BitFenix started a cult-like following with its first original Prodigy Mini ITX computer case when it was first introduced in 2012. The original Prodigy back in 2012 was M-ITX form factor only, but that did not stop custom builders and Modders alike from changing the inside of the spacious case to accept even larger motherboards and custom water loops, the list goes on. After all the case had plenty of room to build in and people took that room and filled it with innovative ideas and parts creating a high demand for the little Cube Cabinet and custom parts to modify it more. BitFenix has now retooled the old case to accept some of the customer’s ideas and expanded to the bigger Micro-ATX form factor and has added 3 more PCI slots for a total of 5 PCI extension slots for SLI and Crossfire. The “Prodigy M” as it is named is a reaction to the amazing success and a few failures of this ground breaking small-cube like computer case.
Scandinavian by nature, this case is made very smartly and efficiently, but not cheaply manufactured as other economy cases have been known to be. At the very reasonable cost of $60.00 USD you can be sure that you are getting your money’s worth with all of Fractal Design cases including the smaller Core 1500 version that we review here and now. The Fractal Design Core 1500 has all the features of the bigger cases with the same type of hard drive mounting systems that most, if not all of Fractal Design cases including the wire management access holes that are uniformly placed with very smooth edges, but you will not find any rubber grommets covering these holes within this particular model which is one of the ways Fractal Design has saved money including the smart use of the same hardware over the entire product line.
The NZXT NOCTIS 450 is a mixture of engineering and modern art; sharing an internal frame that we have come a custom to find with the more familiar S340 and H440 in addition adding to that mix a completely different outer shell design theme. The NOCTIS 450 is like imagining a Phantom and a H440 metamorphosing together into a completely different mixture of look and style, but still keeping that similar inner engineering that we have come to enjoy with NZXT sharing of innovations of Custom Computer Case Modders around the Globe.
The illusive PC Test Bench, something that if you are reviewing or testing PC hardware is a must have. Test benches make it extremely easy to swap out hardware compared to a traditional PC case. This not only makes things easier, but saves you quite a lot of time and frustration as well. Surprisingly there are not that many companies that offer PC test benches, but Lian Li is one of them. They first released the PC-T60, which supported ATX motherboards, but lacked room for AiO watercooling. The Lian Li PC-T80 is now here and supports motherboards up to XL-ATX and has room for radiators up to 360mm. We will be using this test bench for our new graphics card test rig, will it fit the bill? Read on as we find out!
Most of the cases that I have seen and reviewed this year have usually been what I personally refer to as cookie cutter cases. Meaning that most are generally all alike in build placement and engineering except for one or two exceptions that make that particular case unique, but the Silverstone FT04 is a case that defies this rule of case making. The Silverstone FT04 still has to follow the usual JEDEC Rules for conformity to the E-ATX form factor but past that is where it all changes to pure uniqueness. This Silverstone case defies most of the usual configuration standards and sets itself apart as being a “Case all its own”.
Now with the In Win 707 Gaming Black case we now see has a more conventional style and high build quality that is reminiscent of the older days both in construction and constraints that were there before and here now. The $139.00 price tag of the current In Win 707 Black Gaming case would have been $179.00 or more back in 2009 but times have changed and the case makers are doing their level best to keep cost down but sacrificing build quality is not in this one except for the plastic ODD door in the front. The rest is heavy duty steel, great paint, features and flexibility to make a huge server case or a minimalist gamer case. There is room for an extremely fat double CPU Server motherboard or an E-ATX or ATX regular sized motherboard.
Thermaltake has always been one to impress us over the years. Whether it’s from over the top cases or cases that have new design elements made to make installation easier we know Thermaltake first and foremost for their cases. Their latest Core Series was just that, cases made for builders, for expansion, for watercooling and pretty much whatever you could throw at them. While the Core Series was great, they were not traditional cases in the sense that they were more cube like and not a typical tower. Well today we have Thermaltake’s latest case that incorporates many of the design elements that are found in the Core Series and put them into a large mid tower case. The case that I am talking about is the Suppressor F51 and if you can guess by the name of the case it is made to “suppress” the noise inside your system. Let’s jump in!
While Fractal Design is a relative newcomer to the computer case industry it has been a phenomenal success. With help from master Modders and Case designers from Fractal themselves they have achieved a popularity status that most case companies that have been around much longer have lusted over from their inception.
The Z11 NEO is what the Greek word “NEO” suggest. It’s “a new or revived form of” the earlier generations of the Zalman Z11 series of case that have been very popular for quite some time. While the Z11 has been around for a while the Z11 is a much better improved updated and redesigned NEO looks better and gives more with a price that in earlier days would have cost a builder three times what this case costs now. What really sets off the Zalman Z11 series is the puff out serviceable gills on the sides that make it look like a stealth fighter bomber or a high dollar Lambo theme case. The case has a cockpit like window on the side that makes it even more appealing in a man vs. machine sort of way. The Z11 NEO in big letters on the side harkens some back to the days of the older Zalman LQ-1000 Z machine series that made it look serious on anyone’s work space. The branding lets onlookers know that your computer is something different than the average everyday work a day business machine. Having the Z11 NEO is an Artistic statement as much as a very well built case, so let’s take a look at what the NEO brings out in the new and revived version of the Zalman Z11.
In the simplest terms, an Aegis is a shield of protection to the heart of the warrior that wears this protective armor. This is a very fitting picture of the theme of this case from BitFenix. The BitFenix brand made mini computing a cool and universal way of life for many builder’s taking advantage of the newer smaller and magnificent new M-ITX and Micro ATX computers that have the same relative power of its bigger ATX counterparts with the BitFenix Prodigy Line of machines. In a way they invented the way to put together full custom looped water cooled Monster and stuffed it nicely into a small chassis that not only worked great but looked even better. So many flavors and mods have been commercially developed for that little chassis that could and now the people at BitFenix are at it again with the BitFenix Aegis Micro-ATX computer case.
Aug 28, 2015 0