Release roundup: Motherboards, mice, and more

This week in the realm of miscellaneous hardware releases, we’ve got news from BitFenix, Gigabyte, Silicon Power, and SteelSeries.

  • BitFenix introduces Merc. At $39, this may be BitFenix’s cheapest case yet. The Merc is launching in two flavors, branded Merc Beta and Merc Alpha. Both have three 5.25" bays, seven 3.5" bays, and one 2.5" drive bay; five 120-mm fan emplacements; a bottom-mounted PSU; and the requisite gaps in the motherboard tray for cable routing and CPU socket access. As icing on the cake, the Merc Alpha provides a couple of additional 120-mm fan mounts at the top. BitFenix says you’ll find these enclosures in stores later this month.

  • Gigabyte unleashes G1.Sniper 2 gaming motherboard. This board sits at the high end of Gigabyte’s lineup, and as you’d expect, it has bells and whistles up the wazoo. The Intel Z68 chipset is complemented by Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi integrated audio (with a built-in headphone amp) and Bigfoot Killer E2100 integrated LAN. There are also four physical PCI Express x16 slots, and Gigabyte touts support for both CrossFire and SLI.

  • SP/Silicon Power launches D05 external portable hard drive. There’s nothing all that exciting about yet another line of USB 3.0 portable hard drives, but Silicon Power’s latest looks pretty slick. These D05 drives are rolling out in 500GB, 640GB, 750GB, and 1TB capacities, all measuring 4.9" x 3.0" x 0.5" and backed by three-year warranties.

  • SteelSeries Sensei mouse introduces a new standard. Although the Sensei’s ambidextrous frame doesn’t look like much from the outside, SteelSeries is rather proud of what’s inside. This mouse packs a 32-bit ARM processor and is purportedly the "most customizable mouse to ever hit the competitive gaming industry." On top of that, the rodent has a state-of-the-art sensor that can register up to 11,400 counts per inch in "overclocked" mode and track movements at up to 150 inches per second. Due date: some time in September, with a price tag of $89.99.

Those new BitFenix cases look like they might be interesting alternatives to well-established budget offerings like Antec’s One Hundred. $39 is mighty cheap for a PC enclosure, especially one that looks so decent.

Comments closed
    • LoneWolf15
    • 8 years ago

    “The Intel Z68 chipset is complemented by Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi integrated audio (with a built-in headphone amp) and Bigfoot Killer E2100 integrated LAN.”

    Is this a real X-Fi chip, or the standard (non-gaming) X-Fi XtremeAudio software solution posing as real X-Fi audio?

    Just checking –I haven’t seen a mainboard yet use a real X-Fi chip, but I always ask.

    EDIT: Gigabyte’s website lists it as having a 20K2 chipset, the same as in the X-Fi Titanium series. It looks like there’s a board with a hardware X-Fi on it for perhaps the first time.

    • indeego
    • 8 years ago

    Scumbag mouse: Puts cutting edge hardware in a tight package, GLAZES YOUR EYES WITH PURPLE LIGHT TO REMIND YOU WHO’S YOUR PURPLE MOUSE-MASTER.

    • odizzido
    • 8 years ago

    sensei! Ninomia-kun!

    • Bensam123
    • 8 years ago

    “On top of that, the rodent has a state-of-the-art sensor that can register up to 11,400 counts per inch in “overclocked” mode and track movements at up to 150 inches per second.”

    So what is that in DPI?

    When companies start changing how they measure things it’s usually a good sign that it isn’t anything better then what is already available.

      • EtherealN
      • 8 years ago

      I’m not the expert here, but “counts per inch” sounds like the number should translate directly to DPI. Sounds like different way to say the same thing.

      EDIT:
      Looks like I might be right on that. From the FAQ for the mouse:
      “DPI is an expression from the printing world and has nothing to do with mouse movement. DPI is meant to describe that for one inch of distance you move your mouse on any surface, the equivalent number of counts are sent to the PC – resulting in movement on your screen. CPI is the correct term for this as it actually is consistent with what you seek to describe with the abbreviation. ”

      So 11400 CPI = 11400 DPI.

        • Bensam123
        • 8 years ago

        11,400 is in ‘turbo’ mode, it normally reads at 5700… Which may be similar to dynamic contrast reduction and reporting ultra high contrast ratios. Razers new mouse also reads at 5700 dpi.

        Still leary on the CPI thing. Why reword a measurement that consumers already understand unless you’re trying to change the baseline? It causes confusion among customers.

    • destroy.all.monsters
    • 8 years ago

    Obligatory OH DOES THAT MOUSE DOUBLE AS A PHONE? I WANT TO RUN HONEYCOMB / ICE CREAM ON IT post.

    Also I HOPE IT DOES NOT HAVE MOTOBLUR.

    That is all.

    • Rectal Prolapse
    • 8 years ago

    Huh – that gigabyte motherboard doesn’t have 4 PCIe x16 slots – looks like 2 from the picture, with a couple of PCI and x1 PCIe.

      • crsh1976
      • 8 years ago

      EDIT: according to Gigabyte’s product page, it indeed only has two 16x slots (the second one operates at 8x speed), two 1x slots and two PCI slots.

    • just brew it!
    • 8 years ago

    Those look like very reasonable budget cases. I’d probably consider one.

      • Coran Fixx
      • 8 years ago

      Agreed. If the build quality is ok $39 for cable routing and bottom psu mount is great. For me this is the first Bitfenix news worth paying attention to.

    • fredsnotdead
    • 8 years ago

    DO5 looks too much like DOS…

    • 5150
    • 8 years ago

    Nice cases, if those are USB 3.0 ports on the top I’d be damn happy with it.

      • UltimateImperative
      • 8 years ago

      Unfortunately, it’s just 2.0: [url<]http://www.bitfenix.com/global/en/products/chassis/merc-alpha#specs[/url<]

        • Jambe
        • 8 years ago

        Yeah, I was all O_O and then I read the press release and was all =(

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