Synology Releases DS216j Entry-Level 2-Bay NAS

If you haven’t invested in a NAS for your home yet, then it might be time to do so as it can make your digital life so much easier by being a centralized storage and media centre. Synology officially released the newest model of theirs and it might be the perfect unit as your first one. The new DS216j is built around Marvell’s Armada 385 dual-core 1 GHz CPU and it comes with 512MB DDR3 memory onboard.

The DiskStation DS216j is able to deliver a great performance despite the low-sounding specifications and can deliver an outstanding read/write performance of 112.75 MB/s in reading and over 97.6 MB/s in writing when connecting from a Windows environment. The system is equipped with a single RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet port and two USB 3.0 ports for high-speed storage and other USB devices .

The DS216j is focused on home and personal use where it allows you to build your own personal cloud or served as their centralised multimedia server effortlessly. Backup and sync files across NAS’, PCs, and mobile devices as easy as a few clicks to initialize a job after which everything runs on its own. You can also stream files to DLNA media players and devices, Chromecast, or Airplay with ease as well as attach USB speakers for direct playback from the NAS itself.

The DS216j is a budget and entry-level unit which shows in a few places. These aren’t bad things, just things that can cut production costs and provide you with a cheaper product such as fewer connection ports and the not having ejectable drive bays. Users can also adjust the LED indicators brightness based on four different settings as well as schedule it on demand.

Synology’s DiskStation DS216j is now available worldwide and comes with an RRP of just £126.00 including VAT or €145.00 excluding VAT. The DS216j NAS is backed with a 2-year limited warranty.

ASUSTOR Enhances Core Functions With New ADM 2.6 Beta

It has been about three years since ASUSTOR introduced the ADM operating system, now they’re ready with the public beta on the newest version, ADM 2.6. The new ADM version enhances a lot of core functions in the operating system and it is one well worth checking out for ASUSTOR NAS owners. Among the improvements in ADM 2. beta, we find an even better MyArchive function, advanced iSCSI LUn snapshot configuration, and a more flexible cloud storage system as well as an improved Portal experience.

One of ADM’s strongest points and one of the features that I love most on the ASUSTOR NAS is the MyArchive feature. It allows you to use internal drives in a more flexible way that allows drive ejection at basically any time. This allows you to use drives in the same way you would optical drives, only with a lot more storage capacity and the abilities that come from HDDs. That feature is better than even with ADM 2. beta as it now allows for N-1 drive bays to be assigned as MyArchive drives which mean that you can use all but the main drive for it. Further, you can now format the MyArchive drives as NTFS and HFS+ on top of EXT4 to allow for easy connection to Windows and Mac OS systems when not in use in the NAS’. Also, you can self-define tags for each disk for easier management and identification, each MyArchive drive can be configured to automatically mount on up to 20 trusted NAS devices, supports AES 256-bit encryption by password, electronic key, or physical USB device. As an ASUSTOR NAS user myself, I can say that I love every one of these new features.

MyArchive isn’t the only place that got improvements. Account management also got easier with the new ADM beta version and now includes batch-creation of user accounts, including import function from text and CSV files with integrity check. You can also create scheduled iSCSI LUN snapshots now to take regular snapshots based on specific time periods.

Along with the ADM 2.6 beta enhancements, ASUSTOR 31, 50, 51, 61, 62 and 7 series users can also upgrade to the ASUSTOR Portal beta and URL-Pack, allowing them to stream from even more popular media sites. There’s a newly added hardware accelerated Chromium browser next to Crome, you get smooth streaming of YouTube 1080p videos, and can stream from sites such as Iqiyi, Sohu, Tudou, Youku, Vimeo, MetaCafe, US Stream, Crunchyroll, and Vudu directly on your TV.

You can find all the detailed information about the ADM 2.6 Beta program on the official minisite or just go ahead and upgrade your NAS right away. Keep in mind tho, this is a beta version, so there could be possible bugs.

ADM 2.6 beta Update Highlights

  • Upgrades the GNU C library from eglibc 2.13 to glibc 2.22
  • Upgrades the Linux kernel for AS50/51/70 devices to the latest 4.1 long-term support version
  • Increases supported MyArchive bay number to N-1
  • Adds NTFS, HFS+ support for MyArchive disks
  • Supports AES-256-bit encryption for MyArchive disks (in EXT4 format only)
  • Supports batch creation and importation of ADM accounts
  • Supports scheduled iSCSI LUN snapshots
  • Supports intermediate certificate importation
  • Supports hardware accelerated Chromium for optimized YouTube performance
  • Adds URL-pack app to offer more popular streaming video websites

Shuttle’s New DH170 1-Liter Mini-PC Now Available in the UK

Shuttle has been on a roll as of late, releasing one new system after another, but one of the most impressive ones is probably the DH170 which features impressive options in a tiny 1.3-liter chassis. Now the Shuttle DH170 is officially available in the UK. The XPC Slim Series DH170 system is built upon the H170 chipset with support for the latest Skylake processors (up to 65W TDP) while only being 43m thick.

The Shuttle DH170 can be equipped with up to 32GB of dual-channel DDR3L 1600 RAM, but there is only one 2.5-inch SATA3 drive bay. Then again, there are limits to what fits inside such a small system so that’s an understandable limitation and one drive should still be plenty for most usage scenarios for this system. While I just said that it only had room for one drive, that’s technically incorrect as the DH170 also features an M.2 2260/2242 Type B M key socket and a Half-size Mini-PCIe socket.

You get an impressive external connectivity with the DH170 as it features four USB 3.0, four USB 2.0, and two Intel Gigabit Ethernet controllers (i211 and i219LM) that support teaming. It also features a Realtek ALC662 HD audio solution as well as triple monitor connection via two DisplayPort and one HDMI connector. A wireless antenna fixture, serial ports, and a card reader are also included in the DH170.

This tiny reliable system is rated for continues 24/7 usage in 50-degree environments without the smart fan having any trouble keeping everything cool. It’s also economical with its 90W power supply. The DH170 is available now for £194 (VAT excluded).

