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My favourite things at Computex 2014

Posted on 12th Jun 2014 at 08:53 by Matthew Lambert with 28 comments

Matthew Lambert
If you've been keeping up with our Computex 2014 coverage, you'll know that we saw a whole host of companies keen to show off their latest and greatest products, including numerous ones that are yet to be released. I thought it would be interesting to open a discussion about the products that stood out most to me – let me know if you agree or disagree with my picks.

Admittedly, I was excited about these products before my plane even departed for Taipei, but the new Corsair RGB keyboards didn't disappoint. The Cherry MX RGB switches are unique to Corsair, giving them a real edge over the competition. The backlighting on the K70 RGB and the K95 RGB is more even with the new switch design, but the real win here is the full per-key colour and brightness customisation – the number of lighting patterns you can program is essentially limitless, and I'm really looking forward to seeing what the community comes up with, as lighting profiles can be saved, uploaded and shared.

My favourite things at Computex 2014
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All keys can now be reprogrammed with different functions and macros, so practically the keyboards have improved massively over the previous generation ones – the original K70, which I currently use, has zero macro functionality. From what I saw, Corsair has done a good job in improving its software too, so there's plenty to be excited about. These keyboards aren’t going to be cheap, but even so I expect them to fly off the shelves when they're released, probably in early August.

My favourite things at Computex 2014
Click to enlarge

Both the new Raijintek all-in-one liquid cooler (currently without name) and the Fractal Design Kelvin series of AIO coolers also stood out to me, in both cases because they're not actually entirely sealed units. Raijintek approaches this from a mostly aesthetic standpoint, offering transparent tubing and a transparent waterblock/tank unit and four different coolant colours. The price tag of £75 is also very strong for a 240mm radiator cooler, and I'm interested to see how well the slimline fans can keep up with the competition.

My favourite things at Computex 2014
Click to enlarge

Fractal, on the other hand, has an approach based on future proofing and expansion. For starters, it offers a refill point and standard diameter brass fittings on the waterblock and radiator, allowing you to swap out and replace components as you see fit. Furthermore, it has also built a more powerful pump (courtesy of a conjoined effort with Alphacool) into each of the Kelvin units, such that they can cope with users adding another waterblock or radiator into the loop, for example. It's a cool approach that could well encourage novice water-coolers to start experimenting with custom loops.

My favourite things at Computex 2014
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I was reluctant to include a company twice here, but after looking through everything I saw, I had to admit that of all the cases on show it was the Corsair Carbide Air 240 that had me most excited. That said, the new Be Quiet! chassis and the Antec P380 with its 5mm thick aluminium shell both had me wanting samples ASAP.

My favourite things at Computex 2014
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Nevertheless, the Air 240 looks really sleek, and Corsair has done well in shrinking the dual chamber design of the Air 540 to micro-ATX dimensions. The fact that you can also rotate it to have the window positioned left, right or on top also gets my seal of approval, as this means you can always show off your build regardless of where you need to put the case on your desk.

After writing a NUC feature for Custom PC last year that included reviews of passive NUC cases, I was convinced that passive is the only way forward for mini-PCs – I'm a big fan of low-noise and silent computing as it is. As such, the Zotac C-Series of Zbox mini-PCs also makes this list.

My favourite things at Computex 2014
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Pleasingly, Zotac hasn't just made the chassis into a giant heatsink in order to achieve passive cooling – it's still dinky, and as it's made of metal I think it looks better than the traditional glossy black casing too. With a Core i5 model available, it's not short on processing power, though the single channel memory is a shame. Nevertheless, with support for 6Gbps 2.5-inch SSDs and heaps of connectivity, the C-series Zbox range could be a real hit in the mini-PC market, provided noise from power components isn't an issue.

My favourite things at Computex 2014
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The final thing from Computex 2014 that stood out most to me was a motherboard range. However, it wasn't a gaming or overclock series of boards that caught my eye, nor was it an X99 motherboard; it was MSI's Eco motherboard range, designed with a core focus on reducing power consumption. I particularly like the user friendly software that allows users to quickly enable and disable various system components (within reason). I also have to admit that I'm really into the white PCB MSI used to demo the H97M ECO. The design still needs some work (the beige connectors aren't great, for example), but it's not a final product yet, and it has the potential to be something rather special.

What do you think of my choices? Have I missed anything that you thought was the star of the show?

28 Comments

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GuilleAcoustic 12th June 2014, 09:52 Quote
That Raijin AIO looks nice, too bad about those screws on the fans. It looks very unprofessionnal

http://i.imgur.com/2vHtdMq.png
Impatience 12th June 2014, 10:00 Quote
I have to say.. Hit the nail on the head with favourite things! I love those RGB keyboards, the Air 240 and that Raijintek AIO!
Impatience 12th June 2014, 10:06 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuilleAcoustic
That Raijin AIO looks nice, too bad about those screws on the fans. It looks very unprofessionnal

http://i.imgur.com/2vHtdMq.png


They may go the route of black screws.. But still, at that price, I could get new screws and still be cheaper than most the competition!
GuilleAcoustic 12th June 2014, 10:24 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Impatience
They may go the route of black screws.. But still, at that price, I could get new screws and still be cheaper than most the competition!

