It’s Friday at CES in Las Vegas, and most of the day was spent at the Venetian, with a side trip to the Wynn hotel. There were motherboards galore, an attempt to create a more flexible laptop market for small builders, souped-up graphics cards, some cases, and a system that was a high performance PC and an Xbox 360 in a single chassis. So let’s cut right to the chase.
Thermaltake In The Morning
I showed up bright and early (well, if you call 9AM early) for a meeting with Thermaltake. The case and PSU manufacturer had some interesting new designs, including an upcoming 80 PLUS Gold-certified power supply.
The ToughPower Grand will offer a different skin, more matte gray than shiny metal. Two power delivery points will be offered: 650W and 750W. What’s really great about these PSUs is that they’ll be 80 PLUS Gold certified and Thermaltake will be marketing them as 90% efficient or better. The company doesn’t believe there’s a need for 90% PSUs rated for more than 750W, believing that a robust 750W unit can still drive an overclocked CPU and quad-card graphics configuration without overheating. This is a claim we'll have to put to the test, since companies like ATI and Nvidia recommend more headroom for complex graphics subsystems.
Thermaltake is also shipping two cases, the Element V and Element V Nvidia edition, both aimed squarely at the hearts and minds of high-end gamers. The Nvidia edition offers additional cooling in the form of a duct plus side-mounted fan over the expansion slots. Ramsom Koay of Thermaltake noted that the Nvidia edition is the first case certified by Nvidia to offer cooling for multi-Fermi GPU systems.
I also took a look at the new BlacX Duet dual-hard drive docking station. The unit is now updated to support USB 3.0, but will still include an eSATA interface.
Also being offered is a new CPU cooler, which Koay noted will yield high-end overclocking performance at a roughly $50 price point. Called the Frio, it’s designed to fit into environments where high chipset heat sinks surrounding the CPU socket.