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Leo Waldock

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Acer Revo

Acer Aspire Revo R3600

Review The Aspire Revo is Acer’s take on Nvidia’s Ion platform so that’s a good place to start with this review. Acer's Aspire Revo: Atom and Ion on board Ion started life as the GeForce 9300, which is a chipset that connects Intel's Core 2 processors to decent integrated graphics. In our comparison of desktop chipsets with …
Leo Waldock, 25 Jun 2009
Asus Crosshair III

Asus Crosshair III Formula AM3

Review Asus sent us a Crosshair III Socket AM3 Phenom motherboard to use when we tested the Republic of Gamers OC Station. This seemed like a questionable idea as it meant we were testing a £125 accessory on a £137 motherboard. To our mind, it made better sense to match the OC Station with the £299 Rampage II Extreme or a £190 Maximus …
Leo Waldock, 23 Jun 2009
Asus Republic of Gamers OC Station

Asus Republic of Gamers OC Station control box

Review The Republic of Gamers OC Station is an intriguing motherboard accessory that works as a control centre for your mobo without any of that nasty Bios business. It also handles overclocking duties. That’s what the OC stands for, see? Asus Republic of Gamers OC Station Asus' Republic of Gamers OC Station: inspired by Polaroid - or …
Leo Waldock, 23 Jun 2009
Shuttle XPC SX58H7

Shuttle XPC SX58H7

Review Shuttle has managed a feat of engineering with the XPC SX58H7. It has shoehorned a Core i7 motherboard into a small(ish) form-factor case - it measures 325 x 208 x 189mm - of the kind we've seen on models such as the SP45H7. Shuttle XPC SX58H7 Shuttle's XPC SX58H7: engineering miracle? It is the work of moments to remove the …
Leo Waldock, 18 Jun 2009
Core i7 Exteme

Intel Core i7 975 Extreme

Review Intel launched its new Core i7 975 Extreme on the first day of Computex and now it’s time to put this über processor through its paces. The old Core i7 965 Extreme has a clock speed of 3.2GHz (24 x 133MHz) and the new 975 Extreme runs a tad faster, 3.33GHz (25 x 133MHz), so we’re looking at a four per cent increase in …
Leo Waldock, 11 Jun 2009
Shuttle All-in-One PC X5000TA

Shuttle X 5000TA

Review Although the Shuttle All-in-One PC X5000TA looks like a TFT display with a chunky bezel for the speakers, it's actually a proper PC that is controlled through its 15.6in touchscreen. It's housed in a relatively sleek chassis that measures 391mm wide by 327mm high and is only 36mm thick. The fold-out stand at the rear swings up …
Leo Waldock, 03 Jun 2009

Acer Timeline 4810T

Review Acer says its new series of Timeline laptops offer a battery life up to eight hours. That’s a mighty bold claim so we’re putting the Aspire Timeline 4810T under the microscope to see whether it’s a piece of engineering genius or PR puff. Acer Timeline 4810T Acer's Timeline 4810T: titanic battery life? There are three sizes of …
Leo Waldock, 14 May 2009
Intel Xeon 5500

Intel Xeon W5580 workstation desktop processor

Review While we were reviewing the Intel Xeon W5580 it was hard to ignore the similarity between the new Xeon and Intel’s desktop Core i7. After a fair amount of testing, it became apparent that the Xeon W5580 is identical to the Core i7 965 Extreme, except that you can run two Xeons on a workstation motherboard and the price is …
Leo Waldock, 13 May 2009
Acer Aspire One 751

Acer Aspire One 751

Review The new Acer Aspire One 751 has a screen that measures 11.6in on the diagonal with a resolution of 1366 x 768 and that’s mighty big for a netbook. As it happens, we were told a few months back that Intel has strict rules about the sale of Atom N-series processors to avoid cannibalising the sales of Core 2 and Centrino products …
Leo Waldock, 08 May 2009
Radeon 4770 - RV740

AMD ATI Radeon HD 4770 40nm GPU

Review The RV740 graphics chip at the heart of AMD’s new budget Radeon HD, the 4770, is an interesting wee beastie. It’s wee because this is the first graphics chip to use a 40nm fabrication process rather than the 55nm process used in HD 48x0 series and in Nvidia’s latest GeForce GTX 2xx chips. Radeon 4770 AMD's Radeon HD 4770: first …
Leo Waldock, 07 May 2009
Zotac GeForce GTX 275 AMP! Edition

