Mike Chin's blog

Seasonic Power Supplies Ready for Intel Haswell Processors

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Seasonic announced that its power supplies are ready for Intel Haswell processors. A key requirement for Haswell-Shark Bay is the power supply's ability to maintain a minimum current load of 0.05 Amps on the 12V rail for the CPU.

Seasonic's press release:

"Sea Sonic Electronics congratulates Intel on the launch of the Haswell Processors. We are inspired by the continuing efforts made by Intel to push the boundaries of performance and at the same time, be environmentally conscious through reduction of energy consumption.

"These are the exact same attributes which have driven Sea Sonic for the past 35+ years. As we strive for industry leading performance, we continue to research the long term effects of each of our design. By continuously improving our efficiency we try to achieve maximum energy savings and by using high quality components we aim to prolong product lifetime; all to achieve long term sustainability.

Seasonic 520W Platinum Fanless: Sample No. 3

Last week, some six weeks after the review was originally posted, I received a third sample of the Seasonic 520W Platinum. This one is apparently representative of the current production models. I tested the new sample 3 times, with many hours of steady modest load (<100W) and also standby between high load testing, over a period of 5 days. All this was to ensure that no changes occurred as the unit "broke in".

Overall, the level of whining noise of the third sample is very low and did not change over time or load. It is very unlikely to cause any negative reaction with 99% of potential users. (The 1% who might complain are the ones who would never be happy with any product.) [Hit Read More to read more.]

Exclusive Seasonic Promo Deals at Newegg for SPCR

Silent Mike's Blog

Seasonic USA is offering skookum deals on their great products for SPCR audiences though Newegg. These are offered only for a very limited time, so take advantage of them quickly!

Seasonic SS-520FL (N82E16817-151122) Fanless Power Supply Promotion
Discount: $15 | Code: 4SILENTPCREVIEW | Promotion Period: Jan 4 to Jan 6, 2013

Seasonic SS-520FL (N82E16817-151122) Fanless Power Supply and Fractal Design Define R4 Mid Tower Case Combo Promotion (N82E16811352021)
Discount: $20 | 1 week combo promotion: Jan 7 to 13, 2013

Discuss this news in the SPCR forums.

Anandtech on SPCR Certified AVADirect Quiet Gaming PC

Silent Mike's Blog

Dustin Sklavos of Anandtech revisited AVADirect's Quiet Gaming PC with GTX680 after its SPCR Certification as a Quiet PC and concluded that despite questions about the value of our certification and the use of a case he doesn't like, it is "Worth Considering In This Configuration." Forum discussion link.

Slashgear reviews AVADirect's Quiet Gaming PC

Slashgear posted a review of AVA's Gaming PC, a quieter variant of which recently received a SPCR Certification as a Quiet PC. Forum discussion link.

Noctua to use Active Noise Cancellation in new Fan

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Noctua, noted Austrian heatsink & fan company, just announced a partnership with a noise reduction specialist called RotoSub to develop PC fans with integrated Active Noise Cancellation. This is not the first time that ANC technology is being used to combat computer noise, but as yet, no ANC products for computers that you can buy have materialized. This project seems more concrete; a specific goal is to improve Noctua's NF-F12 FocusedFlow fan: "Our performance target is to achieve about 80% more airflow and 120% higher static pressure at the same noise level as the original NF-F12... within the next 12 to 18 months." Noctua says a prototype ANC NF-F12 fan will be publicy demonstrated at Computex in Taipei. Look for my report next week. * Discuss this news *

Wikipedia EN Blackout Protest against SOPA and PIPA bills in US legislature

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Wikipedia is protesting against SOPA and PIPA by blacking out English Wikipedia for 24 hours. SOPA and PIPA represent two US bills in the House of Representatives and the Senate respectively. Stop Online Piracy Act and Protect Intellectual Property Act are efforts to stop copyright infringement committed by foreign web sites, but in Wikipedia's opinion, do so in a way that infringes free expression while harming the Internet.

"They put the burden on website owners to police user-contributed material and call for the unnecessary blocking of entire sites. Small sites won't have sufficient resources to defend themselves. Big media companies may seek to cut off funding sources for their foreign competitors, even if copyright isn't being infringed. Foreign sites will be blacklisted, which means they won't show up in major search engines. And, SOPA and PIPA build a framework for future restrictions and suppression."

Wikipedia (and SPCR) urges US citizens to call your government representatives and tell them you oppose SOPA, PIPA and any similar legislation. For more information, please visit Wikipedia's SOPA and PIPA page

SPCR discussion on SOPA & PIPA

Intel 6-series Chip (SB) Flaw

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It's annoying news for Sandy Bridge sellers, buyers... and Intel. Intel announced today that a major flaw was found in "the 6 Series chip, code-named Cougar Point, and implemented a silicon fix. In some cases, the Serial-ATA (SATA) ports within the chipsets may degrade over time, potentially impacting the performance or functionality of SATA-linked devices such as hard disk drives and DVD-drives. The chipset is utilized in PCs with Intel's latest Second Generation Intel Core processors, code-named Sandy Bridge. Intel has stopped shipment of the affected support chip from its factories. Intel has corrected the design issue, and has begun manufacturing a new version of the support chip which will resolve the issue. The Sandy Bridge microprocessor is unaffected and no other products are affected by this issue." Click on Read More for more.

