We saw many companies on our trip to Taiwan. While we didn't cover every single company, we did cover the ones that support the PC enthusiast community and have driven PC gaming through their technology and innovations. And we tried to cover the ones that had an interesting back story in some way. But now it's time to wrap up our 'A Focus on Taiwan' series with a look at another prominent name in the PC enthusiast space which is the master of cooling, Cooler Master.
Cooler Master's products always looked a little less 'Extreme' compared to some of their competitors. Some would also call their cases slightly more tasteful, or classy, which kept the brand strong in the corporate and business spaces. This also attracted PC enthusiasts who wanted this style, or wanted something to make/mod into something of their own, instead of having style being dictated to them by the many windowed case, coloured lighting, and extreme design trends of days gone by. There was also a level of thought and care in the design that was much appreciated by enthusiasts.
The brand clicked with me as I started building my own systems many years ago because of this more subdued focus on design and execution. And while Cooler Master had many product wins with enthusiasts, the case that made me really take notice was when they released the Cosmos 1000. It was a case that showed a very extreme design side of the company, but in such a useable and classy way. It completely set the company at a level at a time when when colourful lights and flashy designs were at a high point.
Cooler Master continues the work it started many years ago by designing, manufacturing, and testing cooling solutions for many different companies for special projects and for products that eventually end up in consumer hands. At their headquarters in Taiwan, we learned that their expertise expands far beyond CPU cooling, even GPU cooling, but to products including, but not limited to, internet enabled appliances. The tiny cooling fan shown above is a design built for small devices that require specialised cooling such as many Internet of Things (IoT) devices, but could just as well be part of powerful new VR gaming hardware coming down the road.
Their culture of innovation and invention, continues to drive the company. And as a result, what they invent and create leads to the products we see at retail that allows us to build and make your dream PC system a reality. On top of this, the company continues to develop new products in power and peripherals, which has allowed Cooler Master to be a complete solution provider.
The company is always looking for ways to engage the gaming and enthusiast communities. And while eSports and competitive gaming is a way for Cooler Master to do this, their cultural DNA is not as extreme as say Thermaltake with their Tt eSports division in this area currently. What Cooler Master is focusing on is an initiative to reinvent the PC DIY market with products that provide complete customization and expansion. The "make it yours" initiative is not just a slogan, but a platform of products that are designed to appeal to the "maker" culture. While modding has been a part of the PC enthusiast space for many years now, and is a big part of the direction that companies like In Win Technology are taking, Cooler Master wants to put that power of customisation into the hands of the end user by making it easier.
The company's MasterCase Maker 5 case is a new PC case platform that allows for a nearly complete customisation of the chassis. With a range of accessories and products that the company hopes will inspire current and new builders to create something that is truly their own, they hope to inspire builders of all kinds, from gamers, to workstation builders, allowing them to make their perfect case in which to house their hand picked hardware.
This platform not only provides Cooler Master with a way to provide more customizaton for the end user, but also, for the end users that wish to create, design, and share, to do so with this new platform. Be it 3D printed plans for a PSU cover, to pre-fabricated parts that bolt on, there is much that Cooler Master is still working out that will change the way systems are customized and built. All without having to pick up a dremel or a file.
With new trends like VR, Cooler Master has found ways to be involved in these types of emerging technologies. Partnering with game developers and hardware companies, Cooler Master is finding new ways to be a part of these exciting new gaming and technology trends. With such a strong gaming and technology culture in Taiwan, Cooler Master is well supported in their plans to reinvent the case as a platform for makers, and to sit in the front row of emerging gaming and technology trends. Not bad for a Taiwanese company that started life over 23 years ago with a small identity crisis and a Socket 7 CPU cooler.
To learn about more about the other players in Taiwan's thriving PC gaming industry you can check out the rest of our 'A Focus on Taiwan' series.