Computex 2023: 12 New PC DIY Accessories You Didn't Know You Needed
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Computex 2023: 12 New PC DIY Accessories You Didn't Know You Needed

Jan 13, 2024

Computex is not all big PCs, slick laptops, and all their supporting technologies—it's also a geek-out bonanza of items that will dazzle PC DIY enthusiasts over the coming year. Sometimes it's a simple tool or adapter; sometimes it's an audacious RGB- or LCD-bedecked bit of gear that no one's done before. For example: You might think the RGB trend is played out, but don't tell the big component makers. They've doubling down by sticking blingy LCD screens everywhere you look: on cases, on liquid coolers, into motherboards, even in the middle of chassis fans!

Let's take a look at a dozen of the niftiest add-ons we saw at the show for PC DIY types. You can also check out our roundup of the 10 best new PC cases we saw, and our picks for Computex 2023's best overall products and technologies.

Thermal-gear giant Cooler Master, which has deep roots in industrial cooling and power solutions, regularly trickles down its high-end technologies into the consumer gear it offers. Take this example: The company took its first whack at a truly silent (which is to say, fanless) PC power supply in its new X Silent series. With it, Cooler Master will be offering the highest wattage available of fanless power supply, at 750 watts, surpassing in wattage earlier 600-watt efforts from the likes of Seasonic (Prime Titanium) and SilverStone (NightJar). The X Silent 750W's chassis is largely a heat sink, with a copper base and heat pipes supplemented by cooling fins.

The unit supports ATX 3.0, with a 12VHPWR connection for the latest GeForce cards that require them. This is a boon for builds aiming to achieve peak silence, though the need for a high-wattage power supply like this presumes you'll be attaching a robust video card to it…which will almost certainly need to be liquid- or air-cooled, itself. Cooler Master is also offering an X Silent variant at a whopping 1,350 watts, though take a deep breath: That one will have an RGB fan on it. Can't fight the laws of thermodynamics.

Cooler Master is getting into the open-loop custom liquid cooling game with its MasterLoop series of fittings, radiators, and reservoirs. Holding the plumbing bits on site, we have to say: They feel like serious heavy-metal machining, again a likely vestige of Cooler Master's background in thermal solutions for serious server gear.

The complementing reservoir is especially notable, with its squared-off shape that fits into a 120mm fan-mounting spot. It is equipped with a high-efficiency pump that Cooler Master says should outperform larger models. You can also easily see the ingress of liquid into the reservoir, eliminating the need for a flow meter.

Also worthy of note here is the extreme high-density radiator that the company showed off; the fins were tightly packed enough that it was hard to see through the actual body.

The variety of hose couplers and fittings, however, might be the stars of this show. First of all, they look different than most such gear on the market, with a square motif rather than the usual rounded corners. Some incorporate a swiveling joint that allows for angling of hardline hoses in ways you might have not thought possible before.

Availability details and pricing are to come, but this stuff seems a natural fit for Cooler Master, and a nice alternative if you like this look versus other solutions on the market, such as EKWB.

Yep, Cooler Master again, this time with a triple serving of power-supply alphabet soup. This accessory is for anyone who has bought a late-model GeForce RTX 40 Series card and shook their fist at Nvidia for the location of the 12VHPWR connector. Who thought to put these bulky, awkward connectors right in the top center of the video card, guaranteeing a giant cable blemish right in the middle of your PC build?

As a partial solution, Cooler Master developed a 90-degree modular cable adapter that at least keeps the 12+4-pin cable from sticking straight out, instead doing an L-bend like an elbow-style SATA cable. The only downside? This 650mm-long modular cable works only with certain Cooler Master power supplies: the MWE Gold V2, the GX Gold, and the XG and XG Plus series. Still, having that as an option is a big selling point for those PSUs.

We covered the THICC in a separate article, so we point you to that for a more detailed rundown. TL;DR version? This is a CPU cooler designed for a specific Hyte case, but you can certainly use it with others that have adequate clearance.

The things that set it apart are (1) a smartphone-size, back-glowing screen that's mounted over the CPU cooler, (2) extra thickness to the fans and radiator that should make it outperform as a 240mm AIO, and (3) a clever USB-C-style hookup mechanism that lets you plug in fans and lights in series rather than into a controller.

One of our most enthusiastic picks for our Best of Computex 2023, we've been waiting for iCUE Link to debut since the time was teased to us behind closed doors at CES 2023. In essence, it lets you hook up your AIO cooler, case fans, and other PC cooling gear with single-cable connections, in series. In other words: Good-bye, annoying RGB header cables and loads of PWM wires. Adjacent fans can snap together in a line without cables, and a single hub lets your whole series of iCUE Link gear plug into your motherboard with a single header connection.

Years in development, the iCUE Link system aims to drastically reduce cable clutter inside DIY desktops, and while it won't be cheap, it will be a prescription-strength painkiller for the biggest ouch in PC building. Check out our deeper dive here, but the main idea is that you can assemble a PC that looks as cable free as this on the presentation side...

...that looks like this on the cable-management side...

If you've ever built a system with RGB fans in anything like this quantity, upon viewing this, consult your doctor if you experience shortness of breath or an accelerated heartbeat. But dont worry: It's probably a natural reaction to what you just saw.

Do you need them? No, of course not. Will you want them? If you are reading this article, we bet you will. Lian Li has staked out one of the last uncharted spaces for gratuitous blingy LCDs: right in the middle of your PC case fans.

