We hunted high and low for hardware at the Taipei Game Show earlier today when we were there, but being a game show, it was obviously dominated with a strong gaming focus. Along side the Razer Blade eyes-on video we just posted, one of the other really hot bits of hardware was the Thermaltake Level 10 GT case mod by Brian Carter.
Brian named it the "COD" and it follows a really kick-ass Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 theme with a motorized and spinning gun at the front of the case, a rocket launcher at the top and on the side panel you'll find the medic kit for your war wounds as well as an ammo pack to keep on killing.
Back in the day we would just had some neon lights to our cases and call it a day when it came to case modding, nowadays they are doing crazy good stuff like this. I love it!
CES 2012 - During my meeting with Tony at SilverStone I saw a few cases around the room that looked very familiar, yet not exactly what we have seen to date. For instance we have the chassis seen here. At first glance you are thinking this is the FT-03, and it is, but in m-ITX form factor this time! Various changes were made to the cooling system shrinking in fan diameter, as well as the entire chassis getting much smaller, offering this new solution, the FT-03 Mini.
With three of the four side panels removed you can get a look at the interior design of the FT-03 Mini, and can also now see that this chassis will use a SFX power supply to aide in keeping the overall size of this chassis to bare minimum. I was told these should be arriving sometime in March, but pricing was not discussed at this time.
I also took a look at the GD06 and reviewed it not too long ago, but I guess there were some requests that came from users in what might improve the user's experience. For instance the GD07 pictured here, near the power button is a power LED that now has a dimmer switch on it, and also has a power button lock out mechanism to disable any accidental power downs from curious children's fingers. There are also some interior changes that have been made, and I was told to expect mine soon, so that I can show you in more detail what is new there...
CES 2012 - I found ARCTIC on the floor at CES and found a few coolers on display. Here we have the i30 in this image. There is an a30 model for AMD mounting which is exactly the same as this i30 model sans the mounting hardware, of course that has to be different. This four pipe cooler was in full operational speed, and both were dead silent. I just spoke with Daniel while I was in Las Vegas, and was told this cooler is in transit right now, so expect this review very soon!
On the wall behind the CPU cooler display were the new series of GPU coolers. This is a redesign of the original Twin Turbo Cooler. The Twin Turbo II has a changed heat pipe arrangement under it, but since they were mounted to the display I couldn't get a great image of it. You can tell from the top that the fan spacing has been changed, the black shroud has been increased in size, and this cooler still connects to most of the older cards, as well as a few that the original did not.
Next to the Twin Turbo II was mounted next to this new design as well. Here we have the Accelero Xtreme which is just like the one I reviewed previously, but this time is specifically designed to work with the AMD HD 7970. The main change to the cooler for this card is the addition of a few millimeters of extra copper to the base of the cooler to allow contact with the die height of these new cards...
CES 2012 - From the front of this mid tower version of the HAF X, Cooler Master wanted to offer all of the things that made the HAF X a success, but wanted to offer mid-tower buyers a similar offering. The front the HAF XM keeps a lot of the styling cues that the HAF X offered such as the full mesh front, three optical drive bays, and two hot swap drive bays just below it.
The HAF XM will ship with a trio of 200mm fans, one in the front and two in the top. The top two can be removed to allow for a slim triple 120mm radiator, but does offer more room in the top cover for those who don't mind a little modding for the fittings to pass through the top of this chassis if a thicker radiator is a must. You also will find removable hard drive bays which can hold an addition six storage drives, and the back, under the 120mm exhaust fan, offers eight expansion slots for those Quad-Fire or Quad-SLI users.
One feature that users raved about in the original HAF X was the PSU wiring cover to keep a clean look on the inside as the mass of PSU wiring gets routed into the back side of the motherboard tray. That handy little cover is also going to be in the HAF XM to offer users the same cleanliness that the HAF X owners already enjoy having...
CES 2012 - As I started my tour through the CM suite during my meeting with them Cameron led me to the air coolers and started introductions. Down along the front are a trio of the X6 soon to be on the market. This cooler has an unusual fin shape and orientation once installed onto a board. This cooler is twisted on a slight angle, so once installed it will actually blow warmed air from the cooler toward the back of the chassis still, but it will also be angled to blow out the top of the chassis as well. This four pipe cooler will also come with an option of either the red fan or the traditional black fan that we have seen on many of their coolers to date.
The X6 also uses a very unusual fin design to add as much surface area to this cooler to attain the best performance possible from this design. Here Cooler Master uses a honey comb arrangement to maximize the amount of aluminum that the fan on the front can cool. The X6 will be hitting the market very soon, and I will be putting it through its paces for you as soon as possible...
