Thursday, 26 April 2012

Fractal R3 & Fractal XL Overview!

Fractal are gaining great favourism from the PC community for its solidly built and elegant cases. So i thought i'd open up a few and take a closer look to see what the big fuss was about and if it really lived up to the hype.

The Fractal XL
Let's first take a look at its spec sheet:

Cooling system
  • 2x 140mm fans (one 140mm included, one optional) with removable and washable filters, in the front. Recommended for intake of air.
  • 1x 120mm fan optional with removable and washable filter, in the front. Recommended for intake of air.
  • 1x 180mm fan included in the top of the case. Recommended for exhaust of air.
  • 1x 140mm fan included in the rear of the case. Recommended for exhaust of air.
  • 1x 120/140mm fan optional in the side of the case. Recommended for intake of air.
  • 4x 5,25" bays, 1x 5,25" to 3,5" converter included
  • Mini-itx, micro ATX, ATX and E-ATX motherboards
  • 10x HDD trays. 4x HDD trays in the HDD cage in the main chamber. This HDD cage is removable and rotatable.(Space ~330mm with HDD Cage and without ~480mm) 6x HDD trays in the lower HDD chamber. These HDD cages are fixed.
  • A total of two 140mm fans and one 180mm fan included. Front 140mm fans are mounted with removable, washable filter. A fan controller is included, for mounting in one of the rear expansion slots.
  • Pre-fitted with dense noise absorbing material in both side panels.
  • ModuVent™ feature, allowing the user to choose between an optimal low noise level, having the cover mounted or optimal airflow by removing the cover and mounting a fan for intake.
  • Maximum PSU length: Supports PSU's with a depth of maximum circa 180mm
  • Maximum Graphic Card lenght: Supports graphic card lengths up to 330mm when removable HDD-Bay is in place
  • Maximum CPU cooler height: Supports CPU coolers with height of 180mm
  • Expansion slots: 7+1
  • On top of front panel: 2x USB 2.0, 2x USB 3.0 and Audio I/O
  • Case size (WxHxD): 232x560x561.3mm
  • Net weight: 17.95kg
The XL is your full sized ATX case and as expected the case is pure elegance. Slick corners coupled with soundproof material which makes this case a must for those looking for a truly silent computer set up. Most of its internal walls is covered with sound insulating pads, which in some places is removable to install optional fans. But they have done it so well that you don't have to remove an entire sheet of insulated padding. Instead they have already precut the padding to perfectly sit in the place of a potential fan. all you gotta do is remove the screws and the padding slips straight off. The case provides many of these spots to add in extra fans.

Looking around the insides i must say the build up of its build quality was seriously lacking. few of the edges had the metal sticking out, the hard drives moulds had bent handles and the side panel was distorted and didn't fit in perfectly with the rest of the case.

The Fractal R3

Cooling system
  • Fan controller for 3 fans included
  • 1 rear Fractal Design 120mm @ 1350rpm included
  • 1 front Fractal Design 120mm @ 1350rpm included
  • 1 front 120mm fan (optional)
  • 1 bottom 120mm/140mm fan (optional)
  • 1 side panel 120mm/140mm fan (optional)
  • 2 top 120mm/140mm fan (optional)
  • 8x 3,5 inch HDD trays, compatible with SSD
  • 2x 5,25 inch bays, with 1x 5,25>3,5 inch converter included
  • On top of front panel: 2x USB 2.0, 1x USB 3.0 and Audio I/O
  • No PSU included (removable filter below PSU)
  • M/B compatibility: Mini ITX, Micro ATX and ATX
  • 7x expansion slots with sleek white painted brackets
  • Supports graphic card lengths up to ~290mm
  • Supports CPU coolers with height of ~165mm
  • Supports PSU's with a depth of maximum circa 170mm, when using bottom 120/140mm fan location. When not using the bottom 120/140mm fan location, the case supports also longer PSU's, typically 200-220mm.
  • Case size (WxHxD): 207.40x442x521.2mm
  • Net weight: 12.50kg
This mid sized tower is almost identical to its full sized counterpart, the XL. The interior is reshuffled a bit to fit in the smaller area but almost packs the same punch as t he XL. Yet again however the quality in its build was lacking. It suffered the same issues with the XL with its distorted panels, dodgy hard drive caddies and bent edges. It's hard to think these things would have happened during transit because both cases fit very snuggle in thick foam padding.

Overall, even though they do lack that fine touch, they are quite nice cases and those looking for silence will really appreciate the insulated interior. Sound insulation pads are generally quite expensive so getting a case with such things already built into the case with such elegance, is a big big bonus!

Friday, 20 April 2012

Cyborg R.A.T & F.L.Y Review!

Ever wanted to just pull apart a mouse just for fun, or maybe adjust it ever so slightly just to make it sit a bit more comfortable on your hand? Well, apparently the guys at Cyborg thought some gamers might, so they’ve gone and made a brand new line-up of their R.A.T series gaming mice.

