The only shot we were allowed to take of Cooler Masters new, even larger Storm Chassis, which is still in the pre-tooling stage.
Never one to rest on its laurels, even in when others are scaling back, Cooler Master has a plethora of new kit to put your hardware in.
First up is the Mini-ITX-1. This little black box is bigger than most mini-ITX cases, but the advantage is that it comes with a higher power PSU and more space for cooling from two 80mm fans. Cooler Master eschewed the LCD option in the front because it was concerned with cost and software. It handles standard 3.5” hard drives and also a slimline optical drive, as well as the mini-ITX board that has plenty of space to breathe despite being low profile.
To be honest, it’s the industrial mini-ITX products we’d love to see come to retail – with a passive cooling shell CM has several of these smaller boxes that, to us, not only look better than the mini-ITX-1 but the potential silence is a considerable bonus for HTPC enthusiasts.
The V10 is probably the biggest “aircooled” heatsink we’ve ever seen. With an integrated TEC unit it’ll cool up to 200W with a large 120mm to keep it cool. We were told it has a special mounting bracket to brace the considerable size and weight, and CM appreciate it’s not for everyone, so this exclusive cooler will only see 50 units coming to the Blighty shores, at £85 a pop.
We wonder – has Cooler Master finally bridged the gap between good air and water cooling, where other cheap “high end” products have always failed?
The HAF922 and CM Scout are new downsized and discounted alternatives to other, larger designs. The Scout still has the large handle similar to the Sniper, but with (dare I say it) an Antec 902 front its design is equally utilitarian (so undoubtedly loved or hated). Also with black innards and externals, five 5.25” bays, five hard drive slots, space for watercooling and an array of fan options up to 140mm it should make for great competition to the 902 we liked so much. Is it built like a brick-*hit-house like the 902 to take all the knocks of LAN gaming? When we get one for review, we’ll let you know!
The HAF9 922 is very similar in spec and equally in-your-face in style (again, bring on the love/hate) and to be honest we feel that Cooler Master might be overlapping itself here with two HAFs on the market. Quite clearly missing from the range is a budget ATCS. We appreciate the ATCS range was always expensive and high quality, but take the Lian Li PC60 for example – subtle, inexpensive, good quality build. Even the old ATCS 201 was just as popular and didn’t cost that much either.
Finally, Cooler Master is developing a new cooling mount for its products! Huzzah! That should make Harry happy, at least! In addition to this – Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 watch out; CM has a new product up its sleeve that it says will undercut it on price, but also outperform it.
A possible new budget king? From the looks of the sample we saw, the theory is
there, but whether the package is right at the end of the day remains to be seen. Let us know your thoughts in the forums