice bit of ground clearance for the PSU exhaust.
SilverStone announced a new entry to the Precision series, the PS12 Micro-ATX chassis. The PS12 was created with the goal of exceeding user experience and expectation for affordable PC chassis by offering a wide range of features and complete it off with great build quality.
The SilverStone PS12 offers two external 5.25-inch drive bays as well as four internal 3.5-inch and one 2.5-inch drive bays. The is one 120mm fan included and mounted in the front where you also can mount an 80mm fan. The rear or the chassis can hold an 80mm or 92mm fan while the side panel features oversized vents. Overall, plenty of cooling for a small chassis.
You can mount Micro-ATX and Mini-ITX motherboards in this chassis and it takes normal PS2/ATX sized power supplies. It is compatible with expansion cards, IE graphics cards, with a length of up to 14.1-inch, allowing you to use even bigger graphics cards.
The CPU cooler has to stay within the 140mm height specifications, but there are quite a few to pick from in a size up to that. You get two front USB 3.0 ports as well as headset connectors. Overall, everything you want from a chassis without having to pay a premium for something that just needs to work.
SilverStone also added removable fan filter, created the PS12 with all black painted interior, and a CPU backplate cutout. The recommended end user price for the SilverStone PS12 is set to $45 USD excl. VAT and it will be available on November the 25th.
Quick access filters to prevent dust buildup
Motherboard backplate opening for quick CPU cooler assembly
Supports four expansion slots cards up to 14.1 inches long
Jonsbo announced that it is releasing the new sleek-looking UMX3 Micro-ATX case. The steel and aluminum case features a minimalistic and clean design that will look great for years to come. The front panel of the case features dual USB 3.0 ports, dual USB 2.0 ports, mic in, headphone out, and a power button.
The case is cooled by a top-mounted single 140mm fan and a single 120mm rear fan, which would be sufficient enough to accommodate an AIO water cooling setup or even a custom setup. There are two versions that will be available, a windowless version for 119.99 Euro or a smoked acrylic side panel version for 124.99 Euro. The case can accommodate large video cards up to a maximum length of 320mm, and CPU coolers of up to 163mm in height. On the bottom of the case, there is a HDD cage that can contain up to three 2.5 inch drives, and another 2.5 inch or 3.5inch drive can be secured to a bottom plate.
Technical Specifications of the UMX3:
Form factor: Micro-ATX, Mini-ITX
Installation options for HDD/SSD: 1 x 3.5 inch, 3 x 2.5 inch or 4 x 2.5 inch
So far we have mostly been hearing about the Z170 based motherboards for Intel’s 6th generation Core processors, but that isn’t the only platform available for Skylake. There are also the H170, B150, and H110 chipsets available and MSI just revealed their trio based on the H110 chipset.
The three new motherboards are the H110M PRO-VVH, H110M PRO-VD, and H110M PRO-D. The new micro ATX sized motherboards are available in both DDR4 or DDR3 low voltage DRAM solutions and they naturally come with Windows 10 WHQL certification.
MSI also added the unique DDR4 Boost technology that is designed with optimized traces and fully isolated memory circuitry. This design ensures the memory signals stay pure for optimal performance and stability. MSI M-Cloud is another included feature that provides a convenient and secure way of saving personal files in the cloud without complicated settings.
The motherboards are built with Military Class 4 components that ensure stability under extreme conditions as well as ECO Power that improves the efficiency. EZ Debug LED, overvoltage protection, and VGA Armor are also part of the deal and so is the Audio Boost for great sound quality.
With a budget solution like these, over the more extreme enthusiast models in the Z170 series, many people will opt to run them on the iGPU instead of adding a dedicated graphics card. The new PRO series supports both legacy monitors here via DVI and D-Sub, but also crisp clear 4K UHD with HDMI and DP connectors.
Silverstone is one of the most recognisable chassis brands on the market, which comes as no surprise given that they seem to launch more products per year than virtually any other manufacturer. The Sugo series of chassis has long been a success, something that’s no doubt obvious given that the model we have at our disposal today is the twelfth iteration, the Sugo SG12.
The SG12 keeps many of the design features and specifications of its more recent siblings, with a newly revised front panel that’s more practical than most, room for large graphics cards, an optical drive, an incredible amount of storage drives and a full ATX PSU; this may be a fairly small chassis, but it’ll give some mid-towers a run for their money in terms of specifications.
In the box, you won’t find a huge amount of extras, but there is enough screws to get all your hardware installed, a few cable tidies and a handy owners manual to guide you through the chassis’ capabilities.
Now onto the good stuff! The chassis comes with plenty of ventilation for your components, vital given it can hold so much in a compact space. There’s a long ventilated section on the left, which would be idea for feeding your GPU with cool air, although there’s no dust filter, so you may need to give it a clean a little more often.
The right side panel also has a long ventilated section, but also a slightly large bit towards the front, behind which you’ll find a 120mm fan for cooling the many hard drive bays at the front.
Since it’s the front of the chassis you’ll likely be viewing the most, I’m happy to see that Silverstone have treated it with a brushed aluminium front panel, as well as a very sturdy blue aluminium handle.
The handle isn’t just for show either, you can easily pick up the system with it, meaning lugging it from one LAN party to the next can be done with one hand. The front panel has all the usual power buttons, as well as a pair of USB 3.0 and audio ports. You’ll also find a 5.25″ drive bay, handy for use with an optical drive, fan controller, card reader, etc.
Around the back, you’ll notice that the left, top and right side panels are infact a single piece, which is held in place by three screws at the back of the chassis. There’s an ATX PSU mount at the top, as well as room for a mini-ITX or Micro-ATX motherboard in the bottom.
There’s not much to see on the top, other than the two bits of ventilation for the optional 80mm fans.
There’s not really a lot to see on the base, but there’s four firm rubber grips that will prevent it sliding around your desk or AV stand.
Atomic Gaming is a very new player on the component market, offering a range of peripherals and most importantly, today at least, a range of chassis targeted at the gaming market. Their latest model is the Hyperian Micro-ATX and it comes in that increasingly popular cube-style form factor that acts as a nice step up from the mini-ITX craze that hit the market a couple of years ago. We recently reviewed one of the Element Gaming chassis range a few weeks ago, the Atomic ITX and it was a fantastic little product, so I’m hoping this new product will at least live up to that standard; you can check out the full review of the Atomic ITX here.
