Yesterday had us visiting Thermaltake’s display in a private suite in one of Vegas’s finer hotels. Some companies prefer to conduct their CES business away from the hubbub, hoopla, and mobs of the Convention Center halls, and this is the route that Thermaltake prefers to take. Those of us in the tech press appreciate companies that make it easier for us to see their products this way, and also enables some quality one-on-one conversations and discussions of the products and their features. We were also privileged to be in attendance at the Newegg Eggies awards in the evening, where Thermaltake received a well-deserved Eggie for Eggcellence.
Thermaltake is renowned for offering a comprehensive selection of cases. Their latest offerings were on display, including several new models. Their Urban line of cases continues to expand, and one of their newest offerings that we were impressed with was the Urban T81. This full tower chassis can accommodate numerous configurations of case fans, as well as quite a few liquid cooling setups. The front panel comes with two pre-installed 200mm fans, but can alternatively accommodate 2 X 140mm or 3 X 120mm case fans. The top panel comes with a single pre-installed 200mm fan, with mounting available for a second. Alternatively the top panel accepts 2 X 140mm or 3 X 120mm case fans. The rear panel accepts a single 140mm or 120mm fan. The bottom panel accommodates a pair of either 140mm or 120mm fans.
To facilitate liquid cooling, the top and front panels can accept radiators up to a maximum size of 420mm. The bottom can accept up to 280mm length radiators, while the rear panel accepts a single one of either 120mm or 140mm size. The T81 interior features advanced cable management, including grommeted cable openings along the motherboard tray. The top two drive bays are not removable, but the two modular lower drive cages that accommodate up to four drives each are. The top front is where the I/O connections are located, including four USB 2.0 connections and two USB 3.0 connections.
Thermaltake also had on display a broad selection of cooling options for both your CPU and case. Their NIC line of CPU coolers has been very popular, and they have added a couple of models for the more budget constrained system builder. NIC stands for non-interference cooler, referring to the fact that they do not block the memory lanes area of your motherboard, allowing you to utilize RAM that has tall heat spreaders, as is often the case with the more performance-oriented RAM modules.
Liquid cooling for your CPU is becoming increasingly popular with expanded availability of sealed-system coolers, making installation much easier. For those wishing to create liquid cooling that is customized for their specific build, options have been rather limited (and pricey). Thermaltake will soon be releasing a customizable liquid cooling kit that includes the radiator, reservoir with pump mounted to the bottom, clear tubing and fittings. You are able to cut the tubing to the exact lengths needed, helping keep your build’s interior tidy and air-flow optimized.
Thermaltake also had on display a new series of case fans, featuring rubber-cushioned mounting corners to reduce vibration and noise. They are offering versions in all of the standard sizes, including 120mm, 140mm and 200 mm.
Also on display were a number of coolers for your laptop / notebook PC, including the Massive V-20 which features a 200mm fan with adjustable fan speed knob and LED switch.
Thermaltake had on hand for inspection several models of PSUs, many of which are 80-plus gold efficiency certified. The Toughpower series is 80-plus gold certified, with efficiency in the 87-82% range. Also featured in this PSU are high quality Japanese capacitors, a massive single 12V rail, and modular design with a low profile and flat cabling. I can tell you from personal experience that these flat-style PSU cables are infinitely easier to work with, especially in builds that have limited cable management clearance between the back side of your motherboard and case side panel.
We also got to see one of their DPS platinum versions already installed in a customized PC setup. This 89-94% efficient PSU also features an ultra-quiet 140mm fan and fully modular cabling. Being a DPS model (digital power supply), it also includes software that allows for real-time monitoring and control of temperature, fan speed, efficiency and performance. It also includes the ability to immediately share results over social media.
As with many keyboard makers, Thermaltake has historically used Cherry as the predominant supplier for key switches. Apparently Cherry has run into issues lately with not being able to supply switches, so this gave Thermaltake only two other options — find another supplier or produce their own switch. TT is to be applauded for choosing the option that gives them far more control and has developed their own switch. In several minutes of experimentation, I was completely unable to detect any difference between the tactile feel and performance of a Cherry-switched keyboard and TT’s model using their own switch.
Thermaltake offers an extremely comprehensive line of mice, offering something for virtually every user. Here we see several of their newest offerings, including one that is totally ambidextrous — identical controls on both sides of the mouse. Kudos to TT for giving the southpaws out there some love.
Thermaltake also offers a complete line of headphones, covering the spectrum from basic user to world-class gamer. Their newest offerings include ones with a retractable cable — you unplug from your audio port, and the cable recoils into one of the ear modules. One model features a removable microphone, but still has a small onboard mike in case you need momentary access to voice capability.
Today is the final day of CES 2014, and we are headed over to the display floors to do some more exploring. The crowds should be much smaller today, as many have left after the first three days. Stay tuned as we seek more of the latest technology to inform you of.
Congratulations again from TechnologyX to Thermaltake on their Eggie award. You can check out their entire CES 2014 lineup at the Thermaltake site here.