Mini PC’s are a crucial part for a media center PC and even small compact gaming PC’s. With the Raijintek Metis Classic computer case, system builders can now build even smaller and more compact media center or gaming PC’s. This lightweight aluminum case supports mini-ITX motherboards and even a full size ATX power supply. The Metis comes in a variety of colors to choose from. These colors include red, black, silver, blue, green and gold. Benchmark Reviews has been given this gold sample for this review. With the right hardware components, the Metis can be turned into the perfect computer for the living room and even a high-performance gaming machine in a small form factor.
Category Archive: Cases
This case, the Sentey Optimus Plus, features a large side panel window instead of fan mounts. Additional features include a fan controller, filtered intakes, a dedicated cooling fan for hard drives, and a SD card reader. These features come at an additional premium though when compared to other cases in the same price range. In this Benchmark Reviews article, I will discuss the Optimus Plus in depth and whether or not this is a good mid budget case for your next build.
Like many other popular Micro-ATX cases, Raidmax has opted for a dual chamber design. However, note that this is not as wide as others like the Fractal Design Node 804, but still manages to fit plenty of fans, 3.5″ and 2.5″ drives, and they even added a 5.25″ bay. The case is not exactly eye candy, however many HTPC users will find that the overall design is not flashy, but rather elegant and simple. In this article, Benchmark Reviews tests the Raidmax Hyperion Micro-ATX computer case.
The Core series by Thermaltake launched with the E-ATX full tower Core V71 last year. Since then, Thermaltake has expanded into the mid-tower (V31, V41, V51) and mini-ITX (V1) form factors. The Core V21 that Benchmark Reviews will take a look at today rounds out Thermaltake’s lineup with their first micro-ATX Core offering. At first glance, the Core V21 shares many design similarities with the other Core chassis. As is true with many things in life, looks can be deceiving as the V21 is the first Core chassis to officially offer a multitude of motherboard orientations. While it arrives in stock format with a horizontal motherboard layout, it can be transformed in a matter of seconds to a traditional or inverted layout. We’ll see how this works as we build a system inside the Core V21 over the next few pages.
Here at Benchmark Reviews we admire those companies who not only give relentless effort to create the best product designs in terms of efficiency, quality, and functionality, but we also applaud those who try to set themselves apart in what is an already crowded market by bringing forth new ideas and daring to take risks. Surprisingly, this seems to be a trend for Phanteks; the relatively young company that is looking forward to create it’s own market of dual system cases with the release of the Enthoo Mini XL “Super Micro-ATX” Computer Case.
The Silencio series cases from Cooler Master are built for silent operation with sound dampening materials to help eliminate noise while maintaining excellent cooling performance with quiet fans. These cases feature elegant looks along with minimalist aesthetics to complement the silent design. Since the release of the Silencio 652, users wanted something quieter while keeping the same body design. Now, Cooler Master has released the Silencio 652S. Instead of a single 180mm front intake fan, they replaced it with three of their new Silencio FP-120mm fans that run at 1200+200RPM at just 11db; two of which are at the front and one at the rear. Everything else stayed the same, such as the front and top I/O ports, the removable cover for the side vent, and the overall body itself. Let’s jump into the features and specifications of the Cooler Master Silencio 652S.
Fractal Design is probably best know for it’s Define series chassis lineup, cases designed for high performance while keeping a low noise level and budget price tag. The current version, the Define R4, was much praised for its customization options, cooling performance, and noise control. However, at the beginning of last year NZXT released their H440 chassis, a case that was called the “Define R4 Killer,” because of it’s enhanced cooling options, quiet operation, and stunning looks. But now Fractal Design have given their answer to the H440, and it’s a big one – the Define R5.
It looks like BitFenix are at it again. Fresh off the manufacturing line, Benchmark Reviews has received something a bit different from the company known for cases like the Colossus, Shinobi and Prodigy. As their first case with aluminum panels the slim micro-ATX Pandora brings a sense of style that is a significant departure from some of their recent enclosures. Available in black or silver, with or without a window, and in Core or ICON versions (which contain a 2.4″ LCD display in the front panel) fans of the micro-ATX form factor will have quite a few possibilities to choose from. For those that are looking for something a little more elegant without sacrificing a large footprint, the Pandora may be just the thing. Are there any compromises made to keep this case slim? Let’s dig in and take a look.
