You’ve probably never heard of Riotoro, but if you follow PC hardware at all, you’ve definitely heard of Corsair. Riotoro is an upstart PC hardware brand comprised of former Corsair employees, and it’s that pedigree that makes Riotoro a brand to watch this year, particularly for cases and coolers. I wouldn’t be surprised if its small presence at Computex 2016 in the corner of a booth ends up being much bigger next year.
Corsair has its hand in just about everything: memory, cases, power supplies, accessories, coolers. And it manages to do just about everything well, thanks to its own design work and good relationships with the OEMs that manufacture some of its products (for example, Asetek builds the original cooler hardware used in the H110; several OEMs manufacture Corsair power supplies). It’s those relationships that may help the ex-Corsair employees and Riotoro quickly build a catalog of solid hardware. In fact, I’ve already seen it at work--Riotoro is sharing a booth with a Chinese distributor it recently signed on with.
I checked out the on the Computex show floor, but Riotoro has already expanded beyond cases to offer a keyboard, a small range of power supplies, and an all-in-one liquid cooler. Those products will be available in the coming months, while the CR1080 Prism should be available soon. Riotoro told me that it was originally designed with low-end or integrated GPUs in mind, but by angling out the side panel an extra inch or so, they made room for taller full-size graphics cards (and tall air coolers, too). At $80, I think it’s going to be a strong contender for compact ATX builds.
Riotoro’s liquid cooler also caught my eye, mostly because, well, it’s silver. Who makes silver coolers? The Bifröst will come in 120mm and 240mm variations, and it really stands out in a world of black CPU coolers. Like Riotoro’s cases and the mechanical keyboard they had on hand, I think the cooler still looks a tad on the budget side; I like the silver but don’t think the cooling block looks as sleek as, say, an NZXT Kraken.
Overall Riotoro’s designs don’t quite have the design sheen or polish of an NZXT or a Fractal Design. But so far it looks like they’re shooting for affordable prices and just getting off the starting block. I’m looking forward to seeing how nice the CR1080 is to build in, and what kind of performance the Bifröst cooler delivers for the price. Given the Corsair pedigree, I expect good things.