Release roundup: Graphics, cases, and heavy-duty docking stations


— 5:29 PM on March 17, 2011

Our inbox didn't collect too many exciting announcements this week, but we've got a few notable releases from Asus, Enermax, and StarTech.

  • Asus debuts GTX550 Ti DirectCU Ultimate and TOP Edition graphics cards. We got a chance to review GeForce GTX 550 Ti graphics cards from both MSI and Zotac earlier this week. Well, Asus also has several GTX 550 Ti cards of its own—three, to be exact, all with higher-than normal clock speeds. The slowest runs at 910MHz, while the quickest is clocked at a blistering 1015MHz, even faster than the Zotac card we tested.

  • Enermax intros SpineRex full tower case. Enermax calls the SineRex a "new flagship gaming tower for enthusiasts." This case includes perks like hard-drive cages accessible from the front, "handy tool-less rails," eight internal hard-drive bays, a roomy interior suited for extra-long graphics cards, and three LED fans (including a 250-mm behemoth) with adjustable color settings. This bad boy will hit stores next month with a $149 suggested retail price.

  • StarTech has first SATA hard drive docking stations to support 4 drives simultaneously. Having eight internal hard-drive bays is all well and good, but sometimes, well, that just isn't enough. StarTech's new SATDOCK4U3E and SATDOCK4U2E docking stations are purportedly the first to allow four hard drives—either 2.5" or 3.5" Serial ATA models—to be plugged in simultaneously. Both stations will set you back just under $190. The U3E model features USB 3.0 and external Serial ATA connectivity, while the latter has dual USB 2.0 ports and four external Serial ATA ports. A pair of adjustable-speed fans are also included in each enclosure.

That 1015MHz Asus GeForce GTX 550 Ti sounds impressive, although considering the kinds of numbers we got out of Zotac's 1000MHz version of the GTX 550 Ti, I'd still opt for a Radeon HD 6850 or GeForce GTX 460 1GB, instead.

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