Anidees AI-06 V2 Silent Mid-Tower Chassis Review

Introduction


Today in the eTeknix office we have the brand new Anidees AI-06 V2 mid-tower chassis, which offers up a big revision of their popular AI-06 model. Taking an already robust chassis, adding in more flexible storage solutions, a card reader, improved cooling support, a larger side panel window (on the relevant model) and more. Today, we have the Silent equipped model, which comes fitted with sound dampening materials on the interior, although windowed and standard solid side panel without noise dampening materials edition are also available.

Equipped with an aluminium finished from panel door, multiple radiator and fan mounts in the front, top, back and bottom of the chassis, removable storage bays, an SD card reader and more, we’re really looking forward to taking a closer look at this chassis, so let’s get it out of the box and see what it has to offer.

  • Rotate door with Aluminum line-finished for elegant look.
  • Moveable front mesh design for ventilation and easy maintenance.
  • Accommodates 120 mm radiator in the rear, 120/140mm radiator in the bottom or 240 mm radiator on the top or front.
  • Dust filters on the front and at the bottom.
  • Rear retaining holes for water cooling kit.
  • Cable management and CPU retaining hole for easy maintenance.
  • Air cooling support 6 fans, 140mm fan*5, 120mm fan*1
  • Supports up to 140 mm fan x 5
  • New Velcro fastener design for better power supply stability
  • USB 3.0*2, USB 2.0*2, SD Card reader, Fan controller on the top
  • Smoky Transparent side window (optional)

As you can see, the silent edition comes with a solid side panel on the left. The panel is held in place by a pair of thumb screws at the back, nothing fancy, but a well-tried and tested design overall.

There’s some branding in the bottom corner here, it’s quite tastefully placed and this means the front panel can be left looking nice clean.

Another heavy panel on the right, looking good in that lightly textured matte black paintwork.

The front panel is really smart, finished with a good layer of brush textured aluminium, giving it a nice premium look and feel.

The door is held shut with magnets on the right side, allowing you to easily open it up to access the front panel component.

In the door cavity, you’ll find a thick layer of noise-dampening materials, which should soak up a lot of unwanted noise from your systems cooling solution. There are three 5.25″ drive bays on offer also, each with an easily removable lock-in cover.

Further down, you’ll find a large ventilated panel for the front mounted cooling.

Around the back, you’ll find a 120mm fan mount, seven expansion slots, two water/cable routing grommets and the PSU cut-out; all pretty standard stuff, but that’s no bad thing.

The covers are reusable and come with some ventilation to help with overall airflow.

The top panel follows the design of the front of the chassis, curving at the edge to create a nice flowing design and featuring even more of that lovely brushed aluminium.

There’s a well equipped I/O panel towards the front, with SD card reader, four USB ports, HD audio jacks, and two nicely designed buttons for the power and reset. What’s also worthy of our attention is that there is a three-way switch, which functions as the built-in fan controller.

the base of the chassis features lots of ventilation for any base mounted cooling, as well as the PSU air intake. The PSU benefits from a slide out filter, but the remaining ventilation uses a simple clip-in mesh.

Silverstone AR07 & AR08 CPU Cooler Review

Introduction


SilverStone is back on eTeknix again today, with their new AR07 and AR08 CPU coolers. Both coolers are designed to be affordable, quiet, stylish and pack great value for money performance. We’re going to be putting both of them on our test bench today, and while we’re expecting the bigger AR07 to offer up better performance, we’re still eager to see what the smaller and more affordable AR08 is capable of.

“The Argon series coolers are designed to provide the best cooling solution for your CPU. To improve performance even further, unique and exclusive heatsink fin designs such as interweaving diamond edge and arrow guides are included. For users looking for a no-nonsense top performing cooler without the premium price, the Argon AR07 is the perfect choice.” – SilverStone

Both coolers come equipped with a triple heat pipe design and a high-quality fan tuned for silence. The AR07 has three 8mm thick pipes, a 140mm PWM fan and the AR08 uses 6mm pipes with a 92mm PWM fan.

Argon Series AR07

  • Great balance of silence and performance
  • Unique interweaving diamond edged fins for improved performance
  • Exclusive arrow guides distribute airflow evenly among heat pipes
  • Three Ø8mm heat-pipes and aluminum fins for excellent heat conducting efficiency
  • Heat-pipe direct contact (HDC) technology
  • Includes compact 140mm PWM fan for excellent cooling and low noise
  • Anti-vibration rubber pads included for additional noise dampening

Argon Series AR08

  • Great balance of silence and performance
  • Unique interweaving diamond edged fins for improved performance
  • Exclusive arrow guides distribute airflow evenly among heat pipes
  • Three Ø6mm heat-pipes and aluminum fins for excellent heat conducting efficiency
  • Heat-pipe direct contact (HDC) technology
  • Includes compact 92mm PWM fan for excellent cooling and low noise
  • Anti-vibration rubber pads included for additional noise dampening
  • Intel Socket LGA775/115X/1366/2011 and AMD Socket AM2/AM3/FM1/FM2 compatible

Both coolers come nicely packaged with all the main specifications detailed around the box, as well as lots of images showing the fan, fin stack, block, heat pipes design and more.

In the box, you’ll find fan clips, a universal backplate for Intel and an AMD bracket, mounting arms, 3M pads, as well as all the required screws and some thermal paste. Both coolers come with a very similar mounting kit, the only exception being that the AR07 comes with larger fan retention clips.

Gears Of War: Ultimate Edition Releases Without A Word

The Gears Of War franchise has been known as a game for Xbox users for years, with them enjoying releases of the second and third game while PC users were stuck enjoying the small amount of content they gained in the first game. Finally, the series returns with a bang on the PC, okay maybe not a bang but more like a silent whisper as the Ultimate Edition releases without a word from anybody.