CES 2012 - Does anyone remember the Thermaltake Armor Series cases? Well it is making a comeback! Thermaltake took styling cues from the original Armor chassis with the aluminum wings on the front of the chassis, but the left side panel is a newer design. As with most of the top end chassis from Thermaltake, this chassis comes in both black and a Snow Edition you see here.
Since Thermaltake had such a great response to the Chaser Mk 1, and the airflow that that chassis provided, along with the feature rich design, with the new Armor chassis, it uses a direct copy of the Mk 1 interior too. This now gives you even more aesthetic options to the Chaser for those who didn't feel that design, but still liked what it had to offer.
Along with all the higher end chassis Thermaltake is offering in our near future, there is also a pair of budget friendly chassis in line to be released for the gamers who don't want to pay high end prices to get a satisfactory chassis t build in without breaking the bank. To fill this segment Thermaltake is going to offer the Commander MS-II with a chunky front bezel, and the Commander MS-III with the smoother front bezel sitting behind it.
CES 2012 - Thermaltake is in several markets and generally when that happens it's difficult to make new innovations that lead an industry. Thermaltake's multi-headed dragon isn't like most others and they seem to be able to innovate quite well.
Thermaltake was showing some really nice power supplies today in their suite.
A good example of that innovation is shown here with the world's first 1275w platinum rated PSU.
Click the link to see more.
CES 2012 - We all know the Phantom chassis NZXT delivered a while ago, and readers of my reviews will soon be reading about the all red version of the Phantom 410. Here we have a trio of what was explained to me as the customer choice versions of the Phantom 410. The blue on white, white on black, and orange on black are all striking choices to buy. There is also an all gun metal grey version, but that chassis did not make it to CES.
After taking the last image I looked up, and behind it on another table was a new chassis that has yet to release that was modded to honor the Los Angeles Police with a futuristic, almost Judge Dred looking Switch 810 chassis. Not only was this chassis sort of wore torn in the design, it offers custom grills and etchings on the window to deliver the full effect of the mod.
On the right side of the Switch 810, there is a futuristic mural of what looked to be a police vehicle in a downtown cityscape. Once again I showed this variant of the Switch 810, as I know you all like the modded chassis as much as I do!
CES 2012 - The first cooler I want to discuss is another AIO water cooler making it to the scene. Here we have an image of the Water 2.0 Pro which is made to replace the older Big Water solutions. Thermaltake has joined with Asetek to deliver this thick radiator version with dual fans on it, but there is a slimmer radiator version also with dual fans, and the third of the group is a dual 120mm radiator version, and again ships with two fans.
I apologize up front, as I wasn't able to get a look at the new Frio Extreme as well as Cameron did in his video the other night. This is a direct competitor to the D-14 and all other variants of the dual tower concept, but is also rumored to outperform all of those in this category. Another thing noteworthy is the control module in this hardware kit that allows PWM or forced 12V to both fans on the cooler with the flick of a switch. Time will tell as these samples arrive to my door, and I get to do my own testing and see just how well it performs.
Next in line is a new addition to the Contact line of coolers. The Contact 39 is a single tower cooler boasting three 8mm heat pipes that make direct contact to the processors IHS. Along with this tall stack of aluminum Thermaltake is maximizing the potential of the Contact 39
CES 2012 - As I walked the room with Shannon Robb at my side pointing out all the new goodies at the NZXT meeting I just had with them earlier today, I was led to this awesomely amazing customization of the Level 10 GT. I was told this has been a project that was in the works for over six months, and with use of something called Balsa foam, Dan delivers the most amazing Level 10 on the planet!
This is really the case mod that keeps on giving. Every bit was hand carves and offers details that you might miss at first glance, and you can actually sit here for hours looking at all the fine detail and leaving you to find all of the hidden treasures. For instance, there is the pyramid window which is more obvious, but things like the little god under the headphone rack, he is actually gripping an Xbox controller. Also on top of all the fine work done to the chassis, there is an artificial moss applied here and there to make the chassis appear as if it has been sitting out in the forest and was just discovered next to a Mayan temple.
Even on the back of the chassis the brickwork is top notch and the Mayan calendar with the Tt logo in the center inspired me to ask the question is this chassis designed to self destruct on 12/21/12, but Shannon jokingly answered "no, but there is the coolest BSOD that will happen on that date." Of course he was just kidding, there is nothing really going to happen then!
CES 2012 - Since the release of the Hydro Series H80 cooler I tested some time back, there was a special connection that was in the head unit of this AIO cooling solution. After the H80, I was also finding this connection of the H100, and even the Dynamic LED display for the Dominator GT memory. These odd connectors have been rumored to have a controller module on the way that with the use of software as you see in the image above, will allow full control over potentially every cooling device with a 3-pin or 4-pin fan header. That isn't all though! As you can also see in that image this unit is completely software controlled. So with just a few clicks of the mouse, you can choose any Corsair chassis image to back the temperature readings, and even upload other case images into the software if you plan to add this to a non-Corsair solution.
