AMD Teases Possible External GPU Standard

Gaming is a lot of fun and small computer systems are a joy because they are easier to carry around, but what if you want the graphics performance to be optional? For that to be an option we need some proper external graphics card support and it looks like AMD is working on just that, again.

We have seen multiple external graphics card solution over time such as Alienware’s Graphics Amplifier or MSI’s Gaming Dock that solve the problem with lack of graphics power in portable systems without increasing the size and weight of the ultrabook or laptop itself, but they’ve been limited to specific devices and that can be an issue that holds the adoption rate back.

AMD’s Robert Hallock teased us with something new via Facebook that indicates that AMD could be working on just such a solution. This isn’t the first time that AMD’s graphics department wants to do something like that, although they still were called ATI at the time. Some might remember the ATI XGP (eXternal Graphics Platform) from 7-years ago that already attempted this, but it never gained the large traction due to its natural limitations.

Ultrathin notebooks are awesome for their portability, but nobody in their right mind would use them as a gaming notebook. Those are some heavy items that while still portable, weigh as much as a stationary mITX system. This is where external graphics solutions come into play and we’re able to get the same graphics performance from a small portable system when needed while keeping it light enough to take everywhere for normal usage.

“External GPUs are the answer. External GPUs with standardized connectors, cables, drivers, plug’n’play, OS support, etc.”

AMD is a big believer in open and free standards and the way everything is worded points in the same direction rather than a single locked down product with an AMD branding. Standardization could make a huge difference here as long as the manufacturers adopt it and bring it to the market. Oh and just to clarify, none of the shown examples of external graphics solutions here is the new deal. Robert himself teased with a Razer Core graphics enclosure equipped with an AMD Radeon Nano card.

The teaser ends with the words “More info very soon”, maybe GDC? Only time will tell, but we’ll stay on the ball and keep you informed.

SilverStone PTS01 USB 3.0 Enclosure for NUC Review

Introduction


Intel’s NUC series of mini PCs as well as SilverStone’s lineup of Petit series are amazing and bring a lot of great hardware in a very tiny box. They do however have one problem for some people and that is the lack of storage upgradeability. A few of the NUCs have a 2.5-inch bay, but most only feature mSATA, M.2, and similar next generation form factors. That sets some limitations, but limitations are meant to be broken and SilverStone did that with their PTS01 external USB 3.0 storage enclosure that fits the NUC and Petit cases like a glove.

SilverStone designed the PTS01 specifically for the Intel NUC as the majority of the NUC motherboards only support mSATA in order to reduce the dimensions. Where basic and small is great for the one, the other wants a little more. The PTS01 easily stacks with the NUC and Petit series chassis and it can even be placed between the NUCs and their mounting positions such as behind monitors. That way you don’t increase the footprint of your system, at least if you got a little more space behind your monitor.

You can mount a 2.5-inch hard disk or solid state drive with a maximum height of 9mm in the SilverStone PTS01. It is fully SATA III and USB 3.0 compatible with backward compatibility on both sectors. This could truly be the perfect and most convenient way to expand the storage of your NUC system.

The PTS01 is made from aluminum and steel which makes it sturdy and also helps with the cooling of the drive you mount inside. The tiny chassis measures just 122mm by 108mm by 15mm and it weighs just 125-gram thanks to the choice of material.

The SilverStone PTS01 storage enclosure is very simple on its own as it’s just a two-piece enclosure held together by eight screws and containing a small PCB at one end. On the PCB, you can see the USB 3.0 port and the activity LED to the right and we also spot the ASMedia ASM1153E USB 3.0 to Serial SATA bridge chip. The ASM1153E supports UASP for even better transfer speeds and a larger command queue. The enclosure did however not register as UASP device on my Windows 8 Pro system.

Feature Highlights

  • SuperSpeed USB 3.0 with 5Gbps
  • Supports Intel NUC cases
  • Supports SATA3 2.5” SSD/HDD x 1
  • Robust aluminum and steel body construction

Specifications

Package and Accessories

The simple black box has a premium feel over it thanks to the full-colour print, although you probably won’t look much at the box after you unpacked the enclosure. It also showcases the product itself and the main features right on the front.

The rear of the box has all the specifications themselves and a small image showcasing the usage directly connected to a Petit case.

Inside the box you find the enclosure itself along with a USB connection cable and all the screws you need to mount a drive inside as well as mount it to the NUC or Petit chassis.

Razer Core External GPU Enclosure Demoed by AMD @ CES 2016

CES 2016: Razer’s latest Stealth Blade ultrabook can be accompanied by an external graphics card enclosure which supports a maximum size of 5.98 in./152 mm (Height) x 1.73 in./44 mm (Width) x 12.20 in./310 mm. This is more than enough to accommodate the majority of GPUs available today including the unbelievably long Sapphire R9 290X Tri-X which measures 305mm. The installation procedure only takes a matter of seconds as the aluminium housing slides open without any effort and only requires a single screw to hold into position.

Even more fascinating, AMD GPUs are hot-swappable with a single Thunderbolt 3 USB-Type C cable. This is unlike anything I’ve seen before and a huge selling point. Please note, this is only possible due to AMD’s drivers and any NVIDIA GPUs will blue screen and require a hard reboot.

