Last year at Computex, BTX was the talk of the town. A year later, BTX didn’t have much to offer. As Anand stated yesterday, motherboard manufacturers are downplaying the importance of BTX, claiming that case manufacturers aren’t ready for the new standard. Meanwhile, case manufacturers keep telling us that there aren’t any retail BTX motherboards, so there is no point in building new BTX cases. Whether or not BTX is really a step forward is still debateable to some, but everyone agrees that it’s going to take an outstanding step from AMD or Intel to get these guys to start working together.


Now that ThermalTake has a few years of experience under their belt, their case designs are really starting to mature a bit. No more are they gaudy cases based on Chenming reference designs; ThermalTake’s new stuff is all completely designed in house nowadays – our ThermalTake representative was excited to announce to us that there are over 50 R&D employees in Taiwan alone with the company.

The Taichi is ThermalTake’s new flagship design at the show. What makes this a cool case is the fact that it was designed from the ground up to be a watercooling case – the reservoir, piping and waterblock are all integrated into the design. The BTX sign on top of the case is slightly misleading, since this is not a BTX case.

Click to enlarge.

For those who remember the Armor series, a Mini-Armor is on its way. More the size of a mid-ATX case, this is actually a BTX compliant chassis. The Mini-Armor took the prize as one of the better looking BTX cases that we saw at the show.

Click to enlarge.

New revisions on the Eclipse and Circle case are coming as well. Eclipse was always a personal favorite of ours – but the Eclipse DV aims to really impress. What looks like just a CD holder is actually a CD/DVD player. Retail shipments are a little ways off, but you can be assured that we will take a look at this interesting design once it becomes available.

There were also HTPC and new desktop cases on display. The brushed aluminum designs are a step away from ThermalTake’s previous directions, but we like it. Lastly, we wanted to mention ThermalTake’s reintroduction of the Golden Orb CPU cooler series. Golden Orb II looks strikingly familiar to Zalman’s HSF line, but if it’s cheap and it works, that’s all that matters to us.

Click to enlarge.

Biostar Chenbro, CoolerMaster, Enermax
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  • Doormat - Thursday, June 2, 2005 - link


    RAID 5 is an improvement over RAID-3 because any time you wrote to any one of the data drives, you'd have to write to the pairty drive - you're essentially write-speed bottlenecked by the write speeds of the pairty drive (unless you manage to cache the writes but that still doesnt solve the underlying architectural flaw). You could still read from the array quite fast however.

    RAID-5 gets over this by spreading out the parity so when you write data to one of the array's disks, its more or less going to write the parity out to a random drive in the array instead of one dedicated drive.
  • n7 - Thursday, June 2, 2005 - link

    @ #20

    Nice detective skillz :)
    I hope you are right about that...would be a nice surprise if so.
  • ImJacksAmygdala - Thursday, June 2, 2005 - link

    I think Lian Li needs to take a good hard look at the Antec P180 design and stop wasting R&D time and money on concept crap that will never sell in the market.

    The P180 design could be improved if the drive cages and feet could be reconfigured so that the case could be used up right as a tower or on its side as a HTPC case. Its a shame that Antec did not think of this when it was developing the P180. Whats worse is that the bottom of the P180 doesn't have a brushed aluminum finish and the feet are going to be difficult to move.
  • Chunkee - Thursday, June 2, 2005 - link

    How about some improvment on the photos please.

  • yacoub - Thursday, June 2, 2005 - link

    In case anyone is curious about the earthquake:
  • RyanVM - Thursday, June 2, 2005 - link

    So you said not to expect the X550 until R520 launches. I couldn't help but notice that the placard that the X550 was on said it's launching on June 15. Does that mean what I think that means? ;-)
  • yacoub - Thursday, June 2, 2005 - link

    "4 bay faceplates in the Enermax case, "Hey look! We got pretty lights!""

    That case starred in the upcoming movie remake of The War of the Worlds.
  • ProviaFan - Thursday, June 2, 2005 - link

    JHutch, I remember being told that RAID 5 was an improvement over RAID 3, because having the parity distributed over all disks balances the workload more evenly over every disk. Whether this still applies, I don't know.
  • JHutch - Thursday, June 2, 2005 - link

    Maybe someone can clarify RAID 3 vs RAID 5 for me. It looks like they are both basically striped data with a parity data block. RAID 3 seems to put all the parity on one disk, while RAID 5 spreads it around the array of disks.

    Supposing I have that much right, what are the advantages/disadvantages of one over the other?
  • Jynx980 - Thursday, June 2, 2005 - link

    "The ATOP bundle pictured below consists of an AGP GeForce 6200 video card piggy-backed onto the ATOP adaptor."

    Below -> Above

    Bahaha! Love that sign in the HIS X550 pic "New" written in silver pen! That said, the info on the signs that hold the card are damn good.

    4 bay faceplates in the Enermax case, "Hey look! We got pretty lights!"

    The MGE prototype case looks pretty slick. Makes me think about the shrinking room in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

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