NZXT Manta Mini-ITX Chassis Review

Introduction


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NZXT Introducing the Manta mITX case

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best of CES 2016 – NZXT CAM Software

CES 2016: NZXT has been working hard on making their CAM software the ultimate one stop shop for monitoring and getting the most out of your desktops performance. Previous versions of the software were certainly impressive, but with CAM 3 and what we’ve seen is to come in updates throughout 2016 and beyond, it’s already the best of the best.

After speaking with NZXT, they told us how they’ve focused on pushing new features to the software, doubled the number of staff working on its development and the end results are certainly starting to show. There’s still a stigma in the community that you need NZXT products, such as Hue lighting, Kraken coolers and more to use the software, but that couldn’t be any further from the truth, as it’s compatible with any desktop Windows system. However, if you do own other connected NZXT products, they can all be controlled from extra tabs that will appear in the software, giving you even more control over your system.

Innovative features such as the average temperature monitoring are really cool. If you have a GTX 980Ti and 5000 other users of the software do, you can see what the average idle and load temperatures for that card are amongst other users, allowing you to better detect if your card is really reaching its full capabilities in terms of performance and cooling. Another in development feature looks to do the same for overclocking, monitoring what other models of the same card achieved and allowing a one-click apply of the average; super easy overclocking for all.

Colour customisation, customisable in-game performance overlays, performance logging so you can compare your per-game, daily, weekly, monthly figures to see how your system is doing, or if updates and overclocks have made a real world difference. There’s also a rather fantastic full-screen mode, great for tracking performance on multiple display systems.

The list goes on and on for features of CAM, and we highly recommend you try it out. If you’re still a little sceptical, we’ll be bringing you an in-depth review in the very near future.

NZXT CAM Software

Check out all our latest NZXT CES 2016 content, news and reviews right here.

NZXT Take CAM Software to the Next Level @ CES 2016

CES 2016: NZXT may be best known for their chassis, cooling and power supply products, but this year it’s all about software. Their new CAM software is currently making a mockery of the current crop of desktop overclocking and performance monitoring tools and after chatting with their software manager, it’s only going to get better and better throughout 2016. The software is extensively updated, bringing it up to version 3.0 and adding a whole host of new features. All the basics are here, temperature monitoring for your hardware, storage report, usage, etc.

One thing that really caught my eye is how the software uses the cloud to track your stats, so you can check multiple devices in your setup, or from remote locations. The cloud data is then used to compare to other users. If you have a certain GPU, you can see what the average user temperatures for that card are for all the other users, which could let you know that your card is running higher (or lower) than expected.

The overlay at performance tracking software is the best we’ve ever seen. Need performance stats and FPS overlay? You got it. You even get a breakdown report afterwards that are all backed up, allowing you to track performance over time, great for system testing and overclocking, aswell as bragging rights that you’re hitting 60FPS+ in whatever you run.

There’s also a full-screen interface, which is great for multi-display setups. If you’re using a workstation, test-bench, rendering system or just doing performance analysis, this is going to be a fantastic tool to have.

Of course, that’s not all! There’s colour customisation, screenshotting features, and more settings than you can shake a stick at. On top of that, there’s soon to be overclocking features added for your GPU, as well as a cloud-based overclocking tool that will help you get the most power from your GPU settings at a single click, achieved by checking the average OC for your particular card and easily applying it.

There’s more functionality here than we can capture in a few simple images, so expect us to take a much closer look at the software in the coming weeks.

Latest NZXT Chassis Unveiled @ CES 2016

CES 2016: The latest chassis from NZXT was shown off to us and a few other select press from around the world earlier today. Set to launch on the 26th of Jan (2016), the new chassis doesn’t have a real name just yet, but we’ve been told that the name, price and variants available will be detailed within the next week or two at the very latest.

The chassis was unveiled at a supercar experience race track in Las Vegas, which was to give us some indication of the design ethos behind the new chassis creation.

The curvaceous beast is certainly an interesting change from the often boxey or strong angled designs we usually see from NZXT. The curves are meant to capture some of the thrill and style of high-end super cars, giving it a more flowing design.

If you’re confused about the paintwork, don’t be, it’s just a wrap they had done for the show, much in the same way car manufacturers camo their cars like this when they’re pre-production. Basically, it’s just to look fun and cool.

We really like the shape, it’s certainly different, but what do you think? Is this something you’ll have for your desktop?

NZXT we’re super awesome, letting us get out for a spin in a range of exotic sports cars, to put us in the same mindset as their new chassis design. Thanks guys, not every day I get to take one of these out for a spin.

Of course, the real star of the show and the winner on the day wasn’t our racing skills, it’s the… well, the yet to be named chassis! Stay tuned for more information and a full review very soon.

