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COMPUTEX Taipei 2011 - Lian Li has always been known for being creative and coming out with some weird and whacky case designs in previous years at Computex.
This year the strangeness comes in the form of what is going on inside the case. With the upcoming PC-100, the folks at Lian Li have reversed the motherboard around so that the rear IO ports are actually at the front of the case. This means you get very easy access to the IO and lessen the need to have as many cables inside your case such as USB extension cables for instance.
Next up there is the PC-90 which has some rather impressive engineering. It is a mid-tower case that wait for it, can support not only EATX but also HPTX motherboards. I think this is the first time we have seen a mid-tower case that can fit large GIGABYTE EATX mobos and dual socket boards such as the EVGA SR-2.
Not only that but Lian Li has been playing around with how hard drives are mounted in the case and in the PC-100 and PC-90, they are mounted vertically on the side of the case which is said to aid in airflow through the front to back of the case.
COMPUTEX Taipei 2011 - Another stop yesterday was with Tony from SilverStone who introduced us to something completely crazy and ridiculous - we are talking about the prototype concept Temjin TJ12 case.
This massive sucker of a chassis comes with no less than 19 expansion slots, you have never ever seen anything like this before from a desktop solution. In the demo at their booth they were showcasing the TJ12 with six GeForce GTX 580 video cards. These video cards take up two slots each, still leaving a lot of expansion for other PCI Express based devices at the same time.
SilverStone is able to achieve this feat by introducing a ribbon cable that runs from the motherboard to another area of the case. If you don't want to use all those video cards, the top part of the case is module so that you can add in extra power supplies. As you can imagine, it will fit basically any motherboard you throw at it including quad processor boards and of course the EVGA SR-2.
The TJ12 is still in early development and will no doubt see some changes before it goes into production until sometime next year. They are still playing around with the cooling design and hard drive bays.
COMPUTEX Taipei 2011 - Yesterday we also stopped by the BitFenix meeting rooms to check out their latest wares. As with many companies, we work closely with BitFenix and we had no idea they would be showing what we saw. Let me tell you a bit about it.
First up we got a look at the new high performance Spectre 2 Pro fans which offer a new ridged fan design with impressive airflow for maximum case cooling. What was super exciting to see though was BitFenix' entry into electronic devices - no longer are we just seeing cases and cooling fans, they are expanding.
Later this year you will see the introduction of the Recon thermal control device, which will sit at the front of your case and take up two front drive bays. This is a black passive LCD touch screen device that allows you to monitor temperatures and adjust fan speeds with the touch of your finger. The device has six channels each at 30 watts which should be plenty even for those who want to hook up pumps and radiators.
What is super cool is that BitFenix has taken things a step further and allowed web based monitoring and adjustments to fan speeds from your browser. And we are not just talking the browser on your PC, but anywhere in the world as long as you have an internet connection. And since it is web based, it means you can adjust fan speeds etc from your phone...
Asetek has announced the availability of their limited edition 240mm super cooler, dubbed "WaterChill 2011C", pre-orders for the WaterChill 2011C will begin on July 1st, 2011. The cooler is a 120x240mm, 4-fan ChillControl-enabled powerhouse. Their words, pretty awesome choice so I stuck with it. The 2011C uses the best of Asetek's liquid CPU cooling tech, featuring a brand new 1.5-inch thick 120x240mm radiator and no less than four fans in a push-pull configuration; this allows the 2011C to put the competition on ice, geddit? On top of this, the low-profile pump is fitted with third-generation Asetek coldplate technology and supports interactive fan control technology for all four fans. A USB connection on the pump enables precise user control of the fans and lighting effects through Asetek's ChillControl software application.
There's also a new universal mounting solution available for Sandy Bridge E-based chips. This new mounting solution will work across Asetek's line of liquid coolers and makes for an easier installation, win-win. The mount supports all mainstream Intel processors, LGA 1155, 1156 and 1366 sockets. The new universal mounting solution adds the upcoming Socket 2011 to its army of compatibility.
COMPUTEX Taipei 2011 - The next stop on the Computex crazy tour today out at Nangang was Thermaltake who had a big presence at the show and plenty of products on display.
We met up with Ramsom from Thermaltake who introduced us to their brand new white Level 10 GT called the Snow Edition. It's basically the same as the original Level 10 GT, but apparently due to market demand, Thermaltake take decided to offer a white version. The difference here though is that the case is not painted, it uses a coating technique called plastic injection. This essentially makes the case scratch proof and it should maintain the original color and not fade like others do. Ramsom tried to spoil the case, but without success.
