NZXT Manta Mini-ITX Chassis Review

Introduction


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

COUGAR Launches New 450 Series Gaming Mouse and Keyboard

COUGAR already has a long list of great peripherals and now there are two more to add to that list with the announcement of the new COUGAR 450K gaming keyboard and the COUGAR 450M gaming mouse in two colour options.

The 450K mechanical gaming keyboard is built with hybrid mechanical switches that prove a tactile feedback and a durability similar to those of high-end mechanical keyboards. You also get anything else that you’re used to from a gaming keyboard such as programable macros, function remapping, and more.

The COUGAR 450K features a splash-proof design that both protects the keyboard from clumsy gamers as well as making it easier to clean. It is still an optical beautiful keyboard to look at.

The 450K also features a three-color backlight that will allow you to easily see which of the three gaming profiles stored on-board is currently being used, or just to match the rest of your setup’s lighting.

COUGAR 450K Gaming Keyboard Specifications

  • Key switch: Hybrid mechanical switch
  • Backlight: 3 Colours
  • Polling rate: 1000Hz / 1ms
  • Anti-ghosting keys: 26 Keys
  • Programmable Keys: 10
  • Cable Length: 1.8m
  • Dimension: 170(L) X 470(W) X 40(H) mm
  • Weight: 1kg (2.20 lb)

The COUGAR 450M gaming mouse comes in two colour options, white and black. It is powered by a 5000 DPI PMW3310DH optical gaming sensor with an adjustable resolution down to 50 DPI. The polling rate isn’t bad either with 1000Hz and 1ms. The durability should be ensured thanks to the use of OMRON gaming switches. The 8 programable buttons allow you to bind most function you’ll want onto the mouse and it features 512KB onboard memory for its profiles.

Its two RGB backlight areas are independent which means they can display different colours and add to the 450M’s visual attractiveness. Both new devices, the 450K and 450M, allow the user to manage their functionality with the COUGAR UIX System and work perfectly separately, together, and with other COUGAR peripherals.

COUGAR 450M Gaming Mouse Specifications

  • Sensor: PMW3310DH Optical gaming sensor
  • DPI: 50-5000 DPI
  • Polling Rate: 1000Hz / 1ms
  • On-board memory: 512KB
  • Profile LED backlight: 2 ZONE 16.8 million colours
  • Frame rate: 6500 FPS
  • Interface: Golden-plated USB plug
  • Cable length: 1.8m Braided
  • Dimension: 135(L) X 67(W) X 40(H) mm
  • Weight: 105g (0.23 lb)

Both 450K and 450M will be available at Caseking DE and Overclockers UK in December 2015 and in the rest of the world will be able to get it in Q1 2016. The COUGAR 450M will set you back £41.99 and the 450K will set you back £49.99. Both are budget friendly gaming prices.

Sharkoon Released The BW9000 ATX Midi Tower

Sharkoon released a new chassis once again and I have to say right away that it’s my opinion that this is the best-looking chassis of theirs till date. The new BW9000 ATX Midi Tower comes with and without a side panel window and it is available in two colors as well: black and white.

The small tower only measures 49 x 21 x 48 centimeters (height, width, and length) but supports a full-sized ATX motherboard, ATX power supplies with up to 26cm length, and CPU coolers with a height of up to 16.5cm. Graphics cards can be up to 43cm long with one of the HDD cages removed and 29.3cm with the cage installed. Plenty of space for most hardware.

You can install up to five 3.5-inch or 2.5-inch drives and two more 2.5-inch drives in the Sharkoon BW9000. The case also has two external 5.25-inch drive bays for optical drives, fan controllers, or liquid cooling accessories. The BW9000 features great cooling abilities with a pre-installed 120mm fan at the back and two pre-installed 140mm fans in the front. You can mount an additional two 140mm or three 120mm fans at the top of the chassis and both the front and top supports the use of radiators (max 5.5cm top, max 6.5cm front).

All fan areas feature washable dust filters. The top has a magnetic dust filter, the bottom PSU area has a pop-out removable dust filter, and the front also features a removable dust filter which, however, requires the front panel of the chassis to removed. The top IO panel features two USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0 ports next to the obligatory two audio jacks for surround sound or headset connections.

As previously mentioned, the middle HDD cage can be removed to make space for longer graphics cards and all drive bays features tool-free installation. There are plenty of cable routing abilities in this chassis and there’s also a large CPU cooler cutout.

End customers will find the Sharkoon BW9000-W (Window version) available immediately for the suggested retail price of €69.90 from authorized retailers. The Sharkoon BW9000-V (Value version) is also available starting at €67.90.

Mad Catz Announces Weird Looking R.A.T.1 Mouse

Mad Catz has been on a role lately and released quite a few new products, but they’re far from done. The newest entry is a budget oriented and a very weird-looking mouse called the R.A.T.1. The R.A.T.1 features an innovative modular design as well as 3D printing and personalization options that enable users to truly make it their own.