If you are a fan of the series you’ll be able to enjoy the remaster of the original trilogy on PC as of today. Already released on the Microsoft Store for Windows 10 users you can enjoy the new game as long as your PC feels brave enough to face its requirements. Surprisingly, the last we heard about the games release was the specification for your systems and rumours about an early 2016 release date.

Perhaps a reason for the release’s rather silent release and low price mark at just £22.79 is the lack of recommendations from users who are reporting difficulty with the games and bad performance on every hardware configuration imaginable. Typically a split between your graphics card manufacturers, both AMD and Nvidia users are reporting issues with the game and a user running an R9 Fury suffering from a frame rate of fewer than 10 frames per second almost consistently.

Given the bad performance, it’s no surprise that it is a known problem to Microsoft that you can’t even download the game anymore and with recommendations to download it again “in a few days”. Given it’s their first DX12 game and made by Microsoft for what is now their franchise, the few days could be a stall to try patch up the problems people have encountered before another Arkham Knight scenario happens.

Phanteks Launches Eclipse Series P400 and P400S

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

QNAP Demonstrate M.2 SSD NASBook @ CES 2016

CES 2016: Not everyone has room for a full-size NAS, and some people would just prefer a slimmer and quieter unit in general if given the option. The new NASBook for QNAP looks perfect for those who demand a highly portable unit, but even more so for those who want a compact size with big performance.

Equipped with 4 x m.2 SSD bays, with support for 2280/2260/2242 SATA 6Gb/s SSDs, in raid 0, 1, 5, 6, 10, 5+ hot spare, JBOD and, of course, separate volumes. There are 2 RAM slots for up to 8GB of DDR3L RAM, a powerful Intel Celeron N3150 quad-core Braswell processor and built in Intel HD Graphics. That means 4K video playback with real-time transcoding!

Equipped with QTS 4.2.1 OS, as well as all the high-end NAS features that come with it, the NAS also has two HDMI ports, two USB ports, audio jacks, IR receiver, and a built-in Gigabit switch! Overall, this is a seriously well-equipped multimedia powerhouse, perfect for a home entertainment setup.

 

Corsair Carbide 400Q Mid-Tower Chassis Review

Introduction


The Corsair Carbide series is one of the most established and popular ranges in the entire PC chassis market. There have been many entries in this range, such as the Air 540, Air 240Spec-01, 100R, 330R, and the recently released 600Q, which was and is the bigger brother of the 400Q we’ll be reviewing today.

Designed to suit a wide range of system builds, there isn’t much the Carbide series doesn’t have to offer. The 400 chassis comes in two variants, the 400C, which comes with a large side panel window, and the 400Q, which comes with a solid side panel, as well as thick layers of sound dampening material for whisper quiet performance.

“The Carbide Series Clear 400C and Quiet 400Q were designed as refined, elegant, and compact ATX chassis with modern layout and features. By removing the 5.25” ODD bays, the 400 series reduces the footprint of the chassis front to back, and simultaneously improves on cooling since there are no drive bays in the airflow path. “

The 400Q is certainly well equipped, and it’s capable of housing some fairly high-end hardware that should make it appeal to those wanting a gaming system build, but let’s skip through these technical details and take a closer look at it ourselves!

As you can see, the 400Q has a fairly understated appearance. That’s not to say it looks boring, but it’s certainly not leaping out to grab your attention while still giving off a premium quality vibe. There’s a solid steel panel on the left side, with a fair bit of ventilation on the edge of the front panel for any front mounted fans/radiators.

The right side is pretty much the same, another solid panel, and even more ventilation for the front panel.

The front panel keeps that bold theme going, with a very minimal, although nicely finished panel. The only thing breaking up the design is an equally understated Corsair logo; the only really visible branding on the chassis exterior.

Around the back, you’ll find a 120mm pre-installed exhaust fan, with elongated mounting holes, allowing you to adjust the height of the fan; this will also increase AIO cooler compatibility. There are seven expansion slots, each fitted with reusable and ventilated filters. Down at the bottom, a PSU mount with a slide out dust filter; nothing too fancy, but everything you would need is here.

The top panel comes fitted with a hard cover that is held in place by magnets. This cover will help reduce noise from the system.

Under the cover, you’ll find 120 and 140mm elongated fan and radiator fittings, handy if you need to add extra cooling performance to the build. You’ll get a 240/280mm radiator here easily.

On the front panel, there are all the basics, such as the power and reset buttons, a pair of high-speed USB 3.0 ports and HD audio jacks.

Corsair Carbide Quiet 600Q Chassis Review

Introduction


Corsair may have been a little quiet in terms of chassis releases recently, but it’s because they’ve been busy cooking up something big! Their new chassis, the Corsair Carbide 600Q is designed for high-end systems and comes packed full of features that are sure to put a smile on any system builders face. With a focus on compatibility for high-end components, which are often quite large, without making a compromise on style or acoustic performance; we’re eager to take a closer look at what the latest from Corsair has to offer.

There are two models available for the new 600 chassis, a windowed model, and a quiet model. We have the quiet model at our disposal today, which comes with solid side panels that are lined with noise dampening materials. It’s certainly nice to have a choice between showing off your rig and that extra bit of silence, which one is best suited for your build is really a personal choice. For the most part, however, the quiet version is all but the same, with the exception of the right side panel.

Equipped with an inverted ATX layout, a great solution to allow direct airflow across you hardware, especially your graphics cards. There’s a good range of fan mounts for both 120mm and 140mm spacings, as well as a three-speed integrated fan controller, allowing you to further tune the systems cooling performance and acoustics. Of course, you’ll also find plenty of room for water cooling hardware, a good amount of storage drives, an ATX motherboard, long graphics cards and more!

Two 140mm fans come pre-installed, but you’ll also find a most welcome bonus fan for those who feel their system needs that extra bit of airflow.

