Thecus N2810 2-Bay 4K Capable SMB NAS Review

Introduction


Today’s review is a little bit special as I don’t just get the chance to test one of the newest NAS on the market, but also a new operating system at the same time. Thecus N2810 2-bay SMB multimedia NAS server with 4K playback is in the testing area and it comes with Thecus’ brand new ThecusOS 7.0.

Thecus N2810 NAS is powered by an Intel Celeron N3050 Braswell dual-core processor with 1.6GHz base clock and a 2.16GHz burst speed. This is a great processor for NAS usage as it’s both powerful and energy-efficient. On top of that, the N2810 supports hardware AES 256-bit encryption for that extra layer of security without impacting performance the way a software solution will. This is backed by 2GB DDR3 memory, but you can upgrade the system to a maximum of 8GB DDR3 RAM should you require more. The standard 2GB should still be plenty for normal usage scenarios and seamless 4K media playback.

Thecus opted for a full USB 3.0 setup which is a nice thing to see. Thanks to the USB bus’ compatibility you can easily use legacy devices while having maximum speed on your modern equipment such as high-end flash drives and external SSDs. There are two USB 3.0 ports on the rear and one on the front. The front port also features a convenient one-touch copy button that allows you to copy content to or from a USB drive with a single press of the button.

The two RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet ports on the N2810 support 10/100/1000 BASE-TX Auto MDI/MDI-X and Wake-on-LAN. You can naturally also set them up for link aggregation and Thecus allows you to set all seven modes: Load balance, Failover, 802.3ad, Balance-XOR, Balance-TLB, Balance-ALB, and Broadcast.

There is also the HDMI port for direct playback on your TV or monitor without the need for any other device at all. This is a feature we see more and more on modern NAS devices and it is one that I really love. While streaming is great, a direct connection allows for higher compatibility with formats and there are fewer points of failure or lag on the way. That said, the Thecus N2810 has absolutely no trouble streaming either, but we’ll get to that later.

Keen eyes will already have spotted the serial UART port too and that isn’t something that we usually see on NAS devices, it is however an awesome feature. We sometimes find the port on the PCB, but rarely on the device itself. UART stands for Universal Asynchronous Receiver/Transmitter and is part of the serial communication protocol.

The N2810 is the first Thecus NAS to run the completely new ThecusOS 7.0 operating system and user interface. The refreshed OS offers an easy to use and intuitive user interface and quite a lot of new features over the previous OS including the new Photo Station, Thecus App Center with over 700 apps, and user profiles. Besides the design and feature improvements, it also got a push in regards to the performance where it gets even more out of your hardware.

The N2810 steps up to the challenges that 4K playback creates and provides a robust hardware platform that is able to handle multiple tasks with ease. The built-in HDMI port allows you to transform the NAS into a multimedia hub by connecting it directly to your TV or media center to utilize the power of KODI. There are plenty of streaming options too with basic DLNA as well as Plex Media Server that can stream to your consoles with ease. The server can also automatically assemble iTunes, iPhoto, and Aperture content. Apple TV and Chromecast are both supported too, completing the circle of media abilities.

The N2810 is an SMB NAS and as such comes with a comprehensive list of enterprise-oriented features too, although none of them are limited to firms and enterprises, home users can take equal advantage of them. The Thecus System Failover feature is a fault tolerance process that creates mirrored data volumes. With at least two Thecus NAS available, data is copied by schedule and all changes are mirrored between the two NAS. While the second NAS is not visible, it communicates with the primary NAS. In the event of a power or network failure, a scheduled maintenance, or other unforeseen circumstances, System Failover automatically redirects operations to the secondary Thecus NAS, which then acts as the primary NAS.

Local failover is also achieved easily with a Thecus NAS and Snapshots. With BTRFS support, users can enjoy the simplicity of snapshot backups through BTRFS subvolumes. Snapshots of data at various time points can be manually or automatically made and just as easily later restored to rollback files or folders to previous states.

To complete the backup and failover abilities, the N2810 comes bundled with Acronis Backup Software that can backup all your data to the NAS with a single click as well as local backups and Time Machine support. Real-time remote replication (Rsync) is naturally also supported and it is one of the easiest to use and widest available backup methods.

Security is an important factor on a NAS, after all, it’s the device that holds all your files, memories, and data. Whether you’re an enterprise user or a home user, a virtual private network can come in very handy. The N2810 can operate as a VPN server and allow users to remotely access through a secure network.

Thecus also added Intel Security to the package that gives you an active defense against viruses that might have made it onto your NAS. The software protects you by scanning the files on your NAS and defending it against possible threats. Intel Security is the world’s largest dedicated security technology company and Thecus users will be able to benefit from Intel Security’s powerful software on their NAS entirely for free.

With the Thecus N2810, it is also an easy task to set up your own personal cloud service that will work with mobile iOS and Android devices with the use of Thecus’ T-OnTheGo app and your PCs. The mobile app enables users to access, copy, stream, and edit any data between their NAS and mobile device. Your own personal cloud, available from anywhere with internet access. The access from anywhere is made as easy as it could be thanks to the built-in DDNS feature that will give your NAS a name rather than a difficult to remember and mostly changing IP address.

You can also reverse the whole thing and use the public cloud systems together with the N2810 NAS. The system will work with DropBox, Amazon S3, and ElephantDrive cloud backup functionality. Guard your data with RAID at home and an additional level of protection in the Cloud. Just drag and drop files into the folder on your NAS and access them on any computer or mobile device with DropBox, Amazon S3 or ElephantDrive.

With currently available hard disk drives you get up to 8TB in the consumer sector and 10TB in the enterprise sector. With two drive bays at your disposal, that’s already a lot of storage and you can take maximum advantage of this storage thanks to iSCSI and the efficiency of iSCSI thin provisioning. Connect through iSCSI for the fastest data transfer speeds available and make wasted disk space a thing of the past with thin provisioning’s flexible storage functionality.

Feature Highlights

  • Embedded with Intel Celeron N3050 Dual Core CPU
  • Running on the newly-designed and enhanced ThecusOS 7.0
  • Seamless 4K Multimedia Playback
  • Uninterrupted Accessibility with Thecus System Failover
  • Secure Remote Access with Virtual Private Network (VPN)
  • Faster Transfers: 2 LAN Ports for Link Aggregation
  • 99% Virus Prevention: Bundled with Free Intel Security
  • Complete Client Side Protection: Bundled with Free Acronis Software

Packaging and Accessories

Thecus packed the N2810 in a beautiful box that clearly shows the intended usage, as a 4K capable multimedia center.

The rear of the box continues the beautiful full-colour wrapping with the feature highlights. There’s no doubt that you have a premium device in your hands when you look at the package.

It continues on the sides where the brand new Thecus OS 7 is presented on one side.