The new Mad Catz R.A.T.1 is available for preorders now and it will ship in December. The price isn’t bad at all and this new funky looking mouse can be yours for just $29.99. The mouse features three core components: A tripod chassis, a sensor module, and an adjustable palm rest that users can customize to match their personal style and usage requirements. Due to the simple design, the mouse is ultra-lightweight but still made from the same materials used in Mad Catz’ tournament-grade mice.

The R.A.T. 1 comes with an adjustable 3500DPI optical Pixart PMW3320 gaming-grade sensor module. The module itself can be used without anything else as a very compact laptop mouse, making it even more useful. The R.A.T.1 is also the world’s first gaming mouse that empower users to use a 3D Printer to create their own customized Palm Rest. Owners of the R.A.T.1, can download 3D CAD files of the Palm Rest, create, print and share their own unique designs right from their home 3D Printer! The DPI is adjustable all the way down to 250 DPI and the R.A.T.1 features six programmable buttons.

“With a gaming DNA derived from the award-winning R.A.T. PRO Series, the R.A.T.1 re-envisions what a gaming mice could be with its innovative modular design and unique customization options,” said Darren Richardson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Mad Catz. “The R.A.T.1 sets a new standard in design and personalization, appealing to both passionate gamers and casual users alike – allowing us to broaden the appeal of our R.A.T., range and drive our PC business into 2016 and beyond.”

The Mad Catz RAT1 mouse is available as a black and green model or white and red for those who want to mix it up a little bit.

 

Cherry MX RGB Nature White Switches Announced!

Mechanical keyboards come in all shapes and sizes, with customisable key caps, various lighting options and you can even choose the type of switch to suit your own taste. There are a few switch manufacturers out there, but the most famous on is Cherry, with their Cherry MX series of switches that offers up MX Blue, Brown, Green, Black and Red.

With Cherry MX Silent and RGB switches now being available, it’s time for Cherry to expand their range once again with the new Cherry MX RGB Nature White switches. The new linear switch is designed to sit between the popular MX Black and MX Red switches, with a defined force of 55 grams.

“This new switch offers a special transparent casing optimized for uniform illumination and allows a high luminosity of all 16,7 million colours of the RGB spectrum.” said Cherry.

Thanks to Cherry’s exceptional build quality and the use of their Gold Crosspoint Technology, the switches are rated for over 50-million keystrokes, while the transparent housing of the switch makes them perfect for RGB keyboard designs. The Nature White branding of this switch is no doubt to differentiate from the long discontinued MX White switches.

Good news for Ducky fans too, as the manufacturer has secured the Nature White as a launch partner. This means you can expect to see MX RGB Nature White switches in the Ducky Shine-5 keyboard very soon.

 

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?

Thermaltake Launches Full Range of Pacific RL and R Series Radiators

We’ve already had a peak at some of these new radiators that Thermaltake just launched, but not all of them. And there are a lot. Thermaltake has officially launched the full range of Pacific RL and R Series radiators, designed for the most demanding and hardcore enthusiasts.

The Thermaltake Pacific RL & R Radiator are designed without compromise and with high-quality German aerospace-grade materials and constructed with zinc, a powerful anti-corrosion agent. The manufacturing process is one of the most important aspects on a radiator. It has to be exceptional to create a flawless unit that has the same cooling properties over the entire surface. The manufacturing process is using high-temperature brazing at 1022℉/550℃ to make sure that they do.

Integrated G1/4 threads make it easy to install and compatible with most current liquid cooling equipment while rigid connections ensure that they are and stay leak-resistant.

There is a total of 17 different specifications to choose from and there’s even a white series. No need to paint it yourself if you want something else than black.

The only thing left to do now, is to pick the Thermaltake Pacific RL or R radiator that fits your current or future setup best and get building.

MSi 970A SLI Krait Edition Motherboard Review

Introduction, Specifications and Packaging


The AMD 970 chipset is the mainstream offering of the AMD chipsets. It offers affordability with great features, with the ability to support a huge array of CPU’s thanks to the hugely popular AM3+ socket. The socket was first introduced back in October 2011 and offered the support of the newly released Bulldozer CPU’s. Despite the new CPU socket, many users decided to hang onto their AM3 motherboards as vendors were offering BIOS updates to support the new range of CPU’s.

The 900 chipset in particular features many of the same features as the 800 series and was primarily introduced to easily differentiate between the older AM3 socket (800 series) and the AM3+ socket (900 series). With the 900 series brought HyperTransport 3.1, NVIDIA SLI and AMD Overdrive for simplified overclocking. Since launch, it has undergone many updates such as PCIe 3.0 support, USB 3.0 support and most recently, USB 3.1 support.

So today we have the MSi 970A Krait Edition. Named directly after the Krait venomous snake, MSI based not only the logo, but the colour theme to it. The 970 chipset is the lowest of the 900 series, bringing affordable performance to everyone. MSI has taken this stable chipset and added the brand new USB 3.1 features, which enabled this motherboard to support USB speed of up to 10Gb/s; this is the world’s first AMD motherboard with USB 3.1 as standard.