Down the left side, you’ll find little to see, as the chassis has a fairly minimalist and monolithic design. Blank panels or not, the finish is quite nice and the stealthy black paint job gives off a nice premium quality vibe.

Another sturdy panel on the right side. Both left and right side panels are held in place by a pair of easy access thumb screws. Down the sides of the front panel, you’ll notice some rather large openings, which allow airflow to the front mounted fans; don’t worry, there is an air filter in there too.

The front panel shows you just how wide this chassis is; it almost looks wide enough to be a dual-chamber design! There’s a door at the top half of the chassis, hiding the 5.25″ drive bays and keeping it looking nice and sleek.

There’s little detail on the front, but the panels are very nicely finished, with a stealthy and almost metallic look to them, as well as a tiny Corsair logo in the corner being the only on-show branding for the whole chassis.

Behind the front panel door, you’ll find a nice layer of sound dampening material, which continues down the entire front panel, but can also be found on both side panels of the quiet model. There are 5.25″ drive bay covers here, perfect for optical drives, card readers and more.

Around the back we have an even clearer view of just how wide this chassis is, and it’s the first indication we’ve had of the inverted design, with the PSU mounted at the top and the motherboard flipped around and at the bottom.

There’s a removable bracket at the back to aid with mounting your PSU, although in most cases it can also be loaded through the side panel.

A pre-installed 140mm fan at the base, although there are optional mounts for a 120mm fan if you need them.

The top panel is just as bold as the rest of the chassis, with the exception of the small I/O panel running down the left side.

All the usual functions are here and self-explanatory, as well as a small mechanical switch for the three-speed fan controller.

The tall and wide chassis is given extra stability from four thick and rather durable feet, each featuring a thick rubber grip base.

Those large feet provide the 600Q with excellent ground clearance, giving airflow the bottom fan/radiator mounts, which come fitted with a full-length magnetic dust filter.

Thermaltake Suppressor F31 Silent Mid-tower Chassis Review

Introduction


Thermaltake is one of the biggest names in the PC component market, with a huge range of products that range from water coolers to power supplies. We’ve seen a lot of great products from Thermaltake over the years, and today we hope to see another great addition to their already featured packed range.

“The Suppressor F31 Window mid-tower chassis is the new addition to the Suppressor Series to the Thermaltake case line. Featuring the first chassis with 250mm wide and leading-edge sound reduction panels on all sides, expand your cooling options with removable panels for the perfect balance in silent operation and cooling performance. Supporting a range of motherboard platforms from Mini-ITX to ATX solutions, unrivaled liquid cooling expansion and expandability for all high-end GPU solutions users can expect an enthusiast built design they can trust.”

The Thermaltake Suppressor F31 is their latest full-tower, following on from their F51 chassis which launched earlier this year, designed with a relentless focus on silent performance. It’s been kitted out with thick panels, vast amounts of sound dampening materials, a front panel door and extensive air and water cooling support, giving you all the tools you need to build a power and super quiet system.

https://youtu.be/vkLnHc9Er5o

Equipped with extensive support for fans and radiators, a decent amount of storage, large graphics cards and more, the F31 is certainly a capable product; I can’t wait to take a closer look at this chassis, so let’s jump right in and see.

This chassis is closed up pretty tight, with lots of sound-dampening features to help keep your build as quiet as possible. There’s a very thick side panel on the left with an optional side panel fan mount. The fan mount has a magnetic exterior dust filter for easy maintenance.

Another thick panel on the right as well as more ventilation down the sides of the front panel to provide airflow to the front mounted cooling.

The front panel is just as bold as the rest of the design, with a thick door panel and a lightly textured finished. The design is a little boxey and bland, but I quite like the monolithic appearance.

At the top of the front panel, you’ll find HD audio jacks, power controls, dual USB 3.0 ports and dual USB 2.0 ports; that’s decent amount of connectivity.

A few magnets in the front panel help keep the door closed and to help further enhance the noise proofing, there’s a thick lining of sound dampening material on the back of the door.

There are two 5.25″ drive bays, each fitted with a quick-release tool-free cover.

The bottom cover clips out easily enough, allowing you to quickly clean the filter and access the front panel cooling mounts, where you’ll find a pre-installed 120mm fan.

On the top, you’ll find a full-length magnetic dust filter, which is easily removed and cleaned when needed.

You’ll also notice that under it, the fan mounts as closed off, meaning you can keep them in place for maximum noise dampening, or take them out to install extra cooling as required.

Four sturdy feet on the bottom give good ground clearance for the full-length, slide-out dust filter.

This filter gives clean airflow to the PSU ventilation, as well as any addition base mounted cooling.

Around the back, you’ll find the side panels are held in place with thumb screws, but also normal chassis screws. I just wish I noticed these extra screws when I struggled for a few minutes wondering why the flipping panel wouldn’t slide off; I have no idea why we need a second set of screws here, but you could always leave the removed if required.

At the top, there’s a single 120mm exhaust fan pre-installed, but there’s also the option to install 140mm cooling if required. The screw holes are elongated to allow more flexibility in the height of the fan/radiator mounting, as this could help prevent hardware conflicts.

There are eight expansion slots, each fitted with a metal reusable and ventilated cover. There’s also a routing grommet to the right, as well as plenty of extra ventilation.

The PSU mounting supports normal and inverted installation, of course, if you mount the PSU with the fan facing downwards, you can take advantage of the bottom dust filter.

Akasa Plato X Slim Fanless Chassis i5/i7 NUC Chassis Review

Introduction


We’ve got a great change of pace for you today, as we’ve broken away from the standard motherboard form factors for something a little more compact. I am of course talking about the Intel NUC motherboards, which may be tiny, but still pack a huge range of features, high-end processors such as the i5 and i7 ranges and enough connectivity to satisfy the needs of a whole range of usage scenarios.

