Release roundup: Tall cases, funky coolers, and more

Last week's Consumer Electronics Show made the point of a release roundup somewhat moot. This week, though, we've received a handful of press releases unrelated to the show. Here's the latest from BitFenix, Cooler Master, Kingston, and Scythe:

  • BitFenix introduces Shinobi XL. Remember the Shinobi? You should, because we reviewed it last year. The Shinobi XL is pretty much the same thing, only bigger and meaner. BitFenix says the XL has room for dual 360-mm radiators, an XL-ATX motherboard, and up to nine expansion cards. The front panel includes four USB 3.0 ports, with two matching 20-pin internal connectors you can hook up straight to your motherboard. Other amenities like tool-free drive bays and BitFenix's trademark soft-touch coating have been preserved from the regular Shinobi.

  • Cooler Master preps TPC 812 and X6 Elite coolers. Cooler Master has not one, but two new coolers primed for release later this quarter. The TPC 810 is purportedly the "first ever CPU heatsink to utilize vertical vapor chamber cooling and combine it with heat pipe technology." It has a tower-style design, a polished copper base, no fewer than six heat pipes, and a $69.99 price tag. Meanwhile, the X6 Elite (pictured below) features a "unique honeycomb fin structure" and a base that sits at an angle from the frame, supposedly to "increase overall airflow throughout the chassis." It costs $49.99.

  • Kingston Digital ships high performance SSD upgrade solution. Kingston's latest family of solid-state drives stars SandForce's SF-2281 controller and boasts impressive read and write speed ratings—up to 535MB/s and 480MB/s, respectively, when the drives are used over 6Gbps Serial ATA. You'll find these drives in 60GB, 90GB, 120GB, 240GB, and 480GB flavors, with prices starting at $140 and ranging up to $970 for the 480GB model. All are covered by a three-year warranty. Kingston also offers upgrade kits, which include "cables, brackets, cloning software and HDD enclosure[s]," at a $15 premium over the bare drives.

  • Scythe starts shipments of new Kaze Master II fan controller. The Kaze Master II slips into a 5.25" bay, controls up to four fans, and monitors just as many temperature sensors. Scythe says you can use fan voltages as low as 3.7V and set an "individual alarm temperature," too. If a fan happens to fail, the controller will cut power to it after 15 seconds. Scythe quotes a European asking price of €33, which makes me think U.S. pricing will likely fall in the $30-40 range if this puppy crosses the pond.

We actually got up close and personal to those Cooler Master heatsinks at CES, and they were quite impressive-looking. It'll be interesting to see how additions like the twisted copper base and the vapor chamber affect performance compared to more conventional designs.

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