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Web News Mar. 5/08: CPUs & Coolers

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A great number of CPU announcements have come down the pipe recently. First it was VIA announcing their new Isaiah CPU, picking up where the C7 left off. Then it was Intel with their Silverthorn and Diamondville (now both known as Atom).

Scythe has been busy too, releasing two new heatsinks. The Zipang (which appears to be an archaic name for Japan) and the Orochi (a legendary dragon with 8 heads and 8 tails). Both are massive- the former weighs 815g, while the latter is a frightening 1285g), and use 140cm fans.

MSI has generated a lot of press recently with their announcement of a northbridge cooler powered by a Stirling engine. While it is interesting, it doesn't appear scalable at this point.

Web News, Aug 7/07

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Building on the success of their (SPCR reviewed) HX-series power supplies, Corsair has released the VX series, emphasizing efficiency and noise reduction. According to JonnyGuru, the fan used is a lower-speed sibling of the very quiet Adda fan employed in the HX-series.

The Athlon X2 BE series of low-power processors has finally hit the street. Digit-Life has a full rundown on their name, their performance, and their power consumption, as compared to Intel's latest power sippers.

Acoustic foam seems to be catching on in a big way- first NZXT announced a case with pre-applied foam, now Cooler Master is getting in on the action. Their Cosmos case is targeted directly at the silent PC enthusiast, with rubber gaskets, an airflow guide, and plenty of foam. Hexus has a 13-page review.

Web News, May 23/06

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While silence is not the first thing that comes to mind when NZXT is mentioned, their new Hush case is quite interesting. Rubber padding, acoustic foam, and 120mm fans are all steps in the right direction.

Tweaknews are the first to get their hands on the new BTF95 from Zerotherm. This fanless model, based on the BTF90 previously reviewed here at SPCR, keeps up with the stock AMD heatsink with no noise output.

The Cooljag Falcon 92 appears to be a strong contender for a place in SPCR readers' hearts. Both aluminum and copper versions were run through their paces this week at FrostyTech.

CeBIT Snippets

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CeBIT is a busy time for OEMs and reviewers alike. Hit *Read More* for a collection of the most promising products unveiled in and around CeBIT 2007

Web News, Heatsink Edition

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How can you make a good heatsink even better? More heatpipes! AnandTech has run the forthcoming Thermalright Ultra-120 Extreme through its paces, and reports that the extra two heatpipes do improve performance measurably.

CoolerMaster took a different route with their GeminII. This monster heatsink is almost twice the size of any blow-down cooler we've seen before, and the widely spaced fins look promising for low noise and passive cooling. It's good to see yesteryear's prototypes finally hitting the store shelves.

If Novel Concepts can popularize "IsoSkin" , heatsinks in general may be a thing of the past. The material, a sort of planar heatpipe, could turn the outside of any computer into a highly efficient cooling surface.

Web News, Feb 22/07

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Two heatsink tests to report right off the top: FrostyTech took the Akasa Evo 120 for a spin, with positive results, and FiringSquad has a roundup of 12 heatsinks, including the recently released Scythe Andy.

AnandTech took a look at Western Digital's latest generation of harddrives, and came away impressed. The single-platter model actually put up the best acoustic and thermal numbers of any drive tested by AnandTech.

This next news piece is somewhat old, but took a while to percolate over to the English-speaking community. German site Planet3dNow! wrapped up a 154-page power supply roundup at the end of 2006, including a number of Europe-only models. Each unit is rated on efficiency, power regulation, cable length/connectors, special features, subjective loudness, test performance, and price/performance ratio. The small British flag on the left of each page links to Google's automatic English translation.

Web News, CES Edition

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2007 is already a busy year for silent computing news: hit "read more" for the silencer's scoop on CES, and more.

Web News about Silent Computing, Dec 21/06

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The bar for silent graphics cards is set to rise again. A number of sites are reporting that PowerColor plans to release passively cooled ATI X1950 Pro and XT cards, with a $10 price premium over the reference design. If these cards make it to market in Q1 2007, as predicted, they should be the most powerful passive options available.

