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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 11:46 am 
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I think the enthusiast interest has moved over to 'green' PCs... which SPCR talks about all the time, but as a means to an end rather than as the end itself. People may be googling on to places where low power is more directly addressed.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 1:11 pm 
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Location: Boston, MA, USA
bendit wrote:
people are buying more laptops net tops notebooks etc. they are busy with their smart phones. the traditional desktop unit is going bye bye. most new desktops will be quiet all in ones. we are a disappearing breed I am afraid.
As much as it makes me want to kill someone 40 hours a week, my employer decided it would be a swell idea to buy laptops instead of desktops for the whole office. They paid 2x as much, for things which now have 20 minute batteries, small screens, small hdds, not enough power to run our massive electrical simulation software, etc. because they must have thought it would be 'neat' to be able to take your own laptop into the field. I wish they had gotten us reasonable desktops and a few shared laptops for the road. But this should be a commentary on (tech-oblivious) people who may even need a desktop going for a laptop anyway.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 4:35 pm 
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Location: Yorkshire UK
Interesting discussion peeps. Couple of observations if I may.

Firstly, RANT ON, todays yoof (horrible generalism I know) are mostly simple incapable of modifying. RANT OFF.

To be fair, those that reach the hallowed portals of SPCR are the exceptions that prove the rule. The people that reach here and actually ask questions are those that will go on to do well in life as they are enquiring minds. Unfortunately most of todays kids will never aquire the levels of practicality to either 'enquire' or 'do' because they simply do not get taught how to be practical and think for themselves at school anymore.

It is also an unfortunate fact of life that we now inhabit a society where replacement is somehow seen as 'more efficient' than repair or modification.

As PCs have become much more 'main stream' - rather than being a nerd's hobby - manufacturers have realised that Joe Public needs a machine that looks nice and does not sound like a BAC 111 (they they were LOUD) as it's stood in the corner of the lounge or next to the telly. Remember due to peodo issues more and more parents are taking PCs out of kids bedrooms and putting them where the childs activities online can be seen.

Lastly, I'm sorry, but I feel that this particuular subject is now past its zenith. With mainstream manu's cottoning on, that in itself will satisfy the vast majority. Wilst I feel that SPCR will always have a 'following', perhaps it should now consider its direction and expand into things like PVRs and the like...

OLD - David!

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2010 6:17 am 
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I used to be a lot more active but I've only visited SPCR a few times in the last 6 months.

In my case that's due to several factors.
1. It's stupid easy to silence computer these days. In the P3/Athlon/P4 days there were very few silencing options available so you had to actively go out and seek new ways to silence it. You had to see what other people did to their PCs. I still remember Golden/Silver Orbs and how noisy they were, and I still remember shock of getting Zalman 7000 and how quiet it was. Now manufacturers are much more noise aware, so it's easy to find quiet fan or a good heatsink or hard drive silencer. Aluminum cases more or less faded into oblivion (at least there is no more rage about latest aluminum case anymore) and they are also designed with quietness in mind.
2. The rate of innovation has slowed down a lot. Five years back when silent movement was in full swing it seemed like every month someone was announcing new product geared to silent computing. Since then everything has been evolving at a slow predictable pace with no ground breaking products. Heatsink evolution has completely stagnated. Power supplies are getting more and more efficient, but they are already at the limit of how quiet they can be. The biggest moves in the last few years have been resurgence of 5400rpm drives, better adoption of aftermarket video card cooling and direct touch heatpipe technology. That's nothing compared to the flood of new products we've had five-seven years ago.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2010 8:04 am 
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Joined: Sat Nov 11, 2006 1:41 pm
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Location: New Orleans
I stopped frequenting SPCR well over a year ago as I don't frequently upgrade my desktop. A lot of my attention was devoted to my laptop collection as a lot of my computer was happening away from home. I recently graduated from college and now I'm spending a lot more time at home. My laptops are in the closet most of the time now although I carry a 5 year-old 'travel size' ThinkPad around.

That being the case, I'm rebuilding my desktop this week with new stuff. I've been reading through there and elsewhere to get back up to speed. I'll probably have a new thread in the gallery next month.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2010 12:22 pm 
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Location: USA
JazzJackRabbit wrote:
It's stupid easy to silence computer these days.