Zotac GeForce GTX 275 AMP! Edition

Review Nvidia launched its GeForce GTX 275 on the same day that AMD delivered the ATI Radeon HD 4890 but it has taken us a while to get our mitts on this factory-overclocked Zotac GeForce GTX 275 AMP! Edition. Zotac GeForce GTX 275 AMP! Edition Zotac's GeForce GTX 275 AMP! Edition: ready to take on the Radeon 4890? AMD had the …
Leo Waldock, 27 Apr 2009
OCZ Vertex SSD

OCZ Vertex solid-state drive

Review OCZ has been rattling out new SSD drives with gay abandon. The 120GB Apex scored 70 per cent in our recent review and now it’s time for the 120GB Vertex to take its place on the test bench. OCZ Vertex SSD OCZ's Vertex: standard 2.5in form-factor Cast your eye down the specifications of the Apex and the Vertex and you’ll …
Leo Waldock, 21 Apr 2009
Intel X25-M

Intel X25-M solid-state drive firmware update

Review Intel has updated the firmware for its four models of mainstream solid-state drives, the 80GB and 160GB 1.8in X18-M and 2.5in X25-M. Intel X-25M and X-18M Intel's X-25M and X-18M: upgraded You may recall that during our review of the 80GB X25-M we were faced with the task of updating the firmware from version 8510 to 8610 and …
Leo Waldock, 20 Apr 2009
Sapphire Vapor-X

Sapphire Vapor-X HD 4850 vapour-cooled graphics card

Review The Sapphire Vapor-X HD 4850 is a reference Radeon HD 4850 with an after-market cooler. That might not sound like a big deal, but Sapphire has come up with something special. Most graphics card manufacturers try to differentiate their products from the competition and they often use the trick of changing the reference cooler for …
Leo Waldock, 16 Apr 2009
Asus EAH4890

AMD ATI Radeon HD 4890

Review The new AMD ATI Radeon HD 4890 is heavily based on the HD 4870 but it has some changes in its architecture that allow it to run substantially higher clock speeds. How much higher? Glad you asked. The 4870 has reference clock speeds of 750MHz for the core and GDDR 5 memory that runs at 900MHz. GDDR 5 is a completely different …
Leo Waldock, 03 Apr 2009
Intel Xeon 5500

Intel 'Nehalem' Xeon 5500 series

Review Intel’s new Xeon 5500 series uses the chip giant's 'Nehalem' architecture to effectively put a pair of Core i7 CPUs on a workstation motherboard. Intel Xeon 5500 Intel's Xeon 5500: scorcher That news should come as a pleasant surprise, but of course Apple ruined our fun when it launched its new Mac Pro a couple of weeks ago, …
Leo Waldock, 01 Apr 2009
Shuttle XPC SP45H7

Shuttle XPC SP45H7

Review We're desperately keen to see the new Shuttle SX58H7, which supports the Core i7 family of processors, but it's currently listed as "coming soon" so we shall have to be patient. In the meantime, Shuttle suggested, why not take a look at the SP45H7? So we did. Shuttle XPC SP45H7 Shuttle's XPC SP45H7: poor value? We had a sense …
Leo Waldock, 25 Mar 2009
Samsung 256GB SSD

Samsung PB22-J 256GB SSD

Review The catchily named Samsung PB22-J MMDOE56G5MXP-0VB weighs in at 256GB and is the biggest SSD we've seen to date. Biggest, that is, in terms of capacity. Physically, it follows the usual 2.5in hard drive form-factor and measures 100 x 70 x 9.5mm. Cosmetically, it’s an attractive drive that has a brushed metal finish but, let’s …
Leo Waldock, 17 Mar 2009
Acer K10

Acer K10 DLP pico projector

Review Acer’s website describes the K10 as a "travel projector", but we reckon the tiny size and weight of this LED unit qualify it as a Pico Projector. Acer K10 Acer's K10: lighter than its own power supply The photos don’t do the K10 justice. Its dimensions are a diminutive 127 x 122 x 52mm tall, including the rubber feet. The …
Leo Waldock, 11 Mar 2009
LG Super Multi Blue BE06-LU10