“The Hyperion is designed specifically for gamers and multimedia enthusiasts who want to build a high-specification computer in a small form factor case. The Hyperion chassis can house either a micro ATX or mini ITX motherboard and the roomy interior offers plenty of space for the PC builder.”
As you can see, the Hyperion has modest but capable specifications, with room for (up to) Micro-ATX motherboards, long graphics cards and plenty of storage, so let’s jump in and take a much closer look at what else this chassis has to offer.
Materials – Steel / Plastic
Colours – Black / Blue
Dimensions (WxHxD) – 330 x 275 x 330mm
Motherboard sizes – Micro ATX, Mini ITX
Clear side panel
USB 3.0 x 2, USB 2.0 x 1, Audio input x 2
External bays 5.25″ – 1 (removable)
Internal bays 3.5″ – 5 (2+3)
Internal bays 2.5″ – 7 (2 + 5)
PCI slots – 5
The first thing you’ll notice is that the Hyperion is quite square, this is due to its dual compartment design, on the left you’ll have your main hardware and the right side your PSU and storage. The left side panel has a pair of thumb screws holding it in place and a nice and clear side panel window to show off your system build.
The front panel is nicely finished, with rounded edges on the sides, a 5.25″ drive bay cover near the top and to give it a little flair there’s a little bit of blue trip on the seam between the top panel and the rest of the chassis.
the right side panel is a rather functional design, offering extra ventilation to the internal hardware. Most importantly will be the vent at the bottom, as this will feed air to the PSU which mounts there. Both of the vents have clip-in mesh dust filters on the interior; not the best kind of filter, but it’ll get the job done.
Around the back, you’ll find a small handle area that allows you to pull the top panel off, two rubber grommets, a 120mm fan mount with optional 92/80mm mounts and five expansion slots. As I said before, you’ll be mounting your PSU behind the motherboard area and it will need to be mounted on its side to accommodate it, but any ATX PSU should fit with ease.
The top panel is a little love hate, I love it, it looks cool… but I suspect it looks a little like an air conditioner; oh well, those holes are for cooling I guess!
The main I/O is nicely designed with the power and USB 2.0 port on the first block, USB 3.0 and an audio jack on each of the next two, then the large power button. A nice little touch is that the power button is trimmed with the same blue as the underside of the top panel.
The base of the chassis has four feet with rubber grips, handy for those who don’t want it sliding around their desktop! There’s also two separate dust filters, perfect for any base mounted cooling and they should be easy to maintain.
A few months ago, I reviewed the gorgeous Phanteks Enthoo EVOLV Micro-Tower Chassis and I loved it enough to award it with our Editors Choice Award. This week, we’ve gone a lot further up the Phanteks range, to take a look at their mighty Mini XL Now, the world mini might not imply that this is a big chassis, but it certainly isn’t mini at all, and we’ll show you why that is in just a moment.
Enthoo Mini XL includes 2 x 140mm fan in front and 1 x 140mm fan in the rear. Ability to upgrade to additional fans is possible. All fans included are Phanteks’ new redesigned and better performing SP series fans.
Sandblasted aluminum faceplates with matte finish
Multi-color LED light strips
Stealth interior design
Extreme cooling capacity
Support for up to 14x 120mm / 8x 140mm
Comes with 3 Phanteks premium fans
PWM fan hub plus 2x y-splitters allow for 8 fan connections* (11 fans max with additional y-splitters sold separately)
Extensive water cooling support. Provides up to 5 different installation areas for slim and thick radiators varying from single to triple (120mm and 140mm form factors). Clearance for push-pull fan configurations.
Dual removable harddrive cages
2x removable Drop-N-Lock SSD brackets
Fully equipped with dustfilters (1x top, 1x front, 2x bottom)
Removable top panel for easy fan installation and dust filter cleaning
Compartment for fan installation in top panel
Clean cable management using Phanteks’ preinstalled Hoop-N-Loop cable ties
Mod friendly structure uses screws NOT rivets
10 color ambient lighting controller
2x USB 3.0, microphone, 3.5mm audio jack
The Mini XL comes with support for Micro-ATX motherboards, despite being a little bigger than most mid-towers and almost as tall as some full-towers. It also comes with support, through the purchase of some additional brackets which I have at my disposal today, for mini-ITX motherboards. What’s important to mention is that this isn’t an either-or situation, as it’ll support both a Micro-ATX and a Mini-ITX motherboard simultaneously!
“The MINI XL introduces a new form factor, super micro ATX. With its unique power supply location, the Mini XL case has been redesigned with optimal cooling in mind. Resembling the Enthoo Primo, it offers extensive water-cooling possibilities and supports the thickest radiators in the market (80mm). The case brings modularity to a new level. Almost every single panel or bracket can be removed or relocated to serve different purposes. For the ones who desire even more, the Mini XL leaves options for additional upgrades. Pherhaps the most interesting one is the possibility to transform the MINI XL into a dual motherboard system.” –Phanteks
One of the biggest features of this chassis is its water cooling support and the best way to demonstrate this would be the video below. It’s obvious that water cooling enthusiasts are going to love this chassis!
In the box, you get everything you need to get you started, from hard drive and water cooling adaptor brackets, as well as a lovely mini component box for all the screws you’re ever likely to require.
First things first, I’m pretty sure this chassis is coated in some kind of military grade paint used for stealth jets. In a well-lit room with a camera flash for extra light, it still manages to look dark black; that’s not a bad thing, but it’s terrible for some of my photographs. The left side panel features two windows, the larger one on the left, then a smaller one on the right to show off two extra SSD mounts and the Phanteks logo on the inside of the chassis; a great way to show off your fancy SSDs.
The right side panel comes with two ventilated sections with magnetic dust filters on the interior. The one near the front can be used for cooling fans or radiators, or just passive cooling for the hard drive bays dependent on your internal configuration of choice. The section at the rear is for the PSU, which is side mounted in the top right of the chassis.
The front panel looks really cool, with a mixture of curved edges and bold shapes. You can see that the has an extended took to it, with the main section sort of floating from the bottom and right sides of the chassis, which comes with a ten colour LED light strip, further adding to that “floating” effect. This extended design means the chassis is quite wide, but that will help drastically with radiator support, as well as the dual motherboard configurations that are compatible.
Around the back, you’ll see all kinds of crazy things going on. There’s a PSU mount in the top left corner, a universal 120/140mm spacing fan and radiator mount on the right, then down at the bottom you have your Micro-ATX motherboard mounting. Now, it’s worth mentioning that the radiator panel as well as the small panel in the bottom right corner can be unscrewed completely, lifted out of the chassis and replaced with an alternative panel to allow you to install an SFX PSU and Mini-ITX motherboard on top of all the usual hardware; don’t worry, we’ll be doing that shortly.