Key Features:

  • Intel H170 chipset supports the latest Intel Skylake processors
  • Compact 1.3-liter chassis only 43mm thick
  • Rugged design and construction for 24/7 stability and high-temperature environments
  • Supports three independent displays even at 4K resolution; two DisplayPorts and one HDMI
  • Ample connectivity; four USB 3.0, four USB 2.0, two RS232; M.2., Mini PCI-E
  • VESA mount compatibility
  • Available at Entaonline.com for £194

Transcend Introduces MST800 1TB M.2 Solid State Drive

Transcend introduced a new tiny drive with a large capacity as their newest drive available now sports an impressive 1TB capacity in a standard M.2 2280 form factor module. Sadly this isn’t an NVMe drive, but the new MTS800 is still a drive that I’m sure will become very popular due to its size versus capacity.

The MTS800 would be a perfect fit for most ultrabooks and similar thin systems where you still require a large amount of local storage. It is built with MLC NAND which provides a great reliability and performance at the same time. Besides basic features such as SMART and Trim, the drive also supports Global Wear-leveling, Advanced Garbage Collection, and Device Sleep mode.

Being an SATA3 (AHCI) based drive, it does come with some limitations. The speeds are rated for up to 560MB/s reading and 460MB/s writing which still is fast. Customers who want less than 1TB can get the modules all the way to 32GB, so the MTS800 should satisfy almost any users needs.

The small form factor that M.2 is, comes with another benefit when the drives support it like this one does. I’m talking about Intel’s Smart Response Technology (ISRT) which can use an SSD as a cache between a traditional hard disk drive and the system. We know the principle from SSHDs, but they only provide a small amount of NAND buffer where this drive can give you up to 1TB.

Transcend’s MST800 series adds to the MTS400 and MTS600 M.2 SSD models which are available in 32GB to 512GB capacities. The entire MTS series is backed by a three-year limited warranty. Transcend didn’t reveal any official pricing at this time, but with an availability announcement, we’ll know soon enough when they hit the retail market.

Which is your preferred storage form factor? Do you still use the older 3.5-inch and 2.5-inch form factor drives or have you moved onto the NGFF such as mSATA and M.2? Let us know in the comments.

ASUSTOR Releases Photo Gallery 2.0 Beta

ASUSTOR released a new version, although it’s only a beta version for now, of their Photo Gallery NAS feature. The new version brings a lot of new features as well optimizations and speedups on existing function. The new Photo Gallery 2.0 Beta is available now and it is compatible with all ASUSTOR NAS devices running ADM version 2.5.2BDF1 and onwards.

The new Photo Gallery 2.0 Beta offers multi-level folder structures, increased thumbnail processing speeds, and more sorting functions than before. New features also include auto rotation to correct orientation of uploaded images, a concealable side navigation bar that shows album folder structures, and an intuitive search function. Customizable browsing quality based on the device and network environment was also added in order to give you the best experience. Those are all great things that I’m sure will be welcome among the ASUSTOR NAS users.

This latest version of Photo Gallery is using a new database technology that makes most of these functions possible, such as the multiple levels of folders as well as the greatly increasing thumbnail processing speeds that will give you a much smoother browsing experience.

We take more and more digital photos every day and the larger the collection grows, the harder it gets to sort and manage them. We want this to get as easy as possible and the new Photo Gallery 2.0 Beta version offers some new improvements here. You can now switch between Album and Browse modes when viewing photos. Users can also customize the browsing interface according to their preferences where customizable items include language, hide and show the number of comments, show the total number of photos on a page, image aspect ratio, and the ability to prioritize image quality or speed according to the usage environment or device. Another new feature is the ability to auto-rotate photos based on the information stored in the image file. This can save many hours of work manually rotating all your panorama shots, for example.

“In our modern technological age, the total output of digital photos is growing significantly every day. The ability to manage all these photos has become a key issue for many individuals,” said Vincent Tseng, Product Manager at ASUSTOR. “Photo Gallery allows users to save time and effort while helping them to centrally manage all of their photos. Users will be able to effortlessly browse and share all of their favorite photos with friends and family around the globe.”

The new Photo Gallery 2.0 Beta is available directly from the Beta Apps section in your ASUSTOR App Central and it is also available as a direct download for devices that don’t have an active internet connection. There’s also a new Android app, AiFoto 2.0 beta, available to work with the new Photo Gallery 2.0 Beta. A new iOS version will also be available soon.

Key features for the Photo Gallery 2.0 beta version

  • “Album” and “Browse” viewing modes: “Album” mode, organizes all the photos from the various subfolders of an album into a single level for convenient browsing while “Browse” mode allows users to browse through photos in detail according to the album and subfolder infrastructure.
  • Multi-level folder structure support: In “Browse” mode users can create multiple levels of subfolders. And for second level folders can assign permissions, providing flexibility for permissions management.
  • Concealable side navigation bar: Provides album thumbnails and total photo count for each album.
  • User preferences: Individual users can decide whether to show the total number of comments and whether or not to have the side bar automatically open to the location of the current album being viewed. Users can also change the interface language and configure image quality according to browsing device, optimizing the browsing experience.
  • Intuitive sorting: Ability to sort images in ascending or descending order according to file name or time taken.
  • Adjustable browsing: Supports photo wall, 1:1, 4:3 and 16:9 image ratios for display along with an ability to scale down images to a minimum of 0.60 times. The number of photos shown per page can also be configured (50, 100, 250, 500, 1000).
  • Automatic image rotation to correct orientation, saving time and energy.
  • Comprehensive search function: Can use keywords to search within specified albums and folders. Can also specify search criteria such as file name, album name, file description, comments, commenter, time taken, time uploaded and tags.
  • One-click sharing to social media (Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Plurk, email)
  • Intuitive drag and drop management: In “Browse” mode, supports directly dragging and dropping photos to move them.
  • Can configure album cover and tags (for a single photo or batch of photos).
  • Slideshow viewing mode
  • Provides comment function for users to interact with each other.
  • Supports a wide range of image formats: RAW, PNG, JPEG, TIFF, GIF
  • Supports video playback

Glorious PC Gaming Race Now Available at Overclockers UK

Overclockers UK has brought quite a few brands to the UK and now they’ve added one more in the form of Glorious PC Gaming Race products. Behind the unusual brand name but well-known terminology, is a manufacturer of gaming surfaces and ergonomic wrist rests that so far has been taking on fans by storm. The brand has become a go-to for mechanical keyboard enthusiast communities and generally made a big impact in the USA. Now it is time for us on the other side of the pond to enjoy these products.