On another note, the device only requires a single PSU cable which powers the unit while charging the main laptop. This cuts down on clutter and makes the device a more portable proposition. Other features include Gigabit Ethernet, Chroma lighting, and four USB 3.0 ports. Overall, the Razer Core impressed me a great deal and the advent of hot swappable AMD GPUs is fantastic!

SilverStone Release MMS01 Military-Grade External 2.5-inch Enclosure with USB 3.0

Rugged hard disk drives that can withstand drops, water, and dust is nothing new on the market, but they’re getting more and more popular as people need more storage despite their active lifestyle. SilverStone has now released a new enclosure called the MMS01 that allows you to create a protective storage solution with any 7mm or 9.5mm thin 2.5-inch drive.

The SilverStone MMS01 is a military-grade external 2.5-inch enclosure with USB 3.0 connectivity. It has a thick protective cover for your drive and has been certified for the IP65 standard against dust and water. But it doesn’t stop there, the MMS01 has also proven to be immune or resistant to rapid temperature change, vibration, 1.2-meter drop, salt spray, sand, and fungal growth.

The SilverStone MMS01 doesn’t sacrifice performance for its MIL-STD-810G and IP65 certifications because it doesn’t have to. Inside is a bridge controller chip that supports UASP for the best possible USB 3.0 connection with improved access times and data transfers.

Feature Highlights

  • Super speed USB 3.0 and SATA 6G interface
  • Supports 7mm or 9.5mm thick 2.5” SATA hard drives or SSD
  • Supports UASP (USB Attached SCSI Protocol) for additional performance
  • Unique anti-vibration silicone sleeve over ABS shell for complete protection
  • Adheres to US military standard (MIL-STD-810G) for thermal, drop, shock, humidity, sand, dust, and fungus resistance
  • Certified IP65 for dust proof and water resistance

SilverStone’s newest drive enclosure, the MMS01, will be available from today for a suggested retail price of just $30.98 USD which isn’t much premium over other enclosures that don’t offer the extra rugged protection.

PQI Announces iConnect External Storage for iPhone And iPad

Apple’s entire product range is sorely lacking in internal storage and incurs a significant price increase to purchase the 64GB and 128GB variants. However, PQI has engineered a rather interesting solution which massively increases either your iPhone or iPad’s storage without resorting to buying a new device. The iConnect attaches via Apple’s proprietary Lightning port and allows you to store photos, videos, music, contacts and other user-data. This could be a vital purchase on the 6s due to 4k video recording and its extremely large file sizes.

The iConnect comes in 16GB, 32GB, 64GB and 128GB models which provides more than enough storage for most people. Furthermore, the external storage is capable of 30 MB/s write speeds and maximum read of 15 MB/s. Also, the iConnect opts for USB 3.0 functionality to achieve fast transfer speeds when backing up your data to a PC or Mac. According to the press material, the iConnect will be sold in gold, silver and metallic gray while featuring a two-year-warranty. Unfortunately, there’s no release date for Europe, but it’s already for sale in the USA via Newegg.

In terms of pricing, the MSRP is $59.99 for 16GB, $71.99 for 32GB, $107.99 for 64GB and $179.99 for 128GB. Compared to the hassle of selling your handset, and acquiring one of Apple’s upgraded storage models, the price is quite reasonable. Stay tuned for an in-depth review in the near future.

Seagate Increases The External Seven Drive’s Capacity by 50%

Seagate celebrated their 35th Birthday with the beautiful Seven drive back in January at CES in Las Vegas and they’ve now released a new version that adds 50% more capacity to the drive. The first version came with 500GB capacity, but now the gorgeous 7mm thick portable USB 3.0 Seven drive can be had with 750GB capacity too.

Seagate has made some progress in their 2.5-inch drives which has allowed them to increase the size of normal 2.5-inch drives up to 3TB by using 750GB platters inside the drive. Using the same technology has allowed them to increase the capacity of the Seven.

The Seven is the world’s slimmest portable hard drive and only measures 7mm in thickness. This was achieved by using the actual drive housing as hard disk housing as well instead of just putting a normal 2.5-inch drive into an enclosure with a USB adapter board. The deep draw process used allows for the all-steel enclosure to be shaped in a method that the material could not be any thinner and still hold the structural integrity. The steel encasing also provides a rigidity, which allows for the incredibly thin design to be functional, while the low profile motor technologies used are designed to include extreme Gyro handling capabilities.

Seagate did not disclose any price on the new version. The 500Gb model holds its $99.99 MSRP till this day, so we can expect the 750GB version to cost around $130. A premium price for the capacity, but you also get a unique drive that looks amazing.

ASMedia Demonstrates 750MB/s via USB 3.1

The USB 3.1 era is upon us and ASMedia were the first to become officially authorized by the USB-IF official organization. Up until now, USB 3.1 has been more a gimmick and a sales pitch than a useful product, there simply haven’t been any devices around that really could take advantage of what the new host controller and protocol can perform.

So we need a demonstration of what it can do, some real figures to work with instead of theoretical figures. We all know that USB theory doesn’t equal USB reality. During the Intel IDF 2015 we now got that demonstration from ASMedia. They had an MSI notebook and an ASUS USB 3.1 enclosure box connected to show what the host controller can do. The ASUS USB 3.1 enclosure box had two M.2 SSDs on the insides, making sure that there is enough performance to test the bus to the max. The USB 3.1 host controller also supports RAID on a hardware level, which is really nice.