LG Super Multi Blue BE06-LU10

Review The LG Super Multi Blue BE06-LU10 external DVD writer's headline figure is its 6x Blu-ray writing speed. The rest of the specification also catches the eye: 2x BD-RE, 16x DVD±R, 8x DVD+RW and 6x DVD-RW writing. LG Super Multi Blue BE06-LU10 LG's Super Multi Blue BE06-LU10: stylish, kind of... You need to read the packaging of …
Leo Waldock, 03 Mar 2009
OCZ Apex 120GB

OCZ Apex 120GB SSD

Review From the outside, the 120GB OCZ Apex solid-state drive looks very similar to every other 2.5in SSD on the market, including the 80GB Intel X25-M that we reviewed last year. OCZ Apex 120GB OCZ's Apex: good price-per-gigabyte score Internally, it’s a different story as the Apex uses two JMicron JMF602 Flash controller chips in …
Leo Waldock, 25 Feb 2009
HIS HD 4870 IceQ 4+ Turbo 1GB - key

HIS HD 4870 IceQ 4+ Turbo graphics card

Review HIS describes its HD 4870 IceQ 4+ Turbo 1GB as its "Fastest Single GPU Graphic Card Ever", complete with all of those capital letters. HIS is an AMD partner, so that’s another way of saying that this particular IceQ 4+ is an overclocked Radeon HD 4870 - the 4870 X2 is excluded by virtue of being based on two GPUs. HIS HD 4870 …
Leo Waldock, 24 Feb 2009
Gigabyte GV-R485MC-1GH

Gigabyte passively cooled Radeon 4850 card

Review We've been hugely impressed by the Radeon HD 4850 graphics card thanks to the balance it strikes between price and performance, and we firmly believe that, at £125, it's damn good value. Gigabyte GV-R485MC-1GH Gigabyte's GV-R485MC-1GH: double-slot design... Pretty much our only reservation with the reference HD 4850 centres …
Leo Waldock, 18 Feb 2009
AMD Phenom II

AMD Phenom II Socket AM3 processor

Review The first two models of AMD’s Phenom II processor showed that the move from 65nm to 45nm was thoroughly good news. It reduced power draw and waste heat while allowing AMD to increase clock speeds, which is very jubbly indeed. Now it’s time for the other half of the story, as AMD unveils Socket AM3 with its support for 1333MHz …
Leo Waldock, 09 Feb 2009
AMD Phenom II

AMD Phenom II Socket AM2+ CPU

Review AMD has updated its quad-core Phenom processor with a die-shrink from 65nm to 45nm. The first fruits of this labour are the 3.0GHz Phenom II X4 940 and the 2.8GHz Phenom II X4 920, which are both clocked higher than the 2.6GHz Phenom X4 950 so the die shrink has an immediate benefit in terms of raw clock speed. AMD Phenom II …
Leo Waldock, 02 Feb 2009

Asus ENGTX285 TOP overclocked graphics card

Review Asus' ENGTX285 TOP graphics card is based around Nvidia’s latest graphics chip, the GeForce GTX 285. This is the GT200b core, which is a die-shrink from 65nm to 55nm of the GT200 that was the basis for last summer's big Nvidia release, the GeForce GTX 280. Asus ENGTX285 TOP Asus' ENGTX285 TOP: factory overclocked GTX 285 All …
Leo Waldock, 29 Jan 2009

Western Digital Caviar Green 2TB hard drive

Review Western Digital will break new ground later this month when its 2TB Caviar Green WD20EADS hard drive goes on sale. Seagate packed 1.5TB into its Barracuda 7200.11 drive by using four platters and eight heads, but WD has gone a step better and squeezed 33 per cent more storage capacity into the same space. WD Caviar Green 2TB WD …
Leo Waldock, 27 Jan 2009

Desktop integrated graphics shoot-out

Review There was a time, not so long ago, when integrated graphics were so feeble they couldn’t pull the metaphorical skin off a rice pudding. Broadly speaking, the integrated graphics processor (IGP) was fit for little more than the two-dimensional Windows desktop, and a graphics card was necessary if you wanted to play games. intel …
Leo Waldock, 20 Jan 2009

Sapphire HD4870 X2 Atomic water-cooled graphics card

Review AMD's ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2 is a formidable beast of a graphics card but it has a number of obvious flaws. For starters, it's expensive, with prices starting at £399. It's also very long, measuring 267mm nose to tail, although in fairness that's the same length as an Nvidia GeForce GTX 280. The third snag is that the double-slot …
Leo Waldock, 08 Jan 2009

