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Soyo unwraps Athlon XP 3200+ Dragon mobo

Plus: Tosh's double-speed DVD-R/RW drive and more

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Motherboard

Mobo maker Soyo has added support for AMD's 400MHz frontside bus Athlon XP 3200+ to its Dragon line of boards.

Based on VIA's KT600 chipset, the Dragon SY-KT600 Ultra also supports up to 3GB of DDR SDRAM through three DIMM sockets; Serial ATA hard drives which can be configured to run RAID levels 0 and 1; provides eight USB 2.0 ports (four at the front, four at the back) and a single 1394 port; two serial, one parallel and a single PS/2 port; Gigabit Ethernet and surround sound.

The mobo also provides a single AGP 8x Pro slot and five 32-bit PCI slots.

Designed with overclockers in mind, the Dragon SY-KT600 allows users to customise CPU FSB, core voltage and multiplier. Memory and AGP Pro voltages can be easily tweaked too.

Soyo will offer the board as the SY-KT600 Ultra with a four-in-one software bundle, and as the SY-KT600 Ultra Platinum with an eight-in-one bundle. The latter also includes Soyo's BayOne AVI PLUS breakout box, which features a combination Flash media reader/writer, two front 1394 ports and two front USB 2.0 ports. The bundle also includes a SPDIF audio card.

The Ultra costs $99, the Ultra Platinum $169.

Optical drive

Toshiba's European Storage division this week added the latest unit to its desktop DVD-R/RW drive line. The new model, the SD-R5112 doubles the DVD-R and DVD-RW write performance of the previous model, the SD-R5002, to 4x and 2x, respectively. It also offers a CD-R write speed of 16x, CD-RW write at 10x, CD-ROM read at 40x and DVD-ROM read at 12x.

The SD-R5112 will be available from the middle of the month through the usual Toshiba Storage channels. The retail release contains not only the drive but also Intervideo WinDVD DVD Playback software, VOB Instant CD/DVD Writer software, Pinnacle Studio Version 8 SE video editing software, media accessories and all necessary cables and leads.

Optical media

Verbatim will next month ship its first DVD+RW discs certified for 4x writing speeds. That allows two hours of video or 4.7GB of data to be burned in around 15 minutes, the company claims. That's equivalent to 36x CD-R burn speeds, it adds.

The DataLifePlus 4x DVD+RW discs "incorporates a new proprietary recording layer technology that provides accurate recording at high speeds and noise-free playback", apparently. Said technology is Mitsubishi's Advanced Super Eutectic Recording Layer (Advanced-SERL) system. Fast though it may be, the technology limits the discs to a lifetime of 1000 re-writes.

Firmware upgrades for first and second generation 2.4x DVD+R/+RW drives to allow usage of 4x DVD+R and 4x DVD+RW are available at: www.dvdrw.com

Verbatim DataLifePlus 4x DVD+RW media will ship in August for around $5.99 a pop from authorised resellers and the Verbatim web site.

Flash storage

Memory maker Kingston Technology has added a 256MB Flash drive of its own to this crowded market.

Each Kingston DataTraveler measures 7.4 x 2.4cm and is also available in 32, 64 and 128MB flavours. The DataTraveler is backed by a five-year warranty - rather less than the lifetime warranty Crucial offers with its Gizmo Flash drive - and free technical support.

Kingston is pricing the DataTraveler at £21/$24 (32MB), £30/$35 (64MB), £46/$55 (128MB) and £65/$75 (256MB). UK prices exclude 17.5 per cent sales tax. ®

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