Hello, I'm new to this board. Well, sorta new. I've been reading this forum for 2 months now, helping to decide how I can either lessen the noise of my current PC or obtain a new one. I spent a lot of time deciding between a new VIA system or even wasting a lot of cash for a Pentium M setup. It was then that I discovered the ST62K and waited anxiously for it. All the reviews I read about it, including the latest one that was done here, made me a believer. This quick review is mainly to corroborate SilentPCReview's findings on this system. I have to give back after learning so much from you all.
Purchased a silver Shuttle Zen XPC ST62K from ExcaliberPC.com. Being only a 3 hour drive from their warehouse, I placed my order over the weekend, was processed Monday evening, and arrived Tuesday evening. I purchased along with it Corsair memory (3200XMS 512MBx2) and a P4 2.8C 800FSB CPU.
The experience has so far been good except for a DOA Corsair memory module. Because 1 module is bad, I'm waiting to obtain an RMA from ExcaliberPC, which will require both modules to be shipped back. I won't get a replacement until I ship the pair. *grumble*
Now, for what you really want to hear about: noise.
The Shuttle is amazingly quiet. This is coming from a gamer who previously had a tower case w/ a AMD XP1900+ and 3 80mm fans (stock PSU, Thermaltake Silent Boost HSF, and a Vantec Stealth Case Fan). I bought the Thermaltake and Vantec thinking it would quiet my system noticeably, but it did jack * for noise. I didn't notice a difference. Other systems I have for reference are a VIA C3 'GigaPro' 733mhz mid-tower and a Sony FXA53 AMD XP1500 laptop.
While at full blow the Shuttle's solo fan is MUCH louder than all 3 of old gaming rig's fans combined, my system has yet to need it. I kept the settings at 'Smart Fan' and my CPU speed seems to be around 45C (like the review here said, I could find no program to measure the CPU temp outside of BIOS), which is about the same temperature as my old system in a bigger case and 3 CPUs! The XPC sits about 2 feet in front of me, yet it seems to run quieter than the Sony VAIO FXA53 laptop right next to it when the CPU fan on it activates (I think it's the type of noise tho, as the Sony makes a bit more of a higher pitched noise than the low hum this XPC makes).
The power supply brick is HUGE. This is the biggest brick I've ever seen, measuring at 4.5"W x 7" L x 2" H. It is only warm to the touch, even after gaming, and emits no noise.
I use a Hitachi Death... I mean, Deskstar 7K250 (I know, I know, I can hear your screams). It has worked great for me in the 3 months since I've had it. In this system, I do not hear the HD spinning above my I.C.E. fan. I do hear it when it is accessing data, but it us not overly intrusive. The only wierd thing about this Deathstar is that it makes two different types of noises that I've never heard on other hard drives before. The first noise is a low "moooo" type sound, like something a cow would make. The second noise is a low but higher pitched 3-tone noise. Both happen every 3-4 hours or more, randomly, and lasts only for a couple seconds. Otherwise, no problems with the Deathstar so far.
My HD does not cause my whole case to vibrate when in the HD frame, so I am not sure what problem the reviewer was having with his unit. I do not have the HD set up any special way. The only thing I did different was using silicon washers in between the screws and frame when mounting the HD and CD.
Easily, the loudest thing on this system has been whenever the system accesses my Sony DRU-510A CDRW/DVDRW drive.
As far as performance goes, well, it does everything I need it to do so far - MP3 playback, data storage, MS Office, and some games. I used to be a hardcore gamer, but not so much anymore. Counter-Strike plays fine, I'm happy to say. I did wish the ST62K had a DVI output though, as I do easily notice the difference between VGA and DVI on my Sharp LL-17D4 LCD.
I've taken pictures if you need to look at the XPC, and if you have questions, ask. Thanks.