Cooler Master's Shark-Shaped PC is Set to Make Waves

Cooler Master Shark X
(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Whether it's a super-cheap chassis or one of the best PC cases, almost every case on the market is some kind of rectangle. Sure, we've seen some weird cases that were circular or triangular and there have been some wild case modes. But there's never been anything sold by a major brand that looks quite like Cooler Master's upcoming Shark X PC. 

Based on a 2019 mod called Leviathan by Inony (opens in new tab), the Shark X looks a robotic shark that's jumping up out of the water. It's standing up and curved forward so a hexagonal, Cooler Master style RGB base holds it in place.  A mini ITX motherboard and other relatively small components live in the shark's head, which is illuminated with three RGB eyes and giant RGB rings that hold its front fins in place.

You might expect Shark X to sell as an empty case that you can fill with parts of your choosing, but Cooler Master plans to release it as a full system sometime later this year. The Shark X will use a 120mm AIO CPU cooler, an SFX power supply and a Wi-Fi antenna in the back fin. Other than that, the company hasn't yet disclosed what components it plans to use so we can't tell you exactly how much RAM the shark has. 

Senior Editor Sarah Jacobsson Purewal had a chance to view Shark X at Cooler Master's CES suite and said she was extremely impressed with the design. It looked very sturdy, colorful and like a real product, she noted. This is definitely one case you don't want to put under desk.

Sneaker X 

If the old woman who lived in a shoe had to move to a PC chassis, Cooler Master's Sneaker X would be it. Based on another prior mod, the Sneaker X looks like exactly what it's name implied: a running shoe. 

As with the Shark X, the Sneaker X is going to be sold as a full system, not a bare case. We don't know much about the specs, other than that it will use an SFX power supply, mini ITX motherboard and up to a 360 mm radiator.

Sarah saw the Sneaker X in person and said it also looks intriguing, but given that it has a rectangular bottom, she found it much less impressive than the Shark X.

Cooling X: Plain But Designed for Thermals

The most standard system Cooler Master announced at CES is codenamed Cooling X, which is set to release in Q2 of 2023. Spec-wise, it's already a bit behind, with last-gen components from AMD, including the Ryzen 9 5950X and AMD Radeon 6800XT.

Other specs include up to 64GB of DDR4-3200 RAM, up to 4TB of m.2 SSD storage and Cooler Master's own V850 SFX Gold power supply. One has to wonder (or even hope) that Cooler Master might change the specs to something newer before release.

Cooler Master PCs

(Image credit: Cooler Master)

What Cooler Master is pushing with the Cooling X, unsurprisingly, is the cooling solution for the parts. Both the CPU and GPU are liquid-cooled, and the coolant runs through the side panels, which have 21-fin heatsinks. Liquid goes from the radiator to the left side panel, the pump, the CPU, the GPU, the right panel, and back to the radiator to repeat the process.

The chassis echoes elements of the company's iconic Cosmos case, with handles on top, but is much smaller, measuring 14.63 x 10.47 x 5.88 inches. The company says the system is small enough to carry around (though at 38.1 pounds, that's debatable), or at least fit on top of your desk.

In Q3, Cooler Master will have a few more PCs, including the AIOX NUC (also a code-name), using an Intel NUC with a 12th Gen Intel Core i9 and a custom cooler made by Cooler Master. This isn't the first time we've seen Cooler Master experiment with NUC: it suggested it would eventually launch the KFConsole with the NUC 9 Extreme Compute Element and a Core i9-9980HK, but that never materialized.

Mini X

There's also a Mini X, which has side panels that can be swapped. This one also uses ITX motherboards and SFX power supplies, and Cooler Master is confirming more recent components, like Nvidia RTX 4000 and AMD 7000-series GPUs here. We dig the retro colors, similar to what we saw recently on Dell's updated G15.

Andrew E. Freedman is a senior editor at Tom's Hardware focusing on laptops, desktops and gaming. He also keeps up with the latest news. A lover of all things gaming and tech, his previous work has shown up in Tom's Guide, Laptop Mag, Kotaku, PCMag and Complex, among others. Follow him on Twitter: @FreedmanAE

  • RichardtST
    Oh. Come. On. What is so wrong with a 5950X? It may be last gen, but it's still a screamer, and IT'S AFFORDABLE. OK, almost affordable, but more-so than the 7000- series! Many a youtuber has shown very clearly that you are able to game quite nicely with hardware even 5-10 years old. I wouldn't go knocking hardware that is barely two.

    That shoe is very strange. But the shark. I dunno. I might have to try that for my next build if it's not too expensive! :)
    Reply
  • Sleepy_Hollowed
    RichardtST said:
    Oh. Come. On. What is so wrong with a 5950X? It may be last gen, but it's still a screamer, and IT'S AFFORDABLE. OK, almost affordable, but more-so than the 7000- series! Many a youtuber has shown very clearly that you are able to game quite nicely with hardware even 5-10 years old. I wouldn't go knocking hardware that is barely two.

    That shoe is very strange. But the shark. I dunno. I might have to try that for my next build if it's not too expensive! :)

    Hard agree, especially since it will be supported by Windows for a long while.

