Ultrabook

Samsung 840 EVO mSATA 500GB SSD review

Dave James at

This is an absolutely tiny solid state drive. Not in capacity terms - nope, it packs 500GB into that frame - but in build size. It’s tough to really get across just how wee the new Samsung 840 EVO mSATA drive is. Even when I tell you it measures some 5 x 3cm that hardly seems to do it justice. The fact is you’d probably miss the drive even once it’s embedded in a mini-ITX motherboard.

The most impressive thing about this little mSATA 840 EVO though is the fact that it has exactly the same performance as it’s chunkier 2.5-inch brethren. In case you’d forgotten, they’re pretty epic when it comes to SSD performance themselves. The 840 EVO mSATA is pure Samsung from top to bottom. It’s got a smattering of 19nm 3-bit MLC NAND Flash attached to that wee slice of PCB, and Samsung’s own MEX memory controller helps shunt data around at excellent speed.


AMD launches new Trinity processor

Adam Oxford at

AMD's last processor launch, the FX chip, turned out to be a bit of a damp squib for desktops. But the company is hoping that the CPU architecture behind it will be more of a success on laptops. Today it's launching an updated version of its hybrid GPU/CPU A-series processor, codenamed Trinity, which uses a revamped Bulldozer core to offer twice the performance per watt of its predecessor, Llano. Or that's what AMD says, anyway.

Further claims include the ability to build thinner laptops with longer battery life than their Intel equivalents, and that the integrated Northern Isles GPU has three times the graphics performance of the Intel HD Graphics 3000 GPU in Sandy Bridge. Trinity's launch was accompanied by a bold claim by the firm's Sasa Marinkovic:

“I don't want you too see Trinity as competing against Ivy Bridge, I want you to see how we're leading.”


Are ultrabooks the future of PC gaming?

Adam Oxford at

How powerful does a laptop need to be? It’s a pertinent question. Last week Razer unveiled a laptop it proclaimed the “saviour of PC gaming”. But the big laptop news is that we’re about to be deluged by ‘ultrabooks’ - thin and light MacBook Air clones which weigh just over a kilo, but pack powerful Core i5/i7 processors.