And the result is pretty impressive for a USB connection. We see a sequential performance of up to 735MB/s and a sequential write performance up to 748 MB/s. The random QD32 4K performance isn’t without either and is something that the previous USB connections weren’t good at, not at all. Now we just have to wait for some actual drives to be released that take advantage of this, instead of the unimpressive USB 3.1 flash drives that don’t perform any better than a USB 3.0 does.

Thank You LegitReviews for providing us with this information

Enermax Displays Internal and External Storage Solutions at Computex 2015

Computex 2015 – When you mention Enermax, most people think of cooling as the first thing. But the company produces a lot more than just fans and we’ve swung by their booth at Computex to check out their storage expansion units, card readers, and multi-purpose units.

Enermax brought along two of everything so they both could show off the units in built-in as seen in the shots above, but also let us check out the units first hand and from all sides.

We have the default hot-swap units such as the EMK5102 and EMK5102 as well as more advanced docks such as the EMK5201U3 that features both USB 3.0 front bays and hot-swappable 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch drives.

3.5-inch enclosures are just as well covered as the 5.25-inch ones and you’ll even find PCI expansion slot covers for 2.5-inch SSDs such as the EMK3106.

The Mobile Rack EMK3203 is a unique and pretty cool enclosure. It doesn’t just put two 2.5-inch drives into a single 3.5-inch drive bay, it allows for easy switching of drives as well as hardware-based RAID. The aluminum cover helps to keep everything cool, even when running mechanical drives inside.

It has rarely been so easy to take your RAID setup on the road and at the same time have the insurance that it will work in any system with a default 3.5-inch drive bay.

Every one of these enclosures is built great and with first class components, and should last you a long time.

Card readers are also part of the display and thanks to the USB 3.0 connection you’ll get all the speed that your memory cards can perform. No bottleneck as there used to be with USB 2.0 connected readers.

All new are the USB 3.1 enclosures Brick EB308U31 and Ultrabox EB310U31. The two new devices are capable of utilizing the new 10Gbps USB connections that are twice as fast as USB 3.0.

Featuring the new USB type-C reversible connector makes it easier than ever to connect them and you’ll never again have to do the well known 3-times-turn move to connect your USB devices.

The Ultrabox docking stations are available as single-bay and two-bay units where the 2-bay even features built-in cloning abilities with process indicators.

SilverStone Storage Enclosures at Computex 2015

Computex 2015 – Silverstone has a wide variety of enclosures and it doesn’t really matter where or how you need them, They got it covered. From internal to external, hybrids, and from USB to SAS – you’ll find it all.

There are traditional hot-swap bays so you can utilize all you front bays for drives, with and without trays.

The Silverstone MS06 for example is a hybrid solution that allows you to take the drive on the road as USB 3.0 high-speed storage and just plug it into your own system for a direct connection when you get home.

External enclosures such as the DS222 allows you to connect two drives externally to your USB ports and that includes built-in RAID support. RAID isn’t just for external drive bays and the Mobile and Treasure storage MS08 is a 2.5-inch SATA hot-swap module rack with RAID support and a tray-less design.

The TS431 and TS231 units allow you to connect 3.5-inch SATA drives easily to your system via USB 3.0 interface and support hot swap for their trayless drive bays. The units are also available with miniSAS connectors for direct connection to your high-performance controller.

Storage enclosures are nice, but what if you want to build a complete system with lot of drives and keep a small form factor. A thing that used to be difficult, but isn’t anymore thanks to SilverStone. The CS280 and DS380 provide lots of drive bays as well as room for mITX motherboards and internal power supplies.

The CS series are cases for storage and that’s just what they do. The mITX cases support 6 external 2.5-inch hot-swap drive as well as two internal. The whole thing is wrapped in a beautiful aluminum enclosure with rounded corners.

Last but not least, SilverStone also brought along their line-up of internal drive bays, used to expand your case’s front bays in a more practical way. Whether you need 3.5-inch or 2.5-inch drives to be easy accessible and with hot-swap abilities, SilverStone has it covered with their huge amount of options.

Stay tuned for more news, photos, and information directly from Computex 2015

WD Announced 7th Generation My Passport Portable Drives

WD took their highly successful My Passport portable hard drive for a redesign and overhauled the features to bring out the new My Passport Ultra portable hard drive and My Passport for Mac drives.

This is now the 7th generation of My Passport drives and they are now available with a capacity all the way up to 3TB while still maintaining the compact form factor and light weight.

Style is a matter of personal taste, so it is perfect that WD released the drive in four colours: Classic Black, Brilliant White, Wild Berry, and Noble Blue. My Passport Ultra also comes with built-in WD Backup software for easy backup of critical data.

Along with the new drives, WD also introduces a new optional accessory called the WD Grip Pack.  It is a soft band that will be available in a variety of colours for extra style and protection: smoke, slate, grape, sky and fuchsia. A matching USB cable is also included.

3TB capacity might be too much for you, so the drive will be available in other capacities too. 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB version are available too. Features include 256-bit AES hardware encryption and USB 3.0 connectivity. Mac users seem to want more space than the average other user and the WD My Passport for Mac won’t be available as 500GB model.

