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Leo Waldock

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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. …
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 …
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 …
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 …
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 …
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 …
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 …
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