Glorious PC Gaming Race products are now exclusively available in the UK through Overclockers UK. The quality
of these surfaces is said to be fantastic with smooth cloth surfaces, high-quality anti-slip rubber bases, and stitched
edges on all products to avoid fraying.

All the wrist rests and mouse pads are black, except for one. There is a white full desk gaming surface available too. There are large and extra large surfaces as well keyboard wrist rests for both normal and compact sized keyboards. When considering the quality and size we get on the available Glorious PC Gaming Race products, the prices are more than fair. It starts at just £5.99 G-L Large Pro Gaming Surface and tops out at £19.99 for the G-XXL Tall Extended Full Desk Large Pro Gaming Surface.

Now, you might consider £19.99 a lot for a mouse pad, but it’s a lot more than that. The name already tells that it’s a full desk surface and it will cover about 92cm x 46cm (36″ x 18″ x 0.12″). That is a surface large enough to easily place both your mouse and a full sized keyboard with room to spare. I’ve long wanted a large surface for my entire desk, maybe this makes it the perfect time to get going with it and get myself some premium surfaces.

ASUSTOR Releases ADM 2.5.2 Beta

ASUSTOR is starting the new year with a new beta version of their upcoming ADM 2.5.2 firmware and it comes with new features as well as some bug and security fixes. There are three new main features in ADM 2.5.2 beta that could make your network life a little easier. There is a new DHCP server feature, an improved print server feature that now supports USB IP printing, and the Share link explorer that helps to make sharing more intuitive and flexible.

The first new addition is the DHCP server that can take over the job normally performed by your router. It might be convenient for a lot of people that they only have to use one control panel and user interface to configure their network rather than two. Let the router handle the basic connection while your NAS, that is running anyway, is doing the rest. ASUSTOR’s DHCP server can assign multiple IP subnets from one LAN interface, and also supports DHCP reservations for specified network devices

The Print server function got an upgrade and now also supports USB IP Printer mode to virtually connect the printer with your PC and generally increase the range of printers that the NAS is compatible too without worries. USB IP printer mode is used together with Windows ASUSTOR Control Center, which again limits it to the Windows ecosystem. Then again, most consumer use Windows.

The new Share link explorer makes it easier for the people you share files with. When your friend or colleague receives a share link, he or she can see the shared files and folders in a list and with just one click they can select only the needed files to download. This makes file sharing more intuitive and flexible.

There are also some additional upgrades behind the lines such as the PHP backend being updated from version 5.3 to 5.6 and Apache2’s HTTPd got upgraded from 2.2.29 to 2.2.31 to address the CVVE-2015-3183 security vulnerability. The App Central got a new installation wizard. The built-in database switched from MySQL to MariaDB 10 which should free up some general resources.

You can download the new beta firmware directly on ASUSTOR’s beta program website.

Thecus Working Hard on ThecusOS 7.0 and Demo Available

Next to the hardware itself and the build quality, the operating system is the vital factor in a NAS and it is what gives it the features and functionality that it has. Thecus has been hard at work on a new version and the public beta demo is now available for everyone to test on Thecus’ own website.

Previously ThecusOS has been more traditional than others when it comes to the user interface design, but the new ThecusOS 7.0 mixes that up quite a bit with a modern and fresh user interface that resembles a desktop more than a web page. The new OS has been designed on a 64-bit architecture in order to get the most out of the hardware as well as offer the best possible features. The new ThecusOS 7.0 is also fully compliant with HTML5 which should ensure browser compatibility for a long time. It is also nice to see companies embracing the new standards and making a switch from old to new.

The new operating system doesn’t just provide improvements in design and user experience, it also speeds everything up with some extra performance. Thanks to Thecus, I’ve already had the pleasure to test the beta locally on the Thecus N5810pro NAS and despite not being done, it’s already pretty awesome.

One of the new features in ThecusOS 7.0 is the integration of the File Center feature that provides you with a centralized portal to manage your data. Sharing your files with friends has also been made a lot easier through URL and QR code usage that also can be password protected for limited sharing. The addition of SSD cache is also a welcome feature that provides an overall increased performance and efficiency to the system.

ThecusOS 7.0 also got a boost in the multimedia capabilities and will be able to stream to DLNA, Apple TV, Chromecast and similar devices next to the HDMI, VGA, and USB device options depending on NAS model. The new Photo Station will give users a convenient and centralized hub to upload, store, browse and share their images and photos.

Aerocool Reveals Xpredator PSU Price and Availability

Aerocool recently revealed the new line of 80Plus Gold certified Xpredator power supplies, but at the time, they didn’t reveal the availability nor the pricing. We now have both these information at hand and will naturally share them with you. The new Aerocool Xpredator 550W, 650W, 750W, and 1000W models will be available at e-tailers and retails starting this week for a price of €75.00, €83.00, €88.50, and €139.00 Euro respectively.

With these four capacity options and a very reasonable price tag for a power supply unit with a gold rated efficiency, these PSUs should become quite popular despite that Aerocool mostly is known for their cooling options and PC chassis. The Xpredator Gold Series power supply units feature a modular design for easy cable management and convenience and the PSU also comes with some removable cable straps for further improvement in the cable management options. They use a single 12 Volts rail for high compatibility and extremely high current output. The maximum voltage deviation of the single rail is at ±3% thanks to the DC-to-DC design.

Aerocool installed a 120mm fan in the PSU which helps with the cooling and noise generation and the top model even comes with a 140mm. The PSUs support both the ATX12V v2.4 as well as EPS v2.92 so you can use them in all your setups. The main 20+4P and CPU 4+4P cable straps are up to 600mm long and sleeved. The removable cable straps, on the other hand, are utilizing black flat cables. You also get all the protections that you’ll want, including OVP, OCP, OPP, UVP, SCP, and SIP.

FAA Details About Drone Owners Will Be Publicly Avaliable

The Federal Aviation Administration has been talking recently about their plans for drone owners to have to register, recently releasing details about the system  and then outlining the criminal charges that will be placed on people should they not follow the new rules. The FAA confirmed on the 18th December that model aircraft’s name and home addresses will be publicly available.