Very true. When I started on this forum Panaflo fans were state of the art (you had purchase more than you needed and cherry pick the quiet ones). PSU's were a nightmare, cases were horrible, and disk drives made all kinds of high pitched and seek noises, and they vibrated like hell.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2010 3:38 pm 
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Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
m0002a wrote:
JazzJackRabbit wrote:
It's stupid easy to silence computer these days.

Very true. When I started on this forum Panaflo fans were state of the art (you had purchase more than you needed and cherry pick the quiet ones). PSU's were a nightmare, cases were horrible, and disk drives made all kinds of high pitched and seek noises, and they vibrated like hell.

Things were improving by the time I joined, but I remember all of that... searching for "quiet" parts was like a treasure hunt. I remember building fan test gear and learning the Panaflo-ese of parts numbers and production dates.

I started visiting again now that it's time for me to upgrade as well, and I have also noticed that things are a lot easier. Parts are built better, electronics are more efficient, and overall quality has gone up noticably.

Many things seem to be also built with noise reduction as either a primary concern or are made in such a way that they can be used as such relatively easily. Yay. :D


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2010 2:47 am 
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Location: Bratislava, Slovak Republic
My opinion is that the general public is doing what many of us were doing few years ago. Take me for example - i was done with desktops around 2003, i was laptop-only until 2007. Then i was tired enough of them and built my own PC again - and i'm upgrading it since (the only thing which is same from the first build are the headphones and maybe few screws :lol: ).

The general public is now using laptops for 1-2 years, their upgrade cycle will start soon. They will buy their next laptop, and notice that performance is pretty much the same, but they paid the same money as 2 years before (moving from C2D to Ci3/Ci5 on laptop is not a big thing). And at next upgrade cycle they will think - it is better to pay the same amount of money again for not so big upgrade, or maybe i should buy a PC instead, which for same amount gives me much, much more power.

For 1000€, you get now something like a 13" Macbook, or some i3/i5 laptop with GeForce 310-330. If you do your own build, you probably buy a 24" TN LCD display (1920x1200) and still have 800€ for a i5 750+4GB DDR3+motherboard+nice case+1TB HDD+silent PSU... Just wait, as someone said in this thread - it's cyclical. Many of the laptop users are still waiting for the moment when they find out how limited laptops are.

Of course, it doesn't mean i don't have a laptop - i do have one. Used when i'm sitting in train traveling home to mom once in few months, when i'm at my moms house, when i need a computer at clients location,... But most times, it is sitting in the backpack and doing nothing.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2010 6:45 am 
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Building box systems is something of rapidly declining benefit to most people nowadays. A computer, for most ordinary folk, simply performs the job of an Over-Glorified Communication Device (OGCD), and for that purpose, does not require the fire breathing monstrosity of an eight core CPU/32GB RAM/2GB GPU system. Pre-built systems (especially all-in-ones like iMacs), craptops, netbooks and portable devices can do most of the tasks people need from an OGCD. Plus, a lot of the time, some of these devices serve double duty as fashion accessories or decorative ornaments for the home. Nobody really cares about that tower on the top of or under your desk anymore. No matter how glossy, ghastly or defiantly ugly it is. It's a dying fascination, relegated to a small group of power users, enthusiasts and hobbyists.

Now, I must find an opportunity to replace this OGTW (Over-Glorified TypeWriter).


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2010 7:03 am 
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Shamgar wrote:
Nobody really cares about that tower on the top of or under your desk anymore. No matter how glossy, ghastly or defiantly ugly it is. It's a dying fascination, relegated to a small group of power users, enthusiasts and hobbyists.


Given enough time these will be highly sought after by the hipsters. Pre-applied ironic stickers will only increase the value. I see beige making a come back in the next 3 years.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:51 am 
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Location: Van City, BC
I've gotta say, everyone here makes a lot of good points... We do live in a "disposable society" (at least in the Western world), quiet computers are far more prevalent than previously, and laptops are taking over. Someone also made a good point that most questions that need to be answered have been asked in the forums, and it seems that most of us are intelligent enough (and well-versed in forum etiquette) to search before we ask... There's also probably many other reasons that the forums may be slowing down.

However, I am relatively new to this... I really only got into desktops at the beginning of the year, so finding this site was a big deal for me. I also built my computer myself, out of used parts, so sites like this are great for researching what used to be the best, rather than what's currently on top. My policy is this: I'd rather build a cheap, "older" machine that I'm happy with, than an expensive, top-of-the-heap machine that I'll regret in six months when the newest components come out. My machine's fast enough for what I need: I do some occasional audio/video editing, and a bit of gaming, but if it starts lagging I'll just kill some processes.

