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Motherboard ASUS H170M-E D3 based on Intel H170: review and testing 

Less than a month after the announcement of a new family of processors Intel Skylake for platform Socket LGA1151 and flagship chipset Intel Z170, when Intel introduced another chipset Intel H170, intended for the midrange. The new product is the successor to last year's new Intel H97. It offers similar opportunities with high-end Intel Z170, which will enable manufacturers to produce well-equipped motherboard models at a more reasonable cost.

Unlike Intel Z170, the new chipset supports only 16 lines PCI Express 3.0, and one SATA Express and two USB 3.0 ports less. Additionally, there is no possibility of distribution lines between slots PCI Express 3.0 x16. According to the company Intel Overclocking features should be limited by the GPU overclocking.

As a result, comparison table of the two chipsets is as follows:

 

Intel Z170

Intel H170

Chipset lines PCI Express 3.0

20

16

Distributions schemes of CPU lines PCI Express 3.0

х16 / х8+х8 / х8+х4+х4

х16

Max quantity of SATA 6 Gb/s ports

6

6

Max quantity of SATA Express (x2) ports

3

2

Support for technology Intel RST intended for drives (M.2 x4 and SATA Express x2)

3

2

Maximum quantity of USB 3.0 ports

10

8

Overall number of USB (USB 2.0 + USB 3.0) ports

14

14

Let us move on to a detailed description of the product ASUS H170M-E D3, which is a little more affordable version of the ASUS Z170M-E D3 and designed for the building of compact average models.

ASUS H170M-E D3

The specs: 

Producer and model

Read the full review >>>

Case be quiet! SILENT BASE 800: review and testing

The German company Listan GmbH & Co. KG, better known under the brand be quiet, did not deal with the production of case for a long time. Of course, this brand includes power supply units, fans and CPU coolers, but an appropriate place for all of these components had to look for among the assortment of other manufacturers. And one day it was decided to correct this unfortunate omission. And the company be quiet! had released the case be quiet! SILENT BASE 800.

be quiet! SILENT BASE 800

The novelty is released in the most popular brand black color. It is designed for installing full-size ATX-boards, large CPU coolers, a great number of disk drives and graphics cards up to 410 mm. And, of course, the case includes three brand fans, which should ensure proper efficiency at a comfortable level of noise. Let's move from theory to practice and learn this remarkable creation.

The specs: 

Producer and model

be quiet! SILENT BASE 800 Black (BG001)

Case dimension-type

Middle Tower

Supported form-factors of motherboards

ATX / microATX / Mini-ITX

Color

Black (options with orange and silver inserts are available)

Bays

3 х 5,25” (external)

7 х 3,5” (internal)

4 х 2,5” (internal)

Expansion card slots

7

Max length of video card (our measurement)

Including installed modules

290 mm (295 mm)

Without modules 

400 mm (410 mm)

Max height of CPU cooler (our measurement)

170 mm (187 m)

Max length of PSU

Including bottom fan

160 mm

Excluding bottom fan

290 mm

Dimensions

2 x USB 3.0

2 x USB 2.0

2 х audio jacks

Preset fans

Front panel

2 х 140-mm

(be quiet! Pure Wings 2, 1000 rpm)

Back panel

1 х 120-mm

(be quiet! Pure Wings 2, 1500 rpm)

Possibility to install fans

Front panel

2 х 140-mm

Back panel

1 х 120-mm

Top panel

2 х 140-mm / 2 х 120-mm

Left panel

1 х 120-mm

Bottom panel

1 х 140-mm / 1 х 120-mm

PSU

No

Materials

Front and top panel

ABS-plastic

Chassis

0,66 mm steel

Side panels

0,8 mm steel

Case dimensions

Including stands

559 х 266 х 495 mm

Excluding stands

542 х 230 х 495 mm

Weight (net)

9,31 kg

Producer website

be quiet!
Product page 

Package and delivery set 

be quiet! SILENT BASE 800

Black, orange and white colors are proprietary options of brand be quiet!. It is not surprising that they are present on the case package, which is made of cardboard and contains quality printing. Here you can estimate the appearance of new item, and get basic information about it in nine languages.

be quiet! SILENT BASE 800

For example, here is a combination of efficient cooling and good sound insulation, the ability to install several components without the use of screws, the availability of space for hidden cable management and a number of air filters. And for fans of overclocking here is the possibility of mounting a water cooling system.

be quiet! SILENT BASE 800

Packaging of the test body is quite extensive and includes the following components:

  • set of screws and a pair of racks for installation of the motherboard;
  • set of screws to fix the power supply and drives;
  • 4 ties for wires (a pair of long and short);
  • plastic holder for easy cable management;
  • 14 slides for the installation of seven 3.5-inch drives;
  • manual.

As you can see, the manufacturer made sure that the buyer can easily install a large number of drives, as well as convenient to lay power cables used.
By the way, on the cover of the complete guide you can see all three variants of color execution of the case: with silver and orange accents or completely black.

Appearance 

be quiet! SILENT BASE 800

Despite the use of only black color, be quiet! SILENT BASE 800 will attract attention. Interest is provided by original form of the front and top panels, and the design of the sidewalls and legs. We have great original in many respects.

be quiet! SILENT BASE 800

Thus, the front panel at first glance may seem quite solid, but in fact it consists of two doors. The sides feature grating that play not only decorative role. Although from this point of view, their use seems to be quite reasonable.

be quiet! SILENT BASE 800

Behind the top door there are three compartments for 5.25-inch devices (first top performs a decorative role). It is fixed by magnets and characterized by a sound-absorbing insert, so the noise in case the rotation of the disc in the optical drive should be minimal.

be quiet! SILENT BASE 800

be quiet! SILENT BASE 800

The second door is located below and is also equipped with an acoustic protection. This time it mutes the sound of rotating fans.

be quiet! SILENT BASE 800

Frame with a dust filter ( 290 x 150 mm) is removed flick of a finger. The filter clears the cool air coming through vertical perforated grille on both sides of the front panel.

be quiet! SILENT BASE 800

Active air intake into the body be quiet! SILENT BASE 800 is provided by two 140-mm fans be quiet! Pure Wings 2 (BQ PUW2-14025-LS-10), rotating at a speed of 1000 rpm. They differ in the original form of the blade and the presence of anti-vibration fixing pads.

be quiet! SILENT BASE 800

Preheated air is discharged through the back panel using a 120 mm fan. Under it there are three holes for water cooling hoses, and lower you can find traditional seven slots for expansion cards. Here, they are covered by removable plugs, each is screwed with shaped heads. At the bottom there is a seat for the power supply, and under it there are seen opening for lower tunnel for cool air and cooling source. Exactly the same tunnel and is used under the top plate.

be quiet! SILENT BASE 800

Plastic hook allows you to remove the lower air filter, which cleans the air from the power supply and the adjacent fan (if it is installed). So its regular service does not cause any difficulties.

be quiet! SILENT BASE 800

be quiet! SILENT BASE 800

The rear fan is represented by a model be quiet! Pure Wings 2 (BQ PUW2-12025-MS-15), which is also characterized by the presence of anti-vibration pads at the corners and aerodynamic shape of the blades.

be quiet! SILENT BASE 800

The maximum speed of the propeller is 1,500 rpm, and the use of the complete adapter reduces it to more comfortable 1150 rpm.

be quiet! SILENT BASE 800

be quiet! SILENT BASE 800

As support be quiet! SILENT BASE 800 uses two plastic strips lengthwise. These functional elements of the exterior are removable, but they are easily and completely securely mounted on the body itself. Placed on them rubber inserts have dimensions 33 x 18 mm, while they provide a safety surface on which is placed the system unit.

be quiet! SILENT BASE 800

be quiet! SILENT BASE 800

Supports lift body over the floor. Unlike many other models, it is quite possible to put on nappy carpet, as ventilation at the bottom is used to supply cool air. Its height is approximately 5 cm, and cool air flows through the vertical holes located on the back side. 

be quiet! SILENT BASE 800

be quiet! SILENT BASE 800

A top panel has the same principle of construction. It uses a perforation at the rear side where the heated air will be removed outside the case. Like the front panel, it is quite firmly secured with latches.

be quiet! SILENT BASE 800

Here you can find external interfaces provided by a set of two USB 3.0, two USB 2.0 and a pair of audio jacks for connecting a microphone and headphones.

be quiet! SILENT BASE 800

Near you can find the power button and hard drive activity light, which has a pleasant and moderately bright white glow. By the way, the latter also serves as a reset button.

be quiet! SILENT BASE 800

be quiet! SILENT BASE 800

The case be quiet! SILENT BASE 800 is characterized by an interesting side view through a beveled top, bottom and front. But also the sidewalls are quite distinctive (there are also versions with clear acrylic window). So, in the center there are square plugs, but a seat to 120-mm fan is available only on the left side.

be quiet! SILENT BASE 800

be quiet! SILENT BASE 800

Plugs have three positions: fully closed, half-open and intermediate. Thus, you can choose the most appropriate mode or even remove them.

Sidewalls are attached by screws with shaped heads, and vertical protrusions are used for their easy removal. The edges of the panels are bent at 180°, which is well reflected in their degree of rigidity.

be quiet! SILENT BASE 800

be quiet! SILENT BASE 800

be quiet! SILENT BASE 800

The side covers, as well as the rest of the inner surface of the sidewall feature layer of sound-absorbing material. Air supply ports are equipped with removable air filters with meshes.

Internal device 

be quiet! SILENT BASE 800

The chassis and all metallic elements of be quiet! SILENT BASE 800 are covered with a black matt paint, so they are perfectly combined with external panels, including plastic. In case of removed end cap you can draw attention to the high position of the switch.

As you can see, the delivery set includes only two racks for installation of the motherboard. In other places it is carried out directly to the mounting tray, but to existing elevations on it with the screw holes.

be quiet! SILENT BASE 800

Slots for 3.5 and 2.5-inch drives, and optical drives, and other devices that require installation of 5.25-inch bays are on the right. For the last the fastening is provided by plastic clamps.

be quiet! SILENT BASE 800

be quiet! SILENT BASE 800

There are two detachable modules to install the drives: top can house three drives, and the bottom is intended for four devices. Of course, they can be interchanged or used in any convenient configuration. When you install two modules video cards is limited by the length of 295 mm, and their removal allows you to place even in the case of 400-mm overall solutions.

be quiet! SILENT BASE 800

be quiet! SILENT BASE 800

Installation of drives in inside the modules be quiet! SILENT BASE 800 is realized by means of the slides, which are attached to the drive by complete screws. In future they can be easily removed and installed without the use of additional tools. All slots for 3.5-inch drives are equipped with softening silicone inserts that absorb vibration.

be quiet! SILENT BASE 800

Both modules can accommodate one 2.5-inch drive, which is attached with screws to the top of each of them. Sports for another two 2.5 inch drives are located on the back side of the pallet. Thanks to the balanced design the install and removal is realized without removing the motherboard.

be quiet! SILENT BASE 800

The top panel of the case allows you to install two 140 or 120 mm fans to remove the hot air out of a PC. Also you place the radiator of water cooling system with length of up to 280 mm.

be quiet! SILENT BASE 800

The bottom of the case is reserved for the installation of power supply and 140 or 120 mm fan. When using the last the maximum length of the power supply will be limited to 160 mm. In case of fan absence this value is increased to 290 mm.

