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Thread: SaharaGaming C500B, R20 CPU Cooler, Pirate Sync Controller, Pirate Duo & Typhoon

  1. #1
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    Apr 2011
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    SaharaGaming C500B, R20 CPU Cooler, Pirate Sync Controller, Pirate Duo & Typhoon

    Introduction

    Back in the day case styles were fairly bland. Cases were not much more than a metal box stuffed with computer parts, and your style choices were limited to pretty much one. It was that way for years. Of course now things are very different. Case designs are all over the map. Even the most basic case of today is light years ahead of where we were 20 years ago. Today, we get to look at the C500B case from SaharaGaming, a brand you may not be aware of as they are pretty new and trying to establish themselves in the market. Their products are currently available on Amazon, for example, and their product range is refreshingly compact. We will review the C500B case, which targets the mainstream market with RGBs and plenty of fans. The selection of housings with glazed side panels and RGB lighting is currently very large. Many manufacturers have the glass and lighting paid accordingly - but not SaharaGaming with the C500B. Because this housing is available from around 60 GBP. Despite the price, it comes with a front and side panels made of tempered glasses. You can find out which features the case still has in our test.



    A quick look at the specifications:





    Packaging & Contents

    The SaharaGaming C500B ships in a brown cardboard box with the name of the chassis on the front.



    The rear holds a full-size image of the front of the chassis.



    You will find detailed specifications and features on the left side.



    In the right side is some marketing text in multiple languages.



    The chassis is held in place by foam spacers. In addition, a plastic bag has been placed over the chassis to protect it from fingerprints and scratches.



    You will get a bag of black screws, and five zip ties. While it is nice to see the latter, it would have been good to include more.





    SaharaGaming went ahead and sent us all the accessories it will sell alongside the C500B. These consist of four separate extras.






    R20 CPU Cooler:
    The cooler is supplied in a coloured cardboard box. It contains the together with the mounting accessories.








    Specifically, this involves a plastic frame and four push pins, which are required for installation on Intel socket.





    Apart from that, only a small bag of heat conducting paste is included, which is sufficient for a one-time installation. No further accessories are used, which was to be expected in view of the price.



    Given the low price of the R20 CPU Cooler, which requires the addition of RGB lighting, it is hardly surprising that the cooler has some cost-cutting features. The fan sits on the blades and is held in place by a proprietary frame, so it cannot be replaced. The frame also houses the RGB LEDs that provide the lighting.



    In contrast to the boxed coolers from AMD and Intel, the cooler is not produced by extrusion, but relies on radially arranged black fins. There are no heatpipes, so the heat is transported purely through the lamellas. A special feature of the production method used here is that the R20 does not have a proper base plate. Instead, the individual slats were connected to the floor and sanded down. The resulting result, compared to more expensive CPU coolers, is quite dainty: The resulting base plate is small, with oblique incidence of light the individual lamellas can still be seen.



    The fan is connected via the usual 4-pin PWM connector and a six pin RGB connector for the controller.



    However, the cooler does not get by completely without control. There is an RGB controller by SaharaGaming. The front of the box provides a photo of the remote control along with details on speed and lighting modes. The box itself is not incredibly sturdy but should handle the odd knock without damaging anything inside.



    The control parts are all included in a bubble wrap bag. We have the remote, the controller unit, a set of extension cables, two types of RGB conversion, and two manuals.





    In the middle there are three buttons for fan speed, light mode and LED speed. Well the Sata connector could be explained here, as this controller supports a massive 10 fans, I normally see 4, 6 and 8 fan controllers, so this one could draw quite a bit over the cable. There is an four pin connector for the RGB Sync cables included along with the cable that goes to a PWM header, and a two pin connector which can service a button such as the RGB connector on the case. The manual says these are for motherboard on this unit, in order to control the effects via software. Installing the controller is as easy as finding a space where the adhesive pad on the back will allow it to stick freely, do consider the location when planning cabling, the fan cables provided are quite long at 500mm each so it should be easy to route them through your case.



