Computex 2007: MACS & Casetek 0

Computex 2007: MACS & Casetek Review

MACS may not be so well known for their standalone products, but chances are you have seen their cooling solutions on retail graphic cards. Graphic card firms like Sparkle and GeCube (check out our review of the GeCube X1950 Pro Champion Edition/) use their solutions to cool their cards efficiently and quietly without loosing out on performance. You can find their products under their own Casetek brand or at Partners like MaxPoint, UAC, Owltech or Reken Company. They also offer CPU cooling solutions and even a Shuttle XPS specific HSF. All of these, along with the GPU variants use TEC or Peltier cooling to keep temperatures down. A TEC is basically at heat pump. Heat is moved from one side of the metal surface to the other side, it does not magically destroy heat. This whole process consumes power so the hot side is hotter than what was moved from the cold side.

All of these HSF + TEC units feature fully automated software control of the temperature implemented via PCI card or 5.25" module. The Shuttle specific device replaces the standard HSF and fits perfectly into the case. The silver CPU cooler is called "Duo", while the black goes by the name of "Triumph".

The GPU coolers are all based on a two fan design, with four pipes to dissappate any heat. These fans have more blades than usual 8cm case fans. The TEC inside these GPU coolers are controlled automatically, so there is no need for you to keep an eye on anything. The retail package of the M-Sourceress II is rather large. The "II" at the end of the name denotes the use for the GeForce 8800 GTS and GTX series.

The "Surf" and "Blade" hard drive coolers utilze two 4cm fans in combination with the full aluminum chassis to keep the enclosed hard drive cool. Both have blue LEDs embedded inside the front to further enhance the visuals.

MACS case lineup goes under the Casetek brand and is sold as such. I actually noticed them, due to their broad and well build case on display. The V. Gemini should be available in two variants if it hits retail. The V. Gemini Lite does not have handles and has 9 external drive bays, while the V. Gemini features handles, an additional fan on top as well as a divided front. You may fill the case with five 5.25 inch devices and four hard drives. The interesting aspect of this case, which has been patented by Casetek/MACS are the two 22 cm fans. These reside on both sides of the case, pulling air sideways through the interior. This is possible, as there are air vents in the mainboard tray to let air pass through. Such a setup should cool the mainboard as well, as the heat buildup behind the mainboard is kept to a minimum. Even though these fans are very quiet they can be controlled by dials build into the front of the case. The side panels are made of aluminum, while the interior is manufactured using steel. Another great aspect of this case is the price. The high-end V. Gemini should cost less than 100 US Dollars, while the Lite variant should be somewhat cheaper.

The other three cases available at the Casetek booth are the V. Skyscraper, V. Harmony and V. Ares. The Skyscraper can handle nine 5.25 inch devices as well and uses four 12 cm fans for cooling purposes. The Harmony has the same two 22 cm fan setup, but features a clean full aluminum door to cover the drive bay. The Ares is a model that is already shipping, is ATX and BTX compatible and the front is made up of drive bays as well.

Their HTPC offering is made completely out of aluminum and can house a full size ATX board. The 3.5 and 5.25 inch drive bays are hidden behind a flip down panel, making the front completely clean. The silver, triangle shape is the power button.