In its current state, the system does not release names and addresses. They have expressed that the system will be modified so that the public can search registration numbers, ultimately revealing the name and address of the a particular drone.

With the ability to search a registration number and find out their details, from their response to Forbes writer John Goglia, you would not be able to search by name or address so unless you have the drone’s number you are not going to be able to find someone’s details (or track a drone down based on the owner’s details).

Of course this revelation is slightly worrying for a lot of people, they are now able to have their details exposed by a legal requirement. It would be on par to getting people to reveal their identity for driving licenses or publicly revealing the owner of registered guns.

The Academy of Model Aeronautics advised its members that they are looking for legal and political ways to stop the registry or change the way it is being conducted, given that they are about to expose a majority of their members details to the public.

HGST’s Helium-Filled Ultrastar He10 10TB HDD Now Shipping

The world’s first 10TB perpendicular magnetic recording (PMR) hard disk drive is now officially shipping and it is naturally HGST’s helium-filled Ultrastar He10. This is the third generation helium drives out of the Western Digital Corporation and it offers an impressive 25% increase in capacity over the previous generation.

Customers can enjoy an overall decreased total costs of ownership thanks to the increase in capacity. The new 10TB HGST Ultrastar He10 uses 56% fewer watts per TB capacity compared to traditional air-filled HDDs. WDC expects its 10TB drives to be a key enabler of video, photo, business and other cloud-based applications, and that it will be a cornerstone for public and private cloud deployments.

The Ultrastar He10 isn’t just the first 10TB PMR drive to hit the market, it also comes with the highest reliability rating and features an impressive 2.5 million hours before meantime failure rating. The drives are also backed by 5-year limited warranty.

There are both 6Gbps and 12Gbps SATA and SAS versions as well as Instant Secure Erase (ISE) and Self-Encrypting Drive (SED) options. The drive further features a 256MB data buffer and a 7200 RPM rotation speed. The average access latency is 4.16ms and the 10TB Ultrastar He10 is rated for a sustained transfer rate of 249MB/s with seek times of 8ms. With a power consumption of just 6.8W during operating and 5W when idle, you get an effective power consumption of just 0.50W per TB storage. Impressive.

QNAP Releases Qphoto Mobile App with CloudLink for iOS

QNAP’s Photo Station is one of the best solutions for easy storage of all your media with access and share functionality, and now Apple iOS users will be able to use that even better with the freshly released Qphoto mobile app for iOS. The new app will provide a great experience on both iPads and iPhones. With an app that has been specially designed for such a small amount of devices, we know that the experience will be great and optimized.

Qphoto includes various ways for managing photo collections. Users can quickly search for photos by dates or tags, flexibly browse photos and videos via time line, thumbnails, lists and folders, and also instantly up and download media to and from their QNAP NAS. Social media fans aren’t left out as they easily can share photos by email or social networks.

“The new Qphoto for iOS uniquely provides a customized design for vertical and horizontal layouts on iPad. It is convenient to use an iPad with the vertical display while being easy to browse content in a horizontal view,” said Cherry Chen, product manager of QNAP. “Qphoto’s customized user interface can bring the best browsing experience for users no matter what display orientation they use their iPad with.”

Qphoto for iOS also adds support for the CloudLink remote access service, allowing users to easily browse photos and videos on their QNAP NAS when away from home or office. A feature that has been requested a lot from the users. The new Qphoto supports iOS devices with iOS 7 and newer and you should have the latest QNAP NAS firmware (QTS 4.2 or newer) and Photo Station 5.0 or newer for the best experience and all features.

You Can Now Pre-Order der8auer’s Delid-Die-Mate at Overclockers UK

Anyone who ever thought of delidding their CPUs got excited when we first heard of der8auer’s delid-die-mate about a week ago and back then we heard that it would launch at Caseking. With a launch at Caseking it was just a matter of time before we got the official confirmation that it also would come to the Brits via Overclockers UK, after all, it’s one company. That has now happened and Overclockers UK have officially listed the Delid-Die-Mate available for pre-orders.

De-lidding is the process of removing the Integrated Heat Spreader (IHS) of the CPU in order to replace the original thermal interface material with something better. The default TIM is far from the best and especially hard-core overclockers will be able to push their processors further with less thermal restrictions. Up until now that process has been tricky and dangerous as it requires manually cutting the glue away holding the parts together, a process that only needed a single slip to destroy the CPU.

The Delid-Die-Mate solves this problem and offers a much safer delid process. The tool is two precision milled blocks that clamp together around the CPU with even force distribution that locks the CPU in place safely. By turning the screw on the back of the device, the lid of the CPU is pushed steadily away from the PCB with no risk of damage to your
expensive performance CPU.

The Delid-Die-Mate is compatible with Skylake, Ivy Bridge, Haswell, Devils Canyon, and Broadwell processors, and it can as previously mentioned be pre-ordered now for £62.99 at Overclockers UK. der8auer also created a Haswell OC frame, a CPU-mounting frame developed for the stronger overclocking delidded Intel Haswell, Devil’s canyon and Broadwell CPUs on socket 115x motherboards, but that will set you back another £27.95.

GIGABYTE Announces Availability of Cavium ThunderX-based Servers

Gigabyte announced that their extensive Cavium ThunderX-based server portfolio now is available for orders and that shipments to numerous end customers and OEMs have already begun. These aren’t just any servers as they sport up to 384 ThunderX cores in a standard 2U rack chassis with 64 DDR4 DIMMs, and 40Gb Ethernet network. That kind of power allows for an enormous potential of core-intensive application workload with uncompromised performance.