The second side reveals the hardware specifications, device size,  and package content.

Inside the product is a quick installation guide and a product disk as well as the warranty card and product notes.

Besides the manuals and the NAS itself, there is also a power adapter with connection cord, two sets of drive tray keys, an RJ45 LAN cable, and a security latch for the power cable that can prevent accidental removal.

Gelid Antarctica Ultra-Quiet Tower CPU Cooler Review

Introduction


Gelid are one of the most legendary cooling companies in the world and while you may not think of them first when you’re looking at a new CPU cooler, they’re the top choice for many system builders, enthusiast overclockers, and all of us here at eTeknix for our test benches, when it comes to Thermalpaste. Gelid GC-Extreme has been a popular choice for many years, and it’s with that in mind that we know that Gelid has a fair bit of knowledge when it comes to thermal performance in the PC market.

“The Antarctica comes with a 3D optimized heatsink that offers best-in-class thermal performance. The engineers of GELID Solutions especially designed a set of 5 power heat pipes, aluminum fins with improved profiling and an additional smaller heatsink with a copper core. These elements provide exceptional heat transfer from the CPU to the heatsink. Both heatsinks were created using precise software simulation and calculation during the development stage to ensure efficient air flow distribution at the lowest fan speed possible. The result, the Antarctica fully supports heat transfer of TDP 220W being paired with even very low-speed, virtually noiseless fans.” – Gelid

Their latest CPU cooler, the Gelid Antarctica, comes equipped with support for a wide range of CPUs, features a slim cooling tower to ensure it doesn’t conflict with motherboard VRM cooling or large RAM heatsinks, while being tall enough to provide great cooling performance. This is backed up by a high-quality 140mm PWM fan, which is designed to operate at low RPM, providing great airflow while maintaining whisper quiet performance. To make things even more appealing, it’s also backed up by a reassuring 5-year warranty.

“A silent 140mm fan with the intelligent GELID PWM (Pulse Width Module) control compliments the heatsink. The fan blades are optimized to deliver high air flow at low speed, and the newly designed PWM IC eliminates any clicking noise. The intelligent GELID PWM curve operates the fan in an extended speed range of 450 RPM to 1500 RPM, it constantly keeps the fan silent but accelerates speed whenever additional cooling is needed. With 2 sets of fan mounts, a second fan can be installed to improve the cooler’s outstanding performance even further. Additionally, the multi-award winning high performance GC-Extreme thermal compound is already included in the package.” – Gelid

The packaging is pretty straight forward, nothing too fancy overall, but a nice image of the cooler as well as detailing support for Skylake CPUs.

Around the back, we can see that the cooler supports a huge range of CPUs, right back to 775 and old AMD sockets. There’s also 2011 support, but you’ll need to purchase a separate bracket for it.

In the box, you’ll find all the usual documentation, as well as a bag of fitting components.

There’s a backplate for both Intel and AMD motherboards, two mounting arms, four fan retention clips, high-quality screws, a sticker and a very welcome tube of Gelid’s award-winning GC-Extreme thermal paste; the same paste we use for all our cooling reviews!

Noctua NH-D15S CPU Cooler Review

Introduction


Noctua is one of the leading cooling manufacturers in the world. Time and time again they’ve proven that they can deliver the highest quality products, with class leading and award winning cooling and acoustic performance. Of course, more often than not, this premium performance and quality come with an equally premium price tag, but as the saying goes “you get what you pay for.”

Today, we’ll be taking a look at one of their flagship coolers, the Noctua NH-D15S. If the name sounds familiar, it’s because it’s the latest variant of their ever popular NH-D15. The key difference here, however, is that the “S” variant is designed to be extremely compatible, allowing fantastic support for motherboards with large VRM cooling, larger RAM modules and more, without sacrificing performance.

“Tailored to provide superior RAM and PCIe compatibility, the NH-D15S is an asymmetrical single fan version of Noctua’s award-winning flagship model, the NH-D15. Thanks to its asymmetrical design, the NH-D15S clears the top PCIe slot on most µATX and ATX motherboards. At the same time, the single fan setup and recessed lower fins guarantee 100% RAM compatibility with memory modules of up to 65mm height. Users who have sufficient room can also upgrade the cooler with either a 120mm or round 140mm fan on the front fin stack for further improved performance in dual fan mode. Topped off with the trusted, pro-grade SecuFirm2 multi-socket mounting system, Noctua’s proven NT-H1 thermal compound and full 6 years manufacturer’s warranty, the NH-D15S forms a complete premium quality solution that combines dual tower efficiency with excellent compatibility and flexible upgrade options.”

Let’s take a quick look at the product video from Noctua for a closer look at some of the cool features on offer.

Equipped with support for all major socket types, as well as the ability to mount 120 or 140mm fans, an included low-noise adaptor, the award-winning NT-H1 thermal paste and more, it’s certainly ticking all the right boxes. The cooler also comes with a fantastic 6-year warranty, so Noctua clearly has confidence in the build quality.

The packaging is typical Noctua, nicely laid out and plenty of technical information on the sides.

The cooler is very well protected with some durable card and thick foam around all major components.

There’s a small component box separate from the cooler too, which contains everything you need to get it installed.

A good size tube of thermal paste, additional fan clips, AMD and Intel kits, a universal backplate and even a special screw driver!

Raijintek Styx Windowed Micro-ATX Aluminium Chassis Review

Introduction


We’re big fans of Raijintek here at eTeknix, time and time again they’ve delivered stunning products at very attractive prices and that’s something I’m hoping to see yet again with their latest product, the Raijintek Styx.

The Styx features the very popular Micro-ATX form factor, meaning it’s great for a compact gaming system or workstation, as it’ll hold a high-end motherboard, water cooling, an ATX power supply and two graphics cards, giving it a lot of room for everything from a budget build, right up to a high-performance gaming monster. It also features a range of colours, as well as aluminium construction, so there’s no doubt that it’ll look great in a wide range of environments.

“STYX, RAIJINTEK’s new aluminum Micro-ATX case in 2015, has a remarkable elegant appearance design and high compatibility with your PC system. STYX is compatible with regular/ standard ATX Power supply, max. 280mm VGA card, 180mm height CPU cooler. STYX provides best cooling solution, 120mm fan pre-installed at rear, optional 2*120mm fan on top /side, optional 120mm fan at bottom and max. 240mm radiator cooling on top/side. Moreover, STYX offer a drive bay for Slim DVD on side. Entirely black coated inside, aluminum color hair-silk anodized appearance, STYX satisfies not only your request of looking for elegant taste, but simultaneously satisfies the joy of installing a performing case.” – Raijintek

All the basics are taken care of, with room for a good amount of storage drives, as well as a slim ODD, graphics cards of up to 280mm and CPU coolers of up to 180mm.

