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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 …
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 …
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 …
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_SM

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 …
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: …
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 …
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 …
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 …
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 …
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 …
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 …
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 …
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