NZXT HUE+ Advanced PC Illumination Kit Review

Introduction


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NZXT Grid+ V2 Digital Fan Controller Review

Introduction


Building a PC can be a fairly simple task, most of the parts to together in a format that’s no less complex than a Lego set. Of course, picking the right components, putting them together in the best way and getting the best performance out of them, that’s where a little more effort is sometimes needed. One thing that can be quite easy is picking a bunch of great hardware, but keeping it running cool, quiet and efficiently, that’s a whole different ball game. Your chassis comes with fans, most likely that your CPU cooler does too, be that a water or air cooling solution, your GPU no doubt has fans and the list goes on. One thing you’ll be familiar with about fans, other than the fact that they blow air, is that they can often get a little noisy, especially when your system is running a little hot.

NZXT had great success with their GRID fan controller, a simple device that hooks up multiple fans and gives you control over their RPM via some desktop software. The new GRID+ V2 follows the same concept, but this time the unit is even better than before. Being able to take control of your fans is a great addition to your setup, as it allows you to turn them down to a whisper when watching movies or performing less intensive tasks. However, when you’re gaming, overclocking and more, being able to dial-up the fans to a suitable level gives you more control over the airflow, noise and hopefully the performance of your system.

Equipped with six fan headers, the Grid+ V2 should be able to drive all the fans in your system, and you could always invest in a couple of Y-splitters if you need to connect more per-channel. With up to 30W maximum output, the V2 shouldn’t have any trouble powering a whole bunch of fans.

The packaging is nicely designed, with just a simple image of the product and some branding on the front.

Around the back, we’ve got a slightly more detailed run down of the CAM software that is used to control the fans.

In the box, you’ll find a comprehensive setup guide. Honestly, it’s all pretty self-explanatory, but it certainly never hurts to have a helping hand.

In the box, you’ll also find a good selection of cables that you’ll need to set up the Grid+ V2. This includes a USB cable, Molex power cable, some handy cable ties and two 3-pin female to 4-pin/3-pin Y extension cables.

Finally, we’ve also got two dual-lock 3M velcro pads with adhesive backs.

NZXT Unleashes The Hue+ PC Lighting Solution

Custom PC builds are becoming more popular as consumers construct their own rigs and create a visual showpiece. Various cases like the H440 incorporate a side panel window to display the beauty of a clean, professional looking system. The first NZXT Hue offered RGB lighting via a huge LED strip and front panel for controls.

It became a suitable choice for system builders due to the competitive price, reliable LED strips and clean cabling. Furthermore, the 2-year warranty added peace-of-mind as cheaper LED strips are prone to having dead LEDs. NZXT has just announced the Hue+ which is a digital lighting solution and offers unprecedented customization and 8 preset lighting effects.

Johnny Hou, NZXT’s founder and CEO discussed the product announcement and proclaimed:

“Lighting can truly bring your system to a new visual dimension, that’s why most of our cases provide windowed-panels. With a smart, easy-to use digital interface such as CAM, available for everyone as a free app, HUE+ offers unmatched control and customization for users seeking to bring their PC to the next level,”

Using the Hue+’s CAM software, you can adjust a wide array of attributes including colour, speed and lighting transitions. Additionally, the lighting can respond to system temperatures and even react to the audio output during music or an intense game. This huge selection of modes on the Hue+ provides the end-user with an unbelievable array of options.

The Hue+ is available to pre-order now from participating retailers and has a recommended retail price of £39.99 + VAT.

NZXT S340 Razer Special Edition Mid-Tower Chassis Review

Introduction


NZXT are one of the go-to brands for people building a gaming system, and that’s hardly surprising given that they’ve created some of the coolest looking and best-performing gaming chassis available and have been doing so for many years! From their legendary Phantom and Switch series to the more recently popular H440 and now their S340. Today we’re taking a look at the latest entry in their S340 series, which is at its absolute core the same S340 they launched at the end of last year, but it has been given a cosmetic makeover courtesy of popular gaming brand Razer.

The new chassis still features the same specifications as the original S340. There’s a good amount of storage space, room for large graphics cards, lots of cooling support and much more.

The new edition comes in a slick powder black paint job, giving it a dark and rather stealthy appearance. The black interior also means the side panel window has a mirror effect on it today, partly due to the sun beaming through the windows in our office, but with my eyes and not the camera lens, you can actually see in the chassis just fine.

The right side panel is a flat black panel, nothing fancy, but certainly neat and tidy.

Aside from the powder black finish, the next big change is the front panel. The original S340 had a smooth front panel, but this one comes with a gorgeous Razer logo right in the middle and to make it just that little bit cooler, it’s even LED backlit!

Even with the LEDs off, the logo stands out really well thanks to a reflective and bright colouring.