Razer, creator of all things peripheral, has finally released their hotly anticipated entry into the chassis market. This is the NZXT H440 – Designed by Razer. With a completely new appearance featuring a matte black exterior and interior, four black NZXT fans, a large tinted window, and plenty of LED lighting, this chassis will be sure to make every Razer fan’s wish list, especially given that it retains the original H440 quality and simplicity.
If you’re looking for something out of the ordinary for your mITX build, the Taiwanese company IN WIN has some products you’ll want to check out. They offer a variety of uniquely-designed computer cases ranging from the weird to the…well, OK, actually, they’re all pretty weird, from the all-glass Tóu to today’s subject, the IN WIN D-FRAME MINI. Benchmark Reviews builds a high-end gaming system in this expensive open-air mITX case to see what it’s got.
The Thermaltake Core V51 is an enthusiast case, featuring a wide array of compatibility with all-in-one liquid cooling systems, ranging from 120mm to 420mm radiators, or complete custom loops. Fan compatibility is no slouch either, supporting 120mm, 140mm, and 200mm fans in various configurations. In this article, Benchmark Reviews will be putting the Thermaltake Core V51 to the test.
What a difference a year makes. In Q3 of 2013, Phanteks branched out from their well-known CPU cooling and fan items and released the Enthoo Primo computer case. Their first chassis won multiple awards and was quickly followed by the Enthoo Pro; a more accessible case that still exuded a premium feel from this brand-new case company. The Enthoo Luxe arrived quite a few months later, adding a splash of color to the lineup. With the premium tower, full-tower and mid-tower segments covered, Phanteks has delved into the smaller form factors. Today, Benchmark Reviews will review Phanteks’ latest offering, the micro-ATX Enthoo EVOLV. With rear-hinged aluminum panels, snap-on front and top covers concealing 200mm/140mm fans and multiple radiator mounts along with a few other surprises, will this aluminum-clad water-cooling oriented chassis pack as much of a punch as its bigger brothers?
With the release of the H440 earlier this year, NZXT made it clear what their new approach into the already crammed case market will be in it’s upcoming models. Following this trend, Benchmark Reviews will be testing the NZXT S340, a more “stripped” down version of the already great H440, which still features a similar simple design with a minimalistic design, putting functionality and efficiency above all things.
Fractal Design has now released their Core 1100 MicroATX computer case. It still has a preinstalled 120mm front intake fan and the vertical hard drive bracket. The biggest change is only the exterior design with its brushed aluminum finish, making it look identical to most Fractal Design cases. Front panel I/O ports are now located on the front instead of on the side like how the Core 1000 had them. It also supports graphics cards of up to 350mm, CPU coolers up to 148mm tall, and an optional 80mm or 92mm rear exhaust fan for improved airflow.
While the Raven and Fortress series appear to be very different, they often use the same interior design. This is certainly the case with the RV05 and the FT05 cases. With this in mind, how can consumers decide which chassis suits their needs? In this Benchmark Reviews article, I will discuss the differences between the RV05 and FT05 and potential reasons to pick one over the other before delivering my final rating of the FT05.
When it comes to building a computer, not everyone needs a ton of LED fans along with a fancy exterior design. A fully-fledged PC with fancy mods may look appealing to the eyes, but it would not be ideal for a professional business environment. As the little brother to the Fractal Design Core 3300, the Core 2300 with its brushed aluminum finish and black exterior maintains the same clean aesthetics commonly found on most Fractal Design computer cases. With the capability to add a total of seven fans, the Core 2300 provides the cooling performance of an actual gaming computer case along with the professional and elegant aesthetics suitable for a business environment. Inside is the innovated vertical hard drive bracket. This allows for three 3.5 inch drives and three 2.5 inch drives to be mounted simultaneously. At Benchmark Reviews, we will take a close look at what the Fractal Design Core 2300 has to offer.
Building a gaming computer with a small computer case is known to be a challenge for some PC gamers. It is hard to find the right case that can properly house high end components while at the same time maintaining proper airflow in such a small form factor. Luckily, AZZA has released their new CSAZ-103 mini-ITX case, also known as the “Z”. The AZZA Z is capable of housing graphics cards up to 11 inches, a regular PS2 ATX power supply unit, two 120mm water cooling radiators, and much more. Finishing it off is a black and green exterior with bright green power LED’s and a green 120mm side fan. In such a small form factor case, the AZZA Z can also be used for building a Steambox or for building a generic media center PC. Using the provided vertical stand that comes in the box, the AZZA Z stands vertically just like a normal desktop computer to save desk space for your other person equipment.