The top panel is vast, allowing huge amounts of ventilated airflow for a wide range of fan and radiator configurations as you saw in the video at the start of this review.
The front panel is tucked to the right side of the top of the chassis and comes with the usual power controls, two USB 3.0 ports and HD Audio jacks.
Instead of smaller feet, the chassis has two long feet that run the full length of the chassis, giving it extra stability; There are six tough rubber pads to help keep it firmly planted on your surface of choice. There are two dust filters that cover the full length of the chassis, and what’s really nice is that these filters can be removed from the left side of the chassis, making maintenance a much easier task.
ASUS showed off their new X99M-WS motherboard back at Computex in June and then there was a bit silence on that regards while users patiently await its release. That time should now be upon us as it’s being reported that ASUS formally launched this new Micro-ATX motherboard with LGA2011v3 socket and Intel X99 Express chipset.
This could very well be the most feature rich motherboard in this category, with this chipset and this form factor. With support for Core i7 “Haswell-E” processors and certain Xeon E5 v3 models and four DIMM slots for up to 64GB quad-channel memory, this board starts out great. Additionally you’ll get three PCIe 3.0 x16 slots (x16/x16/x8 or x8/x8/x8) as well one PCIe x1 slot for expansion cards of your choice.
Storage doesn’t come short either with eight SATA3 ports and one 32Gbps M.2 slot. On top of that you could use the PCIe slots for even more storage, may it be by RAID and storage controllers or PCIe storage drives. You also get a full coverage on connectivity with dual Intel i210 Gigabit Ethernet, Bluetooth 4.0, and 802.11ac Wireless LAN.
You’ll also find the latest generation of USB ports where this board features two Type-A USB 3.1 ports on top of the six USB 3.0 and several USB 2.0 ports. There’s also a proper onboard sound solution thanks to the 8-channel ASUS CrystalSound 2.
Thank You TechPowerUp for providing us with this information
It’s been two years since I first reviewed the BitFenix Prodigy M, but today, I’ll be revisiting this now classic Prodigy chassis design to take a look at the latest Colour series from BitFenix. Colour choices are always a welcome addition to any range and from a consumer perspective, having more choice is no bad thing. Colour coordinating your build becomes a lot easier when you can pick something that suits your needs and preferences. Today I’ve got the Prodigy M Red, as well as a few other bonus goodies from BitFenix to help with the build, such as the BitFenix Fury PSU, a 120mm Spectra Pro red LED fan, a BitFenix Alchemy white LED strip, as well as a red side panel window.
Prodigy M Colours available
As you can see, this is the original Prodigy shape and design, the only real difference is the colour, which is obviously red.
The SofTouch treated front panel and the handle/stands on the top and bottom blend nicely with the soft finish of the red paintwork.
The black trim fits rather well, especially since most gaming hardware is in red and black these days; this should be one of the more popular colour choices.
The back of the chassis is still finished in black, which suggests the core of the chassis is the same across the whole colour range, with just the exterior panels being swapped; makes sense really.
The top ventilation cover.
Behind which you’ll find the dual 120mm fan mounts.
The bottom of the chassis comes with a heat guard, although this can be removed if you wish to install fans in the base of the chassis.
If you don’t want extra fans here, you can opt for mounting hard drives directly to the base of the chassis.
Aindees may not be the first name you think of when you go shopping for a new chassis, but we’ve seen a few of their products in the past and we’ve certainly been impressed by their build quality, features and competitive pricing. Their latest chassis, the dual chamber Micro-ATX AI-07M, promises to be a versatile solution that needs a compact system, but still have enough room for many of today’s high-end components such as long graphics cards, lots of storage and water cooling.
Dual chamber design divides hot running components, one chamber deliver cooler air to MB, CPU, GPU, another one for HDD and PSU.
Chassis comes with four 120mm led fans in the front and also can be upgraded with several additional fans if needed.
Featuring several options for placing water cooling, providing excellent cooling solutions.
Support max 3* 240 Rad and 1 * 120 Rad.
Quiet operation with 200mm fan in the front. (Optional)
Support ATX, m-ATX, and Mini-ITX
Cable management and CPU retaining hole for easy maintenance.
Supports 1 * 5.25″, 4 * 3.5″ or 5 * 2.5″ devices ( 4 * 2.5″ convert from 3.5″ cage)
Air cooling support up to 8 x120mm fans plus 1x90mm in the rear side
Compact size with 41.5L
Support USB 3.0*2, USB 2.0*2 in the front, Audio*1, Mic*1
Mesh bezel provides maximum air flow.
Removable mesh top cover
Dust filters in the front, top, bottom and side panel.
Fan Hub and Fan Controller add on shipment from 15.03.2015
The AI-07 is available in four variants, black, white and a windowless or windowed version of each colour. It comes with all the usual bells and whistles you would expect from a modern chassis, such as USB 3.0 support, tool free storage bays, lots of GPU and CPU cooler clearance and more.
Out of the box, the chassis certainly looks great, with a huge side panel window showing off the chassis interior and that little Anidees logo on the bottom right corner.
The right side panel has a large ventilation cut-out on it, this will allow airflow to the PSU and it comes with a magnetic dust filter on the interior, but we’ll see that better in a moment.
The front panel is packed full of features, with the 5.25″ drive bay and the power controls at the top, four USB ports, HD audio ports and most importantly, that massive filtered ventilation panel, behind which you’ll find a 200mm blue LED fan pre-installed; great for lots of airflow at low RPM.
The back of the chassis isn’t exactly lacking in feature either! In the top left corner is a small fan control switch, which connects to an interior fan hub. It features three settings; low, medium and high. In the top right there’s a pair of water/cable routing grommets. Further down you’ll find a 120/140mm fan mount, with a 140mm fan pre-installed, five expansion slots, the PSU mount and another 120/140mm fan mount with another 140mm fan pre-installed. You’ll also notice three thumb screws across the middle, these are used to detach the motherboard tray, which can be completely removed should you feel the need.
The top panel has a fan/radiator mount with an externally mounted dust/debris filter.
Behind the cover, you’ll find dual 120/140mm fan mounts, which could also be used for radiators, dependent on your system configuration.
The base of the chassis has more thumb screws, which can be used to fully remove the other interior components of the chassis, such as the hard drive bays, making the chassis mod friendly.
