SilverStone keeps Fanless ST30NF Up-to-Date

As power supplies go, the ST30NF has good longevity. It's been on the market for more than two years, and a lot has changed since it was first released. As such, Silverstone has updated it to keep up with the times. Most significantly, the new revision includes the connections that are now standard in the industry. Read more in a postscript to the original review.

PSU Tester v4.1: Bonefish edition

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Antec Fusion HTPC case

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We took a look at a Fusion as a postscript to the NSK2400 review, and it's pretty much what we expected: A new brushed aluminum bezel with built-in VFD on the NSK2400. It's slick, and aimed at the top.

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.

Postscript: Scythe Ninja v.3

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The Scythe Ninja heatsink, originally reviewed 18 months ago, took the enthusiast world by storm. Since then, the Ninja has under gone two major revisions. Kelly Stich examines the latest, designed to mate with the latest CPU sockets.

RAMpage: Microsoft Not Vista-Ready

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Massive Heatsink Roundup @ Madshrimps

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It's an ambitious project: 44 CPU coolers which fit on AMD/Intel latest platforms compared on two hot running systems. Which one will keep your CPU the coolest, how quiet can it get? Madshrimps' latest roundup provides pretty good answers.

Early Snow Blankets Vancouver

It's not our typical news... but worthy of note as it's happening in SPCR's home city: This is the earliest big snowfall I've seen in 25 years of living in Vancouver. Started yesterday afternoon; 20-30cm predicted by the end of today. Disastrous for the homeless and traffic (street and air); great for kids and skiers. It sure makes things quiet. ;)

Click here for BIG picture in new window
The residents of this nearby cemetery have a fresh new snowy view of Vancouver's north shore mountains.

Now, on Tuesday, we are apparently "into the deep freeze", have -15°C to -20°C with the wind chill, and another 10cm of snow is expected tomorrow night. Click on read more for more photos

Off-topic Forum discussion link.

Lab Sample Clearance: Nov '06 Blowout

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We have to clear off the lab shelves periodically to make room for the steady flow of new review samples. Our overflow is your benefit: Most samples of the gear we've reviewed in the past 6 months are all priced to sell.

Protocase's innovative enclosure design competition

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This email arrived in my my box today. It could be of interest if you don't mind sharing your unique case design ideas with the world:

We are seeking creative and innovative enclosure design/s. To make this interesting we launched our first annual enclosure design competition where we provide free custom enclosure to a selected design. Might be of any interest to your audience? For more information please check Thank you.

Sagar Thulung, Electronic Marketing, Protocase Incorporated

Discuss this news in the forums.

Metal Foil Disk Drives

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A post by Lilias Cupio in the SPCR forum led to this news: Robert X. Cringely wrote Shameless Self-Promotion: Bob's Disk Drive in his weekly coumn at i, cringley, a PBS web subdomain. A self-described 30-year veteran of the PC business, Bob says he finally has a financial interest in a technology he's writing about. The concept is a metal foil disk drive with platters made from stainless steel or titanium foil that is 22/25 microns thick, many times lighter and thinner than current aluminum or glass platters. The potential benefits claimed: 3x current data density and storage capacity, 3x spindle speed, lower cost and complexity, 1/3 the power demand, faster access than flash memory, higher reliability and so on. Bob says he and his partners have been talking to big business (in the PC world) for months, and metal foil drives will appear under big brand names this time next year. I have calls out to my HDD company contacts.

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? 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.

35W AMD X2 3800+ in HP s7600e series PC

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Hewlett-Packard, which overtook Dell as the world's biggest personal computer maker by shipments in Q3 2006 for the first time in three years, has a new enegy efficient PC in its AMD CPU based s7600e series PC. One of the three CPU options in the compact Slimline s-series chassis (just 9.75"H x 4.375"W x 13.125"D) is the much talked-about low power 35W AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ dual-core processor. Click on read more to read more.

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: Albatron 754 mITX reviewed, VIA's Carbon-Free Computing

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When Albatron's unique socket 754 mini-ITX motherboard (KI51PV-754) was shown at Computex Taipei a few months ago, we were sure that either SPCR, mini-ITX or epiacenter would get the first review samples. A slew of emails to Albatron went unanswered... and now, the first review has been posted by The Tech Report, an excellent tech site that doesn't normally pay much attention to low power or acoustics. It's a good review, though.

Carbon Free Computing is an environmental program initiated by VIA. They work with environmental experts to calculate the electricity used by one of their Carbon Free Computing product over its lifetime (assumed to be 3 years). VIA calculates how much CO2 emissions will be released into the environment mainly as a result of fossil fuel burning power plants. Each product is assigned a "Treemark" rating, which is the number of broad-leaf trees needed to compensate for the CO2 produced by electricity generation over the lieftime of the product. A VIA C7-D has a "Treemark" of 4; a "leading" competitive processor (presumably a Prescott) has a Treemark of 26. VIA then works with regional organizations to "offset" that amount of CO2 through projects such as.... Click on read more to read more.

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