There’s not very much new you can say about AMD, AM3+ or the 970 chipset, so let’s just jump straight into testing.

Key Features

Manufacturers nowadays need to find innovative ways to stand out from the crowd, MSi is no exception and has crammed a huge array of features into this motherboard.

  • Military Class 4
  • Military Class Essentials
  • OC Genie 4
  • Click Bios 4
  • NVIDIA Sli
  • USB 3.0
  • USB 3.1
  • SATA 6 Gb/s
  • Command Center
  • Fast Boot
  • Live Update 6
  • M-Flash

For more information on these functions, please visit the MSi 970A Krait Edition product page.

Packaging and Accessories

The Krait Edition is a relatively new addition to the MSi line up. The box is extremely plain with just the Krait snake on the front with the extremely identifiable white and black colour theme.

In the box we find very few accessories, the usual manuals and driver CD, I/O shield and 2x SATA 6Gb/s cables.

 

Alpenföhn Announces Matterhorn Black & White Edition CPU Coolers

Alpenföhn is well-known for their great cooling products and they’ve expanded their lineup with the new Matterhorn Black and White Edition CPU coolers. The new coolers come with the WingBoost 2 Premium fans and will be available as fully black or white units to suit your setup the best. Especially the white one looks great and it’s nice to see more and more white hardware parts getting released, it’s a nice break from just black and metal.

This tower-type cooler features a monolithic fin-stack with trapezoid fins. It has six 6mm copper heat pipes painted to fit the rest of the unit in either black or white. It measures 138 x 100 x 158 mm and the heatsink weighs a little over 1 kg without the fans attached. The 4-pin PWM WingBoost 2 fans come in a 120mm size and spin between 500 and 1500 RPM. They can push up to 106 m³/h of air with a noise output ranging between 18 and 20 dBA.

The new cooler is compatible with pretty much any platform and socket ranging from Intel’s 775, 115x, 1366, 2011, and 2011-v3 to AMD’s AM2, AM3, FM1, and newer generations.

The Alpenföhn Matterhorn Black and White Edition CPU coolers are expected in stock at the end of April for a price of 52.90 at Caseking.

Acer Rolls Out New Iconia Tab 10 Tablet

Acer has announced its new Iconia Tab 10 tablet recently, a device that comes with top performance at an acceptable price tag as it seems from the specs and recommended price set by the company.

Two versions of the Iconia Tab 10 have apparently surfaced on the market, one with a 10.1-inch WUXGA display, 2GB of RAM, 32 GB flash storage, the MediaTek MT8217 SoC and a 1.5 GHz Quad-Core Cortex-A7. The latter device is the more pricier version, coming with a price tag of $249.

The cheaper version is set at $199 and comes with a 1280 x 800 screen, 1 GB of RAM, 16GB flash storage, a 1.7 GHz SoC compared to the latter and a smaller battery, namely 5700 mAh, compared to the 5910 mAh from the first version.

Both models are said to support only Wi-Fi connectivity, so users wanting to see a 3G/4G version of the tablet would be extremely disappointed. Also, in terms of colour options, the tablets come in black and white choices.

Thank you NextPowerUp for providing us with this information

Bitfenix Introduces The AEGIS Micro-ATX Chassis

BitFenix is ready with the new AEGIS Micro-ATX chassis that they first showed us during Computex, and the final version looks great. Overclockers UK thinks the same and has the full colour-range available for you.

The beautiful new case comes in black, white, and three coloured versions: blue, yellow and red. The AEGIS chassis also features the same type ICON logo display previously seen on the Pandora, but this time it is 2.8-inch big. But the chassis isn’t just about looks, it also packs plenty of features.

There is room for a total of eight 120mm fans or five 140mm fans and there is also room for both custom liquid cooling loops as well as closed-loop AIO coolers. The chassis can hold dual 360 loops with slim radiators as well as dual 280mm loops. To control all these coolers, the AEGIS has a built-in fan controller.

Storage won’t be an issue either with 3 tool-less storage cages that can be moved around or taken out all together. But even if you should want to remove them all, you still have a hidden 2.5-inch slot behind the PSU and show-off slot next to the motherboard tray.

BitFenix thought of it all and made sure that there are dust filters on all sides and the PSU cover can hide away that ugly PSU you might have. But it can also be removed if you want to show your fancy and shiny new PSU. The choice is yours. The chassis even comes with reservoir and pump brackets.

Best of all, the chassis doesn’t cost as much as you might expect with a feature list like this. The case can be found at Overclockers for £79.99.