At the spot of power supply installation the manufacturer has carefully arranged four pads that reduce vibration transmitted to the body.

be quiet! SILENT BASE 800

A set of cables to connect the front panel includes a connector HD Audio (wiring length is 670 mm) connectors for buttons Power/Reset and LED-indicators (520 mm), as well as cables for connecting ports USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 (670 and 650 mm respectively). Three 3-pin connectors and cable length of 550 mm is sufficient for easy connection of complete fans.

be quiet! SILENT BASE 800be quiet! SILENT BASE 800

Building the system be quiet! SILENT BASE 800 is realized without any difficulties and complications. It is provided the availability of space for laying cables for motherboard tray. A cutout in the upper part allows you to install and remove the overall cooling system without dismantling the main board.

be quiet! SILENT BASE 800

Inside you can easily place not only the overall video card and power supply, but also the powerful processor cooler up to 187 mm. Consequently, the majority of coolers available on the market will be suitable for this model.

The structure features a very good rigidity, all parts fit well, and the gaps and backlash are absent. The same can be said about the quality of edging.

tags: be quiet!   usb 3.0   usb 2.0   atx   mini-itx   microatx   middle tower   
Read the full review >>>

Case Fractal Design Define S Window: review and testing 

The Swedish company Fractal Design is well known for cases that combine strict appearance and balanced organization of interior space. Not so long ago we have tested the model Fractal Design Define R4, which has received positive reviews due to its high quality. 

Fractal Design Define S Window

In this article the original case Fractal Design Define S Window will be considered. At first glance, it has no differences from most other models of format Middle Tower, except a large window on the side panel. But when look at its internal structure as it becomes clear that the manufacturer spent quite a lot of work in terms of increasing the convenience of assembly and operation.

The specs:

Producer and model

Fractal Design Define S Window

Case type

Middle Tower

Supported form-factors

ATX, microATX, Mini-ITX

Color

Black

Bays

3 х 3,5” / 2,5”

2 х 2,5”

Expansions card slot

7

Max length of video card

425 / 450 mm

Max height of CPU cooler

180 mm

External interfaces

2 x USB 3.0

2 х audio jacks

Preset fans

Front panel

1 х 140-mm

Back panel

1 х 140-mm

All spots for fans

Front panel

3 х 120 / 140-mm

Back panel

1 х 120 / 140-mm

Top panel

3 х 120 / 140-mm or 1 х 180-mm

Bottom panel

1 х 120 / 140-mm

Water cooling system support

Front panel

360 / 280 / 240 / 140 / 120 mm

Top panel

420 / 360 / 280 / 240 / 140 / 120 m

Bottom panel

120 mm

Back panel

120 / 140 mm

PSU

No

Material

Front panel

Plastic

Chassis

Steel

Case chassis thickness

0,8 mm

Sides thickness

0,83 mm

Case dimensions

233 х 451 х 520 mm

Net weight

9,1 kg

Producer website

Product page

Fractal Design

Fractal Design Define S Window

Package and delivery set 

Fractal Design Define S Window

The case comes in a standard carton box. Its front side contains a schematic representation of model name. There is also stated that we have a modification with large window of clear plastic on the side panel.

Fractal Design Define S Window

The reverse side of the box lists the main advantages of the new item:

  • design provides enhanced sound insulation and optimal air distribution;
  • support for water cooling systems with heatsink up to 420 mm;
  • use a proprietary sound insulating plug Moduvent for the vents on the upper part of the case;
  • presence of two fans Fractal Design Dynamic GP14 (140 mm);
  • presence of dust filters at the front and bottom panels;
  • hidden slots for five drives behind tray for the motherboard;
  • ability to install the tank and water cooling system pump.

Fractal Design Define S Window

Supplied set of Fractal Design Define S Window includes the following components:

  • set of screws for mounting the motherboard, fans, drives and covers;
  • two fasteners for fixing the water cooling system tank;
  • cable ties;
  • user manual and quick guide.

Such a kit could meet the needs of almost any user, given the relatively simple structure of the body.

Design 

Fractal Design Define S Window

Model Fractal Design Define S Window has a strict and concise appearance. It is made of metal and painted in matt black, so fingerprints are hardly visible. The side faces of the front panel feature air vents for the free access of air inside.

Fractal Design Define S Window

The front panel is completely solid and equipped with a door or bays for optical drives. The only functional element here is LED HDD activity indicator (it is located in the upper part) with moderate brightness.

Fractal Design Define S Window

 

Fractal Design Define S Window

The upper wall of the case has three plastic plugs Moduvent. Their use improves sound insulation. If the priority is the improved cooling of the internal components, you can install the fan instead of one or more of them.

Fractal Design Define S Window

Near you can find a control panel that contains the following interfaces: two USB 3.0 ports, audio output for headphones and a microphone, as well as the power and reset buttons.

Fractal Design Define S Window

On the left sidebar there is a large transparent window, through which you can see the internal organization of the components in the system unit. In the presence of light-emitting diodes in such a solution would look quite impressive.

Fractal Design Define S Window

The right side wall is completely solid and secured with two non-removable screws, which can be unscrewed even without using a screwdriver.

Fractal Design Define S Window

The lower part of the rear panel has a compartment for a power supply. Above there are reusable white plug for slots of expansion cards, which look quite original. At the top there is a place for the interface panel of the motherboard and to mount of the fan with diameter of 120 or 140 mm (includes spinner Fractal Design Dynamic GP14 diameter 140 mm).

Fractal Design Define S WindowFractal Design Define S Window

The bottom of the case houses one seat for the fan diameter of 120 or 140 mm. Without its use the length of a compatible power supply increases from 170 mm to 300 mm. The bottom contains large dust filter (290 x 140 mm) for cleaning the airflow.

Fractal Design Define S WindowFractal Design Define S Window

Four large rubber legs provide a stable body position on the surface and prevent damage. The height of the front and rear legs is 15 mm, but the diameter of rubber part is different: 25 mm at the front and 30 mm at the back.

Overall build quality is on the highest level. The gaps or unstable elements are absent.

Internal device 

Fractal Design Define S WindowFractal Design Define S Window

Fractal Design Define S Window allows to install ATX, microATX and Mini-ITX motherboard. The thickness of the metal chassis is 0.8 mm, and the side walls0.83 mm. The absence of the usual inside modules for storage allows you to install a video card an overall length of 425 mm (430 mm according to our measurements). If the front panel is used without fans or heat sinks of water cooling system, the available space is 450 mm (457 mm according to our measurements). Also, the case allows the use of a sufficiently large processor cooling system up to 180 mm (182 mm according to our measurements).

Fractal Design Define S WindowFractal Design Define S Window

The right side wall is glued with sound-proof material, which is able to absorb the noise from your computer. Under the hood you can seats for up to five drives. In the upper right corner there is a large cutout that allows you to freely accommodate virtually any reinforcing plate on the back side of the motherboard. The hidden cable management is provided by a space width of 40 mm, as well as built-in tie to secure the wires.

Fractal Design Define S WindowFractal Design Define S Window

The left side of a large niche contains seats for the 3.5 or 2.5-inch drives that are equipped with anti-vibration pads. The right side (under the motherboard) features two hidden bays for 2.5-inch SSD.

Fractal Design Define S WindowFractal Design Define S Window

After removing the front panel, you can find three seats for fans with a diameter of 120 or 140 mm, covered with dust filter (190 x 130 mm) by a magnetic mount.

Fractal Design Define S Window

Fans are mounted in special skid. This allows you to adjust the position of their adjustment.

Fractal Design Define S Window

Primarily here is one fan Fractal Design Dynamic GP14 with diameter of 140 mm, similar to installed one on the back panel.

Fractal Design Define S Window

A set of cables to connect the front panel interface consists of:

  • connectors for connecting buttons Power/Reset and LED-indicators (length 800 mm);
  • port USB 3.0 (700 mm);
  • blocks for audio connectors (length 940 mm).

Additional adapters for fan with connectors MOLEX (PATA) are not included, so if you need to install more coolers, they can be purchased separately.

Fractal Design Define S Window

Assembling of a computer in the case Fractal Design Define S Window is very easy. This is mainly due to the absence of module for drives and optical drives. In our case, we have large ATX motherboard and water cooling system to cool the processor. Its radiator occupies one bay for 140-mm fan.

Fractal Design Define S Window

As you can see, inside there is a room for air circulation, and the installation of five additional fans. In general, here you can fit overall water cooling system consisting of a liquid reservoir, and the full length of the pump.

Fractal Design Define S Window

tags: fractal design   usb 3.0   mini-itx   microatx   middle tower   atx   
Read the full review >>>

Case ZALMAN Z11 NEO: review and testing

In this review we will focus on the case which will be an interesting solution for gamers and for lovers of modding. The history of this device dates back to 2012 when predecessors ZALMAN Z11 and Z11 Plus appeared. They had an aggressive design the clearly distinguished them from the rest of the game models. New products offer excellent opportunities for effective cooling of internals space (including the possibility of installing two-fan water cooling system), and the presence of the blue illumination and an acrylic window on the side panel allows you to enjoy views of components in the dark. The difference between them is availability of two pairs of USB 3.0 ports and four USB 2.0 connectors instead of the standard 2.0 in ZALMAN Z11 on the interface panel of the model ZALMAN Z11 Plus.

Another model is ZALMAN Z11 Plus HF1. In fact, it is a solution ZALMAN Z11 Plus, but instead of blue backlight manufacturer used red LEDs. So we cannot talk about any really fundamental differences between these three models.

 

ZALMAN Z11 NEO

But after a few years, the company ZALMAN has revised its vision of aggressive case, presenting a model ZALMAN Z11 NEO. It refused a ventilation grille at the bottom of the front panel, and its shape became smoother. Nevertheless, this did not eliminate the attraction, but in terms of usability for the user, it can boast of a number of positive changes. For example, unlike their predecessors, allowing to install the graphics card up to 290 mm, the new product can accommodate a solution longer than 400 mm. At the same time the body became even more compact. Other changes of the gaming lineup ZALMAN Z11 with the advent a model with the prefix «NEO» will be described in the current review.

The specs: 

Producer and model

ZALMAN Z11 NEO

Case type

Middle Tower

Supported form-factors of motherboard

ATX / microATX

Color

Black

Compartements

1 х 5,25” (external)

8 х 3,5”/2,5” (internal)

1 х 2,5” (internal, under tray)

Expansion card slots

7

Max length of video card

Including installed baskets

270 mm

Excluding baskets (according to our measurements)

400 mm (430 mm)

The maximum height of CPU cooler (according to our measurements, taking into account the convexity of acrylic window)

175 mm (185 mm)

Max length of PSU

250 mm

Sockets

2 x USB 3.0

2 x USB 2.0

2 х audio jacks (headphones, microphone)

Preset fans

Front panel

1 х 120-mm

Back panel

1 х 120-mm

Top panel

1 х 120-mm

Side panels

2 х 80-mm

Ability to install fans

Front panel

2 х 120-mm

Back panel

1 х 120-mm

Top panel

2 х 140-mm / 2 х 120-mm

Side panels

2 х 80-mm

Bottom panel

1 х 140-mm / 1 х 120-mm

PSU

No

Materials

Front and top panels, strips on sides

Plastic

Chassis

Steel with thickness 0.73 mm

Sides

Steel with thickness 0.65 mm

Case dimensions

515 х 205 х 465 mm

Net weight

7,7 kg

Producer website

ZALMAN
Product page 

Package and content 

ZALMAN Z11 NEO

It comes in a cardboard box, which provides a lot of information on the rooms inside the device, despite the simplicity of design. Thus, the front side in black and white colors shows the appearance of the body, listing its most important advantages in English. The same information is duplicated in one of the side walls on eight languages. The second side provides a sufficiently detailed specification of the unit.

ZALMAN Z11 NEO

Inside box the case is fixed by using foam inserts and plastic bag that protects the novelty from moisture. The set also includes a number of components that will be useful during building of the system. A total delivery set of ZALMAN Z11 NEO includes the following components:

  • set of screws and racks for installation of the motherboard;
  • set of screws to fix the power supply and drive;
  • plug into the expansion slot;
  • extension cable to supply additional power to the CPU;
  • 5 tie wire;
  • manual.