HKEPC claims to have the scoop on Intel's latest Ultra Low Voltage CPUs. These parts, designed for web appliances and sub-notebooks, are designed to consume 5W, less than the chipsets needed to feed them. Unfortunately, the quickest clocks in at 1.2 GHz.

Finally, Anandtech has spent some time with the new, 65nm Brisbane cores from AMD and reports that, while some compromises had to be made, the new 5000+ uses some 10 to 20 watts less than the old version. While this is promising news, for now the EE HTPC 3800+ is even thriftier, and Intel's Core 2 Duo offers more performance-per-watt.

Web News, Oct 29/06

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Zalman's CNPS9700 LED is a slightly larger version of the SPCR-tested CNPS9500. Hopefully the larger fan will correct some of the shortcomings of its predecessor.

For the technically-minded, the Inquirer has a fairly hefty article on Intel's latest power saving efforts, lifted from their Fall Processor Forum presentation. Lots of interesting ideas, for both the CPU and the power supply.

Always wanted to pull a MikeC and design your own case, but never had the resources? BoxGods.com reports that ProtoCase's custom case design and manufacturing service is both simple and powerful, as well as highly customizable. Be sure to post your masterworks in the forums.

Web News, Oct 9/06

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The item du jour appears to be heatsink announcements, with new, quiet-focused releases from both Thermalright and Scythe.

Scythe's Japanese website is advertising the "Andy Samurai Master", a conventional-looking heatsink with an unconventional fin arrangement. By using many widely separated groups of tightly packed fins, Scythe apprears to be shooting for both high- and low-airflow performance.

From Thermalright comes the HR-03, which brings the SPCR-reviewed HR-01's massive heatpipes and cross-venting holes to a video card near you.

Web News: Aug 31/06

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It's another day, another 21-card roundup at AnandTech. This time, they're looking at fanless video cards from 7 different manufacturers.

If you're a bit handier (and don't mind voiding your warranty) Tom's Hardware has a new review comparing the performance and volume of 5 aftermarket video card coolers (some of which have been covered previously by SPCR.)

Web News: Aug 11/06

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The new Scythe Infinity, weighing in at nearly a kilo, looks to be a serious competitor to Thermalright's newly-released SI-128, and their Ultra-120 (reviewed just this week). Stay tuned for the SPCR verdict.

In other cooling news, Madshrimps posted a review of the Aerocase Condor massive passive high end VGA cooler. SPCR's own review is also on the way.

VIA announced the availability of their EPIA EK Mini-ITX mainboard with new 1GHz or fanless 800MHz Luke CoreFusion processor: Just 19W total maximum power draw and a rich array of connectivity and digital media features. But those seeking a DVI output on a VIA m-ITX board will have to wait for the EPIA EX, which mini-ITX.com caught in a recent preview.

Web News: Hard Drive Edition

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First, traditional hard drives: TechARP has comprehensive coverage of Seagate's 2006 Technology Briefing. Eleven new and updated products are detailed, including Seagate's first hybrid (flash + magnetic platter) hard drive, a 2.5" drive designed for the desktop market, and an 8GB version of the Pocket Drive (SPCR Review). Samsung's version of this drive was mentioned in our WinHEC 2006 report.

If traditional HDDs aren't quiet enough for you, The Tech Report has a thorough review of the Super Talent 8GB (the one used in the Puget Sound PC SPCR reviewed in June): Super fast random access times but dead slow transfer rates.

Need something a bit faster? Freescale Semiconductor has announced the first commercially available magnetoresistive random access memory (MRAM). Promising better speed and longevity than flash memory at competitive prices, and completely silent operation, this might be an interesting alternative if and when it's offered in a PC-usable form factor.

SevenTeam Thinks Outside the Box

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SevenTeam, a major OEM PSU maker, has come out of left field with a "semi-fanless", external, 500W power supply, recently reviewed at JonnyGURU's personal website. It appears that this unit is mainly distributed in North America by XG as the flashy Magnum 600 EX.

Antec Fusion hits the streets

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According to DailyTech, Antec has begun shipping the Fusion HTPC enclosure to North American retailers. The Fusion is a high end version of the NSK2400 (reviewed by SPCR) featuring an integrated VFD, a brushed aluminum bezel, and a 430W power supply.

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