Review Roundup november 3 2010 — Notebooks, Desktops, Mainboards and USB drives.

3-11-2010


tweaktown reviewed the Smooth Creations Phenom II X6 1090T Custom Gaming PC

Smooth Creations classifies this as a “mid-range” system, and based on other configurations they offer we can see why the company considers it as such. However, compared to most of the machines we’ve seen recently, we would probably put this in the “upper mid-range” category, if not “high-end.”

the Phenom II X6 1090T is overclocked up to 4GHz from the standard 3.2GHz clock speed. We didn’t experience any problems related to the overclocked processor. Having a Corsair liquid cooler on the CPU really helps with thermal stability, which in turn provides solid overclocked performance.

Along with the oc’d processor, the incorporation of a solid-state hard drive (SSD) delivers super-fast OS performance, including any programs installed on the SSD. Our review model has the best of both worlds in terms of storage—the speed of the SSD and the large capacity of the 2TB spinner.

While the $3150 price tag might at first seem a bit steep, if you add up the cost of the hardware, it’s actually quite reasonable. Combine this with the fact that Smooth Creations will apply a high-quality custom paintjob of whatever artwork you can dream up at no additional charge, and the system starts to look like a bargain.


techreviewsource reviewed the Lenovo IdeaCentre B305

This all-in-one desktop model has a glossy black plastic body with some chrome accents throughout. In total, the computer measures 20.7 x 4.4 x 16-inches (wdh) and weighs 24.7-pounds and it fits in nicely with any home setup. The widescreen is 21.5-inches and has a resolution of 1080p. It is also multi-touch enabled, meaning you can use your fingers to interact with the computer in addition to the keyboard and mouse. The screen is very bright and looks pleasing to the eye. Touch gestures worked well with the installed Microsoft Windows 7.

In terms of performance, the Lenovo IdeaCentre B305 did quite well, but isn’t the fastest out there


hexus reviewed the HP Envy 14

A 500GB, 7,200rpm hard disk is on hand for storage duties, as is an integrated slot-loading DVD writer. HP’s TrueVision HD webcam is integrated as standard, and there’s a healthy set of ports and expansion slots that include an SD/MMC card reader, HDMI and mini DisplayPort outputs, three USB 2.0 ports (one of which doubles as eSATA), headphone and mic jacks, and Gigabit Ethernet. If you prefer to go wire-free, both Wireless N and Bluetooth also feature as standard.

The keyboard looks ultra-sleek. Like the rest of the system, the keys come across as uncluttered, with minimalist styling and crisp, clear lettering on a smooth chiclet surface.

Equipped with both integrated Intel HD graphics and a discrete AMD Mobility Radeon HD 5650 graphics card, the notebook is able to switch between graphics processors in an effort to balance performance and battery life.

Usability is excellent thanks to a bright, clear display and one of the best notebook keyboards on the market, and HP has ironed out many of the issues surrounding earlier Envy models.


phoronix reviewed the Intel Core i7 Gulftown

LLVMpipe Scaling With Intel’s Core i7 Gulftown

One of the drivers that has especially been of interest is LLVMpipe, which is an attempt to finally make a useful CPU-based software rasterizer for Linux by leveraging the Low-Level Virtual Machine infrastructure. Here is our introductory article to LLVMpipe and even with a Core i7 “Bloomfield” processor the driver is very demanding, but with Intel’s Gulftown the results are somewhat surprising as we experiment with how this CPU-based driver scales up to twelve threads.


bjorn3d reviewed the ASUS Crosshair IV Extreme

The ASUS Crosshair IV Extreme is the latest motherboard family that comes with the Lucid Hydra chip on the board. The latest Crosshair IV board is targeted towards the AMD enthusiasts who want the best and most feature-rich board they can afford.

Benchmarks:

Excel 2007, Blender, SiSoft SANDRA XII Professional SP2, Everest Ultimate Edition v. 5.0, AutoMKV, WinRar v. 3.71, POVRay, 3DMark Vantage.

Overclocking:

We were able to overclock the CPU to 4200MHz, but were not able to boot into Windows. We backed down slightly and reached 4050MHz. We had to raise the CPU voltage to 1.35, CPU/NB voltage to 1.3, DRAM voltage to 1.6, HT voltage to 1.3, NB voltage to 1.2 and SB voltage to 1.2.

Under load in an open-air test bench, the motherboard stays at cool 35°C. The Northbridge hovers around 53°C and the Southbridge stayed at 46°C. These temperatures are not bad for such a high-end board. The low profile heatsink on the board really does the job well in keeping it running cool.


techgage reviewed the Seagate Momentus XT 500GB

Overall system feel is also dramatically different when using the hybrid drive. Programs do open noticeably faster. Game levels loaded faster. Anything I accessed on a regular basis would indeed speed up with more use and it made my mainstream notebook feel like a high-end machine. I found myself using it over my desktop just because it was more enjoyable to have no noticeable lag while trying to get my work done.

This drive is a must have for anyone with a notebook/netbook who is looking for more performance. It easily wins an Editor’s Choice award from me and there are just no downsides to stepping up to one.


tweaktown reviewed the A-DATA USB 3.0 drive

The ATTO results show the ADATA N005 hitting just over 85MB/s read and 50MB/s write speeds.

To use its high speed mode you’ll need an USB3 connector.


overclockersonline reviewed the Plextor PX-B120U

Plextor’s external Blu-ray reader, the PX-B120U gives you the ability to read Blu-ray discs, DVDs, and CDs, even if you have an ‘older’ system.

With the PX-B120U, Plextor provides an affordable solution in a portable and convenient package. With support for reading not only regular CDs and DVDs, the PX-B120U also brings Blu-ray reading support to your fingertips. The single USB cable is a great implementation – you no longer need to carry around an extra power brick.

Although the PX-B120U is not perfect, it does do what it is supposed to do and that is enable you to read Blu-ray discs.

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~ by benchmarkstest on November 3, 2010.

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