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Simon Crisp

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A rather dusty old Dell, pictured by Tim Massey

Building a fanless PC is now realistic. But it still ain't cheap

When it comes to PC performance the elephant in the room is heat generation. Generally, the cooler a CPU or GPU can be kept the faster it will run, hence mega-overclocked systems running liquid nitrogen cooling systems and producing mind-numbingly high benchmark scores and more clouds than your average Pink Floyd concert. For …
Simon Crisp, 26 Feb 2016
man crying, image via Shutterstock

Eight budget-friendly 1TB SSD data packers for real people

It wasn’t that long ago that the idea of a 2.5in 1TB class SSD roundup would have been laughable mainly because the very idea of a 1TB drive aimed at the consumer market would have been considered a flight of fancy. Until recently large capacity SSDs were the domain of the corporate and enterprise sectors with the accompanying …
Simon Crisp, 21 Jan 2016
Qnap TS-453mini NAS box

Brimming with VM goodness: Qnap TS-453mini 4-bay NAS

Review Qnap’s TS-453mini is the latest addition to the company’s TS-x53 Pro mid-range series of NAS units for SMBs.It is available in two basic models, the TS-453mini-2G (2GB DD3L) and the TS-453mini-8G, the flagship model of the range. The one I have to review has the maximum amount of memory the unit supports: 8GB of DDR3L running at …
Simon Crisp, 18 Sep 2015
Crucial MX200 mSATA SSD

Storage boosters: Six mSATA format SSDs on test

Product Round-up The M.2 format for SSDs seems to be hogging all the headlines of late and the form factor may well be the future for storage for thin and light notebooks, tablets and nano-sized PCs. Yet the market is still gearing up to support it, so devices that can accommodate the format are still pretty thin on the ground, albeit improving …
Simon Crisp, 28 Aug 2015
Intel Skylake unlocked Core i5 and i7 CPUs

All aboard the Skylake: How Intel stopped worrying and learned to love overclocking

Review Nope, it’s not the next instalment of the James Bond franchise, but Intel’s eagerly awaited successor to the Broadwell platform. Skylake, like Broadwell, is built on a 14nm process but this time we get yet another new socket, as the new CPUs use the LGA1151 Socket. Intel Skylake unlocked Core i5 and i7 CPUs Ready for a CPU …
Simon Crisp, 21 Aug 2015
Intel SSD750 NVMe 1.2TB PCIe SSD

Assessing the power of Intel’s SSD 750 … but check your motherboard before buying

Review Although SSDs have a huge performance advantage over the good, old-fashioned clattering mechanical drive, they have (up till now) been held back because of their reliance on AHCI (Advanced Host Controller Interface) architecture, developed in 2004 for standard disks and, in particular, SATA interfaced disks. Intel SSD750 NVMe …
Simon Crisp, 03 Aug 2015
Qnap TS-231+ dual bay NAS box

It's enough to get your back up: Eight dual-bay SOHO NAS boxes

Product Round-Up For a great many people, there is only one place to look when talking about storing data somewhere other than their local storage in their PC, notebook or tablet – and that’s to the cloud. Seagate STCT200 dual bay NAS box Best of both worlds: a dual-bay NAS can either double up on capacity or be configured to mirror data …
Simon Crisp, 02 Aug 2015

Speed freak: Kingston HyperX Predator 480GB PCIe SSD

Review If evidence from last/early this year’s large technology shows is anything to go by, then 2015 might just be the year that consumer PCIe SSD market begins stirring – something that's long overdue. Kingston HyperX Predator 480GB HHHL PCIe SSD Kingston's HyperX Predator, the company's fastest SSD to date PCIe-based drives, …
Simon Crisp, 28 Jul 2015
Intel SSD 750

Thinking of adding an SSD for SUPREME speed? Read this

Feature Those guys in white coats at the Serial ATA International Organization (SATA-IO) must have been really proud when they unleashed the SATA 6Gb/s specifications on the world. You can imagine them thinking: this will keep us ahead of the game when it comes to hard drive performance. Certainly they were right when it comes to the …
Simon Crisp, 10 Jul 2015
Kingston HyperX Savage 240GB SSD

Kingston offers up its fastest SATA SSD: HyperX Savage 240GB

Review Kingston’s latest SATA-based addition to its HyperX range of SSDs is the Savage, an SSD which boasts some pretty impressive performance and endurance figures. Kingston HyperX Savage 240GB SSD The beast within: Kingston's HyperX Savage According to the official sequential figures for the drive, it is the company’s fastest …
Simon Crisp, 06 Jul 2015
Intel NUC5i5RYK

Pint-sized PCIe powerhouse: Intel NUC5i5RYK

Review Intel’s teeny-weeny NUC or Next Unit of Computing device was first launched back in 2012 and has been tweaked and updated at regular intervals ever since. Just recently, the latest version of the NUC landed in my lap – or to be more precise, landed in the palm of my hand. Intel NUC5i5RYK Intel's next Next Unit of Computing …
Simon Crisp, 23 Jun 2015
Crucial BX100 and MX200 SSDs

Business or pleasure? Crucial MX200 and BX100 1TB SSDs

Review It’s not often you get an SSD manufacturer launching two new families of drives at the same time, but Crucial is back from kicking the sand into the faces of its competitors with its aggressive pricing policy of the MX100 series. This time it's flexing its muscles with the BX100 and MX200 ranges. Crucial BX100 SSD Budget 1TB …
Simon Crisp, 12 May 2015
The Chocolate Festival, London

Exercising with chocolate: Festival and tours galore

Chocolate and exercise together, whatever next? Well, for the chocoholics and general lovers of cacao based products, there are various chocolate tours springing up at various locations around the country including Edinburgh, Oxford and one taking place in London this weekend. The Chocolate Festival, London Naughty, but nice …
Simon Crisp, 28 Mar 2015
Buffalo LinkStation 441D 4-bay NAS box