My Passport Ultra and My Passport for Mac have a Manufacturer’s Suggest Retail Price (MSRP) ranging from $79.99 up to $199.99 depending on capacity. The 3 TB capacity will be available next month. Both versions come with a 3-year limited warranty. The WD Grip Pack will be available in June and for an MSRP of $12.99.

WD Introduced My Passport X with 2 TB for Xbox One and PC

Games keep increasing in size and having a game with 50GB data isn’t an unusual thing these days. This is particular a problem for console users with limited space and it ends with the result that they have to pick which games to keep on the drive and which to delete. WD has released the My Passport X 2TB drive for Xbox One and PC Gamers to store up to 50 extra game titles, or more if they’re smaller. It also allows to take the game files with you to a friend or other system without having to redownload them.

“Game file sizes are expanding to 36 GB per game and upwards, and are projected to continue growing,” said Tony Tate, vice president and general manager of WD’s Content Solutions unit. “Console gamers are able to store on average only 10 games on the 365 GB out of 500 GB that is available on the onboard hard drive. The My Passport X portable drive delivers a fast and easy way to expand capacity and enables an expanded library of games on the go.”

The drive connects through a USB 3.0 port for fast enough transfer speeds to actually run things directly from the drive. Just plug it in and follow the instructions on the screen, coming from your Xbox One. The drive is available now at wdstore.com, Amazing, Best Buy and other distributors. The WD My Passport 2TB HDD comes with an MSRP of $139.99 and a 1-year limited warranty.

Thanks to WD for providing us with this information.

ADATA Launches HD710A Durable USB 3.0 External HDD for Mac

ADATA just announced the launch of the HD710A waterproof, dustproof, and shock-resistant USB 3.0 external hard drive for Apple users on the go and with a rugged lifestyle. This new ultra-durable external hard drive is designed especially for MacBooks, but there shouldn’t be anything preventing you from using it on other systems. It comes with storage capacities of 1TB or 2TB, enough to store all your precious moments in the most secure way possible. The white design will let it match your Apple equipment and the drive fully supports Time Machine for backups, but also comes with ADATA’s on-the-go Mac software to enhance the functionality.

The triple-layer construction incorporates exceptionally elastic silicone material to provide great shock absorption from all angles. It has passed the MIL-STD-810G 516.6 military-grade shock-resistant test as well as the stringent IP68 test against water and dust. The drive can survive for up to 60 minutes in up to 1.5 meter of water; it should take a lot to kill this drive.

The USB 3.0 cable easily wraps around the drive itself when not in use, practical for storage on the road as you won’t have to search your bags for the cable. It’s always where the drive is. The low weight of just 220g further enhances the portability and the drive is backed by a three-year warranty.

No word on pricing or direct availability yet, but the black PC version goes for $69.99 and $126.48 on Amazon.

Thanks to ADATA for providing us with this information

ICY Dock Announced ICYCube MB561U3S-4SB 4-bay USB 3.0 & eSATA Enclosure

ICY DOCK is well-known for their drive enclosures and they’re always amazing. I’ve owned quite a few of them over the years and they’ve never let me down. Their newest device is an external drive enclosure and it looks to be no different as the MB561U3S-4SB 4-Bay external 2.5″ & 3.5″ HDD enclosure with SuperSpeed USB 3.0 and eSATA interface seems to have it all.

The new MB561U3S-4SB features both a USB 3.0 5Gbps and an eSATA 6Gbps interface, allowing you to choose which connection you prefer. The eSATA port will need to be connected to a controller that supports port multipliers, but there aren’t many that don’t these days. It also looks great with its solid aluminium structure and great looking drive trays. And while we’re speaking of drive trays, the new EZ-Tray design used in this unit is interchangeable with a lot of other ICY DOCK units, both internal and external, and effectively allows you to move the same tray with disk from unit to unit.

Keeping four mechanical hard drives cooled in an enclosure like this requires the help of a fan. ICY DOCK utilized an 80mm fan that’s connected to the fan controller on the rear. It has three settings, low, high, and automatic where it sets the rotation speed depending on the ambient temperature inside the enclosure. Using current 6TB drives and you can have up to 24GB of raw data in this small and great looking unit, not bad.

When ICY DOCK creates a unit like this, they always add something special. In this case it is the external mounted and detachable fan. This allows you to easily remove the turbine looking fan module and clean everything in a proper fashion.

Key Features:

  • Plug and play installation, no drivers required
  • SuperSpeed USB 3.0 with up to 5Gbps transfer speed
  • Backward compatible with USB 2.0 interface
  • eSATA connection with up to 6 Gbps transfer speed (port-multiplier required)
  • New EZ-Tray system supporting both 2.5″ and 3.5″ SATA HDD/SSD of all heights
  • Adjustable cooling fan with 3 speed settings (low, high, and auto)
  • Support largest capacity drives available on the market (6 TB)
  • Removable EZ-Tray design allows you to quickly swap out drives
  • Moderately illuminating white LED for power & drive activities
  • High grade aluminum alloy frame with detailed matte finish
  • Include 4x EZ-Trays which features shock absorbing technology to help protect your drives
  • Detachable 80mm ball bearing rear cooling fan provides easy maintenance
  • Integrated power supply, so big power bricks aren’t necessary
  • Rubber padded soles for enhanced stability
  • 3-year warranty

Thanks to ICY DOCK for providing us with this information.