Such a large number of complete screws should be enough to install all the necessary components, including a plurality of storage devices. Comfortable holders allow to gather the cables in groups for their more accurate arrangement.

Design 

ZALMAN Z11 NEO

ZALMAN Z11 NEO is an ingenious solution, with a set of interesting exterior elements, which we will introduce you in detail below. Gamers, who are the main target audience for new product, will like this design.

ZALMAN Z11 NEO

Unlike ZALMAN Z11 Plus, where the bottom of the front panel contains a ventilation grille, the novelty has received a more rigorous look through the use of plastic metal finish. Thus, practicality was sacrificed to design.

ZALMAN Z11 NEOZALMAN Z11 NEO

But the removal cool air in front is still carried out by means of nozzles, which also play a significant role in giving the body of aggressive species, increasing its width.

ZALMAN Z11 NEO

Air supply is provided by 120 mm fan ZALMAN ZA1225CSL with blue LED-backlit. It is based on Sleeve Bearing. Power is supplied to the fan via a 3-pin cable, and its power is less than 2 W (12 V at 0.16 A). The rotation speed of the blades was at 1130 rpm, which is quite comfortable in terms of indication of the noise emission.

ZALMAN Z11 NEO

Also, you can install another 120-mm fan and removable dust filter is responsible for cleaning of air.

ZALMAN Z11 NEO

Despite the very large size, case ZALMAN Z11 NEO is equipped with only one external compartement for 5.25-inch devices, which is effectively opened in case of shift spring-loaded lid. External bays for 3.5-inch devices are absent.

ZALMAN Z11 NEO

The reverse side has familiar layout. Lower power supply arrangement, seven expansion slots (including disposable plugs), two holes for hoses of water cooling system and 120-mm spinner - all is done in good traditions of gaming cases. But here the solution of ZALMAN can be found due to a very specific form of the top panel.

ZALMAN Z11 NEO

ZALMAN Z11 NEO

The fan on the rear panel is represented by a 120 mm model ZALMAN ZA1225CSL that provides the use of the white impeller. According to its characteristics it is similar to the solution used on the front wall of the body, but is made of opaque plastic and devoid of LED-backlighting. As a result of the measurement, it rotates slightly faster - at the speed of 1330 rpm.

ZALMAN Z11 NEO

ZALMAN Z11 NEO

The bottom of the case ZALMAN Z11 NEO is characterized by the presence of two dust filters that can and should be removed for regular cleaning. One of them is designed to clean air coming into the power supply through the perforated area of 10 x 8 cm. The second is useful for additional 140 or 120 mm fan installed on the bottom.

ZALMAN Z11 NEO

When using a long power supply (in this case the model length 193 mm), it is impossible to mount the fan. But the pleasing fact is that the novelty can house even the overall power supply of up to 250 mm.

ZALMAN Z11 NEO

Along the edges of the bottom panel you can find plastic legs with height 20 mm with the rubber base of 3 mm thick that eliminate the sliding the case and scarring the surfaces.

ZALMAN Z11 NEO

ZALMAN Z11 NEO

One of the most interesting items is the top panel. It is made of plastic and has an original form, inherited from its predecessors. Toward the back we found perforated grille and plastic edges. On the one hand, it allows them to collect dust and on the other is not to hinder the flow of cool air inside.

Also here is a 120mm spinner ZALMAN ZA1225CSL, which is completely similar to the model on the front panel. However, if you wish, you can install another fan, two 140mm solutions or radiator of water cooling system with length of up to 280 mm.

ZALMAN Z11 NEO

The top panel is easily removed and disassembled, which greatly facilitates cleaning.

ZALMAN Z11 NEOZALMAN Z11 NEO

Closer to the front panel ZALMAN Z11 NEO has a glossy platform designed to accommodate a smartphone or portable drive. On both side there are controls and components of interface panel presented by reset button, two pairs of ports USB 3.0 and USB 2.0, and also two 3.5mm audio jacks.

ZALMAN Z11 NEO

Power button is located in the center above the front panel. It has a nice blue glow.

ZALMAN Z11 NEOZALMAN Z11 NEO

For lovers of modding the left side contains acrylic window size of 31 x 30.5 cm.

The sidewalls are mounted using screws with curly heads and there are vertical ridges in the back part for their easy removal. Plastic top and front panel are fixed using standard latches.

ZALMAN Z11 NEOZALMAN Z11 NEO

Quite a spectacular view of the novelty is provided by side nozzles, which also have practical benefits. Thus, under the plastic covers we found the low-profile 80-mm fan ZALMAN ZA0815ASL (12 V; 0.08 A) of 15 mm thick. Unlike the other three fans using a 3-pin connector, these solutions are powered by a 4-pin peripheral interface (Molex). Thus, the three connectors on the motherboard and one PATA connector on the power supply should be enough to connect all preset cooling system ZALMAN Z11 NEO.

Internal device 

ZALMAN Z11 NEO

The chassis and all metallic elements are covered with a black matt paint, which makes them perfectly blend in with the plastic parts. The interior space is visually divided into left part for installing the motherboard and power supply, and right which contains compartments for drives and other devices.

ZALMAN Z11 NEO

ZALMAN Z11 NEO

Two baskets are intended to install drives. Each can house three devices. Fastening of 3.5 inch solutions is realized by means of screwless clamps while 2.5-inch drives will be secured via screws. The baskets cannot boast of good rigidity (when installing the drive, this feature becomes less noticeable), and when mounting there is a small gap. 

Therefore, if you are not going to create file storage within the ZALMAN Z11 NEO, then one or both baskets can be removed. In this case it is possible to use metal brackets arranged in the two bottom 5.25-inch drive bays, which are designed for 3.5 and 2.5-inch drive. However, they are provided by the fastening screws. The absence of baskets allows to install video cards up to 430 mm (in the original layout the value is limited by 270 mm).

ZALMAN Z11 NEO

ZALMAN Z11 NEO

On the bottom, in the place of the power supply installation there are four heights with gaskets, which reduce the vibration transmitted to the case.

ZALMAN Z11 NEO

A set of cables to connect the front panel includes a connector HD Audio, connectors to connect buttons on/reset, and LED-indicator, 4-pin peripheral connector and cable for connecting ports USB 3.0 and USB 2.0.

ZALMAN Z11 NEOZALMAN Z11 NEO

The tray contains a small perforation, placed on the attachment of 2.5-inch drive. As we see, novelty supports three drives without the use of baskets, but using the provided screws.

Assembling within system ZALMAN Z11 NEO is realized without any difficulties and complications. It is provided by the presence of free space for laying cables under the tray of case. And the cut allows you to install and remove the overall cooling system without dismantling the system board.

The structure itself sufficient rigidity, all parts fit well, and clearance and backlash were not observed. Considerable body sizes allow you to set the overall video length to 430 mm, and high CPU coolers up to 175 mm (185 mm with the convexity of the acrylic window).

LED-backlight

ZALMAN Z11 NEOZALMAN Z11 NEO

ZALMAN Z11 NEOZALMAN Z11 NEO

tags: zalman   usb 2.0   usb 3.0   моддинг   atx   microatx   middle tower   
Read the full review >>>

Motherboard GIGABYTE GA-H81M-D3H: review and testing

GIGABYTE GA-H81M-D3H is a budget microATX model, designed to work with processors from Intel. It is logical that in the course of its development it was decided to use the youngest chipset (Intel H81) as the basis, making it possible to significantly reduce the final cost.

GIGABYTE GA-H81M-D3H

We would like to note that the chipset Intel H81 nominally does not support CPU overclocking and has less features. The key is its advantage, besides the price, is the support of interfaces USB 3.0 and SATA 6 Gb/s, which is important for the modern user who wants to save money, but not going to refuse high-speed data transfer methods.

The specs:

Producer  

GIGABYTE

Model

GA-H81M-D3H (rev 1.0)

Chipset

Intel H81

Processor socket

Socket LGA1150

Supported CPUs

Intel Core i7 / Core i5 / Core i3 / Pentium / Celeron 4th gen

Memory frequency

1600 / 1333 MHz

Memory support

4 x DDR3 DIMM-slots with memory support up to 16 GB

Expansion slots

1 x PCI Express 2.0 x16 (mode х16)

1 x PCI Express 2.0 x16 (mode х4)

2 x PCI

Disk subsystem

Intel H81 chipset supports:

2 x SATA 6 Gb/s (white)

2 x SATA 3 gb/s (black)

LAN

1 x Realtek 8111F (10/100/1000 Мb/s)

Sound subsystem

Codec Realtek ALC887

8-channel sound

Power

24-pin power socket ATX

8-pin power socket ATX12V

Fans

1 x CPU fan connector (4-pin)

1 x system fan connector (4-pin)

Cooling

Aluminum radiator on chipset

Extenral I/O

1 x DVI-D

1 x D-Sub

1 x HDMI

2 х PS/2

1 x COM

1 x LAN (RJ45)

2 x USB 3.0

4 x USB 2.0

3 x audio jacks

Internal I/O

2 x USB 2.0, with support of two USB 2.0

2 x SATA 6 Gb/s

2 x SATA 3 Gb/s

1 x LPT

1 х CMOS

1 x connector of audio output to front panel

1 x set of front panel connectors

BIOS

AMI UEFI BIOS

2 x 32 Мb

PnP 1.0a, DMI 2.7, WfM 2.0, SM BIOS 2.7, ACPI 5.0

Packaging

user manual

warranty card

disk with drives and documents

2 x SATA cables

1 х interface panel plug

Form-factor, dimensions

microATX

244 х 225 mm

Producer website

GIGABYTE
Updated versions of BIOS and drives are available at support page

Read the full review >>>

Motherboard ASUS H81M-PLUS: review and testing

It is not always required to buy motherboard based on the flagship chipset for efficient CPU. For example, if the processor has a locked multiplier, a set of expansion cards will consist of a single graphics card, and four SATA ports would be enough to connect the disk subsystem. In this case, you can save on the motherboard taking more affordable solution, and the balance can be invested in other components (such as the purchase of SSD-drive).

Motherboard ASUS H81M-PLUS is one of these relatively affordable entry-level solutions. It can be used not only in the traditional office, educational or home media PC, but also to organize middle range of gaming computer. It offers a wide list of advantages: digital power system, traditionally high quality of element base, support for modern interfaces, as well as a number of other improvements and proprietary technologies.

ASUS H81M-PLUS

Do note that the basis of the model is the youngest chipset (Intel H81), which is largely accompanied by reduced the final cost. Let's take a look at the detailed specifications of the device.