Yes ... it's just not the way to expose something at the Computex. I'd like a pump/wb/res combo like this one.
Gareth Halfacree 12th June 2014, 11:06 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuilleAcoustic
That Raijin AIO looks nice, too bad about those screws on the fans. It looks very unprofessionnal
Looks to me like they've been taking the screws out to show the radiator behind the fans; note that several screws aren't fully screwed in, and others are missing entirely. I'd imagine they simply put enough screws in far enough that the fans wouldn't fall off, in order to make taking 'em off next time somebody wants a picture of the radiator sans-fans easier. S'what I'd do.
David164v8 12th June 2014, 11:19 Quote
Is the Raijintek also expandable to the GPU etc?
Impatience 12th June 2014, 11:19 Quote
Best of all is they're planning to have them in stores by the end of July! I emailed them, to check on the release date. As opposed to the date in X weeks time.. (i'm not good with dates!)

@David, it is expandable (standard G1/4 fittings) and apparently the pump *should* be powerful enough to extend with a single GPU block and still work.. Block dependant, i'd assume! So that's me settled on buying one! :)
MSHunter 12th June 2014, 11:45 Quote
Got to love the massive air bubble in the tube. Really un-pro display. The idea sounds nice but this is very poor execution.
Any way is the reservoir not supposed to be at the highest point in the loop to ketch any air in the system? In AIO systems thats not so important because they are supposed to QA to make sure it is 99.9% full. I guess this is just a very early test sample.......
tonyd223 12th June 2014, 12:04 Quote
air bubble....
SchizoFrog 12th June 2014, 12:41 Quote
It doesn't matter where in the loop a res is as long as the 'res in' tube is above the 'res out' tube. Air from the 'res in' tube will be pushed through the tubing and once in the res will rise to the top leaving only coolant to continue to flow on and out. To ease this process you can manually hold the res up to the highest point and once the air has entered and separated in the res, move and fix the res to your chosen desired location.

I have recently seen several comments regarding the noise of AIO pumps, as a new comer to this area I want to know 'are they really that loud'? I thought water cooling in general was supposed to lower noise, not increase it.

On a different note, I am very eager for the new Corsair RGB keyboards but the one I would be waiting for (if it was confirmed) would be a K65? version without the number pad. Any news on if Corsair plans to release one at some point in the future?
David164v8 12th June 2014, 14:17 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Impatience
Best of all is they're planning to have them in stores by the end of July! I emailed them, to check on the release date. As opposed to the date in X weeks time.. (i'm not good with dates!)

@David, it is expandable (standard G1/4 fittings) and apparently the pump *should* be powerful enough to extend with a single GPU block and still work.. Block dependant, i'd assume! So that's me settled on buying one! :)

Great, hopefully its as thin as the H100i to fit in the 250D.
schmidtbag 12th June 2014, 14:41 Quote
That eco motherboard is very interesting to me. I'm surprised the premise isn't more common, but just to be clear - is it only software controlled or can you also disable things via EFI/BIOS?. I also don't understand why white PCBs aren't more common. I only remember 1 other white PCB board made by Sapphire.
dstarr3 12th June 2014, 16:27 Quote
I can't wait for the Logitech G-series keyboards to go mechanical. I have an early G15, and I love the eighteen macro keys, the backlighting, and the screen. The Corsair keyboard above looks brilliant, except it doesn't have the screen I've gotten VERY used to. The screen can be programmed to display so much useful information, I don't think I could do without it anymore.
SchizoFrog 12th June 2014, 18:40 Quote
Something that I haven't seen covered on Bit-Tech was the new stuff from Cryorig... I have to say that both the CPU Tower coolers and the customisable case fans have me intrigued, although I am not to impressed with the name for the case fan range... RIMS. I mean I don't fancy giving my PC case a RIM job.

http://www.tomshardware.com/news/cryorig-r1-c1-h5-rims,27041.html
Gareth Halfacree 12th June 2014, 23:29 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by SchizoFrog
Something that I haven't seen covered on Bit-Tech was the new stuff from Cryorig... I have to say that both the CPU Tower coolers and the customisable case fans have me intrigued

