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Leo Waldock

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WD Black2 Dual Drive

Bigger on the inside: WD’s Tardis-like Black² Dual Drive laptop disk

Review The phone call from Western Digital's people promised me “a completely new category of hard drive”. Naturally I was sceptical. After all, what could possibly be new in the world of rotating magnetic media – and don’t we all just want fast SSDs anyway? In fact, there’s no denying that WD has indeed delivered something new and, …
Leo Waldock, 06 Dec 2013
In-Win D-Frame

Build a BONKERS gaming PC

Feature There is a select band of gamers who will only be satisfied by a huge amount of graphics and processing power. For them, the only thing to do is build a bonkers gaming PC. In my opinion, the tricky part of the job is organising the pile of parts that you’ll use for the build. While we ‘Build a Bonkers...’ writers don’t worry too …
Leo Waldock, 18 Mar 2013
AMD Llano vs Intel Sandy Bridge

AMD Llano vs Intel Sandy Bridge

Review At first glance, AMD's 'Llano' CPU and Intel's 'Sandy Bridge' second-generation Core i platform look like blood brothers. They combine the CPU, a GPU and a memory controller all on a single 32nm die. So how do these laptop chips stand up against each other? To find out, we asked HP to send us two 15.6in Pavilion dv6 laptops, …
Leo Waldock, 03 Oct 2011
Acer Ethos 5951 15in laptop

Acer Ethos 5951G 15.6in Core i5 notebook

Review The Acer Ethos 5951G laptop, with its matt black casing and blue activity LEDs, looks rather purposeful. I continued to be impressed by the cosmetics as I hefted the 3.3kg slab onto my lap even though a closer look revealed the brushed finish on the lid was nothing more than plastic, rather than the implied aluminium skin. …
Leo Waldock, 22 Sep 2011
Packard Bell Easynote LM

Intel 'Sandy Bridge' mobile platform

Review Sandy Bridge is the codename for Intel's second generation of Core processors that covers Core i3, i5 and i7 for both side of the desktop-mobile divide. If you've been following the news lately, you'll know that Dell has discovered flaws in the Cougar Point chipset that, while not revealing a fault in the actual Sandy Bridge CPU …
Leo Waldock, 01 Feb 2011
15in laptops

15in Notebooks: Best Buys

Group Test Choosing a winner from this group of 15.6in laptops was a tricky matter as they have a great deal in common. Apart from sharing the same size screen and 1366 x 768 resolution, they all come with 802.11n Wi-Fi and have a tray-loading multi-format DVD writer. So relatively small differences count for a lot. The HP Pavilion dv6 …
Leo Waldock, 20 Sep 2010
15in laptops

Buyer's Guide: 15in Notebooks

Group Test In this group test I'm comparing six models that have a 15.6in screen with a decent, 1366 x 768 resolution that supports HD video - look for an HDMI port if you want to hook it up to a telly. A mid-size 15.6-inch chassis gives you free rein to choose either a dual-core or quad-core CPU. Intel rules the roost with its Core i3 and …
Leo Waldock, 20 Sep 2010
Toshiba Satellite Pro C650

Toshiba Satellite Pro C650

Review Toshiba has built its Satellite Pro C650 into a chassis that feels rather cheap and not especially cheerful. The deck around the keyboard has a curious textured finish that shows greasy fingerprint marks horribly. Toshiba Satellite Pro C650 Furthermore, the layout of the hardware appears to be guided by the price rather than …
Leo Waldock, 20 Sep 2010
Sony Vaio EB

Sony Vaio EB2

Review The Sony Vaio EB2 is available in a choice of brown, black or pink. Presumably Sony mistook your reviewer for a teenage girl as they sent me the pink version, which was a nasty shock. Sony Vaio EB More importantly I got a pre-production sample with a Pentium P6000 CPU which runs at 1.87GHz and does not support HyperThreading …
Leo Waldock, 20 Sep 2010
Lenovo ThinkPad Edge

Lenovo ThinkPad Edge

Review Lenovo offers its ThinkPad Edge in a massive number of permutations but they are all rather expensive and start north of £1000. My review sample was a relatively basic model that came without the 3G mobile broadband option and with the 4GB of memory installed in two modules, leaving no scope for an upgrade in that department. …
Leo Waldock, 20 Sep 2010
Acer Aspire 5741