New chassis manufacturers are few and far between these days, there are so many great brands out there stamping out new products year after year, that it’s actually pretty hard to find a bad product these days, especially when your budget is north of £100. Of course, that is great, but also part of the problem, most cases are quite literally stamped out on a big production line and in the process, they lose some of the magic that chassis modders look to inject into their builds. The chassis we have today, the Hex Gear R40, looks to address this by creating a chassis by modders, for modders.
Hex Gear are quickly growing in popularity, with the team behind the chassis having a lot of passion for creating custom modding components, so they already know a fair bit of what people would like. I’ve been eager to get my hands on the R40 for some time now, especially since I’ve seen some of the incredible modding work that has been done with it prior to the chassis’ release. I won’t be doing any modding today, but we’re certainly going to get a real good look at what this chassis has to offer. At £199.99 each, it is expensive, but it makes a lot of promises too, so let’s get right to it and check it out!
“The R40 is built with the ideology that less is more. We have aimed to make a solid case without a tonne of fancy features. Focusing on making a simple, easy to customize construction instead of implementing a lot of “tool less” “quick disconnect” features that often create more harm than good for the end user. We decided to use heavy grade bolts and nuts to keep everything together, this also means no rivets to drill out, no plastic latches that break off etc. But don’t worry, all the tools you will need to put your R40 together is supplied in the box.”
Check out the teaser trailer for the Hex Gear R40 below.
The box for the R40 is a whopping 15KG, that’s a hell of a lot heavier than any other Micro-ATX chassis I’ve ever heard of. All the components are well wrapped and packaged to keep them safe in transit.
In the box, I found 25 meticulously wrapped components, each with various amounts of bubble wrap, protective film, foam padding and more.
So, let’s go through them all one by one and take a look at what you get for your money. The first item I opened was one section of the front panel. It has the Hex Gear logo cut into it and surprise, hexagons are cut into it. There’s also a circular cut-out at the end for the power button.
For thick and incredibly heavy rails, the will run the length of the chassis; two at the top, two at the bottom.
They have grooves cut into them to slide them over the fixing bolts.
As I said, these are quite thick and durable, weighing in at 3KG combined.
Three thick plastic strips, each covered with protective film.
Two long metal strips.
A blank plate, which will be used for hiding your cable management behind the motherboard.
The metal section of the rear of the chassis. Again, more hexagons and a very cool 120mm fan mount cut-out, as well as air intakes at the top and bottom.
The motherboard I/O and expansion slot add-on, this mounts onto the back of the part above.
Each expansion slot is fitted with a thumb screw and a reusable solid cover.
The hard drive mounting tray. This panel supports three configurations;
Two 3.5″ drives & one 2.5″ drive
One 3.5″ drive & two 2.5″ drives
Three 2.5″ drives
This is an interesting panel, it’s blank, but it’s designed to be modified. You can cut and drill it to suit the needs of your components, such as water cooling pumps. Don’t worry if you lack the tools for this, Hex Gear sell pre-customised mounting panels to suit your needs; how thoughtful!
Two clear plastic mounting stands. These act like a display mount and give the chassis a little ground clearance.
This can be the top or bottom panel, as this chassis can be used inverted! There’s a universal fan/radiator mount, with room for up to a 240mm radiator. There’s also a few small cable routing cut-outs as well as the mount for the PSU.
Another panel for the top or bottom. This time with room for up to a 360mm radiator and another two cable routing holes.
The right side panel, it’s a big blank panel but comes with the same lovely powder black finish as the rest of the components.
The motherboard backplate, pre-drilled with holes to mount the motherboard stand-offs, as well as a good size cut-outs for the CPU cooler, cable routing and more.
The left side panel, which has a huge cut-out for mounting the side panel window. Everything is in bits here, so you’re going to have to install that window yourself, but building this chassis should be half of the fun!
The top and bottom cover are cut with lots of ventilation for any fans/radiators you wish to install.
There’s a range of perspex inserts with the chassis, one each for the front and back, one more for the side panel.
Hex Gear made us some rather gorgeous eTeknix blue panels, which have been cut to support the chassis in an inverted Micro-ATX setup, which the ones above are for the non- inverted setup; don’t worry, you’ll see them with the protective film removed shortly!
There’s a step-by-step manual.
Instructions look quite complicated at some points, bu all pretty well laid out in the manual, nothing I shouldn’t be able to manage.
Finally, the stack of fitting components, just the usual assortment of nuts and bolts really, as well as some single sided foam tape (anti-vibration padding) and a rather lovely Bulgin switch for the front panel. Now, let’s start putting this beast together!
Silverstone are the masters of small form factor chassis designs, we’ve seen time and time again that they can deliver competitively priced products that meet consumer demands and in many cases, exceed them. Their SUGO series is one of their most popular series and as we’ve seen in previous reviews, it’s not hard to understand why. They often pack lots of high-end hardware, with little or no compromise, into a tiny form factor that makes them suitable for a wide range of applications. Naturally, I’m hoping and more so expecting a repeat of their past successes with the SUGO SST-SG11 which we are reviewing today.
The SG11 is one of the slightly larger chassis in the small form factor category, but it still carries that classic shoe-box style shape and its slightly larger size is for good reason; the SG11 is capable of housing a micro-ATX motherboard, as well as a full ATX PSU and plenty of other hardware. As you can see below, the long shape of the chassis provides us with space for lots of ventilation down the side; perfect for any long graphics cards. The SG11 will support cards as long as 368mm; very impressive for something of this size.
The right side features even more ventilation, the front most section for a pre-installed 120mm fan that will keep your hard drives cool and provide some air intake for the rest of your components, which the ventilation next to that is passive and will allow airflow to your motherboard and CPU components.
The front panel is really nicely finished. A pair of mirror finish strips give it a nice premium look and also give you a lovely look at the purple carpet I have in my office. This design is nice, as it’ll look great in the office, but also as part of your AV setup if you’re planning a HTPC-style build.
Tucked away at the top of the front panel, a rubber cover protects/hides the dual USB 3.0 ports and HD audio jacks. This is nice as it keeps the front looking smart when you’re not using them, but also helps keep dust and debris from gathering in the ports.
Around the back, you can see even more ventilation, there no doubt that you’ll have little issue getting air in and out of this chassis! There’s an ATX power supply mount with the motherboard mount directly below it. On the right, you’ll find four expansion slots, perfect for those wanting a dual-GPU setup and a Micro-ATX motherboard.
