Feeds
The Register Columnists

Simon Crisp

Contact Mail Follow RSS feed
Intel 730 SSD

We test Intel's 730 480GB SSD Skulltrail scorcher

While Crucial and Samsung have been making waves in the consumer SSD market with their affordable – well, kind of affordable – 1TB drives, there has been a noticeable silence from one of the giants in the consumer space – Intel. Intel 730 SSD Intel 730 SSD complete with the Skulltrail logo found on its gaming-centric …
Simon Crisp, 03 Mar 2014
WD My Cloud EX4 NAS box

WD My Cloud EX4 four-bay NAS

WD is on a mission to make using NAS as easy as possible for consumers to use, from setting a unit up to accessing it remotely via a personal cloud. It’s not exactly a new mission, yet it has gained momentum since the company introduced its popular single bay My Cloud range. Now to get over the limitations of using just a single …
Simon Crisp, 13 Feb 2014
KingSpec Multicore MC1S81M2T 2TB PCI-E SSD

KingSpec's 2TB Multicore PCI-E SSD whopper vs the rest

Earlier this year we took a look at SSD caching, an alternative way of getting some SSD performance added to a system without too much strain put on the finances. So how about a gander at the other end of the spectrum – huge capacity and performance and a total disregard for the budget Enter the KingSpec Multicore MC1S81M2T, a …
Simon Crisp, 06 Aug 2013
Crucial M500 SSD internals

Review: Crucial M500 960GB SSD

When Intel entered the personal computer solid-state drive market it was with the stated aim of making SSDs something more than an expensive luxury. It implied it would drive prices down to a point where SSDs would become a viable alternative to the standard rattling old mechanical disk drive. But even the blue-hued chip giant …
Simon Crisp, 08 May 2013
Intel mSata SSD

Cache 'n' carry: What's the best config for your SSD?

The idea of using a low-capacity SSD to store the most frequently accessed files or parts of files in order to access them more quickly than a mechanical hard drive can serve them up - a technique called SSD caching - has been around for some time, but it wasn’t until the arrival of Intel’s Smart Response Technology with the …
Simon Crisp, 12 Feb 2013
Intel 335 240GB SSD

Review: Intel 335 240GB SSD

Intel’s 520 and 330 range of 2.5in consumer SSDs are the product of its relationship with LSI SandForce. It's practically unheard of for Intel not to have a controller of its own but its reliance on SandForce has left it in the same boat as every other drive manufacturer using these controllers. Namely, they are all eagerly …
Simon Crisp, 29 Jan 2013
Thunderbolt Performance Chart

Thunderbolt interface strikes YOUR PC: What's the damage?

Thunderbolt has been available on Intel-based motherboards for around six months and although Apple has featured it on its computers since 2011, peripherals with this interface have appeared at a glacial pace. But the ice appears to be melting now. Besides a range of hubs and adapters that take advantage of Thunderbolt's …
Simon Crisp, 02 Jan 2013
Samsung SSD 840 series

Samsung SSD 840 series storage review

When Samsung launched its first true consumer SSD, the 470, it was met with a generally good reception. Yet the timing of its release pretty much coincided with the arrival of drives using the second generation of LSI’s SandForce controller and its 6Gb/s SATA 3 interface. Hence, the 470 having a 3Gb/s SATA 2 interface was no …
Simon Crisp, 26 Nov 2012
Plextor M5 Pro 256GB SSD PX-256M5P

Plextor M5 Pro 256GB SSD review

Some companies make a real song and dance about the launch of a new product, others just seem to launch something without hardly making a ripple. Plextor sits firmly in the latter category, which is something of a surprise considering its latest Pro SSD range, the M5 series, features not one but two new technologies that are, …
Simon Crisp, 31 Oct 2012
Crucial v4 256GB (CT256V4SSD2) SSD

Crucial v4 256GB budget SSD review

The latest addition to Crucial’s range of SSD’s, the v4 series isn’t, as you might expect, the follow up to the company’s highly successful m4 series but a different animal entirely. It's so different in fact, it makes you wonder what was Crucial’s thinking behind it. Crucial v4 256GB (CT256V4SSD2) SSD Practical electronics: …
Simon Crisp, 05 Sep 2012
Intel Ivy Bridge mobile

