If every other external enclosure we’ve reviewed has been a Chevy Nova, then Norco’s DS-500 external SATA storage, um, block is easily a Humvee. For this device not only performs solidly but also weighs as much as everyone’s favorite urban assault vehicle. And that’s before we stuffed five hard drives into it.
Mmm. That's the noise I made upon receiving a huge package from CoolIT and Silverstone this past week. Not just because of the contents -- a sweet, sweet system, featuring CoolIT's new Boreas cooler, packed into a TJ07 case -- but because the damn thing weighted nearly as much as I do, I swear. Getting that thing onto a Labs bench reminded me of Homer and the Stone of Triumph. Not fun.
We’ll get the bad news out of the way first. Hitachi’s Deskstar T7K500 hard drive, with an easy-to-remember 500GB of storage, is unremarkable. More than that, it underperforms when compared to similarly featured, similarly priced (if not cheaper!) products.
Most folks aren’t prepared to choose sides in the battle between Blu-ray and HD DVD—and who can blame ’em, given the scarcity of HD content and the exorbitant cost of drives and media. But for the gotta-have-it-now early adopters, Blu-ray remains the only next-gen disc you can burn. The HD DVD camp has yet to release a burner, while Sony’s BWU-100A marks the third Blu-ray burner we’ve reviewed in the last six months. And with each new model, we’re seeing improvements.
It’s a rarity in the Maximum PC Lab that a product comes in and performs without annoyance, irritation, or even the slightest bit of “we had to resort to interesting solution x to make things happy.” Enter Sytrin’s KuFormula SHF1 hard-drive cooling unit, a marvel of simplicity that looks good and cools great.
How much of a badass mother is Asus’s new motherboard? It’s so bad that it doesn’t even use numbers in its name. Yeah, there’s no R2-D2-like naming convention here. Just call it Striker Extreme, or El Extremerino if you’re not into the whole brevity thing.