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Recommended Hard Drive List Updated

Our recent discovery of the Western Digital WD5000KS has upset the standings on our Recommended List and prompted a revision of the whole list. Several questionable drives are gone now that a good high capacity option is available, and a number of quiet notebook drives have been added. A retired list has also been added for drives that are no longer quite up to snuff or are no longer being made.

Antec Fusion hits the streets

Internet News

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.

AeroCase makes a splash

Internet News

The SPCR forums have been buzzing over the last few days over the initial product offering from AeroCase. This new startup is offering customised, passive video card coolers, handmade to fit your system.

Black Antec P180 & P150 Cases and Updates

Site News

Antec is well known for producing some of the most noise-friendly enclosures around. In fact, Mike Chin, SPCR's editor, has twice collaborated with Antec to create the P180 and the NSK2400 — both of which incorporate noise-friendly design features based on tried-and-true SPCR knowledge. Another Antec case, the P150, features drive suspension to reduce vibration induced drive noise — only one of two cases that we know of to do so. Recently, the company released significantly updated versions of the P180 and the P150, including much demanded black finish jobs. Please click on read more.

Computex Taipei 2006 is Officially Over

Internet News

After an exhaustive, rain-drenched, traffic-clogged, five days, the world's second biggest IT show is over, much to the relief of the staff of 1300+ exhibiting companies, 130,000+ attendees and hundreds of journalists who covered the Taipei event. This is not to introduce my own picto-pseudo report to the dozens posted online throughout the week, but to say a more in-depth piece will come in a week, after a chance to recover at home and and mull over all that I've seen and heard. Meanwhile, here are my votes for the most SPCR-appropos coverage of Computex 2006 by other sites:

Epiacenter.com writer Christoph, better known as TheEagleCD, came to Computex for the first time and provided brief reports on — what else? — mini-ITX, still the lowest power consuming X86 platform on the planet.

Charlie Demerjian of The Inquirer noticed and wrote about Greenpeace's rally against toxic IT waste with pod-people outside of Computex.

AMD's new AM2 platform launched

Internet News

Fifteen processors were launched on the new AM2 platform by AMD today, ranging from the new flagship FX-62 at $1031 all the way down to a $77 Sempron 3000+. The official announcement is in AMD's web press room, but news, reports and reviews of the AM2 processors and platform are all over the web; a few of the sites are linked below. AMD's PR department made sure that all the popular hardware review sites obtained samples of FX-62 or X2 5000+ processors along with a new Asus M2N32-SLI Deluxe motherboard with the new nForce 590 chipset, and Corsair 1066MHz DDR2 RAM.

AMD News: T64X2, Efficient Processor Roadmap, K8L Preview

Internet News

AMD just released information about Energy Efficient Desktop Processors in the upcoming new AM2 socket, the long awaited 64-bit Turion 64 X2 dual-core mobile processors, and a sneak preview of their next-gen K8L processor technology. Click on read more for more info.

Thermal Load Calculator by Innovatek

Internet News

PC-Water-Cooling.com sent us word of a Thermal Load Calculator by Innovatek which works out how much heat is produced by a standard or an overclocked PC. The page is in German but the calculator is intuitive. It looks much more accurate than 99% of all such power calculators on the web, and should be fine for "sizing" PSUs if all the pertinent data is correctly entered. Only the Northbridge vs Northbridge und Mosfets choice under Motherboard give pause; surely you cannot separate the motherboard VRM from the NB in any calculation of motherboard power draw? This is the only feature that seems suspect.

SPCR v2.0 - Site redesign, visual & functional

Site News

The look, organization and feel of Silent PC Review was changed early this evening (Sunday, April 16, 2006). It is the first global change made to the site since the launch over four years ago. The visual changes are easily seen, but the functional ones are a bit less obvious. You will see them as you navigate through the various sections.

One of the major changes is the listing of complete summary information for articles (listed in reverse chronological order) in each category, including date, title, and fully summary. There are other more subtle ones, such as certain cross-topical articles appearing in more than one category.

The article index has a variety of user options for listing SPCR contents. A lot of people have asked for this in the past. Try playing with it; it should help you find articles more easily.

