Page 1:AMD Still Has Game
Page 2:CPU, Motherboard, And RAM
Page 3:Graphics And Power
Page 5:Case And CPU Cooling
Page 7:Water Block Installation
Page 8:Final Assembly
Page 10:Test Settings And Benchmarks
Page 11:Benchmark Results: Crysis And Fallout 3
Page 12:Benchmark Results: Far Cry 2 And H.A.W.X.
Page 13:Benchmark Results: World In Conflict
Page 14:Benchmark Results: A/V Encoding
Page 15:Benchmark Results: Productivity
Page 16:Benchmark Results: Synthetic
Page 17:Power, Heat, And Efficiency
Page 18:It’s Ready To Fight
2.5" SSD to 3.5" Bay Adapter: SNT SNT-SATA2221B Hot-Swappable Backplane
We couldn’t think of a better device to hold two low-heat 2.5” SSD drives than a dual-bay hot-swappable backplane. For a low $22 price, the SNT-SATA2221B offers the conveniences of tray-less design and front-panel access while consuming only a single 3.5" external bay.
This is actually a far better-designed unit than the one that appeared in our February SBM, as it requires no cable adapters and only a single power plug. The design is also cheaper to produce, though Newegg carries other brands of this product at up to twice its price.
For three-times its price, buyers could even find an upscale version with a single-data connection and built-in RAID controller. The RAID version was probably the original design from which this cheaper version is derived, but we decided to save our $44 and use motherboard RAID instead of an external controller.
3.5" to 5.25" Bay Adapter: Vantec EZ-Swap EX (Accessory-Only)
Our case doesn’t have a 3.5” external bay and the only 3.5” to 5.25” bay adapters at Newegg have a thumb groove for Epson-style floppy drives.
The solution, of course, is to buy the Ultra-ATA EZ-Swap EX, discard the unneeded bits, and use its less-expensive yet better-looking 3.5” to 5.25” bay adapter to hold our SNT backplane.
Component Cooling: Antec SpotCool
Motherboards are designed to use the draft from the CPU cooler to keep the voltage regulator and chipset northbridge cool, but that design puts liquid-cooled systems like ours at risk of instability. Instead of adding a big memory cooling fan and hoping the rear-panel exhaust would keep our motherboard cool enough, we picked a familiar part that can serve both needs.
A flexible wand allows Antec’s SpotCool to be aimed in nearly any direction, while a three-speed controller allows it to be set from 2,000 to 3,000 RPM. If that’s not enough to satisfy your purchasing demands, Antec went on to add four blue LED lights to this ultra-flexible $15 part.
- AMD Still Has Game
- CPU, Motherboard, And RAM
- Graphics And Power
- Case And CPU Cooling
- Water Block Installation
- Final Assembly
- Test Settings And Benchmarks
- Benchmark Results: Crysis And Fallout 3
- Benchmark Results: Far Cry 2 And H.A.W.X.
- Benchmark Results: World In Conflict
- Benchmark Results: A/V Encoding
- Benchmark Results: Productivity
- Benchmark Results: Synthetic
- Power, Heat, And Efficiency
- It’s Ready To Fight