Release roundup: Windowed cases, 1200W power, and an OC-friendly mobo

Every week, we gather press releases that slipped through the net of our daily coverage, and we post them in the release roundup. Here’s this week’s selection:

  • ASRock reveals its first OC-oriented mainboard. Folks have been overclocking ASRock motherboards for years, but the Z77 OC Formula is the first one designed specifically for the activity. As its name implies, the board uses Intel’s Z77 platform hub and is meant for Ivy Bridge CPUs. The eight-layer circuit board is populated with all kinds of fancy electrical components, including digital PWMs. A substantial heatsink covers the voltage regulation circuitry and features not only a small fan, but also barbs to accommodate liquid cooling systems. ASRock has loaded the board with thermal sensors and voltage probing points, as well. Naturally, there are three PCIe x16 slots, plus loads of extra USB 3.0 and 6Gbps SATA ports. Newegg already has the board in stock for $240.

  • Fractal Design launches windowed side panels for Arc Midi, Define R4. Gazing into the Arc Midi and Define R4 just got easier. Fractal Design has released windowed side panels for both cases. The windows measure 10.6" x 11.4", and they eliminate side-panel fan mounts on both cases. Although a windowed version of the Arc Midi isn’t being offered (the side panel must be purchased separately), there are now black, white, and grey versions of the Define R4 equipped with the windowed panel by default. The updated R4 cases are supposed to sell for $120, but Newegg has all three on sale for $105, which is $5 less than the standard versions.

  • OCZ unveils the PC Power & Cooling Silencer MK III 1200W. The Silencer MK III family used to top out at 600W, but OCZ has doubled that output capacity with the latest addition to the line. This 1200W model is rated for just under 100A of 12V output. It carries 80 Plus Platinum certification, which denotes 89-92% efficiency. The fully modular design has fancier plugs than the other members of the MK III line, and the 140-mm fan is slightly larger than the 120-mm units deployed on the lower-wattage models. OCZ covers the 1200W unit with a longer seven-year warranty, too. The other MK III flavors have five-year warranties and 80 Plus Bronze ratings. The MK III 1200W is selling for $350 at Newegg right now.

Although the side window doesn’t match the Define R4’s monolithic exterior perfectly, it’s nice to be able to see the guts of a PC, especially if you’ve taken the time to tidy up the wiring. The windowed Define R4 looks like a nice deal with the current discount.

Comments closed
    • UberGerbil
    • 7 years ago

    Regarding that Asrock mobo: if there are barbs for liquid cooling, then I presume the heatsinks are hollow to allow fluid to flow. But if you’re not liquid cooling, then that space is filled by… air, which is a pretty good insulator? Are the heatsinks really beefy metal with just a relatively-small liquid-cooling tube running through them?

    • hiro_pro
    • 7 years ago

    is anyone using a 1200 watt power supply? i have an 850 watt power supply pushing 2 video cards and 5 hard drives. last time i checked my UPS is drawing less than 350 watts. am i missing something? or are people using USB powered coffee makers and microwaves?

      • brucethemoose
      • 7 years ago

      OCZ never said anyone needs a 1200W PSU… but that doesn’t mean they wont buy it.

      An OC’d quad 7970/580/480, dual xeon setup might tax this power supply (if your house is wired well). Most of these people already have PSUs. In other words, there’s a VERY small niche out, a fraction of which may need to replace their PSU with this.

      And most sales won’t be from these people.

      • Farting Bob
      • 7 years ago

      I know plenty of people who think that they need a 1000-1200w PSU because “ive got a high end GPU and plan to overclock”.

      Really, nobody needs a 1200w PSU for anything short of 4 680’s as a folding machine.
      But 1000w+ PSU’s clearly sell because everyone does them these days. It also helps that they can slap a platinum sticker on it, high efficiencies are easier to achieve with higher rated units, all else being equal.

      I have a 2500k overclocked and a 7850, plus 2 HDD’s. My PSU does not use more than 200w on anything except synthetic GPU+CPU benchmarks at the same time. But then my PSU is a gold rated 425w beauty. Deadly efficient, quiet and surprisingly cheap.

        • moose17145
        • 7 years ago

        Actually i know a few people who could make good use of this psu. Not for the high wattage rating but for the efficiency. They are running a dual gpu setup and pull 500 – 700 watts under load. They keep their machine under full load most of the time for either bitcoin mining / folding. Since on the whole most PSUs tend to be most efficient at roughly the 50% of their max rated load this would be perfect for them.

        Plenty of reasons to get a PSU with this high of a rating outside simply needing that many watts under full load or bragging rights. Granted most computers still do not need a PSU with this high of a rating (my i7-920 / 4870 rig is running quite happily off of a 600 watt psu).