Cooling support is great, but keep in mind that a top mounted radiator could conflict with a multi-GPU configuration, so be sure to doubt check compatibility before doing so.

Check out this brief introduction from Raijintek, which shows you some of the great features you can expect to find in their new Styx chassis.

The Raijintek Styx immediately impressed, with gorgeous brushed aluminium panels on all sides, giving it a sleek and premium look. The left side panel is a blank panel, as the motherboard is mounted inverted, so this would be the “rear” panel behind the motherboard. The side panels are held in place with four small screws on the side, not the easiest to get into in a hurry, but at least you don’t have the large screws sticking out at the back.

The right side panel has a lot more going on, with a slim ODD slot on the bottom-front edge, which is discrete enough that you may not have seen it, had I not mentioned it. There’s also a nice side panel window, which is positioned so that you can see the motherboard, CPU cooler and rear fan mounting.

The front panel looks just as gorgeous as the side panels, with a nicely placed power button with LED trim at the top and a small Raijintek logo at the bottom; I must admit, this would look great sitting next to a TV unit as a HTPC.

There is all kinds of stuff going on around the back! At the top, you’ll find two routing grommets, which can be used to expand the water cooling or simply as a cable passthrough. There’s also a PSU cable pass-through here, as the PSU mounts towards the front of the chassis. Below all that, you’ll find five ventilated expansion slot covers, which come fitted with a clip-on screw guard.

The top of the Styx improves on the (fairly) similar Metis Mini-ITX chassis design, adding a large filtered air vent, perfect for water cooling, fans, or just improving the passive airflow.

On the base, even more ventilation for bottom mounted cooling, as well as the very important PSU mounting space. There are four rubber feet, which will help reduce vibration, but also provide a nice bit of ground clearance for the PSU exhaust.

Phanteks Enthoo Pro M Midi-Tower Chassis Review

Introduction


Building a high-end gaming system or workstation calls for an equally high-end chassis, something that is capable of meeting your demands for high-end cooling and the best hardware you can afford. The Enthoo Pro M follows in the footsteps of the Enthoo Evolv ATX, but swaps out a few of the design features for something with more airflow, making it a premium solution for those wanting to install high-end water cooling hardware, or air cooling solutions.

“The ENTHOO PRO M focuses on delivering great design without compromising price. Water-cooling builds will be a simple task with the help of our innovative radiator bracket and pump mounting locations. Whether you are a system builder or water-cooling enthusiast, the PRO M will give you unlimited possibilities.”

As you can see from the specifications, this is one extremely capable mid-tower, with support for everything from mini-ITX right up to E-ATX motherboards. You’ll find room for multiple expansion cards, which can be up to 420mm long with the hard drive brackets removed. There’s extensive cooling support too, with up to 280/360mm radiators in the top and front, as well as a 120/140mm in the rear. The cooling support is expanded further with dedicated spaces to mount pumps and reservoir hardware.

First impressions of the chassis are very good, just lifting it out of the box, it becomes apparent that it’s a robust chassis and the steel construction means it’s got a good bit of weight and strength to it. The matte black finish looks nice and stealthy too, giving the chassis a nice and uniform appearance. There’s a large window on the side panel, which is big enough to show off the internal hardware while hiding things like cable routing and storage bays.

Tucked down the left of the front panel, you’ll find a pair of USB 3.0 ports, HD audio jacks, and a reset button. Here you can also see the false brushed aluminum effect on the front panel plastics, which I think looks rather stylish.

The right side panel is just a blank panel. Both the left and right side panels are held in place with thumb screws, allowing for relatively easy access to the chassis interior.

The front panel is nicely designed, with a single 5.25″ drive bay with a removable cover at the top, and a huge ventilated section at the bottom, allowing huge amounts of airflow to any front mounted cooling, albeit at the cost of some noise suppression.

Around the back, you’ll find a lot of passive airflow, as well as a pre-installed Phanteks 140mm fan as the main exhaust. Further down, there are seven expansion slots, each fitted with a reusable ventilated cover and finally, at the bottom, a slide out dust filter for the PSU air intake.

The top has even more ventilation, perfect for any optional fans or radiators.

The comes fitted with a huge dust filter, which is fitted with magnets, allowing you to quickly remove it and clean it.

Ample ground clearance on the bottom courtesy of four large feet, each fitted with rubber grips.

Hp Envy 34 – A Curved All-In-One Pc

More often than not the reveals regarding PC’s are most exciting when they involve things like the Surface Book Microsoft revealed yesterday. Today I can happily say that may not be the case. HP have just unveiled their new 34-inch desktop PC and it has caught my eye for several reasons. Behold the HP Envy 34!

The first thing you may notice about the image above is the lack of the giant tower, normally hidden under a table or to the side. That’s because the Envy 34 is an all-in-one PC, this means that your tower and screen are built together into a single item to sit on your desktop. The screen it features it’s not just for show either, as well as being a curved display to help comfort you as you scan from one side of the 3440×1400 resolution screen to another, you’ll be viewing approximately 4.9 million pixels.

HP are proud of the display, citing it offers 99 percent of the SRGB colour gamut. What this means is the colour is pretty close to what it is actually meant to be, a patch of silvery snow colour will appear as silver snow, not white.

Featuring an i5 or i7 Skylake graphics card the PC is set to pack some processing power too, with the option to add a GTX 960A if you want some extra graphics force in your machine. Supporting either 8 or 16GB of DDR4 ram, and anything from a 128GB SSD to a 2TB hard drive you are going to be happy with the memory it comes with, all of which start at $1,800 (Approximately £1175).

All I see when I look at it is the transparent screens from the Minority Report control room, but are you interested in the device? Do you tend to shy away from all-in-one PC’s or are you up for anything that fills the spec?

Thank you PC World for the information and images.

Army Wants Automated Defences For Their Bases

Security is of key importance for a lot of people, be it locking your door before you leave for work or having your phone so you can call people if something happens. We all like that kind of security, but some are most vested in developing it beyond what we currently have.

When it comes to the Army, security is even more important where the perimeters of their bases are at stake. A new prototype being tested at Fort Bliss is looking at replacing the three or four guards in a tower by one in a command bunker. The new system, dubbed ‘Tower Hawk’, looks to pack a Browning 50 caliber machine gun and a .338 Lapua sniper rifle atop a tower that can be unpacked in less than an hour by six soldiers.

The system was revealed at the Network Integration Evaluation (NIE) 16.1, an event that is designed to allow NATO members to share their new technologies. With all the stations wired together it means that one soldier can replace several on lookout duty, with the ability to defend their outposts from the safety of a bunker.

With a person controlling the system, and the ability to look out and defend the output while protecting lives all through a networked system.

Thank you Engadget for the information and image.