Google’s Self-Driving Cars Might Come with External Airbags

Airbags are the main protection feature inside a car, aiding in protecting the driver and passengers from serious harm in the event of a violent accident. However, we still don’t have anything to protect the car itself or the objects it might hit.

Google has been thinking about adding an extra protection feature to the exterior of its self-driving cars and came up with the idea of having external airbags. As shown in a patent filed by the company, it looks like its self-driving cars might come with a new revolutionary protection feature in the near future.

The external airbags are said to help protect the car, other cars or even people if an unfortunate accident occurs. However, the airbags might have an opposite effect on people, sending them flying and suffering more severe injuries. Google apparently thought about this problem and came up with a solution which involves a visco-elastic material that would have a bit of give to help prevent serious injury.

Though the idea might become a reality in Google’s hands, it’s worth pointing out that Volvo was the first to think about this solution. External airbags seem to have a lot of potential on paper, but do they really do the trick in real life situations? That would remain to be seen.

Thank you Ubergizmo for providing us with this information

SilverStone TS431S 4-Bay miniSAS DAS Storage Tower Review

Introduction


Connecting multiple storage drives externally doesn’t work equally well on every connection type. If you were to use a USB 3 connection you would get the speed necessary, but your access times would suffer. If you were to connect it via eSATA you would have the access times, but shared bandwidth between the connected drives.

The solution is a direct SAS connection and the SilverStone TS431S that I’m taking a closer look at today is just such.

SilverStone’s TS431S DAS Tower Enclosure uses an external miniSAS interface to connect up to four SAS or SATA drives to your system. One of the great things about an enclosure like this is that its features pretty much depend on the controller you connect it to. This makes it universally usable without limitations; if your controller supports it, so will this tower.

The PC connection via 6Gbps SAS/Mini-SAS interface enables data transfer with maximum compatibility and stability, a thing that makes the TS431S a great choice for storing and backing up large quantities of data. You won’t notice any difference whether your drives are connected internally or through this DAS.

One of the first things I noticed on the TS431S was the choice of an internal power supply, and this is great. SilverStone knows a thing or two about power supplies and they opted to use that knowledge rather than just bundle a less efficient power brick. It works with both 110V and 230V power outlets and uses a normal 3-pin power connector for universal operation everywhere. Otherwise, the TS431S doesn’t have many external features, as they simply aren’t needed.

The installation couldn’t be any easier than it is. All you need to do is open the front door, slide your drive into a bay, and close the door again. Connect power and an SAS cable, press the power button and you’re done. You will need to setup the drives on your raid controllers interface or software, of course, but that’s a given.

The tool-free and trayless design makes removing a drive just as easy as plugging it in. Open the front door, release the hatch, and take your hard drive out. Close the door and you’re done. You don’t even need to power the enclosure down as it also supports both hot-swap and plug and play.

Backed by a two-year warranty, the SilverStone TS431S looks to be a great option to expand servers with limited drive bays the simple way, and without sacrificing functionality.

Silicon Power Unveils Latest 4TB USB3 External Hard Drive

SP/ Silicon Power unveiled their new-designed 3.5-inch USB 3.0 external hard drive, the Stream S06. Taking all aspects into consideration without compromising, the Stream S06 is build upon the USB 3.0 interface and with high capacities up to 4TB. The elegant look and exclusive handle design is the wonderful combination of beauty and functionality and allows for an easier carrying.

With a capacity of 4TB it can store up to 1.952 million high-resolution digital photos, 976 thousand songs or 1,760 hours Full-HD videos and with the USB 3.0 interface the transfer should be swift, may it be backup or storage. The Stream S06 features special-designed case that can be put upright or flat to perfectly fit in different space conditions. Equipped with ventilation holes, Stream S06 enables excellent energy-efficiency and great cooling effect.

To satisfy different users’ needs, the Stream S06 USB 3.0 external hard drive is available in three sizes, 2TB, 3TB and 4TB. All Silicon Power external hard drive products are backed by a 3-year warranty and come with the free download software SP Widget, which provides seven major backup and security tools and a 60-day trial version of NIS (Norton Internet Security). No word on pricing yet.

Stream S06 Product Features:

  • Extremely high storage capacity up to 4TB
  • SuperSpeed USB 3.0 compliant and backwards compatible with USB 2.0
  • Intelligent handle design, easy to carry and use
  • Special-designed case that can be put upright or flat
  • Exclusive ventilation holes, enabling incredible cooling effect
  • LED indicator, easier for users to recognize the transferring status
  • Power saving sleep mode
  • SP Widget free download software, providing 7 major back-up and security functions

 

Stream S06 Product Specifications:

  • Dimension:199 * 117.7 * 36.3 mm
  • Weight:770~876 g (by capacity)
  • Capacity:2TB、3TB、4TB
  • Material:Plastic
  • Color:Black
  • Interface:USB 3.0 / USB 2.0 compatible
  • Data transfer rates:Max. 5 Gbps (USB 3.0 Mode)
  • Power supply:DC12V
  • Supported operating systems:Windows 8.1/8/7/Vista/XP, Linux 2.6.31 or later, Mac OS 10.5 or later
  • Operating temperature:5℃~ 55℃
  • Storage temperature:-40℃~ 70℃
  • Warranty:3-year warranty

Thank you Silicon Power for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of Silicon Power.

