Date: July 25th, 2008
Article by: Joe Anderson (Hardware Reviewer)
Edited by: Nathan Glentworth (Owner / Head Editor)
Product was submitted by: Thermaltake USA
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PRODUCT PICTORIAL AND WALKTHROUGH
The sockets for the modular cables are color-coded and labeled to aid the user during installation. Thermaltake has added blue sockets to make connection even more clear. The manual states that, “…when trying to connect more than one connector to a graphic card, it is strongly recommended to choose the connectors from exactly the same +12V rail
.” With this labeling system, Thermaltake has made it very easy to do.
I'm a little dismayed to find that the native cables aren't sleeved all the way into the case, and the opening for the cables lacks a grommet. This may be an omission on this particular unit, as the stock photos clearly show a protective grommet in this location, but this review sample hasn't got one. Speaking of native cables, there are three of them.
The top one is, of course, the 24-pin ATX cable. The connector is backwards compatible to 20-pin and all the pin sockets are gold plated for maximum conductivity. The two lower connectors are for auxiliary CPU power. On the left is the familiar 4+4 connector that splits in two, allowing either the older 4-pin connection or the more recent 8-pin “EPS-type” that is showing up on an increasing number of enthusiast boards. The other 8-pin connector was somewhat of a mystery to me, so I checked out the manual.
I scanned this page to share with my readers, and a quick look around the web yielded little information about this connector. I know that Intel, in their QX6700 test instructions, recommends using an ATX 2.2 PSU with an 8-pin EPS-type +12-volt connector, and not using a PSU with a 4-pin to 8-pin adaptor, but that doesn't explain the different connector design. If you look carefully at the photo, two of the yellow wires have an orange stripe, which I found to be in the EPS 12V 2.91 spec. In this case, the +12V power needs to come from two separate rails, for two separate processors. This doesn't seem to be possible given the configuration of the sockets on the PSU, so I'm at a bit of a loss here. I suspect we may be seeing a socket for this connector on some enthusiast boards in the future. At any rate, these two connectors are NOT interchangeable. If the connector doesn't slide into the mobo socket easily, you're using the wrong one.
As I stated earlier, there are a lot of cables in the package, and not all of them can be used at the same time. Take for instance the VGA card connectors. There are a whopping nine cables that can be used in various combinations to feed the latest power-hungry multi-GPU solutions available today. The cables are clearly labeled as to which connector goes where and from which rail. The three adapters on the left can be used, in various configurations, to power up to four high-end graphics cards.