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 Post subject: Dell Studio Hybrid: Small, Stylish... but Quiet?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2008 11:25 am 
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Dell Studio Hybrid: Small, Stylish... but Quiet?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2008 12:36 pm 
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Small typo at the bottom of the 1st page:

"Some of Dell's larger desktop PCs have had the reputation of being reasonably quiet, although no one has suggested they are "SCPR" quiet"


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2008 12:58 pm 
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it appears the CPU they used is too powerful. Should have gone with a lower power processor.

VIA has processors that do HD playback/recording just fine and only produce like 10w of heat. So obviously it can be done.

Things like this are great for mom and pop computers, like the mac mini, but for the more computer savvy we really need something that is a bit more grounded in form factors for upgradeable purposes.

I'd love to see what MikeC would come up with if he decided to make an "SPCR Certified" Mini-ITX system.


Last edited by Aris on Mon Dec 08, 2008 1:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2008 12:58 pm 
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At first, reading the review, I was like "Oh noes, they didn't include open chassis porn, wtf." But then I got to the bonus section! Ahh, so much better. Never ever do a review without taking the thing apart! :D

I'm a little disappointed with the energy consumption. I had expected a little more (or less, if you like) from a mobile-on-desktop. I guess I'd rather have a cheapo AMD/PicoPSU configuration than that Dell. Especially when you factor in the price of the tested setup (~$800).

But +1 for the attempt of making a sensible low-power home computer. Lets hope this catches on. Now, had they just used a good parts and a better better engineering. But it is shiny and simple, so it might sell well, hehe.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2008 1:29 pm 
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MikeC wrote:
It's not clear why the measured SPL difference between 1m and 0.6m was so large. In theory, the difference should be just 3 dB.

No, attenuation should be with the square of distance.

1m = 1.67 X 0.6m

1.67^2 = 2.78

2.78X = 4.4dB . . .

. . . and that was pretty much exactly what you measured.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2008 1:38 pm 
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jessekopelman wrote:
MikeC wrote:
It's not clear why the measured SPL difference between 1m and 0.6m was so large. In theory, the difference should be just 3 dB.

No, attenuation should be with the square of distance.

1m = 1.67 X 0.6m

1.67^2 = 2.78

2.78X = 4.4dB . . .

. . . and that was pretty much exactly what you measured.

Yes, true -- I was thinking about what happens in a normal room, not the anechoic chamber. The reflections off the walls make the attenuation of distance smaller.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2008 2:05 pm 
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Well, I had to sign up to complain on this "review". In your defense i didn't read most of the review because i am not as anal about a computer making noise as the inhabitants of this community. That being put aside, I do not think you should have EVER compared the dell to your custom made machine. Reasons?

1. I know if i built a machine to meet my own personal criteria (similar to yours being sound and power consumption mostly) that my custom build would outperform it in every way......a fresh install of windows will always be faster on identical machines, yet you went one step more and gave that machine better components as well.

2. You complain about the loud fan yet your hand built machine has a fan hand picked for its lack of sound. To be fair...espically since i've seen you guys do it before...you should have put the same or similar fan in the DELL - i mean you cracked it open anyways....and someone as anal about db as you guys would definitely have a couple quiet fans lying around.

3. The systems are not at all comparable in any way. Even though you put a mini ITX board in your case its still a micro ATX case...you might as well have put a MATX board in there. According to dell the studio hybrid measures (without stand) 2.7" x 7.7" x 8.3" and the case you guys used measures 17.0'' x 11.8'' x 9.1' That case is 10X larger than the dell in volume. WTH? Of course it is going to be more affordable....i'm sure if you built a system that met the DELLs dimensions more closely, you would have had to pay even more than what you did.

You guys do great reviews of hardware components or when you give the hardware a chance by upgrading the offending parts. But this review is poor enough because you got a machine unboxed it and reviewd it without replacing the offending parts to see what could have been. And then you give it the most unfair comparison. I guess you could have been more unfair and just compared the dell to the silence of space though.

-MV


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2008 3:00 pm 
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pre1014 --

1. maybe, maybe not. We gave it a clean sweep to ensure unnecessary processes were not loading the system

2. We never change parts on any prebuilt system for testing. That's perfectly normal. No one who's in the primary target market market for this Dell will change the fan.

3. Our hand built PC was never placed in a case -- but there's no question we can take off the shelf unmodified parts and make a quiet, more capable mITX system than the Dell.

Finally, you should read the whole review before posting complaints. It's only fair. But welcome to SPCR anyway. ;)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2008 3:30 pm 
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pre1014 wrote:
But this review is poor enough because you got a machine unboxed it and reviewd it without replacing the offending parts to see what could have been. And then you give it the most unfair comparison. I guess you could have been more unfair and just compared the dell to the silence of space though.

People will be interested in that comparison here because they might have wanted to get the dell rather than build their own quiet machines. Fairness whatever it is not important; what is important is whether the comparison is a useful one and it is.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2008 3:32 pm 
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Aris wrote:
I'd love to see what MikeC would come up with if he decided to make an "SPCR Certified" Mini-ITX system.

Same here!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2008 12:40 am 
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Thanx for the review, man.

I bought the eeebox, and although it is nice it isn't as quiet as I had hoped. I looked to the new Dell, and was wondering if I had put my money on the wrong horse. Glad to read that isn't the case.