Specifications

  • Motherboard: Micro-ATX, Mini-ITX
  • Dimensions: 205 x 470 x 480 mm
  • Weight: 6.7 kg
  • Clearance:
    – Heatsink height: 170 mm
    – VGA length: 380 mm
    – PSU: ATX up to 220mm
  • Max AIO support (push/push pull): 360 / 360
  • Max radiator support (push/push pull): 360 (85mm) + 240 (60mm) / 360 (60mm) + 240 (60mm)
  • Drive slots:
    – 3.5” Drive slots: 4 (two removable cages with 2 tool-less slots each)
    – 2.5” Drive slots: 4 (one removable cage with 2 tool-less slots each, one slot next to the Mainboard, one slot behind the PSU)
  • Fan Controller: 4 fan headers, 3 speeds (12v, 7v, 5v) with 3 indicator LEDs (white)
  • Cooling
    – Top: 3x 120mm or 2x 140mm – click on dust filter
    – Front: 3x 120mm or 2x 140mm – magnetic dust filter
    – Bottom: 1x 120mm – magnetic dust filter
    – Rear: 1x 120mm (included)
  • PCI Slots: 5
  • I/O: USB 3.0 x 2, Audio, Mic, Power, Reset, Power LED (white), HDD LED (white)
  • ICON Display: 2.8″ TFT, 240 x 320
  • Special Features: PSU cover, Magnetic Dust Filters, Pump bracket, Reservoir Bracket, 2 Removable HDD Cages, 1 removable SSD cage, Tool less HDD and SSD system, Hidden 2.5” slot, 2.5” Show Off slot, Window Sidepanel, Rubber Grommets.

Thanks to Overclockers UK for providing us with this information

WhiteHouse.gov SSL Certificate Expires – Chrome Issues Embarrassing Warning

Apparently you couldn’t trust the White House yesterday. Well, while some may say that everyday, you really shouldn’t have yesterday, according to Google that is.

In an embarrassing blunder, the US government-owned site forgot to update its SSL certificate, resulting in insecure connections to the site, as well as the above warning message showing up on Chrome. It couldn’t have came at a worse time than yesterday, considering President Obama was speaking at the Cybersecurity Summit at Stanford University.

That summit was attended by a number of industry figures, including Apple’s Tim Cook, who spoke at the event. You can watch it in its entirety below.

Source: The Verge

Galax and Diamond Cooling Show off First GTX 980 HOF WC Prototype

Galax and Diamond Cooling have come together to create a magnificent looking card that packs an amazing punch. At the base, we find the great GTX 980 HOF card with its white PCB while the cooling is being taken care of a white full cover water block designed by Diamond Cooling.

“We have changed the design internally slightly after initial testing. But this block has good cooling performance. We expect to be taking pre-orders very soon. We do this to get a certain idea of how big the demand is so we can create a first batch,” Diamond Cooling said.

These are the first prototypes and will come as both a full copper base and nickel plated base versions. The full cover water block takes care of all components on this card that in return should allow this record-breaking card to achieve new heights.

Design:

  • Full copper base
  • Nickel plated base
  • Microfin cooling solution
  • Active cooling of all components
  • White POM top
  • Water channels designed to have a similar flow no matter which port is used as the in- or outlet of the block.

There are also plans for a similar water block for the GTX 970 Hall Of Fame (HOF) card. Diamond Cooling said that they put a little easter-egg on the card. Can you spot it? I’ll give you a hint, it’s plugged into the rear of the PCB.

The new GALAX GTX 980 HOF WC graphics solution should go on sale in January or maybe February 2015, a short wait for an amazing looking card.

Thanks to Galax for providing us with this information

Images and video courtesy of Diamond Cooling

Func Release New Version of HS-260 Headset

Func has just revealed the latest entry to their impressive range of peripherals, the white edition HS-260.

The HS-260 isn’t a new product, but it’s certainly one of my favourites from their range. We reviewed it earlier this year and I fell in love with it enough to use it as my own headset. Now the black theme has been swapped out for a sleek-looking powder-white finish due to customer demand.

Customers can expect the same great range of features, build quality and fantastic sound quality of the previous model. The HS-260 White is available from major retailers with the MSRP of $79.95 US and 69.95 EUR.

Thank you Func for providing us with this information.

22 People Vetted Mitt Romney’s Tweets During 2012 Election

We all know how social media has become the go to form of marketing for many organisations, including politics of course. But we also know how this can go completely wrong, when something goes out that shouldn’t have for instance.

There are many examples of this, with a most recent one being the case of the British Labour politician who felt compelled to resign over her Tweet mocking a white van and England flag outside someone’s property. A simple quip that cost that politician her job. So it’s no surprise that in the race for the White House, some politicians feel compelled to ensure nothing goes wrong. In Mitt Romney’s case, that meant a team of 22 people approving every single tweet that was posted to his account during the 2012 election.

In a paper called Seizing the Moment, by Daniel Kreiss, an assistant professor at UNC Chapel Hill, analysis of both Obama and Romney’s social media accounts revealed that every single tweet posted from Romney’s personal account had to be vetted by all of those people.

“Romney’s digital team had to go through an extensive vetting process for all of its public communications, meaning that the temporal workflow of the campaign did not match the speed of social media,”.

It’s no surprise that this had a negative effect on his Twitter output. Social media is often all about being spontaneous, something traditional media outlets are not.