There are quite a few different models to choose from, but not all of them have had their product page go online yet. Some of the new systems are the following:

  • Single-socket 1U R120-T30 servers, in 4 x 3.5″ HDD and 12 x 2.5″ HDD configurations
  • Dual-socket 1U R150-T60 servers, in 4 x 3.5″ HDD and 10 x 2.5″ HDD configurations
  • Dual-socket 2U R270-T60 servers in 12 x 3.5″ HDD and 24 x 2.5″ HDD configurations
  • Dual-socket 2U G220-T60 GPU servers, available with two GPUs and 24 x 2.5″ HDD
  • Dual-socket 2U 4-nodes H270-T70 and H260-T70 high-density servers

H270-T70 is one of the ones that already had their product page go live and it’s mouth-watering to see what this system has on hardware. The system is made up of four nodes with 2 48-core Cavium ThunderX CN8890 processors each. Those 384 cores then get to play with up to 4TB DDR4 memory (64x 64GB DIMM), 1TB per node. If that wasn’t enough to get your mouth-watering, then I can add that the system features eight 40GbE QSFP+ LAN ports (Cortina CS4343) and four 10/100/1000 management LAN ports combined over the four nodes. It also features four 2.5-inch hot-swappable storage bays per node and you can also add one half-length low-profile slot PCIe x16 and one mezzanine PCIe x8 card in each note. The end result is a beast with a total weight of 38KG.

The ThunderX workload-optimized server processors are designed to enable best-in-class ARMv8 performance per dollar and performance per watt. With all these features working in unison in a processor supported by the server industry’s major operating systems and development environments, the Cavium ThunderX is ready for the most demanding datacenter-grade applications.

“Gigabyte first began working with Cavium and ThunderX late last year, and have developed and shipped a broad range of platforms to customers,” said Chen Lee, Sales Director, Gigabyte USA. “Our entire portfolio of production systems is now available for order and we are shipping production platforms to customers. We are seeing a strong demand for these platforms and we expect the demand to further accelerate in 2016.”

Scythe Releases Fuma Twin-Tower CPU Cooler

Scythe released a new cooler with a twin tower design which in itself isn’t anything new, but the new Fuma Twin-Tower CPU cooler comes with a few things that set it apart from other twin tower CPU coolers already on the market. The Fuma is able to deliver a great cooling performance and allows for setups to fit your system and needs with its fan position abilities.

With a height of just 149mm its highly compatible and should fit into most PC chassis’, and I don’t think we’ve had a twin tower cooler that low before. Most of them are above the 150mm which can create clearance issues in narrow chassis’. As the Scythe Fuma allows you mount a fan on either side as well as one in the middle, it also allows you to mount a total of three fans should you have enough clearance next to the CPU socket. I don’t know how much extra cooling a third fan would give, probably not much, but you have the option if you want to do it – maybe just for aesthetic reasons.

The Scythe Fuma comes with two Scythe Slip Stream 120mm PWM fans with 300 up to 1.400 RPM and there is a third set of fan clips included right away should you want to add a third. It has 6 copper heat pipes with 6-millimeter diameter and Scythe has soldered the heat pipes to the solid copper baseplate and the small cooler-block to increase contact area and maximize the heat transfer. Both copper heat pipes and copper-base-plate have been nickel-plated in a final step.

The Fuma weights a total of 920 grams with two fans, which isn’t as much as some other ones, but it’s still quite a bit of weight. It is compatible with pretty much any CPU platform thanks to the including mounting system.

The Scythe Fuma (SCFM-1000) CPU Cooler is available now for a suggested retail price of €39.00 plus taxes.


Synology RT1900ac Router Now Officially Available

It has been about five months since we first saw Synology’s take on a router during our visit at Computex and it already won the Computex Best Choice Golden Award at that time. This awesome little router can also be yours now as Synology announced the official release and global availability on the Router RT1900ac.

Synology has a long experience with network connected devices, so the move into the router market seems a logical one and it is also one that makes me hope that they’ll release smart switches for home users in the future. The RT1900ac Synology Router is equipped with a dual-core 1GHz processor and comes with 256MB DDR memory. The 3×3 MIMO omnidirectional antennas support both the 2.4GHz band with 3.5dBi and the 5GHz band with 4.dBi, quite a bit more than the average 5dBi combined antennes often found in routers. This should ensure great connectivity for wireless devices.

The RT1900ac has four Gigabit RJ45 LAN ports and one WAN port on the rear where it also features a power button, something that’s often forgotten on routers.

The WAN port supports Dynamic IP, Static IP, and PPPoE and the router is IPv6 ready for both the server and client side. IGMP snooping, UPnP, port triggers, DMZ, and VPN are all included so you’ll find all the features you want from a router.

On the right side, it features a USB 3.0 port and a SD card slot for direct storage attachment as well as a multitude of other options. The RT1900ac only features this one USB port, which could be to little for some people considering what you can use it for. First there naturally is the ability to connect external storage devices and share the content with everyone who has access to the router, but it can also be used for network connected printers as well as 3G/4G/LTE USB modems. With all these abilities, it seems a bit low with just one port.

A really nice feature added by Synology is the eject button located on the front. This is something that I have been missing on headless units such as routers and NAS devices for many years. Pressing the button will unmount the connected storage, USB or SD card, and allow for a secure removal of the storage.

The left side of the router features a Wi-Fi on and off switch as well as a WPS button for quick and easy connection of new devices to your wireless network.

Speaking of wireless network, the Synology RT1900ac features IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac connectivity with up to 600Mbps on the 2.4GHz band and up to 1300Mbps on the 5GHz band simultaneously. The router features beamforming, scheduled Wi-Fi access, and can maintain up to 70 connected devices and supports at least 40 connected devices that are concurrently transmitting data.

A new product series also needs a new operating system and Synology created the Synology Router Manager (SRM) that includes advanced traffic tools that surpass the common router. With the Network Center application, you can limit bandwidth consumption, block malicious content, and fine-tune how data travels through your home or office network.

You get a download station, media server, and radius server too along with more possibilities through add-ons, this router really seems to have it all.

The router and all connected devices are easily accessible from everywhere thanks to Synology’s quick connect DDNS feature and the mobile iOS and Android apps. It supports all common file formats, so it’s also compatible with Windows, Linux, and Mac OS systems.

The Synology RT1900ac is currently listed for sale starting at €154.65, which is a really nice price for a router in this category and even more considering the functions, features, and abilities it brings along.

We currently have the Synology RT1900ac here in the network test area and will have a full review of the router available for you shortly.

 

Synology DS716+ Now Officially Available Worldwide

Synology officially announced the worldwide availability on the successor of the DiskStation DS713+ NAS, the brand new DS716+ with upgraded CPU and 4K video transcoding abilities.

