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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  • gilboa - Thursday, June 2, 2005 - link

    Linux *has* software RAID 6 support.
    I've been using it for a while now.

    Just look at the kernel source under:
  • bigboxes - Thursday, June 2, 2005 - link

    "Maybe if they put heat pipes throughout the whole desk it would offer interesting cooling."

  • smn198 - Thursday, June 2, 2005 - link

    Lian Li's weird round case could be good for a geek version of this:

    Their desk looks quite interesting although I think I'll spend my $2000 elsewhere. Maybe if they put heat pipes throughout the whole desk it would offer interesting cooling.
  • cHodAXUK - Thursday, June 2, 2005 - link

    Suprise, suprise, another year passes and Lian Li still haven't produced a case that doesn't look like an aluminium version of an old 386 midi-tower.
  • flatblastard - Thursday, June 2, 2005 - link

    Correction: rd400/rd480

    Also, I was wondering if those motherboards have 6 or 8 channel audio. It's late and I'm too tired to walk upstairs and fire up the main rig so I can enlarge the pic big enough to read that list ;)

    Man I must be gettin lazy in my old age (26), lol.....or could this be a sign it's time to replace my old browser rig?
  • flatblastard - Thursday, June 2, 2005 - link

    Looks like HIS RD400/RS480 will be using the sb450 southbridge instead of ULi. Interesting considering the "powerhouse" image. I guess it's still too soon to pass judgment on southbridge from the near-future. I'm still keeping my eyes peeled just in case you throw in a pic of the ultra vanilla non-crossfire ati+sb450/ULi mobo if such a thing will exist. I"ve seen various pics on manufacturer web sites but nothing new in a while.
    Just keep feeding us and we will grow. Keep up the good work!
  • Calin - Thursday, June 2, 2005 - link

    Every microelectronics producers (memory makers included) tend to overestimate the need for some product or another. Or they simply react to one opponent's increased production with increased production of their own, regardless of the perceived need.
    In the end, this is good for users - it forces prices down to levels sometime lower than production costs.
    I liked the watercooled case
  • Doormat - Thursday, June 2, 2005 - link

    Windows Servers can do RAID-5 but I wouldnt recommend it since it requires the use of dynamic disks (in other words, its difficult to get your disks back if your machine dies and you have to reinstall the OS or stuff like that).

    There are RAID-6 cards out on the market now (Areca makes up to 16-port PCI-Ex8 SATA-II RAID-6 controller). I do see everyone migrating to RAID-6 since it would take a long while to rebuild a 8x400GB RAID-5 array, even with current HD read/write speeds. That long amount of time to rebuild the array leaves you vulerable to having another disk fail while the rebuild is taking place and you being SOL.

    Raid 6 info:

    It basically uses parity in two dimensions.

    Other than that, it looks like it was a very good Computex - its a shame they dont have a show like this in North America. I'd be there in a second!
  • Brian23 - Thursday, June 2, 2005 - link

    ...which brings me to my next point kids, don't do crack.
  • Yawgm0th - Thursday, June 2, 2005 - link

    I was a few seconds too late. :)

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