Source: The Verge

Seasonic Announces Snow White 1050 Watts Hybrid PSU

Seasonic has announced what must be the PSU of the season, a snow white PSU dubbed the Snow Silent-1050 (SS-1050XP Active PFC) that as the name suggests is a 1050 watts power supply. The new PSU is 80 Plus Platinum certified and fully modular as well as hybrid-treated for the fan.

Not only does the Snow Silent feature a hybrid fan setup that completely turns itself off when the device is cold enough, but it also has the option to disable this feature and just run it normally with the fan spinning all the time. The single +12V rail design should ensure equal performance of all connected devices.

The Snow Silent features plenty of connectivity and support for up to four graphics cards. The total connection count is one 24-pin ATX, one 8-pin and one 4+4-pin EPS, eight 6+2-pin PCI-Express, fourteen SATA, five Molex and one Berg/floppy connector. No word on pricing or availability yet, but it sure looks great.

Thanks to Seasonic for providing us with this information

Images courtesy of Seasonic

ASUS With All New White PCB Motherboard

ASUS have announced their new iteration of the white, Sabertooth series. Containing a white PCB and named the Sabertooth Mk S, this hot piece of tech is created on the Z97 platform and was previously seen under the codename ‘Sabranco’ at Computex in Taipei, Taiwan this year.

Similar in style to their previous white PCB models, the new version is said to offer a shroud and metal back plate both containing a snow camouflage design. The shroud design contains a small fan to help keep your board cool, alongside this board offering an advanced and extended shroud covering when compared to previous models.

As for features, the Sabertooth Mk S will feature four slots of dual channel DDR3 capable RAM bays, three PCI-E 3.0 x16 slots and 3 PCI-E 2.0 x1 slots to enable different methods of SLI or Crossfire configurations. The board also has your data storage covered with eight SATA 6Gbps ports, four USB 3.0 ports, four USB 2.0 ports and supports display outputs of HDMI and Display Port and LAN capabilities through it’s two Gigabit Ethernet ports.

The shroud covering is said by ASUS to be manufacturerd to cover the generally ugly components located within a motherboard, allowing for a sleek and neat design.

This board offers a very love or hate style design we feel, the specifications of the board are rather impressive but it’s a little sad that DDR4 isn’t yet incorporated.

We’d love to see any white case mods that you may have at eTeknix, please feel free to send us PM with some images and we may very well share them on our social media.

Image courtesy of Chiphell

New Razer Blackwidow Ultimate Stealth CLG Edition Keyboard

Razer has presented a new version of their Blackwidow Ultimate keyboard, a special version made in cooperation with the League of Legends team Counter Logic Gaming. Razer already made a CLG version of their DeathAdder mouse last year, and now the time has come for the keyboard.

The changes are purely cosmetic from the looks of it and the keyboard is matching the team colours black and white. Instead of the green back-lighting we have it in white and where the original keyboard was completely black, this one has the team logo at the bottom right part of the keyboard.

“The Razer BlackWidow Ultimate Stealth has been my keyboard of choice for years, simply because everything else is trash.” said Peter “Doublelift” Peng, AD Carry for Counter Logic Gaming. “Now with the new CLG design it is also on par with my stunningly good looks.”

There is no doubt that the Blackwidow Ultimate is a great keyboard, but it is a matter of personal taste and preference if you like it and in this black and white style.

Thank you Razer for providing us with this information.

Images and video courtesy of Razer.

MSI Tease with New Black’n’White Motherboard

MSI has teased us with yet another photo of a new motherboard. This time it’s the MSI z97 SLI Krait Edition. The new board is born purely for the customers as MSI has listened to their feedback, special that from modders and have now created this new black and white themed motherboard.

Computer modding is an ever-growing market. Long over is the time where you had to paint everything yourself to get a colour-themed computer. There is nothing in the way of those black and white themed builds any more; no need to paint it yourself anymore.

The features look pretty ordinary, not much to mention there. I’m sure we’ll get many more details on this new motherboard very soon and it will be interesting to see if we get more boards in this theme. They have made entire red’n’black themed series before, so it’s not unthinkable.

Thank you MSI for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of MSI.

Sharkoon Announces its White ATX Vaya II Value Model

After its succesful release of the Vaya II Value model earlier this year, Shakroon has announced another model ready to join the Vaya II Value family, adding a white option to the case series.

Sharkoon states that the Vaya II Value white offers not only an additional colour option, but also various features at a fair price-performance ration. The case measures in at 470 x 205 x 437 mm, having it been given a white finish to the interior. Tower coolers with a maximum height of up to 16.5 cm now have more room and can easily be installed, thanks to the Vaya II Value white’s side panels, as well as providing more room for graphic cards with a length of up to 26.5 cm. Also, power supply units of up to 28 cm can be installed on the case floor, having the Vaya II Value white coming with a pre-installed PSU dust filter which adds extra protection.

In terms of cooling solution, the Vaya II Value white comes with a pre-installed blue 120 mm LED fan with a mesh hook, giving users the option to add an optional 80 mm or 120 mm fan on the back panel. In addition to the latter, the Vaya II Value white offers an installation opening for CPU coolers, as well as three openings for water cooling solutions and cable management.

