Enclosure

Dec 11 2013

Review - Fractal Design ARC MINI R2 Micro-ATX Mid Tower Chassis

Fractal Design ARC MINI R2
Over the last few years Fractal Design has cultivated a reputation for delivering intelligent, quiet, and well-built PC cases that do not require breaking the bank. With solid steel construction, ample storage options, and three hydraulic bearing  Silent Series R2 fans (2x 120mm, 1x 140mm) included, we should expect the ARC MINI R2 Micro-ATX case to continue this tradition. However it is natural to wonder if Fractal Design can deliver the innovative features of its larger, more expensive, chassis at the smaller enclosure’s $99 price point. Let’s find out.

Oct 01 2012

Review - Fractal Design Define R4 ATX Chassis

headerFractal Design made a great impression on us last year with the debut of the Define R3 ATX chassis and its smaller sibling, the Define Mini Micro-ATX chassis. It is hard not to love a high-quality, well-built, sleek and unobtrusive chassis and these are all qualities the Define series of chassis exhibited to us. Not content to rest on its laurels, Fractal Design went back to the drawing board to come up with several enhancements to the design of the R3 with the new Define R4 ATX chassis.

The main refinements offered by the Define R4 are larger and improved fans, a more flexible hard disk drive (HDD) cage, a wider case body for easier cable routing, additional mounting options for 2.5” SSDs, a new tool-less front fan holder, support for liquid cooling radiators, a new fan controller that is integrated with the front panel, and an additional USB 3.0 front panel port.

Jul 09 2012

Review - Wesena ITX5

Wesena ITX5Boasting clean lines, the right look, and solid construction for Mini-ITX based systems the Wesena ITX5 all-aluminum enclosure offers capabilities very similar to the ITX7; by removing optical drive support in a slightly lower cost ($80) package. Building a name for quality takes time and attention to feedback, so it was fantastic to examine the generational differences between the two small form-factor (SFF) home theater PC (HTPC) chassis from Wesena. As a refinement on the previous iteration we hope to see the niggles around fit-and-finish addressed.

Jun 04 2012

Review - LIAN LI PC-Q05 Thin Mini-ITX Chassis

When Intel introduced the Thin Mini-ITX form factor with the DH61AG board, we were impressed with the performance and potential of the platform; however, the innovative form factor lacked any accompanying chassis to take advantage of the extra thin profile. Fortunately, that situation is changing with the introduction of LIAN LI’s PC-Q05 which supports the new Thin Mini-ITX form factor.

Mar 12 2012

Review - SilverStone Milo ML03b HTPC Case

Silverstone Technology was founded in 2003 and has been building cases specifically for the home theater PC (HTPC) market since almost the very beginning. Aimed at HTPC users who must have a low profile case but don’t want to sacrifice expansion options, Silverstone offers the Milo ML03b. At a mere 105 mm in height, and only 340 mm in depth (4.13 x 13.38 in), it will fit into places that other HTPC chassis could only dream about while offering expansion options typically only available in a full-height HTPC case. Today, we will put this case to the test and max out all expansion options to see if it is up to the task.

Mar 06 2012

Review - nMEDIAPC HTPC 7000B Micro-ATX / Mini-ITX HTPC Case

nMEDIAPC HTPC 7000nMEDIAPC has made a name for itself in the home theater PC (HTPC) community for consistently delivering well-built, good-looking, and reasonably-priced chassis comfortable in the A/V stack. Offering a brushed aluminum front panel and a street price of $80, at first glance the HTPC 7000B seems to carry on this tradition. Coupled with two 120mm fans, we should expect excellent cooling from this full-height enclosure, but with a depth of just over twelve inches there are sure to be trade-offs where the form factor is both an asset and a liability; keep reading to find out how this case measures up.

Dec 20 2011

Review - Fractal Designs Arc Midi Mid Tower Case

We are continuing our reviews of Fractal Design cases today with their Arc Midi mid tower desktop case.  We have previously reviewed the Core 3000, Define Mini, Array R2, and Define XL.  Like the other Fractal Design cases, the Arc Midi features a sleek, minimalist design, but it stands out as a versatile case that would work equally well for gaming, HTPC, as a media server, or a combination of all three.  It can work as an HTPC but with more built in storage than the R2 and Define Mini.  It has 2 fewer HDD bays than the XL, but won’t cost near as much (~$50 less) if you are looking for a great server option, and although the Core 3000 is the closest in design and price, the Arc Midi is slightly larger (8 HDD bays as opposed to 6, more fans, etc.) and has a USB 3.0 port that the Core 3000 lacks.


SPECIFICATIONS
Oct 05 2011

Review - SilverStone TS07 USB 3.0 External Drive Enclosure

TS07

From a recent poll regarding external storage, it is clear that a significant number of respondents are making use of external storage options using interfaces such as USB and eSATA. One of the drawbacks of USB 2.0 is its lack of speed, while eSATA is not nearly as pervasive as USB. With USB 3.0 found in more motherboards, chassis (Fractal Design Define Mini, SilverStone TJ08-E), and expansion cards (SilverStone EC01), it seems like a perfect time to take a look at SilverStone’s new USB 3.0 3.5” external drive enclosure, the TS07.

Sep 26 2011

Review - Fractal Design Core 3000

So far, we have reviewed three chassis from Fractal Design, the Define R3 ATX, the Define Mini Micro-ATX and the Array R2 Mini-ITX, and have been impressed by their build quality and aesthetics. Today we are reviewing a chassis in their Core line which aims to provide a unique combination of design, features, cooling performance and value. The Fractal Design Core 3000 mid-tower desktop case builds off of the entry level Core 1000 by adding improved cable management, more cooling options and removable hard drive bays to allow for longer graphics cards of up to 420mm in length.

Sep 08 2011

Review - Fractal Design Define Mini Micro-ATX Chassis

DM

Not too long ago, we took a look at Fractal Design’s Define R3 ATX chassis and came away impressed. Today, we’re going to examine the R3’s younger sibling, the Define Mini Micro-ATX tower chassis. The Define Mini holds a lot of promise with six 2.5”/3.5” internal and two 5.25” external bays, six fan slots, support for expansion cards up to 400mm in length, USB 3.0 port, dampened side panels and cable management features all intriguingly hidden behind a black, brushed steel door.

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