This device is very modular and allows you to take the main module (denoted with an arrow) that fits in a 3.5" drive bay making installation super simple. Not only can you control the fan speeds, pump speeds, set fan speed profiles or choose one already provided, you can also hook LED light strips to the Link. This even goes further than you think. Most assume you are going to get on/off control, or possibly dimming of the lighting, but on top of that, there are sliders to give you full access to the RGB spectrum...
CES 2012 - Corsair has taken the Obsidian Series of chassis design in a slightly different direction. While the original 800D was a show stopper, and the 650D was no slouch either, the 550D takes on a whole new idea in what the Obsidian Series can deliver. This time around silence is the key with the 550D, but also has a few hidden surprises in store.
Part of the surprise with the 550D is that Corsair knows not everyone wants silence, and even then the 550D can be your perfect solution for a mid-tower choice in cases. On the door panel, the plate that was in place here is removable, and is also backed with a plastic duct filter that is magnetically applied to the chassis for easy of cleaning and of course opening up the side of the chassis for some forced air induction if you want to forgo the silence and cool the chassis to the best of your ability.
Even the top of the chassis offers the same solution to once again allow users to get what they want out of the chassis. It was also mentioned in the press meeting that this chassis is fully compatible with the H100, so the removal of this panel is a must in that situation, but again, you can add a pair of fans here if you aren't filling it with water cooling...
CES 2012 - As I was perusing through the vast display of Corsair product I ran across this beauty sitting amongst the various new and older flagship models of the cases on display there. I never did get a name for the artist of this piece, but I can definitely appreciate the time and effort that goes into a case mod, especially one of this magnitude!
Not only did the visible side of the chassis get the full treatment, even the side most of us leave against the wall gets gold trimmed parts to give this 400R a very steam punk, yet almost destroyed look, that I for one really like.
The top of the chassis got a new section added to the front with toggle switches now used for power with a small LCD display just behind it. The unit was not powered up, so what is actually displayed here is still a mystery.
As if all of the work that went into the top and sides wasn't enough, the unnamed artist went all out and even made the rear of the chassis, which relatively no one will ever see when in use, still has every detail attended to do deliver a fully modded 400R that I for one would love to have sitting on my desk at home!
CES 2012 - Corsair plans to take the budget chassis segment by storm with the latest addition to the Carbide Series chassis with this new 300R. Corsair is launching the 30R at just less than $90, and is rumored at this point to possibly drop below the $79.99 price point if it is at all possible to do. That leaves us a chassis that stands on its own in aesthetics externally, but also is a new interior design to allow room for a large system for those who want to house a full ATX and multiple card setup, but don't want to spend $150 or more to get what they want.
Of course you can see the inside of the chassis here, but the main point I wanted to make was that even with the large mesh area at the bottom of the front bezel, there are also side ventilation slits cut into the sides of the bezel in the 300R to allow even more places to let the cooler ambient air onto the chassis to deliver a cooler interior while in use. Also both sides of the bezel are very pillar like and makes for an attractive yet very functional use of the front bezel.
The tag line for this chassis from Corsair's description of the interior is "it's big where it counts." This means that while this is a mid tower solution, you will have all the room you need to get in larger video cards with the removal of the middle of the drive assembly. This chassis has only the trio of optical bays and the quartet of hard drive bays...
CES 2012 - Last month we visited the Thermaltake HQ in Taipei where we stumbled upon a few products where we got the chance to film them on video in this pre-CES 2012 preview of a couple new cases from the Taiwanese company.
First up we have the Level 10 GTS which is a new case coming onto the market by the end of Q1 2012 and should end up retailing for around $100 USD. It gets its design from its bigger full tower brother, the original Level 10 GT. Of course the GTS is much cheaper and has a similar feel as the GT and the same extended case width which users like. It will also get bundled with a quick access drive bay that allows you to move around hard drives from one Level 10 GT/GTS to another Level 10 GT/GTS or other computers thanks to the addition of the SATA (data and power) to USB 3.0 adapter that comes included.
Next up we have the Armor Revo which takes some of the design theory from previous Thermaltake Armor series cases but at the same time mixes it up quite a bit. The front is rather busy with a rather unique, funky and stylish design with a mesh flow down the center of the case. You can always rely on Thermaltake to come out with something that stands out from the crowd. This is definitely the sort of case that you are either going to love right away or turn your nose up to. On the top front of the case you have your standard audio ports, eSATA, two USB 3.0 and USB 2.0...
