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Are PC enthusiasts heading for extinction?

Internet News

Scott Wasson posted this timely question last night to open a lively discussion at The Tech Report. His comments and questions reflect some of my own thinking; the responses are well worth a look, too.

P180/182/190 Intake Airflow Restriction: A simple solution

Site News

Some users feel the front intakes on Antec's popular enthusiast PC cases don't allow quite enough air inflow. Here's a simple way to improve it.

Silent Computers and SPCR in the NYTimes

Internet News

PCs to Be Seen, Not Heard is the title of an Oct 11/07 article by technology columnist Peter Wayner in the New York Times. It provides a good overview of the current "silent PC" sector, and features key players, including EndPCNoise, Antec, Zalman, Atech, QuietPC... and yours truly. Discuss this news in the forums.

Tiny ionic wind engines to cool computers?

Internet News

It falls in the don't-hold-your-breath news category, but the BBC reports that a collaboration between Purdue University and Intel has resulted in the development of...

"...a prototype device that creates a 'breeze' made up of charged particles, or ions, to cool computer chips. The 'ionic wind', the scientists say, will help to manage the heat generated by increasingly powerful, yet ever-shrinking devices. Conventional cooling technologies using fans are limited because they can suffer from air-flow problems. As the spinning blades waft air over a chip, the molecules nearest to the chip can get stuck and remain stationary, hindering the cooling effect. But the new experimental wind engine employs a different strategy.

Web News, Aug 7/07

Internet News

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.

EPEAT Eco-Computing Registry

Internet News

Eco PC Review has an article on EPEAT, the Electronic Products Environmental Assessment Tool funded by the EPA. It's a "green mark" program for computing products, the first in the US. Long overdue, not without flaws but still a welcome start. Discuss this news in the SPCR forums.

Introducing Eco PC Review

Internet News

Eco PC Review is a new web site dedicated to bringing news, information and analysis to educate people about the environmental impact of computers. This is a issue that is not widely understood, and we are only just beginning to get an inkling of what all those electronic thinking machines might be doing to the environment. A majority of people in the developed world are computer users and the ubiquity of computers is almost complete, yet the questions about their eco-footprint are only beginning to be asked. There is much to be learned and solved.

Web News, May 23/06

Internet News

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.

Whining Notebooks

Internet News

Some combinations of CPUs and motherboards in current laptops are producing an annoying, "intermittent high frequency buzzing noise" that has actually been identified as a problem by Dell. The problem was first noted last year in MacBook Pros, but has since been heard in some Dell and HP notebooks as well. The afflicted models run Intel Core 2 processors. Dell's tech support notes state,

Join EcoPCReview.com

Silent Mike's Blog

Eco PC Review will examine all the ways in which environmentalism applies to computing. EPCR will have a proactive, user-centric, and practical focus on the ways that the environmental impact of computer proliferation and usage can be minimized. EPCR aims to establish a leadership position in providing environmental information about computers relevant to both individuals and enterprises. We seek exceptional people to fill the following positions: Assistant Editor, Writers, and Hardware Reviewers. Click on read more for details.

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

Internet News

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.

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