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PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2006 8:18 am 
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Quote:
the systems consume a lot of watts at idle (68 watts and 98 watts respectively).


Good point; neither of the systems meet the new Energy Star guidelines, which is kind of weird for an SPCR computer.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2006 8:32 am 
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Erssa wrote:
Personally, I think they are a bit too pricy, when in the barest form (without display) it costs 400$ more then a similarly specced 17" imac. Or when a 20" iMac is priced similarly to a pc with the same specs and without display.


I agree. The Model 11 as presented by default at EndPCNoise is $1330 for a computer with a A64 3500+, a gigabyte of RAM, onboard video, and 160 GB hard drive. Seems rather steep to me.

The much more decked out Model 1 is just $130 more, for a much more expensive E6300 and P5B-E. In Canada, the AMD motheboard goes for $110 compared to the Intel one for $200, while the E6300 is $220 and the 3500+ is $110. Something doesn't add up.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2006 8:39 am 
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Palindroman wrote:
It's great to see all that knowledge becoming available for a larger audience. My only objection is that the systems consume a lot of watts at idle (68 watts and 98 watts respectively). Excellent performance-per-watt though.

The focus on these models was acoustics. Power was less of a priority. Models designed specifically for lower power are being worked on. Keep in mind that none of SPCR's lab computers would actually meet Class A requirements for the new ES2007 spec either. <50W idle is NOT easy to achieve with standard components.

I suppose a 65W rated part could be an option for Model Eleven... I think availability is still pretty spotty, and the price premium steep. Not much can be done for the Intel system though. C2D definitely idles a lot higher than A64.

Also, keep in mind that the exact power numbers will vary by a few watts. That 68, for example, could easily be 65 with a different set of components (particularly the CPU) -- even with the same configuration.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2006 8:49 am 
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Location: San Jose, California
Quote:
Actually, once a cutting template has been created for the duct, it's not difficult or time consuming to make. Just print it off on a large sheet of paper, which gets used as a tracer onto the construction paper EPCN chose to use. It has a significant benefit with the system under load in warm weather -- the PSU fan doesn't ramp up, so the noise quality/level stays unchanged, which is a key feature (imo) of a truly quiet, unobtrusive system.


Fair enough. I had forgotten the systems where designed for 30C ambient. I guess I expected a little less customization when i first saw the article but that is what the standard cases they sell are for.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2006 9:34 am 
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Palindroman wrote:
My only objection is that the systems consume a lot of watts at idle (68 watts and 98 watts respectively). Excellent performance-per-watt though.


I think I've expressed myself wrongly. It was my first reaction, not at all meant as criticism. I know for high performance systems it's the best you can get low powerwise. I'm sure the wattage-limit for desktops will only get lower, even for high performance systems.

I have been completely blinded to the outside world by my efforts to build a 40 watt system and forgot there actually are people who need high performance.

:oops:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2006 9:43 am 
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Quote:
<50W idle is NOT easy to achieve with standard components.


It seems that AM2 is a much more efficient platform than expected:

Power Meter thread in Silent Front

AM2 mobo w/ integrated graphics, A64 3500, 512MB DDR2, 160GB 7200.9 HDD, S12-330 PSU

Idle: 35W


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2006 10:25 am 
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jaganath wrote:
Quote:
<50W idle is NOT easy to achieve with standard components.


It seems that AM2 is a much more efficient platform than expected:

Power Meter thread in Silent Front

AM2 mobo w/ integrated graphics, A64 3500, 512MB DDR2, 160GB 7200.9 HDD, S12-330 PSU

Idle: 35W

Until that 35W idle measurement can be confirmed by others using the same components or with a more accurate meter, I don't think this is realistic. It's possible that the power draw is that low because...

-- the system in question is powered at 220VAC, which usually means 2-3% better efficiency than at 110VAC.
-- the board and the CPU could be exceptionally efficient samples

But there's also a good possibility that it's a measurement error. Apparently, the Kill-a-Watt type meters become inaccurate at low power readings. See my post in that thread.

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 Post subject: Tuner card in Model 1?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2006 10:55 am 
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The picture of the HTPC model looks to have a tuner card in it, but it is not listed with the other components. I assume it is a Hauppage MCE150 as the ordering page shows?