The new Synology DS716+ is built with an Intel Celeron N3150 quad-core CPU running at 1.6GHz and has a burst speed up to 2.08GHz and that comes with a 256-bit AES-NI hardware encryption engine. Synology coupled that with 2GB DDR3 system memory, making the DS716+ a very capable 2-bay NAS unit for growing businesses. The DS716+ comes with excellent transfer speeds thanks to dual Gigabit Ethernet ports and support for both BTRFS and EXT4 file formats on the internal drives. It is able to perform with 223 MB/s while reading and 137 MB/s while writing unencrypted data and still maintain an impressive 218 MB/s when reading and 141 MB/s when writing encrypted data.

Synology added three USB 3.0 ports, one on the front and two on the back, for easy storage expansion as well as connectivity of printers and UPS devices. I am personally a big fan of eSATA ports and as such it pleases me that Synology also included that on the DS716+. USB is great, but it doesn’t hold up to a native SATA connection and makes expansion a lot easier. Speaking of expansion, the DS716+ 2-bay NAS can be expanded with the use of a Synology expansion unit DX513, allowing it to support up to 7 HDDs at ones and have 56TB raw storage. It is naturally also compatible with the smaller 2-bay expansion unit.

Thanks to the new quad-core N3150 CPU, the DS716+ is capable of real-time H.264 4K Ultra HD video transcoding, providing a complete support to the latest multimedia file formats. The noise level is rated at just 18dBA and the silent NAS doesn’t consume much power either: only about 26W during access and 9W when the hard disks hibernate.

Synology fans will also notice a subtle little improvement on the old physical layout over previous models and I personally quite like it. We find a USB copy button on the front and both that button and the power button changed to feature an LED stripe.

Synology is backing the DS716+ with a 3-year warranty and it is available for a price starting at €451.92.

 

Mad Catz Now Shipping the R.A.T. Pro S Gaming Mouse

About a month ago Mad Catz started to ship their flagship R.A.T. Pro X gaming mouse and now its little brother the RAT Pro S gaming mouse is ready to take on the job of being your instrument on the virtual battlefields.

The new R.A.T. Pro S follows the same scheme as the other R.A.T. mice by combining aggressive looks with eSports focused performance features and user customization options. It doesn’t feature all of the same as its bigger brother, but it still delivers a solid feature list.

You’ll get 8 programmable buttons with one mode per profile. You can store 3 profiles in the onboard memory and have access to a total of 24 programmable commands. The sensor is an optical PMW331 infrared optical sensor with 5000 DPI. The DPI is adjustable in steps of 50 DPI all the way down to 50 DPI itself. The report rate can be set to 125, 250, 500, or 1000Hz. The buttons should withstand up to 20 million clicks. The Mad Catz R.A.T. Pro S Gaming Mouse comes with a gold-plated 6ft/1.8m USB connector cable.

“Together with the R.A.T. Pro X, the R.A.T. Pro S illustrates Mad Catz’ next-generation of PC gaming and our commitment to designing high-performance products that enhance the experience of competitive gamers,” said Darren Richardson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Mad Catz. “The R.A.T. Pro S combines blistering speed, lightweight design and user customization options, making it an ideal gaming mouse for tournament gamers and beyond, and we look forward to it contributing positively to our Holiday 2015 lineup of products.”

With a price tag of just $69.99, it is quite a bit cheaper than the R.A.T. Pro X, although it isn’t a budget mouse either.

Synology Announces DiskStation Manager 6.0 Beta

It has been a little while since Synology released the last major update for their award-winning NAS operating system, but now it is here, t least in its beta form. Synology officially announced the beta release of their DiskStation Manager, or DSM for short, as version 6.0 beta. The new system architecture will be much more efficient thanks to the upgrade to 64-bit architecture on compatible models as well as modularisation of a greater number of applications.

There are several new and pretty awesome features in DSM 6.0 beta, where on of them is the Docker DSM. Businesses can create a multi-tenant environment with flexible resource control and secured isolation. All Docker DSMs run independently from each other and provide additional features such as live migration. Synology’s multi-version backup provides snapshot and replication to one or more remote sites, up to every 5 minutes, and block-level incremental backup and cross-version deduplication is also included. You’re well covered here.

There’s also a new Spreadsheet feature with co-editing, historical versions, tag, and file sharing link as part of Note Station. Offline editing, one-click email clipping, and instant table-chart conversion is also part of the deal. Apple Watch users can now enjoy the Note Station even more as it is now compatible with the Watch. Owners of an Apple Watch can now check notes directly on their wrist, or create new notes via voice input.

MailPlus server comes with active-active architecture, load balancing, and content filters and allows you to have a great mail solution running right from your own location. The clients are browser- and mobile-based and feature physical mailbox, virtual labels, auto-filter, and sticker.

Cloud Station Server and Cloud Sync now provide users with flexible synchronization of files within specified subfolders in addition to shared folders. Small file syncing has now become over 8 times faster than before which is great as those small files often come in big groups. Synology also revamped the Video station for this new version. It now supports offline transcoding, on-screen buttons, and Windows 10. DS Audio got Apple Watch support now too, to allow users to select songs, playlists, and broadcasts directly.

These are just a few of the things that Synology’s DSM 6.0 beta has to offer. You can also check out the new mini-site, release notes, or just go ahead and download it if you can’t wait any longer.

Supported models:

  • 16-series: RS18016xs+, RS2416(RP)+
  • 15-series: RC18015xs+, RS815(RP)+, RS815, DS3615xs, DS2415+, DS2015xs, DS1815+, DS1515+, DS1515, DS715, DS415+, DS415play, DS215+, DS215j, DS115, DS115j
  • 14-series: RS3614xs+, RS3614(RP)xs, RS2414(RP)+, RS814(RP)+, RS814, RS214, DS414, DS414j, DS414slim, DS214+, DS214, DS214play, DS214se, DS114
  • 13-series: RS10613xs+, RS3413xs+, DS2413+, DS1813+, DS1513+, DS713+, DS413, DS413j, DS213+, DS213, DS213air, DS213j
  • 12-series: RS3412(RP)xs, RS2212(RP)+, RS812(RP)+, RS812, RS212, DS3612xs, DS1812+, DS1512+, DS712+, DS412+, DS212+, DS212, DS212j, DS112+, DS112, DS112j
  • 11-series: RS3411(RP)xs, RS2211(RP)+, RS411, DS3611xs, DS2411+, DS1511+, DS411+II, DS411+, DS411, DS411j, DS411slim, DS211+, DS211, DS211j, DS111

Oh, and don’t forget: Synology also rewards beta testers that provide valuable feedback. Three winners will be selected during each beta stage and they each win a Synology DS215j NAS. The winners will be chosen based on the significance of issues discovered and reported, time spent cooperating with Synology’s Support Team in solving the issues, as well as helpfulness of recommendations for making DSM 6.0 even better.