Acer Aspire 5741

Review The Aspire 5741 follows Acer's tried and true formula of extracting the maximum value from the core hardware without wasting money by adding extra features. The fact of the matter is that the Intel Core i3's combination of CPU and graphics isn't especially exciting but it does a very fair job of work and offers good value for …
Leo Waldock, 20 Sep 2010
HP Pavilion dv6

HP Pavilion dv6

Review HP describes the Pavilion dv6-3085EA as an "entertainment notebook PC" which shows a shocking lack of imagination as this laptop has a list of interesting features that merit close examination. For starters, this particular version of the dv6 stands out in a world of Intel laptops as it uses an AMD CPU which is allied with an …
Leo Waldock, 20 Sep 2010
Dell Inspiron 15R

Dell Inspiron 15R

Review I'm used to seeing Dell laptops and PCs that are as dull as mud, so the rather attractive-looking Inspiron 15R sample came as a shock. The lid comes in a choice of red, pink, blue or black while the deck of the chassis surrounding the keyboard is chromed. Dell Inspiron 15R The power button and activity lights use subdued …
Leo Waldock, 20 Sep 2010
CyberPower Ultra Scylla

Cyberpower Ultra Scylla six-core AMD PC

Review The Cyberpower Ultra Scylla derives its name from a mythical six-headed sea beastie, which is a tribute to the hexa-core nature of the AMD Phenom II X6 1055T processor that lies inside the PC. CyberPower Ultra Scylla The joy of six: Cyberpower's Ultra Scylla The £899 version of the Ultra Scylla that I was sent includes a 21. …
Leo Waldock, 14 Jul 2010
Sony Vaio L13

Sony Vaio L13 touchscreen PC

Review The Sony Vaio L series of all-in-one touchscreen PCs launched last year, now has some new additions. The Vaio L13, L11 and L12 models share the same basic features including a 24in 1920 x 1080 multi-touch glossy screen, 4GB RAM and 64-bit Windows 7 Home Premium. Sony Vaio L13 Touch and go: Sony's Vaio L13 The L11 model costs …
Leo Waldock, 30 Jun 2010
WD SSD SiliconEdge

WD SiliconEdge Blue 256GB SSD

Review Hard drive manufacturer Western Digital has taken not one but two steps into the Solid State Drive market. Up in the Enterprise stratosphere we have three WD N1x drives that use SLC memory and are hellishly expensive at £310 for 32GB, £649 for 64GB and £1099 for 128GB. WD SSD SiliconEdge Solid offering? Western Digital's …
Leo Waldock, 17 Jun 2010
Acer TimelineX

Acer Timeline X 4820TG

Review A year ago Acer’s Aspire Timeline 4810T notched up a ground-breaking eight hours of battery life thanks to the careful use of low power Core 2 hardware. The new Acer Aspire Timeline X ups the ante with claims that it can deliver up to 12 hours from the optional nine-cell battery – the standard six-cell is another story. Acer …
Leo Waldock, 12 May 2010
Acer Aspire X5900

Acer Aspire X5900

Review Acer classifies its Aspire X5900 as a prestige PC and I have to confess that I was bowled over by the looks of this sleek micro-tower. The power button is brightly lit with a white LED, while the hard drive activity light is positioned on the top of the case along with the DVD eject button. It’s all very neat. Acer Aspire X5900 …
Leo Waldock, 29 Apr 2010
Dell Inspiron Zino HD

Dell Inspiron Zino HD

Review The price of the Dell Inspiron Zino HD has risen since Reg Hardware first reviewed it, with the base price now starting at £329 instead of £279. The highly specced review system came complete with a Blu-ray combo drive and we calculate the all-in price at £730. Dell Inspiron Zino HD You don’t get a TFT display included in …
Leo Waldock, 29 Apr 2010
Fujitsu Esprimo Q9000

Fujitsu Esprimo Q9000

Review Fujitsu's Esprimo Q9000 packs the guts of a laptop into a tiny desktop system. There’s a 2.13GHz Intel Core i3-330M with integrated Intel HD graphics, 4GB of DDR 3 memory, a 160GB Hitachi laptop hard drive and Gigabit Ethernet. Fujitsu Esprimo Q9000 There's an 802.11n Wi-Fi option - it was included in the test unit - and you …
Leo Waldock, 29 Apr 2010
Peak Cape 7 Ion

