Release roundup: Fast routers, cases, and audio amps

We can't cover everything in our daily news. So, each week, we gather miscellaneous announcements and write about them in our release roundup. This week, we have goodies from Asus, BitFenix, Lian Li, and Scythe:

  • "BitFenix introduces Phenom." Yeah, so, I'm not sure whose idea it was to name these cases after a line of AMD processors. But branding aside, these are some nifty-looking enclosures. BitFenix is rolling out a Mini-ITX model and a microATX model, both of which have copious amounts of room for 3.5" hard drives, SSDs, fans, liquid-cooling radiators, and high-end graphics setups (including dual-GPU configs in the microATX model). See BitFenix's demo video below. According to the company, both versions of the Phenom will be available next month.

  • "Lian Li releases the PC-10N mid tower chassis in North America." And here comes another brushed aluminum mid-tower from Lian Li. This one has three spaced rails instead of a regular motherboard tray—an arrangement supposedly conducive to better cable management. Facing the CPU socket is a hinge-mounted bracket meant to accommodate a 240-mm radiator. Other perks include six 3.5" drive bays (split up between two cages), three pre-mounted 120-mm fans (two at the front and one at the rear), and a choice of silver and black color schemes. Too bad Lian Li only includes a single 2.5" drive bay. Asking price: $129.99.

  • "Scythe Kama Bay Amp Mini Pro: powerful amplifier in compact size." According to Scythe, this stereo amp is a smaller version of the Kama Bay Amp Pro. It's small enough to fit in a 3.5" drive bay, which is of dubious utility, since I don't know of many enthusiast cases that still have external 3.5" bays. Good thing Scythe also supplies some side panels and "insulating feet" for folks who'd rather leave the amp on their desk. Under those panels lurks a MAX-IM Max 98400A IC, which Scythe says enables 20W of output power per channel with 8Ω of impedance. There are 1/8" input and output jacks at the front as well as RCA inputs and banana speaker plugs at the back.

After the Prodigy, I'm glad BitFenix is pursuing small-form-factor cases with enthusiast-worthy specs. Huge ATX enclosures may be nice, but most of us just don't need that much space.

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