Release roundup: Gaming cases, tiny mobos, and more

This week in our look at miscellaneous product releases, we bring tidings from Enermax, LaCie, Lian Li, Thermaltake, and Zotac:

  • Enermax introduces a new down flow CPU cooler. Tower-style coolers seem awfully fashionable today, but they’re not the only way to keep a CPU nice and chilly. Enermax’s new ETD-T60 series coolers have a “down flow” design, with a set of six heat pipes connecting the CPU to an array of fins that sits parallel to the motherboard. Those fins are ventilated by a 120-mm, Twister-bearing, pulse-width modulation fan. Enermax has implemented a patented Auto-Adjustable-Pressure mounting system, which purportedly supports “various CPU sockets and gives perfect contact force (18~28kgw) in between CPU and cooler.” Expect to pay $59 for the vanilla ETD-T60-TB and $69 for the ETD-T60-VD, which has red and blue LEDs.

  • LaCie Little Big Disk Thunderbolt Series now available. With its latest product family, LaCie is bringing Thunderbolt connectivity to the world of external storage… for a price. The Little Big Disk Thunderbolt series includes 1TB 7,200-RPM and 2TB 5,400-RPM mechanical options priced at—wait for it—$399 and $499, respectively. While LaCie boasts about “shocking 10Gb/s speeds,” the spec sheet reveals that the hard drives inside the Thunderbolt enclosures have 6Gbps SATA interfaces and peak transfer speeds of 180-190MB/s. A solid-state option is also available, but that’ll only get you speeds as high as 480MB/s, nowhere near Thunderbolt’s 10Gbps (1.25GB/s) peak. LaCie sells the drives without Thunderbolt cables and only covers them with a three-year warranty, too. Yikes.

  • Lian Li announces the latest PC-TU200. Lian Li’s new baby isn’t cheap, either, at $199. However, it has some nice perks that should please LAN partygoers: a carrying handle, a rather small chassis that accommodates Mini-ITX and Mini-DTX motherboards, aluminum contruction with a “base weight” of only 2.8 lbs, a 140-mm front intake fan, support for graphics cards as long as 11.8″, and both external Serial ATA and USB 3.0 ports on the front panel. The PC-TU200 is due to arrive at “local distributors” at the end of this month.
  • Thermaltake introduces Overseer RX-I e-sports chassis. This latest addition to Thermaltake’s gaming mid-tower case repertoire is certainly a showy one, but it appears to tick most of the right boxes. You’ve got a hard-drive dock at the top, two USB 3.0 ports at the front, support for graphics cards as long as 12.5″, a bottom-mounted power supply emplacement, and five internal 3.5″ drive bays. Stock cooling also seems generous, with a pair of 200-mm fans supplemented by a 120-mm spinner. Users can chuck in another three fans if they so choose.

  • Zotac announces A75-ITX WiFi. Zotac’s latest Mini-ITX board features an FM1 socket and an AMD A75 chipset, making it ripe for use with A8-, A6-, A4-, and E2-series Llano APUs. Other features include two DDR3 DIMM slots, a trio of display outputs (DVI, HDMI, and VGA), a PCI Express x16 slot, four SATA 6Gbps ports, six USB 3.0 ports (plus two via a header on the board), dual Gigabit Ethernet, built-in 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 3.0, and onboard audio with Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio certifications. Not bad for such a tiny motherboard.

I have to say, I like the look of that Lian Li case. $199 is a little rich for my blood, though, especially for an enclosure that can’t house a full-sized machine.

Comments closed
    • LoneWolf15
    • 8 years ago

    The Lian Li case looks nice –but if I was designing for LAN parties, I’d have gone for mATX. There just aren’t many mITX boards that make a suitable gaming platform, as cool as that would be (hint: ASUS, here’s your chance to build an ROG mITX board –the Asus “Minimus” line? 😉 )

    The one other thing I’d do when designing a case like that for portability is powder-coat it. Shiny aluminum looks beautiful –and scratches easily during transport. A powder-coat finish is more durable in the long run.

    • Bensam123
    • 8 years ago

    Keep up the good work Lian-Li!

    Honestly an amazing case and if it was around when I was building my server, I probably would’ve bought it… probably being a key word and difinitively placed on a $199 price tag. Yes, it’s sexy Lian-Li… but $199!?!?!? That’s really busting your potential customers balls as being very close to not being worth it, but so close to saying fuck it because most Mini-itx cases are atrocious.

    I do like the space management they’ve done with the case… a lot of mini-itx cases have a lot of unused or otherwise misappropriated space. There is room at the bottom of the case and above the motherboard… they could’ve chopped another inch off the height of the case…

    I suppose the room under the bays is for longer video cards. They still could’ve added 3.5 bays across the top.