    The supplied remote is what you have to control the LED's. There are three colour buttons, a fan speed contro,l two brightness buttons, two mode buttons for scaling up and down the available preset modes, motherboard sync on/off, two speed buttons to adjust the speed of the effects and finally On , Auto and Off are for LED operation with Auto cycling through the various preset effects.



    The remote is powered by a button battery inserted into a compartment at the bottom.



    120mm Pirate Duo Rings Fans
    140mm Typhoon Fans


    The 120mm Pirate Duo Rings RGB/140mm Typhoon RGB Fans come in a pretty basic package that has the product name on the front and it lets us know that they feature 55 colors.




    Flipping over to the back you'll find a picture of the fans in action and a full list of specifications.




    Getting everything out of the box you'll find 4 screws for each fan.



    The 120mm Pirate Duo Rings RGB fans have an all black frame with clear smoked fan blades. The fans feature a hydraulic bearing and operate at 1300 RPM, with an airflow of 33 CFM, air pressure of 1.3 mmH2O, and a noise level of 23.5 dBA.



    The Typhoon RGB 140mm fans have an also all black frame with clear smoked fan blades. The fans feature a hydraulic bearing and operate at 400-1500 RPM, with an airflow of 65.19 CFM, air pressure of 1.22 mmH2O, and a noise level of 30 dBA.



    On each corner of the fan/s you'll find rubber pads, which will minimize movement and noise when installed in your system.



    The back of the Pirate Duo Rings RGB fan fan has a nice open frame allowing most of the air to pass through unheeded and the back of the blades has a rough texture on it. There is a second RGB ring on the back for more lighting effect.



    The Typhoon 140mm fan has a only one RGB ring on the front and larger smooth fronted blades. There is a single cable that comes off each fan. This is a proprietary 6-pin cable that is made to be used with the included controller box. This means that you will not be able to connect these fans to a typical RGB header on your motherboard.




    A Closer Look-Outside

    The chassis uses a mixture of steel, plastic, and glass to create a very clean design. It is quite simple and understated, which is perfect for these materials.




    Both sides and front of the SaharaGaming C500B are made out of tempered glass. SaharaGaming has done a great job with these as they are lined with a black frame to cover the metal frame for that ultimate clean look. The tint is pretty dark though, so you may have a hard time showing off all your cool components in a dark environment.



    You can also clearly see the side vents on the front panel, which should allow for plenty of airflow. Unfortunately, there is no removable dust filter here, so fine dirt and grime will be pulled in as well.



    The I/O panel consists of two USB 2.0, one USB 3.0, and the usual audio connectors, along with the power and reset buttons. SaharaGaming also includes an LED toggle button, which isn't hooked up to anything but allows you to expand your case lighting with your own controller.



    On the top of the chassis, you will find a high-quality metal mesh cover that is held in place by magnetic strips.



    Underneath it are plenty of mounting holes for either three 120 mm or two 140 mm fans. This also translates into radiator support of up to 280mm radiators.



    In the rear, the layout looks pretty traditional. In the very top is a 120/140 mm fan mount in order to push air out the back.



    The bottom PSU bay comes with a dual set of mounting holes.



    Above that, you will find seven motherboard expansion slots. Unfortunately, SaharaGaming has decided to make all of them breakout kind, which is in my humble opinion a no-go for a chassis of this price segment.



    The underside has a basic metal mesh filter on the bottom to protect the PSU from dust and grime. I would have loved to see one that can be pulled out the back without having to tip offer your whole system.




    A Closer- Inside

    To access the interior, simply remove the thumb screws to pull off the panels. There is also a slider to release the main side window once the screw is removed. Once inside, you will be greeted by a simple no-frills interior that is mean to be functional above all else. In the main compartment is a solid metal shroud to hide the PSU and 3.5" drives.



    There are several neat cable tie anchor points and openings inside the case for cable management, with two of them to the side of the motherboard. These are fairly large and should make routing easy. The lack of grommets also means things will not look as clean as they could in the end.