In Win Unveils Full-Tower 909 Chassis

In Win specializes in some of the most extravagant and unique chassis designs whilst offering premium-grade materials. Given the popularity of the 901 ITX and 904 ATX cases, In Win has decided to launch an enthusiast-friendly, full chassis called the 909. This features a 4mm aluminium alloy and 5mm tinted tempered glass panel to create an absolutely breathtaking aesthetic style. Furthermore, the chassis is equipped with a reversible USB 3.1 type-C connector and 3 traditional front USB 3.0 ports.   

There are other notable inclusions such as a magnetic aluminium dust filter, integrated lighting effects and support for 8 case fans. You can configure three 120mm or two 140mm fans in the rear chamber which provides exceptional airflow. Additionally, the bottom has ample room for two 120mm or 140mm fans while the front houses two 120/140mm fans. The rear chassis fan only allows for a single 120mm fan and not 140mm. This vast array of fan mounting options means it’s a wonderful case for water-cooling setups.    

For example, any radiator up to 360mm with a height under 60mm can be fixed in the rear chamber while the front supports 280mm with a maximum height of 35mm. On another note, a 240mm radiator with height up to 35mm can fit in the bottom while a single 120mm is available in the rear.

The chassis also incorporates separate hard drive and power supply chambers to maximize airflow and dissipate heat directly to the back through ventilation holes. This should lower the GPU and CPU temperatures as hot air is kept away from the PC’s vital components. Sadly, there isn’t a price as of yet, but the In Win 909 looks like a superb, premium-grade chassis.

CRYORIG Releases the M9i & M9a Ultra Compact Tower Coolers

Cryorig’s latest two CPU coolers are actually just one that comes in two version to suit either an Intel or an AMD socket design. The M9i is logically for Intel and the M9a is for AMD. Cryorig took all the things they’ve learned from their bigger models and applied them to this new and very compact tower cooler.

The M9’s slim design has the big advantage that there aren’t any compatibility issues with your RAM and PCIe slots. Both are completely free from the cooler and allow you to place and compatible item without risk. The M9 is only 87 mm long, 102mm wide and 124mm high, making it compatible with almost any mid-tower type chassis.

The mounted fan is a 92mm RPM model with a speed of 600 to 2200 RPM. It is able to push an airflow up to 48.4 CFM at a noise level up to 26.4dBa. The Cryorig M9 is still able to provide efficient cooling for CPUs with a TDP up to 120W.

Both the base and heat pipes are pure nickel-plated copper, which is rare in this budget oriented market. A lof of manufacturers are switching to cheaper base plates to keep the price down. Cryorig opted to go for the full deal here and provide a product they can be proud off. The three heat pipes are 6mm thick.

The choice to make separate options available for AMD and Intel users helps to keep the price down and bundle great. The Cryorig M9 is targeted for a global release during September, beginning in Japan, Taiwan, South-East Asia, and the US. The European markets will get the coolers a little later and should be able to get it in October. The MSRP is set to 26.99 USD (-VAT) in the USA and 26.99 Euro (-VAT) in Europe.

Patented Space Elevator to Put Astronauts into Orbit

A Canadian space applications company has been awarded a patent for 20km-long ‘space elevator’ that will help propel astronauts into orbit of the Earth. At over 20 times the size of the largest skyscraper, the top of the pneumatic tower would act as a staging point for high-altitude planes.

“Astronauts would ascend to 20km by electrical elevator. From the top of the tower, space planes will launch in a single stage to orbit, returning to the top of the tower for refueling and reflight,” Dr Brendan Quine, the inventor of the space elevator, said.

The tower will be constructed from a series of segmented, pneumatically pressurised cells, filled with gas and connected by cables, surrounding a shaft through which the electric elevator will travel. Cargo elevators can also be propelled across the exterior surface of the tower.

Caroline Roberts, President and CEO of Thoth Technology, the company awarded the patent, is excited about the endeavour, believing that it will usher in a new era of space travel and transportation. “Landing on a barge at sea level is a great demonstration,” she said, “but landing at 12 miles (20km) above sea level will make space flight more like taking a passenger jet.

Of course, a patent is one thing, actually being able to pull it off… well, we’ll have to wait and see if this idea gets off the ground.

Thank you The Guardian for providing us with this information.

Phantek Enthoo Mini XL Super Micro Tower Chassis Review

Introduction


A few months ago, I reviewed the gorgeous Phanteks Enthoo EVOLV Micro-Tower Chassis and I loved it enough to award it with our Editors Choice Award. This week, we’ve gone a lot further up the Phanteks range, to take a look at their mighty Mini XL Now, the world mini might not imply that this is a big chassis, but it certainly isn’t mini at all, and we’ll show you why that is in just a moment.

Features

Enthoo Mini XL includes 2 x 140mm fan in front and 1 x 140mm fan in the rear. Ability to upgrade to additional fans is possible. All fans included are Phanteks’ new redesigned and better performing SP series fans.

Appearance

  • Sandblasted aluminum faceplates with matte finish
  • Multi-color LED light strips
  • Stealth interior design

Cooling

  • Extreme cooling capacity
  • Support for up to 14x 120mm / 8x 140mm
  • Comes with 3 Phanteks premium fans
  • PWM fan hub plus 2x y-splitters allow for 8 fan connections* (11 fans max with additional y-splitters sold separately)
  • Extensive water cooling support. Provides up to 5 different installation areas for slim and thick radiators varying from single to triple (120mm and 140mm form factors). Clearance for push-pull fan configurations.

Functionality

  • Dual removable harddrive cages
  • 2x removable Drop-N-Lock SSD brackets
  • Fully equipped with dustfilters (1x top, 1x front, 2x bottom)
  • Removable top panel for easy fan installation and dust filter cleaning
  • Compartment for fan installation in top panel
  • Clean cable management using Phanteks’ preinstalled Hoop-N-Loop cable ties
  • Mod friendly structure uses screws NOT rivets
  • 10 color ambient lighting controller
  • 2x USB 3.0, microphone, 3.5mm audio jack

The Mini XL comes with support for Micro-ATX motherboards, despite being a little bigger than most mid-towers and almost as tall as some full-towers. It also comes with support, through the purchase of some additional brackets which I have at my disposal today, for mini-ITX motherboards. What’s important to mention is that this isn’t an either-or situation, as it’ll support both a Micro-ATX and a Mini-ITX motherboard simultaneously!

“The MINI XL introduces a new form factor, super micro ATX. With its unique power supply location, the Mini XL case has been redesigned with optimal cooling in mind. Resembling the Enthoo Primo, it offers extensive water-cooling possibilities and supports the thickest radiators in the market (80mm). The case brings modularity to a new level. Almost every single panel or bracket can be removed or relocated to serve different purposes. For the ones who desire even more, the Mini XL leaves options for additional upgrades. Pherhaps the most interesting one is the possibility to transform the MINI XL into a dual motherboard system.” – Phanteks

One of the biggest features of this chassis is its water cooling support and the best way to demonstrate this would be the video below. It’s obvious that water cooling enthusiasts are going to love this chassis!

