CasesReviews

SilverStone’s VT02 – An STX Upgrade

Comments on the ASRock DeskMini (non-GTX) line have been clear, the stock case that comes with the DeskMini line is pretty average – from the cheap plastic fascia to the mediocre tray style build. The plastic rails and hard-mounted front panel config just leaves a lot of room for that dreaded cables-stuck-in-fan situation. SilverStone’s VT series of cases have existed as long as the DeskMini line of cases, but with little fanfare – these quiet achievers have sat out of the limelight. Part of why I asked for review samples (thanks SilverStone!) of both models, everyone loves an underdog.  At …
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Forum Feature: The Case Hoarding Therapy Group

Most of us are guilty of it – tech hoarding. Whilst some can justify it (all these parts are for review work, honest!), some just like to collect PC components. In “Dr” Arboreal’s thread, community members can come clean about their obsession – in this case, *cough*, cases. The first step is acknowledging the problem, right? Starting with Arboreal’s list of mostly Silverstone products, other forum members have started listing what they have sitting about, mostly SFF, but with a few larger enclosures hiding in the crowd. The broad spectrum of cases in the possession of the community is mindblowing …
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The Planck EZ 47 Key Keyboard Hits Pre-order

Comment: We’re a big fan of SFF stuff here (well duh!). Some of us have only SFF systems, whilst some go the whole hog – SFF peripherals, cars, houses… you get what I mean. For those who love SFF keyboards, the Planck EZ 47 Key is ready for pre-order. Whilst the minimalist aesthetic and form factor may not be for all, this should please some in the SFF Keyboards forum thread.  Eschewing a numpad, function keys, amongst much more, this is simplicity. As a 104 key enthusiast (I demand a numpad!), this isn’t my thing, but to each their own! …
ReviewsSystems

ASRock’s DeskMini A300 – Finally!

Around a year ago, AMD graced us with the Ryzen APU family, bringing higher logical core counts and the Vega GPU architecture to the APU platform. Unlike the rather.. limited.. FM1/2/2+ platform family, the new generation ran on the AM4 platform, allowing anyone to choose between CPUs and APUs for their builds. What the new Ryzen platform also offered is a chipset-less option – A300. Because Ryzen integrates so many controllers and devices into the die, it is possible to create a motherboard with no chipset at all, much like the ill-fated AM1 platform. SATA, PCIe, RAM, and more fed …
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MSI’s ITX 1660 Ti and 1660 Cards Appear

With the impeding retail launch of the NVIDIA 1660 series cards (ugh, naming schemes), we were expecting to see product pages appear. Lo and behold, MSI’s ITX cards in the family have appeared! The links to these cards were sent through our tip line – thanks! Keeping the same shroud as the previous generation Aero cards, not much has changed on the outside. It’s the inside where things have iterated. Both cards feature a 192 bit memory bus, are rated at 120W, and have a single layer of rear ports, with DisplayPort x 1 (v1.4), HDMI 2.0b, and DL-DVI-D. HDCP support …
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Scythe Updates a Legend – the Big Shuriken 3 CPU Cooler Launched

Comment: The Scythe Big Shuriken 2B has been a highly recommended CPU cooler for those seeking high performance CPU cooling in a SFF rig for some time. As time went on though, new coolers dominated the market, leaving the Big Shuriken to nostalgia status in many use cases. Scythe has been working on an update behind the scenes, and a long awaited one. Finally, AM4 support, a redesigned fan (hopefully with a better motor design.. no more melty motors). However, the upgrades have come at a cost – the former model measured in at 58 mm tall, and the revision …
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Noctua presents NH-U12A premium class 120mm CPU cooler

Comment: We had a quick look at Noctua’s new coolers at Computex 2018 – including a prototype for this very cooler. With 140mm cooler performance in a 120mm cooler form factor, this was exciting news for us in the SFF world! Using a denser fin stack, as well as the new generation Sterrox fans, the cooler offers some hefty cooling. We can’t wait to see reviews for this cooler to see if the numbers stack up! Discuss in the forum here. The press release: Press Release: When a new post is marked a such, the content is copied verbatim from …
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Forum Feature: SENTRY 2.0

In a semi-regular series, we will have a short look at various projects and one-off builds in the forum. This is not a paid promotion in any way, just a selection of cool stuff we like! Hot on the heels of the first generation Sentry, the Dr Zaber team has taken it upon themselves to update the concept. Taking feedback into account from the first production run, as well as crowdsourcing more, the team has stepped it up a notch (or three) in design and execution.   For most in the SFF community, the Sentry needs no introduction. However, for …
ReviewsSystems

Guest Review: ECS Liva Z2

This review has been provided by forum member Duality92! Editing has been performed by John Morrison. I would like to take this opportunity to thank ECS for this product sample, they have provided me with an ECS Liva Z2 for the purpose of this review. ECS is no newcomer in the Mini PC world, this is the third unit I have reviewed, the others being the Liva Plus and the miniscule Liva Q. The Liva Z2 is the latest generation of the fanless Mini PC lineup from ECS. It sports the Intel Gemini Lake CPU, which were released in Q4 …