On the top of the chassis, you will find two more vents, behind which you can see mounts for two optional 80mm fans that would be situated directly above your expansion cards; this could be perfect for keeping your graphics cards cool.
There’s very little to see on the base, but what is nice is that the four feet have been treated with a rubber ring, which will help keep the chassis from sliding around on your chosen surface.
In September 2013, Grand Theft Auto V finally hit our screens, albeit via the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, consoles that I loved playing on, but which were kept as a lead platform for far longer than they should have been. They weren’t incredibly powerful systems to begin with and time wasn’t kind to them. The buffed up release on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 sure looked pretty, but they still weren’t the way I wanted to play Grand Theft Auto V, not even close.
The PC release of the game was a mystery for so long, but I kept my faith. I was sure that it will be happening and it comes as little shock that I was right on the money. The only downside to the PC release was that it took so much longer than the console editions to be released. I’ve stuck to my guns and since the original console release, I haven’t played a single minute of GTA V, I don’t know the story and the only things I have seen of the gameplay are funny videos that get posted to YouTube and Reddit.
So why did I wait so long? The promise of 4K gaming, frame rates that are at least above 30, increased texture detail, longer draw distances, mods and the multitude of other graphics enhancements that PC gaming provides us. On top of that, I love my Nvidia Shield and use it to stream games around my house, the prospect of playing GTA V on a tablet while laid in bed is just too tempting. The prospect of playing it streamed to my big screen TV in 1080p at 60FPS with the graphics dialed up to ultra, even more so.
BitFenix is one of the coolest chassis manufacturers around. Time and time again we’ve seen them continue to innovate, with products that have proven massively successful with gamers and system builders around the world. Today, it looks like we’re in for a repeat performance, with the recent release of their eye-catching Aegis gaming chassis.
The Aegis is packed full of features that will appeal to virtually any system builder, but more importantly, the enthusiast gaming market. With room for ultra high-end graphics cards, modular storage bays, water cooling support, a PSU shroud and a whole lot more. Also, let’s not forget that it comes with their ICON display, a small LCD display hidden in the front panel that allows you to apply custom logos to the front of your chassis!
First impressions of this case are very good. We’ve got the black and red edition, which certainly stands out in more ways than one; it looks like Tony Stark designed a PC case! There’s a huge side panel window for showing off your hardware and a great mixture of glossy trim that accents the stunning red colour of the chassis. Down the side of the front panel, you’ll find plenty of ventilation for any front-mounted cooling. Front fans are optional, so it’s recommended you plan your cooling before you start your build.
A gorgeous glossy red panel on the right side. Both side panels are held in place by a pair of thumb screws at the back of the chassis.
The glossy black front panel looks incredible, but it is a bit of a dust magnet, so you may want to keep a microfiber cloth to hand. Sorry fans of optical bays too, as you simply won’t find any here.
The top of the chassis houses a three-speed fan controller, the power button with a lovely BitFenix logo on it and the reset button. There’s a pair of USB 3.0 ports and HD audio jacks there too; it’s nice to see more chassis ditching the now aging USB 2.0 ports.
The top panel houses even more ventilation, with a lift-out cover for easy maintenance and installation of your fans/radiators.
The overall finish and quality are fantastic, although I wouldn’t have expected anything less from BitFenix, as they often impress with their designs.
Around the back, you’ll find a pair of routing grommets at the top, a pre-installed 120mm exhaust fan, five expansion slots with ventilated covers and the PSU mount; nothing overly interesting, but at least all the basics appear to be in place.
On the bottom, you’ll find four rubber grip feet that provide a stable base for your system; the feet also give good ground clearance for any bottom mounted cooling and your PSU.
The magnetic filter runs the full length of the chassis, making maintenance a quick and easy process.
Silverstone has released the first micro-ATX chassis in their Kublai series that is built with an optimal layout for efficiency. The new chassis is the KL06 and it comes equipped with dual 120mm quiet fans for cooling multiple drives and high-end components in a classic wrapping.
The internal body structure is based on the benchmark Temjin TJ08-E and Precision PS06, resulting in a new design that meets both current and future demands. There is enough space to accommodate graphics cards with a length of up to 13.5 inch, CPU cooler up to 165mm height, and PSU of up to 180mm length. Externally you’ll get two 5.25-inch bays and inside there are another one 3.5-inch and eight 2.5-inch drive bays.
Besides the two front side intake 120mm fans, the KL06 also has room for a rear 120mm exhaust fan. The front panel features two USB 3.0 ports as well as audio jacks for your headset.
For easy assembly and more convenience, the KL06 features a removable drive cage, motherboard tray, and top panel. The filters are accessible from the outside, which makes the normal maintenance very easy too. The SilverStone Kublai KL06 is a cool looking chassis full of features, and the price isn’t bad either. The recommended End User price (excl. VAT) is $79.98 USD.
Silverstone is one of the greatest and most established names in the chassis industry, in fact, they’re not exactly lacking in other parts of the market either, with extensive product ranges that cater to power supplies, cooling and much more. Silverstone have a lot of technical knowledge when it comes to what makes a great system and you can see that knowledge being put to great use across their entire range; something we hope to see once again in our latest review.
Today I have the latest entry in the Kublai series and this one is particularly special, as it is the first Micro-ATX form factor product in that range; no doubt to address the increased system capacities required by many of today’s high-end components, such as RAID arrays and long graphics cards.
“Being the first Micro-ATX chassis in the Kublai series, a line of cases famed for layout efficiency with classic styling, the KL06 fills the role perfectly. Equipped with dual 120mm quiet fans for cooling multiple drives and high-end components, it retains SilverStones’ signature positive pressure design for effective dust prevention.” – SilverStone
The chassis caters well to modern hardware, dropping support for lots of 3.5″ drives, favoring a setup for 8 x 2.5″ drives and just a single 3.5″ drive on the interior. Storage bays are removable to make way for water cooling, there’s room for a large graphics card, high-end PSU and a whole lot more; so let’s get right to it and take a closer look at what the KL06 has to offer!
The Kublai is a fairly simple looking chassis, but none the less, one that is very nicely designed. The left side panel is a solid panel, cut from thick steel that should help greatly reduce unwanted noise and vibrations from your system.
Another thick panel on the right side of the chassis. Both side panels are mounted with two thumbscrews at the rear, providing you with quick and easy access to the chassis interior.
The front panel is really nicely designed, with two 5.25″ drive bays at the top and a semi-transparent front panel mesh, behind which you can see the front fans.