MSI mobo ditches Bios for EFI

Although the MSI P45D3 Platinum looks like a regular Core 2 motherboard, it breaks new ground. Out goes long-standing PC technology the Bios and in comes UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) in its place. UEFI is the successor to the Bios and seeks to take us away from the antiquated method of changing core computer …
Leo Waldock, 23 Dec 2008

Shuttle X27D

Review We had something of a downer on the Intel Atom 230 as the single-core 1.6GHz processor could barely pull the skin off a rice pudding. Our verdict was that "you can build an incredibly small and cheap PC around the D945GCLF mobo, but the Atom CPU is a severe disappointment on the desktop as it doesn’t have the grunt to do any …
Leo Waldock, 10 Dec 2008

Group Test: AMD Radeon HD 4000 series

Round up When AMD updated the RV670 chip used in the ATI Radeon HD 3000 series to the RV770 in the HD 4000 line, it went ballistic and increased the number of unified shaders from 320 to 800. This change increased performance by a healthy amount and made the HD 4850 the apple of Register Hardware’s eye. But that was only the start of the …
Leo Waldock, 27 Nov 2008

Shuttle SG45H7

Review In appearance, the Shuttle SG45H7 is very similar to the SN68PTG6 that we reviewed earlier this year. But, under the skin, it could hardly be more different. The SN68PTG6 supports an AMD processor with an Nvidia chipset and graphics, while the new model is Intel all the way. The CPU socket is LGA775 for Core 2 Duo or Quad, or, …
Leo Waldock, 24 Nov 2008

Sapphire Radeon HD 4850 X2 dual-GPU graphics card

Review The thinking behind the ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2 seems quite clear. One 4870 and a bunch of GDDR 5 is the basis for a decent graphics card that costs £200-240 but lacks the grunt to take on the GeForce GTX 280. Join two 4870s together on a single card and you have the "fastest gaming graphics card in the world", allegedly. As an …
Leo Waldock, 18 Nov 2008

Intel Core i7 'Nehalem' processor and X58 chipset

Review In appearance, the new Intel Core i7 - based on the 'Nehalem' microarchitecture - looks like a bigger, chunkier version of the Core 2 Quad but under the heat spreader and casing it has a radical design that breaks new ground. New ground, that is, for Intel, but Core i7 seems to have rather a lot in common with AMD's Phenom …
Leo Waldock, 03 Nov 2008

WD Caviar Black 1TB vs Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 1.5TB

Review Western Digital offers its Caviar desktop drives in three varieties that are identified by a handy system of colour coding. Caviar Green is cool, quiet, eco-friendly and - to be frank - lacking in performance. In the mid-range, we have Caviar Blue, which offers performance and reliability with up to 16MB of cache and a maximum …
Leo Waldock, 28 Oct 2008

Asus P6T Deluxe Intel Core i7 motherboard

Preview Intel won’t be launching its new Core i7 'Nehalem' processors and X58 - aka - 'Tylersburg' - chipset until some time in November, so we’ve got to tread carefully with this preview of the Asus P6T Deluxe motherboard. Register Hardware has reported on both the processor and chipset - however, we can’t reveal processor performance …
Leo Waldock, 21 Oct 2008

AMD Fusion for Gaming

Review AMD has been talking about its Fusion technology, which will combine the CPU and GPU in a single unit, for some time now. It's not due until next year, so we were taken aback when the first incarnation of Fusion turned out to be software, not silicon. It looks as though AMD has taken a leaf out of Google’s book as AMD Fusion For …
Leo Waldock, 08 Oct 2008

Sapphire 4850 Toxic graphics card

Review Sapphire’s HD 4850 Toxic graphics card tackles a perceived problem of the reference AMD ATI Radeon HD 485 by changing the cooling package to lower the temperature. The standard HD 4850 runs at a toasty 80-90°C as a result of having 800 unified shaders humming away inside the GPU. AMD uses a variable-speed fan that spins up to …
Leo Waldock, 13 Sep 2008

