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.
Category Archive: Cases
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.
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.