The specs:

Producer 

ASUS

Model

H81M-PLUS (rev 1.06)

Chipset

Intel H81

Integrated processor

Socket LGA1150

Supported CPUs

Intel Core i7 / Core i5 / Core i3 / Pentium / Celeron 4th gen

Memory frequency

1600 / 1333 / 1066 MHz

Memory support

2 x DDR3 DIMM-slots with memory support up to 16 GB

Expansion slots

1 x PCI Express 2.0 x16

3 x PCI Express 2.0 x1

Disk subsystem

Intel H81 chipset supports:

2 x SATA 6 Gb/s (yellow)

2 x SATA 3 Gb/s (dark brown)

LAN

1 x Realtek 8111G (10/100/1000 Мb/s)

Sound subsystem

Codec Realtek ALC887

8-channel sound

Power

24-pin ATX connector

4-pin ATX12V connector

Fans

1 x CPU fan connector (4-pin)

1 x system fan connectors (4-pin)

Cooling

Aluminum radiator on chipset

Extenral I/O

1 x DVI-D

1 x D-Sub

1 x HDMI

1 x LAN (RJ45)

2 x USB 3.0

4 x USB 2.0

3 x audio jacks

2 х PS/2

Internal I/O

1 x USB 3.0 each with support of two USB 3.0 (19-pin)

2 x USB 2.0, each with support of two USB 2.0

2 x SATA 6 Gb/s

2 x SATA 3 Gb/s

1 x connector of audio output to front panel

1 x S/PDIF Out

1 x set of front panel connectors 1 x S/PIDIF Out

1 x CMOS

BIOS

64 Mb Flash ROM UEFI AMI BIOS

PnP, ACPI 2.0a, SM BIOS 2.7, DMI 2.0, WfM 2.0

Packaging

user manual

warranty card

disk with drives and documents

2 x SATA cables

1 х interface panel plug

Form-factor, dimensions

microATX

244 х 183 mm

Producer website

ASUS
Updated versions of BIOS and drives are available at support page

tags: asus   intel   usb 3.0   intel h81   hdmi   dvi-d   d-sub   ddr3   intel core   microatx   pci express   celeron   socket lga1150   uefi bios   pentium   usb 3.0 boost   windows   
Read the full review >>>

Motherboard GIGABYTE GA-H81M-S2V: review and testing

At the time of this review the motherboard GIGABYTE GA-H81M-S2V is one of the most affordable microATX model for the processors Intel of Taiwanese producer. Having average cost of about $50 the product supports modern interfaces USB 3.0 and SATA 6 Gb/s, as well as a number of other improvements and proprietary technologies.

GIGABYTE GA-H81M-S2V

Taking into account its price positioning, it is obvious that the basis is the youngest chipset (Intel H81), making it possible to significantly reduce the final cost. Note that the chipset Intel H81 does not support CPU overclocking and has less features. The key advantage, besides the price, is the support of interfaces USB 3.0 and SATA 6 Gb/s, which is important for the modern user who wants to save money on the purchase of the motherboard, but not going to refuse high-speed of data transfer.

The specs:

Producer  

GIGABYTE

Model

GA-H81M-S2V (rev 1.0)

Chipset

Intel H81

Processor socket

Socket LGA1150

Supported CPUs

Intel Core i7 / Core i5 / Core i3 / Pentium / Celeron 4th gen

Memory frequency

1600 / 1333 MHz

Memory support

2 x DDR3 DIMM-slots with memory support up to 16 GB

Expansion slots

1 x PCI Express 2.0 x16

1 x PCI Express 2.0 x1

Disk subsystem

Intel H81 chipset supports:

2 x SATA 6 Gb/s (white)

2 x SATA 3 Gb/s (black)

LAN

1 x Realtek 8111G (10/100/1000 Мb/s)

Sound subsystem

Codec Realtek ALC887

8-channel sound

Power

24-pin power socket ATX

4-pin power socket ATX12V

Fans

1 x CPU fan connector (4-pin)

1 x system fan connector (4-pin)

Cooling

Aluminum radiator on chipset

Extenral I/O

1 x DVI-D

1 x D-Sub

2 х PS/2

1 x LAN (RJ45)

2 x USB 3.0

2 x USB 2.0

3 x audio jacks

Internal I/O

2 x USB 2.0, with support of two USB 2.0

2 x SATA 6 Gb/s

2 x SATA 3 Gb/s

1 х CMOS

1 x connector of audio output to front panel

1 x set of front panel connectors

BIOS

AMI UEFI BIOS

1 x 32 Мb

PnP 1.0a, DMI 2.7, WfM 2.0, SM BIOS 2.7, ACPI 5.0

Packaging

user manual

warranty card

disk with drives and documents

2 x SATA cables

1 х interface panel plug

Form-factor, dimensions

microATX

190 х 170 mm

Producer website

GIGABYTE
Updated versions of BIOS and drives are available at support page

Read the full review >>>

Motherboard GIGABYTE GA-F2A68HM-DS2H: review and testing

Motherboard GIGABYTE GA-F2A68HM-DS2H is an entry-level solution of microATX format. It has quite interesting combination of useful technologies, traditionally high quality of execution, as well as quite decent and modern equipment.

GIGABYTE GA-F2A68HM-DS2H

The model is based on chipset AMD A68H, which is intended to replace the AMD A58 as a chipset for processors series AMD Kaveri or solutions of lineups AMD Trinity/Richland in budget devices.

The specs:

Producer  

GIGABYTE

Model

GA-F2A68HM-DS2H (rev 1.0)

Chipset

AMD A68H

Processor socket

Socket FM2+

Supported CPUs

AMD A / AMD Athlon

Memory frequency

2400* / 2133 / 1866 / 1600 / 1333 МГц

(*OC)

Memory support

2 x DDR3 DIMM- slots with memory support up to 64 GB

Expansion slots

1 x PCI Express 3.0 x16

1 x PCI Express 2.0 x1

1 x PCI

Disk subsystem

AMD A68H chipset supports:

4 x SATA 6 Gb/s

RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 10, JBOD

LAN

1 x Realtek 8111G (10/100/1000 Мb/s)

Sound subsystem

Codec Realtek ALC887

2/4/5.1/7.1-channel sound  

S/PDIF Out

Power

24-pin power socket ATX

8-pin power socket ATX12V

Fans

1 x CPU fan connector (4-pin)

2 x system fan connectors (4-pin)

Cooling

Aluminum radiator on chipset

Extenral I/O

1 x D-Sub

1 x HDMI

1 х LPT

1 x COM

1 x LAN (RJ45)

2 x USB 3.0

4 x USB 2.0

3 x audio jacks

1 х PS/2 (mouse or keyboard)

Internal I/O

2 x USB 2.0, with support of two USB 2.0

4 x SATA 6 GB/s

1 x S/PDIF Out

1 x connector of audio output to front panel

1 x set of front panel connectors

1 x CMOS

BIOS

2 х 64 Мb AMI UEFI BIOS

PnP 1.0а, DMI2.7, SM BIOS 2.7, ACPI 5.0

Packaging

user manual

warranty card

disk with drives and documents

2 x SATA cables

1 х interface panel plug

Form-factor, dimensions

microATX

226 х 182 mm

Producer website

GIGABYTE
Updated versions of BIOS and drives are available at support page

Read the full review >>>

Motherboard ASUS B85M-GAMER: review and testing

The lineup of motherboards ASUS Gamer includes more affordable solutions for gamers than a series ASUS ROG. We have met with almost all models in the series, namely: ASUS Z97-PRO GAMER, ASUS H97-PRO GAMER, ASUS B85-PRO GAMER and ASUS H81-GAMER. Therefore today we have ASUS B85M-GAMER - one of the most affordable motherboards of this lineup (after ASUS H81-GAMER).

ASUS B85M-GAMER

It offers very decent equipment, including a high quality audio subsystem based on the codec SupremeFX and high network controller from Intel. Of course, due to the use is not very functional, but more accessible chipset Intel B85, the product lost interfaces SATA Express and M.2, which have the older models, but to build a cheap gaming system it is not critical. And now we offer go to the review in more detail and explore all its features.

The specs:

Producer 

ASUS

Model

B85M-GAMER (rev 1.01)

Chipset

Intel B85

Integrated processor

Socket LGA1150

Supported CPUs

Intel Core i7 / Core i5 / Core i3 / Pentium / Celeron 4th gen

Memory frequency

1600 / 1333 / 1066 MHz

Memory support

4 x DDR3 DIMM-slots with memory support up to 32 GB

Expansion slots

1 x PCI Express 3.0 x16

2 x PCI Express 2.0 x1

Disk subsystem

Intel B85 chipset supports:

4 x SATA 6 Gb/s

2 x SATA 3 Gb/s

LAN

1 x Intel WGI218V (10/100/1000 Мb/s)

Sound subsystem

Codec SupremeFX

8-channel sound

S/PDIF Out

Power

24-pin ATX connector

8-pin ATX12V connector

Fans

1 x CPU fan connector (4-pin)

1 x system fan connectors (4-pin)

Cooling

Aluminum radiator on chipset

Aluminum radiator on sybsystem power elements

Extenral I/O

1 x HDMI

1 x D-Sub

1 x LAN (RJ45)

2 x USB 3.0

2 x USB 2.0

3 x audio jack

2 х PS/2

Internal I/O

1 x USB 3.0 с each with support of two USB 3.0 (19-pin)

2 x USB 2.0, each with support of two USB 2.0

4 x SATA 6 Gb/s

2 x SATA 3 Gb/s

1 х COM

1 x CMOS

1 x connector of audio output to front panel

1 x set of front panel connectors 1 x S/PIDIF Out

BIOS

64 Mb Flash ROM UEFI AMI BIOS

PnP, ACPI 4.0a, SM BIOS 2.8, DMI 2.7, WfM 2.0

Packaging

user manual

warranty card

disk with drives and documents

2 x SATA cables

1 х interface panel plug

Form-factor, dimensions

microATX

233 х 206 mm

Producer website

ASUS
Updated versions of BIOS and drives are available at support page

tags: asus   intel   usb 3.0   intel b85   ddr3   pci express 3.0   hdmi   intel core   socket lga1150   microatx   pentium   celeron   uefi bios   windows 8   
Read the full review >>>

Motherboard ASUS H81M-K: review and testing

Motherboard ASUS H81M-K is one of the most affordable microATX models in the range of Taiwanese companies. Under an average cost of about $55, it offers a number of significant advantages, such as support for modern interfaces USB 3.0 and SATA 6 Gb/s, high performance, as well as some useful proprietary technologies.

ASUS H81M-K

We would like to note that this model is made on the basis of the youngest chipset (Intel H81), which is largely accompanied by a low final cost. Let's take a look at the detailed specs.

The specs:

Producer 

ASUS

Model

H81M-K (rev 1.01)

Chipset

Intel H81

Integrated processor

Socket LGA1150

Supported CPUs

Intel Core i7 / Core i5 / Core i3 / Pentium / Celeron 4th gen

Memory frequency

1600 / 1333 / 1066 MHz

Memory support

2 x DDR3 DIMM-slots with memory support up to 16 GB

Expansion slots

1 x PCI Express 2.0 x16

2 x PCI Express 2.0 x1

Disk subsystem

Intel H81chipset supports:

2 x SATA 6 Gb/s (yellow)

2 x SATA 3 Gb/s (dark brown)

LAN

1 x Realtek 8111G (10/100/1000 Мb/s)

Sound subsystem

Codec Realtek ALC887

8-channel sound

Power

24-pin ATX connector

4-pin ATX12V connector

Fans

1 x CPU fan connector (4-pin)

1 x system fan connectors (4-pin)

Cooling

Aluminum radiator on chipset

Extenral I/O

1 x DVI-D

1 x D-Sub

1 x LAN (RJ45)

2 x USB 3.0

2 x USB 2.0

3 x audio jacks

2 х PS/2 (foe mouse and keyboard)

Internal I/O

2 x USB 2.0, each with support of two USB 2.0

2 x SATA 6 Gb/s

2 x SATA 3 Gb/s

1 x connector of audio output to front panel

1 x set of front panel connectors 1 x S/PIDIF Out

1 x CMOS

BIOS

64 Mб Flash ROM UEFI AMI BIOS

PnP, ACPI 2.0a, SM BIOS 2.7, DMI 2.0, WfM 2.0

Packaging

user manual

warranty card

disk with drives and documents

2 x SATA cables

1 х interface panel plug

Form-factor, dimensions

microATX

226 х 175 mm

Producer website

ASUS
Updated versions of BIOS and drives are available at support page

tags: asus   pci express   intel   usb 3.0   usb 2.0   intel h81   ddr3   microatx   d-sub   dvi-d   icontrol   uefi bios   celeron   pentium   socket lga1150   intel core   usb 3.0 boost   windows 8   
Read the full review >>>

MotherboardGIGABYTE GA-78LMT-USB3: review and testing

Motherboard GIGABYTE GA-78LMT-USB3 is not a novelty, because it is based on Northbridge AMD 760G presented in early 2009. It was originally intended to replace AMD 740G for the platform Socket AM2/AM2+, but later was adapted for the following connectors Socket AM3/AM3+. The main feature of AMD 760G is the presence integrated graphics core AMD Radeon HD 3000 clocked at 350 MHz compatible with DirectX 10. It supports a maximum resolution of 1920 x 1200 and is intended for the needs of the multimedia, as can not provide an acceptable performance in modern games.