Everything is the same as before here, with the usual rear I/O LED light switch at the top, a 120mm fan pre-installed, seven expansion slots and the PSU cut-out. One nice touch, the snap-off covers of the original are now reusable covers; hurray!

The PSU is installed from the rear of the chassis, and this is done by removing the four thumbscrews and mounting plate.

The top panel has a 120mm fan pre-installed, although you can swap this out for a 140mm if you desire. I actually would have preferred them to utilize the full space and pre-fit a 140mm, but I’m just being picky in that respect.

One subtle change is the USB 3.0 ports, which have been switched for the Razer produced green ones, the same you find on Razer produced notebooks; these looks really cool!

There’s a full height dust filter tucked into the front panel which can be removed from the top edge without removing the front panel. It’s magnetic and washable, so removing it and cleaning it, then re-installing it, is a nice and simple task.

The base of the chassis has a clip-in dust filter for the PSU, nothing fancy, but it’ll get the job done. There’s a pair of LED strips along the bottom, no surprise that these are green LEDs to match the Razer theme.

NZXT Announces the New S340 Special Edition PC Case

If you are planning a black and green PC build or you just are a Razer fan, then NZXT’s newest special edition chassis might be just the right fit for you. NZXT just announced the new S340 Special Edition PC case and it looks as awesome as we’ve come to expect it from NZXT. It is also a durable chassis, made of 90 percent steel.

This isn’t just a normal NZXT S340 chassis in a new colour scheme, it also brings new features along with it. One of them being a cable management bar that avoids separating the front inlet and the remainder of the housing, allowing complete control of cables for a refined appearance and cooling optimised through better air circulation.

The NZXT S340 has a pretty compact form factor and allows you to create a pretty powerful setup with its dimensions of 445 mm height and 432 mm length. No need to put a giant block next to your desk if smaller can do it.

The chassis allows for water cooling setups with 280mm radiator support at the front and it comes with two 120mm FN V2 fans at the top and rear. The integrated PSU shroud will keep those unpleasant cables out of sight and creates an overall cleaner look in the chassis.

Special Edition Features:

  • Front panel featuring back-lit triple-headed snake logo
  • Cable management bar with triple-headed snake logo
  • Green power LED
  • Green under-glow LED with rear on/off switch
  • PCI slot base cover for a flush look and funneled airflow
  • Signature green USB 3.0 ports
  • Tinted window panel
  • Matt black finish

Common S340 Features:

  • 360 degrees of steel casing surrounding the all-steel chassis
  • Grommet-less cable management bar keeps cables tidy with ease
  • Full 280 mm radiator support in the front
  • Compact form factor coming in two inches below competing mid towers
  • Detailed design and engineering with tons of small touches
  • Very easy to build in for new and experienced users alike
  • Integrated PSU shroud for an ultra-clean build
  • Fully filtered intakes
  • Includes 2x 120 mm FN V2 fans, top and rear

The price of this special edition S340 NZXT chassis is set to £69.99 ex VAT / €99.99 ex. VAT. We will, of course, have a review of this chassis ready for you shortly, so stay tuned.

NZXT Releases New GRID+ V2 Digital Fan Controller

There are several ways to control the installed fans in your system and the preferred is probably having a fan controller somewhere. If you don’t have a spare 5.25-inch or 3.5-inch drive bay for one of those externals or your opt for an internal for other reasons, then NZXT just released one that might be worth taking a closer look at. The new GRID+ V2 digital fan controller builds on the same principle as its predecessor and also comes with improvements.

The NZXT GRID+ V2 has 6 channels that can be individually controlled and supports up to 30W total output. The GRID+ V2 is compatible with the NZXT CAM software that makes control and monitoring easy. A few clicks with the mouse and you have adjusted the settings the way you want them to be. You can label the channels with something that is easy to recognize, allowing you to actually find the fans you are looking for instead of a trial and error run. The NZXT CAM software can run several profiles and also take care of the a silent operation by only speeding up the fans when the system needs it.

The new NZXT GRID+ V2 will be available in Europe starting in September for an MSRP of £19.99+VAT or €29.99+VAT.

Features

  • CAM Software Enabled
  • 6 Individually Controlled Fan Channels
  • Supports both 3-pin and 4-pin PWM fans (All controlled only by voltage)
  • Up To 30W Total Output
  • Discreet Installation
  • Voltage and Short Circuit Protection
  • 2 Included Fan Extension Cables

Redditor Believes His NZXT Chassis is Counterfeit – Hilarity Ensues

Building your brand new PC from scratch can create some headaches at times, especially if you haven’t done it so many times before. Sometimes it’s compatibility issues or not having the right connections in the right lengths and other times you just can’t figure out the orientation. At least the last part was an issue for a Redditor who thought he had been ripped off and sold a fake NZXT Phantom chassis. “It looks different than any other NXZT Phantom case, even on the pictures from the website I bought it from,” he noted.