Ivy Bridge for Ultrabooks

The one thing missing at the launch of Intel’s Ivy Bridge CPU technology was detail on the dual-core and lower powered chips for the mobile market segment, in particular, for its Ultrabook concept. The recent launch of the ULV (Ultra Low Voltage) and dual-core standard voltage mobile Ivy Bridge parts has revealed all, with the …
Simon Crisp, 20 Aug 2012
Intel SSD 330

Intel 330 120GB SSD review

When Intel launched the SSD 520 series of drives it caused quite a kerfuffle. The company had abandoned using one of its own controllers or even a Marvell controller, as found in the 510 series. Instead, the ubiquitous LSI Sandforce SF-2281 controller was utilised but with Intel’s own hand firmly in charge of the firmware. …
Simon Crisp, 08 Aug 2012
OCZ Vertex 4 256GB Sata 3 SSD

OCZ Vertex 4 256GB SSD review

Time was, when OCZ was typically first out of the gate with a range of SSDs based on any new incarnation of SandForce controllers. Yet, the first generation of the company’s popular Vertex drives were powered by Indilinx’s Barefoot controller. Now, with the fourth generation of Vertex drives, OCZ has completed the circle and …
Simon Crisp, 26 Jul 2012
Smarter Memory

Choose Smarter: Ten…portable optical drives

Optical drive is the collective term for CD, DVD and Blu-ray readers, recorders and rewriters, the mainstay of swap-in-swap-out storage in notebook and desktop computers. For many reasons, optical discs remain a useful storage option and having a portable unit allows you to get the best of the latest laser tech without having …
Simon Crisp, 26 Jul 2012
Extreme Hardware

AMD and Intel mainstream desktop CPUs

It’s fair to say that Intel has the very high end desktop processor market pretty much to itself, however, it’s a different story in the lower end of the food chain. Although Intel – through the sheer number of different processors it offers – seems to have it all its own way, AMD does make a good fight of it at a number of …
Simon Crisp, 28 Jun 2012
Smarter Memory

Choose Smarter: Ten... Sata 3 SSDs

There may never be parity between SSDs and the good old mechanical HDD, but the solid state option is moving rapidly in the right direction regarding cost and capacity. SSDs already lead the way in terms of resilience (they're far more durable than hard drives), power consumption (low), noise (lower still) and speed (high), …
Simon Crisp, 22 Jun 2012
Smarter Memory

Choose Smarter: Ten… USB 3.0 External Hard Drives

Hard drives are still the most cost-effective way of adding extra storage capacity to a desktop or laptop. They are cheap to buy, easy to use and remarkably robust in service. Solid-state drives may be quicker, but while the prices of hard drives continue to fall, their capacity goes on climbing, so the overall cost per …
Simon Crisp, 22 Jun 2012
Smarter Memory

Choose Smarter: Ten… Class 10 SDHC Cards

Until the day when broadband is truly fast and all devices have wireless internet access as well as sync'n'store services such as Dropbox or Google Drive, memory cards will remain the most convenient general-purpose, pocketable storage medium. They help everyone to move documents, photos, music and videos around safely and …
Simon Crisp, 21 Jun 2012
Samsung SSD 830 solid state drive

Ten... Sata 3 SSDs

It wasn’t that long ago that it would’ve been a struggle to put together a list of ten consumer SSDs. Now it's case of asking: only ten? Indeed, the rise of flash based storage in the last 18 months or so has been truly astounding. Increased competition and cheaper NAND prices have combined to force prices well below the …
Simon Crisp, 09 Jun 2012
AMD and Nvidia extreme GPUs

AMD and Nvidia extreme GPUs workout

Extreme PC Week At the very extreme end of desktop graphics are the dual GPU, frame crunching, power hungry monsters that you won’t give you much change from a grand. The extreme offerings can be a little difficult to find too, as most card vendors only produce a limited range. Instead, they prefer to concentrate on the next …
Simon Crisp, 07 Jun 2012
Intel Sandy Bridge E

AMD and Intel extreme desktop CPU workout

Extreme PC Week Comparing high-end desktop processors that use the latest architecture from AMD and Intel these days, is a bit like comparing apples to walnuts. To pimp up a PC, there is only one company that really offers extreme processing power, and that’s Intel. But it’ll cost ya. In the extreme arena, AMD gave up arm …
Simon Crisp, 06 Jun 2012
OCZ RevoDrive 3 X2 240GB PCI-E SSD