Akasa are the masters of integrated systems and their range of NUC products is virtually unmatched by their chassis making rivals. The model we have in today, the Plato X, is super slim and despite its completely fanless design, it has enough cooling potential to chill a 5th Gen Core i7 NUC board.

• Aluminium fanless CPU cooling design
• Stylish front panel diamond effect
• Support one serial port
• Support IR remote function
• Compatible with the following Intel® NUC Board
NUC5i7RYH / NUC5i5RYH / NUC5i5RYK / NUC5i3RYH / NUC5i3RYK
NUC5i5MYBE / NUC5i5MYHE / NUC5i3MYBE / NUC5i3MYHE

In terms of spec, this little chassis is well equipped, with room for a single 2.5″ HDD/SSD, but you can squeeze some M.2 drives on your compatible NUC board should you need to.

The chassis is constructed from aluminium, which not only looks stunning with its black finish and silver time highlights on the edges of the front panel, but it also doubles up as the heatsink for the CPU. The entire chassis is designed to provide passive cooling for the internal hardware and that’s why the length of the chassis is so much longer than the 4-inch motherboard, to help better handle the heat of a high-end chip, such as the i7.

The right and left side of the chassis as the same; black aluminium from front to back.

The front panel is gorgeous, good enough to look at home as part of a sleek HTPC setup without being distracting while you’re watching a movie. It’s well equipped too, with a pair of high-speed USB 3.0 ports, an HD audio jack and the usual power buttons.

Around the back, you’ll find the motherboard I/O ports and two rubber pegs that can be removed to allow you to use Wi-Fi antenna.

There’s even a second backplate included in the box for i5 NUC boards, as well as offering support for COM port, something that’s still very widely used for a lot of industrial applications.

The top panel is held in place with four small screws, running down the middle of the top of the chassis.

The base of the chassis is nice and simple, but if you look closely you’ll see a few screw holes. There’s a mounting kit included, perfect for stealth mounting the unit or fitting it to a compatible VESA bracket.

Corsair Strafe RGB MX Silent Red Mechanical Keyboard Review

Introduction


Corsair is one of the most recognisable brands in the PC market, with a huge range of products, such as power supplies, chassis, coolers and more importantly today, peripherals. Their latest keyboard is the second in the Strafe series, but it’s a little bit special, as it’s not only a premium grade mechanical keyboard, but it also features the new Cherry MX Silent switches!

Mechanical keyboards have a reputation for being noisy, at least when compared to the common membrane switch keyboards. Of course, the switch type does vary, as black and red switch are not too noisy, but blue and green have that tactile click. You can mediate this a little with some 0-ring mods, which dampen the action and noise quite well, but these new switches go one further, by adding the dampening directly into the switch housing.

This keyboard is available in three formats, Cherry MX Red, Cherry Mx Brown and Cherry MX Silent, which Corsair say is “30% quieter than any mechanical switch on the market”.

Check out the video below as Corsair talk us through the latest features of this feature packed new keyboard, including a great explanation of what is possible with the Cue software and RGB lighting.

The keyboard is very well equipped, with USB pass through, 104-key rollover, RGB lighting, the new switches, built-in memory and more.

Corsair isn’t fooling around here either, this may be an expensive premium grade keyboard, but Corsair not only offer more features than the competition, but they also do it for less money; if that doesn’t get you excited, nothing will. So enough mucking about, let’s get right in and take a closer look at what the Strafe has to offer.

The packaging is typical Corsair gaming colours, with a stunning image on the front and the main specifications dotted around the edges.

Around the back, we’ve got a more detailed run through of the features, such as the RGB lighting and gaming keys.

The first thing you’ll find in the box is this handsome wrist rest, which has a gripped texture to it.

It completely optional to use and can be mounted to or removed from the keyboard in seconds.

Also in the box, a set of WASD gaming key caps for FPS gaming.

As well as a MOBA set, giving you lots of flexibility.

Oh, let’s not forget this handy key cap removal tool.

Bitfenix Released the Stylish New Nova Chassis

Bitfenix has shown us some beautiful PC chassis in the past and as it looks, they are far from done. Their newest chassis is the Nova that delivers style, performance, and silence at a competitive price point. Whether you want it black or white and with or without a window in the side panel, Bitfenix has you covered.

One of the first things that we notice on the Nova is the lack of air vents, or so it seems with the completely covered front and top covers. But thanks to a clever design with air vents hidden on the side of the front panel. behind a mesh filter, the Nova can draw plenty of fresh air while it keeps the pesky fan noises inside the chassis itself. This design should also decrease the amount of dust that will settle inside the chassis.

The difference between the two models, with and without a side panel window, is clear from the photos above and below. The large window allows you to show off your valuable components such as motherboard and add-in cards as well as the PSU. The last thing might be a deal breaker for some while it’s a win for others, the visible PSU. I personally prefer to hide mine as good as possible while others prefer to proudly present that very expensive and vital part of the system.

Bitfenix chose to angle the top of the front panel where the power button, reset button, USB connections, and audio jacks are located. This tiny detail can make a huge difference as it allows for better placement options. Whether the system is placed on the floor or next to you on your desktop, you’ll be able to easily reach them all.

The PSU area is covered with a removable dust filter to keep that part as dust free as possible, a very important factor for a chassis when it is placed on the floor.

The Bitfenix Nova has room for a full-sized ATX motherboard and comes with seven expansion ports. The wide chassis allows for graphics cards with a height of up to 140mm and length of up to 320mm, eliminating pretty much any compatibility issues from oversized cards. The power supply can be up to 220mm long and the CPU cooler can stand 160mm tall.

The Bitfenix Nova has three 5.25-inch drive bays, but only one of them is accessible from the front. That one also has tool-less fasteners for easy mounting of the drive. You can further mount up to four 3.5-inch drives and two 2.5-inch drives in the Nova.