On September 10th Corsair released what they consider the true successor of the 600T, the 780T. This new full tower uses the same curved design as the 600T and includes a large side panel window. However, being a full tower chassis the 780T can mount dual 360mm radiators on the front and top panels, up to nine 120mm case fans or a mixture of 120 and 140 with up to five 140mm fans. Fully filtered intakes keep the interior clean and the top panel features a three speed fan controller along with a fully lit I/O panel. In this article, Benchmark Reviews inspects the new Corsair Graphite 780T full-tower computer case.
Computer form factors keep getting smaller and smaller, but the market for smaller systems keeps growing everyday mainly due to the availability of components that allow users to build extremely powerful systems in very constrained spaces. Corsair clearly understands this, with the release of the Corsair Obsidian 250D earlier in 2014 it became clear that there was a need for Mini-ITX designs to be implemented in the rest of their lines of products, leading to the release of the Graphite 380T, the case Benchmark Reviews will be taking a look at today.
A few months ago Phanteks released the Enthoo Pro, a case that Benchmark Reviews concluded as being a game changer in the case market. Prior to the Enthoo Pro, Phanteks had already released a case that was praised by many enthusiasts as the most water cooler friendly case released in 2013, the Enthoo Primo.. With the release of the Enthoo Pro, Phanteks had a price gap to fill in it’s Enthoo line-up, leading to the release of the Enthoo Luxe, the case which I will be reviewing today.
If you have ever been to a LAN party there is a pretty high chance you have seen one of the most popular cases from BitFenix, the Prodigy, a huge success among the gaming community due to its innovative design and style. Since then, BitFenix has started to shift it’s attention into different markets as we have seen with the Fury line of power supplies, but this time they have released a new set of cases, including the BitFenix Neos. Since it’s debut back in May, it was announced that the case would offer tremendous value and style, which was definitely showcased in early models of the case, immediately bringing attention from Benchmark Reviews. But in such a crowded market will the Neos manage not to drown in the sea of budget cases?
One can easily say that Cooler Master is a household name among PC enthusiasts. With an absolute plethora of cooling products and chassis to choose from, Cooler Master boasts one of the largest product lines in the industry. With products such as the immensely popular Hyper 212 EVO CPU cooler and the HAF 932 chassis, one can generally expect good things to come from Cooler Master. Last year Cooler Master released the N-series cases, which includes the N200, N400, and N600 models. The N600 is the premier model in the series, designed to bring enthusiast features at a more affordable price point.
Now, SilverStone has just released the latest chassis in the Raven series, the RV05. Drawing it’s design straight from the RV01, the Raven RV05 continues a trend started by the NZXT H440 with the removal of all 5.25″ drive bays. Without the bays, the RV05 is smaller than many mid-towers while still retaining compatibility for a full range of standard features such as ATX motherboards and power supplies, bays for dual 3.5″ drives and 2.5″ drives, and even water cooling support.
Whether it’s in the automotive, clothing, or furniture industry, European companies have always brought innovative ideas that make big part of the most elegant and simple designs. One clear example is Fractal Design, a Scandinavian company that has showed Benchmark Reviews what stylish and efficient designs look like. This year Fractal Design is updating many of their product lines, including their Core series, to which we reacted in a very excited manner as we could never get tired of their simple minimalist approach. Today we are going to be taking a look at the Fractal Design Core 3500 Mid Tower Case.
Rosewill’s Legacy series of cases brought a new image with them to the Newegg in-house brand’s typically budget-oriented lineup. That’s not to say there weren’t splendid offerings available previously – I still maintain that Rosewill’s Thor V2 chassis is one of the best “price for performance” cases produced in recent memory. Even excluding the stand-out cases, there was a chassis at almost every price point that usually offered just as much as the competition at a lower price (even though they may have sacrificed a feature or a little build quality – usually negligible – to do so). Still, Rosewill’s penchant for penny-pinching produced (alliteration!) a few compromises along the way. Looking to provide some premium offerings and possibly shed their “budget” image of the past, Rosewill may just end up revamping their legacy with the new Legacy W1 Mini-ITX computer case. Available in black or silver with or without a window, this aluminum-clad mini-ITX case appears to be a premium answer to enclosures like the BitFenix Prodigy.