ADATA Launches its Stylish HV611 USB 3.0 External Hard Drive

ADATA has just announced the launch of its latest portable HDD solution featuring the latest USB technology, the HV611 USB 3.0 External Hard Drive, coming with simplistic design, vivid colours and unique puzzle patterns, as well as a compact size.

The company states that the SuperSpeed USB 3.0 interface clearly makes a difference in the efficiency of data transfer compared to similar external HDD solutions featuring USB 2.0 technology. Also, ADATA emphasises de HDD’s unique stylish interlocking shiny and matte puzzle piece lines present in its design, which the company considers to be an eye-catching ‘magnet’ along with the bright blue LED indicating data transfer status.

In terms of specifications, the HV611 is said to have a standard 2.5″ SATA HDD size, measuring in at 115 x 75 x 15 mm and weighing in at 151g, while operating at USB DC 5V. Customers who desire to purchase the HV611 are said to also be eligible for free downloads from ADATA’s proprietary OStoGO and HDDtoGO software, as well as receive a 3-year warranty for the product at hand.

The HV611 is said to come in capacities of 500GB and 1TB, having them available in four colours: black, starry white, shining blue and hot pink. In terms of pricing, the 500 GB version is said to have a recommended £41.99 set by ADATA, while the 1 TB version is said to come in at £55.99.

Buffalo Announce New Type of External Hard Drive With DRAM Caching

Hybrid drives are starting to become a commonplace on the component market as a suitable upgrade solution for those wanting a drive with the capacity of a hard drive, but with read speeds that are more in the regions of a solid state drive. Keeping up with this new trend, Buffalo Technology has unveiled a new class of external hard drive which features a DRAM cache to offer faster read speeds to commonly accessed data.

Unlike an internal hybrid drive however, the HD-PGDU3’s cached area is not a true solid state partition with the cached data being held on volatile DRAM memory which is kept alive by an internal battery. Naturally this means that after a period of time the battery will run out of power and the cached data will be lost, however Buffalo do provide a small battery meter and in addition to providing the cache with power, the battery also ensures that there is no data corruption in the event of the drive being disconnected from the host device too early.

Two models of the drive will be available at launch with 500GB and 1TB capacities with both drives offering 1GB of DRAM cache backed by a lithium-ion battery. USB3.0 connectivity ensures the cached data can be accessed as fast as possible with speed of up to 400MB/s on offer.

There is no word on pricing or availability as of yet, but with Computex on the horizon we suspect any further announcements will be made in the coming weeks.

Source: Techpowerup

Western Digital EX2 2-Bay 8TB My Cloud NAS Review

Introduction


Since the launch of Western Digital’s single bay My Cloud NAS and its bigger brother the four by EX4 is we have seen a strong movement over to cloud-based storage and thought of doing so less daunting. The latest addition to my cloud family comes in the form of a 2-bay system, offering both the benefit of a multi drive setup with the option for data redundancy along with a simple clean design and a small desktop footprint.

Like the other two systems in the cloud family EX2 is optimised from Western Digital’s own red NAS drives and the particulars system that we have today to look at comprises of two 4TB drives giving us a total of 8 TB of storage in RAID0 mode, although out-of-the-box system is configured in RAID1 leaving 4 TB of space to work with. Like the EX for the EX two comes in a number of different capacities including 4, 6 and 8TB models, along with a disk-less option for those who want the flexibility to install their own drives.

At the heart of the EX2 we are given a Marvell Armada 370 single core 1.2 GHz processor, along with 512 MB DDR3 memory, two SATA 6Gbps interfaces, a single Gigabit Ethernet port and two USB three ports. On the software management side we are given the same interface as seen on the my cloud and the EX four along with the same mobile application as previously seen.

with the EX two following in the footsteps of the older MyBook Live in respect to its design, it is suitable for both the consumer and prosumer environment giving the functionality to access our files on the go along with data redundancy, which for some of us is more critical these days and prices starting at around £160 or $190 US.

Inside the blue box which we have come to associate with Western Digital’s My Cloud products and alongside the NAS, we have a single Ethernet cable, DC power adapter with UK and EU tips (regional) and a few bits paperwork with warranty and quick setup information.

ADATA DashDrive Air AE800 500GB Wireless HDD and Power Bank Review

Introduction


Since the first time that I had a wireless hard drive in for review, I had a mixed set of feelings with the concept and the functionality of the devices, though as of late, there have been a large number of improvements seen across the board with better performance, longer battery life and most of all a mobile application that works as it should do. With most of these teething troubles having been taken care of, I have a more welcome feeling on the technology and I can now see it in a better light as to how they can improve our mobile lives. To top this revised emotion, the pricing side of things has also settled down and as a result vendors are now able to introduce products with more features including the importance of having greater storage capacities. We now have a range of devices out there that can cater for a wide variety of needs and budgets.

