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Leo Waldock

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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 …
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 …
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- …
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 …
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 …
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. …
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 …
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 …
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 …
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 …
Leo Waldock, 02 May 2008