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The Silent Box is visually unimpressive. It's a black rubber box with wires
coming out of one end. There's no bling here; its purpose is strictly utilitarian.
The frame of the box is hard rubber.
The exterior of the box is nitrile butadiene rubber. This is the stuff that
automotive hoses and belts are made of. It is also used to make industrial gaskets
and seals. It is designed to withstand high heat with minimal degradation. In
less technical terms, it's a dense rubber that holds its shape well but is still
pliant enough to flex a bit when we squeeze it. It should do a decent job of
blocking the idle noise from the hard drive, but it's too hard to be of much
use for reducing vibration.
A lining of softer rubber is meant to reduce vibration.
To address the issue of vibration, the inside of the drive is lined with a
softer rubber that is similar in consistency to a spongy Dr. Scholl's insole.
While not as soft as some of the foams we use in the lab (Acoustipack, for example),
it does have some give, and should do more for vibration than the exterior rubber.
When the hard drive is installed, it is surrounded by this softer rubber on
four sides. A half-height block of the softer rubber is also included so that
a notebook drive can be installed without rattling around in the 3.5" space.
The sixth face of the box is also made of hard rubber, and is attached
to the Heatlane that cools the drive.
The Heatlane is folded around the "lid" of the box, and can
The "lid" is contoured so that the Heatlane is flush with the
top of the box.
The Heatlane that provides cooling for the drive is attached to the "lid"
of the box, and is designed to transfer heat from the bottom of the drive to
an aluminum frame that holds the box together. The frame is intended to act
as a heatsink for the Heatlane, but its total surface area is only slightly
larger than the top surface of the box. No matter how efficiently the Heatlane
can transfer heat away from the drive, the cooling efficiency of the Silent
Box will ultimately be limited by the amount of heat that can be dissipated
through this surface.
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