We think the organization of and access to information is improved. For administrators and content creators, the back end changes are immensely beneficial and will shave at least half an hour of coding work on any article. We hope you enjoy the new design. It's been in the making for many months.

SPCR regulars have already begun a discussion about these changes

Run Windows XP on iMac with Boot Camp

Internet News

PC World reported, "It works. Impressively well. With games, even. That's our first impression of Windows XP running under Apple's [beta version of] Boot Camp on our 20-inch iMac. And that's more than you could say a couple of days ago about the promising-but-hacked-together WinXPonMac effort." Apple'official download page for their official dual-boot support of Windows XP on Macs.

Silent PC Review Turns 4 Today

Site News

Today, April Fool's Day 2006, is the 4th anniversary of SPCR's official launch. It started as a crazy hobby... and mushroomed over the years into the web's leader in PC acoustics analysis and information. We've also learned much about thermals and power efficiency in all kinds of PC products, which puts us in good stead in a new computing era of green activism that's starting to pick up steam.

My heartfelt thanks to all the people whose support, encouragement and participation helped to make SPCR what it is today -- visitors, forum members, advertisers, sponsors, contributors, writers, advisors, friends and family. (For more about how SPCR came to be... A Cautionary Tale?)

Desktop Core Duo Products Coming Soon

Internet News

Apple's new iMac may have been the first to use Intel's new power-efficient Pentium-M derived Core Duo on a desktop PC, but they certainly won't be the last. Joining AOpen with new Core Duo/Solo (and Pentium M) products are Asus, Shuttle, ECS, MSI and Gigabyte. It seems clear that Intel is successfully marketing the new low-power processors to the mainstream desktop/small server market. Thus far, however, Intel's major system integrator partners (Dell, HP, etc) are only featuring Core Duo processors in notebook PCs.

AOpen: i975Xa-YDG and i945GTm-VHL Core Duo motherboards; mini-PC MP945
Asus: N4L-VM DH Core Duo Viiv motherboard
Shuttle:
XPC X100 Complete SFF Core Duo PC
ECS
: PF23 Crossfire-compatible and 945G-M3 Viiv motherboards
MSI: P1-104A2M P-M server and 945GT Speedster-A4R P-M motherboard
Gigabyte: A963 Core Duo/Solo MiniPC

Then there are all the mini-ITX boards for Core Solo / Duo:

Commell LV-677 (m-ITX)
AOpen i945GTt-VFA
DFI G5C100-N
Freetech P8F189
IBASE MB877
Kontron 986LCD-M/mITX
MSI MS7265 (not confirmed)

From IDF: Acoustic Optimization for Desktop Platforms

Internet News

Attendance at the Spring Intel Developers Forum last week resulted in many new contacts for SPCR. Among the most interesting were Intel engineers in a thermal / acoustic division who provided information about new R&D efforts in this area. One result is a White Paper, which was provided to SPCR for direct distribution to our readers: Acoustic Optimization for Desktop Platforms (2mb PDF).

This is probably not the first document from Intel to deal with PC acoustics, but it is the first we've seen in a long time. Much of it focuses on BTX platform advantages, but it touches on many aspects of acoustics measurement and analysis that is of relevance to anyone interested in low noise computing. Most fascinating to us is the research done on Acceptable Acoustic Levels, which involved both group psychoacoustic polling as well as ambient noise measurements in four countries. We are planning an in-depth look at this paper in the near future.

As IDF Spring 2006 Begins

Internet News

As the Spring 2006 Intel Developers Forum in San Francisco sets to get underway, tech and business media wags sum up challenges and promises for Intel. The tone and themes are remarkably consistent.

EE Times: Intel outlines processor plans at IDF
Red Herring: Intel’s Chance to Impress
Business Week: AMD Chips Away at Intel
TG Daily: Can IDF relight Intel's fire?

PSU Load Balance Critical in Dual-Vidcard Systems

Internet News

Dedicated SPCR readers know from our PSU Fundamentals and Power Distribution within Six PCs articles that modern PCs draw the vast majority of power from the 12V line of the power supply. What's less well known is that internal interactions in most power supplies impairs the capacity to deliver high power into 12V when the 5V and 3.3V lines are too lightly loaded. ExtremeTech has an interesting article illuminating this issue in both technical and practical aspects.

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