He took photos of the case and uploaded them to the internet in order to get to the root of the trouble; he even contacted NZXT support. After posting the trouble on Reddit and asking his “brothers” to help him out with identifying if it was a fake or not, the situation quickly got cleared up and there wasn’t anything wrong with the case at all! It was simply turned 90 degrees and was standing on the back instead of the bottom.

Most people would be ashamed and try to hide under a rock for a couple of years followed by a name and residence change, but Maxiimus1 as the Redditor calls himself takes it as it is and left the Reddit post online. “I feel like such an idiot,” he wrote in his edit. “You are allowed to downvote me to oblivion and make fun of me.” That’s the right way to deal with it and he deserves some respect for that and he surely deserves a thanks for one of the most entertaining post and replies in a while.

I also think that everyone who unpacked an NZXT Phantom case for the first time, stood there and looked at it for a couple of seconds before picking it up and turning it a couple of times to find the right way to place it; most of us usually notice it by the fact that the IO area doesn’t go into the ground.

NZXT Noctis 450 Mid-Tower Chassis Review

Introduction


NZXT is one of the first names people think of when you ask about PC gaming chassis. Time and time again they’ve delivered award-winning products that are unique in terms of design, but also deliver a range of innovative features at a competitive price. Their H440 has proven to be one of the most popular chassis on the market, but NZXT figured it would be a great idea to tweak the design of the H440 and create their Noctis 450, while leaving many of the core features that made the original H440 so great intact; let’s see if they succeeded.

As you can see from the specifications, the Noctis 450 is knock-for-knock with the H440, offering the same hardware capabilities. This is no bad thing either, as you’ve got room for plenty of air and water cooling, huge amounts of GPU clearance and a whole lot more.

The first thing that stands out is those funky panels. The Noctis keeps with NZXT’s tradition of huge sweeping curves mixed with aggressive angles, something that will no doubt appeal to a gaming audience. There’s a crystal clear side panel window that runs the full height of the chassis, showing off that light-up NZXT logo on the PSU shroud, as well as giving you room to show off your graphics card and motherboard.

There’s a lot of ventilation in the top of the chassis, which has been partially hidden by that glossy white top cover which has a nice floating over-hang appearance to it with the ventilation situated underneath it.

There’s a large cut-away to the top ventilation on the right side, helping further enhance airflow, but also keeping with that Stormtrooper black and white overlaying panel design.

The same continues down the front, with angular glossy white panels that overlap, exposing sections of the large front-panel ventilation. It’s certainly unique and I expect it won’t be to everyone’s taste, but I rather like it and it’s certainly a far cry from the flat white panels of the H440.

The extra airflow the new design provides (vs the H440) is no bad thing, especially for those who are planning to run lots of high-end hardware.

Around the back, you’ll find a pre-installed 140mm fan, although there are mounting options for a 120mm fan if you so desire. The Noctis 450 has seven ventilated expansion slots, more than enough for a multi-GPU setup and you’ll also find two rubber grommets for cable/water routing.

Tucked away in the top corner, a small switch. This controls the rear LED light on the motherboard I/O, handy for finding those pesky USB ports when you’re crawling under your desk.

A slide out and washable dust filter can be accessed from the rear of the chassis.

On the front right corner of the top panel, you’ll find the main I/O. Here you will find dual USB 2.0, dual USB 3.0, HD Audio jacks and the master power switch.

On the underside of the chassis you’ll find the slide out dust filter for the PSU, some LED strips (blue) and a few screw holes which can be used for directly mounting drives on the interior of the base of the chassis.

NZXT Releases FX-140 V2 Cooling Fans Designed for Radiators

One of the hardest parts of building your own systems is the decision on what fans to get for it. While a lot might go for the default ones provided with whatever chassis you purchase, it might not be to everyone’s liking. Especially the liquid coolers want just the best of the best and NZXT has quite a bit of experience in that area.

NZXT has had quite a lot of experience with their Kraken series All-in-one liquid coolers and the latest series of X41 and X61 coolers have blown most competitors out of the way and they’ve grabbed a lot of rewards from reviewers as well. One of the things that make these coolers so good is the attached fan, the NZXT FX140V2 and just that type of fan can now be yours for any setup you want as they’re being released on their own.

 

The FX V2 series is a complete redesign of the previous generation pressure fan series and it creates effective and high airflow under the most restrictive environments. The fan is controlled by a pulse width modulation (PWM) that can be controlled by either your motherboard, fan controller, or NZXT CAM software. The FX140V2 has a max rotation speed of 2000RPM and allows for a much more gradual increase of speed over traditional voltage control.