    The metal mesh shroud is not simply a cover, but comes with two sets of mounting holes for you to install two 120mm fans. While this is cool, it will make it harder for you to reach the connections on the motherboard once it is all in place. There are three openings to allow for the motherboard cable to be routed nicely.



    Taking a quick peek at the ceiling of the chassis reveals a simple but quite effective implementation which allows for two 140 mm or two 120 mm fans to be installed. You may also place a 280 mm radiator in the top as there is plenty of space to do so. There are two openings to allow for the motherboard cable to be routed nicely.



    The chassis has mounting holes for up to two 2.5" drives towards the back of the chassis.



    All the cables within the C500B are of the default variety, but you will have to pull apart the audio and USB plugs as they come still attached as one big flat-band cable.



    On the opposite side, you will notice the large cutout for the CPU cooling area and several openings for clean cable management.



    Starting in the bottom, there is the PSU bay. Four rubber standoffs keep the PSU level and eliminate any vibrations before they are passed onto the chassis frame.



    There is a plate that allows for up one SSD to be installed easily.



    Underneath the shroud is one drive cage which may hold two 3.5" drives with traditional screws.



    You may pry off the front panel to reveal a space for two 200mm, three 120mm or two 140mm fans. This also means that radiators of up to 360mm should fit within.




    Building the System & Finished Looks

    Installing the motherboard is done by traditional means, with the use of spacer and screws. There is plenty of space around the board, so you should have no issues reaching all the connectors. Thanks to the well-placed openings, the initial cable routing looks quite clean.



    The 120mm unit in the back is an 120mm Pirate Duo Rings and set to push air out the back of the case.



    In addition, we install two 120mm Pirate Duo Rings fans at the shroud.



    At the front we install two intake 140mm Typhoon Duo Rings fans. There is plenty of space for three 120mm or two 200mm fans here as well, or an 360 mm radiator setup if you like.



    Looking at the ceiling, you can clearly see the cutouts where you would install your fans or even liquid cooling.Even when using 140 mm fans or a 280mm radiator, there is plenty of space for the motherboard components.



    Adding storage in form of SSD is easily achieved by taking of the metal tray and screwing the drive of your choice to it.




    Once filled, simply put it back where you grabbed it from on the backside of the motherboard tray and make sure to screw it down.



    The steps to include two 3.5" HDD's are quite similar as you may just take out the metal drive cage after removing the screws holding it in place.



    Underneath is where you go to remove the two screws holding the drive cage in.



    With that done, simply put the drive/s into place, screw it down, and slide it back into place. Thumb screws for these drive bays would make it easier, but as the rest of the procedure requires a screw driver anyways, the benefit of thumb screws would be minor.




    You may add two SSDs by using the specific mounting locations.




    There is not much to say when it comes to the PSU as you are just meant to slide it in before securing it with four black screws.



    There is plenty of space with the HDD cage in the most forward position, but things could get pretty tight if you happen to need room for cooling in the front of the chassis.



    The R20 Cpu cooler uses the standard mounting system on AMD sockets, which is also used for the company?s boxed coolers. Accordingly, the mounting system is compatible with all common AMD sockets. These retaining rings are also used on Intel sockets.



    To mount the cooler, place it diagonally on the CPU while hooking the first retaining ring into the retention kit.



    A plastic frame is attached, which serves as a link to the Intel socket holes. This frame is fastened with push pins.



    Notice the fine release of RAM on the right side of the image. Also note that the radiator cooling surface does not cover the entire CPU. I'm pretty sure that's affecting efficiency.



    The same applies to the first PCIe port on the motherboard. There is also plenty of room for a large graphics card with back plate.



    The big feature of the R20 is undoubtedly the lighting: Such lighting is currently not available as cheap as with this cooler, unless you get an RGB boxed cooler from AMD with the CPU. A total of 15 LEDs are installed in the plastic frame surrounding the fan, which are controlled by an internal controller and enable a rotating RGB effect. The lighting is well done: It looks optically very appealing, the light distribution is quite homogeneous and thus clearly better than some other fans that only use four or eight LEDs in the frame. However, further adjustment options can be done via the RGB controller.