The R.A.T comes in a few flavours and as a bonus we’ve got ourselves the F.L.Y:
I’ll be taking a closer look at the R.A.T 7, which is considered the standard flagship model. In fact the only difference between the 7 and 9 is the added functionality of wireless to the 9.

  • DPI range – 25-6400dpi (in 25dpi steps)
  • Acceleration - 50G
  • Polling Rate -Dynamic up to 1000Hz
  • Tracking Speed - Up to 6m/sec
  • Always On
  • PTFE "Slick" Feet
  • Gold plated connector
  • Braided USB cable
The packaging comes in a nice triangulated jigsaw like mix of plastic and cardboard. Once you take out the main unit you’ll find a nice little velour padded box containing replaceable parts of the mouse. Quite a nifty little box I must say with each part featuring its own carefully moulded firm foaming.
Once I had the unit in my hand, the first thing I wanted to do was pull this bad boy apart as much as I can. Once you remove the carefully inserted screw driver like tool from the rear of the unit you are able to remove the pinky finger rest, loosen up the angle of the thumb rest and adjust the position of the thumb rest. So it does allow for interesting customization. The rear palm rest area is also removable and features a replacement with rubber padding for extra grip. The rear also allows you to adjust how far you would like to extend it towards the end.
First thing I noticed when using it, was that it was not designed for me. I like to claw my mice and this just was not setup to be used in that way. Even when I extended out the rear all it did was raise the back of my hand too much. This made it feel not so ergonomic. Some others in the office however found that using it with a full palm was actually quite good and comfortable. So you have the information of both types of users!

Apart from the strange feeling when gaming with it, it is actually quite a cool little mouse. Not only does it look cool but allows you to customize it ever so much to fit as closely as it can to your hands natural curvature. It is on the a bit pricey side (especially the wireless), however for the workmanship that’s gone into it, it is priced accordingly.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

NZXT Switch 810 Overview!

NZXT have released quite a few eye turning cases lately and the Switch 810 is the latest. You may have seen it being displayed around the internet, so I took one up to the office to take a closer look at what the fuss is all about.


The Switch 810 comes in a large black box safely guarded by foam moulds on the back and front of the case. However unlike the black box it comes in, the case is covered in pure white, so white that I’d be afraid to take this case anywhere but keep it in my office. We all know white things love distressing us by displaying all the nasty scratches and marks on a nice flat white surface. The positive is that dust won’t be as recognizable which does have its drawbacks as you’ll be blind to all the build-up of the particles that love to build up in your precious machine!

Looking at the unit I was a bit worried about the build quality and I wasn’t wrong. The case does feature a fair amount of overhanging plastic that feels wobbly and a bit flaky, a disgruntling feature which will be noticeable while fiddling with the top of the case. Its top is where this case loses majority of its points. It features spaced out grids to promote airflow from the single supplied fan (supports up to 3 fans, or a water cooling black in the provided area), so why did they add the ability to completely close off the top to disable airflow altogether? If you install 3 fans on the slot above, why would you go and close off the top? And it’s not like the air will have any other place to go as there are no other ventilation slots apart from the top gaps.
Time to look at its internals. After fiddling with the screw-lock combination which is ridiculously designed and executed poorly, the extra-large windowed panel reveals pure white elegance and simplicity in its design. The case has plenty of holes to thread your cables through, yet not providing adequate space between the motherboard tray and the side panel. The space is as thick as my middle finger and first impressions give me the feeling that the motherboard power cable would either be ridiculously tight, or if you have an Enermax power supply which features both motherboard power cables in one thick cable would probably not fit.
The 5.25” bays provide a simple single hot pluggable bay which can be used to swap in and out your extra storage drive, or to house your SSD. The 3.5” bays are divided equally into two removable bays which are fantastic as it allows you to access the front panel to install extra fans, or even remove an entire bay all together and provide more room for airflow. The top bay features an angle adjustable fan which will blow straight onto your graphics card, which would provide multi card users with a great flow of air. Oh, don’t forget the fact that this case is very water cooler friendly and is almost built purely for water cooling enthusiasts. So don’t be afraid if you were pondering if this case is ready for intricate water cooling setups.
Overall, this case should be attractive to those who would like to setup a nice simple and clean looking case in their study/office. While it does lack from a good solid design, if it isn’t going to be going anywhere then it doesn’t really matter, does it?

By Sahin Selvi

The benchmark results may differ from user to user depending on what background software you are running and versions of benchmark software. These results aren’t portrayed to be seen as exact performance figures but merely as a rough estimate on the performance of the machine. These results are in no way bias to any company or person and are here to provide the end user in depth details and to provide extra assistance of potential purchases. All information on this page is subject to copyright. Please do not copy any parts of this article.