The case supports two 120mm fans in the front and one 120mm at the rear. The rear exhaust fan can also be used for an AIO CPU cooler.

Bitfenix is releasing this beautiful chassis as an option that shouldn’t blow your budget but sadly didn’t announce any price yet. I’m sure that will follow shortly. Could this be your next chassis?

be quiet! Silent Base 600 Window Mid-Tower Chassis Review

Introduction


be quiet! have worked hard over the years to establish themselves as a premium brand and it’s safe to say they’ve done just that. Time and time again we’ve seen award-winning products, from their enthusiast grade powers supplies, incredible CPU coolers, high-end fans and their previous chassis, the Silent Base 800. All their products have been exceptionally well designed, built and more important of all, they all had a focus on being as quiet as possible.

Following in the footsteps of its big brother, the Silent Base 600 looks like the ideal solution for a mid-tower. It ticks all the right boxes in terms of specifications for those wanting a desktop gaming PC. It features high-quality be quiet! fans, room for high-end hardware, a sound-proofed design and even a dual-layer side panel window, to give you a look inside the chassis, without compromising on noise suppression.

As you can see, it’s vaguely similar to the Silent Base 800, with the matte black exterior finish that’s great to look at, but still reasonably understated.

The right side panel is really nicely designed. be quiet! could have used a blank panel, but they chose to add a bit of style to it instead.

The front panel is nicely designed, with a stylish oversized power button at the top, as well as four USB ports and HD-audio jacks on the edge.

The front panel is mostly black panels with a brushed effect to give them a touch of style. To the sides, you’ll find two full-height strips of ventilation, each with a little bit of silver trim.

The top part of the front panel opens out, revealing 3 x 5.25″ drive bay covers. More noise dampening solutions here too, with thick sound proofing material on the door panel as well as thick anti-vibration rubber stoppers.

The bottom half remains shut, but you can slide up a dust filter from behind the top door, making maintainance super easy.

The filter is washable and very easy to remove/reinstall.

Around the back, you’ll find a little bit of passive ventilation at the top of the chassis. Further down, we’ve got a 120mm be quiet! Silent Wings fan, three routing grommets, seven ventilated expansion slot covers and the PSU cut-out.

Airflow for the PSu and any base mounted cooling is kept clean by a large slide out washable dust filter.

The top panel is raised towards the front and back, giving it a nice unique look. There’s a bit of ventilation towards the back too, perfect for any top mounted cooling. It features an indirect design too, which should help reduce noise without hurting airflow.

There are four feet on the base of the chassis, giving good ground clearance for the bottom air vents; each foot is coated with a durable rubber grip, which should prevent the chassis from sliding around, while also reducing vibrations.

Giada Introduces Compact and Fanless F103D Mini PC

Giada unveiled a new compact and completely silent Mini PC dubbed the F103D. The Giada F103D isn’t the average mini-PC, it is packed with the latest Intel Braswell N3150, N3050, or N3000 Processors with a max TDP of 6W as well as other great features.

The F103D is designed for digital signage and harsh environments, but I see completely different possibilities thanks to the features and specifications. Starting with the dual LAN, powered by two Realtek controllers, the F103D opens up for easy built custom routers and firewalls. This functionality is further increased by an optional upgrade with a WiFi module. It already has the antenna.

The system supports 4K video out at 30Hz via the onboard HDMI and it also comes with a D-Sub VGA connector. There are several COM ports as well as USB ports too. The unit also features 5.1 audio via the display out. You can mount one mSATA SSD as well as a 2.5-inch HDD or SSD in this mini PC.

It comes with 2GB memory onboard and that can be expanded with 2GB more with a DDR3L SO-DIMM slot. Further, you get an onboard IR module and IR sensor on the front, but the remote control is optional. The system is compatible with Windows 7, 8.1, and 10 as well as Linux. Android support is planned for 2016.

Fractal Design R5 Chassis Tested in The World’s Quietest Room

Fractal Design’s unbridled commitment to constructing silent, high-quality cases with a focus on good airflow has earned a great deal of respect throughout the technology sector. The Define R5 applied a number of subtle tweaks from the previous model and progressively enhanced the chassis’ sound-deadening materials. Fractal Design constantly strives for perfection and conducted a wide array of interesting noise tests in the world’s quietest room.

From the graphs, we can see the Fractal Design R5 is virtually silent at idle and reported a 14 dB figure. The majority of people would struggle to distinguish audible noise between 1-10 dB, so 14 is remarkably quiet. Even under full load, the case only ramps up to 21.2 dB and well within an acceptable range. To put this into perspective, the case when benchmarking is even quieter than a library or normal conversation.

The R5 competes exceedingly well against an open test bench and provides a much better PC experience. Under idle, the R5 and R5 windowed edition only recorded a 1.3 and 1.4 dBA acoustical noise level while the test bench hit a maximum of 16.1 dBA. The figures under 50% load remain fairly constant with an increase of approximately 1 dBA. However, notice how the gap slightly increases between the solid and windowed side panel version. When 100% load was applied, the standard R5 reached 21.2 dBA and the side-panel case only increased this figure by 0.7 dBA. Honestly, I expected there to be a much larger gap between these models. Finally, the Test Bench wasn’t ridiculously loud but enough of an increase to exemplify the R5’s excellent build quality.

This was a rather intriguing experiment and illustrates how quiet a modern, custom-PC can be. Perhaps the research conducted will allow Fractal to improve their silent ratings even further in future products.

CHERRY Create New Silent Mechanical MX Key Switches

Mechanical keyboards are pretty much the way to go for gamers that want the best possible precision and accuracy, but along comes the loud clicking that isn’t to everyone’s liking. Granted, not all mechanical switches are equally loud, but they make a lot more noise than let us say membrane keyboards.