    • internetsandman
    • 8 years ago

    Lian Li should take a page from Silverstone’s book and put their PSU’s at the front of the case, freeing up room for better CPU coolers. Not that there’s an ITX board that can fit more than a few specially desgned coolers on them anyway, but it would definitely make a difference.

    However….DAMN that case is sexy! i think i’m gonna buy it even though it lacks cooler headroom, that thing looks like a proper head-turner

      • Bensam123
      • 8 years ago

      They have some like that and they had them out before Silverstone was doing them…

        • internetsandman
        • 8 years ago

        But they haven’t seemed to combine the ideas to make a good gaming case

          • Bensam123
          • 8 years ago

          Truth

      • d34thly
      • 8 years ago

      I’ve had my overclocked gaming rig in something smaller than this all year. The trick is finding the right thickness self-contained water cooling loop that will fit in the top. I am using a Coolit eco R120 with a single 120mm blowing up into the rad and out of the case roof.

    • dmjifn
    • 8 years ago

    Man, I was sure I wouldn’t buy another Lian Li case. My current one is flimsy, loud, leaks light through gaps in the body panels, is hard to route through, and doesn’t allow the fans to be replaced. But, man… I might give them another chance for that guy there!

    • christopher3393
    • 8 years ago

    Love to put that Zotac in the Lian Li case.

    • albundy
    • 8 years ago

    “I have to say, I like the look of that Lian Li case. $199 is a little rich for my blood, though, especially for an enclosure that can’t house a full-sized machine.”

    I’ve asked myself the same question. then i thought, why do i need all those expansion slots when i haven’t used any on my 790FX atx board from a few years back. an itx board really has everything you need and then some.

    “While LaCie boasts about “shocking 10Gb/s speeds,” the spec sheet reveals that the hard drives inside the Thunderbolt enclosures have 6Gbps SATA interfaces and peak transfer speeds of 180-190MB/s”

    yeah but in reality land, you wont see more than 50-60MB/sec. might as well stick with USB 2.0.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 8 years ago

      USB 2.0 can’t even max out at 50-60MB/sec.

        • jensend
        • 8 years ago

        No clue why you were thumbed down. Real-world USB 2 transfer speeds are very rarely above 35 MB/s. Plenty of room for improvement from there; plenty of kinds of devices can use more bandwidth than that. Not so many kinds of devices that can use more than the 180 MB/s provided by even the slowest of USB 3 controllers.

    • flip-mode
    • 8 years ago

    That Thermaltake case is extraordinarily ugly.

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 8 years ago

    nice cases. Both of em.

    • kvndoom
    • 8 years ago

    Holy Hell, it’s the BFC-9000!

    • d0g_p00p
    • 8 years ago

    Only Apple users buy overpriced LaCie stuff anyway. I am amazed that they are still in business.

    • khands
    • 8 years ago

    I’d love that Zotac mobo with just one little addition, WiDi. A portable media server would be awesome.

    • zdw
    • 8 years ago

    In the Lian Li link – it appears that the HDD trays have a hot swap backplane, which is seriously nice.

    I also wonder at the amount of clearance available for the CPU fan with the PSU mounted above the logic board – low profile coolers that aren’t really loud are hard to find.

    • dpaus
    • 8 years ago

    Love that little Zotac m/b. We have an immediate application for it. Anyone care to suggest a case suitable for ‘mild’ industrial environment (i.e., not a high-dust factory floor, but not office, either – in between. Think ‘garage floor’)

      • Duck
      • 8 years ago

      Something wall mounted and out of the way?

        • dpaus
        • 8 years ago

        Ideally, yes.

          • flip-mode
          • 8 years ago

          Don’t like the Zotac Zbox?

            • dpaus
            • 8 years ago

            I think that’s the one we’re trialling now, but the techs were unhappy with some aspect of it. I’ll find out some details…

      • jensend
      • 8 years ago

      I’d be interested too, but unfortunately it looks like this will be $150. Maybe prices will drop once there’s actually a decent amount of competition in FM1 mini-itx boards, but until then, since llano is budget-oriented this seems a little out of place.

      Not a whole lot seems to be happening with mini-itx cases except for $200 Lian Li stuff either. I’d like to see a reasonably priced mini-itx case with usb3 front ports. Ideally I’d also like to see power brick psus with ~110W capacity. But given how little manufacturers seem to be doing these may be rather idle wishes, and I guess I might as well also wish for a pony and a solid gold toilet while I’m at it.

      (Brick psus are usually slightly more efficient and have the added benefit of moving most psu heat generation outside the case; people made cases with ~60W with Atom & Brazos in mind, but it wouldn’t be hard to do 110 W bricks for SB or Llano mini-itx setups. Right now the only option is to tear out whatever psu came with your case and replace it with a picopsu, and that doesn’t come very cheaply.)