ASRock’s New G10 Gaming Router Is Now Available

ASRock showcased their G10 gaming router back at Computex and we have been wondering since then when it finally would become available. That time has arrived now as ASRock announced the availability of this impressive and strong-looking router.

ASRock’s G10 gaming router takes your wireless signal as well as feature list to a whole new level for routers. Starting with the 4T4R 802.11a/b/g/n/ac wireless connection that is the fastest ac with up to 1733Mbps on the 5GHz band and 800Mbps on the 2.4GHz band thanks to the 8 dipole high power antennas hidden inside this unit. Whether the fact that the antennas are internal will affect the range is something to be seen in reviews and actual testing.

The ASRock G10 comes with one WAN and four LAN ports for wired connectivity as well as two USB 3.0 ports for direct storage and printer attachment. The router will be available in several models where some of them come with a detachable 2-in-1 dongle called H2R that may serve as an independent travel access point (AP) and an HDMI dongle for projecting your handheld device’s screen onto an HDMI compliant monitor, otherwise known as Miracasting. It is compatible with both Apple, Android, and Windows and it will also be sold separately for those who don’t want to settle for Chromecast.

Another really cool feature in the G10 gaming router is its IR capabilities. It can learn any infrared signal from your current remotes and then send them out on command. That allows you to control any IR device within range of the router through an easy to use smart-app on your mobile phone or tablet.

Elgato Demonstrates HD60 Pro Game Capture Card

The times where online streaming was reserved for a few selected people is long gone and there are millions of gamers out there that stream their gameplay every day. Today, Elgato Gaming took live streaming of gameplay to the next level with the announcement of the new Game Capture HD60 Pro.

The HD60 Pro is built around a high-speed PCIe interface and it enables live streaming in flawless quality with near zero latency. It also comes with a powerful encoder chip directly on the card that allows the HD60 Pro to save a full resolution 1080p video with 60fps. There is no need to choose whether you want to use your power to stream or record, the HD60 Pro does both without breaking into a sweat.

The Elgato Game Capture HD60 Pro can stream and record your Xbox, PlayStation, or Wii U gameplay just as well as any other HDMI signal. The new Instant Gameview feature delivers video directly to your preview screen with superior low latency technology, ensuring that in game video is perfectly in sync with your webcam reactions and audio commentary. Thanks to Master Copy, you can stream and record at the same time without compromising on the quality of your broadcast or recorded footage. Even while streaming live in 720p60 quality you can save a full resolution 1080p60 recording, with separate tracks of your webcam and live commentary.

With the purchase, you get a 2 meter long HDMI cable as well as a low profile bracket for those who wish to use it in an SFF chassis. The card does require a fair system with Windows 7 SP1 (or later), a 2nd generation Intel Core i5 CPU (i5-2xxx or comparable), a PCIe x1/x4/x8/x16 slot, 4GB RAM, and an internet connection. Stream Command requires a 2nd generation Intel Core i7 CPU (i7-2xxx or comparable).

Game Capture HD60 Pro is available online from Elgato and Amazon now for $199.95. The UK price is set to £159.95.

Mad Catz Now Shipping the R.A.T. Pro X Gaming Mouse

Mad Catz announced that they have begun shipping the pretty amazing R.A.T. Pro X high-performance gaming mouse. The R.A.T. Pro X was initially revealed during CES 2015 and now it can be yours too. This is a very unique looking mouse, as its predecessors, and it looks pretty cool at the same time as it looks utterly ridiculous, but one can’t argue with the features.

You can adjust and replace pretty much any part of this mouse and thereby truly create a mouse that fits the palm of your hand, no matter what play and grip-style you might have. The R.A.T. Pro X is built on a durable magnesium alloy chassis and comes with 10 programmable buttons over 9 profiles for a total of 90 programmable commands. There are three different sensors to pick from. A Phillips Laser and an Avago Laser with 8200 DPI as well as a PixArt Optical 5000 DPI sensor.

Both the thumb and pinky rests can be replaced to fit your needs and it even comes with three different kinds of scroll wheels. The scroll wheel doesn’t work the same way as you’re used to either. It isn’t a mechanical solution but rather an optical that allows for even more control. The side movements of the wheel aren’t buttons either, but rather analog axes.

A mouse like this won’t come cheap, but theoretically it could be the last you ever buy. Seeing as you can replace any part, including the sensor array, you could theoretically upgrade it forever and as long as the company decides to create compatible parts. And that is a risk that can happen anytime, we’ve seen it in the past with other controller types that featured replaceable parts.

So how much will it cost you, well, the MSRP is set to $199. A hefty price for a mouse, but then again, this isn’t your everyday generic computer mouse.

Scythe Announces Third Version of Grand Kama Cross CPU Cooler

Scythe have been hard at work on their somewhat unique looking Grand Kama Cross CPU cooler and the third revision of the cooler is available now. The previous Kama Cross CPU cooler was efficient and delivered a great performance, but it doesn’t compare to the new version.

Scythe’s engineers have redesigned all the vital aspects of the CPU cooler and created a great looking new cooler that promises some great performance thanks to refined processes. We already see the changes on the base plate and heat pipes, which both could be considered the main part of a CPU cooler. The main two heat pipes have been upgraded from 6mm to 8mm and the manufacturing process has been improved to allow a better transfer between the heat pipes and base plate. Both the base plate and heat pipes are full copper and are completely nickel-plated.

The next place where Scythe improved the cooler is on the actual fin design. The engineers have re-designed the two aluminum-fins blocks and fitted the fins with a special sawtooth tread design. The new design lowers both the operating noise at higher fan speed ranges as well as the air resistance.