Hot ASUS Eee Slate video demo from CES 2011

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That tablets would pop up all over CES 2011 like daisies in the spring was no surprise to anyone aware of the iPad. The tablet market is expected to reach 50 million units this year, and virtually every major electronics/computer brand has at least one to vye for a piece of the pie. Industry giant Asus has three and possibly the most compelling of them for the "serious" computer user who wants one is the Eee Slate EP121-1A010M 12.1-Inch Tablet PC. As of yesterday, it was the most highly viewed computer accessory product in Amazon's catalog over the past few days. Read more to view our demo video of the Asus Eee Slate from CES.

Lenovo's exciting IdeaPad U1

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This afternoon's preview show event at CES2010 was deluged with journalists surging from one overcrowded display to another. One of the hottest tables was where Lenovo was showing a sample of its IdeaPad U1, an Intel driven Windows 7 mini-laptop with nicely curved corners whose screen detaches effortlessly into an Android-based iPad look-alike. Full details will be released tomorrow, and company reps could only provide pricing in China, where it is set at 3500CNY (US$530) for the tablet alone, and ~8000CNY(US$1200) for the combo. An earlier version was shown at CES 2010, with the tablet running Linux when undocked. The new version looks slick, fully functional, and could be a real crowd pleaser for those who want both a tablet and a notebook. * Discuss this news in the SPCR forums. *




AMD Fusion APUs Arrive

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As expected, AMD officially launched its Fusion APU platform today, the day before the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, just in time to counter Intel's Sandy Bridge barrage. The press release announcing AMD Fusion APU Era Begins lauds the graphics portion of its APU, which has...

* DirectX 11-capable graphics
* Massive parallel processing to speed application performance
* The UVD3 video acceleration block found in the new AMD Radeon™ HD 6800 Series GPUs

Gigabyte preceded AMD's announcement yesterday in unveiling the E-350 APU (Zacate) powered GA-E350N-USB3 mini-ITX all-in-one motherboard. This is obviously aimed at the base of the pyramid, unlike the Intel i5-2500K we posted our examination of 36 hours ago, but the new AMD APUs look like they have the potential to transform the sector. We expect a lively heating up of rivalry between the industry's biggest processor companies this CES. * Discuss this news in the SPCR forums. *

AMD HD 6900 Series Launch

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AMD PR has done a good job: Reviews of the Radeon 6950 and 6950 graphics card dominate today's tech news as tech web editors trot out their findings in accordance to AMD's NDA schedule. We wonder if such a concentrated salvo is better for market awareness than a slightly less intense but longer lasting barrage, given the apparently short attention span of Joe Public. Perhaps it's all just about mind-share at any given point in time. A quick scan at most of the reviews suggest the 6970 reaches parity with the nVidia GTX 570 but fails to catch the GTX 580, which remains the fastest single-chip video card on the market. The HD 6950 appears to have hit the value sweet spot, providing all the features like triple monitor support, 2GB memory and the architecture of the new Cayman chip at $299, a price point where there is no direct competition. Hit read more for the review links.

SuperTalent Introduces USB 3.0 Virtual PC

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Ma Labs today announced they will begin offering Ceedo Personal with Super Talent's USB 3.0 Express RAM CACHE flash drives. Ceedo is a software virtualization and delivery platform that creates managed application workspaces – a set of applications that can be run on any Windows PC without installation, and then managed remotely. Combining Ceedo Personal with the 4-channel USB 3.0 Express RAM Cache flash drive (16, 32 and 64 GB versions) allows you to create a Windows Virtual PC environment that is FAST, flexible and totally portable — your personal virtual PC in a wee USB stick. When used on a USB 3.0 port, the speeds approach those of standard SATA SSDs. *Discuss this news in the SPCR Forums.*

AMD SB800 Fan Controller Features ignored by MB Makers

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"AMD's SB800-series fan speed controller has the sort of functionality enthusiasts want in spades", apparently, and "motherboard makers need only to connect fan and diode traces to the south bridge and implement the necessary BIOS hooks to give users access to fan control variables. But none have." More on these ignored fantastic features in the AMD chipset, in a rant by Geoff at The Tech Report. * Discuss this news in the SPCR forums.

Western Digital's 3TB GreenPower drive

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Western Digital's announcement yesterday of its new 3TB GreenPower drive brought many issues in the storage sector into sharp relief. A 3TB HDD by itself is not unique. Seagate's 3TB FreeAgent external hard drive has been available since the end of June, some four month ago. That begs the question of why Seagate has yet to release the bare 3TB drive.

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