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The Vaya II Value white features four 5.25″ drive bays for optical drives and an externally accessible 3.5″ drive bay, while Sharkoon provided the interior case with four 3.5″ hard drive bays and additional support for a 2.52″ SSD or HDD which can be mounted on the case floor. All optical and disk drives can mounted easily and efficiently with the help of Sharkoon’s quick fasteners. Also, the Vaya II Value white offers two USB 3.0 and two audio ports on the front panel, as well as an acrylic side panel.

Sharkoon’s Vaya II Value white comes with a suggested price tag of €34,99 in authorised retailers.

Samsung Ativ Book 9 Lite Notebook Review

Introduction


Before I even start this review, I’m going to lay down the law so to speak. The term Ultrabook adheres to a device that follows Intel’s strict guidelines and while the device that we’re looking at today may look Ultrabook-esque, it features AMD CPU architecture and therefore cannot be claimed as an Ultrabook, though for the most part (barring the exclusion of an Intel processor) it pretty much is an Ultrabook.

What Samsung have done to create this notebook is to take the fundamental aspects of their Ultrabook range (Ativ Book) and given it the same treatment as its big brother; the Ativ Book 9 Plus, but to keep costs down an AMD quad-core processor has been used as opposed to the more expensive and slightly more powerful Intel equivalent. While Intel fan-boys across the world will be shouting at their screens right now, you have to remember that a device such as this has limited purposes and no matter what CPU the manufacturer favours, it will not see Crysis 3 being  run with all the settings turned right up to the max.

The term Ultrabook and the very similar AMD equivalent offer an unrivalled range of features in a convenient, small form factor that allows for superb battery life, fantastic connectivity options and of course the added portability factor due to the size and most importantly, the weight of a lightweight product like this.

As a journalist (as that is effectively what our line of work falls under) you’ll generally have a stereotypical view in your mind of me sitting in Starbucks with a Macbook Air/Pro in front of me and a large Americano steaming away as I ponder the latest happenings in the tech world; but whilst I am a typical journalist and I have coffee running through my veins, I don’t spend all my hours sitting in a coffee shop such as Starbucks or Costa waiting to chase the news. What I do instead is to attend pre-arranged press conferences and launches – typically in London and to get the news out as soon as possible or to make taking note down easier, I prefer to take either a tablet or more ideally a small laptop with me to type my notes on to – I still keep my trusty notebook and pen in the bag though!

This scenario is exactly where the Ativ Book 9 Lite comes into play. With a lightweight design, lightning fast performance and small form factor, on paper it ticks all the right boxes and to top that all off that it features a touchscreen panel. What’s more the Ativ Book 9 Lite retails at just a fraction of the price of an equally spec’d Ultrabook the features an Intel CPU at its heart.

This notebook that I’m having a look at today comes in one of two almost identical specifications, but with one component that is different between the two, but one that also affects the price quite considerably. This sole item that I’m referring to is the screen. Many laptops, notebooks and Ultrabooks that are coming to the market are now featuring touch-screen capabilities and the Ativ Book 9 Lite is yet another system that has this option available, although if you’re not a fond user of this new feature, or you simply don’t need it, then the Book 9 Lite does offer a non touch panel for a slightly lower price point.

In terms of the specifications, Samsung are a bit vague as to the CPU but after some digging we can see that it’s Socket FT3 (BGA769) A4/A6 APU 1.4GHz Quad Core offering which of course supplies the GPU side of the machine too.

The box in typical Samsung stylish is clean, crisp and to the point with a large image of the device and subtle branding. The image on the front showcases the Mineral Ash Black colour, though the model we have today is Marble White.

CoolTouch-E and CoolTouch-R Fan Controllers Released By Aerocool

Aerocool Advanced Technologies announced two new single-bay fan controller CoolTouch-E and CoolTouch-R. Both are said to use a touch-panel, hence allowing users to directly interact with the display to make adjustments and changes more naturally. The back side of the CoolTouch fan controller can support up to four case fans, while all important information are presented well sorted on the display in the front. To match most on-market PC chassis, CoolTouch-E and CoolTouch-R are available in both black and white edition colors.

All interactions with the new CoolTouch fan controller seem to be handled by pressing on the designated area on the touch-screen. Users are also able to change the background-color of the LCD touch-panel anytime by pressing the “color” button. Both CoolTouch-E and CoolTouch-R report to offer various background colors: red, green, yellow, blue, light blue, purple and white.

The CoolTouch-E is equipped with a big 100 x 25 mm display, which covers most of the fan controller’s front panel. Each of the four case fan channels can be controlled individually by choosing the preferred channel and then adjusting the fan speed in steps between 0, 50, 75 and 100 percent, while each channel supports fans with a consumption of up to 20 watts. The CoolTouch-E indicates weather a fan is spinning or not and allows users to stop fans by pressing the power button. All common types of fan connectors are supported by the CoolTouch series, including the standard 3-pin and 4-Pin PWM as well as 4-pin Molex connectors.