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 Post subject: Concerns for the website's future
PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2006 11:17 am 
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One issue that arises is that there will be a conflict of interest regarding reviews of any silent PC components in the future. I'm not trying to cast any doubt on the integrity of the SPCR staff or writers, but if SPCR is engaging in a business venture involving hardware that they either review or might be in competition with reviewed components, then the issue of conflict of interest automatically arises.

I'm a pediatrician on faculty at a medical school, and whenever I give a lecture, I am required to disclose any potential conflict of interest, such as owning shares in a pharmaceutical company, or being a paid consultant for the same. I want to be seen as impartial as to the information that I give in lectures. This is why I make sure I don't have financial dealings with pharmaceutical companies.

Substitute "power supply review" for "lecture", and you'll quickly see the situation that SPCR is in. This is a shame, given the usefulness of SPCR as a source of information.


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 Post subject: Re: Concerns for the website's future
PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2006 11:51 am 
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wilburpan wrote:
One issue that arises is that there will be a conflict of interest regarding reviews of any silent PC components in the future. I'm not trying to cast any doubt on the integrity of the SPCR staff or writers, but if SPCR is engaging in a business venture involving hardware that they either review or might be in competition with reviewed components, then the issue of conflict of interest automatically arises.

Substitute "power supply review" for "lecture", and you'll quickly see the situation that SPCR is in. This is a shame, given the usefulness of SPCR as a source of information.

This situation is not new, the potential conflict of interest has always been there, right from the start: When we began accepting free samples, run advertising, when I was asked to consult for various component companies. (For example, the P180 and the NSK2400/Fusion would not exist without my project partnerships with Antec.)

This hasn't caused me (or any of the editorial team) to diss products that should have been recommended or recommend products that should be dismissed. In fact, there are many examples of review of products from advertisers where we advised against them based on our assement of its acoustics, thermals and/or quality. (Would you like a list of these examples of "biting the hand?")

I don't think it's a shame... or will become a shame in future... but that's up to visitors and readers to judge. Despite your protest that you're "not trying to cast any doubt on the integrity of the SPCR staff or writers", I think that's exactly what you are doing, deliberately or otherwise.

Unless a site / magazine (etc) accepts no advertising from any sample sources and/or simply buys all the samples (never mind how a site like that survives...), there's always potential for conflict of interest. This is the reality for every pc hardware site out there. I think our record and the confidence of our audiences in SPCR's assessments speaks volumes.

If you think of this as a get-rich-quick (or slow) scheme.... well, you'd be wrong... it's a lousy one. :lol: If you think of this as a way to expand quiet computing beyond the enthusiastic DIY handful, you'd be more on track.

PS -- and do you ban all pharm. samples from your office, too, in order to "appear impartial?"

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2006 12:59 pm 
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TBH I think SPCR is probably about as close to impartial as a tech review site like this can get; this site grew out of a group of people who had a common interest (quiet computing), rather than as a moneymaking venture, and IMO the editorial team have remained very true to that early spirit of like-minded people helping each other. Obviously as ventures like this grow and expand there are inevitable accusations of "selling out" and becoming "too commercial" but servers don't run themselves and people's time isn't free either. TANSTAAFL..... :wink:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2006 3:22 pm 
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Location: Germany
Also notable for < 50W consumption:

mobile chipset Core Duo
http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/vi ... hp?t=33733
AM2
http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/vi ... p?p=300802
mobile chipset Core Duo
http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/vi ... light=abit


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2006 5:28 pm 
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The issue of "impartiality", either perceived or real, comes up more often than most readers would realize during the "behind the scenes" conversations the staff has here at SPCR. It's an issue for pretty much every product review organization, be it computer parts, appliances, cars, whatever. There's always a "hand that feeds you" mentality that lurks in the shadows. Even organizations like "Consumer Reports" which attempts to bypass the issue completely by purchasing all their review samples themselves has had claims of bias voiced against them. And their system only works as well as it does because they can sell subscriptions. Subscription-based websites tend to have very short lifespans. (unless you're selling porn, apparently. :wink: )

But what SPCR does have going for it much more than any print magazine, and more than most online websites, is the quality of its user contributed content...ie, these forums. Magazines have their "letters to the editor", but the editors can pick and choose which ones to publish. And of course other hardware review sites have their own forums, but rarely do their forums have the concentration of knowledgeable readers that SPCR's forums have enjoyed for the past half decade. Read the article comment threads on some review sites and the average comment is something to the effect of, "Yah, that suxor'z! You pwn'd that POS!" Thankfully, the comments here are usually a little more highbrow than that.

