Release roundup: FM2 mobos, gaming laptops, and heat pipes aplenty
In spite of this morning's e-mail hijinks, we collected a handful of release announcements in our inbox this week. Biostar, MSI, Spire, and Zotac all tipped us off about new products.
- Biostar launches AMD FM2 boards with exclusive Hi-Fi Puro technology. Biostar touts the "cost effective" nature of these Socket FM2 boards, so you know they're going to be cheap. The Hi-Fi A85S3 and HiFi A75S3 are both microATX offerings, and they make use of AMD's A85X and A75 chipsets, respectively. Notable features include native USB 3.0 and 6Gbps Serial ATA connectivity, support for dual-channel DDR3 memory speeds up to 2400MHz (when overclocked), and Biostar's Puro Hi-Fi tech, which involves an "integrated independent audio power design with a built-in amplifier." The A85S3 has an HDMI output instead of DVI, but other than that, I don't see much of a difference between the two models.
- MSI makes high performance portable gaming affordable with AMD powered GX60. I got to see this chubby gaming notebook in person at AMD's Markham offices last month. For $1,299.99, the GX60 gets you a 15.6" 1080p display, an AMD A10 processor, 8GB of DDR3-1600 RAM, Radeon HD 7970M graphics, 750GB of mechanical storage, Blu-ray, USB 3.0, and Windows 8. This is quite a portly machine, obviously; it weighs 7.7 lbs and measures 1.77" at its thickest point. Still, that's not a bad deal for the price. I played a bit of Skyrim on the system, and the game was nice and smooth at the native resolution—not that one would expect any less considering the high-end GPU, of course.
- Spire introduces X2 9883 HDT 9000 series CPU cooler. This new CPU cooler from Spire has no less than six heat pipes, all designed to be in direct contact with the CPU heat spreader. The heat pipes connect to an array of 46 aluminum fins (each with a nickel finish), and a 120-mm PWM fan cools the whole contraption. Spire says the fan has removable rubber corners and a Nano-Tech bearing that enables lower noise output and increased durability compared to other designs. Oh, and the bearing design lets you pull the fan apart for "dust cleaning convenience," too, which sounds pretty neat. The X2 9883 HDT 9000 series has universal socket support and can cool CPUs with TDPs as high as 150W. Asking price: $56.95.
- Zotac announces A75-ITX WiFi B-series and A55-ITX WiFi B-series. Remember the A75-ITX Wi-Fi board we reviewed last year? Well, the new A75-ITX WiFi B-series is pretty much the same thing, except with an FM2 socket ripe for AMD's latest Trinity processors. Zotac hasn't enlisted AMD's new A85X chipset, but this little Mini-ITX board still offers 6Gbps SATA and USB 3.0 ports aplenty. The cheaper A55-ITX WiFi B-series has only 3Gbps SATA connectivity, though, and it carries fewer USB 3.0 ports and only one Gigabit Ethernet connector.
It's nice to see small-form-factor boards adopting the latest sockets. Considering the 100W power envelopes on most of the new A-series APUs, however, Trinity is somewhat of a questionable proposition for a small-form-factor PC. At least AMD makes a few pared-down 65W models like the A6-5400K.