The Aerocool CoolTouch-R uses a slightly smaller 85 x 25 mm LCD display with touch-support and is said to offer additional functions. Besides the four case fan channels, one temperature sensor has been integrated, allowing users to monitor the temperature of the CPU Cooler, HDD, Chipset, VGA card or the temperature inside the chassis. The sensor can be placed anywhere inside the PC chassis using the supplied adhesive stickers, having temperatures display both in Celsius and Fahrenheit formats. It also provides a built-in card-reader and the USB 3.0 port, located on the right side of the panel, supporting most common storage media types such as SD/SDHC/SDXC/MMC/RS MMC and miniSD are supported by the card reader.

Both the Aerocool CoolTouch-E and CoolTouch-R are available in-stores at an estimated price of 24,50 EUR and respectively 32,50 EUR

White Xbox One Rumored To Be Disc-Free And White, To Be Released This Year

Xbox rumors point to a disc-free console in the works. VG247 has confirmed with a “well-respected… senior publishing source” that a cheaper version of the Xbox One is coming sometime this year. It means that a new model for the hardware, not just a price reduction on the existing $499 configuration for the system. It is said that a new system could come in at $399, but that price hasn’t been verified entirely.

Unnamed sources at The Verge have also reportedly confirmed a ntkrnl report that Microsoft is looking into a disc-drive-free version of the Xbox One. That follows reports from earlier this month that the company was considering releasing a disc-free Xbox One as late as June of 2013. The Verge also confirmed reports that Microsoft will be releasing a white edition of the console (matching the previous employees-only exclusive white model) later this year, that a major dashboard update is coming to the system in March, and that an Xbox One with a 1TB hard drive is being prepared for a November release.

Other rumored news at NeoGaf include a 1080p “anniversary” remake for Halo 2 in November (which will include access to a Halo 5 beta), DLC for Titanfall coming as soon as 45 days after launch, a 2015 release for Fable Legends, and a detailed list of launch dates for the Xbox One in various countries.

Microsoft doesn’t seem happy with this information being leaked. Kotaku reports that “one person familiar with the situation” said that Microsoft is trying to track down and “looking to take legal action” against the leaker. That doesn’t mean anything about the veracity of these claims, of course, but it does suggest the obvious: that Microsoft isn’t happy not being in full control of the information stream these days.

Thank you Arstechnica for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of The Verge

Corsair Carbide Air Series 540 Case Now Available in White

Corsair have announced that the Carbide Series Air 540 mid-tower PC Case is now available in arctic white in addition to the previously available black and steel silver colours. I can see a lot of Corsair fans loving this new colour scheme and while black chassis dominate the market there is a lot of demand for stunning white products. The Air Series 540’s innovative high-airflow layout and striking looks have won it over 40 awards from top PC reviewers worldwide, including an award from myself when we reviewed it back in June.

The Carbide Series Air 540 is designed with a wider form factor with two “side-by-side” chambers and a unique Direct Airflow Path layout. The layout in each chamber is optimized to limit obstructions and streamline airflow from the intake fans to the hottest PC components, allowing the Air 540 to provide best-in-class cooling at low noise levels.

The main chamber of the Carbide Series Air 540 houses the motherboard, graphics cards, and hot-swap 3.5” drives for superior drive cooling and quick swapping. The second chamber holds the power supply, SSDs, and 5.25” drives behind the motherboard tray. The separate compartments make building a breeze and provide cleaner cable routing and superior cooling for hotter devices.

  • Dual side-by-side chambers with Direct Airflow Path cooling
  • Support for Mini ITX, Micro ATX, ATX, Extended ATX motherboards and ATX power supplies
  • Eight tool-free expansion slots that supports cards lengths up to 12.5” (320mm)
  • Mount points for six 120mm or five 140mm fans (or 240/280mm radiator on top and 360/280/240mm radiator in front)
  • Two 5.25”, two hot-swap 3.5”, and four 2.5” tool-free drive bays
  • Removable front magnetic low-restriction dust filter
  • Built-in cable routing cutouts with grommets
  • Two USB 3.0 ports plus headphone/mic jacks on front panel
  • Oversized flush-mount window
  • 16.5″ (407mm) deep x 17” (432mm) wide x 18″ (457mm) tall
  • Available in three colors: arctic white, steel silver, and black
  • Both the arctic white and steel silver editions include white LED AF140L front fans.

Pricing, Availability, and Warranty

The Carbide Series Air 540 White Edition has a list price of $149.99 USD and is available from Corsair’s worldwide network of authorized distributors and resellers or on the Corsair webstore. The case is backed by a two year warranty.

Will you be picking up this stunning new entry to the Corsair range? Let us know why you will/won’t in the comments section below.

Thank you Corsair for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of Corsair.

White Xbox One’s Selling For A Small Fortune On eBay

Limited Edition is like a drug to some people, that “I just have to have it” attitude knows no bounds, nor do these peoples bank balances apparently. The White Xbox One is the current centre of attention and with listings popping up on eBay, they’re going for thousands of dollars, and white controllers are going for a few hundred dollars!