The main I/O panel has all the usual ports and switches while also being another of this years chassis to drop the older USB 2.0 ports entirely.
The front cover can be easily removed via clip at the bottom, allowing you to easily clean the filter and maintain your fans.
Around the back, you’ll quickly notice that the motherboard mounting is inverted, with the I/O at the bottom and the PSU mounting at the top. There’s plenty of ventilation here, an optional fan mount at the bottom and a screw on protective cover for the four expansion slot mounts.
The top panel has a large ventilation section for the PSU air intake.
It has a magnetic dust filter attached, which is far easier to keep clean than most PSU filters that are located on the underside of the chassis.
There’s four rubber feet on the bottom of the chassis to help keep it firmly in place, even on hard surfaces.
The newest motherboard to come from BIOSTAR is the micro-ATX sized Intel H81-based H81MDC-LSP motherboard. The new motherboard supports Intel’s 4th generation Core i7 and i5 processors and comes with upgraded sound chip and LAN surge protection. The H81 chipset provides the board with two SATA3 and four SATA2 ports, two USB 3.0 ports and support for up to 1600MHz memory of which you can have up to 16GB on the two slots. The new BIOSTAR motherboard looks to be a great combination of features packed in a small form factor with a low cost.
You rarely need more options in an SFF build than one expansion card and two high-speed drives, so why spend money on more than you need. It also supports HDMI video-out through the iGPU, but that must be through an adapter as it doesn’t have a port for it, and it of course also features Intel’s Rapid Start Technology and Smart Connect Technology.
The H81MDC-LSP is built with the X.D.C (eXtreme Durable Capacitors) solid capacitors with a lifetime that can be more than 6.25 times that of ordinary liquid caps. Further protections come in for of the Super LAN Surge protection which provides a LAN port with more advanced anti-static protection capabilities by adding an integrated chip to strengthen electrical stability and prevent damage from lightning strikes and electrical surges.
The boards also feature the latest BIOSTAR technologies such as BIOS Flasher and BIOS Online Update for easy updating and restoration of the BIOS, as well as BIO-Remote2 for remote control of the system via Android and Apple devices.
Lastly, the H81MDC-LSP also features the Charger Booster function for charging those devices that need more power than normal USB ports can provide, such as the iPad, but also works iPhone and Android phones and tablets. It will provide a faster and more efficient charging and can decrease the time needed to charge up to 42%.
The BIOSTAR H81MDC-LSP is a cheap motherboard despite its feature set and the MSRP is set to $49 USD.
Raijintek is quickly establishing a reputation for being one of the best chassis manufacturers around. Time and time again they’ve shown us that they can make fiercely competitive products, that are packed full of features, with great esthetics and build quality, while maintaining a very affordable price point. Raijintek have set such a good standard for themselves, so I have very high expectations of their latest product, the Aeneas Micro-ATX chassis.
The Aeneas is the latest addition to the booming cube-style chassis market. There’s a lot of great chassis’ now available in this form factor, catering to the growing demand of consumers and gamers, for powerful desktop systems. Just like the boom in Mini-ITX chassis after the release of the BitFenix Prodigy, Micro-ATX cube-style chassis’ are now growing in demand as system builders want more space for the latest generations of high-end graphics cards, multi-GPU configurations and of course, room for water cooling, especially with the increasing popularity of custom loop cooling.
As you can see from the specifications below, the Aeneas is a very capable chassis. It has room for Micro-ATX motherboards, five expansion slots, extensive fan/radiator mounting options, clearance for large graphics cards and CPU coolers and a whole lot more!
The left side panel has a large window with a slight tint, giving us a great view of the chassis interior.
The right side panel has a mesh-style cut-out; this will allow airflow to the PSU.
The front panel has a really cool design. There’s plenty of ventilation on the front panel mesh and there’s a 5.25″ and 3.5″ bay; perfect for fan controllers, card readers and optical drives.
There are two 140mm fans pre-installed around the back, with optional 120mm mounts. There are five expansion slots, with two routing grommets above them, giving you plenty of room for expanding your system. The PSU is mounted on its side, hence the ventilation on the right side panel; this should free up lots of space in the bottom section for storage devices.
The top panel matches the overall design of the front panel, with another large ventilated section; perfect for any top mounted cooling. Down the left side, you’ll notice four USB port and on the right, the power switches and HD audio jacks.
Finally, on the underside, you’ll find four durable feet with tough rubber grips; if you plan to put this chassis up on your desk, it shouldn’t slide around.
BitFenix is ready with the new AEGIS Micro-ATX chassis that they first showed us during Computex, and the final version looks great. Overclockers UK thinks the same and has the full colour-range available for you.
The beautiful new case comes in black, white, and three coloured versions: blue, yellow and red. The AEGIS chassis also features the same type ICON logo display previously seen on the Pandora, but this time it is 2.8-inch big. But the chassis isn’t just about looks, it also packs plenty of features.
There is room for a total of eight 120mm fans or five 140mm fans and there is also room for both custom liquid cooling loops as well as closed-loop AIO coolers. The chassis can hold dual 360 loops with slim radiators as well as dual 280mm loops. To control all these coolers, the AEGIS has a built-in fan controller.
Storage won’t be an issue either with 3 tool-less storage cages that can be moved around or taken out all together. But even if you should want to remove them all, you still have a hidden 2.5-inch slot behind the PSU and show-off slot next to the motherboard tray.
BitFenix thought of it all and made sure that there are dust filters on all sides and the PSU cover can hide away that ugly PSU you might have. But it can also be removed if you want to show your fancy and shiny new PSU. The choice is yours. The chassis even comes with reservoir and pump brackets.
Best of all, the chassis doesn’t cost as much as you might expect with a feature list like this. The case can be found at Overclockers for £79.99.
Motherboard: Micro-ATX, Mini-ITX
Dimensions: 205 x 470 x 480 mm
Weight: 6.7 kg
– Heatsink height: 170 mm
– VGA length: 380 mm
– PSU: ATX up to 220mm
Max AIO support (push/push pull): 360 / 360
Max radiator support (push/push pull): 360 (85mm) + 240 (60mm) / 360 (60mm) + 240 (60mm)
– 3.5” Drive slots: 4 (two removable cages with 2 tool-less slots each)
– 2.5” Drive slots: 4 (one removable cage with 2 tool-less slots each, one slot next to the Mainboard, one slot behind the PSU)
Fan Controller: 4 fan headers, 3 speeds (12v, 7v, 5v) with 3 indicator LEDs (white)
– Top: 3x 120mm or 2x 140mm – click on dust filter
– Front: 3x 120mm or 2x 140mm – magnetic dust filter
– Bottom: 1x 120mm – magnetic dust filter
– Rear: 1x 120mm (included)
PCI Slots: 5
I/O: USB 3.0 x 2, Audio, Mic, Power, Reset, Power LED (white), HDD LED (white)
ICON Display: 2.8″ TFT, 240 x 320
Special Features: PSU cover, Magnetic Dust Filters, Pump bracket, Reservoir Bracket, 2 Removable HDD Cages, 1 removable SSD cage, Tool less HDD and SSD system, Hidden 2.5” slot, 2.5” Show Off slot, Window Sidepanel, Rubber Grommets.
