Thermaltake is a prominent case and peripheral brand. This year, they’re holding what they call “the international modding event of the year.” The “2015 Thermaltake Case MOD Invitational Season 2” may not have the most catchy name, but it is a competition for the world’s top case modders from the US, Canada, UK, France, Germany, Australia, Russia, Thailand, and the Philippines to transform the Thermaltake Core X9 case with Thermaltake liquid cooling equipment.
Thermaltake released their latest trio of cases at CES 2015 yesterday: the Core X9, Core X2, and Core X1. The cases are designed to be stackable and, when stacked, they have enough room for even the largest liquid cooling systems. The Core X series cases houses its motherboards horizontally and can be almost completely disassembled to the builder’s liking, allowing for complete customization. The other thing that really pops out during the first impression is that they are large, and in the Core X9’s case, really large. Here are some of the measurables:
There was a time when mouse bungees cost $20 to $30 and were a novel invention. Thankfully, that time's long past. There was also a time when we reviewed Razer's eXactMat X (2009) and remarked that its $40 price-point was the most we'd ever shelled-out for a mouse pad, but followed-up that the purchase was well worth it for sturdy aluminum.
Razer's pad, by the way, is still in use and now has about 5 years of life on it. Aluminum lasts a lot longer than cloth -- go figure.
Thermaltake's new Tt eSports "Draconem" mouse pad is a 2mm-thick, dual-side mousing surface with detachable cable bungee. The smooth side of the pad is brushed aluminum and anodized, outfitted with decals in opposing corners for the Tt eSports logos; the rougher side is grittier to offer greater traction with the mouse's Polytetrafluoroethylene (Teflon) feet, colored with a red dragon emblem off-center.
The Draconem is somewhat massive, scaling in at 360 x 300 x 5mm (14.1 x 11.8 x 0.2") and taking up significant desk real-estate.
Thermaltake's "Tt eSports" division has been steadily expanding its arsenal of gaming accessories since the brand's launch. After reviewing the Poseidon Z keyboard -- the first Kailh-equipped board we've tested -- it's fair to say that Tt eSports has potential in the gaming market. The brand has primarily centered its strategy upon affordable products to the competitive and streaming crowd, mainly offering products like LAN backpacks (for keyboards), mouse pads, headsets, eSports team jackets, and now keycaps.
We're reviewing Thermaltake's "Tt eSports Metal Caps" accessory today, a collection of mechanical keyboard keycaps to provide a sturdier, more resolute feel to key presses.
In the beginning, there was ENIAC. It was programmable and it was good… OK -- so it was large, bulky, couldn’t play anything fun, and had no use for any of these featured items, but without it we wouldn't be here today. This week we are focusing on peripherals with a CLC at $58, 4 case fans for $5, a laser gaming mouse at $40, and a Plantronics 780 for only $45. Continue to check out our Twitter and Facebook feeds for more interesting deals throughout the week. Also subscribe to our YouTube channel for build tips and product reviews as they happen.
With Computex now over, we’ve had a full look at what all the major hardware manufacturers have had up their sleeves. One of the more electrically complex items released by EVGA, Corsair, and Be Quiet! are their newest power supplies.
Rounding-up all the newest power supplies from Computex reveals a cluster of 1600W PSUs, a 600W SFX PSU that we’ve covered before, and a renewed focus on power efficiency.
Mechanical keyboards prevailed during the early days of the world's post-typewriter transition; some of IBM's earlier pieces -- like the buckling spring Model M -- have now become highly sought-after items in the world of keyboard enthusiasm. Mechanical keyboard evangelists would likely point-out that we didn't know how good we had it, but with time, membrane and other cheap keyboards rapidly became the norm. As gaming and PC hardware interest has kicked up, we've seen a revitalized focus on high-quality mechanical keyboards; this was discussed in more detail in our recent Rosewill RK-9100xBBR Apollo review.
Of late, we've primarily discussed keyboards using Cherry's somewhat ubiquitous MX switches. The MX switches are best-known for their color coding -- blue liked by typists, brown and red switches often celebrated by gamers, black for medium stiffness, and so forth. Although MX is arguably the most prevalent in today's marketplace, what with Corsair pushing it so hard (and Cooler Master... and Rosewill), there are plenty of other switch suppliers out there. One of them is Kailh ("Kaihua"), who've been making some of the most accurate Cherry MX clones since Cherry's patent expired. When we met with Thermaltake about their new Poseidon Z keyboard this year, we were told that they were "manufacturing their own switches" for the new keyboard -- ultimately, this meant that the company would be sourcing supply from Kailh. Not quite in-house, but Thermaltake staff were proud of themselves for deviating from Cherry. I can't say I blame them -- competition is a good thing.
Update: See the new 2015 edition of this content over here.
Following-up with last year's PC enclosure round-up, we revisit the topic of the top gaming cases with CES 2014 in mind. Any enthusiast or mid-range system builders have some unreal options to choose from this year, with a heavier focus placed on full side windows and aesthetics than previous years.
For advice on choosing a gaming enclosure, check out our previous article on picking a gaming case. In this gaming case round-up, we'll look at some of the highest-performance PC enclosures on the market for 2014; all the cases featured were unveiled at (or around) CES 2014.
Compared to our slew of previous case posts (Antec, Rosewill, Corsair), this is going to be some pretty quick coverage. We've got a big case round-up article pending publication, so you'll be able to get some excellent details there on both these cases.
Thermaltake's suite at CES had some new successors to the Big Water line (still under review), a bunch of peripherals, and a whole table full of cases. We're focusing on the Urban T81 enthusiast case specs and Core V71 case today.
Welcome to another edition of our weekly hardware sales round-up, affectionately called "Mik's Piks." Now that we are in a new year, it's time to look at some new components for your PCs. Like the old saying goes, out with the old, in with the new. I found some pretty good deals on some video cards, a case, and a power supply.
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