Release roundup: Trinity mobos, Japanese coolers, and the Soprano

This week in our gathering of miscellaneous product launches, we have fresh arrivals from Biostar, Scythe, and Thermaltake:

  • Biostar launches Latest AMD "Trinity" based Hi-Fi motherboard. AMD’s Trinity APUs are coming to the desktop in the not-too-distant future, and Biostar, like some other motherboard makers, is making preparations. Biostar’s new Hi-Fi A85X motherboard is based on AMD’s A85X chipset (duh), and it has an FM2 socket ripe for the upcoming APUs. Other features include dual PCIe graphics slots, USB 3.0 connectivity, and support for memory overclocking up to 2400MHz. The Hi-Fi moniker comes from Biostar’s Puro Hi-Fi technology, which gives integrated audio its own, dedicated power cicuitry as well as special capacitors and a built-in amplifier.

  • Scythe intros new-and-improved Kabuto 2 cooler. As the name suggests, this cooler is the second revision of Scythe’s Kabuto. This latest model ships with Scythe’s 120-mm Glide Stream fan, which is meant to be quieter thanks to a "redesigned small center hub as well as fan blades." The heatsink also has a "reinforcement bar" between the base and the fin array, and Scythe has changed the mounting mechanism to make it easier to use. That mounting mechanism supports pretty much all CPU sockets around today, from LGA775 to Socket FM1. Scythe says this puppy will set you back €34.00 ($44) in Europe before tax.

  • Thermaltake launches the new Soprano. No, this product isn’t designed for Italian mobsters. It’s actually quite elegant, with a curved front panel made out of brushed aluminum and a choice of either black or "snow" paint jobs. Inside, Thermaltake offers a pretty well-rounded assortment of enthusiast amenities, including routing holes for liquid coolors, a bottom-mounted PSU emplacement, a cut-out behind the CPU area, grommeted holes for cables, and rotated hard-drive bays with trays. The enclosure has room for up to four optical drives and five hard drives or SSDs. There’s an "invisible" hot-swap docking station at the top, too. Cooling is handled by a 200-mm front fan and a 120-mm exhaust fan, and users can slap in an extra 120-mm spinner at the bottom. See the picture below.

That’s a pretty snappy-looking case. I enjoy Thermaltake’s propensity for building drive docks into its cases, too. Docks are always handy, but external ones can be bulky and unsightly.

Comments closed
    • BIF
    • 7 years ago

    I am still not impressed with that case.

    Why don’t more case-makers offer a chassis with hot-swappable disks built in with their own easy access? I want to access the disks WITHOUT being required to open the fricking case, dammit!

    The Thermaltake Level 10 series is the only form factor I’ve seen that does this, and it supports 3.5, 2.5, and SSD form factors. It has a clean look and the disks are easy to access. I don’t know if additional drive trays are available.

    The Level 10 and Limited Editions have trays that slide out to the side.
    The GT has the same arrangemnt, but adds a fan to the front, so that cool air can flow over the drives on its way to the motherboard area.

    Why is it so hard to get box-makers to think ouside of the box?

    • willyolio
    • 7 years ago

    torchlight 2 and borderlands 2! such difficult choices…

    • Anonymous Hamster
    • 7 years ago

    I can’t imagine how any knowledgeable hifi enthusiast would care about motherboard audio, except to make sure it has an optical SP/DIF output. Why convert to analog in an environment filled with all kinds of EMI noise? Would the intended customer of this board also buy Monster cables?

      • brucethemoose
      • 7 years ago

      Yes, they would.

      • Airmantharp
      • 7 years ago

      Clean, amplified audio is clean amplified audio… with a decent set of cans, it might erase the need for an inexpensive DAC/amp.

      • DarkUltra
      • 7 years ago

      need hdmi so we can use “room correction” (eq) and dynamic loudness. Add some bass traps/ room treament and every game that is mixed at proper reference levels have good bass. Crysis 2 and BF3 are exceptionally good. HL2 is mixed way too loud and lacks any dynamic range. Need hifi speakers.

    • DPete27
    • 7 years ago

    Hmmm, that Thermaltake case looks like a [url=http://www.coolermaster.com/product.php?product_id=7<]Cooler Master WaveMaster[/url<] case I used to have. Better not let Apple's legal team see that!

    • mockingbird
    • 7 years ago

    What a shame,

    Biostar also using substandard polymer capacitors… At least Gigabyte put high end Sanyo SEPx on their high-end FM2 board (eventhough they use junky Apaq polymers on their mATX version).

    These companies should all learn from MSI to put Samxon polymers (ULx series) on their boards. Inexpensive Taiwanese cap, performs just as well as the expensive Jap caps.

    I’m intrigued by the audio circuitry they got going on there. Are those axial capacitors? How about a closer look Biostar?

      • MadManOriginal
      • 7 years ago

      Cool, so are you the first capacitorphile?