High speed and lot of noise isn’t always what you’re looking for and the NZXT FX140V2 has you covered here too, still performing great at 800RPM and limiting the sound level to 20dB.

The NZXT FX V2 140mm fan will be available for purchase at retailers and e-tailers for £17.99 / €19.99 in June.

NZXT Introduces the NOCTIS 450 Chassis

NZXT has just introduced the world to their newest chassis, and it looks gorgeous. Taking their proofed concepts and adding a sprinkle of new features and a bold design that stands out and we have the new NZXT Noctis 450 chassis. The Noctis 450 will be available as both a matte black chassis and glossy white edition, so there should be one for every taste.

The somewhat aggressive looking chassis is very streamlined and thanks to the floating panel design, the chassis has a ventilation surface that is 10 folded compared to the H440. Restricted airflow should be a thing of the past with a chassis like this.

Inside, the chassis is built on the base of the H440, probably one of NZXT’s most successful cases next to the original Phantom case, and in a way the new Noctis 450 is a combination of the two. The improved insides of the H440 with a new Phantom cover.

When you buy the new NZXT Noctis 450 case, you’ll get four fans with it right out of the box to keep up enough airflow for even the most demanding hardware parts. The 8-port PWM fan controller is also built-in and is located behind the motherboard tray just as it was in the H440.

The PSU shroud is another thing that users loved on the H440, as it allows you to hide that mostly not so pretty PSU and all its cables away. The insides all feature the same quality coating as the exterior and it matches the outer colours, black or white.

 

As mentioned, the case comes standard equipped with four fans and NZXT used their FN V2 series. You’ll get three 120mm mounted at the front and one 140mm mounted as rear exhaust. You can of course add and replace these fans as the case allows for two 140 or three 120mm at the front, two 140 or three 120mm at the top and single 120 or 140mm at the rear.

The adjustable LED System is accessible from the back where you can switch it on and off with the little button above the IO area. NZXT also added ambient underglow lighting to this chassis with a LED strip on each side of the case.

You can mount two SSDs on top of the PSU shroud and there’s room for another five hard drives in the modular steel hard drive trays at the front. The front panel includes both two USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0 ports next to the obligatory audio jacks. You can mount motherboards from mITX to ATX, CPU coolers up to 180mm height, GPUs up to 406mm length (294mm with HDD tray installs), and standard ATX PSUs.

The new Noctis 450 is available now for pre-order at the NZXT Armory Store in both Matte Black and Glossy White for £99.99 / €139.99 +VAT and the chassis is backed by a 2-year warranty.

NZXT Released CAM 2.0 Software

NZXT has launched the latest update on the CAM and it has now reached version 2.0. It isn’t that long ago that NZXT created the app and it has come a long way in that little time. The new version is equipped with double the data detection, a customizable interface and a highly functional FPS overlay.

CAM offers a wealth of information to monitor your PC’s health as well as customize and control your NZXT hardware such as GRID+ and Kraken coolers. The new version can now actively monitors and records all essential statistics including network speeds, storage space, component temperatures and load usage over time. Additionally, new advanced detection offers comprehensive data on CPU / GPU specifications, motherboard voltages, HDD S.M.A.R.T. data and much, much more.

The dashboard is modular and CAM is the first PC monitoring software to include all these information as in-game overlay as well. It is when you game that you tax your system the hardest and at the same time you’re ‘locked’ in fullscreen without direct view of your hardware information. No longer with CAM.

There’s also basic support for both Android and iOS where you can access your data from anywhere using your mobile device. In May, Android users will be able to control their CAM components with their mobile devices through an upcoming update for the Android app.

Thanks to NZXT for providing us with this information.

NZXT DOKO Remote Desktop Gaming Review

Introduction


NZXT already has a rock solid reputation with the PC gaming community. They’ve created some of the best gaming chassis on the market, such as their stunning H440, they’ve created some of the best coolers, such as the X61 and their CAM software is great for keeping your system running smoothly. However, they’re now pushing further into the world of PC gaming with the release of the DOKO. The DOKO is the latest device to follow the game streaming trend, with Steam and other gaming platforms such as the Nvidia Shield allowing you to stream games from your PC to your big screen TV, NZXT think they can compete in this market too.

The DOKO simply connects to your network and software will stream your PC game to the DOKO, which connects to another display, such as the TV in your living room. This means that you can break away from your desk and enjoy your games, or any other media, on the big screen, without the need for a second gaming PC, or HTPC style system. What we have here then is essentially a remote desktop client, but it has a few extra features on board that certainly help it stand out from the crowd.

In the box, you’ll find the DOKO unit its self, as well as a high-quality RJ45 cable and the power cable. Unfortunately for myself the plug is a US plug, but the unit will be getting a UK/EU release in March this year; so for now I’ll have to use a US to UK adaptor to be able to use the device.

