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.

Comments closed
    • axeman
    • 8 years ago

    Obligatory Fatal-One-ty!!!!!!! reference.
    edit:
    and are you sure that’s a thingamajig? Looks more like a whatchacallit to me.

    • Chrispy_
    • 8 years ago

    Professional AWOL’er

    • dpaus
    • 8 years ago

    Is that liquid-cooled Radeon really a single-slot card?!? If not (and it doesn’t [i<]look[/i<] like it), then why cram all the connections onto a single-slot bracket?

      • just brew it!
      • 8 years ago

      I agree it is hard to tell from the pic, but it looks to me as if it [i<]could[/i<] be single-slot? The parts that stick out the farthest (connections for the water hoses, I'm assuming) appear to be higher up (further from the motherboard) than normal PCI/PCIe form factor, so as long as you don't have another overly tall card in the very next slot it should be OK?

      • Chrispy_
      • 8 years ago

      Find me a GPU waterblock that isn’t single-slot: As far as I know they’re all single-slot and always have been.

    • phileasfogg
    • 8 years ago

    The Taiwanese design and release new gear to the market on a regular basis. Only to have some ever-ready-to-pounce North-American armchair-quarterback critics (fortunately, a small minority) assail every design nuance. Sigh. Come on people, let’s give these product designers some credit where it’s due.

    • Forge
    • 8 years ago

    X79 motherboard, four ram slots. FAILGASM.

    Why buy high-end, pay hundreds+ for the CPU, hundreds more for the mobo, and cheap out on ram?

    It makes me mildly ill to see folks talking about their ‘ARD, ‘UGE, MEAN X79 RIG…. With less ram than my three year old X58 setup. DOIN IT RONG.

      • Proxicon
      • 8 years ago

      X58 dont have quad memory channel support

        • Firestarter
        • 8 years ago

        That extra channel really helps when you run out of RAM!

      • entropy13
      • 8 years ago

      [quote<]With less ram than my three year old X58 setup.[/quote<] Never knew the X58 can accommodate 64GB! You have 10.67GB RAM modules? Or are you talking about the two-socket X58 board from EVGA?

      • bcronce
      • 8 years ago

      4 memory slots, 4GB each slot, 16GB total, cost $90 for any of these brands (gskill, corsair,hyperx, patriot)

      I don’t think you have to worry about “not enough”.

      Personally, with 16GB so cheap, I would be worried about not having ECC.

        • just brew it!
        • 8 years ago

        Yup. Nearly all of the systems I’ve built for myself over the past decade or so have had a motherboard/chipset/CPU that supports ECC, and ECC RAM. 10 years ago it probably bordered on OCD/paranoia, but with today’s large RAM sizes (64-bit FTW!) and OSes that perform aggressive caching, it’s becoming more important.

          • derFunkenstein
          • 8 years ago

          Right, I get that, but the point is “this is ZOMG high end motherboard!” and then they don’t have the 8 slots.

            • Krogoth
            • 8 years ago

            This board is marketed for gamers with more money than sense.

            Besides, it helps with OC’ing since the memory sub-system has to drive fewer slots.

          • indeego
          • 8 years ago

          We see about 1 flipped bit a year on our servers. It isn’t paranoia.

            • just brew it!
            • 8 years ago

            DRAM raw error rates have actually gone down quite a bit over the past 20 years. I became an ECC “true believer” back in the early ’90s, when I was working on a supercomputer system at Fermilab. It had 20 GB of RAM (which was a *lot* in those days). We saw approximately one flipped bit [i<]per day[/i<]!

            • nexxcat
            • 8 years ago

            Is that 1 per server per year, or 1 per all of your servers?

            It’s still hard to judge that statement without knowing how much RAM your servers carry. We tend to have 48 GB of RAM in our newest boxes, though I don’t know how many flipped bits we see on them.

    • albundy
    • 8 years ago

    Fatal1ty still getting royalties? how low can he go? well, he just reached bottom with Asrock…and why would Asrock think that modern machines since a decade ago still have floppy drive bays on their cases?

      • just brew it!
      • 8 years ago

      Mmm… IIRC all of the HP mid-tower machines at work still have floppy drive bays, and all of them were purchased in the past 5-6 years. Only one or two of them actually have a floppy [i<]drive[/i<]... but the bays are definitely there!

      • derFunkenstein
      • 8 years ago

      3.5″ bays are worthwhile for media readers still, as well as this USB3.0 device.

    • flip-mode
    • 8 years ago

    The two outer heat pipes on that cooler are in a different zip code than the actual CPU die. I wonder how much good they actually do. Them’s some big gaps between the heat pipes too.

      • just brew it!
      • 8 years ago

      They probably don’t do much until the middle three are operating at their limit. Then the lid of the CPU will start to heat up enough that the outer heat pipes come into play.

    • Duck
    • 8 years ago

    I wish you could plug in HDD like a floppy drive. No wires, just slots in with a nice click. Why is this not done?!?

      • just brew it!
      • 8 years ago

      It’s called a “hot swap cage”. The ThermalTake doodad appears to be a cheap plastic version of one.