OCZ RevoDrive 3 X2 240GB PCI-E SSD

Extreme PC Week One wonders if, after ratifying the SATA 6Gb/s standard, the people at the SATA-IO (Serial ATA International Organization) gave themselves a pat on the back to say job well done, that’s that future-proofed for a while, we can relax now. OCZ RevoDrive 3 X2 240GB PCI-E SSD Scorchio: OCZ's RevoDrive 3 X2 After …
Simon Crisp, 05 Jun 2012
Intel Core i7-3770K processor

Intel Ivy Bridge Core i7-3770K quad-core CPU

Reg Hardware PC Week Intel loves marketing jargon for most things it produces, and the company’s processor architecture roadmap is no different. In Intel speak, this moves along in "Tick-Tock" sequence. The Tock refers to a major revamp to the core architecture, while the Tick covers changes to the manufacturing process. …
Simon Crisp, 08 May 2012
Core i7 logo

WTF is... Intel's Ivy Bridge

Reg Hardware PC Week Intel’s latest processor architecture, codenamed Ivy Bridge, is its previous one, Sandy Bridge, shrunk. Sandy Bridge chips, marketed as second-generation Core i CPUs, were produced using a 32nm process. Ivy Bridge is 22nm Actually, there's a little bit more to it than that. Intel Core i7-3770K processor …
Simon Crisp, 08 May 2012
Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook

Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook

Having been in the hardware reviewing game for more years than I care to mention - cue the violins - I have looked at a huge number of notebooks claiming to be both thin and light. From the days when thin meant something less than half an inch in thickness and light meant something around the 2kg mark if you were lucky, I've sat …
Simon Crisp, 01 May 2012
Samsung Series 3 NP300E5A 15in notebook

Samsung Series 3 NP300E5A 15in notebook

Samsung’s NP300E5A-A01DX is the Core i3 model in its Series 3 family of notebooks and is priced accordingly, at around £400. Unashamedly aimed at the cost conscious end of market it has plenty of company including Acer’s Aspire 5749 that Reg Hardware reviewed late last year. Samsung Series 3 NP300E5A 15in notebook Samsung …
Simon Crisp, 21 Mar 2012
SanDisk Extreme 120GB SDSSDX-120G-G25

SanDisk Extreme 120GB SSD

Another week and yet another new range of Sandforce controlled drives has been pitched into battle in an already crowded market place. Still, here’s hoping the increased competition will impact on prices. Arriving hard on the heels of Intel’s new 520 range reviewed recently, is the Extreme series from flash memory experts …
Simon Crisp, 13 Mar 2012
Intel 520 series SSD

Intel 520 240GB SSD

The rumour mill was working overtime throughout 2011 with suggestions that Intel was considering forsaking the Marvell controllers it had used for its previous generation of consumer SSDs, the 510 series. The story went that the company was jumping into bed with another third party controller manufacturer, namely Sandforce, for …
Simon Crisp, 15 Feb 2012
Eurocom Panther 2 notebook

Eurocom Panther 2.0 Core i7, SLI notebook

While currently every notebook manufacturer seems to offering the thinnest, lightest and easiest to carry around notebook ever, in a bizarre way, it’s quite refreshing to find a company wandering off message and offering notebooks at the other end of the scale. Enter Eurocom’s Panther 2.0, the heaviest, most amazingly specified …
Simon Crisp, 27 Jan 2012
HP Pavilion dv6-6b06sa 15.6in AMD quad-core notebook

HP Pavilion dv6 15.6in quad-core notebook

CES 2012 Week Choosing an HP notebook isn’t an easy task, not because they are hard to find - far from it - it’s just the bewildering choice of notebooks you can find in a range. Take the recently refreshed Pavilion dv6-6b series, for example. There are currently a staggering 16 different options in this family alone. HP …
Simon Crisp, 10 Jan 2012
Samsung SSD 830 solid state drive

Samsung SSD 830

When it came to putting together a list of SSDs together for your latest upgrade, one name that you could easily overlook until recently was Samsung. Compared to its rivals in the marketplace the company hardly trumpeted its solid state storage products. Samsung SSD 830 solid state drive Samsung's SSD 830: 256GB is an …
Simon Crisp, 06 Jan 2012
Acer TravelMate Timeline X TM8481T

Acer TravelMate Timeline X TM8481T 14in Core i5 notebook

As the name might suggest, Acer’s TravelMate family of notebooks are aimed at the mobile users, with an eye on business bods after something a little more stylish than the standard issue grey slab. A new addition to the range is the Timeline X TM8481T with just a couple of variants at present. Acer TravelMate Timeline X TM8481T …
Simon Crisp, 14 Dec 2011