As for GIGABYTE GA-78LMT-USB3, it is an affordable and compact model to build entry-level systems. At the time of writing its cost was about $70. Let's take a look at the detailed characteristics.

GIGABYTE GA-78LMT-USB3

The specs:

Producer  

GIGABYTE

Model

GA-78LMT-USB3 (rev 6.0)

Chipset of North and South bridges

AMD 760G + AMD SB710

Processor socket

AMD Socket AM3/AM3+

Supported CPUs

AMD Phenom II / AMD Athlon II / AMD Sempron / AMD FX

Memory frequency

1600* / 1333 / 1066 MHz

(*OC)

Memory support

4 x DDR3 DIMM-slots with memory support up to 32 GB

Expansion slots

1 x PCI Express 2.0 x16

1 x PCI Express 2.0 x1

1 х PCI

Disk subsystem

AMD SB710 supports:

6 x SATA 3 Gb/s

1 x IDE support of two ATA 133/100/66/33

RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 10, JBOD

LAN

1 x Realtek 8111F (10/100/1000 Мb/s)

Sound subsystem

Codec Realtek ALC892

2/4/5.1/7.1-channel sound

S/PDIF Out

Power

24-pin power socket ATX

8-pin power socket ATX12V

Fans

1 x CPU fan connector (4-pin)

1 x system fan connector (4-pin)

Cooling

Aluminum radiator of processor power subsystem elements

Aluminum Radiator of North bridge

Aluminum Radiator of South bridge

Extenral I/O

1 x LAN (RJ45)

1 х DVI-D

1 x HDMI

1 x D-Sub

4 x USB 2.0

2 x USB 3.0

3 x audio jacks

1 х PS/2 (for mouse or keyboard connection)

Internal I/O

1 x USB 3.0 with support of two USB 3.0 (19-pin)

2 x USB 2.0, each with support of two USB 2.0

6 x SATA 3 Gb/s

1 x IDE

1 x COM

1 x LPT connector

1 x S/PDIF Out

1 x connector of audio output to front panel

1 x set of front panel connectors

1 x CMOS

BIOS

2 х 32 Mb AWARD BIOS

ACPI 1.0b, SM BIOS 2.4, PnP 1.0а, DMI 2.0

Packaging

user manual

warranty card

disk with drives and documents

2 x SATA cables

1 х IDE cable

1 х interface panel plug

Form-factor, dimensions

microATX

244 х 244 mm

Producer website

GIGABYTE
Updated versions of BIOS and drives are available at support page

tags: amd   gigabyte   usb 3.0   usb 2.0   pci express   ddr3   radeon hd 3000   phenom   amd 760g   ultra durable   amd fx   microatx   dvi-d   d-sub   athlon   socket am3+   
Read the full review >>>

Motherboard GIGABYTE GA-J1800M-D2P: review and testing

Continuing familiarity with the lineup of GIGABYTE motherboards with integrated processor Intel Celeron J1800, we will talk about a compact model GIGABYTE GA-J1800M-D2P designed in a format microATX. In theory, it can be an excellent basis for the building of compact multimedia system oriented to reproduce high-quality multimedia content on your home TV or monitor.

GIGABYTE GA-J1800M-D2P

As for the "heart" of this model, the detailed characteristics of the installed processor can be found in the material devoted to the motherboard ASUS J1800I-C. And we will look at the characteristics of the hero of this review.

The specs:

Producer  

GIGABYTE

Model

GA-J1800M-D2P (rev 1.1)

Chipset

Socket BGA1170

Integrated processor

Intel Celeron J1800 (2 х 2,41 − 2,58 ГГц)

Supported CPUs

Intel HD Graphics: core frequency 688 МГц (max up to 792 MHz); capacity of video memory is taken from RAM

Memory frequency

1333 MHz

Memory support

2 x DDR3/DDR3L DIMM- slots with memory support up to 8 GB in dual channel mode

Expansion slots

1 x PCI Express 2.0 x1

1 x PCI

Disk subsystem

2 x SATA 3 Gb/s

LAN

1 x Realtek 8111G (10/100/1000 Мb/s)

Sound subsystem

Codec Realtek ALC887

2/4/5.1/7.1-channel sound

S/PDIF Out

Power

24-pin ATX connector

4-pin ATX12V connector

Fans

1 x CPU fan connector (3-pin)

1 x system fan connectors (4-pin)

Cooling

Aluminum radiator on chipset

Extenral I/O

1 x D-Sub

1 х HDMI

1 x LAN (RJ45)

1 x USB 3.0

4 x USB 2.0

1 х LPT

3 x audio jacks

1 х PS/2 (mouse or keyboard)

Internal I/O

2 x USB 2.0, each with support of two USB 2.0

2 х COM

1 x connector of audio output to front panel

1 x set of front panel connectors

1 x S/PDIF Out

1 x CMOS

BIOS

1 х 64 Мb AMI UEFI BIOS

PnP 1.0а, DMI2.7, SM BIOS 2.7, ACPI 5.0, WfM 2.0

Packaging

user manual

warranty card

disk with drives and documents

2 x SATA cables

1 х interface panel plug

Form-factor, dimensions

microATX

190 х 180 mm

Producer website

GIGABYTE
Updated versions of BIOS and drives are available at support page

tags: gigabyte   intel   celeron   usb 2.0   pci express   ddr3   hdmi   usb 3.0   d-sub   microatx   intel hd graphics   ultra durable   uefi bios   soc   
Read the full review >>>

Motherboard GIGABYTE GA-F2A68HM-S1: review and testing

In this review we will talk about the model GIGABYTE GA-F2A68HM-S1, which is an entry-level solution, and is performed in a compact format microATX. It has a good combination of a number of useful technologies, traditionally high quality of building, as well as quite decent and modern equipment.

GIGABYTE GA-F2A68HM-S1

Note that the GIGABYTE GA-F2A68HM-S1 is based on the new chipset AMD A68H, which is intended to replace chipset AMD A58 for entry-level work with processors series AMD Kaveri or solutions of lineups AMD Trinity/ Richland.

Let's take a look at other specification. The specification:

Producer  

GIGABYTE

Model

GA-F2A68HM-S1 (rev 1.0)

Chipset

AMD A68H

Integrated processor

Socket FM2+

Supported CPUs

AMD A / AMD Athlon

Memory frequency

2400* / 2133 / 1866 / 1600 / 1333 МГц

(*OC)

Memory support

2 x DDR3 DIMM-slots with memory support up to 64 GB

Expansion slots

1 x PCI Express 3.0 x16

1 x PCI Express 2.0 x1

1 x PCI

Disk subsystem

AMD A68H chipset supports:

4 x SATA 6 Gb/s

RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 10, JBOD

LAN

1 x Realtek 8111G (10/100/1000 Мb/s)

Sound subsystem

Кодек Realtek ALC887

2/4/5.1/7.1-channel sound

S/PDIF Out

Power

24-pin power socket ATX

4-pin power socket ATX12V

Fans

1 x CPU fan connector (4-pin)

2 x system fan connectors (4-pin)

Cooling

Aluminum radiators on chipset

Extenral I/O

1 x D-Sub

1 x LAN (RJ45)

2 x USB 3.0

4 x USB 2.0

3 x audio jacks

2 х PS/2 (mouse and keyboard)

Internal I/O

2 x USB 2.0, each with support of two USB 2.0

4 x SATA 6 Gb/s

1 x connector of audio output to front panel

1 x set of front panel connectors

1 x S/PDIF Out

1 x CMOS

BIOS

1 х 64 Мb UEFI BIOS

PnP 1.0а, DMI2.7, SM BIOS 2.7, ACPI 5.0

Packaging

user manual

warranty card

disk with drives and documents

2 x SATA cables

1 х interface panel plug

Form-factor, dimensions

microATX

225 х 174 mm

Producer website

GIGABYTE
Updated versions of BIOS and drives are available at support page

Read the full review >>>

Motherboard GIGABYTE GA-H81M-H: review and testing 

The product which will be discussed in this review is one of the most affordable solutions of GIGABYTE in format microATX. At an average cost of about $ 55 - 60 GIGABYTE GA-H81M-H has a good circuitry, a compact format, support for modern interface USB 3.0 and SATA 6 Gb/s, as well as a number of other improvements and proprietary technologies.

GIGABYTE GA-H81M-H

It is bases on the youngest chipset (Intel H81), which nominally does not provide overclocking of the processor and has less features, but compares favorably with the support of the above-mentioned interface, which is important in the segment of affordable models.

Let's learn the detailed specifications of motherboard GIGABYTE GA-H81M-H:

Producer

GIGABYTE

Model

GA-H81M-H (rev 2.0)

Chipset

Intel H81

CPU socket

Socket LGA1150

CPUs supported

Intel Core i7 / Core i5 / Core i3 / Pentium / Celeron 4th gen

Memory frequency

1600 / 1333 MHz

Memory support

2 x DDR3 DIMM-slots with support of memory up to 16 GB

Expansion slots 

1 x PCI Express 2.0 x16

2 x PCI Express 2.0 x1

Disk subsystem

Intel H81 chipset supports:

2 x SATA 6 Gb/s

2 x SATA 3 Gb/s

LAN

1 x Realtek 8111G (10/100/1000 Мb/s)

Sound subsystem

Codec Realtek ALC887

8-channel sound

Power

24-pin power socket ATX

4-pin power socket ATX12V

Fans

1 x CPU fan connector (4-pin)

1 x system fan connector (4-pin)

Cooling

Aluminum radiators on chipset 

External I/O

1 x HDMI

1 x D-Sub

2 х PS/2 (for mouse and keyboard connection)

1 x LAN (RJ45)

2 x USB 3.0

2 x USB 2.0

3 x audio jacks

Internal I/O

2 x USB 2.0, each with support of two USB 2.0

2 x SATA 6 Gb/s

2 x SATA 3 Gb/s

1 x TPM socket

1 x connector of audio output to front panel

1 x set of front panel connectors

1 x CMOS

BIOS

AMI UEFI BIOS

1 x 32 Мb

PnP 1.0a, DMI 2.7, WfM 2.0, SM BIOS 2.7, ACPI 5.0

Packaging

 

user manual

warranty card

disk with drives and documents

2 x SATA cables

1 х bridge 2-Way NVIDIA SLI

1 х interface panel plug

Form-factor,

dimensions

microATX

226 х 170 mm

 Producer website

GIGABYTE
Updated versions of BIOS and drives are available at support page

tags: gigabyte   intel   usb 3.0   hdmi   intel h81   d-sub   microatx   ddr3   ultra durable   uefi bios   socket lga1150   pci express   intel core   pentium   celeron   
Read the full review >>>

Case Thermaltake Chaser A41 Snow edition: review and testing

The range of cases produced under the brand Thermaltake is really impressive. It includes solutions of different sizes and shapes, for example, let’s recall the recent tested Thermaltake Core V21 in format Cube Case. Today for testing we have Middle Tower solution Thermaltake Chaser A41 Snow edition, which, however, has a number of distinctive features.

