Release round-up: A GeForce GTX 560 Ti, Brazos mobo, plus two cases
The launch of Nvidia's GeForce GTX 560 Ti is obviously the biggest news of the week. We've already covered a number of cards based on the new mid-range GPU, but one slipped through the cracks. It, along with a couple of cases and a Brazos motherboard make up this week's release round-up.
- Zotac joins the GeForce GTX 560 Ti party. Folks itching to get their hands on a GTX 560 Ti have two options from Zotac: a stock-clocked card and one whose core has been nudged up to 850MHz, a modest increase of 28MHz over the default. Both cards use similar custom coolers and come bundled with a download coupon for Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, which is due out in the first quarter of this year. Interestingly, while the standard and "OC" versions have HDMI and dual DVI outputs, only the stock-clocked model offers a DisplayPort out.
- MSI Introduces AMD E350IA-E45 Mini-ITX Motherboard. Fusion is upon us, and MSI has made its first Brazos-based motherboard official. The E350IA-E45 features a dual-core, 1.6GHz E-350 APU that shares silicon with a Radeon HD 6310 graphics core. A PCI Express x16 slot with four lanes of bandwidth will allow folks to add discrete graphics or another expansion card, and up to 8GB of memory can be plugged into the board thanks to a pair of full-sized DIMM slots. Throw in USB 3.0 connectivity, an HDMI video output, Gigabit Ethernet, and digital audio outs, and you have a slick little platform for low-power home-theater PC.
- Cooler Master intros Elite 343 and Elite 371 enclosures. The Elite 343 (pictured on the left) offers a traditional layout for MicroATX motherboards. Despite catering to smaller mobos, it can accommodate foot-long graphics cards like AMD's Radeon HD 5970 if you remove the lower drive cage. That's not necessary with the larger Elite 371 ATX mid-tower, whose vertical drive stack leaves plenty of room for lengthy expansion cards. Both cases feature cut-outs behind the CPU socket to ease cooler swaps, and the 371 uses the upside-down layout we've come to prefer for tower enclosures. Unfortunately, neither offers front-panel USB 3.0 connectivity, which is a rather unfortunate omission, even for a budget enclosure.
If I were in the market for a GeForce GTX 560 Ti, the Zotac card would be near the top of my list for the game bundle alone. Console versions of Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood have scored well on Metacritic, and I suspect we'll see this game riding shotgun with more than a few graphics cards in the coming months.