    With the glass panels back in place, the SaharaGaming C500B continues to make a very clean impression. As mentioned before, the side panels are tinted quite heavily, which makes it difficult to see what is inside. Everything is where you would expect it to be in a mid-tower chassis. On the opposing side, you can't really see anything, meaning that any cable mess you may end up with is well hidden.



    Once turned on, the rainbow effect with the RGBs is still the coolest aspect in my opinion, and the C500B runs a good compromise between the brightness vs. effectiveness of the lighting element in the chassis. On top of that, SaharaGaming has done a good job with the diffusion, so the LEDs don't pop out too much.




    Looking at the C500B straight from the front, you can still see a bit of a glow from the front panel, with more visible through the air vents on the sides of the front panel. As expected, your hardware is essentially not visible, and you would have to place a lot of lighting elements inside to really make anything out, which is too bad as it essentially negates the benefits of the glass panel. In the rear, you can see the glow of the rear fan, and everything is where you would expect it to be with a chassis of this layout.




    You may toggle through various single and multi-colored animations with the button on top of the case. There are many solid colors to toggle through to match your interior, or simply your current mood.





    Test System & Methology

    Test System:

    Processor: AMD Ryzen 5 2400G
    Motherboard:Asus ROG Strix B450-I Gaming
    Memory: G.Skill Aegis 1x8 GB 3000 MHz
    Graphics Card: Sapphire HD 6970
    Power Supply: Antec HCG 750W
    Chassis: DimasTech Bench/Test Table EasyXL
    Boot Drive: Western Digital Green 240 GB (SATA)
    Storage Drive: 3TB Seagate Barracuda




    Software:

    CPUID HW Monitor 1.23
    CPUID CPU-Z 1.65
    Prime95 v27.1

    I am testing the performance as follows:

    Ambient temperatures are kept at 23C throughout my tests.
    The CPU Fan is set to 100% to eliminate inconsistencies as a result of PWM control.
    Load temperatures are obtained after running Prime95′s Small FTTs test for 15 minutes.
    To measure noise levels i disable the two front in-take fans, rear exhaust and GPU fan.
    On the following page you'll have the opportunity to read what R20 is capable of.



    Results-Temperature, Noise Level

    Given the design of the R20, you can't expect miracles at the temperatures. Although the cooler offers finer fins than the small boxed coolers from AMD and Intel, the radial design and the absence of heatpipes make them unable to compete with more complex cooler designs. Interestingly, the R20 barely manages to sit in front of the AMD Wraith Stealth. Where the only small temperature difference comes from cannot be determined unambiguously. It would be possible that the massive aluminium base of the AMD cooler distributes the heat better than the compressed SaharaGaming's fins, or the contact pressure makes the difference. The Wraith Stealth was tightened by us, whereas the R20 is only stretched by the retaining bridge on the radiator.



    The operating noise of the cooler under full load is slightly higher than that of the AMD boxed cooler. A mid-range processor without overclocking or even with slight undervolting can be operated problem-free and smoothly.




