Release roundup: Virtu on AMD, SSD cache drives, and more
This week in the roundup, we bring news from ASRock, Cooler Master, Corsair, and MSI:
- ASRock introduces motherboard supporting Lucid Virtu Universal MVP Technology. There's a nice self-explanatory headline to kick things off. ASRock's new A75 Pro4/MVP motherboard combines an A75 chipset, an FM1 socket ripe for A-series processors from AMD, and of course, Lucid's Virtu Universal MVP technology. That means users can benefit from Lucid's unfortunately named (but nonetheless exciting) HyperFormance feature, which works as a sort of virtual vsync to keep frame latencies consistent. Check out Scott's writeup for more details.
- Cooler Master kicks off March Madness sales event. This announcement is rife with tenuous basketball references, but the nugget of news within should make some folks smile. Right now, Cooler Master is offering 1050W and 1300W Silent Pro Hybrid power supplies bundled with free cases and 5.25" fan controllers. The cheapest bundle costs $309.99 (or $249.99 after a mail-in rebate) and includes the 1050W modular PSU and an HAF 922 enclosure. You can also get the 1300W model and a fancier HAF 932 case for $359.99, or $299.99 after rebate.
- Corsair announces availability of Accelerator Series solid-state cache drives. Corsair's Accelerator SSDs are cheap and have small capacities—the company charges $69, $84, and $99 for the 30GB, 40GB, and 60GB models, respectively. The idea isn't to store your entire operating system on them, but to use the drives as cache for a mechanical hard drive. That's why Corsair bundles Nvelo's Dataplex caching software with the SSDs. Corsair says users "may see an improvement in read/write speeds of up to 5x their current hard drive performance"—and there's no need to reinstall your operating system or image your hard drive, either. Just put in the drive, install the software, and you should be good to go.
- MSI announces all new MSI R7800 Twin Frozr Series. These MSI graphics cards are just two of the many tricked-out Radeon HD 7800-series variants we're sure to see from AMD's partners (once the 7800 series becomes available on March 19, that is). Still, they look pretty slick, with Twin Frozr III dual-fan coolers and higher-than-normal clock speeds. MSI claims the R7870 Twin Frozr 2GD5/OC runs 15°C cooler and 9 dB quieter than the reference AMD card, despite the fact that it's clocked 50MHz above the reference speed. Meanwhile, the R7850 Twin Frozr 2GD5/OC is clocked at 900MHz, up from the default 860MHz.
It's nice to see companies like MSI slapping their own coolers on the new Radeons. As good as the reference Radeon HD 7870 is, the blower-style cooler is a little noisy for my taste.