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LaCie d2: now with Serial ATA

The secret of MSI K8N Diamond

ECS releases KN1 Extreme boards for Athlon64 (S939 and S754) processors

Broadcom BCM5751: Gigabit Ethernet to be featured in VIA K8T890 by default

Nemesis: a new series of "desktop armour" from NZXT

LaCie d2: now with Serial ATA

SATA interface that is getting more and more popular has reached LaCie solutions in d2 Serial ATA with 74 GB (10,000 rpm) to 400 GB (7200 rpm) capacities.

The new storage devices as well as LaCie SATA PCI Card are to go on sale in January with the following prices in Europe:

  • 74 GB, 10,000 rpm — ˆ340
  • 160 GB, 7,200 rpm — ˆ190
  • 250 GB, 7,200 rpm — ˆ230
  • 400 GB, 7,200 rpm — ˆ460

Drives will be bundled with LaCie Storage Utilities and SilverKeeper software. New devices can also be mounted into 19" server racks.

The secret of MSI K8N Diamond

And again we took a look at another NVIDIA nForce 4 SLI based motherboard. But such cool feature as SLI is now pushed aside, because K8N Diamond from Micro-Star International might shatter some desktop audio market stereotypes.

Our colleagues from t-break published these interesting photos of this board. At that the photographer was impressed not by a couple of PCI Express x16, but a large chip in the bottom left corner:

Is it really "CREATIVE"? Let´s take a closer look:

Yes, it is. The chip is marked CREATIVE CA0106-DAT. It´s the same DSP chip as those used in Creative Audigy LS and Live! 24bit soundcards. To the left of CA0106-DAT you can see Wolfson WM8775 ADC, further to the left there´s Cirrus Logic sign — a DAC, most likely. Perhaps, MSI didn´t try to invent a wheel again, but kept to the reference design of Audigy LS/Live! 24bit. Still, higher-quality electrolytic capacitor might improve the sound path a bit.

We asked ourselves if it´s not another Photoshop joke. After visiting the official website of MSI we found photos and specs of K8N Diamond.

On the same place onboard you can see a large chip with a big sticker on it. Looking into the specs we found what we needed:

Well, there´s a strange trend outlining: Creative starts shipping its DSP chips to third parties (something unheard of before). In particular, to motherboard makers that add them to the latest NVIDIA solutions. And Californian company seems to cease its SoundStorm initiative by not implementing additional hardware audio features and thus making motherboard manufacturers use chips from Creative. Nevertheless, there´s a lot of rumours in the Web circulating around improved discrete SoundStorm 2 that might become a base for standalone soundcards. It´s hard to tell if these will compete with Creative´s solutions, but considering the latest trend (Creative searching for new income sources) and NVIDIA´s huge potential...

ECS releases KN1 Extreme boards for Athlon64 (S939 and S754) processors

ECS announced several nForce4-based motherboards for Athlon64 Socket 754 and Socket 939 processors. KN1 Extreme is a high-performance board that supports PCI-E, features 3Gbps SATA and RAID.

KN1 Extreme:

CPU support Socket 939 AMD Athlon 64/Athlon 64 FX
Chipset NVIDIA nForce4 Ultra
Memory DDR, 2-channel DDR400/333/266/200, up to 4 GB
Expansion slots 1 x PCI Express x16, 2 x PCI Express x1, 3 x PCI
Controllers 4 x Ultra DMA133/100/66
4 x Serial ATA2 (SiS® 180)
2 x Ultra DMA133/100/66
2 x Serial ATA
Audio 6-channel Realtek ALC655, (AC´97 2.3)
IEEE1394a 2 x TI TSB43AB22A
Networking Realtek 8100C 10/100 Mbps Fast Ethernet
Marvell 88E1111 Giga LAN PHY
Form-factor ATX, 305 x 244 mm

Features also include 802.11g, 10 x USB ports. The board is bundled with NVIDIA nTune FSB adjusting utility.

KN1 Extreme nForce4-A939 is already available for sale, while the Socket 754 variant is to arrive later in December.

Broadcom BCM5751: Gigabit Ethernet to be featured in VIA K8T890 by default

VIA and Broadcom officially announced the integration of Gigabit Ethernet adapters into VIA K8T890 chipset.

Of course, Gigabit Ethernet is not a total novelty for such motherboards (i.e. Gigabyte GA-K8VT890-9), but this agreement states that K8T890 chipsets will now have Broadcom BCM5751 chip by default.

Through PCI Express x1, Broadcom BCM5751 is claimed to provide 250 MB/s bandwidth. It also supports ASF (Alerting Standards Forum) 2.0.

Nemesis: a new series of "desktop armour" from NZXT

NZXT updated its Nemesis PC case series with new models. Below is the top one — Nemesis Elite Edition:

Besides the eccentric appearance, the model offers extended features. First of all, it´s the small info display on top that shows in-case temperature and fan speeds as well as date and time. The climat inside the case is supported by three 1800 rpm 120 mm fans with LED lights, 1 mm aluminium walls and temperature sensors. Besides, modders will like transparent wall with a fan and knight-style decorations along with lots of LED lights (seven colors available):

Under a kind of visor there are 5.25" and 3.5" bays. The front panel also features headphones, mic, USB 2.0, IEEE1394 ports. Optionally the cases are bundled with 400W PSUs. Case colors are ash gray or black.

The Nemesis model is a simpler variant of Nemesis Elite Edition. It´s made of 0.8mm steel and doesn´t have control and monitoring unit. Instead, the color range includes 5 colors.

Model Nemesis Elite Edition Nemesis
Size 205 x 436 x 450 mm 200 x 430 x 451 mm
Material 1 mm aluminium 0.8 mm steel
Weight 6.5 kg
Form-factors supported ATX, Mini ATX Micro ATX, Baby AT
PSU Optional 400W 400W
Fans 3 x 120 mm BLUE LED FAN 1 x 120 mm BLUE LED FAN, 1 x 120 mm, (+ 1 x 120 mm optional)
External bays 1 x 5.25", 2 x 3.5" 1 x 5.25", 1 x 3.5"
Internal bays 9 x HDD, 3 x 5.25" 10 x HDD, 4 x 5.25"
Front panel I/O Headphones, mic, USB 2.0, IEEE1394
Price €139 €89

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