You mean aside from the news story I wrote covering both those things? :D
SchizoFrog 13th June 2014, 02:40 Quote
OK, fair enough Gareth you did. They were not covered though as part of Computex where they actually had them on display.
IvanIvanovich 13th June 2014, 04:08 Quote
I wish MSI would use that white and lime colorscheme on an ATX motherboard with m.2, and no PCI slots, no vga dsub, or other legacy connectors. It's been way too long since there have been some nice white PCB motherboards. That could be a good move to set themselves apart instead of using black and red like pretty much everyone else on everything.
thom804 13th June 2014, 07:57 Quote
That Silverstone prototype successor to the TJ11 looked nuts!
Can't wait to be able to afford a desk large enough to accommodate it.
Nexxo 13th June 2014, 08:07 Quote
You'd need to afford a house large enough to accommodate it. :p

Cryorig RIMS modular fans look cheesecake though.
Gareth Halfacree 13th June 2014, 08:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by SchizoFrog
OK, fair enough Gareth you did. They were not covered though as part of Computex where they actually had them on display.
Speaking as someone who has been to Computex, it is physically impossible for an individual - or even a small team - to cover everything, even restricting 'everything' by focusing on a particular niche like enthusiast components. It's just too big. Hence the additional coverage affording by news stories like that linked above - to make sure nothing exciting got missed by the boots on the ground.
GuilleAcoustic 13th June 2014, 08:15 Quote
Silverstone will build cases that accomodates beds and bathroom at this rate :)
SchizoFrog 13th June 2014, 11:35 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
Quote:
Originally Posted by SchizoFrog
OK, fair enough Gareth you did. They were not covered though as part of Computex where they actually had them on display.
Speaking as someone who has been to Computex, it is physically impossible for an individual - or even a small team - to cover everything, even restricting 'everything' by focusing on a particular niche like enthusiast components. It's just too big. Hence the additional coverage affording by news stories like that linked above - to make sure nothing exciting got missed by the boots on the ground.

I totally accept what you are saying and I wasn't criticising. I just found the article on Toms to be interesting and relevant as it was of Computex and it had actual images of the products talked about and I posted the link for those who may wish to take a look. Had your previous article had the same images then I would have already had that in mind and would never have posted my comment with the link.
Umbra 13th June 2014, 15:38 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by dstarr3
I can't wait for the Logitech G-series keyboards to go mechanical. I have an early G15, and I love the eighteen macro keys, the backlighting, and the screen. The Corsair keyboard above looks brilliant, except it doesn't have the screen I've gotten VERY used to. The screen can be programmed to display so much useful information, I don't think I could do without it anymore.

Yay, someone else who admits to liking the Logitech gaming k/boards, (I know many of the compact mechanical k/board lovers hate them :D) Logitechs G710+ mechanical k/board looks nice but no screen and I as you say the screen is so useful when gaming as I hate on-screen in game displays like Riva tuner so I use the LCD to show Afterburner and HWinfo64 information, I also like the Logitech gaming software so it would be a pain to have to learn another program if I bought another brand of k/board.

There was a time when some mech k/board makers would never entertain k/board lighting but the new Corsair RGB keyboards have gone nuts with it and I like that every key can be now be programmed, come on Logitech keep up, mech k/board with a big touch screen is what I'd like to see so the touch screen could also be used as a virtual k/board for inputting passwords and security data (amongst other things) instead of using virus vulnerable keystrokes.
IvanIvanovich 13th June 2014, 17:47 Quote
Why not run a second monitor with touch capability then, even if it's a smaller usb one? Seems like it would be a lot more potentially useful than some tiny screen stuck on a keyboard. Also, a touch/virtual keyboard has zero security over a regular keyboard. Those are susceptible to keyloggers and other capture techniques too.
Otis1337 13th June 2014, 21:51 Quote
love the white PCB, wish there was more of that stuff, galaxy are making a new range of white PCB gfx cards soon as well i think.
Umbra 13th June 2014, 22:05 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by IvanIvanovich
Why not run a second monitor with touch capability then, even if it's a smaller usb one? Seems like it would be a lot more potentially useful than some tiny screen stuck on a keyboard. Also, a touch/virtual keyboard has zero security over a regular keyboard. Those are susceptible to keyloggers and other capture techniques too.

That's a good idea, had a look and they are a bit pricey £125 for 7 inch but it's an idea for a project ;)
Nexxo 14th June 2014, 10:29 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuilleAcoustic
Silverstone will build cases that accomodates beds and bathroom at this rate :)

Would solve the housing problem in East Asia. :p
Xir 1st July 2014, 21:04 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by SchizoFrog

I have recently seen several comments regarding the noise of AIO pumps, as a new comer to this area I want to know 'are they really that loud'? I thought water cooling in general was supposed to lower noise, not increase it.

A problem ever since water cooling came up.
Even back when fish-tank-pumps were used, almost no website tested the noise level of the pump.
Flow at different tubing sizes should be easy, but that also often isn't measured.

I understand that (accurate) noise testing is difficult and expensive. but just like you said, for me, water cooling was about noise, not improved cooling.

I was amazed to see a noise measurement in the recent PSU roundup here on Bit.

Air cooling has become so silent though, I don't care about WC anymore. ;)
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