Peak Cape 7 Ion

Review The Cape 7 Ion combines a single-core Intel Atom 230 processor with a Nvidia Ion graphics chipset in a tiny PC that measures 173 x 154 x 20mm - approximately the same size as a paperback book. Peak Cape 7 Ion Inside the casing there is a Fujitsu 2.5in laptop hard drive that was 80GB in the test sample but will be 160GB in …
Leo Waldock, 29 Apr 2010
Shuttle XPC SG41J1

Shuttle XPC SG41J1

Review The SG41J1 is part of Shuttle's entry-level J series of barebones systems so you’ll be building this PC yourself. Provided you can live with fairly basic integrated graphics you’ll need to supply an LGA775 Intel Core 2 processor, DDR 2 memory, a hard drive and an operating system, plus mouse, keyboard, speakers and a display. …
Leo Waldock, 29 Apr 2010
Viewsonic PC Mini 132

Viewsonic PC Mini 132

Review The Viewsonic PC Mini 132 has a fair amount in common with the Cape 7 Ion as both machines are tiny devices that combine an Intel Atom processor with an Nvidia's Ion integrated chipset. Viewsonic PC Mini 132 Viewsonic includes a stand that holds the PC upright with the antenna for the Atheros-made 802.11n wireless pointing …
Leo Waldock, 29 Apr 2010
Mini Desktop PCs

Mini Desktop PCs: Best Buys

Group Test Mini PCs range from the downright tiny to systems that, today, seem barely smaller than a regular mini-tower machine. They encompass models based on desktop components and PCs that use laptop parts. To recap, here are the machines I looked at this time: Acer Aspire X5900 Dell Inspiron Zino HD Fujitsu Esprimo Q9000 Peak Cape …
Leo Waldock, 29 Apr 2010
Mini Desktop PCs

Mini Desktop PCs

Group Test While Microsoft and Intel both spent many years trying to persuade us we needed big, bulky media centre PCs underneath our TVs, space considerations and a lack of downloadable content meant that most folk were more than happy to make do with a DVD player. The explosion in online content - particularly video material - means that …
Leo Waldock, 29 Apr 2010
Mini Desktop PCs

Buyer's Guide: Mini Desktop PCs

Reviews When you choose the components for a new desktop PC, it’s pretty much a numbers game. The more you pay, the more CPU cores, gigahertz of CPU speed, and gigabytes of memory and hard drive space you get. You don't have to worry about very much else. Dell Inspiron Zino HD Looks are more important when your PC is in your living …
Leo Waldock, 29 Apr 2010
256gb Micron Real SSD

Crucial RealSSD C300 256GB Sata 3 SSD

Review The 256GB Crucial RealSSD C300 breaks new ground, as it is the first SSD to use a Sata 3.0 interface with its theoretical connection speed of 6GB/second. Alas, the use of Sata 3.0 interface on a conventional hard drive wasn’t so convincing, as revealed in Reg Hardware’s Seagate Barracuda XT review. In closing that piece, the …
Leo Waldock, 07 Apr 2010
YoYoTech Warbird i750CX

YoYoTech Warbird i750CX

Review The YoYoTech Warbird i750CX is a juiced-up version of the Warbird i750X. Both models are bare towers that come without a display, mouse, keyboard, speakers or operating system, although our review unit was supplied with Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit already installed to save us the effort. Everything else is included. YoYoTech …
Leo Waldock, 15 Mar 2010
Toshiba Regza 26DV615DB

Toshiba Regza 26in combi TV

Review The Toshiba 26DV615DB is rather big and chunky for a 26in telly, but that's because it has a DVD player built into the casing. The result is that it measures 100mm in depth, so it's by no means thin. In addition, the bezel is a substantial 50mm all round, so this relatively small HDTV measures 681mm wide by 514mm tall. Toshiba …
Leo Waldock, 18 Feb 2010
HP Pavilion Elite HPE-180

HP Pavilion Elite HPE-180

Review The Pavilion Elite HPE-180 stands at the pinnacle of the HP's home PC line-up and sports spec to match. It has a 2.80GHz Intel Core i7-860 processor, 8GB of DDR 3 memory, a Blu-ray combo drive and, to make use of all that memory, 64-bit Windows 7 Home Premium. HP Pavilion Elite HPE-180 HP's Pavilion Elite HPE-180: merlot trim? …
Leo Waldock, 16 Feb 2010
Seagate Barracuda XT

