Release roundup: Motherboards and secure USB 3.0 drives
We've got a couple of motherboard-related announcements in this week's release roundup. The folks at Super Talent have also chipped in with news about their latest secure USB 3.0 flash drive:
- ASRock announces the release of its top tier Z77 Extreme11 motherboard. Well, the headline pretty much says it all. This is a top-of-the-line Intel Z77 Express-based motherboard packed to the gills with goodies. It's got an LSI Serial Attached SCSI controller that provides eight ports of SAS or 6Gbps SATA connectivity, and it has a PLX PCI Express bridge that enables three-way SLI and four-way CrossFire multi-GPU setups. ASRock has also thrown in two Intel Gigabit Ethernet controllers, dual-band Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 4.0. The board even comes with a break-out box that lets users "connect the WiFi antenna and two USB 3.0 ports." Impressive stuff.
- Biostar introduces all-in-one Mini ITX motherboard. Biostar's A68I-350 Deluxe sits at the other end of the spectrum. It's a Mini-ITX design with a built-in AMD E-350D dual-core processor and Radeon HD 6310 integrated graphics. Biostar covers the essentials, with dual DDR3 DIMM slots, three 6Gbps SATA ports, Gigabit Ethernet, dual USB 3.0, and a PCIe x16 slot that has four lanes of connectivity. There's even a little icing on the cake: a "Charger Booster" feature that allows tablets and smartphones to charge faster via USB.
- Super Talent releases DataGuardian, a secure USB 3.0 flash drive. This new thumb drive from Super Talent is coming out in 8GB, 16GB, and 32GB capacities. Thanks to USB 3.0 connectivity, it can achieve data transfer rates as high as 85MB/s for reads and 40MB/s for writes. Those speeds are nice, but they're not what makes the drive unique. Super Talent explains, "Users are asked to set up a password when using the DataGuardian for the first time. Every time after, the DataGuardian will immediately ask for the password when plugged in. This built-in password protection means there is nothing to download or install, no public/private partitions to manage, and no administrative rights are required." Sounds handy.
That Biostar motherboard looks pretty solid, but it's a shame about the tiny fan strapped to the processor. Too bad Biostar didn't splurge for a bigger, passive heatsink. I suppose not all Mini-ITX enclosure might have enough airflow for one of those, though.