Wired2Fire HAL 4000 – Hyper-Speed Classical Mini-ITX Case

8/5/2013 6:21:33 PM

This is the product which features a hyper speed in a classical mini-ITX case whose size is just half of most desktop PCs’ sizes.

We have come across with many large-size powerful PCs from Wire2Fire before, but this is the first small form factor system coming out from its factory in Surrey.

We witness a wonderful beginning of the HAL 4000 with the Node 304 of Fractal Design, which is one of the best small form factor cases that we have ever seen. The metal panels contribute to the classical appearance of the PC, and the tough build quality just brings it ahead of other cheap PCs. There are some curves in the side panels, but compared to other senior PCs, it is not bad at all.

Unscrewing two screws is all that you need to do to get the PC’s accessories. Although it is quite cramped inside, it is well organized. Half of the front part contains the Xigmatek Tauro power supply and the Nvidia GeForce GTX 680 surrounded by cables, which extends along one side of the chassis.

Unscrewing two screws is all that you need to do to get the PC’s accessories

Unscrewing two screws is all that you need to do to get the PC’s accessories

Dominant the other half of the PC is the Antec Kuhler H20 heatsink unit, which is laid between two 120 mm fans and connected to the rear exhaust mount. Its cables, which are full of coolant, spiral down to the Asus P8Z77-I Deluxe mainboard, which is too small that makes many of its capacitors and heatsinks to be deployed in the daughterboard.

Accessing into the mainboard is quite complicated – you will need, at least, to remove the fans – but it would not be very necessary go further into the HAL 4000: The only PCI Express slot is the room for the graphics card; two memory sockets are all in use, and two free SATA sockets run at the speed which is slower than SATA/300, so for a mechanical hard disk, it would be very suitable. Spaces for additional storage are very limited: while there are three removable hard disks in the Node 304. One of them has two SSD, the second one containing a hard disk and the other one is for keeping the additional cables tidy.

System with small form factor is no longer hungry for its large-size copies’ power. An overclocked Intel Core i7-3770K CPU, which can be overclocked from 3.4 GHz up to 4.4 GHz, has been packed with this PC. That is enough for achieving 1.25 point for the application benchmark. Such result defeated computers in our A-list – the PC Specialist Vortex Destroyer with Sandy bridge-4 chip just scored 1.16.

The solid outlook

The solid outlook

In this product, a super-fast processor and a factory-overclocked EVGA Nvidia GeForce GTX 680 has been combined together. From the base and boost clock rate of 1,060MHz and 1,058MHz, it is able to raise it up to 1,084MHz and 1,150MHz. For its 2GB GDDR5 RAM, it is possible to increase from 6,008MHz to 6208MHz. The overclocking brings moderate benefit: Wired2Fire, with the score of 79fps in the Crysis 1,920x1,080 at Very High quality, has 4fps more than the PC Specialist, which uses the GTX 680 running at its stock speeds.

HAL 4000’s storage is not less competitive. The combination of two SSD Kingston HyperX 3K 120GB drives in the same RAID array 0 helps it achieving the speed of 818MB/s in the continuous reading speed test of AS SSD. The performance overhead for running in RAID0 indicates that it is possible for the array to keep up with this speed elsewhere – the continuous file writing speed decreases to 183MB/sec – but it is still more than enough to keep Windows 8 and other applications in high responsive performance and load game in a blink.

The back panel

The back panel

All components of this product are packed together tightly, but the Wired2Fire does not perform badly in our temperature tests. The highest temperature of the processor is recorded to be 85 °C, below our dangerous level, and 82°C is recorded as the highest temperature of the graphics card.

The HAL 4000 is also equipped with the 8GB RAM, a 1TB hard disk and a dual-band 802.11b/g/n wireless. That final addition definitely pleases us: because there is no more room for the optical drive, you will need to rely on the digital download service or purchase a USB optical drive in order to load the old games.

Not much potential is brought about together with the compact size of the HAL 4000 for ambitious upgrade projects, but there is little reason to fiddle with such huge power given by this product – It easily defeats the leader of our A-list in applications and games. Providing a full set of performance in a smart, desk-friendly chassis, the HAL 4000 from Wired2Fire deserves the champion of A-list title.



·         Part Code: HAL 4000

·         Price inc VAT: $2,161.6

·         Performance: 5/5

·         Features and Design: 4/5

·         Value for money: 4/5

·         Overall: 4/5



·         Warranty: 2 years to base


Basic Specifications

·         Total hard disk capacity: 1,240 HB

·         RAM capacity: 8GB



·         CPU family: Intel Core i7

·         CPU nominal frequency: 3.4 GHz

·         CPU overclocked frequency: 4.4GHx

·         Processor socket: LGA 115

·         HSF (heatsink fan) Antec Kuhler H20



·         Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-I Deluxe

·         Motherboard chipset: Intel Z77

·         Conventional PCI slots free: 0

·         Conventional PCI slots total: 0

·         PCI-E x16 slots free: 0

·         PCI-E x16 slots total: 1

·         PCI-E x1 slots free: 0

·         PCI-E x1 slots total: 0

·         Internal SATA connectors: 4

·         Wired adapter speed: 1,000Mbits/sec



·         Memory type: DDR3

·         Memory sockets free: 0

·         Memory sockets total: 2


Hard disk

·         Hard disk: Kingston HyperX 3K SSD

·         Capacity: 120GB

·         Hard disk usable capacity: 111GB

·         Internal disk interface: SATA/600

·         Hard disk 2 make and model: Kingston HyperX 3K SSD

·         Hard disk 2 nominal capacity: 120GB

·         Hard disk 2 formatted capacity: 111GB

·         Hard disk 3 make and model: Hitachi Deskstar 7K1000.B

·         Hard disk 3 nominal capacity: 1,000GB


Graphics card

·         Graphics card: EVGA GeForce GTX 680

·         3D performance setting: low

·         Graphics chipset: Nvidia GeForce GTX 680

·         Graphics card RAM: 2GB

·         Display Port outputs: 1

·         Number of graphics cards: 1


Rear ports

·         USB ports (downstream): 4

·         eSATA ports: 2

·         PS/2 mouse port: yes

·         Electrical S/PDIF audio port: 0

·         Optical S/PDIF audio output ports: 1

·         3.5mm audio jacks: 3



·         Chassis: Fractal Design Node 304

·         Case format: Small Form factor

·         Dimension: 250 x 374 x 210 mm


Power supply

·         Power supply: Xigmatek Tauro

·         Power supply rating: 600W


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