Thermaltake Chaser A41 Snow edition

There are three preset fans, two of which are equipped with a blue LED-backlit, which, combined with a transparent side window enjoy the view of used components. Also, a number of fans should have a very positive impact on the efficiency of the cooling of internal components.

Of course, it's hard not to pay attention to the use of white color. For some users it may seem impractical, but others will an opportunity to diversify the interior, which is supposed to operate the assembled PC. In any case, we immediately note that this solution is available in black. Let’s start to describe the product.

The specs: 

Producer  

Thermaltake 

Model

Chaser A41 Snow edition

(VP200A6W2N) 

Case type

Middle Tower

Supported form factors of motherboard

ATX / microATX

Color

White outside, back inside (available the completely black)

Compartement

External

4 х 5,25”

1 х 3,5”

Internal

5 х 3,5” / 2,5”

Slots for expansion cards

7

Minimal graphics card length (according to our measurements)

315 mm (310 mm)

Maximal height of CPU cooler

175 mm

Sockets

2 x USB 3.0

2 х audio jacks (headphones, microphone)

Preset fans

Front panel

1 х 120-mm (with blue LED-light)

Back panel

1 х 120-mm

Top panel

1 х 200-m (with blue LED-light)

Ability to install the fans

Front panel

1 х 120-mm / 1 х 140-mm / 1 х 200-mm

Back panel

1 х 120-mm

Top panel

2 х 120-mm / 1 х 140-mm / 1 х 200-mm

Bottom panel

1 х 120-mm

Water cooling system support

1/2”, 3/8”, 1/4”

PSU

No

Materials

Front panel

Plastic

 

Chassis

SECC-steel with thickness 0,69 mm

Side walls

SECC-steel with thickness 0,76 mm

Case dimensions

511 х 252 х 495 mm

Weight (net)

8 kg

Producer website

Thermaltake
Product page

Package and content

Thermaltake Chaser A41 Snow edition

Thermaltake Chaser A41 Snow edition comes in a box that immediately attracts the attention due to the large image of the case, as well as an indication of its name and a reminder of the application of ports USB 3.0 on its interface panel. The sides also allow the potential buyer to find out more extensive specs.

Thermaltake Chaser A41 Snow editionThermaltake Chaser A41 Snow edition

One of them put a detailed specification of the body, and the second provides its main advantages in 12 languages :

  • availability of the upper input-output ports, including two USB 3.0 connectors;
  • presence of three preset fans and replaceable dust filters;
  • presence of a total of 10 bays for the installation of internal and external 2.5”, 3.5” and 5.25” devices;
  • support for water cooling system with easy laying of cables.

Inside the box the case is protected by two foam inserts and is placed in a plastic bag for extra protection from moisture.

Thermaltake Chaser A41 Snow edition

Packaging of Thermaltake Chaser A41 Snow edition is extensive, since it includes a number of useful components:

  • 4 screws to install the PSU;
  • 14 screws and a set of racks for installation of the motherboard;
  • 28 screws to secure the 2.5” drives and devices in the 5.25” drive bays;
  • 16 screws to secure the 3.5-inch drives;
  • 8 screws to install the case fans;
  • 4 washers for water cooling system;
  • adjusting nut to the motherboard;
  • 5 tie wire;
  • speaker system;
  • booklet with warranty and manual.

As you can see, the owner of the new item won’t have the need for additional purchase of any components, even if install a large number of components. Don’t forget about the presence of system speaker applied to detect problems with your computer.

Thermaltake Chaser A41 Snow edition

We also liked the complex ties of wires intended for multiple use, that at the same time to properly perform its task.

Design 

Thermaltake Chaser A41 Snow edition

The case Thermaltake Chaser A41 Snow edition has an original shapes and combination of three colors: white, black and blue. Due to this ensemble and extraordinary top panel and the legs, it can hardly be confused with any other model. First of all it will attract the attention of users looking for interesting and unusual solution. In principle, the same can be said about the black variation.

 

Thermaltake Chaser A41 Snow edition

The front panel has a nice look and high usability thanks to high quality of materials, perfectly hides the fingerprints. It is fixed to the metal frame in the standard way - using latches where a gap is absent.

Thermaltake Chaser A41 Snow edition

 

Thermaltake Chaser A41 Snow edition

Behind a metal grid at the bottom there is the dust filter for cleaning air injected into the body by preinstalled 120 mm fan. Instead of the latter you can install 140 mm or 200-mm solution, but only with a low profile.

Thermaltake Chaser A41 Snow editionThermaltake Chaser A41 Snow edition

Preinstalled fan Thermaltake TT-1225 is marked «A1225L12S», by which it can be distinguished from other solutions of the same name, for example, with the processor cooling system Thermaltake NiC C4. The propeller is powered by 3-pin connector, consuming 3.6 W (0.3 A at 12 V). According to the manufacturer, it has a fairly low-speed (1000 rpm), which had a positive impact on the level of generated noise (16 dB). The blades are made of dark translucent plastic, which is caused by blue LED-backlight. 

Thermaltake Chaser A41 Snow edition

 

Thermaltake Chaser A41 Snow edition

Perforated plugs for 3.5 and 5.25-inch devices are easily removed and set on the former places. All are equipped with synthetic mesh preventing dust. The front panel smoothly goes into the top which contains the usual set of interfaces and controls.

Thermaltake Chaser A41 Snow edition

 

Thermaltake Chaser A41 Snow edition

There are two audio jacks, power and reset buttons, two interfaces USB 3.0, as well as the hard drive indicator. Of course, part of the original exterior is a niche, designed to contain the devices connected to the front connector USB (for example, a smartphone or external hard drive). Note that the panel is completely removable.

Thermaltake Chaser A41 Snow edition

Since the body Thermaltake Chaser A41 Snow edition is originally equipped with two glowing fans, the buyer probably counting on a spectacular view of the dark. Looking ahead, we note that it is, at the same time light indication of the interface panel has a nice glow, so it will not irritate the user even in case of insufficient ambient light.

Thermaltake Chaser A41 Snow edition

The back side, like the rest of the inner frame has a black color and contrasts perfectly with white panels. Novelty has bottom location of the power supply.

Thermaltake Chaser A41 Snow edition

There are seven horizontal slots for expansion cards. The latter, as well as the side panels are attached with easy to use screws with curly heads. Right sidebar has a small cutout for mounting the lock Kensington.

Thermaltake Chaser A41 Snow edition

Also the interface panel has three holes for hoses of water cooling system, a small hook to fix the wires from the mouse and keyboard as well as a seat for a 120-mm fan.

Thermaltake Chaser A41 Snow editionThermaltake Chaser A41 Snow edition

Initially, there is a fan Thermaltake TT-1225 with the designation «A1225L12S». Therefore, its characteristics (1000 rpm, 16 dB) are similar to pattern located on the front panel. The distinction is the fact that the fan is made of opaque black plastic and is devoid of LED-lights.

Thermaltake Chaser A41 Snow edition

The bottom panel of Thermaltake Chaser A41 Snow edition has four plastic legs, rotating through 360°. This ensures a better stability of the system unit or compatible with adjoining units and other elements of the interior.

Thermaltake Chaser A41 Snow editionThermaltake Chaser A41 Snow edition

The legs have 98 x 47 mm and are quite high (33 mm) to ensure an adequate inflow of cool air for the power supply. But we would like to see them a layer of soft rubber material to refuse the damage to the surface.

Thermaltake Chaser A41 Snow edition

Large perforated area on the bottom panel (325 x 110 mm) is covered with mesh filter that is easily removed for cleaning of dust.

Thermaltake Chaser A41 Snow edition

 

Thermaltake Chaser A41 Snow edition

Top panel also has a large perforated area (290 x 185 mm), which is fixed under 200 mm fan with ordinary screws. Also you can install 140mm propeller, a couple of 120mm solutions or water cooling radiator with length of 240 mm.

Thermaltake Chaser A41 Snow edition

It would be wrong to leave such mesh top panel without protection against dust. Therefore, as you can see, the manufacturer ensured that there are nets with relevant responsibilities.

Thermaltake Chaser A41 Snow edition

The fan TT-2020 (A2020L12S) mounted on the upper wall consumes 5.04 W (0.42 A at 12 V) power. According to a statement by the manufacturer the blades rotate at a speed of 600 rpm, and the level of generated noise is very low, and is only 13 dB. Transparent plastic, used in the propeller, allows the LED-luminescence reaches the most remote corners of the case. 

Thermaltake Chaser A41 Snow editionThermaltake Chaser A41 Snow edition

The right sidewall is continuous. Present bend not only increases the flexural rigidity of the panel, but also provides additional space for a tray laid for the power cables. The left panel has a clear acrylic window. Covers can be easily removed thanks to the bumps on their ends.

Thermaltake Chaser A41 Snow edition

 

Thermaltake Chaser A41 Snow edition

There is also a plastic folding "ear" for storing the headphones. Although its form with a recess allows you to keep a variety of small items (memory stick, memory card, screws, etc.).

Thermaltake Chaser A41 Snow edition

Internal device 

Thermaltake Chaser A41 Snow edition

Like many other modern case, part of the space Thermaltake Chaser A41 Snow edition is allocated under 2.5, 3.5 and 5.25-inch devices. The left side has a power supply and motherboard with all components connected to it.

Thermaltake Chaser A41 Snow edition

Mount of 5.25-inch devices is realized by means of plastic devices, eliminating the need for a screwdriver. But the external 3.5-inch solution is already attached using the provided screws.

Thermaltake Chaser A41 Snow edition

 

Thermaltake Chaser A41 Snow edition

The internal 3.5-and 2.5-inch drives have a desk with drawers. They are arranged at a distance from each other, which reduces the resistance of the air flow created by the front fan, and at the same time providing adequate cooling for the drives.

Thermaltake Chaser A41 Snow edition

Inside trays the 3.5 and 2.5-inch drives are mounted using the screws. They have rubber gaskets, reducing vibration created in the process of hard drive operation.

Thermaltake Chaser A41 Snow edition

On the bottom panel you can find another seat for a 120-mm fan. Near is the power supply, however, any further anti-vibration elements are not provided.

Thermaltake Chaser A41 Snow edition

The case Thermaltake Chaser A41 Snow edition has a considerable width (252 mm), which not only ensures its compatibility with the overall CPU cooling systems, but also provides sufficient space for the tray. Thus, you can comfortably lay power cables, and wires from the interface panel.

Thermaltake Chaser A41 Snow edition

The latter include quite a standard set of connectors with sufficient length: connector port USB 3.0 (800 mm), module HD Audio (770 mm), the on/reset, and LED-display (680 mm).

Also, do not forget about connecting three preset fans. In this case your motherboard must have corresponding connectors.

Thermaltake Chaser A41 Snow edition

Thermaltake Chaser A41 Snow edition

Even with a sufficiently large number of wires, their hidden stacking is plain. Placing of holes for output cables of Middle Tower-solutions is designed to use ATX-board, so in our case, the compact system board did not allow to fully hide the wires connected to the lower part.

Thermaltake Chaser A41 Snow edition

 

 

Thermaltake Chaser A41 Snow edition

After you install the side cover, parts are immersed in the twilight, but not for long - turning on the computer is associated with activation of LED-lighting front and top fans.

Thermaltake Chaser A41 Snow edition

 

Thermaltake Chaser A41 Snow edition

 

Thermaltake Chaser A41 Snow edition

Illumination in the Thermaltake Chaser A41 Snow edition looks very nice. Also note carefully selected high-performance components that make your system unit a real technological art.