      Here’s a better one: [url<]http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16816215243[/url<]

      • Chrispy_
      • 8 years ago

      I have an Antec one in my work PC. It’s spring-loaded with a release button, and I routed it to an eSATA port so I can hot-plug disks. No doors, no levers, no cheap-ass plastic bits to break off.

      My only complaint is that the drive sticks out by about half an inch, but that just makes it more convenient, if a little less aesthetically pleasing.

        • Duck
        • 8 years ago

        Ah that sounds more like it. Do you have the product name or part number?

          • Chrispy_
          • 8 years ago

          Antec Easy Sata:
          [url<]http://www.overclockersclub.com/reviews/antec_easy_sata/[/url<] Cheap and simple

    • bthylafh
    • 8 years ago

    That SATA dock looks neat. I’ll have to buy one for me and convince work to get one as well.

    • Bensam123
    • 8 years ago

    Cool sata bay doodad, I’d personally prefer ones with sata… which have to be easier to make too. Sata drives being hotpluggable as long as you haver SATA2 or higher and your motherboard supports it. USB 3 ports are harder to come by on the other hand and you may actually want to use them for other devices.

    It looks like it could use a fan too.

      • just brew it!
      • 8 years ago

      [quote<]Cool sata bay doodad, I'd personally prefer ones with sata...[/quote<] The drive bays [i<]are[/i<] SATA, it is just the external ports that are USB. [quote<]It looks like it could use a fan too.[/quote<] Only if the fan isn't made by ThermalTake! Every one of their fans I've ever owned has developed bearing problems after a year or so. I'm not too concerned about the 2.5" bay since 2.5" drives tend to run pretty cool anyway; but yeah the 3.5" is gonna get kind of toasty.

        • Bensam123
        • 8 years ago

        Yeah… it is a sata bay… and I’d prefer ones with a sata connection to the system. I’m sure seeing as you read far enough to read the fan part that you were able to comprehend what I meant. Thanks for going all pedantic on me though.

        You don’t need to use a second account to rate yourself up either.

          • Palek
          • 8 years ago

          [quote<]Yeah... it is a sata bay... and I'd prefer ones with a sata connection to the system. I'm sure seeing as you read far enough to read the fan part that you were able to comprehend what I meant. Thanks for going all pedantic on me though.[/quote<] Erm... It IS using a SATA connection - well, two connections - to the system. It would be spectacularly stupid to use USB on an internal drive bay. It wouldn't hurt to follow the link to the product page. [url<]http://www.thermaltake.com/products-model.aspx?id=C_00001852[/url<] Time for another edit, eh?

            • Bensam123
            • 8 years ago

            I haven’t been editing my posts outside of grammar if that’s what you’re inferring… I swear it said in the news release that it was connected to the motherboard via a on board USB3 bridge. Indeed it would be very stupid if that was the case as I pointed out; it’s good it’s not.

            Still could use a fan though. XD

            Honestly if that’s the case I may consider buying one. This would be quite nice for testing out HDs and/or moving information from a troubled computer to another.

            • Palek
            • 8 years ago

            [quote<]I haven't been editing my posts outside of grammar if that's what you're inferring...[/quote<] No, I was suggesting that you might need to add an apology for calling JBI pedantic. 😉

            • just brew it!
            • 8 years ago

            The news release says:

            [quote<]Supports two USB 3.0 ports via internal 20 pin header[/quote<] They're referring to the external USB3 connectors, not the drive bays. You can clearly see the SATA connectors on their web site [url=http://www.thermaltake.com/products-model.aspx?id=C_00001852<]here[/url<] (click on the first thumbnail in the bottom row). What was pedantic about what I posted before? And for the record, I have never rated [u<]anyone[/u<] up [u<]or[/u<] down in any of the article comments (but you may convince me to start if you keep trolling).

            • Bensam123
            • 8 years ago

            Calling for a witch burning on someone who doesn’t troll isn’t very nice, thanks though. I called you on ratings as when I came back to this news post every post you replied to was rated down by one and all of your replies were rated up by one.

            I thought you were pointing out that I didn’t add a subject to my post “Cool sata bay doodad, I’d personally prefer ones with sata…” Then you pointed out that the bays are sata, which I already did, but not the interconnect from the bays to the system, which lead me to believe you were being pedantic.

            Palek pointed out that the interconnect to the system was sata (which was where the miscommunication happened between you and me) and I said I was pretty sure the news post said it used a USB 3 bridge chip to bridge the two, which was what my first post was about in the first place. I’m still pretty sure the news post said it used a bridge chip…

            • Duck
            • 8 years ago

            not sure if trolling or just stupid .jpg

    • BiffStroganoffsky
    • 8 years ago

    The build of that dock (at least the 5.25″ bay section) look a lot like the no-name unit I bought from Hong Kong. The good is that unit uses a four pin Molex connector for power. Unfortunately, that unit has a bad/flaky power or SATA cable/connector that causes the system to lock when accessing the drive. I hope it is not built by the same factory.

      • cynan
      • 8 years ago

      Me too. I was thinking of getting one of these for the HTPC…

    • Tumbleweed
    • 8 years ago

    Any price on that Thermaltake bay, or availability? I can’t find any online for sale…if the price is right, I’ll probably buy 4 of them to replace my old hot-swap drive bays. Too bad I won’t be able to hook up that many USB 3 ports.

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