CHERRY has now created a new mechanical switch that doesn’t produce as much noise and fittingly named it the CHERRY MX SILENT switch. It will be available as a black and a red version to begin with, but the rest of the line-up will get a silent treatment in the near future.

The new silent switches use a patented noise reduction technology with integrated 2-component tappets and audible clicks are reduced to the acoustic minimum. The entire switch is an in-house development and doesn’t feature any third party components. Instead, CHERRY integrated a proprietary and innovative solution through which every single switch retains its special characteristics.

The new silent switches still retain the RGB compatibility of the non-silent models and can be used with high-quality SMD LEDs, just like the previous models. The transparent casing will scatter the light over the surface and create an absolutely uniform illumination with all possible 16.7 million colours.

As previously mentioned, there will be a red and black version at first as they are the most popular of the switches that feature a linear actuator. The force required to trigger the switches is 45 grams for the red and 60 grams for the black. The bounce time remains the same at one millisecond just like the other MX switches.

If you’re in the market for a new keyboard and want it to have these new CHERRY MX SILENT switches, then you’ll have to take a closer look at the upcoming Corsair versions. For the first six months, these new switches will be exclusive to Corsair and they are launching new products with them during Gamescom 2015 in Cologne. Later on other companies can get their hand of these switches too.

 

Silent Ads Are Slowing Your Smartphone and Stealing Data Allowance

Ever wondered why your battery is going down faster or your data allowance is just evaporating, though you’re not really using your smartphone that much? The answer is ads… and a lot of them. You may not see them on-screen, but research company Forensiq has said that they are there and found over 5,000 such apps available on iOS and Android.

Forensiq tells that an estimated 20 ads per minute are delivered, summing up to 700 ads per hour. That’s quite a lot, even though they are not displayed on your screen. This may not seem that bad, but take note that the ads need internet connection to work. So when you are not home and have no Wi-Fi available, your data plan is just wasted on ads you don’t want and can’t stop.

The research company notes that a single app may be able to download 2GB of data per day. In addition to data allowance loss, poor battery life will be a side effect of the apps that keep downloading and shuffling these ads. So you not only lose a lot of your monthly data allowance, but you can also find yourself with a dead phone when you need it.

A full report has been made on this issue, but it does not mention any specific apps in question. However, Google Play recently suspended three apps that had the above mentioned behaviour, namely Waxing Eyebrows, Celebrity Baby and Vampire Doctor. The latter are not available on iOS, though other similar apps are present on Apple’s store too. You may think that Apple is more strict when it comes to their store, but truth be told, silent ad-serving is not on the company’s priority list when it comes to choosing what goes on the AppStore and what doesn’t.

While you don’t really have a way of detecting these apps, you can start to take notice of how much data your phone uses daily and how much battery individual apps use. I know the Google Store has some pretty neat apps for that, but even so, the native built-in features in the latest iOS and Android operating systems should be enough to give you an idea if you have silent ad-serving apps installed.

Thank you MacNN for providing us with this information

be quiet! Silent Base 800 Windowed Edition Mid-Tower Chassis Review

Introduction


be quiet! have one of the best-kept reputations in the PC component market, having created some of the most reliable and best performing products we’ve ever seen. Their range of CPU coolers often dominate leaderboards for their ultra-quiet performance, but then again, with a name like “be quiet!” they wouldn’t be worth much if they were noisy. Their PSUs are rock solid, with a range of great features and you guessed it, super-quiet performance. So what about their chassis? We already reviewed the Base 800 a little while ago and absolutely loved the quality and design, as well as its focus on noise suppression, but it was lacking one little detail; a side panel window.

be quiet! aren’t about to cut any old hole into the side of their chassis, leaving their product with poor noise suppression and thankfully, they didn’t. The Base 800 Window Edition innovates to provide the same acoustic performance as its solid panel counterpart! So let’s dive in and take a closer look at the latest chassis from be quiet!

As you can see, the window panel is a good size, giving a fantastic view of the chassis interior; obviously not much to look at now, but we’ll have a system installed soon enough.

The top panel has a little ventilation at the back for any top mounted cooling.

A nice over-sized power button, keeping with the bold design of the rest of the chassis, as well as a nicely equipped front I/O panel on the right side.

The right side panel has a fan cover on it, which would normally match the solid panel on the left. It doesn’t really have a practical purpose, but it does help add a little flair to the chassis.

The bold front panel looks fantastic, with two towering air vents on the sides and that funky orange trim keeping the design fun and engaging.

As you might expect, the front panel is packed with sound dampening materials to help keep unwanted noises from escaping your system.

Two very high-quality Pure Wings 2 fans are pre-installed; you couldn’t ask for better fans!

All the fans have been mounted with rubber grommets on both sides to help reduced any vibrations.

Lots of ventilation around the back and another Pure Wings 2 fan, which is once again mounted on rubber grommets.

A slide out dust filter for the PSU with an easy access pull tab.

The base of the chassis is almost featureless, but you’ll notice four cut-outs, these are for mounting the rails/legs that are included in the box, which I’ll show you shortly.

Zotac CI321Nano Barebones System Review

 

Introduction


Today we are taking a look at one of Zotac’s latest ZBOX CI321 nano barebones system that is packing a dual-core 2961Y CPU. Something that makes this CI321 nano stand out of the crowd is that it carries dual Gigabit LAN and is completely silent with its passively cooled design. With the inclusion of an onboard IR receiver, this makes it an interesting option for a silent HTPC. With it being a barebones kit, you can use some memory or 2.5″ drives that you have on hand to keep the final build costs down. There has been a lot of growth in the mini PC market and Zotac has been in it for a long time with its ZBOX lineup.

