Kudos to Thermaltake for pitching its new Azurues gaming mouse for what it is -- a "no frills" optical rodent with a handful of features that separate it from your standard rodent.
Among them are three different DPI settings (400/800/1600) changeable via a switch on the Azurues' underbelly, three removable 4.5g weights (also on the underbelly), a rubber coated finish, Teflon feat, a braided cable to avoid tangled tails, and a "pause-break" lighting system (the logo lights up).
No frills indeed, though Thermaltake wasn't all humble, calling the Azurues the "most ideal weapon for first-person shooting games." Where then does that leave Thermaltake's higher end "Black Gaming Mouse" with a 4000 DPI?
I have a custom-built gaming computer made by Magic Micro housed in a Thermaltake Soprano case. It has 4GB of RAM, a 3GHz Core 2 Duo (model unknown), a 500-watt Antec power supply, two 1TB Seagate hard drives, and a Sapphire Radeon HD 4870. Things are fun and fast here. The desktop sits right under the air-conditioning vent in my library. Using SpeedFan, I recorded the max temps to be 158 degrees in the Core 0-1 areas and 124 degrees at the CPU. Am I in trouble? Normally it runs around 98 degrees combined, but it was a hot night. I turned the AC on and it all cooled down quickly back to 98 F. Is my desktop OK or do I need to do something?
Read the Doctor's advice for Chris after the jump.
When the wimpy-looking Cooler Master Hyper 212+ (reviewed Holiday 2009) came along and matched performance with the best air coolers on the market, we wondered if its direct-contact heat pipes were responsible, and if so, how soon we’d start seeing imitators. It didn’t take long. Thermaltake’s Contac 29 is a near–carbon copy of that little wonder, with a few subtle refinements and one colossal pain.
Like the Hyper 212+, the Contac 29 features three heat pipes that run from a heat exchanger up through a stack of thin aluminum fins, paired with a single 12cm fan (as well as room for another, if you want to push/pull air). Differing from most skyscraper-type coolers, the heat pipes on the Hyper and Contac contact the CPU heat spreader directly, instead of being embedded in a blocky heat-exchanger. The direct-contact method seems effective; in our tests, the Contac 29 matched the Hyper 212+’s performance to within one degree Celsius at full burn, and performed identically when idling.
Thermaltake’s first SpinQ cooler (reviewed February 2009) had style for sure—it looked like a blue-lit stack of bike gears with a fan in the middle, mounted sideways. The SpinQ VT adopts the same basic formfactor—the stack of circular aluminum fins mounted around an 8cm fan—but stands the stack upright, and uses red LEDs instead of blue. Other than that, it’s more of the same—from the variable fan speed to the so-so performance.
The SpinQ VT (we still want to pronounce it “spink”) stands 6.2 inches from base to top, and the fin stack is 4.7 inches in diameter. Six heat pipes lead up from the base into the 50 aluminum fins, and the 8cm fan blows cool air down over the fins. The fan uses a 3-pin connector and includes a variable-speed knob to take it between 1,000 and 1,600rpm, but since adjusting it requires you to reach into the case, we imagine most people will set it once and never adjust it again.
Since we reviewed the Thermaltake Element S (August 2009), Thermaltake has unleashed a dizzying deluge of Elements, from mid-towers G and T to the small-formfactor Q. The first full-tower, the Element V, feels like a bizarre mix of budget case and deluxe enclosure.
The Element V chassis comes with support for MicroATX, ATX, EATX, and various server motherboards, and its motherboard tray includes a CPU backplate cutout. At 21x21x8.7 inches, it’s a full three inches shorter and three inches shallower than the Corsair 800D, which is one of the biggest cases we’ve tested. Still, the Element V is roomy enough inside to accommodate a Radeon HD 5970, the longest PCI-E graphics card on the market, with an inch or so to spare.
Because the Element V is made of steel, not aluminum, it’s quite cumbersome, weighing 31 pounds empty. The side panels are similarly beefy, although we like the integrated 14cm fan in the left-side panel and the small plastic window above it. It’s good that the window is so small, because the inside of the case is unpainted, unlike the Element S.