Aerocool have been working hard this last couple of years, taking their somewhat unknown chassis products and taking them into the big leagues, where they now compete side-by-side with the likes of NZXT and Corsair in the gaming chassis market. Their Xpredator series is easily one of my favourites and Aerocool have done well to carry many of the style points throughout the entire range, such as with the new Xpredator Cube which we’re reviewing today.
Cube chassis are big business right now, with seemingly every chassis manufacturer moving from the once super popular mini-ITX cube chassis and going into the bigger Micro-ATX territory, most likely due to the increasing popularity of enormous graphics cards and dual GPU setups; something you cannot do with a mini-ITX motherboard.
The Xpredator Cube series is available in a wide range of colours and styles; I have the black and orange model at my disposal today.
The Cube is well equipped, with room for long graphics cards, plenty of storage space, good cooling support and more, so let’s get right to it and take a closer look at its overall design.
The left side panel features an extra long window section, which will be perfect for showing off the cooler design on your graphics cards. There’s a good amount of ventilation on the front left edge of the chassis too, but we’ll come back to that in a moment.
More ventilation on the right side, as well as a section near the rear for the PSU air intake.
The aggressive vents on the side of the chassis, as well as the full height of the front panel, allow huge amounts of airflow to any front-mounted cooling.; there’s a 200mm fan pre-installed in the front.
The main I/O is really nicely designed, with a pair of fan controller dials to help you balance cooling performance and noise. You’ll also find a pair of USB 3.0 ports and HD audio jacks; it’s great to see more chassis manufacturers ditching the older USB 2.0 ports.
Around the back, you’ll find an optional 120/140mm fan mount right about the motherboard area; perfect for an AIO cooler. There’s some extra routing grommets in the top right, four expansion slots and another fan mount in the base, this time with a 140mm fan pre-installed. The PSU is mounted on its side and can be installed from by removing the rear bracket and sliding in your PSU.
The top of the chassis features a cool fin setup, which can be closed down using the slider at the side. This means you can close it to keep dust out and noise in, or open it up on a warm day, giving your system a little extra breathing room.
Four large feet on the base, each coated with a ring of rubber to help reduce vibration and to keep your system from sliding around your desktop.
Bigger isn’t always better and there is a growing number of people building their gaming platform around the mATX form factor. For those, COUGAR created the SPIKE chassis, and that is now available at a range of UK resellers like Kikatek, Lambda-Tek, CCLonline, and Amazon.
Where other cases often suffer, this mini tower can take graphics cards up to 330mm length and hold up to four fans for optimal cooling of those hot running gaming parts.
The SPIKE mini tower sports a gaming themed style and the interior has also been painted black. The drive installation should be both quick and easy with the screwless design for both 3.5-inch and 2.5-inch HDDs/SSDs. The chassis also supports the installing of a 2.5-inch drive at the bottom cover.
Air flow and ventilation are important for a gaming builds and many small cases lack space for both of them. The COUGAR SPIKE has room for a total of four fans: one 80/90/120mm fan for the front (optional), one 80/120mm fan for the rear (pre-installed), and two side 120mm fans (optional).
The COUGAR SPIKE mini-tower gaming case is available now for an £26.99 MSRP.
Thanks to COUGAR for providing us with this information
It’s rare we see a Xigmatek chassis roll through the eTeknix office, but it’s certainly always a pleasure when one does. Xigmatek has a good reputation for creating uniquely designed chassis, with good build quality and competitive prices and it looks like they’re above to tick all those boxes once agin. The Aquila is a Micro-ATX cube type chassis, perfect for those who want a big system in a small box; perfect for LAN gaming, a HTPC setup or for those who are just short on space.
Cube style chassis are a big hit right now and virtually every major manufacturer has launched a new product in this category over the last couple of years. The biggest, or should that be the smallest, innovation in this part of the market is that the smaller chassis have been crammed full of high-end features that make them very competitive when compared to their mid-tower and even full-tower counterparts; a smaller chassis no longer means smaller performance.
The Aquila comes loaded with all the features you could need for a good gaming chassis. You’ll find USB 3.0 support, room for a Mini-ITX or micro-ATX motherboard, a full-size ATX PSU and graphics cards of up to 330mm; more than enough room for many of the biggest cards on the market.
The chassis has a really funky design that means that chassis is slightly raised at the front. The cube form factor is kept nice and level by the sloped handles on the top and bottom of the chassis. The side panel has a tall window that gives you a view of much of the chassis interior.
The right side of the chassis is a similar design to the left, this time of course, skipping the window panel; both side panels are held in place by a pair of thumb screws.
The chassis has a very bold design from the front, with the thick borders on the left and right side formed from the upper and lower supports, giving the chassis the appearance of being suspended between them. There’s a single 5.25″ drive bay at the top and the rest of the front panel is ventilated to allow air flow to any front mounted fans.
Around the back, you’ll find a pre-installed 120mm fan, although the mount will support a 140mm. On the right you’ll find four expansion slots, perfect for those running a multi-GPU setup. There’s a PSU mount at the bottom, with options for regular or inverted mounting, and there’s also a little extra ventilation in the bottom left corner; this is just behind the dedicated 2.5″ drive mounts on the interior of the chassis.
There’s a full-length lift-up dust filter and cover on the top panel, this is to provide airflow to any top mounted cooling such as radiators.
On the top of the chassis, you will find a power button. The button is quite large and contrasts nicely with the black panels of the chassis.
There’s a dust filter for the PSU mount, with benefits from excellent ground clearance thanks to the chassis full-length feet.
Aerocool is well-known for their funky chassis designs and it looks like today will be no exception. Their latest creation is the Strike-X Cube, a micro-ATX form factor edition of their popular Strike-X chassis series. Aerocool have proven time and time again that they can cram an incredible amount of features into their products at a very competitive price and we’re expecting a similar performance from them today.