In the box, you get everything you need to get you started, from hard drive and water cooling adaptor brackets, as well as a lovely mini component box for all the screws you’re ever likely to require.

First things first, I’m pretty sure this chassis is coated in some kind of military grade paint used for stealth jets. In a well-lit room with a camera flash for extra light, it still manages to look dark black; that’s not a bad thing, but it’s terrible for some of my photographs. The left side panel features two windows, the larger one on the left, then a smaller one on the right to show off two extra SSD mounts and the Phanteks logo on the inside of the chassis; a great way to show off your fancy SSDs.

The right side panel comes with two ventilated sections with magnetic dust filters on the interior. The one near the front can be used for cooling fans or radiators, or just passive cooling for the hard drive bays dependent on your internal configuration of choice. The section at the rear is for the PSU, which is side mounted in the top right of the chassis.

The front panel looks really cool, with a mixture of curved edges and bold shapes. You can see that the has an extended took to it, with the main section sort of floating from the bottom and right sides of the chassis, which comes with a ten colour LED light strip, further adding to that “floating” effect. This extended design means the chassis is quite wide, but that will help drastically with radiator support, as well as the dual motherboard configurations that are compatible.

Around the back, you’ll see all kinds of crazy things going on. There’s a PSU mount in the top left corner, a universal 120/140mm spacing fan and radiator mount on the right, then down at the bottom you have your Micro-ATX motherboard mounting. Now, it’s worth mentioning that the radiator panel as well as the small panel in the bottom right corner can be unscrewed completely, lifted out of the chassis and replaced with an alternative panel to allow you to install an SFX PSU and Mini-ITX motherboard on top of all the usual hardware; don’t worry, we’ll be doing that shortly.

The top panel is vast, allowing huge amounts of ventilated airflow for a wide range of fan and radiator configurations as you saw in the video at the start of this review.

The front panel is tucked to the right side of the top of the chassis and comes with the usual power controls, two USB 3.0 ports and HD Audio jacks.

Instead of smaller feet, the chassis has two long feet that run the full length of the chassis, giving it extra stability; There are six tough rubber pads to help keep it firmly planted on your surface of choice. There are two dust filters that cover the full length of the chassis, and what’s really nice is that these filters can be removed from the left side of the chassis, making maintenance a much easier task.

Synology Released Three New NAS Units

 

Synology has just released not one and not two new NAS, they went for a while three while at it. The first new unit is a refresh of an older model and the DS215+ replaces the DS214+ with a new and improved dual-core processor and hardware encryption for up to 80% faster reading and 50% faster writing operations. The DS215+ comes with two Gigabit ethernet LAN ports and 1GB RAM.

The DS715 on the other hand is a brand new unit, and what a unit it is. It is packed in the same beautiful packaging as the DS215+ but has another interior design. The DS715 is equipped with a quad-core CPU with hardware encryption and comes with 2GB RAM. Two gigabit ethernet ports connect the unit to your network and you can expand it with the DX513 unit for up to 7 drives.

The DS715 also supports Synology High Availability (SHA) which ensures a seamless transition between clustered servers in the event of a server failure.

Both the DS215+ and DS715 are backed by a two-year limited warranty and are available now for an MSRP of £252 and £306 respectively. We will have a review of both these units ready for you very shortly, so check back for more. You won’t be disappointed.

The third new unit is designed for enterprises and it is a beauty. The RC1801xs+ together with the RXD1215sas expansion unit provide a great base for your company’s storage needs.

“For today’s businesses, maintaining server uptime is the key to ensuring maximum productivity and minimised costs. The high-availability cluster design of RC18015xs+ and RXD1215sas is the ideal storage solution for enterprises seeking nonstop business continuity, scalability, and comprehensive data protection tools,” said Michael Wang, Product Manager at Synology Inc.

The high availability cluster design combines two computing servers and multiple storage units into a single high-availability cluster. You can scale the unit up to 180 drives and a maximum raw storage capacity beyond 1PB with superior performance. With over 2.270MB/s throughput, 355K IOPS, 8GB ECC RAM (upgradeable), PCIe slot for a 10GbE card and more, you get an impressive system.

Synology RC18015xs+ and RXD1215sas are now shipping globally. While they are separate units, they aren’t intended to work alone but as a high-availability cluster. Two RC18015xs+ and at least one RXD1215sas expansion unit are required to operate normally.

The RC18015xs+ comes with an MSRP of £2802 and the RXD1215sas with £2400, so it won’t be a cheap setup – but it is one that will be worth it.

Lian Li Showcase Their Two New Desks and the Gorgeous PC-08 Chassis @ Computex

Like so many other companies, Lian Li is packing their bags and getting ready to head to Taipei for Computex. That must however be some pretty big bags in their case as they’ll bring along the two new versions of the desk PC cases as well as the absolutely gorgeous PC-08 tower chassis.

We’ve previously had the pleasure here at eTeknix to review the Lian-Li DK-01 Aluminium Desk Chassis and now Lian Li is ready with the successors. The two new desk-styled PC cases are named the DK-Q2 and DK-03.

The new desk cases are built with a high-quality aluminiums body and tempered glass, both have become somewhat of a standard in Lian Li’s cases, and one can understand why.

The updates on the new models add simplicity to system building, more refined aesthetics and ergonomics. The body is thinner but stronger and it now comes with adjustable legs for that extra bit of comfort. A proper setup workplace is worth a lot.

A removable tray in the center allows for easy building outside of the chassis as well as a beautiful cable management thanks to plenty of space below the tray.

There is plenty of cooling support for both air and liquid cooling enthusiasts as well as front ports for optical drives and similar as well as USB and audio connections.

The PC-O8 on the other hand is a dual-compartment chassis that combines aluminum and tempered glass to show off DIY builders high-end, intricate setups, while hiding cables and less eye-catching components in the large compartment behind the motherboard tray.

 

We’ll stop by the Lian Li at Computex and make sure to keep you updated on these cases as well as anything else they might have packed as a surprise for us.

Synology Introduces RackStation RS815(RP)+ and DiskStation DS2415+

Synology announced the RS815 (RP)+ and the DS2415+ NAS for Small and Medium Businesses so “businesses no longer have to decide between performance and security.” These new NAS devices are designed to provide speedy encryption, performance, and scalability on the fly.

