Let’s be real: Solid-state drives aren’t exactly known for their stunning visual flair. Best-case scenario, the SSD you buy has a decent enough aluminum housing and a product sticker that looks like it was designed in Photoshop rather than MS Paint. After all, there’s a reason nobody squawks about SSD drive bays on the reverse side of a case’s motherboard tray.
Saturday, 2 April 2016
According to its About Us page, CaseLabs started building PC cases for consumers in 2010 because nobody else was doing it right. And while there’s a multitude of quality enclosures available today, the Mercury S8 is a perfect example of why CaseLabs products are synonymous with premium.
The XPredator 750GM is a semimodular PSU featuring a DC-to-DC topology for optimal voltage regulation and high-efficiency performance. 80 PLUS testing shows that this PSU is indeed efficient, as it meets the 80 PLUS Gold certification with an efficiency of 91.24% at 50% load and 90.71% at 20% load. Aerocool provides the XPredator 750GM with a single 62A +12V rail to ensure that hungry graphics cards get the power they need. This PSU includes four 6+2-pin PCIe connectors to support powerful SLI and CrossFire GPU configurations.
The Z9 NEO White from Zalman is a mid-tower PC case that sells for just under $80 online, but if you looked it over without knowing the price, you’d probably guess that it costs more. It comes with five pre-installed fans, which is pretty unheard of at this price, and two of them are blue LED models. The case has two external 5.25-inch drive bays up top, but all other bays (two standard 3.5-/2.5-inch bays in a cage and two vertical 2.5-inch mounts on the back of the motherboard tray) are located outside of the main interior space, as is increasingly the style these days. Speaking of interior trends, the 5.25-inch exterior bays almost feel like a vestigial tail at this point, but if you would rather go without, you can remove both of them just by taking out a couple screws, leaving the Z9 NEO’s interior completely drive-bay free.
Rosewill has named several cases after military aircraft; the company’s B2 Spirit and Nighthawk 117 are the latest PC chassis to get this treatment. In the case of the Nighthawk 117 especially, it is easy to see that the case shares more than just a name with the F117—the all-black case has an angular, dramatic shape that looks as though it might just be able to slip through a radar field undetected.
Like their owners, DIY PCs are a diverse lot. Over the years, we’ve seen everything from tiny, plain SFF builds to gigantic, ornate towers. We’ve seen smart, efficient budget builds and mind-blowing, break-the-bank super-builds, and everything in between. If you’re thinking small and unobtrusive for your next build, Rosewill’s Spirit B2 is probably not for you, but if you’d like a case that resembles an enormous stealth aircraft and that can easily swallow up as much high-end hardware as you can throw at it, this is it.
If you’ve been to our website in the past couple weeks, you might have noticed the video installments we’ve been posting that follow the painting, Hydrodipping, and final assembly of a custom-built gaming system from XOTIC PC. It all comes down to this, the Tytan, a small form-factor gaming PC that’s packed with some seriously powerful components wrapped in an attractive box.