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September 28, 2005 by Devon
Building a quiet computer begins with selecting the coolest, quietest components
and putting them together in a case that allows efficient cooling with low airflow.
This is the approach most often espoused by SPCR, and it can take you quite far into the realm of quiet.
For many DIYers, there comes a point when a system is as quiet as it can
be without compromising cooling or performance... but it's still too loud!
This is when some people begin modifying their system. Hard
drives are suspended, fans swapped out, and fan grills removed. Sometimes, the
interior of the case is lined with rubber, foam, or anything else that might
help damp the noise.
By and large, case
damping is a do-it-yourself job. Although several prepackaged damping kits exist,
only one seems to have relatively widespread use:
British company AcoustiProducts.
MuteMat Plus is also a case damping kit. By an odd coincidence,
MuteMat is also a British company. But unlike AcoustiPack, MuteMat's product is not acoustic
foam. No, MuteMat thinks they have something
unwoven micro-fibre that can supposedly absorb more noise than acoustic foam
due to its finer underlying structure.
At present, MuteMat (the company) sells two versions of MuteMat (the product).
One, which they call the "Universal Noise Reduction Kit", consists
of MuteMat (the material) alone, while the other, called MuteMat Plus, adds
an additional layer of high density foam that is designed as a sound barrier.
Although MuteMat sent us a sample of both kits, we opted to test the product
at its best, so we used the MuteMat Plus.
At present, the basic MuteMat kit costs £16 and MuteMat Plus goes for
£30. This is on par with the current price of AcoustiPack in the UK. However,
I was unable to find any online retailers (or even international distributors)
that carry MuteMat, so if you want it, you need to buy it from them directly.
Fortunately, they accept international credit cards (and PayPal!), and ship
Our MuteMat sample arrived in a large flat cardboard box. No retail art
According to the
MuteMat product page, the following pieces are included in the MuteMat
- Two full size sheets (495 x 380 mm)
- Two half size sheets (495 x 190 mm)
- One fitting guide
Our own measurements confirmed these numbers exactly. Our samples actually
contained more than is listed on the web site:
- Six spare sheets (150 x 150 mm)
We're not certain whether this was a special kit that they put together for
our review or if these extra pieces are just missing from the product description.
All the contents of the kit minus the fitting guide.
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