Intel X-25M solid-state drive

Review After leaks galore about Intel’s foray into solid-state drives, we’ve finally got our hands on an 80GB X25-M - dial 'M' for 'mainstream'. Intel X-25M and X-18M Intel's X-25M and X-18M: dial 'm' for 'mainstream' The X25 and X18 family of SSDs will both be initially available in 80GB versions. There's a 160GB X25 due in Q4. The …
Leo Waldock, 10 Sep 2008

WD VelociRaptor 300GB HDD vs SSD

Review Although Western Digital's VelociRaptor is a new model name, you can trace the roots of this new hard drive all the way back to 2003. The original WD360 Raptor hard drive was something of a one-trick pony as it had a tiny 36GB capacity but could boast the 10,000rpm spin speed that became the signature of the Raptor family. WD …
Leo Waldock, 08 Sep 2008

Intel P45 desktop chipset

Review The P45 Express is Intel’s latest mainstream chipset for the Core 2 range of processors. In many respects, it's a refinement of the P35. However, it has developed in an interesting direction. We generally expect that a new Intel chipset will major on CPU and memory support, but Intel has already got that side of things covered …
Leo Waldock, 04 Sep 2008

Alienware Area-51 m15x gaming laptop

Review Alienware claims that its Area-51 m15x gaming laptop is the "fastest 15.4in notebook ever". Not true if you opt for the basic m15x with Intel Core 2 Duo T8100 processor however. You can get a comparable Sony Vaio BZ11 for £850, and it’s safe to say that any time Sony is being used as a comparison, the value-for-money part of the …
Leo Waldock, 19 Aug 2008

VIA Nano ultra-low power processor

Preview The mobo in our pics may look like a VIA SN18000G, which sells for about £150 with a 1.8GHz C7 processor, but it’s more exciting: it's a reference board for VIA's would be Atom-smasher: Nano. It's designed to demonstrate the new 1.8GHz VIA Nano L2100, to be precise. The CPU's fabbed at 65nm and is set to consume no more than 25W …
Leo Waldock, 14 Aug 2008

16-card GPU bangs-per-buck mega shoot out

We've looked at a host of graphics chips, and while each new GPU generation has its fans who'll dash out and buy it no matter what, plenty of punters prefer to wait and see whether they're worth the money. In short, they ask, what level of bang will we get per buck? Or would be be better off spending a lot less on an older GPU …
Leo Waldock, 12 Aug 2008

AMD Radeon HD 4850 and 4870

Review The new AMD 'RV770' graphics chip that lies at the heart of Radeon HD 4850 and 4870 owes a great deal to the 'RV670' that we saw in HD 3850 and 3870. It uses the same 55nm fabrication process and continues to support DirectX 10.1, but the transistor count has risen from 666m to 956m. That’s a 44 per cent increase in the number …
Leo Waldock, 23 Jul 2008

Nvidia GeForce GTX 280

Review Nvidia has spent the past year waiting for AMD to give it a fight in the graphics sector. The G92 chip used in GeForce 8800 GT was little more than a die-shrink of the G80 that debuted in the original GeForce 8800 GTS and GTX. The GeForce 9800 GTX used the same G92 chip and supported DirectX 10 with Shader Model 4.0 - just like …
Leo Waldock, 09 Jul 2008

Intel Atom 230 ultra low-power desktop CPU

Review We recently reviewed Asus' Eee PC 901, which uses the new 1.6GHz Intel Atom N270 processor. Atom uses the same 45nm technology that you’ll find in the latest 'Penryn' Core 2 CPUs and it packs in some nifty power-saving features that result in a TDP of a mere 2.5W which makes it a natural choice for Small, Cheap Computers. But …
Leo Waldock, 24 Jun 2008

AMD CPU shoot-out: Phenom X3 and X4

Review The birth of AMD’s quad-core Phenom processor was plagued with problems. After a gestation period more akin to an elephant than a CPU, the new silicon popped out puking and bawling but was clearly a bit of a runt. The problem was the now-infamous TLB error that crippled performance and reduced clock speed with the result that …
Leo Waldock, 18 Jun 2008

Lenovo ThinkPad X300 sub-notebook

Review The launch of the Lenovo ThinkPad X300 attracted plenty of comment from Register Hardware readers. ‘Pah,' you said, ‘who cares how thin a laptop is?’ ‘Why would anyone pay two grand for a Lenovo when the HP 2510p is available for about £1500?’ you asked, and ‘What is the 13in screen all about?’ There was a common view that the …
Leo Waldock, 02 May 2008