    I can get behind the shark until kids start singing baby shark when they see it.
    Reply
  • thestryker
    This confirms what Gamers Nexus was told by Cooler Master: the shoe/shark will only be sold in prebuilt form for the time being.

    I'm really curious how that cooling solution is going to work out since der8auer had tested a very expensive custom case designed similarly which was very bad (biggest difference being the radiator in this one). CM obviously has the resources to do it right, but I can't help wondering if that explains the CPU/GPU choice. I'd like to think the choices are a reflection of stock shortages and/or time refining the design instead though.
    Reply
  • JarredWaltonGPU
    RichardtST said:
    Oh. Come. On. What is so wrong with a 5950X? It may be last gen, but it's still a screamer, and IT'S AFFORDABLE. OK, almost affordable, but more-so than the 7000- series! Many a youtuber has shown very clearly that you are able to game quite nicely with hardware even 5-10 years old. I wouldn't go knocking hardware that is barely two.

    That shoe is very strange. But the shark. I dunno. I might have to try that for my next build if it's not too expensive! :)
    The problem is that this is going to almost certainly be a premium build. Pre-builts already cost more than DIY, so if you're going to pay for a pre-built, wouldn't you at least want the latest tech? Even the Ryzen 5 7600X often beats the former 5950X in gaming performance, and multi-threaded performance is up to 30% faster or something like that. Basically, creating a new pre-built using parts from last year (or two years ago) just doesn't make much sense.
    Reply
  • waltc3
    I always wonder about novelty cases like the Shark...;) When the primary user/owner tires of looking at it, which probably won't take long, what good is it? How long could you use something like that in your office before you started feeling a bit idiotic? Maybe an owner could charge admission for everyone on his street, APT building, etc., rope it off and give $2 tours? But, I could see maybe an attraction for 8-10 year olds, possibly. Until they got tired of it.
    Reply
  • PEnns
    "... it's already a bit behind, with last-gen components from AMD, including the Ryzen 9 5950X and AMD Radeon 6800XT. "
    Seriously?? That's old?? And that could be bad, because....???

    I'd gladly buy this build and I am certain it would be good for at least 5 - 7 years, even longer!!
    Reply
  • jkflipflop98
    waltc3 said:
    I always wonder about novelty cases like the Shark...;) When the primary user/owner tires of looking at it, which probably won't take long, what good is it? How long could you use something like that in your office before you started feeling a bit idiotic? Maybe an owner could charge admission for everyone on his street, APT building, etc., rope it off and give $2 tours? But, I could see maybe an attraction for 8-10 year olds, possibly. Until they got tired of it.

    I suppose those would be concerns for those with low self esteem.
    Reply
  • vanadiel007
    JarredWaltonGPU said:
    The problem is that this is going to almost certainly be a premium build. Pre-builts already cost more than DIY, so if you're going to pay for a pre-built, wouldn't you at least want the latest tech? Even the Ryzen 5 7600X often beats the former 5950X in gaming performance, and multi-threaded performance is up to 30% faster or something like that. Basically, creating a new pre-built using parts from last year (or two years ago) just doesn't make much sense.

    I think that sums it up nicely. People these days seem to be obsessed with "beating" previous generations, rather than seeing the true value of a previous generation in everyday use scenario's.

    This is why $1,500 GPU's are a thing now. It's all about beating, like a F1 car that is 0.2 seconds faster than last years' car. Not that it matters much if anything to the average person...
    Reply
  • husker
    JarredWaltonGPU said:
    The problem is that this is going to almost certainly be a premium build. Pre-builts already cost more than DIY, so if you're going to pay for a pre-built, wouldn't you at least want the latest tech? Even the Ryzen 5 7600X often beats the former 5950X in gaming performance, and multi-threaded performance is up to 30% faster or something like that. Basically, creating a new pre-built using parts from last year (or two years ago) just doesn't make much sense.
    And it's even more than that. Think of the kind of person that is going to want to buy this kind of system. Obviously it is mean to impress. You invite a few friends over expecting them to "wow" over your new rig, and as soon as they find out it's got 2 year old tech inside they'll comment on how their rig out paces yours and be like "meh" instead. In my book that is a fail.
    Reply
  • 2Be_or_Not2Be
    husker said:
    And it's even more than that. Think of the kind of person that is going to want to buy this kind of system. Obviously it is mean to impress. You invite a few friends over expecting them to "wow" over your new rig, and as soon as they find out it's got 2 year old tech inside they'll comment on how their rig out paces yours and be like "meh" instead. In my book that is a fail.

    You can't judge on what people feel when they make their purchases. I think of collectors - people have different tastes, and they spend their money however they want. To me, the wow factor of the Shark case is the case itself, not what powers it. Whether it's in an office or at home, that's the neat part.

    It would be nice, of course, if they have user-replaceable parts. Switching out ITX boards with new CPUs would definitely be useful. The harder part would be accommodating new GPUs, especially if the size limits what you can replace. But that applies to every case, even custom ones.
    Reply