          • Farting Bob
          • 7 years ago

          Sure PSU’s reach their most efficient usually around 50% load (it can vary though, check a detailed review or it’s 80plus datasheet at least), but if you are only ever pulling in 600w at full load, there is still little reason to get a 1200w PSU unless it is priced the same as an 800w unit. You’d use maybe a few more watts getting a lower rated PSU that operates outside its optimal zone under load but save $50 buying the cheaper unit.

      • Deanjo
      • 7 years ago

      Yup, 14 HD’s, 6 core 125W processor overclocked, 3 graphics cards (two doing computing tasks) and a couple of other expansion cards running @ pretty much 100% load 24/7.

      • Chrispy_
      • 7 years ago

      I could probably use a 1200 watt power supply;

      By removing the safey circuitry, I might be able to arc weld with one.

      • rrr
      • 7 years ago

      2 dual GPU video cards + heavy OC on a fitting platform can easily need such power supply.

    • donkeycrock
    • 7 years ago

    I noticed that the ASS rock has a broadcom NIC. Is that better or worse than a Intel one?

      • Deanjo
      • 7 years ago

      Worse.

      • Forge
      • 7 years ago

      From a technical standpoint, same or better, if you run Windows. For alt. OSes, slightly worse (less support).

      From a consumer standpoint, worse. Windows has more OOB drivers for Intel NICs than others, though BCom has been getting that number up lately.

        • Deanjo
        • 7 years ago

        You will usually better driver support, higher throughput, lower cpu usage, lower latencies, advance setting support (such as larger jumbo frame size) and better reliability with a intel nic.

    • Chrispy_
    • 7 years ago

    I’d actually be interested in a window for the Arc Mini for two reasons.

    [list=1<][*<]It's a great little case for cable routing - easy to get tidy[/*<][*<]I don't like or want the side-panel vents. They barely aid cooling yet they let all the noise out and dust in.[/*<][/list<]

      • UberGerbil
      • 7 years ago

      If you’ve got the case fans set up for positive pressure there shouldn’t be much dust getting in through the vents. Or you could apply some sound insulation over the entire inside of the panel, and solve both problems. (Or stick a fan over it, to make them worse — unless you made the fan an exhaust, I guess — I don’t know why so many manufacturers put filters over every fan location except the side panel)

        • Chrispy_
        • 7 years ago

        Yeah, this; If you put a fan there it’s unfiltered so it hoovers up the dust. If you don’t put a fan there it looks ugly. Taping over it looks ugly. Not taping over it looks ugly 😉

        What I really hate about side-panel intakes is twofold: [list<][*<]They are a problem that needs attention either way. With fan - requires filter, Without fan - requires covering/soundproofing. [/*<][*<]They are ugly: Manufacturers go to great lengths to make the front/top openings attractive with painted mesh, grilles that match the case aesthetics, stealth vents behind panels a-la P180 or Define series, filters, rubber soft-mounts etc. Then the intake fans are quite often just an ugly set of stamped holes in the side of the flimsiest, rattliest panel on the whole case. Whose dumbass idea was that, or is it just a checkbox feature added as an afterthought?[/*<][/list<] </rant>

          • UberGerbil
          • 7 years ago

          It is odd, though I don’t usually see the side of the case so the aesthetics of it don’t bother me. In the Fractal Design case (Arc Midi) I used for my last personal build, I was disappointed that there was no filter material (or even a good aftermarket option) though that’s true for virtually all cases. I don’t have a discrete GPU in there at the moment, but if I add one I will probably put a fan in the side set to exhaust, and bump up the intake fans a bit to match.

    • flip-mode
    • 7 years ago

    ASRock should name that mobo the Bee Sting.

      • Vasilyfav
      • 7 years ago

      How about “Bumblebee” ?

        • Deanjo
        • 7 years ago

        Given their heritage with Asus and their history of ripping off Hasboro that wouldn’t be much of a surprise.

          • superjawes
          • 7 years ago

          Aren’t ASRock and Asus different companies?

          edit: okay…maybe I’m wrong, but there doesn’t seem to be a clear link between their websites.

            • entropy13
            • 7 years ago

            Yes, they’re different companies. They’re both owned by Pegatron but the two are operated separately.

      • vargis14
      • 7 years ago

      Yellow Jacket! Z77Hornet!

    • Jon
    • 7 years ago

    RE: the Fractal windowed case. How much sound do you reckon will pass through that window? My understanding is that one of the prominent features of the R4 is the sound dampening mats used to line the interior of the case. If there’s a window now….that should reduce the effectiveness of the sound dampening.

      • Vulk
      • 7 years ago

      Transparent to visible light does not automatically equate to transparent to vibration, i.e. sound. There are plenty of noise dampening transparent materials, they could use one… Or not. It would need to be tested.

        • Chrispy_
        • 7 years ago

        But what if your fans start miming at you?

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