The Thermaltake Xpressar has shown great progress in our testing labs, but Thermaltake still has a few issues to work out. The first has to do with the large amount of heat produced by today's quad core processors. Dual core Intel processors can easily be cooled to sub ambient temperatures under load, but Thermaltake will need to tune the system for use with quad core processors.
The price of the Xpressar is still unknown, even though we have a pretty good idea of what to expect. Since the Xaser IV costs close to 300 USD on its own, look for the Xpressar to launch at 550 to 600 in the US. A few weeks ago we heard from a reliable source that Thermaltake is working on a lower cost Xpressar that will mount the cooling components inside a few 5.25" CD ROM bays. Hopefully this system will cost much less than our estimates for the current model Xpressar, since the Xaser IV case is not part of the package.
Thermaltake has stated that only a few motherboards have already been certified for use with the Xpressar. This comes from the use of copper for the cooling lines used in the system. The motherboard I used in testing is not on the certified list, but with a few small bends in the copper lines the GIGABYTE X38-DQ6 was able to use the Xpressar with only a few tweaks.
At this time the Thermaltake Xpressar is just a creative design pushed through by Thermaltake's engineers. This team is looking to turn their designs into a full retail product that will be available on retail shelves and at your favorite e-tailer. While we would all like to see Thermaltake succeed in these plans, the truth is that Core i7's high heat output when overclocked may force the engineers to redesign the Xpressar, or at least make them consider a larger compressor or more exotic refrigerant. The more they need to stray off course, the higher the cost will be for consumers.
Stay tuned, CES is just around the corner and I am sure Thermaltake will have a newer revision of the Xpressar ready for us to look at.