Having forum members like we do means that if SPCR decided to ever start fudging reviews to make some extra cash we would get called on it almost instantly. And we would get called on it loudly. If Mike says that that uber-bling PSU is dead silent, and a even a handful of forum regulars go out and buy it and find out that it sounds like a hoover, it's going to be a big story very quickly. Heck, individual forum threads here at SPCR have gotten retail products recalled, products cancelled, and completely new products brought to market, just on the basis of what our readers were talking about in the forums. Not many places can say that.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2006 6:46 pm 
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Location: Plymouth, MI
Couple things:

Cool :D

Isn't there a way to make the optical drive blend in more in the media unit? Or use the Fusion with the display and volume control?

I also don't think that SPCR is the type of site (really, people) that would start fudging things based on commercial endeavors, especially since there's been advertising/review samples/etc going on for some time, but with the more prominent role this will be taking on, I think it is a good idea to be ready for those accusations.

I didn't read wilburpan's post as casting those doubts, myself, but more as someone who is in a somewhat similar position who was sharing their experiences with it. He might know he's basing his medical advice on the facts, but it would be extremely frustrating to have someone making claims about his commercial ties with no basis in fact. How do you prove otherwise? A good long track record like SPCR has is one way, that's for sure

I really like the Solo based system, btw. Dayum...that Ninja is just the most amazing thing ever, isn't it?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2006 7:55 pm 
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Rusty075 wrote:
But what SPCR does have going for it much more than any print magazine, and more than most online websites, is the quality of its user contributed content...ie, these forums.

I completely agree with this point. There is always the potential for other agendas to creep their way into a review, decision, opinion, whatever. But a good system of checks and balances to keep people accountable for their statements is the only real way to ensure their integrity. Now if I start seeing all of you staff members driving BMWs and Porches, I might have to call you out on something :wink:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2006 9:40 pm 
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I'm totally cool with you guys driving Porsches. If you can make that kind of money on your partnerships then go for it. I don't think there would be any way for you to sell out and still make that kind of dough. The site is sucessful based on very comprehensive, thoughtful, and accurate reviews. The site, and your partnerships would just fall apart if you started giving preference to one particular product line.

I have not heard anyone talk much about selling out in these forums despite the fact that Antec cases are hugely favored over other cases on the forums. Other products get fair representation here. It is just that Antec cases kick ass.

BTW, i recomend the Audi RS4 over the Porsche. You can take all your friends for a 160mph 420hp ride and 4 wheel drive is standard. It comes in handy in Canada. I love mine!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2006 4:28 am 
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Interesting article, It's good you have the info nescessary for people to build similar systems themself if they want.

A question: Q-fan is used to controll the fans in the media-center-PC, how does that work compared to speedfan or another software-based solution?

AtW


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2006 7:34 am 
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AFAIK Q-fan resides in the BIOS. So it is OS independent and less likely to crash. SpeedFan only works when you are logged in into windows. SpeedFan has more possibilities, but a lousy fan hysteresis algorithm.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2006 7:40 am 
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Congrats on the partnership. The Solo build looks sweet - close to my paper design.

AMD is expected to start shipping 65nm product in the next week or two. So, the next wave of lower power and prices is upon us.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2006 12:24 pm 
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Tibors wrote:
but a lousy fan hysteresis algorithm.


I'm sorry, but what does "fan hysteresis algorithm" mean? :oops:

AtW


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2006 2:48 pm 
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If you would put the fan speeds of a typical PSU review in a graph, then you get a flat part and a sloping part. If the temp rises high enough the fan speed stabilises somewhere on the sloping part.

With SpeedFan you have to set the temperatures and speeds in a such a way they are on a flat part, because if you set it on a sloping part, then the speed jumps to the top of the slope over cooling the system and then down again cooling it not enough and then up again......