Thermaltake Chaser A41 Snow edition

 

Thermaltake Chaser A41 Snow edition

Placement of the fans is quite good: front 120 mm captures the cool air cooling located immediately next to it drives, and the upper and rear propellers output the heated air outside the case, increasing the efficiency of the CPU cooling system. Recall that the test solution allows to set even the highest cooling system, up to the level of 175 mm.

Thermaltake Chaser A41 Snow edition

Also new item supports the installation of long graphics cards, which contributes a great distance from the back wall to the rack with hard drives (310 mm).

As for the quality of construction of the body, it is at the appropriate level: the chassis has a good rigidity; it does not falter, and all the parts fit tightly without gaps. The weak point of many similar devices is a sharp edge design, which you can cut yourself. The test solution has such item: all the edges are well treated, so the build process will be very easy. Also we were pleased with the quality of the paint layer application and its practicality: the owner does not face the problem of fingerprints, as is the case with a glossy surface.

tags: thermaltake   usb 3.0   atx   microatx   middle tower   
Read the full review >>>

Motherboard ASUS B85M-G: review and testing

Not all users require flagship ATX solution, because some are planning to build a compact office or home entertainment system, and do not want to spend too much. If you look at the specs of the hero of our review, the motherboard ASUS B85M-G, at first glance it is very attractive candidate for purchase for the implementation of the voiced above plans. New product offers not only a compact form factor microATX, but also a relatively affordable price of about $75 - 80. At the same time it has the support of ports COM and LPT, used in an office environment, as well as modern interfaces USB 3.0 and SATA 6 Gb/s. Let's move on to the review and find out whether it is good as it might seem at first glance. 

ASUS B85M-G

The specs:

Producer

ASUS

Model

B85M-G (rev 1.01)

Chipset

Intel B85

CPU socket

Socket LGA1150

CPUs supported

Intel Core i7 / Core i5 / Core i3 / Pentium / Celeron 4th gen

Memory frequency

1600 / 1333 / 1066 MHz

Memory support

4 x DDR3 DIMM-slots with support of memory up to 32 GB

Expansion slots

 

1 x PCI Express 3.0 x16

2 x PCI Express 2.0 x1

Disk subsystem

Intel B85 chipset supports:

4 x SATA 6 Gb/s (yellow)

2 x SATA 3 Gb/s (dark brown)

LAN

1 x Realtek 8111G (10/100/1000 Мb/s)

Sound subsystem

Codec Realtek ALC887

8-channel sound

S/PDIF Out

Power

24-pin power socket ATX

4-pin power socket ATX12V

Fans

1 x CPU fan connector (4-pin)

1 x system fan connectors (4-pin)

Cooling

Aluminum radiators on chipset

External I/O

1 x DVI-D

1 x D-Sub

1 x HDMI

1 x LAN (RJ45)

2 x USB 3.0

4 x USB 2.0

3 x audio jacks

2 х PS/2 (mouse and keyboard connection)

Internal I/O

1 x USB 3.0, each with support of two USB 3.0 (19-pin)

2 x USB 2.0, each with support of two USB 2.0

4 x SATA 6 Gb/s

2 x SATA 3 Gb/s с

1 x COM

1 x LPT

1 х S/PDIF Out

1 x connector of audio output to front panel

1 x set of front panel connectors

1 x CMOS

BIOS

64 Mb Flash ROM UEFI AMI BIOS

PnP, ACPI 2.0a, SM BIOS 2.7, DMI 2.0, WfM 2.0

Packaging

 

user manual

warranty card

disk with drives and documents

2 x SATA cables

1 х interface panel plug

Form-factor,

dimensions

microATX

233 х 193 mm

 Producer website

ASUS
Updated versions of BIOS and drives are available at support page

tags: asus   usb 3.0   intel b85   dvi-d   d-sub   microatx   ddr3   intel core   socket lga1150   celeron   pci express 3.0   uefi bios   pentium   icontrol   hdmi   
Read the full review >>>

Motherboard ASUS B85M-E: review and testing

In this review we will focus on the motherboard ASUS B85M-E. This microATX model which at an average cost of about $ 100 boasts of high reliability, support for modern interfaces USB 3.0 and SATA 6 Gb/s, as well as a number of other improvements and proprietary technologies, which will be discussed later.

Do note that it is based on chipset Intel B85, with key features and capabilities which you can find in the review of GIGABYTE GA-B85M-HD3. But now we are going to proceed directly to the specifications of ASUS B85M-E.

ASUS B85M-E

The specs:

Producer

ASUS

Model

B85M-E (rev 1.02)

Chipset

Intel B85

CPU socket

Socket LGA1150

CPUs supported

Intel Core i7 / Core i5 / Core i3 / Pentium / Celeron of 4th gen

Memory frequency

1600 / 1333 / 1066 MHz

Memory support

4 x DDR3 DIMM- slots with support of memory up to 32 GB

Expansion slots

 

1 x PCI Express 3.0 x16

1 x PCI Express 2.0 x4

x16

x16+x4

1 x PCI Express 2.0 x1

1 x PCI

Disk subsystem

Intel B85 chipset supports:

4 x SATA 6 Gb/s (yellow)

2 x SATA 3 Gb/s (black)

LAN

1 x Realtek 8111F (10/100/1000 Мb/s)

Sound subsystem

Codec Realtek ALC887

8-channel sound

Power connectors

24-pin power socket ATX

4-pin power socket ATX12V

Fans

1 x CPU fan connector (4-pin)

2 x system fan connectors (4-pin)

Cooling

Aluminum radiators on chipset

External I/O

1 x DVI-D

1 x D-Sub

1 x HDMI

1 x DisplayPort

1 x LAN (RJ45)

2 x USB 3.0

4 x USB 2.0

3 x audio jacks

2 х PS/2 (mouse and keyboard connection)

Internal I/O

1 x USB 3.0, each with support of two USB 3.0 (19-pin)

2 x USB 2.0, each with support of two USB 2.0

4 x SATA 6 Gb/s

2 x SATA 3 Gb/s

1 х TPM

1 x COM

1 x LPT

1 x connector of audio output to front panel

1 x set of front panel connectors

1 x CMOS

BIOS

128 MbFlash ROM UEFI AMI BIOS

PnP, ACPI 2.0a, SM BIOS 2.7, DMI 2.0, WfM 2.0

Packaging

 

user manual

warranty card

disk with drives and documents

2 x SATA cables

1 х interface panel plug

Form-factor,

dimensions

microATX

244 х 213 mm

Producer website

ASUS
Updated versions of BIOS and drives are available at support page

Read the full review >>>

MotherboardASUS H81M-C: review and testing

The product which will be discussed in this review is one of the most affordable ASUS solutions in format microATX. At an average cost of about $ 60 – 65 ASUS H81M-C provides the user with traditionally high performance, reliable circuitry, support for modern interfaces USB 3.0 and SATA 6 Gb / s, as well as a number of other improvements and proprietary technologies.

It is expected that in order to minimize the retail price of the model, the manufacturer decided to use solution based on the youngest chipset (Intel H81), which nominally provides overclocking the processor and has fewer features, but compares favorably with the support of the above-mentioned technologies, which is important in this price segment.

Let's take a closer look at the detailed specs.

ASUS H81M-C

The specs:

Producer

ASUS

Model

H81M-C (rev 1.02)

Chipset

Intel H81

CPU socket

Socket LGA1150

CPUs supported

Intel Core i7 / Core i5 / Core i3 / Pentium / Celeron 4th gen

Memory frequency

1600 / 1333 / 1066 MHz

Memory support

2 x DDR3 DIMM-slots with support of memory up to 16 GB

Expansion slots

1 x PCI Express 2.0 x16

2 x PCI Express 2.0 x1

1 x PCI

Disk subsystem

Intel H81 chipset supports:

2 x SATA 6 Gb/s (yellow)

2 x SATA 3 Gb/s (dark brown)

LAN

1 x Realtek 8111G (10/100/1000 Мb/s)

Sound subsystem

Codec Realtek ALC887

8-channel sound

Power connectors

24-pin power socket ATX

4-pin power socket ATX12V

Fans

1 x CPU fan connector (4-pin)

1 x system fan connectors (4-pin)

Cooling

Aluminum radiators on chipset

External I/O

1 x DVI-D

1 x D-Sub

1 x LAN (RJ45)

2 x USB 3.0

4 x USB 2.0

1 х LPT

3 x audio jacks

2 х PS/2 (mouse and keyboard connection)

Internal I/O

2 x USB 2.0, each with support of two USB 2.0

2 x SATA 6 Gb/s

2 x SATA 3 Gb/s

1 х TPM

1 x COM

1 x connector of audio output to front panel

1 x set of front panel connectors

1 x CMOS

BIOS

64 Mb Flash ROM UEFI AMI BIOS

PnP, ACPI 2.0a, SM BIOS 2.7, DMI 2.0, WfM 2.0

Packaging

user manual

warranty card

disk with drives and documents

2 x SATA cables

1 х interface panel plug

Form-factor,

dimensions

microATX

244 х 178 mm

Producer website

 

ASUS
Updated versions of BIOS and drives are available at support page

tags: asus   intel   usb 3.0   usb 2.0   intel h81   microatx   intel core   ddr3   icontrol   socket lga1150   uefi bios   pci express 3.0   celeron   pentium   asmedia   windows   
Read the full review >>>

MotherboardGIGABYTE GA-J1900M-D2P: review and testing

Continuing familiarity with the lineup of GIGABYTE motherboards with integrated quad-core processor Intel Celeron J1900, we will talk about compact model GIGABYTE GA-J1900M-D2P of microATX format. It stands out by a diverse set of ports and connectors, traditionally high quality performance and support for today's digital video output HDMI. But before moving on to the review of new item, we recall that the detailed characteristics of the installed processor you can find the material on a different motherboard of this line, namely the GIGABYTE GA-J1900N-D3V. And now let’s look to the characteristics of the hero of this review.

GIGABYTE GA-J1900M-D2P

The specs:

Producer  

GIGABYTE

Model

GA-J1900M-D2P (rev 1.1)

CPU socket

Socket BGA1170

Integrated processor

Intel Celeron J1900 (4 х 2,00 − 2,41 GHz)

GPU

Intel HD Graphics: core frequency – 688 MHz (max up to 854 MHz); video memory capacity is dynamically selected from RAM

Memory frequency

1333 MHz

Memory support

2 x DDR3/DDR3L DIMM- slots with memory support up to 8 GB in dual channel mode

Expansion slots

1 x PCI Express 2.0 x1

1 x PCI

Disk subsystem

2 x SATA 3 Gb/s

LAN

1 x Realtek 8111G (10/100/1000 Мb/s)

Sound subsystem

Codec Realtek ALC887

2/4/5.1/7.1-channel sound

S/PDIF Out

Power

24-pin ATX main power connector

4-pin ATX12V power connector

Fans

1 x CPU fan connector (3-pin)

1 x system fan connector (4-pin)

Cooling

Aluminum radiator on processor

Extenral I/O

1 x D-Sub

1 х HDMI

1 x LAN (RJ45)

1 x USB 3.0

4 x USB 2.0

1 х LPT

3 x audio jacks

1 х PS/2 (mouse or keyboard)

Internal I/O

2 x USB 2.0 each with support of two USB 2.0

2 х COM

1 x S/PDIF Out

1 x connector of audio output to front panel

1 x set of front panel connectors

1 x CMOS

BIOS

1 х 64 Мb AMI UEFI BIOS

PnP 1.0а, DMI2.7, SM BIOS 2.7, ACPI 5.0, WfM 2.0

Packaging

User’s manual

Warranty card

Disk with drivers and utilities

2 x SATA cables

1 х interface panel plug

Form-factor, dimensions

microATX

190 х 180 mm

Producer website

GIGABYTE
Updated versions of BIOS and drives are available on support page

tags: gigabyte   intel   celeron   usb 2.0   hdmi   ddr3   usb 3.0   d-sub   microatx   ultra durable   intel core   intel hd graphics   
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CaseFractal Design Define R4: review and testing 

If among motorists the phrase "Swedish quality" is associated with companies Saab, Scania and Volvo, the computer enthusiasts will remind the products of Fractal Design. Like many other European companies, it is difficult to deal with competition from Asian markets due to the large difference in the cost of production, so most of them have moved their industrial capacity in China, Thailand, Malaysia and other countries on the shores of the Indian and north-west Pacific. But the eminent manufacturers of the Old World, even after the "move" continue to take care of high quality products of a modern hard competitive environment to maintain its good name. In the case of an assortment of Fractal Design, this is contributed by the fact that the design and development of devices is still carried out in Sweden.

