Release roundup: Cases, SSDs, and a new cooler

Although this week has been short on major launches, our inbox did catch wind of a few smaller releases from Cooler Master, Corsair, and Lian Li.

  • Cooler Master GeminII S524: Ultimate Versatility Realized. This second-generation version of Cooler Master’s GeminII CPU cooler drops its predecessor’s dual fan mounts in favor of a single 120-mm spinner with a four-pin connector. If that’s not big enough, there are mounting holes for 140-mm fans, as well. The heatsink’s copper base and heatpipes have been nickel-plated to resist corrosion, and the aluminum cooling fins offer more surface area than the previous design. Cooler Master says the GeminII will sell for $40 and be compatible with a range of AMD and Intel sockets.

  • Corsair’s family of SandForce-powered Force Series SSDs have been around for a while now, but the latest models break new ground. According to the company, the new Force Series GT and Force Series 3 are the first to offer 6Gbps SATA connectivity with 90GB storage capacities. The former uses synchronous ONFI flash, while the latter is equipped with asynchronous NAND. The official press release only provides performance data for the GT, which is said to be capable of hitting 555MB/s with sequential reads and 505MB/s with writes. Expect to pay $200 for the GT and $160 for its little brother.

  • Lian Li Launches HTPC PC-V353 and Mini-Tower PC-Q25. Looking for a swanky case for your next small-form-factor build? The PC-Q25 is compatible with Mini-ITX and Mini-DTX motherboards and offers an impressive seven 3.5" hard drive bays. A combination of 120- and 140-mm fans should keep your array cool. Lest you think the case is only designed for storage servers, note that it will also accept graphics cards—or, I suppose, RAID controllers—up to 12.5" long. The PC-V353 is limited to graphics cards measuring 11.8", and it can only squeeze in four hard drives: two 3.5" models and a pair of 2.5-inchers. Larger microATX motherboards will fit, though, and the case has a unique arrangement that puts the 5.25" drive bay and "front-panel" expansion ports (including a two USB 3.0 connectors) on the right-hand side. In the picture below, the PC-V353 is on the left, while the PC-Q25 sits on the right.

Those 90GB Corsair SSDs offer a nice mid-point between the 60GB and 120GB models already on the market. I wouldn’t put too much stock into the suggested retail prices, though. SSD discounts are pretty common, and I expect you’ll be able to get both drives for less than the full asking price before too long.

Comments closed
    • LoneWolf15
    • 8 years ago

    MSRP for PC-V353: $199
    MSRP for PC-Q25: $149

    Ouch. I think Lian Li has some nice designs, those two included, but my Corsair 650D mid-tower cost $40 less than the PC-V353.

    • internetsandman
    • 8 years ago

    YES! Finally a company has seen the need for a proper cooler that can fit onto an ITX motherboard when the expansion slot is occupied. I know a market for such a feature is a niche, but I’m part of the niche that wants it, and dear god I wanna stick that cooler into an SG07 over a 2600K and let the magic begin

    • d0g_p00p
    • 8 years ago

    They need to add more drive bays for mini-ITX systems. I had been researching cases, motherboards and RAID controller cards to build a FreeNAS setup and instead bought a HP Microserver. Not only was it cheaper than building a mini-ITX system from scratch but I was able to cram 8 disks in it. 4x 3.5″ in the built in hotswap bays and 4x 2.5″ in the 5.25″ drive bay thanks to Supermicro. Add in a PCIe RAID controller and a 4 port USB 3.0 PCIe card and I have all the expansion I need.

    This was of course before I heard about the HP announcement. However the box is really really nice and would pick one up before they stop making them if you need a box like that. I would get another one but I am running out of need for NAS & iSCSI boxes since I am up to 4 now.

    Those Lian Li cases are very nice though….

    • albundy
    • 8 years ago

    dammm that lian li minitower looks sleek! my next build will be a mini itx! I really havent used any expansion slots for several years on my current board, so i wouldnt mind a box like this sitting next to my 52 inch sammy.

      • kamikaziechameleon
      • 8 years ago


    • Arclight
    • 8 years ago

    Have you guys heard about the “new” budget version of the Thermalright HR-02 Macho?


    • demani
    • 8 years ago

    That PC-V353 looks like it was intended for a Hackintosh build. Not sure about the side mount for the optical and the ports though- that really dictates placement as being on the right side of the TV, with plenty of clearance for cables (at least a thumb drive’s length).

      • Farting Bob
      • 8 years ago

      Yea, i can see that they tried to make the front a blank slate but its highly impractical having required user interactions on the side of the case. It limits the orientation and placement massively so what might have been the perfect case for someone would know be no use because there wouldn’t be enough space on the left to use the optical drive. Nobody has that issue with the front of a case.

      • cegras
      • 8 years ago

      This case looks great for a mATX / uATX gaming build, not sure why it’s billed as a HTPC case.

        • Ethyriel
        • 8 years ago

        Agreed, an HTPC case should fit on an audio rack.

      • JMccovery
      • 8 years ago

      I find it kind of strange that the PC-V353 doesn’t allow one to install the 5ΒΌ” drives on either side like the PC-V352.

      With enough space and cable-routing kung-fu, you could place it on either side of a TV and have the intake (front) side pointing either towards or away from the TV.

      What would be nice, though, is to run an optical drive externally, either by USB2.0/3.0 or eSATA and put it in a case that looks like a component Blu-Ray/DVD player.

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