Keep up the great work Mike!

btw: pre1014: you might reconsider your overuse of the word anal. It might be read as rather offensive you know.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2008 2:19 am 
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pre1014 wrote:
...a fresh install of windows will always be faster on identical machines, ...
Not really. A fresh install is heavily fragmented and can therefore be expected to run slower than one that's been defragmented prior to the test.
As I read it for this test both machines were tested with fresh installations and no defragmentation.
pre1014 wrote:
...you should have put the same or similar fan in the DELL...
That would make the Dell very quiet, yes. ... But for the wrong reason.
If you'd bother to take a look at the cooling performance you'd realise that the Dell computer is running very hot as it is. A less noisy fan will reduce cooling further, thus overheating the computer until it doesn't run at all. That would make it very quiet indeed, with zero performance...
pre1014 wrote:
3. The systems are not at all comparable in any way. ...
... unless you take a look at the price tag.
The reference is $100 cheaper and still pretty small.

Cheers
Olle


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2008 3:05 am 
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Olle P wrote:
pre1014 wrote:
...a fresh install of windows will always be faster on identical machines, ...
Not really. A fresh install is heavily fragmented and can therefore be expected to run slower than one that's been defragmented prior to the test.
As I read it for this test both machines were tested with fresh installations and no defragmentation.


I don't think he means fragmentation, but the ridiculous about of crap OEMs install on machines.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2008 4:52 am 
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first of all, its a really sexy litle ting :)

But the cpu is just the strangest choise ever. high clocked 65nm, why not 45nm cpus? and why so extreeme voltages? 1.063V and 1,36V that cpu does not need such high voltages. so a better bios migth actually improve things a lot.

on top of this a tiny fan to cool things....


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2008 5:10 am 
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leifeinar wrote:
But the cpu is just the strangest choise ever. high clocked 65nm, why not 45nm cpus? and why so extreeme voltages?


Because it's a cheap Dell?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2008 9:38 am 
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Monkeh16 wrote:
I don't think he means fragmentation, but the ridiculous about of crap OEMs install on machines.

iirc, it wasn't bad at all on this one. mebbe previous reviewers cleaned them out already.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2008 10:43 am 
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Location: Western Mass.
How auspicious it is that Dell sent the review sample. They must value the advice on the acoustics.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2008 11:08 am 
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Reachable wrote:
How auspicious it is that Dell sent the review sample. They must value the advice on the acoustics.

It was reviewed by many enthusiast tech sites, the first time I've seen a Dell at so many of them. Usually, only the big mainstream tech publications get official Dell samples. I doubt we were singled out, and I did request a sample... which tooks months to finally arrive. In any case, perhaps this is a new approach for Dell. The mainstream media pr is not working well enough for them any more?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 2:21 pm 
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Location: Germany
I bought one 140g

Memory: 2GB
HDD : 250 GB
CPU : T8100
Keyb : wireless
Mouse : wireless

cool design, preinstalled VISTA with google Desktop.
If You like it, its ok. If not, it's difficult to clean it Up.
First You have to accept the Contract. After signing it changes are possible.
Defender does not allow to change the start option of google desktop, even with admin rights not.

The Box is running smooth. Fast enough for VISTA.
Graphics is not that what a fan of fast cars would call "turbo loaded".
But the graphics power is fair enough for VISTA watching DVD's and that stuff.
(more at the topic "BIOS")

The mechanical design is gorgeous, The Hardware is fine selected.
Even the slot in drive brings fun with a lighted sensor button for ejecting.

Sadly to say, the noise is a bit to loud.
(more at the topic "BIOS")

DVI and HDMI can communicate with my SONY BRAVIA TFT.
The Output is clear.
Under Linux I had Problems to view DVD'S with 24bit color depth.
I would not blame the box for that.

Connectivity wireless and cable is flawless.

BIOS:
Brand : AMI
Version : 1.0.6
Eventually the originaly legendary AMI BIOS with iconified GUI and mouse control is known to some.
Don't expect this comfort and this fine balanced control firmware here.
It is just a plain BIOS with some settings open in the setup.
Two main problems:
- Graphics Memory is fix set to 8 MB
- intel speedstep can only be set to enabled or disabled

This results probably in the slow graphics performance, all mentioned in most tests readable in the web.
And causes the high power consumption and the endless running fan.

Speedstep can be set down to 1.2GHz only.
That ist to high for what the combination of a 965GM Chipset and a T Processor can be driven
T5xxx lowest is 1.0GHZ
T8xxx lowest is 08.GHz (800MHz)

In my case ths would allow to reduce the CPU Freq by 33%.
This would lock down the IDLE Power to about 15 to 17 Watts and prevent the anoying FAN fan from its endless running.

Temperature Reading is not provided by ACPI. Maybe this problem is caused by my linux Installation, but I do doubt that.

Fazit:

Cool Box
Cool Design
some flaws and
ACPI Implementation not completed.

hopfully next BIOS update could improve the acpi implementation.

Buy one and it brings fun.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2009 7:38 pm 
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Posts: 31
Does the new BIOS version 1.0.9 dated 1/18/2009 help reduce the noise?

No one bothered to try changing AAM settings with Hitachi Feature Tool on the hdd to reduce seek noise and vibration?


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 Post subject: Fan replacement?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 4:11 am 
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Location: Europe
Did anyone try to replace the fan with a quieter model?


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