These special while Xbox One consoles are for the most part just a standard Xbox One, they don’t do anything special, they don’t have special software and they’re technically not worth much more than the black one. They do however say “I made this” on the console and the controller, they’re finished in a gorgeous white and they were given to members of the Microsoft staff as a thank you for being part of the consoles creation.

Obviously smitten with joy at their award from Microsoft, where one would think owners would be told not to flog them off, or perhaps mount them in a display case next to their TV, the consoles are flooding onto eBay, and with such high profits, I can’t blame the sellers for doing so.

Just check out these eBay listings, will you be putting down a wad of cash to own one of these?

Thank you The Six Axis for providing us with this information.

Thecus N2560 2-Bay NAS Review

Introduction


In the NAS market, Thecus is one of the biggest names out there alongside QNAP and Synology and as we have seen in the past, the performance and features that they have to offer for the price are very well suited making them ideal for SOHO, SMB and enterprise users alike. Focusing today on the SOHO market, typical home users generally are in line to buy two and four bay systems for storing movies, music and photos on to share across their network to TVs, computers and wireless devices such as tablets.

Over the last year or so we have been seeing a slow migration by many vendors to produce products that are white in appearance to target the home user as they offer a cleaner and more conservative look to them that makes then more suited for a home environment rather than a black system that can look a little out-of-place or realistically – less stylish.

The N2560 that I’m having a look at today is one of the first white systems that Thecus have produced, the first being its little brother – the N2520 – and following its showing at CeBIT back in march, the storage giant has been making last-minute tweaks and adjustments to optimise its performance and functionality, in the process bringing the N2560 the line-up as well as the N2520. Over the previewed N2520, the N2560 offers up double the RAM with 2GB of DDR3 and a slightly faster Atom SoC, clocked to 1.6GHz over the N2520’s 1.2GHz chip.

Compared to Thecus’ over 2-bay solutions, the N2560 offers up a tool-free installation with drives that simply slide into the chassis and get closed in behind a simple front door making the unit far more user-friendly for the novice buyers out there. Supporting up to 4TB drives and offering the same host of functionality as any other Thecus system, this Atom based system is internally just like any other NAS that Thecus has to offer.

Thecus always offer a simple, to the point package, with all the bits you’ll need to get up and running. Alongside the usual array of paperwork including a warranty card, there is a UK IEC kettle lead and DC power inverter, a patch lead, two re-usable cable ties and in the instance of this unit, two sets of clip-on drive rails to give the unit its tool-free capability.

Synology DS213j 2-Bay NAS Review

Introduction


This week I’m taking a look at a NAS from a company that I’ve been wanting to get hands on with for quite a while now. In the UK NAS markets, QNAP and Thecus are two of the top players, however there is another company that have just as much of a presence as those that I’ve just mentioned – this is of course Synology.

Formed in 2000 by two ex-Microsoft employees – Cheen Liao and Philip Wong – Synology’s goal was to bring enterprise level NAS technologies down to an affordable price point for the small-to-medium business market and later on the small office / home office user as well. Whilst it took four years for Synology’s first NAS the DiskStation DS-101 to reach market, over the last nine years we have seen many solutions come to market under two main categories, DiskStation (DS for short) and RackStation (RS for Short) and in disk capacities varying from one bay solutions, right up to their biggest rack-mount unit which holds up to 12 hard drives for the biggest storage capacity that Synology can offer.

Before we delve into the in and outs of the DS213j that I’ve got to play with today, its worth noting the company’s very clever numbering system that to me is one of the easiest to understand out of those that I’ve seen in the past. using this NAS as an example, the model number is broken down into four parts. DS-2-13-j

The first part of the name is with DS or RS referring to either a DiskStation or a RackStation model with the first number that follows indicating how many bays the system holds – in this case 2. The second set of digits give us the year that the system was released, so 13 here refers to a release year of 2013. After that there is one of three options to be had. These are as follows:

  • ‘+’ – this is the performance series of units offing the best features that Synology have to offer
  • the standard series is next and this has no digit after the year indicator – for example DS213 – these units offer a balance between price and performance
  • ‘j’ – Units with a j in their model name are geared for the entry-level user whose focus is more on getting the largest capacity they can, whilst not worrying too much about the performance side of things.

With this all explained, it’s now easy to see, just from the model name ‘DS213j’ that we have an entry-level 2-bay system that was built this year and comes as a desktop design – nice and easy to understand if I have to say so.

Last of all before I dive into the guts of this compact little system, Its worth having a look at what comes in the box along with the system itself. Alongside a quick installation guide that shows how to install the drives into the DiskStation, there is a CD with the operating system on as well as the systems full user manual for reference. Also included is a CAT5e patch lead and a UK clover leaf power cable and inverter giving the DiskStation a DC power connection and two sets of screws – one set to secure the drives in place and the other set of three screws to hold the cover of the unit in place once the disks are installed as we will see on the next page.