An uncomplicated Buffalo in SOHO: The LinkStation 441D 4-bay NAS box

Review Buffalo’s latest addition to the LinkStation family of consumer NAS boxes is the 4-bay LS441D. It’s available off-the-shelf in a number of capacities starting at 4TB and increasing in 4TB increments to 16TB. The unit I’m looking at here is the bare enclosure – the LS441DE. Out of the box all the units are set to a default RAID 5 …
Simon Crisp, 10 Mar 2015
Thecus N4310 4-bay NAS box

Thecus N4310 4-bay: A NAS-ty beast for the budget-conscious

Review When The Reg did a roundup of four bay NAS units a few months back, it was mentioned that it was intended to put the latest Thecus model, the N4310, up against some of its competitors. The company was finalising some firmware tweaks before launch, though, so it wasn’t available in time. But now I’ve got my hands on one to see …
Simon Crisp, 16 Feb 2015
Samsung 850 EVO 1TB SSD

Samsung's 850 EVO 1TB SSD appears live ... in 3D

Review It was only a matter of time before Samsung dropped its 32-layer 3D V-NAND (3D Vertical NAND) technology further down the food chain, following its début in the high-end 850 PRO. The result is now with us in the shape of the 850 EVO, which, just like its 840 EVO predecessor, differs from the standard 850 PRO in the type of NAND …
Simon Crisp, 19 Jan 2015
Adata DashDrive HD710

Eight pocket-pleasing USB 3.0 hard drives

Product Roundup My, how time flies. It has been a couple of years since El Reg did a group test of external USB3.0 hard drives and comparing prices for 1TB drives between then and now shows how much the price of conventional hard drives has fallen in the meantime. Then, only one drive was under the £100 barrier, this time around, all the ones I …
Simon Crisp, 09 Jan 2015

Sink your teeth into OCZ's ARC 100 SSD sizzler with tasty home-grown chips

Review After Toshiba’s acquisition of the company, OCZ has in one fell swoop joined the elite band of SSD manufacturers who are in the extremely fortunate position of being able to source “in-house” all the internal chips that matter in a drive: namely, the NAND and the controller. OCZ ARC 100 SSD Teaming up with Tosh: OCZ's ARC …
Simon Crisp, 08 Dec 2014
Kingston SSDNow V310 960GB

You get what you pay for: Kingston's SSDNow V310 960GB whopper

Review Kingston’s SSD division have been a bit quiet lately but now they're back in the limelight with the V310 960GB. This is the latest model in the company’s SSDNow V300 series of drives aimed at the budget/entry level end of the market. At 960GB it’s the largest capacity Kingston SSD to date. Kingston SSDNow V310 960GB Kingston …
Simon Crisp, 21 Oct 2014
Kingston Fury SSD

Top 10 SSDs: Price, performance and capacity

Product round-up Since we last ran a roundup of SSDs, the market consumer for the drives has moved on at lightning speed, not just in terms of performance, but also in NAND technology and capacity. The performance advances are such that even some entry level SSDs are fast approaching the SATA 6Gb/s limit – well, for sequential performance anyway …
Simon Crisp, 03 Oct 2014
SanDisk Extreme Pro SSD

SanDisk Extreme Pro SSD – courting speed freaks and gamers

Review Typical. Just when we've gotten over the shock of a SSD drive being offered with a 10-year warranty, namely Samsung’s SSD850 PRO (reviewed recently), when another appears on the block, this time from SanDisk. SanDisk Extreme Pro SSD SanDisk Extreme Pro SSD I wonder if you asked the man in the street to name his top four …
Simon Crisp, 22 Sep 2014
Samsung SSD850 PRO 3D V-NAND storage

A SCORCHIO fatboy SSD: Samsung SSD850 PRO 3D V-NAND

Review Samsung has been in the SSD business for over ten years. Most of that time has been spent delivering drives to the Enterprise and OEM segments. Since the introduction of its first consumer SSD drive (the SSD430) in 2010, it has since shipped over 12m drives worldwide – including the SSD840, the world’s first TLC NAND drive. …
Simon Crisp, 16 Sep 2014
Intel SSD Pro 2500

We lift the lid on Intel's Pro 2500 SSD. Shock, horror: It doesn't use its own NAND chips

Review Intel has been busy of late launching SSDs for both the consumer market and for the data centre/enterprise segments. But the dedicated business segment, which Intel addressed for the first time last year with the SSD Pro 1500, was the one area where it didn't introduce a new drive. With the launch of the SSD Pro 2500 series, …
Simon Crisp, 10 Sep 2014
Samsung SSD845DC PRO PCB Top

On test: Samsung 845DC EVO 3-bit Toggle MLC and 845DC PRO 3D V-NAND SSDs

Review The push of SSDs into areas once considered the domain of the standard hard drive storage shows no appetite in slowing down, in fact the estimate is that the SSD market will grow by 30 percent this year (2014) alone. Samsung SSD845DC EVO Samsung SSD845DC EVO or PRO? You can't tell from the top but inside they are different …
Simon Crisp, 11 Aug 2014
Intel Devil's Canyon Core i7-4790K CPU

Overclocking to 5GHz? We put Intel Devil’s Canyon CPU to the test

Review It seems as if we waited an age for the latest unlocked "K" versions of the upgraded 22nm Haswell CPUs, but at long last they are here in the form of the Devil’s Canyon processors. Intel Devil's Canyon Core i7-4790K CPU Intel's Devil's Canyon has some fancy artwork to go with it, but the chip looks like a chip Currently, …
Simon Crisp, 30 Jun 2014