Business, Hardware

Thermaltake Suite at CES 2012


Thermaltake this past year has been pretty active in the world of computer peripherals, and this coming year is going to be no different. Thermaltake is preparing to launch an expansive line of new computer peripherals and components across the whole board of their product offerings. We are here to show you what they’ve got to offer.

The view from the Palazzo Suite

We were invited by none other than Thermaltake’s Ramsom Koay and Shannon Robb, these two stately gentlemen invited the BSN* team to the Thermaltake suite to check out the awesome new products coming up in 2012 and beyond.

We started off our visit to the Thermaltake suite by checking out their latest case offerings. Thermaltake’s suite offered some of their newest case offerings as well as some that we were already familiar with, but with a twist.
The first case we saw was the all familiar Level 10 GT Snow Edition which is a regular Level 10 GT but in white with black accents. We are currently in the process of reviewing this case and should be bringing it to you in the coming weeks. The take on this case, though, is the fact that Thermaltake has a gaming bundle that bundles their white MEKA G1 keyboard (snow edition) with their white Tt eSports gaming headset as well as the Level 10 GT Snow Edition.

Sitting right next to this Level 10 GT was a very familiar looking brother to the Level 10 GT, except with an aesthetic twist. This case was actually a modded version of the Level 10 GT done by Dan McGrath dubbed the ‘Aztec’ mod (actually labeled AzTtec on the case to go along with Tt logo). This case is quite literally the most insanely detailed case mod we have ever seen since the Battlestar Galactica Mod we saw by Brian Carter.

If you take a look at the case, you can absolutely see the insane attention to detail that this gentleman has. In addition to basically building an entire mock-up Mayan Calendar on one side of the case and completely decking out the other side of the case, Dan McGrath decided to do the same treatment on both the keyboard and mouse with the exact same stunning attention to detail. Our favorite part, though, was definitely under the headset rest on the case where a Mayan Warrior is sitting and playing on his gaming controller (perhaps a keyboard may have been more appropriate?) and listening on his Thermaltake Tt eSports headphones.

Following the AzTtec build, we took a look at some of Thermaltake’s newest cases. One of these cases is the littler brother to the Level 10 GT, known as the Level 10 GTS. The first of the line being the original Level 10, followed by the GT and the now GTS. The GTS is a midtower case which borrows most of its design cues from its bigger (and more expensive) brothers. This midtower is also accompanied by the midtower case Commander MS II which fits more into Thermaltake’s more budget gamer crowd with much less subdued asthetics. The Level 10 GTS will be available in both white or black.

The next case is the Armor Revo, which is a re-design of one of Thermaltake’s oldest full tower cases and personally one of my favorite and most solid cases of all time. The original Armor case was quite literally built tough enough that it felt like it could withstand direct gunfire. We’re not sure how accurate that is, but we hope that the same level of quality is applied to the Armor Revo.

The one cool feature of the Armor Revo that makes it different from its predecessors the Armor and Armor+ is the fact that this case supports both USB 3.0 as well as has an external hard drive dock for hotswapping hard drives or SSDs. This case also supports water cooling with support for up to a 2x120mm radiator or the already installed 200x200mm fan with support for an optional 140/120mm fan on the top as well. This case has a veritable plethora of fans with 4 large fans included and 2 more spots for optional fans.

After checking out Thermaltake’s cases, we took a look at their various new cooling solutions. These include both air and self contained water cooling solutions. The first of the batch is yet another air cooling huge heatsink behemoth that goes by the name of the Frio Extreme. This processor supports LGA 2011 and claims to ‘support’ 250W as in dissipating up to 250W of heat generated by the CPU from overclocking. The Extreme is the latest addition to Thermaltake’s Frio line of coolers starting with the original Frio in 2010 followed by the Frio OCK and Frio Advanced in 2011 and in 2012, the Frio Extreme.

There is no doubt t
hat the Frio Extreme is huge, it is so big that you’ll find yourself blocking RAM slots with it and you’ll likely want to have low profile DIMMs if you do go with this cooler so you can still use those slots. The Frio Extreme also features a 2 in 1 PWM fan controller which allows you to either manually control the speed of the fan with the controller or to disable manual control and let the BIOS control the speed as it would normally.

In addition to Thermaltake’s air cooling offerings, they are also planning on expanding their watercooling options. In the past, these were part of the Big Water line of products, which to us, now sounds pretty dead. And to be honest with you, we were never quite impressed with them. This new line of products, though, is likely to be a winner. The entire Water 2.0 line of self contained low cost liquid cooling setups is manufactured by Asetek custom for Thermaltake. As part of this line, just like Asetek’s current line, there will be three models. The thinner 120mm radiator Performer, the thicker radiator dual fan Pro and the dual 120mm radiator with dual 120mm fans Extreme all make up the three products in their line. Interestingly enough, we’ve had a chance to play with the Corsair H100 which is similar to the Extreme, but that cooler comes with 4 120mm fans instead of 2 which means there’s a good chance that this cooler may not perform as well as the already available H100.

The Water 2.0 Performer (left) and Pro (right). The Extreme was installed into the Armor case.

Finally, wrapping up Thermaltake’s component line of products we have some new power supplies from Thermaltake. These are namely their new Toughpower Grand 700w Snow and the Toughpower XT 1275 Snow. As you can imagine from their previous snow products this does indeed mean that these power supplies are white in design and have accompanying white cables with black accents. If you look at the majority of Thermaltake’s new line of power supplies, though, you’ll see that the majority of them are now 80 Plus gold certified which means that they are capable of up to 90% efficiency which translates into being a better PSU and saving you money in the long term. Some of their power supplies are even rated 80 Plus Platinum (the Toughpower XT Platinum 1275w Snow Edition and the Toughpower Grand Platinum 700w).

The full PSU line up

We also had a chance to check out some of Thermaltake’s Tt eSports products which included their new line of DRACCO lifestyle headphones as well as their MEKA G-Unit Combat White and MEKA G1 Combat White. Personally, I’m not really convinced that ANY white keyboard is a good idea considering how dirty keyboards can get and how quickly that can happen. We’re not quite sure what Thermaltake was thinking here, sure it’s a great idea aesthetically and on paper but in practice is a pretty bad idea. Their DRACCO headphones also felt extremely cheap and looked very gaudy and almost felt like a rebranding of some skull candy headphones.

G-Unit White Keyboard

Thermaltake also showed us their two new gaming inspired mice, the Saphira and Theron both of which are inspired by Thermaltake’s resident gamers White-Ra and Softball. We didn’t really find these mice to be anything really amazing or inspiring, but perhaps we need to spend more time with them to really grow to love them. Needless to say, we’ll see.

The Tt eSports Theron gaming mouse

And on that note, we’re going to wrap up this article by saying that 2012 appears to be a busy year for Thermaltake and we can’t wait to see what else they’ve got in the works for the rest of the year. Knowing Thermaltake, there’s likely much more to come, probably during CeBIT or Computex Taipei.