The UniFan TL LCD will include a coin-size LCD screen in the middle of the fan's non-rotating hub, controlled by special Lian Li software. You can show system stats or animated GIFs. (Here come the cat meme fans.)

The TL LCD fans should sell for about $130 for three. You can install up to six in a given system, on a controller that Lian Li is developing. We expect to see these all over PC mods at Computex 2024, be warned. Check out our more detailed write-up here.

As we noted earlier, a big theme of Computex 2023: Stick an LCD on everything you can stick an LCD onto! That was the RGB gold rush of the show. We saw LCDs on motherboards, in the middle of fans (see above!), atop AIO coolers, you name it. Case maker Zalman, for one, even had a PC chassis with a full front-panel vertical LCD! Cool, though that takes the DIY fun out of it.

We were more smitten by ASRock's Side Panel Kit, which should run around $150. A 1080p IPS display, it interfaces cleanly with certain ASRock motherboards, such as the Z790 LiveMixer, that have special low-power eDP (embedded DisplayPort) headers on the board. The kits come with the necessary cabling, plus some adhesive strips to place the 13.3-inch panel where you like on the inside of your case glass.

Every time we visit Computex, it's a ritual. Our faithful SilverStone rep shows off a shelf of little PC accessories that we didn't know we needed, but then suddenly can't live without. They are usually a reaction to motherboard and case trends that have emerged over the past year, designed to eliminate pain points for builders.

Take the ECS07. This module is designed in light of the fact that many motherboard makers, of late, are trimming down the number of Serial ATA ports on their boards in favor of M.2 slots or other onboard amenities. This little PCB, shaped like a M.2 SSD, converts an M.2 slot into more Serial ATA ports. It's a bit of a reverse adaptation, but plenty of folks have banks of hard drives or 2.5-inch SSDs that they wish to continue to use.

Another nifty nugget of clever SilverStone retrofitting is the CP14-R, a tiny module that we've been looking to find for ages now. It converts a USB 3.0 19-pin motherboard front-panel header into a female socket for a USB 3.2 Type-C front-panel connector cable. What does that mean? Well, many recent PC cases include an internal header cable for a front-panel Type-C port, but most older (and some lower-end, newer) motherboards don't have a connection to hook it up to.

Here is your answer, and SilverStone says, "You’re welcome."

SilverStone's Computex 2023 trifecta wraps up with the ingenious IceMist liquid AIO cooler family. Of course, plenty of PC-case and power supply makers have jumped into the AIO cooling market. But few have proposed a solution to one of the issues with AIO CPU cooling. To wit: When you attach an AIO cooler to the CPU socket, unlike with an air cooler, no passive air blows onto the power-delivery modules surrounding the socket, such as VRMs and chokes. It's left to your other PC case fans to pick up the airflow slack here.

The IceMyst, however, gives you a series of snap-on fan modules that you stack under the cap of your AIO cooler. You can arrange these fans in whatever pattern you like to cool the area around the CPU socket.

The ingenious bit is this customizability. You can install as many or as few as you like, adjusting them to avoid surrounding components, and they add unique RGB bling, too. It's easy to arrange these into something like an RGB flower surrounding your CPU socket. SilverStone will be offering these in a handful of versions depending on radiator size.

Edgy, elegant PC-case maker Streacom rolled out a fully fanless megacase, the SG10, for CPU and GPU cooling at Computex (see our roundup of best PC cases from the show), and surrounded it with some little friends. The VU1 modules are small cubes with information screens on them, which you can scatter inside or around any PC case to show off a variety of system fundamentals (or practically any info) at a glance.

The screens employ two-color E Ink display technology, so you don't need to worry about the power consumption of a bunch of LCDs; Streacom intends to sell them in multipacks. They are daisy-chained off a single USB connection. An open-source back end lets you easily show parameters like network, RAM, CPU, and GPU activity, as well as any other info you may like. It's inspired by the CAPS project, an audiophile initiative you can read more about here(Opens in a new window).

It's not exactly new for the show, but the much-respected PC fan maker Noctua (which, like Cooler Master, has roots in industrial cooling) brought an essential gadget for PC builders and upgraders considering moving to the AMD Ryzen 7000 AM5 chips that debuted at the end of last year. (More about that in a moment.) Some of its newer offerings are more esoteric: The company now has a set of offset brackets for its existing CPU coolers that enable them to align better and press properly onto the non-centered hotspots on Ryzen 7000 processors, which differ from previous generations. It also showed off a set of spacing brackets, designed in concert with well-known modder Der8auer, that allows for use of Noctua air CPU coolers with delidded AM5 processors.

But Noctua gets the prize for the best practical bit of build accessory, which it was giving away to the press at the show: its NA-TPG1 Thermal Paste Guards for AM5 chips. AMD's Ryzen 7000 series desktop processors have an irregular-shaped heat spreader, as you can see above, and it's super-easy to get thermal paste into the crevices and over the edges, making cleanup tricky and tedious. The AM5 shield acts as a mask, helping you apply thermal paste without slopping it out of bounds.

These little films are sold in a pack along with cleaning wipes; we were tempted to grab a handful for PC Labs use, having painted the top of a recent Ryzen 7000 chip with paste for a build with excessive care. But we think we’ll buy a bunch: We want to encourage this kind of simple innovation that saves PC builders a lot of trouble.

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