Release roundup: Gaming headphones and workstation goodies

We've got a mix of workstation hardware and enthusiast gear in this week's release roundup. Announcements from Cooler Master, Kingston, and Sapphire have all made it into our inbox:

  • Cooler Master intros Ceres-400 headset. The folks at Cooler Master are known more for their cases and heatsinks than for audio equipment, but they do have a small lineup of headsets. The latest model, the Ceres-400, is coming this month with a $49.99 price tag. Cooler Master says it features 40-mm drivers, "oversized and breathable" 90-mm pads, a noise-canceling microphone, and an in-line remote with buttons to control the volume and to mute the mic. Head on over to the official product page for more details.

  • Kingston helps drive big data and virtualization initiatives with new SSDNow E100 enterprise SSD. The new SSDNow E100 solid-state drive has a 2.5" form factor and 6Gbps Serial ATA connectivity, just like Kingston's consumer offerings. However, the drive purportedly delivers "up to 10X improvements in endurance and reliability over client SSDs." Capacities of 100GB, 200GB, and 400GB are on offer, with transfer rates up to 535MB/s for sequential reads and 500MB/s for sequential writes. Peak IOPS are 37,000 for both random reads and writes. Kingston covers the drive with a three-year warranty, too.

  • Sapphire PGS launches FirePro professional platform. Remember those FirePro A300-series processors APUs AMD announced earlier this month? Well, Sapphire now has a workstation platform that takes advantage of them. The A320M Professional Platform couples AMD's A320 APU with Sapphire's A3 M motherboard—a Micro-ATX specimen with an array of display outputs (DVI, VGA, and DisplayPort, complete with EyeFinity support), a PCI Express x16 slot ripe for FirePro discrete cards (to which compute tasks can be offloaded), and an assortment of USB 2.0 and 6Gbps Serial ATA ports, among other features. Sapphire touts certification from "major" software vendors, as well.

I'm not a connoisseur of workstation hardware, but I expect some professionals may enjoy the prospect of a small-form-factor CAD rig powered by that Sapphire mobo. Who said desktop workstations had to be big, cumbersome affairs?

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