Mar 12 2014

News - Fracal Designs Launches Node 804 Chassis

It's no secret that we like Fractal Design's cases. Everytime we test one it is always a positive experience. What's not to like about a solid, well made chassis that looks great and won't break the bank? From the look of it, the new Node 804 will continue that trend. It does seem to be geared heavily towards water cooling, but there is also plenty of space for hard drives so if your looking for a micro ATX case for your next server build this might be the one - if you can wait until May that is.

Anyone else think it looks like a sub woofer? Full PR, and a couple more images, after the click.

Feb 01 2013

News - Fractal Design Releases Core 3000


If the Arc Midi R2's transparent side panel was a little to flashy, or the price a bit too steep you might want to check out Fractal Design's Core 3000. It has many of the same features like dust filters and oodles of space for about $35 less. I've been putting off replacing my aging Lian Li tower chassis (thanks be to duct tape Smile), this might be the guy that finally gets it done.

Full PR after the click.

Oct 04 2012

News - BitFenix Ghost Case Reviewed

BitFenix Ghost

I've been thinking of building a new home server, and though I won't need a new case for this particular upgrade, if I did, then there would really only be two attributes that would concern me: hard drive bays and silent performance. It's quite possible that the BitFenix Ghost would have made my short list at some point. The Ghost may only have four internal 3.5" drive bays, but it has three 5.25" drive bays just begging for a 5-drive backplane. The Ghost also sports a hot-swap drive bay, a feature I adore for backup rotations, but more importantly, BitFenix intended the Ghost to be a marvel of silent computing. Designing a case that holds a lot of drives is relatively easy. Designing a case that remains quiet when full of drives is a serious challenge.

Ghost is designed for silence. The silent case category has proven to be a very popular undertaking and BitFenix are not a brand that will sit back and have therefore brought to market their rendition of how a silent case should be. Ghost has been given silencing material and a stealthy look that promises to bode well for those demanding silence as the order of the day...


Sep 18 2012

News - Lian LI PC-Q16 Mini-ITX Case Reviews

Lian Li PC-Q16

Lian Li has built a reputation for quality and design with their aluminum cases over the years and the company has consistently been one of the biggest supporters of the Mini-ITX format. The Lian Li PC-Q16 is one of their cube-style Mini-ITX cases. To help trim a bit off the case's girth, the PC-Q16 forgoes an ODD slot of any sort, but still manages to leave room for a 3.5" HDD and three 2.5" HDDs. The Q16 is definitely intended to be a looker with its brushed alumimnum and clean front face, Some folks will probably be dissappointed that there is no option for adding a flash reader and the lack of internal Blu-Ray options, but there are USB 3.0 ports to help make up for it. The PC-Q16 is definitely a tighter squeeze internally than some of the other Mini-ITX cases grabbing headlines over the last few months, but it looks like there might be a fair trade of function for form in this particualr case.

Companies have been making computers and cases that will blend in with other home theatre items such as a reciever or DVD player. Lian Li is no exception and have put out quite a few great looking HTPC cases for MATX and ITX sized motherboards. They were kind enough to send the PC-Q16 case for us to review.

Funky Kit

Jul 20 2012

News - Fracal Design Launches Define R4

Fractal Design Define R4

When it comes to server sized chasiss, very few do it as well as Fractal Design. Offering cases with oodles of space, good cooling, and a focus on quiet operation the focus on quality design and engineering is obvious. Building off the proven Define R3, the wider Define R4 looks to be mostly an effort in refinement. Click through to see the full list of highlights.

Jan 24 2012

News - SilverStone SST-GD06B HTPC Case Reviewed

SilverStone has been in the HTPC case design business for a long time now.  They make some very nice cases that are used by many in the community.  Recently, the folks over at Benchmark Reviews got their hands on the SST-GD06B which we recently reviewed as well.  Depending on your needs, this may be a case to consider looking at.

Jan 03 2012

News - A 1.5 inch Thick HTPC from Tranquil PC

Hopefully this new years news is a sign of things to come. Tranquil PC has recently announced a new HTPC design, the  MMC-12 Media Center. The system measures in at just 1.5 inches thick and packing a core i3 processor, 4 gigs of ram, 80 GB hard drive, running Windows 7 home premium.