The three new models feature an Intel Atom C2538 2.4GHz quad-core with AES-NI encryption engine, up to 6GB RAM and four Gigabit Ethernet ports with Link Aggregation and failover. The result is reading speeds exceeding 389 MB/s for the RS815+/RS815RP+ and 451 MB/s for the DS2415+, making them capable of handling requests from a great number of users simultaneously. For encrypted files, RS815+/RS815RP+ delivers 388 MB/s (11 times faster than the previous generation) while DS2415+ reaches 451 MB/s (13 times faster than its predecessor) in reading speed.

As with most Synology devices, you can expanded with the RX415 and DX1215 expansion units and all three have the SSD read/write cache that allows a considerable boost in throughput while minimizing investment. Certified by VMware, Citrix, and Microsoft Hyper-V, the three NAS servers can be seamlessly integrated into a company’s virtualization environment and act as a powerful central storage.

The new Synology RackStation RS815+, RS815RP+ and DiskStation DS2415+ are now shipping globally and should be available very soon. US customers will have to wait a little longer due to import.

Thanks to Synology for providing us with this information

QNAP Launched TVS-x71 Series vNAS With 4K UHD Video Playback and Transcoding

If the new QNAP TVS-x61 series with AMD processors weren’t the right match for you, then the new TVS-x71 series Turbo vNAS based on Intel CPUs with 4K Ultra-High-Definition and 10Gb Ethernet support might be.

The new series is available as 4, 6 and 8-bay tower form-factor models and all of them are powered by the latest Intel Haswell CPUs, but which one depends on the model choice. These processors deliver high performance with over 2,300 MB/s throughput and 135,000 IOPS for CPU-consuming tasks such as running Virtualization Station, real-time 4K video playback and transcoding, and serving large numbers of simultaneous connections. All units have four Gigabit Ethernet ports, three USB 3.0 ports, and SATA 3 6Gb/s ports for 2.5 and 3.5-inch drives.

“The high-quality hardware provides the power for users to operate multiple virtual machines using QNAP Virtualization Station, transcode high resolution videos in real-time or offline, and to enhance their business productivity with integrated SMB features,” said David Tsao, product manager of QNAP.

4K video playback via the integrated HDMI has minimal impact on the NAS performance and the TVS-x71 series delivers real-time 4K (H.264) and 1080p video transcoding that converts videos to universal formats for playback on PCs, mobile devices, and Smart TVs.

QNAP’s exclusive QvPC Technology includes VM integration, multimedia transcoding, HDMI output, cloud integration and NAS connection technologies by simply connecting a keyboard, mouse and to the NAS. Users can directly access stored data, run multiple applications on Windows/Linux/UNIX/Android-based VMs, surf the web with Chrome or Firefox, and enjoy 4K videos with 7.1 surround sound through XBMC, and much more.

The new TVS-x71 series Turbo vNAS should be available now or very shortly at retailers around the world.

Thanks to QNAP for providing us with this information

Xigmatek Announced The TYR-SD962 CPU Cooler

Xigmatec has announced their latest entry to the CPU cooler market in form of the TYR-SD962 CPU cooler. Týr was/is the Norse God of Law and Heroic Glory, and was the son of Odin. A Bold name for a small cooler, that however promises some good features for a budget oriented cooler.

The TYR-SD962 uses heat-pipes direct touch (H.D.T), where the two 6mm copper heat-pipes make direct contact with the CPU. The base in itself acts as a tiny heatsink and the fins are made from an aluminium alloy. The maximum TDP is 110W and without a fan mounted it weighs 310 grams and measures 85 x 65 x 121 mm.

The 92mm fan used is a fluid circulative bearing (FCB) fan with variable speed between 1200 and 2800 RPM. At maximum speed it can produce an airflow of 52 CFM while the noise levels are rated between 20 and 28 dBA depending on RPM.

The new Xigmatec TYR-SD962 CPU cooler supports Intel LGA Socket 755, 1150, 1155, 1156, 1366 and AMD AM and FM Sockets.

Thanks to TechPowerUp for providing us with this information

Images courtesy of Xigmatec

Bitcoin ATM’s Pop Up Around Melbourne, Australia

A few months ago, there was one currency on everyone’s lips – Bitcoin. People were scrambling to make their own Bitcoin mining machines, Reddit users developed their own currency called Dogecoin and our parents and grandparents become more technology-confused than  ever before.

Since the hype has died down, I’ve just received reports from a friend of mine that Bitcoin ATM’s have just started popping up in the Central CBD of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. The image you’re looking at above is taken from the famous “Melbourne Central” shopping center and train station, allowing users to exchange, buy and sell Bitcoin all from a handy kiosk located in the middle of the hustle-and-bustle. Unfortunately a higher resolution image became impossible when Facebook Messenger was utilized as the method of communication.

We’ve seen more Bitcoin payment options pop up around the globe, with SpendBitcoins.com being developed solely to support new-age business’ supporting this advancement in technology. Some of the companies notable from this list include that of NewEgg and Expedia.

Will we see this type of currency make it into the ‘mainstream’ market? It’s really hard to say. But it’s certainly nice to see a ‘global currency’ give it a red hot go. Exchange rates are the bane of any well-traveled business person or backpacker.

Have you seen a Bitcoin ATM around your area? Let us know, we’d love to start tracking them!

Source: TweakTown.

Cryorig Unviels Their Massive H5 Universal Tower Heatsink

Cryorig has unveiled its latest cooling solution, the H5 Universal tower heatsink, boasting the Hive Fin design that allows for turbulence reduction of airflow, as well as the Jet Fin Acceleration used for faster hot air exhaust.

The manufacturer states that the H5, which is similar to the high-class R1 Universal, will be equipped with Cryorig’s XT140 slim profile fan for zero ram interference on Intel and AMD platforms and fits perfectly in the mainstream range of cooling solutions.

The H5 Universal tower heatsink uses the XL Surface Area, having its surface area extended to the back, achieving the best cooling ration compared to other dual-tower coolers and heatsinks. Also, with a height of just 160 mm, it is stated that the cooling solution will fit perfectly into almost any mainstream PC chassis rig.

Four pure copper heatpipes having 6 mm in diameter form the heatsink, while the nickel-plated baseplate consists out of pure solid copper and uses the Heatpipe Convex-Align technology which focus the heatpipes on the center of the CPU.

Cryorig is said to be introducing the industry’s first step-by-step video guide, helping users easily install their cooling solution correctly and effortlessly. The animated guide is said to be separated into individual steps for easy viewing and access, allowing users to watch and repeat each step as required. The guide is said to also be available for mobile devices through Cryorig’s website.

The H5 Universal tower heatsink is said to be released in August in Asia and September in North America and Europe, having Cryorig stating a €34,00 / $46,99 recommended price tag for the cooling solution.

