Fractal Design Define R5: Silent Chassis for Ambitious Systems

Fractal Design has recently added a new R5 model to its renowned Define series. The new-comer is targeting enthusiasts longing for high performance combined with silent operation. It is represented in two chassis modifications — with an acrylic side window ($119.99) and with a blind side panel ($109.99) – as well as in three color versions: white, black, and titanium. The case is ready to accommodate motherboards of nearly all formats (mini-ITX, micro-ATX, ATX) with the maximum of 7 expansion slots.



Featuring 531x462x232 mm dimensions, Fractal Design Define R5 offers a pair of 5.25-inch drive bays, eight 3.5-inch drive bays, and two 2.5-inch drive bays. Herein, if necessary, all of them might be removed to allow for the installation of long graphics cards (up to 310 mm), of high CPU coolers (up to 180 mm), and of varied heatspreaders. Besides, due to a well-elaborated framework, the drives can be fixed and removed without any tools.


To continue, this chassis boasts the …

MSI AM1I: Motherboard with Military Class 4 Hardware Base

MSI is one of the first manufacturers to introduce a motherboard for the newly launched AMD AM1 platform. The MSI AM1I features rather compact dimensions (170x170 mm) but its mini-ITX form-factor does not affect the specified functional possibilities for entry-level systems. The model supports AMD Athlon/Sempron processors for the above-mentioned socket.



The employment of Military Class 4 hardware base is supposed to be a major advantage of AM1I motherboard. It involves dark chokes, dark capacitors and other crucial components, which are backed by Military Class Essentials technology. The latter is called to protect the PCB from varied unfavorable happenings, i.e. high humidity, electrostatic discharge or high temperatures.


The PCB comes with two DIMM slots for the incorporation of one-channel DDR3 memory modules (up to 32 GB) with 1333/1600 MHz frequency. Storage is organized by means of two SATA III 6 Gb/sec ports, whereas expansion of functional is due to two PCI …

Asus Surprises by Xonar U3 Plus External Sound Card

Asus always makes people stare at its gadgets, PC devices, and hardware components. Its latest external sound card, entitled Xonar U3 Plus, is no exception. It boasts a small-sized flash-like design, receiving power via a standard USB port. According to Asus designers, the card is intended for those customers who look for a comprehensive solution for high-quality audio playback and recording.



Asus Xonar U3 Plus is furnished with an in-build amplifier for headphones with a variable gain level, compatible with different audio fittings of less than 150 ohm impedance. Therefore, this amplifier dramatically improves the playback of high and low frequencies, adding dynamics to high-frequency and low-frequency sounds (to reproduce multiple effects: steps, blasts, etc.).


To continue, this model supports microphone recording in real time by means of an integrated digital signal processor; the latter ensures minimal latencies on audio programming. It also boasts the availability of …
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