Seagate Barracuda XT 2TB Sata 3.0 HDD

Review The Seagate Barracuda XT is the latest 2TB hard drive to land on our test bench, following on from the WD Caviar Black and Green and the Hitachi Ultrastar. It’s the largest capacity Seagate we have seen since the 1.5TB Barracuda 7200.11 so you may think that Seagate was as keen as mustard to scatter review samples to the waiting …
Leo Waldock, 13 Jan 2010
Toshiba MK6465GSX

Toshiba MK6465GSX 640GB laptop hard drive

Review Toshiba is the first manufacturer to deliver a 2.5in laptop hard drive that packs more than 500GB of storage. Its new MK6465GSX sports 640GB on two platters, and while we are aware that the Western Digital Scorpio Blue and Seagate Momentus 5400.7 are also available in 640GB models we haven’t seen either drive to date. Toshiba …
Leo Waldock, 21 Dec 2009
Sapphire Radeon HD 5970

AMD ATI Radeon HD 5970 two-GPU graphics card

Review Cast your eye over our news piece on AMD's ATI Radeon HD 5970 and our review of the HD 5870 and you’ll have the essential information at your fingertips. AMD has, for some unknown reason, changed its naming convention, so this two-chip HD 5870-based graphics card has been named HD 5970 instead of the more predictable HD 5870 X2 …
Leo Waldock, 09 Dec 2009
Hitachi Ultrastar A7K2000

Hitachi Ultrastar A7K2000 2TB HDD

Review Back in August 2009, Hitachi announced that it was “shipping the industry’s first 2TB 7200rpm desktop hard disk drive” in the shape of the Deskstar 7K2000. Hitachi Ultrastar A7K2000 Hitachi's Ultrastar A7K2000: better duration specs than the Deskstar That statement may have been accurate, depending on your definition of ‘ …
Leo Waldock, 24 Nov 2009
Lenovo IdeaPad S10-2

Lenovo IdeaPad S10-2

Review Lenovo’s new IdeaPad S10-2 is an update of the S10e. The hardware is conventional netbook fare with a dual-core Atom processor and a 10.1in screen all dressed up in a smart chassis that makes it look like a baby ThinkPad. There have been a number of updates for this model, such as an increase in the frontside bus speed for the …
Leo Waldock, 23 Nov 2009
MSI P55-GD65

Intel P55-based motherboards

Group Test If you’re planning to build a new PC around an Intel 'Lynnfield' Core i5 or Core i7-800 processor then you are guaranteed to get stacks of performance at a reasonable price. In addition to a new CPU, you'll also need a motherboard that's based on Intel's P55 chipset and supports the LGA1156 interconnect spec. To help you choose …
Leo Waldock, 12 Nov 2009
Kingston SSD Now V 40GB

Kingston SSD Now V 40GB boot drive

Review We are deeply impressed by solid-state drive technology and would love to recommend that you ditch your hard drive immediately. However, there are a few obstacles. You can buy a 2TB hard drive for £135 but have to fork out £195 for an 80GB Intel SSD, up to £300 for a 128GB SSD and £500 for a 256GB SSD. Kingston SSD Now V 40GB …
Leo Waldock, 09 Nov 2009
AMD ATI Radeon HD 5770

AMD ATI Radeon HD 5770 and 5750 DirectX 11 GPUs

Review AMD's Radeon HD 5770 and 5750 are the mid-range members of the new HD 5000 DirectX 11 graphics chip family. They're fabbed using a 40nm process, just like their bigger brothers. AMD ATI Radeon HD 5770 Sapphire's HD 5770: reference Radeon HD 5770 design But the number of transistors in these mid-range chips - codenamed ' …
Leo Waldock, 28 Oct 2009
Packard Bell Butterfly s

Packard Bell EasyNote Butterfly

Review Over the past two years Acer has bought the eMachines, Gateway and Packard Bell. Dividing the buying public into a number of categories that it can target with specific brands, Packard Bell covers the ‘Trends & Lifestyle’ group in Europe, and the EasyNote Butterfly s laptop is part of the plan. Packard Bell Butterfly s Light on …
Leo Waldock, 13 Oct 2009
AMD Radeon HD 5870

AMD ATI Radeon HD 5870 and 5850 DirectX 11 GPUs

Review Before we dive into our review of the HIS Digital HD 5850 and Sapphire HD 5870 graphics cards, let’s take a quick look at the technology behind the AMD’s new family of graphics chips. Sapphire Radeon HD 5870 Sapphire's Radeon HD 5870: a 50 per cent gaming performance boost... These DirectX 11 graphics cores use the same 40nm …
Leo Waldock, 12 Oct 2009
Western Digital Caviar Black 2TB