Not a bad package if you ask me, nice hardware, just powerful enough over other Atom based systems and the form factor is just perfect. The cost for this all roughly $1,000 US. We will just have to wait for further reviews to make a final decision but for now this is one sweet looking small form factor system.

We haven't heard from Britain's own Tranquil PC in a hot minute, but the company's storming into the new year with a machine that's easy to overlook. In a good way. The MMC-12 Media Center measures just 1.5-inches thick, enabling it to be slid into (or under) just about any A/V rack. £649 (right around $1,000) nets you a Core i3 processor, 4GB of DDR3 memory (plus another open RAM slot), an admittedly paltry 80GB mSATA hard drive, CD / DVD burner, Windows 7 Home Premium and an HDMI port. You'll also get a pair of USB 3.0 ports, two underwhelming (and bound to be unloved) USB 2.0 sockets, a gigabit Ethernet jack, DVI socket and an aluminum enclosure. The company recommends that you connect a couple of your favorite USB TV tuners for maximum enjoyment, and in case you're wondering, Blu-ray drives and international shipping is available.

Engadget HD

Dec 22 2011

News - Fractal Design Array R2 Case Reviewed

Fractal Design Array R2

We reviewed the Fractal Design Array R2 back in September and concluded that, despite lacking an optical drive bay, it was a fine HTPC and media server case, eliminating the need for a separate, stand-alone NAS. Of course, the Array R2 would make a fine NAS case in its own right, which is how the folks at LanOC approached the Array R2 in their review. I would still love to see one of these cases loaded up with drives, but it sounds like the LanOC guys were pleased with what they saw.

A case that almost prides itself on being simple has very little to mess things up or cause problems once everything is put together. I was very impressed with the total weight of the Array R2 with our full build inside coming in lighter than even our past shuttle builds! 


Sep 20 2011

News - Thermaltake DH 202 Touch Chassis Reviewed

DH 202In this day and age, it seems that home theater PC (HTPC) chassis styles have more niches than ever with many preferring smaller, minimalist and understated looks without a display. Thermaltake's DH 202 Touch case wildly bucks that trend with a huge 7" touch interface dominating the front of the very large chassis. If you're the type that can handle a monster such as the DH 202 Touch and it's matching price tag, check out the latest review of the enclosure.

Thermaltake are well known in the PC industry for their cases, PSUs and coolers but more recently they have branched out to eSports. Releasing a range of high end gaming gear for those looking to maximise their gaming potential. We looked at the Black Element mouse recently and found it to be a high quality product, especially impressive for the manufacturers first mouse in the enthusiast market.

Elsewhere in their product catalogue Thermaltake have continued to evolve their products and one of the latest released is the DH 202 Touch chassis. Designed for home theatre use the DH 202 Touch features some high class styling and combines it with a 7" touch screen on the front panel. Today we take a look at that case in detail.

Jul 27 2011

News - SilverStone CW02 HTPC Reviewed

If you're into really large HTPC cases, this may be the guy for you.  My preferences generally run the other way though - preferring to push the hard drives into another location where the rattle doesn't matter as much.

The CW02 from Silverstone’s Crown Series is crafted to allow users to really appreciate the design of this high quality HTPC chassis. At first glance, the all-aluminum construction and reinforced aluminum dress plates in the front set off the already classy case. The interior design of the CW02 is able to accommodate extended length graphics cards, proficiently displaying the HTPC system at its best. Capable of supporting CPU coolers of 160mm in height for additional cooling options, its spacious interior assures the highest performance system possible in this market segment. The suspended, vibration-dampening hard drive cage and dual control knobs for volume and navigation control also add even more to the feature-rich CW02. You can have up to six hard drives for multi-terabyte storage, allowing far more flexibility than merely serving a an HTPC. Users can enjoy their system’s state-of-the-art, multi-language display functions and, with a 52-in-1 card reader under the hood, the CW02 looks like it has the potential to be named “Best of” in quite a few categories… but should it? Keep on reading to find out just how well it does in our testing.



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