Last month we visited the Thermaltake HQ in Taipei where we stumbled upon a few products where we got the chance to film them on video in this pre-CES 2012 preview of some new cooling products from the Taiwanese company.
Starting off in the air department we have the Frio Extreme which is similar in design to past Frio series air coolers from Thermaltake, but the Extreme version which will come out sometime in Q1 2012 takes things to a whole new level being able to provide up to 250 watts of CPU cooling ability.
Included on the cooler are two 120mm cooling fans and two aluminum heat blocks with six heatpipes. This cooler also comes with a new fan controller attached to it which allows you to adjust the fan speed in a small little black unit.
Next up we have a range of water cooling products from Thermaltake which will also be displayed at CES and go on sale by the end of Q1 2012. It is the Water 2.0 series including the Water 2.0 Performer, Water 2.0 Pro and the Water 2.0 Extreme. Some of these coolers are based on similar designs that are already out on the market since now Thermaltake and other companies use the same design as provided the same supplier.
It sure has been a busy holiday season this year! So many announcements and releases with todays release from Danger Den. They've announced the latest CPU cooling block - DD-M6 CPU Block, which is the highest performing CPU block to date from Danger Den.
The DD-M6 replaces the long-running MC-TDX block improving upon both reliability and performance. Thermal performance has also received an upgrade, while maintaining low-flow restriction design. The CPU block is available in solid copper and brass parts that are non-plated or nickel plated. A new and improved mounting system is also included in the DD-M6 CPU block package allowing reliable mounting pressure in an attractive package.
Danger Den's president, Jeremy Burnett says:
Danger Den released a CPU block that we are proud of. Improved performance, built like a tank, and almost 100% produced in the US. The Top Plate, Mid Plate, Hold Down Plate, Hold Down parts are all machined in our facility or within 50 miles of Danger Den. The hold down package has been significantly improved for the LGA 2011 socket and previous socket versions. It looks great and makes the mounting process simple for the consumer.
A little while ago we visited the Antec Taipei office here in Taiwan and got an early and exclusive look at its range of upcoming EarthWatts Platinum power supplies which are set to hit the market next month and really shake things up as far as pricing goes. Antec reckon their competitors are nervous.
Antec will soon launch the EA-650 watt Platinum, EA-550 watt Platinum and EA-450 watt Platinum. Each is certified with an 80 Plus Platinum rating which means they achieve up to 93% power efficiency, which is the best rating that can be given to a PSU. Antec claims that the EA-650 model can save up to 25% on your electricity bill - we aren't quite sure how they worked that out, but we'll have to take their word for it until we test their claims.
Each comes with a three year warranty and includes a "whisper quiet" 120mm double ball bearing fan with what Antec call long lifetime expectancy. There are little fancy features with these PSU such as an LED on the fan or modular cable management, but they still include key quality components such as Japanese heavy-duty capacitors and Antec CircuitShield which includes over current protection, over voltage protection, under voltage protection, short circuit protections and so on.
Thermaltake have just outed a new case, dubbed Thermaltake Commander MS-I Snow Edition, which sports a brand-new "snow look", which allows it to "move its way through a snowy battlefield."
The case comes with extra-long VGA support, which means it can house some of the largest GPUs on the market such as AMD's Radeon HD 6990 or NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 590. Cable management is of course a key feature, the case also sports a 12cm blue LED fan, USB 2.0 and USB 3.0, 9 drive bays and more.
Earlier today we made our way over to the Antec Taipei office where we got given access to an exclusive video preview of the upcoming Eleven Hundred Gaming Series computer case.
The Eleven Hundred is the flagship model in Antec's gaming series of cases which brings with it full E-ATX and XL-ATX motherboard support and support for up to three-way SLI and four-way CrossFireX. It's a stylish looking case which immediately indicates great quality as we have come to expect from Antec cases in the past. It looks just like a typical Antec product with included traditional features we've seen in the past, but it's also mixing in a blend of new features.
On the top of the case is a 200mm exhaust fan with a blue LED and in total the case supports up to nine fans in total for some pretty extreme cooling potential. In the past we've seen Antec including the power and reset buttons towards the front top of their cases, but this time around with the Eleven Hundred they are move to the top front of the case, which is a much better position especially for when the case is sitting on the ground.
We shot this video a little while ago now, but today BitFenix is releasing its new range of Spectre Pro and Spectre Pro LED cooling fans.
You may well be familiar with the Spectre series of cooling fans from BitFenix, but today they up the stakes with the "Pro" series which improve over the old series with better performance and looks in mind.
There is a whole bunch of fans including 12cm, 14cm, 20cm and 23cm and they come in a range of colors including black (non-LED), white, blue and red. Watch the video above as David from BitFenix explains the new fans in detail.