Release roundup: Cases, SSDs, and a new cooler
Although this week has been short on major launches, our inbox did catch wind of a few smaller releases from Cooler Master, Corsair, and Lian Li.
- Cooler Master GeminII S524: Ultimate Versatility Realized. This second-generation version of Cooler Master's GeminII CPU cooler drops its predecessor's dual fan mounts in favor of a single 120-mm spinner with a four-pin connector. If that's not big enough, there are mounting holes for 140-mm fans, as well. The heatsink's copper base and heatpipes have been nickel-plated to resist corrosion, and the aluminum cooling fins offer more surface area than the previous design. Cooler Master says the GeminII will sell for $40 and be compatible with a range of AMD and Intel sockets.
- Corsair's family of SandForce-powered Force Series SSDs have been around for a while now, but the latest models break new ground. According to the company, the new Force Series GT and Force Series 3 are the first to offer 6Gbps SATA connectivity with 90GB storage capacities. The former uses synchronous ONFI flash, while the latter is equipped with asynchronous NAND. The official press release only provides performance data for the GT, which is said to be capable of hitting 555MB/s with sequential reads and 505MB/s with writes. Expect to pay $200 for the GT and $160 for its little brother.
- Lian Li Launches HTPC PC-V353 and Mini-Tower PC-Q25. Looking for a swanky case for your next small-form-factor build? The PC-Q25 is compatible with Mini-ITX and Mini-DTX motherboards and offers an impressive seven 3.5" hard drive bays. A combination of 120- and 140-mm fans should keep your array cool. Lest you think the case is only designed for storage servers, note that it will also accept graphics cards—or, I suppose, RAID controllers—up to 12.5" long. The PC-V353 is limited to graphics cards measuring 11.8", and it can only squeeze in four hard drives: two 3.5" models and a pair of 2.5-inchers. Larger microATX motherboards will fit, though, and the case has a unique arrangement that puts the 5.25" drive bay and "front-panel" expansion ports (including a two USB 3.0 connectors) on the right-hand side. In the picture below, the PC-V353 is on the left, while the PC-Q25 sits on the right.
Those 90GB Corsair SSDs offer a nice mid-point between the 60GB and 120GB models already on the market. I wouldn't put too much stock into the suggested retail prices, though. SSD discounts are pretty common, and I expect you'll be able to get both drives for less than the full asking price before too long.