The AE800 is not the first wireless storage product to roll of the ADATA production line and in the early part of last year I took a look at the AE400 wireless card reader and power bank, which gave users the flexibility to insert an SD card of their own choosing to either share photos or provide a small amount of sharable storage for a number of mobile devices such as tablets and phones. The bottom line from that review was that ADATA’s first attempt at wireless storage impressed me, with a unit that was easy to use, compact and good-looking. Granted that the mobile app needed a little bit of polishing off around the edges, but it worked all the same and did what it needed to. Since then the app has seen a few changes and the end result is a more reliable and functional area through which you can wirelessly connect to a compatible drive.

The AE800 that I’m taking a look at today pulls a number of features from the AE400 although the obvious difference here is with the storage medium. Where the AE400 was flexible in its storage capacity and connectivity, with the option for both USB drives and SD cards to be connected to the unit and then shared out, the AE800 only has the option to share out its own integral storage. Inside the black, sleek-looking chassis is a 500GB 5400rpm drive courtesy of Western Digital and to power it whilst on the go, a larger capacity 5200mAh battery is on hand. Like the AE400, the AE800 still has the option to charge a mobile device such as a smartphone with the capacity there to charge you phone from flat to full twice (depending on the battery capacity of your handset).

Although the AE800 is designed for use whilst out and about, there is still a native USB3.0 port included as part of the specification, allowing the drive to be connected to a desktop or laptop system in a more traditional manner to copy media and other files to and from the drive ready for use on the go; whether it be for business use, or for sharing of video content to the kids tablets in the back of the card on a long journey.

Alongside the hard drive we get a typical quick start guide to show how the unit is turned on and how you get connected to your mobile device. Alongside this is a USB3.0 cable and a mains power adaptor. Our sample here has a European tipped adaptor, however a plug for your region will be included should you choose to buy this unit.

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Silverstone SST-EP02 USB3.0 to SATA Adaptor & SST-MS07 HDD/SSD Case Review

Introduction


In the consumer market, there are a number of manufacturers that cover more than one market segment and this in most situations ranges from chassis to coolers and power supplies, fans and also solid state drives and memory as well. Silverstone is a good example of a vendor that covers a broad range of market segments with their sleek and stylistic chassis, solid power supplies, fans and so forth, but what they have in their catalogue as well as this main spread of products is one of the widest range of accessories out there when compared their competitors. These accessories range from simple fan adaptors, to fans and dust filters, mobile accessories, notebook coolers and on top of that; drive adaptors and accessories for solid state and hard drives externally as well.

The two items that I’m looking at today are just a small sample of what is on offer and like a number of individual products, these are designed to be paired together, resulting in one complete accessory, although they can also be bought separately if desired.

We’ve seen countless times before and mainly at the big trade shows that external storage is a vital sector of the market as we are demanding larger and larger capacity drives that are easy to take from one place to the next with very little effort needed. In a nutshell the customisable enclosures have to be drop dead simple to use and inexpensive to purchase at the same time whilst also offering a decent amount of performance. They may not seem like a worthwhile item to stock in a shop or to manufacture as a whole, but take them away and you’ll soon see the demand for them grow.

Both the EP02 and the MS07 each come in a simple package, with the MS07 no more than just the cover in a plastic pack with a card backing while the EP02 comes packaged in a windowed box to show off the adaptor whilst the cable and manual sit behind. Both boxes give a quick run down on the key aspects of each item including their dimensions, weight and compatibility whilst the design is just as we would expect from Silverstone – simple and to the point.

Thermaltake Show Off Updated BlacX External SATA Dock At CES 2014

We are no stranger to Thermaltake’s BlacX line of external SATA docks and this was shown back in the early part of last year when I took a look at the BlacX 5G and BlacX Duet docking stations. One would only imagine where an item such as this could be improved, but surprise surprise it has been and now it comes with Wi-Fi built in. Built on the BlacX 5G platform, the BlacX Urban incorporates a 2.4GHz 802.11b/g/n wireless adaptor, which will allow for Wi-Fi tethering in the same way that we have seen on some other mobile storage devices and will be fully compatible with both iOS and Android devices with an App available for each platform in their relevant stores.

Apart from the addition of wireless connectivity, the BlacX Urban still features full USB3.0 connectivity and will support both 2.5″ and 3.5″ drives. Pricing is set at $79.99 USD although UK, EMEA and pricing across the rest of the world may vary a little, however this should be starting to appear on the market very soon as the product hits the shelves in the next few weeks.

ADATA DashDrive HV620 2.5″ 1TB External Hard Drive Review

Introduction


Generally speaking when we talk about external hard drives, there is not as much to talk about these days compared to a few years ago when they were all the rage. Flash storage has been getting more and more popular with many users, simply due to the fact that it is more compact, offers faster transfer speeds and more recently they are starting to offer higher capacities. They do have a slight downside however and this is the relative cost. On the lower end of the scale, any flash drive up to around 16GB in capacity is easy to get hold of – almost to the point where people are literally giving them away. When we start to move up the scale to drives that offer 32GB and above, the performance of the drive also starts to go up and in turn so does the cost.

With the average size of files quickly growing and the need to carry more and more data around with us also growing, flash storage quickly becomes an expensive solution. This is where the good ol’ trusty hard drive comes back in to place. With the price of hard drives coming down to almost rock bottom prices and to a point where they are inexpensive option for a number of people, we find these legacy storage options holding on to a strong position in the market due to their cheaper cost for a higher capacity. Naturally we don’t expect these legacy drives to offer the same blazing fast speeds that flash storage has to offer, but instead the amount of data that they hold is the desirable feature.