The Strike-X Cube chassis may be relatively small, but its capabilities are anything but. You’ll find the chassis is capable of housing a Micro-ATX motherboard, two graphics cards of up to 345mm, tall CPU coolers up to 187mm, up to a 280mm water cooling radiator, a built-in fan controller, removable storage bays and more!
1. Super cube gaming case solidly built with 0.7mm Steel.
2. Unique side bar design to take the strength of chassis to the next level.
3. PSU bracket makes installation of PSU easier.
4. Largely increased airflow front and top panels.
5. Completely removable ODD rack for ease of installing water cooling system.
6. Supports DUAL 240/280mm water cooling radiators.
7. Pre-drilled holes for cable management to reduce cable mess.
8. Pre-drilled holes for water cooling tubes.
9. Supports internal 3×3.5″HDD (also compatible with 2.5”) and 2×2.5″HDD/SSD under ODD rack.
10. Supports dual high-end graphic cards up to 320mm ( 345mm when front 20cm fan removed).
11. Supports max. CPU cooler height of 187mm.
12. Supports all PSU lengths.
13. Super-silent 20cm fan and 14cm fan included for front and rear cooling.
14. Supports up to 1 x 20cm, 2x12cm, or 2x14cm fans on top panel.
15. Supports up to 1x 20cm, 2x12cm or 2x14cm fans on front panel ( 1x20cm pre-installed).
16. Supports up to 2x12cm or 2x14cm fans on rear panel (1x 14cm pre-installed).
17. Magnetic PSU dust filter can be easily removed for cleaning.
18. HDD rack is double-secured by 2 screws to ensure the precious data don’t get damaged during transportation.
19. Shock-proof rubber pads for 3.5″ HDDs and PSU.
20. 2x USB3.0/ HD Audio & MIC.
21. Separate fan positions for exhausting the heat from HDD and motherboard.
22. Large Acrylic window for clear viewing.
23. Includes fan controller knobs controls fan/s up to max. 15W/channel.
The Strike-X Cube is available in both black and white, but we obviously have the white model at our disposal today. The left side panel is really nice, not only does it have a stunning white finish, but there’s also a huge side panel window, which will be perfect for showing off your fancy new graphics card.
The power supply is mounted on its side on the interior of the chassis, to accommodate this, the right side panel has a ventilated section in the bottom right corner which comes fitted with a magnetic dust filter.
The front panel has a very aggressive design, mixing the black mesh with the brilliant white of the exterior panels. There’s some blue LED lighting tucked into the vents on the left and right side, for a little added flair, and you can hardly miss the giant “X” shape that runs across the front of the chassis.
The main I/O panel features the usual power and reset buttons, a pair of USB 3.0 ports, HD audio jacks and a funky dial wheel for adjusting the fan RPM.
Around the back of the chassis, you’ll find a 120/140mm fan mount, although the fan is not included. There’s another 120/140mm fan mount in the base, where you will find a 140mm fan pre-installed. The PSU mount is turned on its side and has a removable bracket that allows you to install the PSU directly from the back of the chassis.
The top panel has a similar design to the front panel, with another large “X” shape acting as the top air vent. The sides of the top panel are raised, forming a pair of carry handles.
There are four large feet on the base with soft rubber grips, more than enough to help reduce vibrations and stop it sliding around your desktop.
Antec announced the availability of the new P380 chassis, the latest addition to Antec’s award-winning Performance One series. The P380 isn’t just a stylish chassis, it is specially equipped to dampen system noise to the point that the computer is almost inaudible when the fans spin at a higher speed.
“The P380 is impressive not only because of its fine aesthetics and high-quality finish, but also because of its remarkable features,” said Jerome Francois, Sales Director Europe at Antec. “The chassis offers space and sufficient flexibility and design options to meet the high demands of gamers and enthusiasts, while ensuring a smooth running performance and best cooling performance.”
The case is compatible with SSI CEB, E-ATX, ATX, Micro ATX and Mini-ITX motherboards and two ergonomically positioned USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports as well as audio jacks are integrated into the aluminum front bezel. The case features a slim optical drive bay, three anti-vibration 3.5-inch drive cages (Eight 3.5″/2.5″ swappable drive bays in total). Parts of the HDD cages can be removed when more space is needed for longer graphics cards, all the way up to a length of 465 mm.
The P380 can fit up to seven fans: a 120 mm fan on the back, up to three 120 mm or two 140mm fans at the front and three 120mm or two 140 mm fans in the top panel. There is room for two 360mm water cooling radiators at front and on the top of the chassis.
The P380 is covered by a three-year guarantee on parts and labor and is available now for an MSRP of 209,00 €.
Thanks to Antec for providing us with this information
BitFenix has quite the reputation for creating innovative chassis designs, just look at their BitFenix Prodigy, Colossus and Ronin for examples; each has a unique aspect that sets them apart from their competition. BitFenix look set to continue their innovation trend with the release of their new Pandora chassis, a slim mid-tower that really is rather unique in terms of design, but one that comes with an extra the likes we’ve never seen on a consumer chassis before.
The Pandora is available in several models, the stock budget model with no side panel window, the stock model with the side panel window, then there’s a very funky edition with an LCD display hidden in the front panel; which is also available in windowed and windowless format. The small display is a simple colour display with a 240 x 320 resolution, which you can apply your own colour images to, giving a unique level of customisation to your system.
The Pandora features a large window on the left side, which has a smaller section of window in the bottom right which allows you to show off a 2.5″ drive.
The right side panel in blank, but both the left and right panels are made from black brushed aluminium and it looks and feels incredible. The panels each curve a little around the front of the chassis, giving a sleek and unique look to the Pandora.
Behind the curved edges of the side panels, you’ll find a glossy black plastic front panel. The small LCD display is located on this glossy panel, but you can’t see it at all until you power it up, so we’ll take a look at that shortly.
The rear of the chassis allows us to see just how slim this chassis really is. As you can see, it’s barely wider than the expansion slot covers; just wide enough for an ATX PSU. Keep in mind that expansion card width and CPU cooler height will be limited respectively.
The top panel has a massive ventilated panel which can be removed via push-click clips on one side; this makes taking it off and putting it on extremely easy. The front I/O panel is straightforward enough, with all the major buttons, inputs and outputs you’ll need.
On the base of the chassis, you will find four feet that provide good ground clearance for the filtered PSU air intake, as well as some screw holes for mounting 3.5″ or 2.5″ drives on the interior.