Thank you Guru3D for providing us with this information
Images courtesy of Guru3D

Lepa LV12 CPU Cooler Now Available In Europe

LEPA are quickly securing a solid reputation in Europe, as a new brand they’ve already launched an impressive set of high-end power supplies and chassis products to market and their coolers have proven time and time again to be efficient and cost effective. Their latest product, the LEPA LV12 CPU cooler looks set to continue this trend and is now available in EU markets.

“LEPA relies on a new technique for efficient air stream conduction: Small air vents improve the air circulation inside the heat sink and increase the heat dissipation rate. The heat pipes rest directly on the CPU so that hot spots can be eliminated quickly. Due to these techniques, LEPA engineers have been able to lower down the thermal resistance of the cooler to just 0.095°C/W.” said LEPA in a recent PR.

Featuring a high quality PWM fan which comes fitted with Barometric Oil-less (BOL) bearing, which ofers silent operation and 160,000 hours MTBF, completely removable fan blades for easy maintenance, as well as a three speed PWM limiter to set the front to 800-1500 RPM, 800-1800 RPM and 800-2200 RPM to suit your cooling and acoustic performance needs.

The cooler is coated with a slick matt black colour, which not only looks great, but will also help protect the cooler from corrosion without affecting thermal performance.

The cooler will be available at major retailers any time now with an MSRP of just 36.90 EUR incl. VAT.

Thank you TechPowerUp for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of TechPowerUp.

GamerStorm Lucifer CPU Cooler Review

Introduction


Deepcool are one of the biggest cooling companies in the world, and while they may not be the leading name here in the UK or America, they are still the largest cooling company in mainland China. The company has been around now since 1996 and literally started out with the company founder making products in his garage, a far cry from the 700 people the company now employs in its 20,000sqm factory.

“Ever since the stunning victory of Deep Blue, a program running on an IBM supercomputer, over Gary Kasparov, then world chess champion, in 1997, it has been clear that computers would be the most powerful tool of human being. At that time, we started our computer cooling business. We hoped our products could be as great as Deep Blue. With that in mind came the name Deepcool.” – Say Deepcool on their website.

From their inspiration, Deepcool have themselves gone on to help in the development of super computers like IBM’s Deep Blue, having provided the thermal solutions for two of the world’s top 500 super computers, something that has no doubt given them valuable insight in the world of high performance, and of course high-efficiency cooling.

As you can see from the specifications below, the Lucifer packs plenty of promising specs, with an aluminium construction backed up by a full-copper base, a large tower to provide great surface area for extra cooling, a low RPM (yet powerful) 140mm fan, high quality hydro bearings and more. so let’s stop mucking about and get a closer look at the Lucifer, because we really want to see what this thing can do!

The overall packaging is a little bland, but surprising the box for the Lucifer is rather huge, you would think there was a 240mm radiator in this box! We have a quick run down of the main socket support around the back, but no concerns here as all major AMD and Intel sockets are happily supported.

Everything you need is in the box, including a metal back plate and some beautifully chrome finished fittings and brackets, four fan clips (to mount two fans) and some plastic spacers.

Finally we have a basic setup guide, which was unfortunately a pain to follow, but it’s enough to get you though the installation if you know what you’re familiar with CPU coolers in general. There was also a 140mm fan in the box, but we’ll take a look at the on our next page.

Cooler Master Hyper 103 CPU Cooler Review

Introduction


Cooler Master are one of the most established and recognised brands in the PC component industry. They’ve got a wide reach that covers everything from gaming peripherals with their CM Storm range, their chassis products, power supplies and obviously their CPU coolers. They’ve won countless awards in all the areas they cover, and they’ve even earned a few of those awards here at eTeknix. It is with this in mind that we have high expectation of the Hyper 103 CPU cooler I am reviewing today.

The Hyper 103 isn’t going to blow away the much of the competition with its performance, it is after all a small cooler with a budget friendly price tag. We will however be looking for competitive performance in this price range and given that Cooler Master already make some of the best budget coolers on the market, we don’t doubt it’ll do well.

Priced at around £18 it is hardly going to hurt your wallet and if you’re looking for a budget friendly solution this will likely be one of the first products you find. As you can see from the specifications below, the cooler has a good range of support for all major socket types for both AMD and Intel, but enough of the boring stuff, let’s get right to it and see what else the Hyper 103 has to offer.

The packaging is nothing too fancy, keeping with the usual informative design that we across the rest of the Cooler Master range. There are a few features listen on the front such as the tower design, triple heatpipes and the silent performance.

Around the back and the side of the box we have more details about what sockets the cooler supports, as well as the full specifications (see above).

In the box I found a couple of user manuals that detail the installation process as well as some warranty information. The mounting kit consists of the metal backplate, 2 Intel brackets, 2 AMD brackets, a set of screws / bolts and four plastic clips.

The mounting kit is well designed and durable, the back plate is reversible, one side if for AMD, the other is for Intel.

Aerocool XPredator Avenger & XPredator X3 Avenger Get A Fresh Design

Aerocool Advanced Technologies have just introduced the latest editions of their popular chassis range. The new Avenger models are the latest additions to the XPredator super tower and the XPredator X3 high mid tower products. Both chassis are part of the performance gaming system series PGS-B, aiming for ambitious Gamers. New Avenger models are bringing a really fresh and exciting color-mix to the PGS-B series.

Aerocool took a very different approach when designing the chassis: Compared to the usual models, which feature a mix of black and red as well as white and blue, new Avenger models are using a mix of the colors gold and red. This fancy color combination is not only used on the outside but has been well implemented on the inside as well.

Users requiring much space, will love the XPredator Avenger super tower, which offers compatibility to almost all possible mainboard form-factors, including ATX, Flex-ATX, µATX, E-ATX as well as XL-ATX! Slightly more compact XPredator X3 Avenger supports form-factors such as ITX, Micro-ATX and standard ATX. Both chassis provide much space for hard drives, solid state disks, bay accessories and optical drives. XPredator Avenger features six 5,25 inch bays, six bays for 3,5 and 2,5 inch hard drives and SSDs as well as one (external) 3,5 inch bay.

In case of the XPredator X3 Avenger, up to eight 2,5 or 3,5 inch drives, three 5,25 inch drives, one additional (external) 3,5 inch drive can be easily mounted. Aerocool implemented one Hot Swap Slot on the outside front-panel of the XPredator X3 Avenger, which supports direct connection of 2,5 inch HDDs and SSDs. Both chassis are equipped with tool-free mechanisms and trays for the hard drive bays, allowing more fast and convenient mounting procedure.

Even in terms of cooling capabilities, no compromise has to be made. XPredator Avenger allows mounting of big CPU coolers with a total height of up to 18,5 cm and VGA cards with a total length of up to 33 cm. The midi tower XPredator X3 Avenger is offering much space for big CPU coolers with a height of up to 18,6 cm and high end VGA cards with a length of up to 31 cm. Plenty of room for watercooling systems and additional fans, a cable management system and pre-drilled holes for water-pipes are provided as well.