        • esterhasz
        • 8 years ago

        It would actually be nice if the brick were sold with the MB. Put a plug somewhere on the connector panel, ship it with a plastic plate to cover the standard PSU mounting hole and it fits any case! I’d also like to see a cheaper version without Wifi and Bluetooth.

        A pony would be nice indeed. Hmmm, pony…

          • dpaus
          • 8 years ago

          Yeah, they’re great! A little butter, a little garlic, a nice Chianti and a side a fava beans…

      • mutarasector
      • 8 years ago

      That Little Zotac is interesting, although I think I prefer the Asus mITX Llano board. The Gigabyte mITX Llano board looks a tad disappointing however, especially at the rumored price.

      • d34thly
      • 8 years ago

      [url<]http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811112265[/url<] I have the red version of this and I LOVE it. Make sure and buy a corsair or coolermaster modular psu to go into it as it will make cable management sooo much easier with the flat elegant modular cables.

    • sirsoffrito
    • 8 years ago

    That Lian Li is a damn sexy case, and pretty much exactly what I’d like to have instead of my full ATX for taking to LAN parties.

      • Suspenders
      • 8 years ago

      Same here. I especially like the handle on that Lian Li. Last LAN party I went to I really wish I had a damn handle on my ATX box!

        • UberGerbil
        • 8 years ago

        For $5 you can temporarily add [url=http://www.geeks.com/details.asp?invtid=ECAR00003&cat=CAS<]one[/url<].

          • Suspenders
          • 8 years ago

          Interesting. I’ve actually considered building something similar. Thanks for the link 😉

    • dashbarron
    • 8 years ago

    I love Lian-Li’s cases. Simple, sturdy, effective.

    The last time I checked their site and product documentation, the English translations were absolutely horrid: they could hire on Meadows full-time for years.

      • FuturePastNow
      • 8 years ago

      I’d love it more if they knocked about $100 off the price.

      • Aegaeon
      • 8 years ago

      The press release says it’s a “nuclear football” style design lol. Instead of PC-TU200 they should have called it LIAN LI NUCLEAR FOOTBALL, printed in big letters on the side.

    • 5150
    • 8 years ago

    Is it too early to call Thunderbolt “Thunderbust”?

      • Deanjo
      • 8 years ago

      Yup considering USB 3 is having it’s growing pains as well.

        • jensend
        • 8 years ago

        What growing pains? The only pain I see is the annoyance of listening to Intel and Apple enthusiasts trying extra-hard to convince everyone that they were right all along, betting everything on Light Peak wasn’t a mistake, etc, and that’ll die down soon enough as Intel finally gets around to adding a feature to its chipsets after two years of sitting on their hind ends and Apple realizes that fighting the entire rest of the industry is stupid and adds usb3 to its next generation of machines.

        • mutarasector
        • 8 years ago

        Growing pains? Hardly. Plenty of USB 3 devices are available unlike the paltry amount of TB devices.

        Doesn’t mean TB is doomed to fail however. Sony, Asus and Acer are going to have TB ports as well, but as things stand, USB has a huge headstart and will likely be preferred by most users in general.

        I’m really sick of the USB 3 vs TB false dichotomy anyway. Both standards are here to stay, it’ll just take time for adaption to gain critical mass (for both), but it >will< happen.

      • zdw
      • 8 years ago

      People said the same thing about USB when the original iMac came out, and look where we are today.

      I’d bet on Intel making it much more popular by putting it in core logic within a generation or two. It’s the obvious choice for anyone wanting to create external PCIe devices at this point.

        • mutarasector
        • 8 years ago

        Agreed. But then couldn’t it be said that AMD ‘pioneered’ USB 3 since they were the first to include it natively in their A75 chipset, and USB 3 devices became far more available while it was largely a ‘perk’ on AMD mobos? I mean, according to the Apple fanbois, the same logic applies here, no?

        [/sarcasm]

      • End User
      • 8 years ago

      Yes.

      Ivy Bridge will bring Thunderbolt to the rest of the PC world. That will be awesome.

        • jensend
        • 8 years ago

        No, it won’t. Thunderbolt will be on some Ivy Bridge based motherboards but probably only a few high-end boards; it isn’t integrated into the chipset and vendors will probably give it a pass for most of their boards because it is fairly costly. [url=http://www.anandtech.com/show/4406/correction-ivy-bridge-and-thunderbolt-featured-not-integrated<](Here's a reference for fact that it isn't integrated.)[/url<] USB3 on the other hand will finally be integrated into ivy bridge chipsets and so just about every single computer shipped in 2012 will have usb3. Given the paucity of thunderbolt peripherals, just about nobody will miss it.

        • mutarasector
        • 8 years ago

        Not necessarily. Ivy Bridge will bring >USB 3.0<. Haven’t heard a thing about native TB controllers in Ivy Bridge.

      • Bensam123
      • 8 years ago

      It was already called out for that when Intel made the announcement about it and people looked at USB3 and went, huh?

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