Fractal Design Define R4

In this review we want to introduce you to the case Fractal Design Define R4, which embodies not only Scandinavian quality but also strict and no less charismatic design. Novelty can house a motherboard in format ATX, microATX and Mini-ITX, graphics cards up to 430 mm and a lot of other useful components.

The specs

Producer  

Fractal Design 

Model

Define R4

(FD-CA-DEF-R4-BL) 

Case dimension-type

Middle Tower

Motherboard form-factors

ATX / microATX / Mini-ITX

Color

Pearl black
(arctic white and titanic gray are available)

Compartement

2 х 5,25” (external)

8 х 3,5” / 2,5” (internal)

2 х 2,5” (internal)

Expansions card slots

7+1

Max length of graphics card

Installation in top basket

295 mm

Without top basket

430 mm

Max height of CPU cooler

170 mm

Max length of PSU

Installation at the bottom fan

170 mm

Without installer fan

270 mm

Area to put cables outside the system board

26 m

Sockets

2 x USB 3.0

2 x USB 2.0

2 х audio outputs (headphones, microphone)

Preset fans

Front panel

1 х 140-mm

Back panel

1 х 140-mm

Ability to install the fans

Front panel

2 х 140-mm / 2 х 120-mm

Top panel

2 х 140-mm / 2 х 120-m / some models 240-mm radiator of water cooling system

Side panel

1 х 140-mm / 1 х 120-mm

Back panel

1 х 140-mm / 1 х 120-mm

Bottom panel

1 х 140-mm / 1 х 120-mm

Preset fans

 

Name

Fractal Design Silent Series R2 140mm

(FD-FAN-SSR2-140)

Quantity

2 (on front and back panel)

Dimensions

140 х 140 х 25 mm

Rotation speed

1000 rpm

Noise level

18,5 dB

Air flow

112,2 m3/h (66 CFM)

Static pressure

0,84 mm H2O

Start voltage

<6 V

Rated voltage

12 V

Current strength

0,3 А

Power socket

3-pin

Cable length

50±1 cm

Weight

149 g

PSU

No

Materials

Front panel

Plastic

 

Chassis and side panels

Steel with thickness 0,83 mm

Case dimensions

523 х 232 х 464 mm

weight (net)

12,3 kg

Producer website

Fractal Design
Product page 

Package and content 

Fractal Design Define R4Fractal Design Define R4

The novelty comes in the traditional carton box. Here the manufacturer provides the exterior of the case, its internal structure, as well as the specification table. Using the information the buyer can examine in detail the design of new product and features.

Fractal Design Define R4

Fractal Design Define R4

Inside the box the case is well protected by two foam inserts and placed in a plastic bag for extra protection from moisture. The package also contains three brochures and a small box where the manufacturer carefully enumerated all the components inside.

Fractal Design Define R4

They are placed in separate plastic bags. So, in total the package of Design Define R4 consists of the following components:

  • 4 screws to install the PSU;
  • 9 screws and racks for mounting the motherboard;
  • mounting tool for the motherboard;
  • 32 screws to secure the 2.5-inch drives;
  • 8 screws with curly heads for the installation of a 5.25-inch bays;
  • 8 screws for hard drives;
  • 32 anti-vibration screws for hard drives;
  • 12 anti-vibration washers, gaskets;
  • 6 tie wire;
  • two brochures and instruction manual.

In general the package includes a plurality of screws for installation of various devices, as well as nice additions in the form of pads and cable holders. This will allow for mounting drives and other components. The only thing we would like to see here is a system speaker that allows you to detect a fault caused by a sound signal.

Design 

Fractal Design Define R4Fractal Design Define R4

Case Fractal Design Define R4 has a strict appearance. But it does not mean "boring". Quite the contrary - despite the minimalism, it attracts attention. Note that in addition to the black version of the model, you can find completely white and titanium gray, featuring lighter front panel.

Fractal Design Define R4

Familiar elements of the front panel are on top of it. Here are two audio jacks, power and reset buttons, two USB 3.0 interfaces and the same connector standard USB 2.0.

Fractal Design Define R4

There is also a moderate LED indicator. Depending on the preferences of the owner it can be used to inform the PC mode or as a display drive operation.

Fractal Design Define R4

Fractal Design Define R4

The front panel of Fractal Design Define R4 is a solid plastic door, well resisting fingerprints. It features two 5.25-inch devices and a lattice of size 305 x 155 mm.

The panel is attached to the metal frame via latches.

Fractal Design Define R4

On the back of the front panel there is sound-absorbing material (foam) - a pleasant and not only care of the manufacturer to reduce background noise.

Fractal Design Define R4Fractal Design Define R4

Two 5.25-inch bays are covered with comfortable plugs which can be easily removed and installed. To the right of them is visible switch voltage applied to the fan. It connects two preset fan, but it is also possible to attach another propeller. There are three modes of operation: 12 V, 7 V and 5 V. When using this component, make sure that you have a fan connected corresponding starting voltage. Preset same fans are working in all switch positions.

Fractal Design Define R4

 

Fractal Design Define R4

The lower grille in the front panel is mounted on top by two latches. Behind it you can find the removable synthetic dust filter. On the top there is one latch, allowing completely remove the front frame with the filter and fans.

Fractal Design Define R4

Here is preinstalled 140mm fan Fractal Design Silent Series R2 140mm, detailed specifications are provided in the table at the beginning of the specification of the material. Note the low starting voltage of the propeller, allowing to work in the mode 5 V. In this case, even at the maximum speed of 1000 rpm fan is very quiet (noise level of 18.5 dB), so that the two preset fans (another is similar on the rear panel) do not create significant background noise. But their location on opposite sides of the body and the high rate of air flow (112.2 m3/h or 66 CFM) theoretically allow to achieve a good cooling efficiency of the case. In the frame there is a spot for another 140-mm fan. If desired, instead of them you can put two 120-mm propellers. However, if in the first case the fans are attached with clips, the 120-mm solutions have already been secured with screws.

Fractal Design Define R4

The back side, as well as all metal body panels is covered with a black matt paint. Novelty has bottom location of the power supply, which is a standard layout for the modern case of medium and high price segments.

Fractal Design Define R4

On the back panel there are seven horizontal slots for expansion cards and one vertical, located nearby. With it, you can more effectively use the connectors on the system board. For example, between the two graphics cards you have the expansion slot in which you want to install a discrete sound card or a network card. Its presence is not desirable, since the board will prevent the access of air to the cooling system of the top video adapter. Therefore, it can be removed using the adapter and set vertically, where it will not interfere with other components and thus be able to properly perform its functions.

All covers for expansion slots, like the blades of complete fan and baskets for storage are white. Thanks to this design there is an original and eye-catching contrast, no spoiling the appearance of new item. Plugs are fixed with screws.

Fractal Design Define R4

Near the interface panel there is a place for 140 / 120mm fan, which was originally occupied by a preset 140-mm fan Fractal Design Silent Series R2 140mm.

Fractal Design Define R4

The bottom panel draws attention to a sufficiently large grill (295 x 140 mm) with a dust filter. There is also a sticker indicating the model and serial number, and closer to the front there is an inscription that informs about the country of origin, namely China .

Under the grate there are two perforated areas. The smaller zone has a size of 134 x 113 mm and is designed to capture the cool air of power supplies. But a large area (138 x 138 mm) has a square shape and can accommodate 140/120mm fan. However, in this case the length of the power supply will be limited to 170 mm mark, and in case of fan absence on the bottom panel, you can freely determine the unit up to 270 mm.

Fractal Design Define R4Fractal Design Define R4

The test model has two new types of legs: big in the front panel and more compact in the back of the chassis. Their height of 15 mm provides fresh air to the power supply. 

Fractal Design Define R4

On the top panel there are two seats for the 140/120-mm fan or radiator of water cooling system up to 280 mm.

Fractal Design Define R4Fractal Design Define R4

The right side wall is solid, but on the left there is a seat for a 140/120-mm fan. Note that all three color variations are also available with the case on the left side of the window panel but without the seat for the fan.

On each side of the front panel over the entire height the case has two elongated ventilation grilles with size 420 x 25 mm.

Internal device 

Fractal Design Define R4

Visually the entire interior of the body can be divided into two parts: the left for motherboard and power supply, and a right reserved for 5.25, 3.5 and 2.5-inch devices. Despite the impression the test solution can boast of enviable flexibility.

Fractal Design Define R4Fractal Design Define R4

For drives there are two baskets of drawers allowing to house 5 and 3 units, respectively. Trays are designed for screwless fastening of 3.5 inch drive or 2.5 inch fixing device using screws. We emphasize the original presence of gaskets to mitigate vibration generated by the hard drive in the process. In addition, another 12 similar gaskets are present in the package.

The upper basket can be removed, then the maximum length graphics cards will increase from 295 to 430 mm, but only if the video card takes one through five expansion slots. Otherwise it is necessary to dismantle a lower basket.

Fractal Design Define R4

Also, the upper basket can be installed rotated by 90°. Thus trays for storage will be used to direct air from the turntable directly to the motherboard. But the maximum length of a compatible video card will be reduced.

Fractal Design Define R4

In addition to the baskets, drives can also be placed behind the motherboard tray. However, here there is only room for two 2.5-inch drive. In addition, their installation should be carried out prior to installation of the system board and the cables must have straight connectors. You should not worry for the availability of space for cables, including for their hidden styling.

Fractal Design Define R4

Fractal Design Define R4

Fractal Design Define R4

The top panel we have already seen from the outside, but inside it looks even more interesting. Seats for turntables are covered with foam plastic plugs that not only prevent give dust get into the body, but also provide a sound-absorbing effect.

Fractal Design Define R4

Fractal Design Define R4

Do note that the location for the power supply unit is equipped with soothing elements: the contour of the hole on the rear panel and four points directly below the unit. As you can see, the manufacturer is properly taken care of eliminating unwanted vibrations in the places where they can actually occur.

Fractal Design Define R4

Fractal Design Define R4

Do not forget about sound absorption: on both walls, including a mounting location on the left there is a sound-insulating material. Side panels are easily removed and installed through the use of screws with curly heads and the presence of bumps for grip on the ends.

Fractal Design Define R4

Set of wires to connect the front panel includes a connector HD Audio, connectors to connect buttons on/reset, and LED-indicator, as well as cables for connecting ports USB 3.0 and USB 2.0.

Fractal Design Define R4

Additionally there are connectors for fan speed switch. Four-pin peripheral connector in this case is connected to the power supply, and the fans are connected to three-pin interfaces.

Fractal Design Define R4

The system in the case Fractal Design Define R4 has a pleasant appearance. 

Fractal Design Define R4

More productive system looks like a native: even the abundance of black components is in perfect harmony with white elements. Here is enough space for cooler, as supported by the model up to 170 mm.

tags: fractal design   usb 3.0   usb 2.0   atx   mini-itx   microatx   midi tower   
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