        • derFunkenstein
        • 7 years ago

        I think it’s reasonable to look at the capacitors used in a board. There aren’t nearly the problems now that there were 6-8 years ago with leaking caps, but it’s still good to be aware of what you’re getting.

          • mockingbird
          • 7 years ago

          Apaq capacitors have literally blown up on Asus boards…

          There’s no anecdotal data on all the new Chinese and Taiwanese polymer caps out in the field like we have for all those junk electrolytics that bulged years ago so only time will tell which are good and which aren’t. It’s *possible* that Enesol, OST, Capxon and the like Polymer series are good, but we just don’t know yet.

          Some of the polymer brands on some of the new budget boards coming out I can’t even identify they are so new.

            • shank15217
            • 7 years ago

            what are your opinions on the budget workstation boards from asus? I have a dual socket c32 board from asus, wonder what you think of them.. this is the board I got..

            [url<]http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131670[/url<]

            • mockingbird
            • 7 years ago

            That particular one looks top notch.

            All Fujitsu FPCAP, some tantalums near the VRM, brand name FETs. Looks impressive.

            Looks like they learned from the mistakes of their previous gen budget workstation LGA1366 boards (Model Z8MA or something like that) which had high failure rates.

            • shank15217
            • 7 years ago

            dang that kinda made me feel all warm n fuzzy inside..

            • Bensam123
            • 7 years ago

            Bulging capacitors were a issue from a decade ago. Pretty much all capacitors now days function like they’er supposed to. The only reason they’re advertised is because they’re look hood ornaments on a brand new sports car.

            • mockingbird
            • 7 years ago

            Gigabyte didn’t seem to think so when they accused Asus of using non-Jap polymer caps:
            [url<]http://media.bestofmicro.com/,7-S-102664-3.jpg[/url<] Ironically, low-end and mid-range Gigabyte boards use the very same Apaq caps Gigabyte criticized Asus for using. And no, bulging or exploding is not an issue froma decade ago. There are many reports and photos of exploded Apaq polymer capacitors from high-end videocards and motherboards.

            • willmore
            • 7 years ago

            A polymer cap isn’t going to explode unless you seriously over volt them. Which is incredibly unlikely to ever happen. They’re just succesive layers of metalized polymer.

            • mockingbird
            • 7 years ago

            Any substance enclosed in a sealed container can burn. When it does, internal pressure can cause an explosion. That’s why capacitors, even polymer capacitors have bunges on the bottom – just for cases like these.

        • willmore
        • 7 years ago

        I knew some back in the mid ’90s when I was at a company designing a delta-sigma A/D. Some EEs take their capacitors very seriously. As a digital guy, I had no idea ther was so much to know about caps. I’m not agreeing nor disagreeing with mockingbird, but there is a lot to know about different types of caps.

    • chuckula
    • 7 years ago

    Epic Rap Battles of Products named After Nations And/Or Geographic Regions!!!
    Tonight: Korean Monitors
    Versus…
    Japanese Coolers!

    BEGIN!

      • Game_boy
      • 7 years ago

      yo korea

      your black levels are way out high
      dead pixels live ghosting but no hdmi
      lagging right behind when a game loads up
      can’t play that starcraft you love so much

      i’m always chill and i’m always spinnin
      but so quiet you can get on with your winnin
      ain’t even a thing when the load gets hot
      eight blades cool air smooth flow any slot

        • chuckula
        • 7 years ago

        WHO WON?
        WHO’S NEXT?
        YOU DECIDE!

          • EtherealN
          • 7 years ago

          The cooler won.

          Next: Android 4.1 vs iOS6

          That’ll get the trolls going… ๐Ÿ˜›

            • NeelyCam
            • 7 years ago

            One has maps, the other one doesn’t. No contest.

            • EtherealN
            • 7 years ago

            But I wanted a rap battle. ๐Ÿ™

        • EtherealN
        • 7 years ago

        lol!

        But it’s 9 blades. /OCD

          • Game_boy
          • 7 years ago

          ๐Ÿ™

        • NeelyCam
        • 7 years ago

        That was awesome!

        • BIF
        • 7 years ago

        I upthumbed. And I don’t even like rap. ๐Ÿ˜€

          • Game_boy
          • 7 years ago

          It’s how they market poetry to teenagers.

            • BIF
            • 7 years ago

            LOL

    • UberGerbil
    • 7 years ago

    Holy crap it’s hinged on the right. Too bad I’m not in the market at the moment, as that might be the first case with a door I’d consider.

    Especially since the press release says:[quote<]Thermaltake New Soprano, a simple and elegant mid-tower that blend into designersโ€™ lavish furnishing with the aid on surpassing the intriguing mode[/quote<]I'm all about the intriguing mode, baby.

      • Deanjo
      • 7 years ago

      Every case with a door that I have owned (several from coolermaster and others) have always been easily reversible.

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