Release roundup: High-end gear and a neat SATA dock
This week in the roundup, we bring tidings of fresh product launches from ASRock, PowerColor, Thermaltake, and Spire:
- ASRock and Fatal1ty introduce X79 Professional motherboard. Remember Jonathan "Fatal1ty" Wendel? The pro gamer seems to have vanished from the public light, but products branded with his moniker are still trickling into the marketplace. ASRock's Fatal1ty X79 Professional motherboard is the latest one. As its name suggests, this is an LGA2011 mobo based on Intel's X79 chipset. It features a "16 + 2" CPU power-phase design, quad PCI Express 3.0 x16 slots, six 6Gbps Serial ATA ports, eight USB 3.0 ports, two FireWire ports, and a special Fatal1ty mouse port with an "adjustable wide range of mouse polling rates from 125 Hz to 1000 Hz." The board comes with a 3.5" front-panel thingamajig with dual USB 3.0 ports, too.
- PowerColor adds liquid cooling to the HD 7970. This is exactly what it sounds like: a Radeon HD 7970 graphics card with a liquid-cooling block instead of a conventional heatsink and fan. The PowerColor LCS HD7970 3GB GDDR5 runs at 1050MHz with 5.7Gbps memory, up from the standard 925MHz/5.5Gbps. Despite the high clock rates, PowerColor says the GPU can operate "under 50°C even under full load" when hooked up to a liquid cooler.
- Thermaltake rolls out Max Duo (SSD & HDD) rack. Ooh, neat. Thermaltake's new Serial ATA dock slots inside a 5.25" drive bay, and it can accommodate 2.5" and 3.5" hard drives or solid-state drives inside two discrete compartments. The firm has also slapped a pair of USB 3.0 ports onto the thing for good measure. (The ports hook up the host system's motherboard via a 20-pin header, but the drive compartments are connected via SATA.)
- Spire introduces the new TMEIII universal CPU cooler. This behemoth of a cooler has five nickel-coated copper heat pipes, which make direct contact with the CPU, and an array of 45 aluminum fins. Its two 120-mm "high quality precision Nano-Bearing" fans have four-pin PWM power connectors, too. And the cooler's universal mounting system should accommodate any modern CPU socket. Not bad for $64.95.
That Thermaltake dock really does look cool. With 5.25" optical drives going out of fashion, devices like that make sense to incorporate into a new build. I'm not so crazy about the red ejection levers, though.