Two 4TB drives with 7,200rpm spindles go platter-to-platter
Hardcore PC performance fanatics are rarely satisfied. For example, when we were first given 1TB hard drives, we were excited, but wanted 2TB. Then we got 2TB and wanted 3TB, and so on, until we had a 4TB drive in the Lab. When that drive finally arrived, rather than rejoicing, we continued griping because the drive in question was a Hitachi 5K4000, which spins at a lowly 5,400rpm. The capacity was appreciated, but we wanted a drive with 4TB of capacity and a 7,200rpm spindle speed (we actually want a 4TB SSD, but that’s beside the point). Now the griping shall cease (for the most part), as we finally have 4TB 7,200rpm drives from Hitachi and WD. These fine specimens are the fastest and largest drives of their kind, so if you’re a data hoarder with a need for speed, one of these drives belongs in your rig.
Western Digital’s first 4TB SATA hard drive is the one to get if you have a lot of data (and money).
With our skepticism of Thunderbolt officially blown away (see last month’s Head to Head) we’re now ready to embrace the new I/O interface. But unless you’re one of the lucky few to have an older Asus board with support for the company’s Thunderbolt add-in card, you’ll need to buy a new motherboard to enjoy Tbolt goodness. Luckily, Thunderbolt boards have arrived. To gauge the choices, we gathered up both the priciest and cheapest Tbolt boards we could find and set at them.
The Asus P8Z77-V Premium comes fully loaded with features, including Wi-Fi antennas.
It’s hard to review ViewSonic’s new Smart Display VSD220 without thinking back to another of the company’s unusual products that we reviewed almost a decade ago: the Air Panel V110.
The Air Panel used Microsoft’s “Smart Display” technology to essentially let you remotely control your PC over Wi-Fi for browsing and MP3 streaming. Not to rehash ancient history, but Smart Display was just another charred carcass on the long road to a successful consumer tablet computer.
Besides functioning as a desktop-size Android device, the VSD220 can serve as a stand-alone touchscreen monitor for a full-fledged PC.
Asus takes the price/performance crown in this roundup. The company’s ET2701 all-in-one can’t match the audacious display built into Dell’s XPS One 2710, and it doesn’t have a fast SSD to supplement its 2TB hard drive, like the Dell; but many of the other components inside the ET2701 are exactly the same as what you’ll get with the XPS One. And the ET2701 costs $500 less.
The IPS display inside the Asus ET2701 is so beautiful you’ll quickly forget that its maximum resolution is just 1920x1080 pixels.
Everything about the Aegis Secure Key telegraphs that Apricorn is serious about the whole data-security thing. The Secure Key has 256-bit AES full hardware encryption, so it doesn’t require software or drivers—it’s completely platform-independent, and it will even work with USB On-the-Go devices like Android tablets. This is a big deal—many drives ship with software encryption clients, but those rarely include software compatibility beyond Mac and Windows.
Enter the wrong PIN 10 times and the Aegis will shred your data to prevent brute-force attacks.
Call us suckers for military theming, but Corsair’s Vengeance C70 is a beautiful steel case that’s every bit as functional as it is fun to look at. The system sports a hefty arsenal: no fewer than six screwless hard drive trays and three screwless 5.25-inch bays in addition to one 12cm fan in the case’s rear and two directly to the left of the system’s hard drive bays. You can add two additional 12cm fans to the system’s front and two on top— arranged perfectly for a 240mm water-cooling radiator, if that’s your calling.
In a weird twist, Antec has delivered a case that’s both full on features and lacking in some of the company’s staple design elements. Take, for example, the case’s built-in fan controller—or lack thereof. We’re used to being able to flick switches to independently control all of the fans within an Antec chassis, but after connecting a Molex to the provided circuit board in the Eleven Hundred—annoyance number one—we were displeased to find that the switch only turns the top 20cm fan’s blue LED on and off. You can’t physically adjust the speed of that or the case’s rear 12cm fan.
Let’s play a little game. We have three solid state drives—one each from Patriot, OCZ, and Intel. Two of them are powered by the ubiquitous SandForce SF-2281 controller, and the other marks the consumer debut of a new 6Gb/s SATA controller. Guess which drive has the new controller?
If you guessed the Intel drive, time for a spit-take. It’s the OCZ drive that’s got the new controller, and the Intel drive which is SandForce-powered. What in the name of the MLC gods is going on?
It feels like a scene out of some manner of satirical dark comedy. Medical professionals are increasingly requiring new patients to sign forms that purport to give the doctor copyright to any reviews that the patient may write online. If said doc disagrees with the content of a review for any reason, he or she can force the patient to remove it for breach of copyright. This shady trend is now the subject of a class action lawsuit against one over-zealous dentist.