The very fresh design of the new Avenger models attracts attention, especially at LAN parties. A re-worked I/O panel is lo-cated in the center of the top panel of the XPredator Avenger, and brings some changes as well. Instead of three USB 2.0 and only one USB 3.0 ports, users have now access to two USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0 ports. The Headphone and Mic jack as well as the eSATA port remain in the I/O panel. Both XPredator Avenger and XPredator X3 Avenger are supplied with a very use-ful two-channel fan controller, which is located in the I/O panel.

Aerocool XPredator Avenger and XPredator X3 Avenger are available at etailers and retails starting this week. Suggested manufacturers price as following:

  • Aerocool XPredator Avenger: 124,90 EUR (excl. Taxes)
  • Aerocool XPredator X3 Avenger: 104,90 EUR (excl. Taxes)

We look forward to reviewing these products in the near future, and the colour schemes do look like a breath of fresh air among the grey, black and white products we most often see.

Thank you Aerocool for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of Aerocool.

Raijintek Ereboss CPU Cooler Review

Introduction


Raijintek are a new comer to the PC market and while we have known of their presence for a while it’s only in the last few months that they’ve been bringing products to market. The Ereboss CPU cooler is just one sample of their range and the company intends to launch chassis products also, one of which we even saw at this years Gamescom in Cologne.

Picking the right CPU cooler can be tricky, especially in the low and mid budget price ranges. Finding the right balance of cost vs the performance you want to achieve can be tricky and with so many options on the market from many big, established manufacturers it may be hard for Raijintek to find a place. The Ereboss is Raijinteks answer to the budget friendly end of the market, those looking to get solid performance without spending too much money.

With a price tag £31.99 the Ereboss is affordable and as you can see from the specifications below it packs plenty of support.

The packaging is well designed, featuring a clear image of the cooler and its included fan.

Around the back we have a full run down of the specifications (see above).

In the box I found a great selection of high quality fitting components, as well as a simple to follow installation guide.

The mounting plate is compatible with multiple socket types, but Intel and AMD processors require different top mounts. There is also some bundled thermal paste in the box/

The included fan can be mounted using the rubber pegs, an extra set has been included for those who wish to add an extra fan (sold separately). All the spacers, screws and bolts required for install are really nicely finished with the exception of four plastic caps, but since these install under the mounting kit, they will be out of sight.

Lian Li PC-Q30 Aluminium Mini ITX Tower Chassis Review

Introduction


You can always count on Lian Li to do something a little different, this year alone we’ve seen a chassis that looks like a brief case, another that looks like a train and now we have one here today that looks like a cross between an ATM machine and a CRT monitor! And while of course they make “normal” cases as well, it is never a dull day to see something unique come through the eTeknix office and since I absolutely loved the CK101 (train) and the TU100 (brief case), I really can’t wait to see what this new one has to offer.

Lian Li have a rock solid fan base and while their products are often a little more expensive than most other brands, it is often for good reason. They’ve proven time and time again that their build quality is world-class, their engineering is impeccable and their use of beautifully finished aluminium panels is unmatched and I’ll be expecting the same high standards from this chassis that I have seen from other parts of the Lian Li range.

There is no doubt this is a specialist product, it is strange, obscure and even a little expensive for what it is, but the question remains, is it worth it? Well let’s get right to the good stuff and see if we can find out!

The packaging is fairly standard, with a spec sheet on one side (see above) and a mock-up image of the general design of the front.

The instruction booklet is fairly simple to understand and Lian Li have bundled a few screws needed to fully install all your components, a few cable ties, an internal speaker as well as a USB 3.0 to 2.0 converter.

Corsair Obsidian 750D Full-Tower Chassis Review

Introduction


Today we have something very special in the office, while in many ways it is just another PC case I like to think that any part of the Corsair Obsidian series is somewhat of a special occasion. Obsidian has become a byword for high quality and some of the slickest and coolest styling in the PC market and it’s certainly one of Corsairs strongest product ranges, with system builders and modders around the world buzzing on forums each time a new Obsidian chassis is approaching its retail release.

The Obsidian 750D is on the high-end of the price scale, with an RRP of around £135 ($200 USD) it is clearly the plaything of the enthusiast, yet it is still far from the most expensive in the Corsair range. At this time of writing there are two chassis above the 750D, the ultra-tower 900D that costs $349, and the 800D which costs $299. Obviously they’re all very expensive, rare, premium and no doubt many other things, but that means one thing, either people are crazy enough to pay high amounts for a regular chassis, or this is no regular chassis.

When your spending this kind of money on a chassis you expect high quality and performance and that is just two of the things I will be looking for today. Design is one thing, but this chassis wants to be more than just any old case to justify its price tag and it will be fun to see just what Corsair have to offer to the market given its price and many of its specifications are in line with the equally popular NZXT Phantom 820. So let’s get right to it and see just what this beast has to offer.

The chassis comes in a fairly straight forward box with a nice high contrast image of the chassis and specifications listed down one side.

Around the back we have a break down image that shows all the major components of the case, including the fans and HDD bays.

The chassis came protected with polystyrene and a plastic bag covering, the side panel is covered with a protective film (exterior only). The front panel has protective plastic to help prevent scratching the aluminum panel in transit and some tape to hold shut the dust cover panel.

Inside the box we also found a simple user guide and a collection of high quality black screws and fittings, as well as some cable ties.

Computex: Bitfenix Show Off Their New Ronin ATX Chassis

Not only have Bitfenix already blown us away with their new mATX Prodigy design, as well as three brand new mATX / Mini-ITX chassis designs, but they’ve also invested a lot of time in creating some awesome new ATX chassis too, the first one we had a look at is the Ronin.

Much like we saw with their Ghost chassis, the Ronin will feature room for an optional 12cm Alchemy LED lighting strip beneath its stealthcover, giving it a subtle lighting effect throughout.

The chassis supports Mini-ITX, mATX and ATX motherboards, making it very versatile for a range of high end motherboards.

There’s plenty of room for cooling too and it will hold a 240mm radiator, but also plenty of 120mm fans or a pair of 240mm fans in the top.

There is room for 8 HDDs and 7 expansion cards, making this more than enough for a mid to high end gaming rig, certainly enough room for a multi GPU setup.

A huge side panel window gives a really clear view of the chassis interior, but the stealth cover also hides the PSU, storage bays and is backlit with the Alchemy lights, giving a very clean and unique visual look to the system.

Release date is expected to be within Q3 and prices have yet to be confirmed but we will bring you more information as soon as we have it.

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

Image(s) courtesy of BitFenix