Specifications
  • Name: ZBOX CI321 nano
  • CPU: Intel Celeron 2961Y (2C/2T, 1.10 GHz, 22nm, 6W)
  • RAM: User Supplied – We tested with Crucial Ballistix 2x4GB DDR3-1600 9-9-9-24 1T 1.35v 
  • SSD: User Supplied – Crucial MX200 SSD 250GB
  • GPU: Integrated – Intel HD Graphics
  • LAN: dual 10/100/1000/Gigabit Base T
  • WLAN: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Built-in Bluetooth V4.0
  • I/O: 4x USB3.0, 1x USB 2.0 , 1x HDMI, 1x DisplayPort, Headphone-out, Microphone in, 2x 1Gb LAN
  • OS: Supplied Barebones, Windows 10 preview used in this review
  • Warranty: 1 Year
  • Price: $149.99

Retail Packaging

Printed materials that the CI321 comes with

The hardware that you get with the CI321 allows you to mount the unit via the VESA mount of a monitor or TV. You also get an optical audio adapter for use with a Toslink connection, a dual band WiFi antenna, and screws to mount your 2.5″ SSD or HDD.

 

CPU-Z

 

GPU-Z

Blade-less Turbines Could Be The Future!

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We’ve all seen them. The giant fans that spin (on occasion) and are said to help power the world without needing to worry about the pollution that may be generated. The problem is a lot of people don’t like the look of them (bar the fact that unless you have the right conditions the fans won’t spin), but what if someone came up with a new design?

A company in Spain is looking to do just that, Vortex Bladeless are looking to remove the unsightly blades and change how the wind can help power your homes. The giant metal pillars are instead designed to shake, a movement created by the air flowing around the pillars rather than forcing and pushing a giant blade instead. Typically buildings are designed to avoid the kind of wind and vortices that these pillars are instead designed to capture and use. While normally utilizing these by creating a building to oscillate at a specific frequency that the wind may occur at. Instead, Vortex states that by using magnets they are able to adjust the turbines in real time, getting the most out of the wind without having to wait for the opportune moment.

By converting the movement into electricity, Vortex claims to be able to reduce the cost of turbines by almost 40%. The reason for this price reduction is simple, very little maintenance is required if there are no gears or moving mechanics instead. While also cutting initial build costs by almost half due to the lack of expensive blades the blade-less design also has a small problem. The design only captures on average around 30% less energy than a regular turbine, something you could argue is offset by the smaller pieces of land they occupy and silent almost continuous running.

I’m all for environmental energy. Be it solar, wind or tidal renewable energy and electric vehicles are going to help cut pollution and make the world a better place to life very soon in the future, anything that helps bring that future closer can only be good right?

Thank you The Verge for providing us with this information.

Arctic Released Alpine M1 & Alpine M1-Passive Silent AM1 CPU Coolers

AMD’s AM1 platform has great potential for a lot of builds, but the stock cooler leaves some wishes open. Arctic seems to think so too and they have released not one but two new CPU coolers for just this platform. The new CPU coolers are the Alpine M1 for whisper silent operation and the Alpine M1-Passive for completely silent operation.

The Alpine M1 comes with pre-applied MX-2 thermal compound ready to use. It has the same cooling abilities as the stock fan, but with figures that speak a lot more to us. Where the stock cooler will spin with up to 4000RPM, the Alpine M1 comes away with just 750RPM, resulting in a barely audible noise generation. The 80mm low-speed fan delivers the desired airflow and pressure without producing any audible noise, even under full load it generates only 0.1 Sone.

The Arctic Alpine M1 comes backed by a six-year warranty and will only cost you £8.99 on Amazon.

The second new CPU cooler from Arctic kicks the whole thing up a notch, or rather down as it comes without a fan and is a completely passive cooler. Despite the lack of a fan, the cooling block can keep an AMD Athlon 5350 Quad-Core under full load at just 49 degrees. The stock cooler with a fan can keep the CPU at 46 degrees, so that’s barely a difference in performance.

The aluminium cooler is 77mm wide and 70mm high, so it should fit into pretty much any chassis. Like the active brother, it comes with pre-applied MX-2 thermal compound, ready to be mounted in your system.

Arctic’s Alpine M1-Passive will cost a little bit more than the active version, but not much. It can be had for just £9.49 on Amazon at the time of writing and also comes backed by the same six-year warranty as the active model.

ENERMAX Released MAXPRO PSU Series

Enermax has a lot of experience in the cooling and power supply market, and the newest MAXPRO series looks to be another stable power supply, designed to last for a long time. The new series will come with 400, 500, 600, and 700 watts to cover most users needs. Due to an adequate number of 8-pin PCI-Express connectors and a massive 12V rail, the MAXPRO ensures a stable power supply of performance-capable gaming PCs. The PSU measures just 14cm in depth, so it’ll also fit into small form factor cases.

Enermax didn’t just want a stable and efficient power supply, they also wanted ultra-quiet operation. Their engineers improved the fan control and also replaced the usual ball bearing fan with their own 12cm fan using Twister Bearings. With just 500 RPM, the new MAXPRO power supplies operate virtually silent at standard loads up to 50%. When peaking over 90% load, the MAXPRO’s fan exceeds 1,500 RPM but doesn’t generate mechanical side noises thanks to the Twister Bearing technology.

Efficiency and safety are two important aspects of a PSU. At a usual system load of 20 to 50%, the power supply achieves an average efficiency of 87% to comply with both EU’s eco-design regulations as well as the international 80 Plus certification. Enermax applied high-quality and performance-capable components which ensure a 24/7 non-stop operation at 40°C. In case of malfunctions or defects, the advanced SafeGuard protects the PSU and the system components against over-current, over-voltage, over-power, short circuit as well as sudden power surges (OCP, OVP, OPP, SCP & SIP) and the unit itself is covered by a 3-year manufacturer warranty.

The new Enermax MAXPRO series is available now apart from the 700W model, that one won’t be ready until the mid of April. The MSRPs are €49.90 for the 400W, €59.90 for 500W, €67.90 for 600W and €79.90 for the 700W model.