The unit is quite small, so there should be no issues in finding a comfortable home for it under your TV. This is great for people like me, who already have four consoles, a cable box and an AV receiver crammed under the TV as I could easily tuck this in between other devices.

Around the front of the device, you’ll find four USB ports, which are perfect for connecting a keyboard, mouse, control pads, headsets or any other USB device you may need. There’s also a large power button, giving you the option to power off the device with ease when not in use.

Around the back, you will find a power jack, a single HDMI, a 3.5mm audio jack and the RJ45 network port.

It’s a pretty simple looking unit overall, but NZXT have given it a funky style thanks to some smooth rounded edges on one side.

While the other side has a slight overhanging panel. It’s not much in terms of design, but it’s enough to keep this simple box from looking boring.

On the base of the DOKO, you’ll find four small rubber feet; just enough to keep it from sliding around on your surface of choice. Also, looking at the design, there are no air vents, as the device is passive cooled and runs completely silent.

NZXT H440 Razer Special Edition Chassis Review

Introduction


NZXT have been delivering award-winning products time and time again in recent years. Their most recent marvel isn’t exactly new, but as far as a refresh goes, it’s a big one. The NZXT H440 is one of my all time favourite chassis, I even own one myself for my own rig! I’m a big fan of what NZXT have been doing for the gaming chassis market and I’ve been eagerly awaiting their next product ranges. Unfortunately, it’s likely we won’t see new chassis’ from them until Computex later this year, but for now, we have their stunning NZXT H440 Razer edition. This is the H440 you know and love, but it has been given a Razer makeover to appeal to the loyal Razer fans, of which there are many.

As you can see, the chassis is virtually unchanged in terms of dimensions, it’s the same chassis and that’s as simple as can be. What is new is that stealthy powder black paint job and dark side panel window tint.

The same matte finish on the right side panel.

The once blank front panel has been treated to the Razer logo, with the added bonus that it’s also LED backlit.

Razers’ fancy green USB 3.0 ports.

Still the same old H440 round here.

Another sneaky bonus, an LED strip lighting around the base of the chassis; can you guess what colour this is going to be? If you guessed green, go get yourself a cookie.

NZXT DOKO PC Streaming System Now Available & You Can Win One!

DOKO is a PC streaming device that connects to your network and allows you to easily use your PC in the comfort of your living room. Run office software, stream limitless media content and play PC exclusive titles – or in other words, do anything and everything your PC can do, anywhere in your home.

Most current PC streaming technologies come with limitations due to pre-defined settings and you’re limited to pre-set media channels, file formats, limited applications and proprietary technologies. The DOKO is using a Gigabit Ethernet connection to offer 50-80ms low latency 1080p 30fps streaming with unparalleled compatibility. It also has four USB ports with USBoverIP technology so plugging in a USB device to the DOKO is like plugging it into the PC.

DOKO sounds like it could give the perfect multimedia experience with no need for another HTPC or media device. If your PC can do it, so can DOKO. It is available now for $99.99 plus shipping at the NZXT Armory Store.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C0JczOJmq3c

NZXT is also hosting a little giveaway to celebrate the launch, but it’s ending soon. All you have to do to participate is to like a couple Facebook pages and follow a couple Twitter feeds and you’re in it to win one of three DOKO PC Streaming Devices.

In case you’re hooked for more information, we will be having a review ready for you soon.

Thanks to NZXT for providing us with this information

NZXT Introduced New S340 Color Edition Cases

It isn’t that long time ago that NZXT introduced the black and white coloured S340 chassis that was very well received everywhere. Now they’re back with two new dual-coloured versions of this beautiful and price-competitive case, one in black and red and one in black and blue.

The NZXT S340 is made from cold-rolled steel and has a front-bay-less design for increased aesthetics while still bringing all the features you’d like in a case. Support for AIO coolers, PSU shroud, support for extra long graphics cards and much more.

The new version adds either a red or blue accent to the top of the front panel, and also a hint of it inside on the cable cover bracket. Both red and blue are common motherboard and GPU colours, allowing users to build some beautiful colour themed builds in this chassis.

The two new versions aren’t limited to specific vendors like some of the ones we’ve seen in the past, but will be available in Europe early 2015 for a similar price as the current version, €69.99.