Until a few months ago, getting anything more than 1TB into a 2.5″ drive as not though of and consequently you had to look at a 3.5″ drive – but these are not exactly ‘portable’ when you consider their physical size, weight and the fact you also need an AC power adaptor as well. Thankfully, the challenge of cramming 2TB of storage into a 2.5″ format has been overcome and now we find many vendors offering up models with 2TB capacity. ADATA is just one of these companies and their portable drive comes under the DashDrive line of products.

ADATA recently introduced the HV620 into the market, with capacities ranging from 500GB through 1TB and on to 2TB, but storage space is not all that these drives have to offer. When we took a look at the HE720 around a year ago, one of its biggest shouting points was its scratch resistant metal shell. The HV620 offers up the same scratch resistant property, however it is this time on a plastic case. Anyone that owns a plastic product with a glossy finish will know how easy it is to leave a fine scratch in its surface, but ADATA have taken care of this with a small lip around the perimeter of the drive that helps to prevent any marks appearing.

ADATA DashDrive HC630 Brings Colour To External Storage

ADATA are very well known for releasing drives that offer up something a little bit different to the typical hard drive in a plastic shell that we typically see on the high street. Such drives include the DashDrive Elite HE720 which offers 5H scratch resistance and the title of the worlds slimmest external hard drive and the DashDrive Durable HD710 which offers up a totally waterproof and shock proof construction, meeting military grade recommendations.

With a catalogue of unique design ideas, it was only a short matter of time before we saw yet another drive appear and this comes in as the DashDrive Choice HC630.

Coming to market with three capacities; 500GB, 750GB and 1TB, the drive which is backed by a full three year warranty has a distinct blue etched pattern to its metal housing and around the edge is a raised plastic surface to protect the etched design from getting damaged when place on a flat surface. Even with the raised surface and protective plastic surround, the 160g drive is still rather compact with dimensions of 115 x 78 x 15mm and inside is a 2.5″ SATA HDD with a USB3.0 interface for fast data transfer speeds. The drive is topped of with a blue LED to compliment the drives colour and when purchased, users can also download a copy of ADATA’s HDDtoGo Software to give added security to their data.

There is no word on pricing and availability at this moment, however we will update this as and when we have more information.

Source and image courtesy of ADATA

ADATA Launches The SE720 External SSD

Back in June during the Computex technology show we got to see one of ADATA’s upcoming drives that offered USB3.0 storage with speeds yet to be seen. This comes in the form of the ultra-thin SE720 external SSD. Built around the same frame as the popular HE720 with a brushed aluminium finish, the case also offers a scratch resistant coating – making it ideal for users who are on the go.

Packed with some of ADATAs award winning NAND circuitry, the SE720 offers speeds of up to 400MB/s read and 300MB/s write, which as we can all tell is far superior to the speeds that any current hard drive can offer on a super speed USB3.0 platform. Over a HDD, the SSD also offers far superior shock resistance due to there being no moving parts within the storage medium and this consequently means that noiseless operation and very low-power consumption is also to be had from the now to be released model.

Like the HE720, the SE720 will offer up the same one-touch backup facility as well as a blue LED to indicate drive status and activity. There is no final word on pricing as of yet, however we do know that the drive will be available in a 128GB capacity.

Image courtesy of TechPowerUp

Teratrend (SilverStone) TS231U 2 Bay USB3.0 RAID Enclosure Review

Introduction


The storage markets are growing rapidly at the moment and this is certainly clear from the large number of home and small office users that are jumping onto the NAS bandwagon to increase their storage capacity to satisfy their needs. For some people though the prospect of setting up network devices is still either a daunting process or even more simply, too much hassle. Having a solution that is virtually plug and play is still the main choice of many users and as a result there is a market flooded by USB enclosures for both 2.5″ and 3.5″ drives.

Teratrend is a name that some may look at and turn away as its not recognised, but the sooner its realised that their a sub-brand of SilverStone – the same people of manufacture many great looking chassis and power supplies as well as coolers, the attention is soon brought back with the prospect of a high quality, well build unit.

As storage is not the main focus of SilverStone, the Teratrend brand was brought in to distinguish the new line of products a few years ago and since then we have seen a number of two and four bay options that take the effort out of storage expansion with say to use and simple devices that look good at the same time on any desk.

Like many other drive enclosures on the market, the contents are rather simple and alongside the enclosure itself we find a kettle lead, eSATA and USB3.0 data cables and a simple manual that outlines the RAID selection and drive installation process.

ADATA DashDrive Elite HE720 Ultra-Slim External HDD Winner Announced

A little while ago, we hosted a competition to win an ADATA DashDrive Elite HE720 Ultra-Slim External HDD, and we had a lot of entries, due to its uniqueness and extremely beautiful styling and amazing features, but sadly there could only be one winner.

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It has taken us some time, but that’s purely because of the amount of entries we had, but after randomly scanning through the entries we have chosen the winner of the ADATA  DashDrive Elite HE720 Ultra-Slim External HDD to be Martin Porcas.

All winner(s) have been contacted by email requesting address details for your prize to be shipped out directly.