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2006 6:52 pm 
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slightly off topic, but does anyone know where to get the 5.25" vent used on the model 11?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2006 9:02 pm 
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there are going to be some extra antec 380 psu's and tri cools floating around....hmmm. :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2006 9:24 pm 
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Bendit wrote:
there are going to be some extra antec 380 psu's and tri cools floating around....hmmm. :)


Seeing as endpcnoise sells tons of parts, can't see that being such a huge problem! It's already in the surplus sales section as it is.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2006 10:15 pm 
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Location: Northern California
jaganath wrote:
It seems that AM2 is a much more efficient platform than expected:

Power Meter thread in Silent Front

AM2 mobo w/ integrated graphics, A64 3500, 512MB DDR2, 160GB 7200.9 HDD, S12-330 PSU

Idle: 35W

I'm seeing 44-45W idle on an AM2 machine that I just assembled.
    4200+ A64 X2 (65W TDP)
    Abit NF-M2 nView MB
    2GB DDR2-800 w/ECC
    Hitachi Deskstar 7K160 160GB SATA-II
    Samsung DVD burner
    AC Freezer 64 Pro w/PWM fan
    120mm Antec TriCool
    380W Seasonic S12 PSU

The power measurement was done with a Kill-a-Watt at 120V.

This is also one of my quieter machines, though there is enough ambient noise that I can't really characterize it very well. The only obvious noise from it is some fan clicking, probably from the TriCool. I may swap that for an orange Yate-Loon. The case is a Solo.

The only machine I've got that is lower power is the 1GHz VIA C3 box that I'm using as for a firewall. It measures 35W at idle, even with a laptop drive and no optical drives, though it does have 3 NICs.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2006 2:08 pm 
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I've been following the site and its forums for a while but this is my first post. I'm considering getting a quiet pc to substitute a high end cd transport --more on this at places like audiogon or audioasylum under PC audio. Ideally, this would be a fanless system. Are you considering doing any of these, probably based on VIA, in the partnership with EPCN?

Keep in mind that the purpose is being a component of a quite expensive audio system and the least thing you want to have is some noise coming from one of its components in quiet passages of music.

Thanks!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2006 8:15 pm 
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Welcome to SPCR!

A fanless system is a whole 'nuther kettle of fish.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2006 5:58 am 
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I've been visiting this sight for more than a year now, and I couldn't be happier reading this. Best of luck to you guys. Though, if you run your business like your webpage, I can't imagine you'll be needing much luck. :P


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2006 7:59 am 
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This thought popped up in my head when I first saw the article but I didn't think I'd say it out, or rather I thought it would be hard on those who designed the systems,
but hey it probably won't be too hard to here goes. :roll:

Customized PSUs/PSU designs. Dell Optiplex (which is the quietest premade system I came into close contact with, it might be on par or even quieter than my current system :? ) with a slim elongated PSU cooled by a cross-blower, HP book-type media center with a small fanless PSU at the bottom, and IBM with seemingly 92mm exhaust fan for PSU
(it might be 100mm I'm not sure, but it is definitely bigger than 80mm)

Don't you guys think that the current 120mm-fanned PSU design is rather ineffective? What say the customized PCs abandon the ATX form-factor and mount the PSU in a way such that air rises upwards across the horizontally-mounted components and exits via a 120mm exhaust? Heck, use taller heatsinks and run the entire PC with only 1 fan. The PSU only emits 25% as much heat as the rest of the components~

I am not really bothered/don't really care about the business/politics/ethics part, this article showed that SPCR is one of the few review sites with power, and power can be used for good or evil. I want to be able to buy a cheap, quiet, and hopefully also small (= less than 9cm thick, no thick fat "low-profile" "HTPC" casings thx) and powerful system. Start a pico-PSU revolution maybe? :)

Palindroman wrote:
What are the pros and cons of pre-tweaking these systems?


Nothing much. Just lower power/heat and save trees. Maybe get the idle power draw under 65W. As shown by others, A64s undervoltable to 1.1V are not hard to find, which reduces their power consumption to lower than the 1.20-1.25V 35W processors. Wait... that's load power, nothing to do with idle.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2006 8:28 am 
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Quote:
I want to be able to buy a cheap, quiet, and hopefully also small (= less than 9cm thick, no thick fat "low-profile" "HTPC" casings thx) and powerful system


Mac mini?


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