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Netbooks Saving PC Sales in Economic Downturn

Internet News

Daily Tech says new reports from a competitive market research firm indicates netbooks and bargain notebooks are driving global PC sales in a market where concerns over the global economic crisis have pushed budget PCs to the fore. According to Gartner, netbooks are leading the increase in sales, although it is not that clear whether sales are being driven by new models or by cannibalized older models that have seen their prices slashed. One fact not mentioned is that the popular budget models are less speedy, and much more energy efficient than their bigger, pricier conventional counterparts. For computer users, it's one way to go on an energy diet; we all need to get used to the idea. Discuss this news in the SPCR forums.

Windows Home Server

Site News

A number of readers have asked for an SPCR investigation into MS Windows Home Server, which is available as OEM software, as well as appropriate hardware to run this OS. Popular opinion on WHS seems inordinately high for a MS OS; some people feel it's the best thing MS has produced in years. We're working now to deliver an article on WHS and building a power-efficient home server silent enough to not put it in the closet, hopefully by the end of this month. In the meanwhile, here is Missing Remote's recent comparison of the HP MediaSmart Server vs two homebrews variants, and Microsoft's home page on WHS. * Discuss this news in the SPCR forums.

First Intel SSD Reviews & 4-way SSD RoundUp

Internet News

The Tech Report has a review of Intel's soon-to-come high end X25-M SSD today. Ditto Ars Technica, Legit Reviews, PC Perspective, and Hot Hardware also has a comparison of four SSDs and a WD Velociraptor.

But by far the most comprehensive and authoritative review comes from Anandtech, one of the oldest PC tech sites: Anand's investigative 17-page review of Intel's MLC-based SSD is a must read for geeks. These make for an interesting snapshot of the current state of solid state drives, a subject of great interest for anyone interested in silent computing. Discuss this news in the SPCR forums.

2008 Mobility Race & Refining Performance

Internet News

Two articles in RAM (Reseller Advocate Magazine) this month struck deep. RAM's perspective is that of the reseller rather than the consumer, and its insights are often considerably more reality based than typical tech web sites. The 2008 Race for Mobility is a well-balanced, in-depth look at both Intel Centrino 2 and AMD Puma notebook platforms. AMD Redefines Performance examines the way that AMD is carefully targeting the performance sector of mainstream buyers.

Discuss this news in the SPCR forums.

Ode Magazine's Silence Issue

Internet News

The July issue of Ode— which describes itself as a magazine "about positive news, about the people and ideas that are changing our world for the better" — was devoted entirely to noise or conversely, peace and quiet. They called it the Silence Issue, and featured many interesting articles on acoustics from health, business, science and other points of view. Included is an article about a vsit to Orfield Labs in Minnesota, an anechoic chamber reputed to be the quietest place on earth.

Discuss this news in the SPCR forums.

Ode Magazine's Silence Issue

The July issue of Ode
which describes itself a magazine "about positive news, about the people
and ideas that are changing our world for the better" — was devoted
entirely to noise or conversely, peace and quiet. They called it the Silence Issue,
and featured many interesting articles on acoustics from health, business, science
and other points of view. Included is an
article about a vsit to Orfield Labs in Minnesota
, an anechoic chamber reputed
to be the quietest place on earth. Discuss this
news in the SPCR forums.

2008 SPCR facility/equipment upgrades: hemi-anechoic chamber

Site News

This is a blog in the forum about facility and equipment upgrades currently being implemented at SPCR. The big project is the building of a hemi-anechoic chamber on the ground floor of my house. The blog was started at the end of May. Latest report, July 20: With double doors and nearly 600 lbs of blue fill for acoustic damping, daytime SPL in the room is now 12 dBA. External traffic causes only 1-2 dBA rises in SPL.

AMD's Crossroads by RAM

Internet News

We all know that AMD has been in trouble for a while, and Intel is riding surging waves of success. But AMD has been in lots of trouble in the past, and they've managed to survive and even thrive for some years despite the big shadow cast by its main competitor. Reseller Advocate magazine (RAM) "pursued some of the key channel people at AMD to ask the hard questions and get real answers." The resulting interview article, one of the best I've come across recently, provides interesting insights about where the #2 CPU company is going. They're not going away. Discuss this news in the forums.

Massive Fan Update

Site News

SPCR is always working to improve its testing procedures, and every once in a while we make a breakthrough that massively changes the way we go about testing hardware. Recently, we had such a breakthrough in our airflow testing methodology.

The problem with breakthroughs is they tend to make things obsolete. Such is the case with our current database of airflow results — our new method improved things so much that we have to throw out all of our existing results and start again. After countless days refining our test procedure — and several more of retesting — we proudly present the fruit of our efforts. With the exception of some obsolete 80mm fans, every fan in our database has been retested with the new test procedure.

Fan Round-up #1: 80mm fans
Fan Round-up #2: 120mm fans
Fan Round-up #3: 92mm fans
Fan Round-up #4: 120mm fans (again)

Unusual Fans
Noctua NF-S12 Series
SilenX Ixtrema Pro
Arctic Cooling Arctic Fan 12L

WD VelociRaptor looks killer

Internet News

Reviews of the new Western Digital VelociRaptor have popped up on the web today; perhaps a news embargo was lifted today. It's a 2.5" 300GB 10k rpm update of their 3.5" 150GB Raptor 150... and it looks to be better in every way. We should have a sample to examine soon. In the meanwhile, here are some of today's reviews: Storage Review, The Tech Report, Legit Reviews, PC World, Hot Hardware. And the official WD announcement.

Lab Clearance Sale

Site News

SPCR's lab clearance corner is open, we need to clear off the shelves again. Grab some great deals & support your favorite hardware site.

Web News Mar. 5/08: CPUs & Coolers

Internet News

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.

Modu82+ PSU Giveaway Draw

Site News

Enermax USA has decided to give away their new Modu82+ power supplies in a raffle draw to two lucky SPCR forum members. Read the giveaway details here, and our review of the Modu82+ 625W here.

Turn 1 PC into 2 with free vm-ware

Internet News

Computing appears to have come full circle in the past forty years, moving from server-client nodal networks to multiple independent desktops, and now — with the energy and environmental crises upon us — expanding a desktop PC into many PCs using virtual machine technology. Since VMware introduced the hosted Virtual Machine Manager in 1999, interest in x86 virtualization has been growing steadily. Userful, a company based in Calgary, Alberta, is now giving away virtualization software that gives consumers a second computer for free. Simply connect an extra monitor, USB keyboard, and mouse to your standard computer box and this software allows two users to work on the same PC at the same time.

Discuss this news in the SPCR forum.

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