Continuing on our coverage of X38 boards we visited Biostar, a brand that you might not associate with high-end motherboards. However, Biostar has been working hard trying to up its reputation and the T-series proved that Biostar can compete with performance boards from more well known brands. The company has also made a move into the graphics card business and it looks like they're taking the fight to round two.
The board we were shown was the TX38-A7 Deluxe and it has some similarities with the other X38 boards we've already posted information about. Biostar has managed to get some ex Abit engineers onboard and it looks like they've taken some of their expertise with them and implemented it into this board.
Seagate have announced a 1TB hard drive this week which sports native encryption. The Barracuda FDE is the first 3.5" desktop hard drive to enter the market with native encryption, the same technology found in Seagate's Momentus FDE notebook hard drives too.
Seagate's native AES encryption technology works in a manner whereby when the system is powered off the contents of the hard drive are fully protected and inaccessible. When firing the system up, a pre-boot user password is required to allow access to the drive, other layers of authentication are also possible such as smart cards and biometrics technology.
Also launched by Seagate this week is a new Momentus 5400.4 2.5" mobile offering with a capacity of 250GB.
We also made time to visit our friends at ECS today who showed us their upcoming AMD motherboard based on the RX780 chipset - a cheaper and cut down version of the RD790 with a single PEG slot running at x16 full speed.
The RX780M-A is expected to launch after the first bunch of RD790 boards sometime mid October with a street price of around $100 - $110 USD. Pretty good for a brand new motherboard with Socket AM2+ supporting AMD's upcoming bunch of processors.
One thing we quickly noticed was that ECS finally decided to ditch the FDD (floppy) connector on this board and depending on how you look it could be either good or bad.
It's been a busy day here at TweakTown today with loads of company visits. While Cam was out visiting with Abit and ECS, I spent some time with DFI. What we got to see and find out some more about are the upcoming X38 and RD790 based Lanparty boards. It also looks like DFI is about to expand its Lanparty series of motherboards with some slightly more affordable boards that lacks some of the hardcore overclocking features, but will still be premium boards.
Let's start with the Lanparty X38, which has gone through some changes since Computex earlier this year. First of all the colours of the slots have changed from orange to green and yellow, just like the P35-T2R. The board we saw was still in development and some changes might still be done before the final board is ready. The chipset cooling wasn't decided upon as yet, although it will use a cooling solution similar to the one on the P35-T2R.
During our visit to the ABIT HQ today, we managed to snap photos of their upcoming Intel X38 chipset based motherboards. These shots are of boards which are almost ready for mass production.
First up is the IX38-MAX Tiger Force which is the high-end motherboard fully loaded with some impressive features - this one is DDR3 only. Besides the options offered by the X38 chipset, ABIT have included 100% Japanese solid capacitors, Dolby Digital Live and DTS sound via optical connection, improved digital PWM, external clear CMOS button, two eSATA ports along with very impressive copper cooling.
In similar style to Corsair's Survivor series of flash drives, OCZ have announced today some very rugged well-built offerings of their own in the ATV and ATV Turbo series.
These flash drives will cop a real beating as they are both shock and water-proof, the Turbo series has extremely quick memory chips in it which allow for read rates of up to 35MB/sec and write rates of 30MB/sec, of course they are Windows ReadyBoost ready as well.
The external casing features a durable and colorful rubber 'tread' pattern which will keep the internals very safe even when submerged in water.
Ooooh looky here! Though the launch of X38 is only a short time away now, Intel have managed to keep the wraps on it pretty darn tight with very little leaking onto the net about its characteristics.
However! - Thanks to the lads over at HardSpell today, they've managed to get their grubby mits on some images of a public version of Intel's own X38 based motherboard. The first and foremost feature to capture one's attention on this board is the three residing PCIe x16 slots.. yummy!
Furthermore, HardSpell have also posted up a series of white papers specific to the characteristics of the X38 Express chipset.
Toshiba has announced the availability of two new 1.8-inch drives and you can already find both of them in the new iPod classic. We're talking tiny drives here and they're not exactly speed monsters, but the 160GB model is the largest capacity 1.8-inch drive to date.
It's only one small problem, the 160GB model is using two 80GB platters which make it quite fat at 8mm thick compared to only 5mm for the 80GB single platter version.
HP has launched a dedicated site for its upcoming Blackbird 002 high-end gaming PC and it looks like one sweet machine. A lot of the technology in the Blackbird 002 comes from HP's Voodoo PC purchase and the brains of Rahul Sood. The Blackbird 002 even features a Voodoo DNA logo inside the chassis to show that this system is something special.
Not only is it gorgeously designed, but it's also really tidy inside, something we can't say about some HP PC's we've seen in the past. It's possibly the cleanest build we've ever seen. It's also got a lot of interesting design features such as water cooling by Danish Asetek, a special airflow system and a unique stand that the whole case rests on.
If you haven't already noticed it, Apple has launched a range of new iPod's and updated some older products. There's a new range of colour option for the iPod shuffle, which otherwise didn't receive any updates and the price is still US$79. The iPod nano on the other hand got a real overhaul.
If you saw the early spy-shots, then you'll know what we're talking about. It looks somewhat like an iPod cut in half now and gone are the slim, sleek lines of the previous nano's. It has a 2in QVGA display now, that's 320x240 resolution, it can play videos and it has a new user interface. The new nano comes in 4 and 8GB flavours and it's available in five different colours, although the 4GB model only comes in silver/grey. The 4GB model is priced at $149 with the 8GB coming in at $199.