    Final Thoughts

    I think what SaharaGaming was trying to accomplish with C500B case is affordable case that is easy to build inside for system integrator's, gamers, and even first time builders. The SaharaGaming C500B offers a classic look and feel in terms of its design. By utilizing glass, steel, and plastic as a material mix, the chassis feels extremely well built. The side panels are also not simply slabs of tempered glass, but have a nice black framing, much like what you would find on car windshields. All that makes for an amazing first impression, and you may be forgiving when looking at the interior and thinking that it is too simple to really achieve anything. But things have been kept solid, simple, and functional. The front and top are able to take up to five 120 mm fans-four 140 mm fans or two 360/280mm radiators without such a setup encroaching onto other vital areas within the C500B. While the total of seven fan-mounting possibilities within the C500B is more than enough, there is still space on the shroud for another two 120mm fans. SaharaGaming even goes as far as to include a fan PCB to allow for up to ten units to be connected to a single header. This probably solves one of the biggest pain points most of those users have, and it is something even many larger, more expensive cases don't offer. The drive cage has sufficient space for two HDDs. You can install two SSDs by using the specific mounting locations and one more at the motherboard back-plate. The chassis has nice motherboard cutout and there's enough space left for cable routing through the holes, all in that all-black interior. The C500B remains a fairly compact chassis, you can house an ATX motherboard in there but anything larger on form factor would be an issue. Nice touch is the ability to hide cables behind the metal shroud. You can pack some pretty beefy hardware inside this case with graphics card support up to 360mm. Installation of our hardware inside the case was pretty easy and we really did not run into any issues. The metal shroud allows you to hide the PSU and two hard drives from view. Both of these elements may be added to the chassis in a simple, functional fashion. Air-cooled CPUs with tower heatsinks have a spacious 180mm height to spare. The airflow honestly is plenty enough for any decent build. SaharaGaming's R20 is aimed at a limited clientele. RGB lighting for as little money as possible, that is the outstanding feature of the cooler. In fact, there is currently no equivalent solution that is even cheaper. For the price of currently GBP 16 you get a black CPU cooler with well implemented RGB lighting. The cooler is unspectacular in terms of cooling performance: the design chosen on our system provides slightly better temperatures than the Wraith Spire supplied by AMD, and is also slightly louder at maximum speed. But even then the fan is not disturbing. The bottom line is that the target group for which the R20 is a good option can be easily narrowed down. If you want a CPU cooler with well implemented RGB lighting and an attractive appearance for as little money as possible, without needing more cooling power than a boxed cooler and without planning regular system conversions, then this cooler is the right choice for you. Talking about cooling I was a little surprised that not a single fan was included with this case. You would have at least expected to have one. I would just like to say that 120mm Pirate Duo Rings/140mm Typhoon fans are SaharaGaming's first ever RGB fans and they have been out for a little while now. Powering on the fans the LED's do a great job of lighting up the smoky blades, this gives a full fan colour effect even when there are multiple colours present. Having played around with these fans for a few days, they work quite well, the build quality is solid, the glossy white finish fills up with colour from the LEDs. The fans could be difficult to pair up with other brands as the 6 pin connectors don't have a standard. From the quiet operation the design of the fan blades and noise dampened frame is having an effect. Airflow through the case is good however I wouldn't use these fans on a radiator. The included 2 year warranty with the fans is a nice touch. While the case is nice in many ways, I would have loved to see cable grommets, a magnet based dust-filter at the front, no breakout kind expansion slots at the back and some bottom dust filter more easily removed. But all of those drawbacks are minor, and those who pay the 59.99 British Pounds for the C500B respectively will definitely love the chassis for that price. At GBP 59.99, there really is not a lot to be critiqued when it comes to the SaharaGaming C500B chassis.



    My brutal honest opinion on the SaharaGaming C500B for me is simple, it easily is one of the best budget looking chassis under 60 GBP that I have ever seen and tested. The dark inside will complement your components and the LED RGB activated fans are done right as well. It's not tacky or lit up like a Christmas tree no you choose an animation mode (or still) and a color (sequence if you want to) and then your system color schema lines up with the PC. And all that combined with dark tempered glass at both sides and front side make this chassis a mysterious to look at, it really has terrific looks.

    C500B = no fan and no fan hub GBP 59.99 MSRP incl. VAT
    C500B-DS = 4 Pirate Duo Rings & SYNC fan hub GBP 79.99 MSRP incl. VAT
    C500B-TS= 4 Pirate Turbo & SYNC Fan hub GBP 79.99 MSRP incl. VAT
    C500B-SS = 3 x 14CM Typhoon & SYNC Fan hub GBP 79.99 MSRP incl. VAT
    C500B-PS = 2 x 20cm Tornado SYNC Fan hub GBP 79.99 MSRP incl. VAT


    Last edited by testman78; 02-11-2020 at 11:28 AM.

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