WD Caviar Black 2TB

Review The 2TB Caviar Black is the second hard drive we have seen with a capacity of two terabytes. Glance back to our 2008 round-up of 1TB drives, which used three or four platters, and you can see that this is pretty much a doubling of areal density. Western Digital Caviar Black 2TB Western Digital's Caviar Black 2TB: covered up …
Leo Waldock, 07 Oct 2009
Crucial CT256M225

Crucial CT256M225 256GB SSD

Review Crucial supplies a fair amount of information about its CT256M225 256GB SSD, including the facts that it uses MLC Flash, has a read speed of 250MB/s, a write speed of 200MB/s and comes with a 64MB cache. Crucial CT256M225 Crucial's CT256M225: Indilinx' controller on board The one piece of data that is clearly missing is the …
Leo Waldock, 05 Oct 2009
Sapphire Radeon HD 4890 Vapor-X

Sapphire Radeon HD 4890 Vapor-X 1GB

Review When Sapphire had added its Vapor-X cooler to AMD's Radeon HD 4850 it turned a standard single-slot board into a very, very quiet dual-slot card. Now it has performed the same trick on the Radeon HD 4890. Sapphire Radeon HD 4890 Vapor-X Sapphire's Radeon HD 4890 Vapor-X: very, very quiet... The two Vapor-X designs look very …
Leo Waldock, 17 Sep 2009
Intel Core i5

Intel Core i5-750 and Core i7-870

Review We published an in-depth look at Intel's 45nm 'Lynnfield' processors - aka the quad-core Core i7-870 and Core i5-750 - last week. Unfortunately, the chip giant's non-disclosure agreement (NDA) prevented us from including full performance figures. Intel officially launched the new chips yesterday morning, so we're now free to …
Leo Waldock, 09 Sep 2009

Intel 'Lynnfield'

Preview When Intel launched the 'Nehalem' architecture-based Core i7 - codenamed 'Bloomfield' - and the X58 chipset in November 2008, we assumed that the anticipated mid-range follow up would be called Core i5. LGA1156 vs LGA1366 LGA1156 vs LGA1366: on top... This mid-range processor - codenamed 'Lynnfield' - was flagged as a …
Leo Waldock, 27 Aug 2009
Intel X25-M

Intel X25-M 34nm Flash SSD

Review Intel was the first company to deliver a Sata SSD, its 80GB X25-M, and we were blown away by the combination of speed and silence. Unfortunately, the price was rather steep but you can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs. When we reviewed the X25-M, it never occurred to us to ask about the fabrication process that Intel …
Leo Waldock, 18 Aug 2009
Kingston SSD Now V

Kingston SSD Now V

Review Kingston Technology offers three distinct families of SSD, with the SSD Now E series for servers and the SSD Now M series aimed at mainstream performance PCs. These models are exactly the same as the Intel X25-E and X25-M drives, no doubt thanks to the IM Flash Technologies joint venture between Intel and Micron. Kingston SSD …
Leo Waldock, 22 Jul 2009
Patriot Torqx SSD

Patriot Torqx 128GB SSD

Review Patriot’s first stab at a solid-state drive went by the name of Warp and used the oft-derided JMicron 602 controller. By contrast, the new Torqx series of SSDs makes the switch to the Indilinx Barefoot controller that so impressed us when we reviewed the OCZ Vertex. Patriot Torqx SSD Patriot's Torqx: based on Indilinx' nippy …
Leo Waldock, 08 Jul 2009
Core i7 Coolers

Ten of the best... Core i7 CPU coolers

Round-up Intel’s standard CPU cooler for the Core i7 family looks like a slightly bigger version of the cooler that we're used to seeing on LGA775 Pentium D and Core 2 chips. It works well at the standard speed but lets the side down when you start overclocking. Thermaltake SpinQ After-market coolers for Core i7 come in two distinct …
Leo Waldock, 07 Jul 2009
Intel Core i7

The best memory config for a Core i7 CPU

When Intel launched Core i7, the integration of the memory controller in the CPU core marked a major change from the Core 2 architecture. Intel was relatively slow off the mark in this regard: AMD moved the memory controller from the chipset to the CPU die in 2003 when it launched the Opteron. Core i7 Exteme Intel's Core i7: …
Leo Waldock, 01 Jul 2009