Next up in the same video above we also got a look at the completely crazy (hopefully) upcoming Frio GT CPU cooler. This absolute monster of a cooler comes with no less than four 120mm cooling fans and that's all dedicated to the CPU with up to 300 watts of cooling potential. This cooler is designed especially for the Level 10 GT and I forgot to ask if it would fit in other cases, but if it does end up going on sale (not decided yet), you'll have to check into it a little more.
COMPUTEX Taipei 2011 - One of our first stops today on the show floor in Nangang was InWin who has a whole bunch of cases and power supplies on display, as you would expect, but the stand out for us was the Carlian iV.
It's a gamer's case that is still in the prototype stage, but already looks really impressive. It is colored with a black and white theme and the design is based off a game, which for the life of me, I cannot remember as I type here.
It's comes with USB 3.0 as you would expect from a high-end case these days and one of the big things with this full tower is that it supports large EATX motherboards and of course long video cards. On the outside everything is basically designed without the need for tools including remove fan covers, a nifty side door that allows quick access to your hard drives. On top of the case you'll see in the video above you can also gain access to the fans which can be removed and fit a large radiator.
At this stage of the game we do not have any details on pricing or availability, but it should definitely be a chassis to look out for in the months ahead when it goes on sale.
COMPUTEX Taipei 2011 - Yesterday we stopped by the NZXT suite where we spoke to marketing manager Victoria who gave us a rundown on a couple of their upcoming products.
We start off with the Sentry Mix which is a fan controller offering six 50-watt channels and that should be plenty for some very high profile cooling fans inside your case. The channels are adjusted from the front of your case with a device that fits nicely inside one of your drive bays and looks rather slick.
The colors can also be changed with the touch of a button. You just use sliders to go up and down to adjust the voltage of the fans, the sliders were also very smooth to use. It should go on sale later this year in Q3 or Q4.
And the final product we looked at was the Tempest 410 Elite which is yet another upcoming case from NZXT which will also come out later this year. It is a mid-tower case that borrows ideas from the original Tempest and H2 and looks rather good. A couple things that stood out for me was the touch power fan that allows you to very easily remove the front fans and clean the dust filter without having to worry about disconnecting or reconnecting any power cables.
COMPUTEX Taipei 2011 - We saw an early glimpse of it earlier in the year at CES in Las Vegas, but today we stopped by the Corsair suite to get a detailed look at its upcoming Link control software which allows you to take control of what is going on inside your system.
In the video above you get to see a look at the software that is still in beta, but is getting close to being released. Corsair Link works with a USB control unit that slots into one of your drive bays and your fans and other devices such as lighting plugs into it.
It not only allows you to monitor temperatures, but also adjust fan speeds. So, right now you are saying you can control fan speeds now, but Corsair Link takes things quite a way further. For instance, if you have a light kit installed, you can adjust the lights to change depending on the GPU temperature, for instance.
The software is actually very programmable so you can tweak around with it to your fancy and really see what is going on with your system vital signs. If you don't want to spend time tweaking with the software, we were told there would also be basic preset options you can chose for a quiet system or high performance with your fans running at full speed.
A Swedish-based online store has listed two new entries of Corsair's (until now) unheard of CPU coolers that will fill out the Hydro series - the Hydro H80 and Hydro H100. The new Hydro series coolers maintain the same pre-assembled, closed-loop CPU water-cooling kits.
The new kits seem quite awesome, with the H80 using a thick 120x120mm area radiator that's just as big as the H70 but has a bigger block unit which should amount to higher water flow. The block unit looks like it has a control knob too, which is a new addition. The Hydra H100 on the other hand uses a 240x120mm area radiator and can hold two 120mm fans on either sides, but comes with two fans.
Converting the Swedish Krona to US, the H80 is listed at $154 whilst the H100 will set you back $172.50
Besides looking at the Outlaw chassis earlier today on our visit to BitFenix we were also given a look at their range of Alchemy multi-sleeve cables.
You think, what can be so exciting about cables? They are just cables, after all - right? Well, David from BitFenix would probably disagree with you. There is certainly a strong market for case modders and custom system builders out there and BitFenix is looking to impress them with their line of cables for all the various parts inside your PC that require power.
It would even seem like there is an art to cables. In the video above, David goes into a lot of detail about the Alchemy cables and what makes them good. If you were one of those people who thought cables were just cables, give it a watch and let us know what you think.