Thanks to NZXT for providing us with this information

Images courtesy of NZXT

eTeknix 2014 Christmas Tech Buying Guide

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

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


Astro A38 Wireless Gaming Headset

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

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


NZXT H440 Mid-Tower Chassis

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

Check out our full review here – £89.99 from Overclockers


Thermaltake Core V71 Full Tower Chassis

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

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


Cooler Master Novatouch TKL Keyboard

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

Check out our full review here – £149.99 from Overclockers


Zowie FK1 Gaming Mouse

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

Check out our full review here – £49.99 from Overclockers


Nvidia Shield Android 5.0 Gaming Tablet

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

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


Nvidia GeForce “Maxwell” GTX 970 Graphics Card

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

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


Asus Rampage V Extreme LGA 2011-3 Motherboard

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

Check out our full review here – £329.99 from Overclockers


Gigabyte Z97X Gaming5 1150 Motherboard

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

Check out our full review here – £109.99 from Overclockers


Gigabyte Brix Ultra Compact System

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

Check out our full review here – £503.96 from Scan


PC Specialist Vortex 440 System

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

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


OCZ Arc 100 240GB SSD

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

Check out our full review here – £94.99 from Overclockers


Asus RT AC68U Dual Band Wireless Router

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

Check out our full review here – £166.98 from Overclockers


Crucial 32GB 2133MHz Quad Channel DDR4 Memory Kit

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

Check out our full review here – £319.99 from Overclockers


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

NZXT Source 340 Mid-Tower Chassis Review

Introduction


Earlier this year we brought you news of the new NZXT Source 340 (S340), the new budget friendly mid-tower from one of the industries leading chassis manufacturers. Now we’re very happy to bring you the full review of the latest chassis from NZXT. The S340 is the latest edition to the Source range, and there have been some pretty big changes to the general design. Gone are the sweeping curves and large sections of mesh ventilation. Now we have bold flat panels and a very minimalist look that has more in common with the H440 than it does with previous entries to the Source series.

Priced at just under 70 EUR, the S340 does have a focus on being more affordable. However, NZXT has really pulled out all the stops to pack this chassis full of unique features, high quality components and more to make it incredible value for money. The chassis comes fitted with dust filters, a large side panel window, high-quality fans, a PSU shroud and more.

The S340 comes in a choice of black and white finishes. There’s support for 120mm and 140mm fans; although two 120mm fans come pre-installed. There’s easily room for high-end components; the chassis will handle 334-364mm long graphics cards, 161mm tall CPU cooler, mini-ITX to ATX motherboards and more.

While I normally mention packaging here, this S340 was shipped to me directly from the factory; it came in a plain brown box that is of little interest to consumers.

NZXT Source 340 & Kraken CPU Coolers Competition Winners!

Last month we teamed up with NZXT to give you the chance to win the new NZXT Source 340 chassis, the Kraken X61, Kraken X41 and finally the Kraken X31 CPU coolers. Today that competition comes to a full stop, so it’s time to reveal the lucky winners!

With four prizes and only three winners, we’ve decided to break them up into first, second and third place prizes. First place will walk away with a new chassis and the latest 240mm NZXT AIO CPU cooler. Second place will win their new 140mm AIO CPU cooler. Third place will win their new budget friendly 120mm AIO CPU cooler.

First Place

  • NZXT Source 340 Chassis (chassis colour is unknown, but it should be either black or white)
  • NZXT Kraken X61

Second Place

  • NZXT Kraken X41

Third Place

  • NZXT Kraken X31

First of all I want to say a massive thank you to NZXT for providing us with these prizes, and massive thank you to all our fans who took the time to enter the competition. Without further delay, the lucky winners are…

Edgars Verners – 1st Place

Scott Badham – 2nd Place

Ivan Jimenez Diaz – 3rd Place

Congratulations to all our winners and don’t feel too bad if you didn’t win this time, we’ve got plenty more competitions for you to enter right here!

NZXT Introduce H440 Special Edition

NZXT has just revealed their stunning new H440 Special Edition chassis. They’ve created the special edition of their already very popular chassis in collaboration with the legendary gaming brand Razer.

The core features of the chassis still remain the same. It has similar sleek looks, the PSU shroud, thick panels, sound dampening materials and high quality dust filters in place; all the features that I loved about the original H440 when I reviewed it. Of course, it wouldn’t be very special if they had made no changes, and the chassis has been given a range of tweaks to help it fit in with other Razer branded hardware.

Exclusive features designed by NZXT that you won’t find in the traditional H440 include:

  • Premium matte black paint finish
  • Tinted window
  • Hexagonal mesh
  • Green USB 3.0 ports
  • Green LED underglow
  • Green rear I/O LED lighting
  • Green illuminated triple-headed snake logos

For Razer fans, there really is no better option in terms of chassis. If you’ve got the matching headset, mouse and keyboard already on your desk, this will be a stunning way to complete the set. Of course, you don’t need any other Razer products to enjoy this chassis, as it certainly looks awesome all by its self.

The chassis will launch with an MSRP of 149.99 EUR and will be available via pre-order through various online retailers shortly.

