Release roundup: Cases, graphics, and a compact gaming PC
We have a pretty full roster of releases for this week's roundup. Cooler Master, iBuypower, Thermaltake, and Zotac have all e-mailed us about new products.
- Cooler Master announces Storm Scout 2 Advanced. This new mid-tower case from Cooler Master is available in both black and white. In Cooler Master's words, the case has an "ultramodern rifle appeal that elevates itself to the pinnacle of support for its size." O... kay. This is a pretty slick-looking chassis, though, and it can accommodate some serious hardware. There's room for seven hard drives, two SSDs, nine 120-mm fans, and ultra-long dual-GPU graphics cards from AMD or Nvidia. USB 3.0 front-panel connectivity is on the menu, as well, behind a sliding door just above the three 5.25" bays. Not bad for $109.99.
- iBuypower begins shipping Revolt PC. The new Revolt from iBuypower is a pre-built gaming PC with unusually small dimensions—just 4.6" x 16" x 16.2". Even its design is unusual; I'm getting an Aperture Science vibe from the rounded edges and contrasting black and white. Pricing starts at $499 with a Core i3-3220 and Intel integrated graphics, but iBuypower lets you customize the system with up to a Core i7-3770K processor and a GeForce GTX Titan graphics card.
- Thermaltake launches Urban S21 chassis. The Urban S21 is surprisingly subdued for a Thermaltake case. It's even got a brushed metal front panel to hide those unsightly storage bays. This enclosure seems a little less beefy than the Storm Scout 2; it only has six hard-drive bays (all of the tool-less variety) and five fan-mounts (two of which are occupied by pre-installed fans). Still, there's plenty for your typical enthusiast PC—and even a little more, since graphics cards as long as 12.5" are supported. The Urban S21 also has USB 3.0 front-panel connectivity and rubber-grommeted holes for cable management.
- Zotac refines GeForce GTX 680 AMP! Edition. The new GTX 680 AMP! Edition features Zotac's Dual Silencer cooling solution, which has, you guessed it, dual fans (and a pretty decent amount of copper, by the looks of it). The card runs at 1100MHz with a 1176MHz boost clock and a 6608MT/s memory speed. Zotac tosses copies of Nero Kwikmedia, XBMC, and Unigine Heaven in the box, and it also includes a voucher for a free downloadable copy of Assassin's Creed III.
- Zotac releases new FireStorm overclocking utility. If you feel like overclocking that new GTX 680 AMP!, Zotac has a fresh version of its FireStorm utility to help. You can grab the new software here and see it in action in the video below. According to Zotac, the software supports everything from GPU Boost control to video memory monitoring to LCD display overclocking and fan-speed adjustments—and it lets you save as many five performance profiles.
I like this recent trend of compact pre-built gaming rigs. Nvidia seems to like it, as well, because they shipped GeForce GTX Titan samples inside Falcon Northwest Tikki PCs, which are pretty similar to the Revolt. Assembling a PC yourself is much more fun than paying someone else to do it, of course, but there's definitely value in getting a console-sized PC that looks pretty and runs all the latest games.