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Archive for the ‘case’ tag

Second Hand Hardware

Posted on 5th Mar 2010 at 10:25 by Antony Leather with 32 comments

Antony Leather
With relatively high failure rates (I'm sure we've all had plenty of stuff die out of warranty, I know I have) and the rate at which PC technology advances, there's not as much second hand gear out there as there might be compared to other things, like cars or cameras.

However, while I love receiving shiny new kit, I've always been a fan of buying and selling second hand PC hardware so if you've never thought of going to computer fairs or online auction sites for your next upgrades here's a few reasons why it's worth it and also what to watch out for.

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Test Bench Roundup #1: Intel and MSI

Posted on 27th Jan 2010 at 10:27 by Richard Swinburne with 7 comments

Richard Swinburne
Test rigs are a rarely catered-for niche, since most people prefer a whole case with side panels and stuff. Antec tried and failed with its Skeleton chassis, completely forgetting that a test bench needs to accommodate all sorts of potential setups - including after market coolers, an area which it was not so compatible with. In a sense, it was the glam-rocker of test benches with all show and no metal core.

We've had a couple drop on our doorstep recently and true to form they are raw to the core. We thought we'd write a blog about the test-benches we use regularly for those who like the idea of a freestanding, easy access "case".

They are surprisingly diverse as you'll see below, and in part 2 I'll treat you to possibly the greatest creation of all time: my home-modded one!

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Cool Modding Stuff #1

Posted on 17th Sep 2009 at 12:07 by Antony Leather with 7 comments

Antony Leather
Being a modder at heart as well as an IT journalist, I'm always on the lookout for new and interesting hardware or gadgets that might be part of a future mod. I thought I'd share my findings here on bit-tech, just in case I've come across something you might find useful!

I hope to do this regularly too and I'll be bringing five or so cool things I've found on my travels on a monthly basis (hopefully!), so if you're planning a mod or a scratch build or you're thinking of improving the cooling in your existing PC, make sure you watch this space!

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Is there such a thing as the perfect PC case?

Posted on 19th Jun 2009 at 10:53 by Antony Leather with 30 comments

Antony Leather
What would your perfect case look like? It's a question I've been pondering ever since I got into water-cooling. I’ve tended to scrutinise every new case I see in terms of how much room there is for pumps, reservoirs and more importantly, radiators. If there wasn’t a viable location for a radiator - for example where two 120mm fans are placed together or a panel big enough for a section to be cut out for a radiator - then I'd lose interest straight away.

My viewpoint has changed somewhat now that I’m reviewing all kinds of cases and with good reason - not every one of our readers is into liquid cooling. Besides, good air cooling is a must in any case, even if you're water-cooling, as you still need to maintain a good degree of airflow to cool hardware such as hard disk drives and hot spots on the motherboard.

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Revisiting the Akasa Enigma

Posted on 27th Mar 2009 at 13:29 by Richard Swinburne with 7 comments

It wasn't unexpected that Akasa had a few points of concern about our review. Akasa said that in order for the case to perform optimally, the mini-ITX board needed to be less than 30mm tall and we needed to use Akasa's LGA775 or AM2+ coolers specially designed for it.

We checked our Gigabyte GA-230D and found the northbridge heatsink and fan was 35mm tall, while the Jetway NC92-330-LF was 29.5mm, as was the reference Intel Atom board.

Revisiting the Akasa Enigma Revisiting Akasa's Enigma Revisiting the Akasa Enigma Revisiting Akasa's Enigma
Click to enlarge

Our immediate concern is "how do I know what mini-ITX motherboard I buy is compatible?" We looked around at mini-ITX boards listed on websites and seldom do they list the total height, making choosing the right board a very difficult task.

Revisiting the Akasa Enigma Revisiting Akasa's Enigma Revisiting the Akasa Enigma Revisiting Akasa's Enigma
Click to enlarge

Another thing is the complete lack of manual in the box - we had to be instructed by Akasa of the "correct way" to install everything which is very specific. Just a sheet of A4 explaining that a 90 degree SATA connector is required (another additional purchase from Akasa), and the hard drive should be installed upside down and facing inwards would have been good.

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CM Storm NovaTouch TKL Review

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