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CES 2021 News Roundup

by Adam Armstrong

CES 2021 went all digital this year, as several other shows have in the past ten months or so. While we covered some of the larger stories our readers would be interested in from Dell, Lenovo (here and here as well), NETGEAR, Kingston, Phison, and Supermicro, there were other stories we wanted to touch on here. These stories come from Plugable, OWC, NETGEAR, KIOXIA, AMD, and Adata.

CES 2021 went all digital this year, as several other shows have in the past ten months or so. While we covered some of the larger stories our readers would be interested in from Dell, Lenovo (here and here as well), NETGEAR, Kingston, Phison, and Supermicro, there were other stories we wanted to touch on here. These stories come from Plugable, OWC, NETGEAR, KIOXIA, AMD, and Adata.

Plugable USB 7-in-1 Hub Updated

plugable ces 2021 Plugable has taken its popular USB 7-in-1 Hub and updated it with the release of the USBC-7IN1E. The biggest difference is that the company added an Ethernet port. The hub is available now for under $35.

Plugable USBC-7IN1E on Amazon

OWC Releases A Slew of New Products

OWC released several new products as CES 2021. I’ll list each one here along with a handful of their features:

A new OWC Thunderbolt Dock for Mac and PC. The new dock is all about the new Intel 11th Gen Core and Evo PCs that have Thunderbolt 4 as well as Macs. Highlights include:

  • Four fully-functional Thunderbolt 4 ports for your computer. All Thunderbolt ports also support USB devices and monitors
  • Plug it all  in The same Thunderbolt device compatibility and performance, whether plugged into this dock or directly into your machine
  • Reimagining the daisy chain: Create three separate device chains, so you can remove devices from one chain without affecting or disconnecting the others. You can even add three Thunderbolt bus-powered devices.
  • Powerful charging capabilities: Thunderbolt 4 host port also keeps your notebook charged with 90W power delivery
  • Four USB ports: Connect and charge through USB
  • Manage additional devices: Connect more storage, up to two 4K displays or one 5K/6K/8K display, or other accessories, you name it, you can use it
  • More reliable sharing and streaming: Gigabit Ethernet eliminates low-quality, patchy Wi-Fi – ideal for IP-based workflows and secured networks
  • More content: Access photos and movies via the SD card reader at speeds up to 312MB/s
  • More audio: Plug headphones and mics into the audio combo jack
  • Adjustable LED: Customize the illumination for your work setting
  • Built-in security: Kensington Security Slot and Nano Security Slot for anti-theft cabling

The OWC U2 Shuttle, a U.2 carrier shuttle for 3.5” drive bays that allows user to add four NVMe M.2 SSDs that gives users more RAID options. Highlights include:

  • Configurable: Choose from preconfigured solutions or add your own NVMe M.2 2280 SSDs
  • Easy RAID: Plug and play out of the box or enjoy more RAID variations than traditional dual drive enclosures – up to RAID 10
  • Compatible: Use with OWC Helios 3S, OWC ThunderBay Flex 8, and the new OWC Mercury Pro U.2 Dual, as well as any computer with U.2 support and an available 3.5” drive bay
  • Easy swaps: Move between OWC U.2 storage devices as well as PCs, enclosures, and servers
  • Media workflows: Dramatically lowers production-to-lab shipping costs vs. shipping larger, heavier drives
  • Secure: Key lock for data security compliance
  • 1 Year OWC Limited Warranty and lifetime support

OWC 6 port USB-C Travel Dock E for Macs, PCs, iPads, Tablets, or Phones announced. This small dock is ideal for the new thin laptops that lack ports. Highlights include:

  • Make a powerful presentation on a 4K HDMI display
  • Share, stream, and surf quickly and reliably fast with standard RJ45 Ethernet 1000BT networking
  • Transfer files with storage devices in a blink of an eye
  • Charge up small mobile devices for on-the-go use
  • Ingest photos and movies directly from media cards with the SD card reader
  • Enjoy the convenience of a full-sized keyboard or mouse with your notebook
  • Connect it to Macs, PCs, iOS, Android, and Chrome devices
  • 2 Year OWC Limited Warranty and lifetime US-based support

The OWC Envoy Pro FX portable SSD announced. This is OWC’s version of a rugged drive and works with most computers and tablets like the iPad Pro, Chromebook, and Surface with speeds up to 2.8GB/s. Highlights include:

  • Plug & play with past, present, and future Macs, Windows and Linux PCs, iPad Pros, Chromebooks, and Surface devices
  • Supports the max performance capability of any Thunderbolt and USB interface – up to 2800MB/s
  • Perfect for audio, video, photography, graphics, gaming, and general data storage/backup use
  • Advanced storage technology with TRIM support works with Thunderbolt to deliver the fastest and most reliable portable drive performance available today
  • Certified dustproof, drop-proof, and waterproof
  • Bus-powered and smaller than most compact smartphones
  • Fanless, heat-dissipating aluminum housing for distraction-free operation
  • Included Thunderbolt/USB cable plugs into to any machine, anywhere
  • Worry-free: Up to 3 Year OWC Limited Warranty and lifetime US-based support


NETGEAR Releases Insight 6.0        

NETGEAR ces 2021

NETGEAR released the latest version of its Remote Cloud management solution, NETGEAR Insight 6.0. The big news is that the solution now offers new network topology maps. Insight Features for High-Density WiFi management include:

  • Support for 802.11 k/v/r WiFi network roaming standards: improves user experience for wireless clients with higher speeds and no break in coverage as they move from one access point to another
  • Load Balancing: Allows IT managers to balance out traffic across multiple access points to ensure optimal throughput and performance
  • Advanced Rate Selection: set limitations on access points based on client signal strength threshold and number of client devices
  • SSID-level Client Isolation: ensure network isolation from one wireless network to another
  • Client Roaming History: look through client roaming history to adjust access point position and settings to improve signal


 KIOXIA Showcases Its 2020 Products

kioxia ces 2021 While KIOXIA didn’t announce new products, they highlighted existing ones at CES 2021. These include the EDSFF form factor, XFMEXPRESS, XL-Flash, and Kumoscale.


AMD Releases Rysen 5000 CPUs

amd 5000 ces 2021 AMD announced several new CPUs with the introduction of its full portfolio of AMD Ryzen 5000 Series Mobile Processors. Several of these processors leverage the “Zen 3” core architecture. For mobile processors AMD released the following:

Model Cores/Threads Boost/Base Frequency (GHz) Cache (MB) TDP (Watts) Architecture
AMD Ryzen 9 5980HX 8C/16T Up to 4.8 / 3.3 GHz 20 45+ “Zen 3”
AMD Ryzen 9 5980HS 8C/16T Up to 4.8 / 3.0 GHz 20 35 “Zen 3”
AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX 8C/16T Up to 4.6 / 3.3 GHz 20 45+ “Zen 3”
AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS 8C/16T Up to 4.6 / 3.0 GHz 20 35 “Zen 3”
AMD Ryzen 7 5800H 8C/16T Up to 4.4 / 3.2 GHz 20 45 “Zen 3”
AMD Ryzen 7 5800HS 8C/16T Up to 4.4 / 2.8 GHz 20 35 “Zen 3”
AMD Ryzen 5 5600H 6C/12T Up to 4.2 / 3.3 GHz 19 45 “Zen 3”
AMD Ryzen 5 5600HS 6C/12T Up to 4.2 / 3.0 GHz 19 35 “Zen 3”
AMD Ryzen 7 5800U 8C/16T Up to 4.4 / 1.9 GHz 20 15 “Zen 3”
AMD Ryzen 7 5700U 8C/16T Up to 4.3 /1.8 GHz 12 15 “Zen 2”
AMD Ryzen 5 5600U 6C/12T Up to 4.2 / 2.3 GHz 19 15 “Zen 3”
AMD Ryzen 5 5500U 6C/12T Up to 4.0 / 2.1G Hz 11 15 “Zen 2”
AMD Ryzen 3 5300U 4C/8T Up to 3.8 / 2.6 GHz 6 15 “Zen 2”

For Desktops, the company announced the following:

Model Cores/Threads Boost/Base Frequency (GHz) Cache (MB) TDP (Watts)
AMD Ryzen 9 5900 12C/24T Up to 4.7 / 3.0 GHz 70 65
AMD Ryzen 7 5800 8C/16T Up to 4.6 / 3.4 GHz 36 65

 While AMD Ryzen Threadripper PROs were announced some time ago, AMD announced that there are a few directly available to consumers including the following:

Model Cores/ Threads Boost/Base Frequency (GHz) Total Cache (MB) TDP (Watts)
AMD Ryzen Threadripper PRO 3995WX 64C/128T Up to 4.2 / 2.7 GHz 288 280
AMD Ryzen Threadripper PRO 3975WX 32C/64T Up to 4.2 / 3.5 GHz 144 280
AMD Ryzen Threadripper PRO 3955WX 16C/32T Up to 4.3 / 3.9 GH 72 280

AMD also teases the third generation of the popular AMD EPYC server processors, codenamed Milan. While they did a demo showing a 32-core Milan CPU outperforming competitor’s dual-socket processors. There weren’t many other details given out. We do know that they will launch the new product in the first quarter of 2021.


ADATA/XPG Rolls Out New Products

 ADATA, and their XPG gaming line, made several announcements and showcased a lot of products at CES 2021. While they released some interesting things like gaming gum, gaming chassis, and a CPU cooler, we’re going to focus on their storage announcements. These include:

XPG GAMMIX S70 PCIe Gen4 M.2 2280 SSD: aimed at gamers, the PCIe Gen4 drive has quoted speeds of 7.4GB/s read and 6.4GB/s write with random performance of 650K IOPS read and 740K IOPS write. The drive comes with a terraced heatsink to keep it cool and running hard.

ADTA DDR5 DRAM Module: This drive is said to deliver faster speeds (8400MT/s), higher capacities (up to four times higher), and reduced power consumption to 1.1V.

ADATA SD Express Card: Aiming for a second-quarter 2021 release, the new card leverages the new SD7.0 specification and PCIe Gen3x1, the card will offer read/write speeds of up to 880/400MB/s. ADATA claims that this card will be looked at as a mini SSD.

ADATA SE900G RGB External SDD: The metal shell works as both a protective cover and for heat dissipation. The drive supports USB 3.2 Gen2x2 with transfer speeds up to 2GB/s ADATA states that this means 50GB of 4K video can be transferred in about 50 seconds.