Still one of the only players in the very small form factor market, SilverStone has consistently iterated on its various designs to bring us new improvements and features, case after case. Not content to rest with their niche ML05 HTPC enclosure, they dressed up the exterior with a full aluminum panel and released the ML06. That isn’t the case Benchmark Reviews is reviewing here – SilverStone decided they weren’t done, and evolved the internals of the ML06 into the product we see here today: the ML06-E. Featuring re-worked internals but the same exterior dimensions, the ML06-E is poised to be the best of the series so far. Let’s take a closer look.
Category Archive: Cases
Antec was kind enough to ship me their GX505 Window SC mid-tower case to review. The Antec GX505 is part of the GX series of cases designed for gamers on a budget. The GX505 is a slight revision of the GX500 case. The main difference is the all new front and top panels, and a built-in fan controller switch.
The Phanteks Enthoo Evolv ITX, released earlier this year, became a very popular case for small water cooling builds thanks to its great features and water cooling flexibility. To make things better, Phanteks announced their new Enthoo Evolv ITX Special Edition case which comes in two colors; black with red interior or white with black interior. Benchmark Reviews will be taking a look at the Phanteks Enthoo Evolv ITX SE in white and black, so let’s go ahead and see what this special edition case has to offer.
Two versions of the anodized black CS01B computer case exist, one with a mesh top and the option to install two 2.5″ and two 3.5″ drives. The second is the CS01B-HS, which removes the pair of 3.5″ drives in favor of six hot-swappable 2.5″ bays. Also included in both models is a single 120mm air penetrator fan, one expansion slot, and a sturdy aluminum construction throughout. SilverStone is not intending this to be used for gaming, but rather for an office environment. In this article for Benchmark Reviews, we will specifically look at the CS01B-HS version, deciding whether or not SilverStone has succeeded in creating such a product, and then deliver an overall rating.
In this article for Benchmark Reviews, I’ll be testing the Antec P380 full-tower ‘Performance’ computer case. The aesthetics of Antec’s P380 are a bit different than other cases, utilizing aluminum plates on the front and top of the chassis to give the P380 a very stylish look. The Antec P380 features a versatile front USB hub that can be mounted to face either the right or left side of the chassis, allowing users the freedom to place the P380 however they want. The power and reset buttons of the Antec P380 have thoughtfully been set to both sides of the chassis recessed behind the front aluminum plate, making it easy to turn on your computer from either side of the case.
It seems that every month a new Android based HTPC comes out. This comes as no surprise as with the integration of XBMC, these devices keep getting cheaper and more attractive to the low-end market. Instead, SilverStone is trying to target a much different market, a market which many of our readers can feel identified with. SilverStone is a renowned designer of premium cases, offering a wide arrange of designs ranging from bulky full towers to small form factor HTPC cases such as the SilverStone SG12 Micro-ATX enclosure in this review.
The Phanteks Enthoo Pro M has a few similarities from both the Enthoo Pro and the Evolv ATX case but in a mid-tower form factor. The front of the case includes just one 5.25″ ODD bay and a large air intake similar to the Enthoo Pro. The interior frame looks almost identical to the Evolv ATX due to the 2.5″ drop-N-lock mounts and the lack of interior HDD bays. Built specifically to target water cooling enthusiasts, the top and front of the case can support up to a 360mm or a 280mm radiator with plenty of space for a large reservoir.
Thermaltake has been somewhat under the radar in the custom PC world for a while now, mainly due to a string of underwhelming products. However, with the release of the Core series they’re starting to make a comeback, and their newest product is their first silent chassis design, the Thermaltake Suppressor F51 E-ATX Mid-Tower Chassis
Raidmax was founded back in 1988 and is know for their budget oriented gaming cases. Their history indicates that they were one of the first to mass produce gaming cases incorporating innovative designs coupled with excellent performance. The Raidmax Viper GX II is one of the current iterations, building on past styles to achieve a truly unique look.The prominent features that really stand out is a hot-swappable SSD bay on top accompanied by two USB 3.0 ports and ominous yet slick looking vents on the top shroud.
The NZXT Noctis 450 styling on the outside has undergone a major face lift. The Noctis 450 has taken a bit of the popular Phantom series styling queues and wrapped them around the Noctis 450 chassis, creating an attractive looking case. According to NZXT the Noctis 450 allows the case to have 10 times the ventilation surface with the use of floating plastic panels compared to the H440. The Noctis 450 isn’t just about style, but form with function.
This new take on the Z11 design features a new exterior design, mounts for water cooling and filtered intakes, along with the sleek, jet-inspired exterior design from the original Z11. In this article for Benchmark Reviews, I will cover the Zalman Z11 Neo and discuss the changes Zalman has made from the Z11 Plus before delivering my final rating.
The Fractal Design Core 2500 is in the sub-100 dollar category, which has some really heated competition at the moment. Computer cases are becoming less expensive, while adding more features. I’m going to put the Fractal Design Core 2500 through it’s paces in this article for Benchmark Reviews, and see how it stacks up to the competition.
SilverStone is at it again, but this time they are looking to mix things up by venturing into unprecedented areas. Lately, it seems that the competition has shaken the sub-$100 case market, and SilverStone is not willing to stand down. Mostly known for their premium cases and their innovative ideas, SilverStone has taken a different approach this time from their top notch designs and instead released the SilverStone Kublai KL05B-Q Mid-Tower case, which Benchmark Reviews will be taking a look at today.
As more enthusiasts realize that they don’t need the expansion capabilities of standard ATX motherboards, mATX and mini-ITX systems are exploding in popularity, and we’re seeing some real innovation in small systems case design. Today we have Phanteks’ latest, the Enthoo Evolv ITX case. This case has excellent air flow, a very versatile design, and is perfect for those who want to water-cool their systems: it can accommodate a 240mm radiator and even comes with a bracket for a separate water pump if you want to roll your own. Long graphics cards are no problem, either, and integrated cable management features make a clean build easy. Of course the real proof is building a system in this case, and that’s exactly what Benchmark Reviews will do.
If you have ever bought a SilverStone case, you would probably agree that the price can be easily justified by the over-the-top build quality and the unique designs that can only be obtained by buying one of the many cases that SilverStone has available. It has been over a year since SilverStone last released a member of the Kublai series, and when they mentioned to Benchmark Reviews that they were updating this line with the Kublai KL05B-W, we immediately asked for a sample.
SilverStone brings us the Precision Series PS11B-Q ATX case for the budget minded or entry level enthusiast. The Precision Series includes two variants, the PS11B-Q and the PS11B-W. This review will focus on the SilverStone PS11B-Q, which is the silent version of the Precision series.
Back in 2005, it was almost unthinkable to build a small form factor system due to the existence of a major trade-off between performance and efficiency. Nowadays, the market for small form factor systems has catapulted itself, and has gotten as far as to make companies like Raidmax to adapt and introduce itself to this market. A month ago, Benchmark Reviews took a peak the Raidmax Hyperion, the first Micro-ATX case from a company mostly known for their aggressive looking Mid-Towers. Today, we take a look at the Raidmax Atomic Mini-ITX Case, an even smaller case, with a lot of potential.
The SilverStone PS11B-W is a versatile entry level enthusiast case, featuring bottom-mount PSU, USB 3.0, variable size fan mounts and locations, a variety of hard drive mount options, and space enough for the most gigantic of graphics cards on the market. In this article for Benchmark Reviews, I’ll be putting the SilverStone PS11B-W to the test. Can the SST-PS11B-W deliver on all it’s promises? Let’s find out.
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.
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.