Release roundup: Cases, cooling, and solid-state caching

We're kind of in limbo this week as far as new hardware releases are concerned. The holidays are just behind us, and the Consumer Electronics Show is less than a week away, so most hardware companies seem to be biding their time. Still, we've gathered a small handful of announcements from Cooler Master, Crucial, and Thermaltake:

  • Cosmos II - The Ultra Tower. A long time ago, Cooler Master's Cosmos 1000 enclosure earned our Editor's Choice award. Now, the company's Cosmos II "ultra tower" is debuting, and it looks like a worthy successor—not that one would expect any less, considering the $349.99 asking price. It features aluminum, steel, and mesh construction with room for up to 13 hard drives, a 360-mm radiator at the top, and a 240-mm radiator at the bottom (provided you remove the bottom hard-drive cages). There are front-panel fan controls, USB 3.0 connectivity, and dual hard-drive/SSD docks inside two of the 5.25" bays, as well. Look for this puppy in stores later this month.

  • Crucial Adrenaline cache solution boosts performance of existing hard drives. The new 50GB Adrenaline SSD isn't marketed as a minimalistic system drive; rather, Crucial bundles it with caching software that, in the company's words, "combines the customer's existing hard drive and the solid state cache into a single storage system." The software is "fully automated, runs in the background, and requires no user management." The point, I assume, is to cache frequently accessed data in order to improve system performance, all without limiting the system partition's capacity. Interesting.
  • The new Thermaltake Frio Extreme - the supreme cooler of Frio series. This new universal CPU heatsink from Thermaltake features dual 140-mm fans and can dissipate up to 250W of heat. That says just about all there is to say, I think. The Frio Extreme also features two stacks of 0.4-mm aluminum fins, six copper heat pipes, and a polished copper base. Its fans can spin between 1200 and 1800 RPM, and they connect to the system using four-pin PWM connectors.

That Cooler Master case sure looks impressive. I think we're going to want to get one in our labs. I don't know many folks who'd willingly cough up $350 for an enclosure alone, though, especially when Corsair's already quite extravagant Obsidian Series 800D case retails for $259.99.

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