At one time a niche market largely dominated by Razer and, to some extent, Logitech, gaming peripherals have become big sellers, prompting a crowded field of contestants all competing for your pieces of eight. It's about to get a little more crowded, as Thermaltake jumps into the fray with its upcoming Tt Esports line.
One of the first products in the Tt Esports line will be Thermaltake's Challenger Gaming Keyboard, a rugged looking plank with up to 18 macro keys, an anti-ghost key function, 32KB of onboard memory, integrated USB ports, gold-plated USB connector, and a handful of red caps in case you want to highlight the WASD and arrow keys. It's also the first keyboard to come with a cooling fan, which plugs into either side of the plank.
Thermaltake is also launching a mouse with adjustable weights. It looks attractive enough, but there are currently no other specs to share, such as laser sensitivity and the sort.
Fudzilla snapped a ton pics, which you can check out here.
Asetek is no stranger to boutique OEM builders, and the latest rendevous involves iBuyPower teaming up with Asetek to deliver the "first and only liquid cooling solution for [Thermaltake's] Level 10 tower."
"When iBuyPower decided to liquid cool the Level 10 chassis, Asetek's Total Solutions Team was quick to respond with the guidance on how to optimize liquid cooling performance in this unique chassis," said Steve Branton, Asetek's Director of Marketing. "This is our commitment to 'Thermal Management Done Right!'"
Marketing goofiness aside, it's no small feat integrating a liquid cooling solution into the Level 10. Individual compartments and an overall unique design makes mounting a standard liquid cooling apparatus nothing short of a challenge.
Stepping up to Asetek's liquid cooling solution runs $20, which for the time being is negated by a $20 mail-in-rebate offer.
iBuyPower this week announced it is the only system builder to offer Thermaltake's new and unique Level 10 enclosure, which was designed in partnership with the BMWGroup and scored an 8 verdict in our recent evaluation.
"We are constantly searching for the best components, cases, and peripherals to use in our systems," said Darren Su, Vice President of iBuyPower. "The Level 10 system is just another example of our drive to offer gaming rigs that can deliver the performance and aesthetics our customers demand."
iBuyPower decked out the Level 10 with a respectable assortment of components, including an Intel Core i7 920 processor, 6GB of DDR3 memory, a GeForce GTX 285 videocard, a 128GB SSD for the OS and 1TB hard drive for storage duties, and optional Killer Xeno Gaming Network Card, NZXT Sentry LCD, or Blu-ray drive.
When we first saw prototypes of Thermaltake’s Level 10 concept chassis back in May, we were intrigued by its unique design but skeptical as to whether Thermaltake would ever actually produce it—and if it did, whether it would be any good. The answer to the first question is yes—it should be shipping by the time you read this. But is the most inventive chassis we’ve laid hands on since the Antec Skeleton actually a good case?
The Level 10, which Thermaltake designed with BMW, is not your standard ATX full-tower. Instead of a simple box shape, the Level 10 hangs its components from a central wall—basically a reinforced version of a standard case’s right side and frame. From this central wall protrude individual hinged covers: one each for PSU, optical drives, and the main motherboard compartment, as well as six SATA drive bays connected to a vertical aluminum heatsink. All cables between compartments are routed through the central pillar, behind the motherboard and drive trays, just like a standard case, resulting in an incredibly clean look—at least when the covers are closed. Red LEDs light a strip running from the front panel (with its four USB ports, one eSATA port, and audio ports), along the top to the rear. The case is huge, too, weighing 47 pounds and measuring 12.5 inches wide by 2 feet deep by 26 inches high.
The newly launched V3 carries a suggested retail price of only $39, placing it squarely in budget territory. Even Ebenezer Scrooge would approve. But don't expect an ugly beige chassis. Instead, the V3 Black Edition lives up to its name with an all black coating, both inside and out. And so the interior view doesn't go unnoticed, it also boasts a left side panel window.
Thermaltake only includes a single 120mm exhaust fan, albeit with a blue LED. However, there are three additional 120mm fan mounts throughout the case (front intake, top exhaust, and side intake).
Thermaltake isn't boasting a tool-less design, which is curious considering a peak through the case's gallery reveals that both the hard drive cage and optical bays sport tool-less mechanisms.