Thank you NZXT for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of NZXT.

Win An NZXT Source 340 & One of Three Kraken CPU Coolers!

I love giving away incredible prizes each week, almost as much as you folks love winning them! This week we’ve got four awesome prizes to give away to three lucky winners. We’ve joined forces with the good people of NZXT to give you the chance to win the new NZXT Source 340 chassis, the Kraken X61, Kraken X41 and finally the Kraken X31 CPU coolers.

With four prizes and only three winners, we’ve decided to break them up into first, second and third place prizes. First place will walk away with a new chassis and the latest 240mm NZXT AIO CPU cooler. Second place will win their new 140mm AIO CPU cooler. Third place will win their new budget friendly 120mm AIO CPU cooler.

First Place

  • NZXT Source 340 Chassis (chassis colour is unknown at this time, but it will be either black or white)
  • NZXT Kraken X61

Second Place

  • NZXT Kraken X41

Third Place

  • NZXT Kraken X31

If you want a chance at winning one of these incredible prizes, all you have to do is follow the simple steps below! Be sure to comply with the terms and conditions prior to entry.

  • Like the NZXT Facebook page
  • Like the eTeknix Facebook page
  • Send an email to competitions@eteknix.com with your full name, shipping address, contact number and a link to your Facebook profile*

Rules and regulations:

  • The competition is open globally
  • The competition ends at midnight GMT on the 17th November 2014 and winner(s) will be notified by 21st November 2014
  • In the event of a dispute, eTeknix staff hold the final say and no discussions will be entered into
  • Delivery is not in the hands of eTeknix and can take some time to arrive
  • Full shipping address and phone number is required in your email entry to speed up dispatch of prizes to winners and to prevent multiple entries
  • If the auto-fill email link doesn’t work, email us the information and include the subject “Win An NZXT Source 340 & One of Three Kraken CPU Coolers!”
  • In the event that the prize is unavailable, eTeknix reserve the right to offer an alternative of equal or greater value
  • Winner(s) will be announced on our competition winners page
  • By entering this competition, you adhere to the above rules and regulations

Sapphire R9 270X Toxic Vs NZXT Kraken Cooling Review

Introduction


Managing the thermal performance of a graphics card is no easy task, manufacturers extensively research their cooling solutions in a bid to offer the best performance and value vs their competitors products. Most graphics cards are created equal; take the Sapphire R9 270X that we have here today, it features a chip that is pretty much the same as any other R9 270X, but it also features one of the best coolers in its class. The extra cooling performance that Sapphires’ Tri-X cooler gives, allows the card to be overclocked for increased performance. Overclocking can make the card more powerful, but this also means it’ll generate more heat and you’ll have to add a better cooler. By adding a better cooler you reduce the heat of the card and leave more room for overclocking and so the cycle continues.

Overclocking is one reason for running a high-end cooler, but there are other benefits, as a more efficient after-market cooler can often run quieter than a stock cooler; lets not forget the fact that keeping your hardware from overheating can improve its lifespan. Today I’m going to be taking the NZXT Kraken G10 graphics card mount, which allows you to connect an Asetek water cooling unit directly to the GPU for improved cooling performance, and today we’re going to be doing that with the help of the NZXT Kraken X40 140mm AIO water cooler.

The G10 is a simple enough device and comes packaged in a small box, with a nice image of a cooler mounted to a GPU.

In the box you’ll find a simple instruction guide, two rubber blocks, the GPU back plate/screws, the metal frame of the bracket and an 80mm fan.

NZXT Kraken All-In-One CPU Cooler Roundup Review

Introduction


NZXT had a great success story with the X40 and X60 CPU coolers, but since they launched we’ve seen several rivals come in and steal their thunder, so NZXT have gone back to the drawing board, adding new features and tweaking the specifications of their popular Kraken range to bring them back into the game.

I’m a big fan of NZXT coolers, I personally use their Kraken X60 280mm all-in-one water cooler on my own CPU and I’m very happy with the performance it offers. So I’m eager to find out how well these new models perform and what new features NZXT have to offer.

The biggest change for the new Kraken coolers is the pump; they’re the first consumer model all-in-one coolers to features Aseteks new variable speed pump, something often associated with custom loop water cooling and yet another indication of how far all-in-one cooler technology has been progressing.

I’ve got three new models at my disposal today; the 120mm X31, the 140mm X41 and the 280mm X61 and I’ll be putting them all on the test bench to see how they stack up against each other and against the competition.

All of the coolers come really well packaged in a custom molded cardboard carton to protect all of the major components, with various protective bags and covers helping to prevent any damage in transit.

In the box of each you will find the fan, a simple install guide, a set of high quality fittings, a universal back plate and an AMD bracket (the Intel one is pre-applied to the CPU block.