Thanks to ENERMAX for providing us with this information

Antec Reveals Its Sound-Dampened VSP-5000 Case Solution

Antec announced the VSP-5000, an entry-level case for gamers, which offers a silent solution at the best price-performance ratio. It is said that the VSP-5000 comes with exceptional sound-dampening properties and top-notch performance, having both panels crafted from sound deadening high-density Polycarbonate, while a fan cover sealing the top panel reduces any chance of system sound leakage.

In order to provide an efficient ventilation for components inside, three 120mm fans are provided, two of which are at the top and one at the rear. If that is not enough, two additional fans can be mounted at the front of the case. All fans are controlled via three fan controls, offering two speed settings each in order to achieve the best balance between high performance and quiet environment.

The VSP-5000 in also equipped with seven expansion slots and two bays for optical drives. It consists of a 3.5″ bay, four HDD rail mounds and a dedicated SSD bay. In terms of motherboard compatibility, the VSP-5000 can accommodate Standard ATX, Micro ATX and Mini ITX boards. The case also offers a lot of space for graphic card solutions, users being able to fit almost any graphics card with a length of up to 380mm.

There is also ample space for big high-performance CPU coolers as well, giving the user a 158mm space to fit any CPU cooling solution, while also providing additional space for the cooler to operate at optimum performance. In addition to the latter, the VSP-5000’s top-mounted high-end I/O panel ensures maximum comfort and adds two extra easily accessible USB 3.0 solutions aside from the fan control unit.

The VSP-5000 is currently available at select retailers for a recommended price of £44.99 including VAT.

Thank you TechPowerUp for providing us with this information

Palit Announces GeForce GTX 960 JetStream 4GB Graphics Card

Palit seems to be a little late with its GTX 960 offering, though better late than never as it goes. The company is now offering its GeForce GTX 960 JetStream Edition featuring 4GB of graphics memory.

While the graphics card solution sure looks amazing, it does have more than just its design to offer. It is said that the GTX 960 JetStream offers a very silent cooling solution, with temperatures reaching levels of under 70 degrees Celsius under full load.

The GPU core clock is set to have a frequency of 1127 MHz and can be boosted up to 1178 MHz, while the 4GB memory comes with a 7000 MHz. Also, given the 128-bit memory interface, the graphics card solution is able to boost a memory bandwidth of 112 GB/s.

ENERMAX Introduces Silent Digifanless 550W PSU

On the occasion of the company’s 25th anniversary, ENERMAX introduced the new Digifanless 550W power supply, the first digital and fanless power supply from ENERMAX. The new PSU isn’t just digital and fanless, it also comes with a 80 Plus Platinum certification and a peak efficiency of 93%.

Digifanless is equipped with a digital interface to read out and control the most essential power values via the brand-new ZDPMS software, including voltage, current, efficiency, and temperature. A great PSU also needs flexibility, so the Digifanless has a fully modular cable management with individually sleeved wires.

It is built with Japanese electrolytic 105°C capacitors, heavy-duty MOSFETs, and a high-density array of aluminium heatsinks to ensure the passive cooling and a continuous 24h full power output at 40°C ambient temperature.

European sales are starting in Week 13 right after CeBIT in Hannover, 16th to 20th of March, where the units will be sold for around €200.

Thanks to ENERMAX for providing us with this information

Android 5.0 Features No Silent Mode

Android 5.o has been well received throughout the wider technology community – providing users with many new features and an updated design. However, there’s one thing that they seem to have missed – there’s no silent mode!

On Android 4.0 and previous editions, when you hit your ‘volume down’ button on your smart phone or tablet, the phone will lower your ringer levels down from loud, to vibrate and eventually into fully silent mode. This mode apparently hasn’t made the grade into Android 5.0, kind of.

Silent mode was often used by consumers to disable the ability to hear or feel incoming phone calls, text messages or calendar notifications – the only alternative to this offered in Android 5.0 is the new “zero notification mode”. This mode gives you the ability to deaden your phone completely, allowing no alerts to get between you and your task. Apparently there is somewhat of a work-around if silent mode is important to you – simply turn you volume right up to 1, restart your device and then you’ll notice silent is available to you. It’s also noted that silent mode is available on tablet editions of Android 5.0 but not the smartphone edition.

Given this information, it looks like the no-silent ability is some form of small release bug – here’s hoping it’s fixed soon.

We’ll report if and when the story develops, here on eTeknix.

Image courtesy of Chiphell

SilverStone SST-AR06 Low-profile CPU Cooler Review

Introduction and Packaging


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thermaltake Frio Extreme Silent 14 Dual CPU Cooler Review

Introduction


Thermaltake are back with their brand new CPU cooler; the Frio Extreme Silent 14 Dual. In the past they have released some excellent products geared towards gamers and overclocking enthusiasts, boasting good value, low temperatures and low acoustics. A near silent PC is always hard to put together and normally you have to sacrifice some of the cooling power to get the PC as quiet as you would like. This cooler is set to try and tackle both problems head on, focusing on silence whilst keeping the performance that we all desire.

I’ve got high hopes for this cooler and with stiff competition coming from the likes of be quiet! and the AIOs that are on the market it will certainly be interesting to see how this stacks up against the competition.

As you can see from the specification below, the cooler supports all major socket types for both Intel and AMD. It comes equipped with two 140mm PWM fans and 0.4mm aluminium fin construction.

The front of the box features an image of the dual 14 CPU cooler and boasts support of up to 240w and low noise.

Around the back is a quick run-down on some of the major features, but we’ll be taking a closer look at those in a moment.

In the box you’ll find a universal backplate with thick foam padding, four fan clips, thermal grease, Intel and AMD mounting brackets, two low noise cables and an assortment of screws and bolts,