Scythe added a 140 mm axial-fan from their GlideStream series to the new version. The larger size and added PWM support again helps to provide a better cooling at a lower noise levels. It can push between 29,90 and 97,18 CFM at noise levels from 12.5 to 30.7 dBA. The PWM is step-less in the full range from 400 to 1300 RPM.

Scythe packed everything into the Grand Kama Cross 3 that you’ll need to mount it, including tools. It is compatible with Intel’s LGA 115x sockets as well as LGA 775, 1366, and 2011(v3). Full AMD compatibility is assured too as they haven’t changed the cooler mount system since the AM2 socket.

The Scythe Grand Kama Cross 3 is available now and best of all, it isn’t even expensive. You can get the Grand Kama Cross 3 (Model: SCGKC-3000) for a suggested retail price of just €36.50.

First 2TB Consumer SSDs Are Now Available

Samsung announced that they would be releasing 2TB versions of their popular 850 Evo and 850 Pro families a couple of months ago, but thus far no one has spotted the drives out in the wild. That is up until now, they have been spotted in shops, are available through Samsung directly, and can be ordered from multiple online shops with others taking pre-orders until stock arrives.

While 2TB SSDs aren’t anything new in themselves, this is the firs time that we get this capacity on the consumer level and at a more reasonable price. Both drives are built with 40nm V-NAND, but not the same type. The Evo drive is built with TLC Toggle while the Pro is built with MLC Toggle NAND. The new Samsung 2TB drives are using 2GB LPDDR3 Cache to help with the performance and utilize the Samsung MHX controller.

The two series aren’t far from each other when it comes to performance. The Pro can read with 550MB/s where the Evo only does 540MB/s in sequential operations and the random performance of the Pro is 2K higher and comes in at 100K IOPS. The write performance is identical on both series with 520MB/s sequential and 90K IOPS random 4K.

I mentioned earlier that these drives come at a reasonable price, whether that is true or not probably depends on your absolute needs. The Samsung 850 Pro can be had for around 900 Euro while the  Samsung 850 Evo is a little cheaper and can be had for around 720 Euro. Those prices are actual list prices and might variate depending on the retailer. The MSRP for the drives has been set to $1000 and $800 respectively.

Overclockers UK Expand Systems with Storm Range

 

Overclockers UK already released some pretty impressive pre-built systems this year and it doesn’t look like they have any plans to stop that. They have expanded once more and added the Storm range of system that are designed to be able to handle gaming as well as graphic design and video rendering.

The range includes five PCs, the Titan Riptide, Wave, Thunder, Tornado, and Typhoon, and all are based around the X99 platform and come with an Intel Core i7 processor that has been overclocked to 4.40GHz from its 4GHz default clock. The range is naturally available with Windows 10, but Windows 7 and OS-less are options as well.

You can customize the system far beyond the default specifications and select between a variety of cases, power graphics cards, and just the storage option you need. Mechanical HDDs, hybrid SSHDs, and regular SSDs are all available to choose from and you have the option to choose the LED lighting you would prefer, giving the system that final touch our of the box.

These systems are built with high-quality components and all systems are powered by Super Flower power
supply units to ensure quality and stability. The case manufacturers that you can choose from include Aerocool, BitFenix, Corsair, Fractal Design, Lian Li, NZXT, Phanteks. For storage, there are options of Samsung or Seagate, and you also decide whether you want to use AMD or NVIDIA graphics cards.

The systems are suitable for gamers they are probably aimed more at the more demanding enthusiast and professionals, providing an all-rounder with good performance for gaming, graphic design and video rendering.

Overclockers UK Storm Range is backed by a 3-year warranty and labour-free upgrade service for total peace of mind. A perfect system for those who want an out of the box solution that isn’t average. The fun starts at £1143.94 and how high it goes depends on your customization in the order.

 

Raijintek STYX Now Available at Overclockers UK

Raijintek was very successful with the METIS line of Micro Towers and it’s hard to see it going any other way with the STYX. Getting one of the new Raijintek STYX cases isn’t as hard as it was before as Overclockers UK announces that they’re stocking the entire line-up.

The STYX is built on the same basic principle as the METIS, it’s just larger and can accommodate Micro-ATX motherboards on top of Mini-ITX motherboards while keeping similar aesthetics with its brushed aluminium chassis. It is available in six colours as well as with or without sidepanel window. A bigger chassis also allows for more cooling and you can mount two 120mm fans or a 240mm radiator in the top of the case and one on the side. There’s also support for a 120mm fan on the rear and one at the bottom of the chassis.

You can mount graphics cards with a length of up to 280mm and CPU coolers with a height of up to 180mm in the Raijintek STYX. It is designed for use with default ATX power supplies and also offers plenty of storage bays. There is an opening for use with a slimline slot-in optical drive and support for three 3.5-inch and six 2.5-inch drives, allowing you to add plenty of storage to the system. The chassis also comes with front audio and two USB 3.0 ports.

You can pre-order one of the 12 available Raijintek STYX chassis now and get one as soon as the become available. The non-windowed version will cost you £62.99 while the one with a window will cost £2 more, a minor premium for those who want to be able to see inside their chassis.

Mushkin Redline and Blackline Ridgeback DDR4 Memory Now Available

Mushkin originally unveiled their DDR4 Ridgeback memory modules in the Blackline and Redline versions back at CES 2015 and now they’ve finally been released to the market and are available. The new modules are optimized for both the Intel X99 platform as well as the just released Skylake.

The Ridgeback heatsink is cut from aircraft-grade anodized aluminium that improves the heat dissipation that can give the user that extra bit of headroom or stability. The DDR4 modules are loaded with XMP 2.0 profiles for easy setup and reliable overclocking.

Muskin’s memory modules are built with hand-screened DRAM and undergo rigorous testing in the US-based facilities before leaving on route to shops and distributors before finally arriving in your home.

The new modules are currently available as single modules, dual kits, and four-piece kits with 8GB modules. The speed ranges from 2133MHz to 2400MHz with 12-12-12-35 and 15-15-15-35 timings. More versions with different capacities, module amount, and speeds are bound to come later on.

Both the red and black heat spreaders look so great that it’s almost a shame that Mushkin didn’t go for a black PCB on these modules. It could have given them that little bit of extra wow effect, but on the other hand, you won’t see much of it once they are plugged into your motherboard.