Anyway, the reason I bring that up is that desktops are still a big deal for some people, and being able to build a reasonably powered, quiet machine for less than the cost of a new, low-end desktop is a thrilling concept. I'm probably here at SPCR for the same reason as many of you: I play with computers as a hobby because I enjoy it, not because I want to throw money around.

I agree that if we want SPCR to continue to grow and have a place in the computing world, we should look into "expanding" our scope. I see two logical routes: High-performance, high-power quiet computing, and silent (or close to) green computing. We already touch on green computing, but (as someone mentioned) it's more a means to an end. We already know how to silence low power machines, but perhaps we could start looking into actual eco-friendly means of getting there. Or, start looking at machines designed for programs that need serious power: Ones that run CAD software, resource heavy video/sound editing programs, and hardcore games. Otherwise, SPCR may continue to exist, but more as a reference site than a hub of specialized information.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 01, 2010 3:18 am 
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Location: Finland
piglover wrote:
Or is it that the baseline noise of average PCs has gone down so much lately that silencing them isn't so interesting to a wide audience?


This would be my guess. Also manufacturers are paying more attention to the amount of noise their products put out. A few years ago you would be lucky to see a mention of noise in any component review, now it's pretty common (though in a very unscientific manner).

In a way this whole site and it's success stemmed from the terrible state of affairs some years back. You really had to put a lot of effort to get a silent computer, and even when buying the parts recommended in this site you would have to change the fans, undervolt them and undervolt your processor to keep things under control.

Now it's possible to get something as silent as the above with off the shelf components, and you even have choice. Naturally this will show up here as slower activity, and less need for users to actually register and post.

I got an iMac a few years ago, and it was surprisingly silent off the bat. I still have it which is one big reason I don't spend as much time here. When I was getting a htpc I came to have a look at what people where recommending here, and got enough information to not have to post any questions. Same thing for now when I'm considering setting up a NAS (ok, I've always thought SPCR should be covering NAS devices in their reviews too), I'm finding good enough info using the search to not have to post. Only reason I logged in really was to answer this post. :D

I don't mean to say this service is no longer needed, it definitely is. There is just such a wealth of information already here that iit might in itself slow down the accumulation.

ps. do some audio testing for NAS devices, or teach smallnetbuilder how to improve their reviews from that aspect


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 6:51 pm 
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I can see things evolving into people having a dedicated NAS box, a fanless home computer with SSDs, netbooks, laptops. A gaming rig or a workstation if that is what they like or do.

Silence is still applicable to the NAS box, the gaming rig, and the workstation. The others are usually silent or near silent. With those - "Our work is done here."

I've read this site for most of its existence, and never posted because the info is always here. I've ironically come here to post an idea for the next revision of the P183, of which I am a massive fanboy.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2010 11:59 pm 
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conan_the_librarian wrote:
I can see things evolving into people having a dedicated NAS box, a fanless home computer with SSDs, netbooks, laptops. A gaming rig or a workstation if that is what they like or do.

Silence is still applicable to the NAS box, the gaming rig, and the workstation. The others are usually silent or near silent. With those - "Our work is done here."

I've read this site for most of its existence, and never posted because the info is always here. I've ironically come here to post an idea for the next revision of the P183, of which I am a massive fanboy.


I concur.
In addition I'd like to note that it's quite easy to find low-power fanless NAS devices these days, and that energy intensive x86-based HTPC hardware is being replaced by low-power dedicated ARM/MIPS-based fanless network video and audio players that do not have a HDD but stream everything off the NAS through CIFS and/or UPNP.

The next step in the total picture is the shift from high-powered desktops/workstations towards low-powered mobile internet devices that couples to the shift from dedicated locally run programs towards internet applications and services. The need for cpu cycles that cannot be provided for by the low-powered internet devices will be augmented by offloading to cloud computing platform services (i.e. through an API build into the OS).

This last process will probably happen over the next 10 years; cloud computing is getting there, so are mobile internet devices with the latest generation of ARM and Intel hardware. An important hurdle is a fat internet pipe; maybe LTE will be the enabler for a larger switch.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2010 5:08 am 
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Location: Boston, MA, USA
FrankL wrote:
The next step in the total picture is singularity
:D

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Desktop/Gaming: E8400 / 650ti + Accelero S1 / Antec Solo
Myth Backend + Home Server: D945GSEJT / WD15EADS / Hauppage 950Q / Home made case
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