Of all the weird and wonderful cases we saw in 2013, In Win's D-Frame remains the most memorable. The D-Frame Mini takes the original design and shrinks it down to accommodate the now popular Mini-ITX form factor. Despite the reduction in size the case can now support cooling radiators and models as large as 240mm, the graphics card length has been extended from 330mm to 340mm, and the chassis can rest on one of six sides rather than just two.
Silverstone's "stacked" design might offer unbeatable cooling performance, but as we found out in our review of the Raven RV05, it also resulted in a lot of wasted space and a cramped area to work with. The company knows this and has come up with a calmer, classier version of its extreme gaming case with the new Fortress FT05.
Silverstone's Raven RV01 caught our attention back in 2008 with a unique chassis layout that turned the motherboard upward so its I/O panel was on top of the enclosure instead of behind. Called the "stack effect," the design was highly original and more importantly, extremely effective for cooling. 2014's RV05 sticks to this layout but Silverstone claims to have eliminated much of the wasted space in previous models while bringing one of its better looking designs so far.
Typically, cases designed with the goal of being silent have been bland looking. But NZXT jazzes things up with the H440 using bright accents -- without looking too flashy -- along a redesigned interior and next-gen FN V2 fans. It also drops the old 5.25" drive bays to use the space for other hardware, a move we're interested in seeing other manufacturers make.
First unveiled at Computex 2013, Corsair's Carbide Air 540 employs an interesting dual-chamber design and is available in black, white and silver versions. The newer Obsidian 450D features a more traditional tower case design. In fact, it looks a lot like a smaller version of the 650D, which is in turn a smaller version of the legendary 800D. Despite having different designs, the Carbide Air 540 and Obsidian 450D are closely priced at $110 and $120.
Unveiled at CES this year, the latest member to Silverstone's Raven family quickly gained recognition for being the ultimate Steam Machine enclosure. Called the Raven Z RVZ01, this gaming chassis is among the best compact designs we've seen for cramming a fully-fledged enthusiast PC into an impressively small space.
The In Win tou is an $800 enclosure inspired by glass architecture and named after the Chinese word for "transparent". Its tempered glass panels are finished with a special coating that turns the outside into a mirror when your PC is off. However, when illuminated from the inside with the computer on, the tou's mirror coating becomes transparent.
Enter the Nebula by Xigmatek, a striking solution with a neat cube design that offers a 2.2L capacity. It's safe to say the Nebula is unlike anything we've seen before, and that tends to come at a premium. The case is pretty new and pricing isn't entirely clear yet in the US, but it's going for €85 or about $115 in other regions -- over twice the Elite RC-130's price.
As we reach the end of the year, it's a good time to look back and draw a line between the best tech product launches of 2013 and the rest of the pack. Leveraging the power of TechSpot's Product Finder, here come 2013's most popular and noteworthy tech products across 14 categories.
Even if the Asrock M8's style is not your thing, there's less room to argue that this is a unique gaming PC barebones kit and that was enough to earn our attention. We've been impressed with the looks of previous Asrock products -- including its mini PCs -- but the M8 is a clear step up having been designed by BMW Group DesignworksUSA, the driving force behind Thermaltake's Level 10 chassis, a case as overpriced as it is iconic.
Silverstone cases are often praised by enthusiasts and HTPC builders alike, and with good reason. We last checked the Fortress FT03 which deserved TechSpot's Outstanding award and now two years later, the much anticipated Fortress FT04 has made it to market.
Upon first glance this latest version looks a lot like the FT01 that was released back in 2008. The FT04 shares similar dimensions to the FT01, with a slight increase in size that we assume simply means it can fit drives and longer graphics cards more comfortably.
When I first started getting into the hobbiest side of PCs, I'd open my case at least a few times a week -- in fact, it was something of a necessity because I could only get the thing to boot by clearing the CMOS on its budget Abit motherboard. Although I still count myself as a PC enthusiast...
Branded the Obsidian 350D, the newcomer crams its more expensive sibling's features into an affordable microATX package and sports the same clean, black brushed-aluminum finish, handy tool-free design and innovative cable management.
While the base 350D is available for around $90, a second edition goes for $110 that adds a side window. So how does Corsair budget Obsidian fair? Read on and find out.
Lian Li's D8000 is also on the purposely huge HPTX form factor. As a point of reference, a standard ATX mid-tower supporting seven expansion slots generally has a 60L capacity while the big Cubitek HPTX-ICE and Lian Li PC-V2120 tout capacities of 79L and 88L.
With a capacity of 145L, the D8000 shatters that paradigm, offering 140% more room than a standard ATX case, which makes sense since the D8000 is essentially two full tower cases fused together.
Before last year, no In Win cases really caught our attention. That changed when we spotted the open-air X-Frame midway through 2012. Following the X-Frame's success, In Win introduced the H-Frame -- a similarly unique chassis with a feature list that includes eleven diamond-cut aluminum plates.
In Win's latest open-air chassis has to be their finest creation yet. The D-Frame is a limited edition aluminum pipe and tempered glass case that is unique and equally pricey. DIY'ers will be pleased nonetheless.
Although there are some solid small form factor cases available, none of them are perfect -- at least not if you're Wahaha360 and Necere from HardOCP's forum. Disappointed by popular enclosures such as the SilverStone SG05, the guys teamed up last year to design their...