Release roundup: Efficient power and a Z77 sneak peak


— 4:44 PM on February 17, 2012

In this week's look at miscellaneous press releases and product announcements, we have news from Antec, Biostar, NZXT, and Samsung:

  • Antec launches EarthWatts Platinum PSU series. High efficiency is a hot selling point for PSUs these days, and Antec's new EarthWatts Platinum series delivers on that front. These units have purportedly received 80 Plus Platinum certification—that's higher than 80 Plus Gold—and Antec claims they achieve efficiency as high as 93%. The units are otherwise fairly innocuous, cooled with double-ball-bearing 120-mm fans and featuring non-modular cabling. Prices are $109.95, $119.95, $129.95, respectively, for the 450W, 550W, and 650W models.
  • Biostar shows off TZ77XE4 motherboard. Intel's Ivy Bridge processors may not be out yet, but motherboard makers are still eager to display their matching motherboards. Biostar's TZ77XE4 looks like a high-end offering, with three PCIe 3.0 x16 slots, eight Serial ATA ports, 13-phase CPU power, four display outputs (DVI, VGA, DisplayPort, and HDMI) wired to the LGA1155 processor socket, and onboard audio with THX TruStudio Pro technology and a 110-dB signal-to-noise ratio. Biostar has even added power, reset, and CMOS clearing buttons at the bottom of the circuit board. There's no word yet on pricing, of course, and I wouldn't expect to see this bad boy out for another couple of months or so.

  • NZXT announces the availability of Switch 810 Hybrid full tower. This sleek-looking enclosure is currently selling at Amazon for $164.99. That may seem onerous, but the Switch 810 Hybrid is packed to the gills with enthusiast goodies. It has room for liquid-cooling radiators at the top and bottom, space for Extended ATX motherboards, removable hard-drive cages that allow for the toolless installation of even 2.5" SSDs, a built-in hard-drive dock, and a whopping 10 fan mounts. NZXT also boasts about the 23-mm clearance behind the motherboard tray, which it says allows for "superb wire-tucks."
  • Samsung introduces stylish branded memory cards. There's nothing terribly exciting about most SD cards, but Samsung's new High Speed and Plus Extreme Speed series are a little different. Capacities start at 4GB with transfer rates of up to 24MB/s, and the cards are clad in brushed metal enclosures that are "waterproof, shockproof, and magnet proof." Samsung goes so far as to say these things can "withstand the force of a 1.6 ton vehicle (3,200 lbs)."

Kudos to Antec for making ultra-high-efficiency power supplies with low wattages and reasonable prices. All too often, 80 Plus Gold PSUs are monster offerings with close to a kilowatt of output capacity and price tags well over $200.

   
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