Silent PC Review is passionate about ergonomic spaces for people and finding creative, practical solutions to silencing all kinds of IT machines. We provide detailed reviews and ground-breaking knowhow about the acoustics of computers and components, as well as their energy efficiency and thermal performance.

Cable Sleeve & Heat Shrink Tutorial

Starsky over at Blue Couch has written a tutorial on Cable Sleeve and Heat Shrink for beginners. The article includes information on removing molex connectors, and contains a brief video on using a naked flame on heatshrink. (Caution: A heat gun would be a preferable method.)Read the Tutorial

Gorgeous Minuet case

We've mentioned that Antec is launching lots of new cases recently. One is the Minuet, a slim microATX case designed for desktop use. Well, the case has been in our hands for a week, and we won't be able to get to a full review of it for a while, but it is such an impressively attractive case that it deserves a closer look of the exterior. Even this photo does not fully capture the tasteful and subtle contrast between the shiny silver metal finish of the bezel perimeter set against the semi-gloss silver of the front panel. If looks could kill... Look for a review of the Minuet and the larger but similar style Overture in the next few weeks.

Review: 3aCooler's Zebra AlCu1 heatsink

Cooling
The 3aCooler Zebra AlCu1 Socket-A heatsink borrows a little from Thermalright and a little from Zalman but ends up with its own compact, tidy approach to CPU cooling. Rusty's first HS review for SPCR on this interesting, mostly successful product from Romania is succinct and precise.

New Quiet Products from Nexus

Nexus, of NX-3000 PSU fame, has recently introduced a series of new quiet PC components over the summer:

The Nexus 80mm Real Silent case fan is said to produce only 17.6 dB(A), this value "the result of numerous tests in an anechoic chamber following the highest standards." They say they "simply cannot find another [fan] this quiet!

The NX-3500 Special Edition, a 350W power supply featuring the increasingly popular 120mm bottom-mounted fan. They claim it is only "19.2 dB(A) in idle mode and will be inaudible when mounted in a computer system as the fan will be located on the inside of the computer case. The NX-3500 has longer power cables and is SATA ready!"

Then there is the all-aluminum PHT-3600 SkiveTek, a light weight P4 heatsink equipped with a fan with 2400 RPM and a noise spec of only 19 dB(A). It is said to challenge all-copper HSF in performance despite its low noise and aluminum construction.

VIA 1Ghz C3 + C3M266 review at PC Silencieux

A thorough and creative review on the VIA C3 Nehemiah 1Ghz + VIA C3M266 motherboard at PC Silencieux, translated from the French original. It includes a SPCR-esque comparison against an undervolted, underclocked AMD XP setup and much commentary about noise vs performance and thermal issues. PC Silencieux is a French site started recently by long-time SPCR forum member Kostik. It's not clear who wrote the original article and who translated, but Kostik, you were involved one way or another: Very nicely done!

Hush ATX: P4 & AGP in stylish silence

Hush Technologies have done it again. At Computex in Taiwan last week, the people that brought you the stylish and quiet Hush mini-ITX PC unveiled a new snazzy PC with a distinctive family resemblance: The Hush ATX. Available in MediaServer and standard desktop configurations, this completely fanless PC features Pentium P4-478 motherboards with VIA or Intel chipsets. ATX, micro-ATX and mini-ITX boards can be accommodated. Video can be handled by on-board or normal AGP slot VGA cards. The Hush ATX bring Pentium 4 and AGP video power to the silent sector with the most stylish presentation yet to be seen

One exciting aspect of their design is a completely fanless 240W full ATX 2.03 standard Auto-switching 90-250VAC power supply with a very high >82% efficiency! Though the technical details are not fully explained, one would have to guess that one side heatsink cools the PSU while the other cools the CPU, likely by using heatpipes to transfer the heat. Very nicely executed & extremely cool. We'll have to beg for a review sample. The Hush ATX brochure is downloadable here.

New Antec P160 case coming soon

Antec has developed a new ATX tower case they call P160. News about this case could not be found on the main Antec web site, but an Australian distributor Altech Computers had this to say:

Antec have combined their innovative `Quiet Computing` technology with cutting edge design, and features to create the P160, or `Performance One` case. Made from anodized aluminium, the case includes a swivelling front panel with LED temp readouts, FireWire, USB and audio ports, 10 drive bays, a removable motherboard tray, blue LEDs and a washable air filter. Speak to your account manager about placing an advanced order today.
A PDF promotional brochure is available at Altech. The marketing copy in that brochure implies that this case may replace the widely copied SX-10xx series cases. "AntecRep" has stated in the SPCR Forums that the P160 will be available in the US in late October.

Installing a Zalman NB47J

Installing a Northbridge Heatsink is one of the first steps many people take towards silencing their noisy computer. Traditionally pesky 40mm fans growl in your case, and get worse over time. PilgriM over at Bluecouch has posted an article detailing his experiences Installing a Zalman NB47J northbridge heatsink on an Abit KR-7A motherboard. A simple painless process, even for people with no experience inside the case.

New harddisk enclosure by LEY-ECD

Company Press Release: The high-end FEK-Pro harddisk-insulation covers the hdd completely - that ensures effective reduction of for even 15,000rpm disks . Available at www.pcsilent.com

BTX form factor announced at IDF

On Sept 16 at the Intel Developers Forum in San Jose, Intel formally announced the Balanced Technology Extended (BTX) form factor specification, and posted the 32-page document at the www.formfactors.org web site for public access. Here are some photos of prototypes I took at the Technology Showcase hall at the recent San Jose IDF. Look for a summary analysis article soon.

Commell's P4 Mini-ITX board

CPUs|Motherboards
It's a review of Commell's P4-based mini-ITX integrated motherboard. Big computing power in a small package, but limited VGA. What's it for? Industrial computing? Any good for us silencers? Find out. The word counter says "14359 total words in this text" but don't be scared. Software lies sometimes. ;) It'll go much faster than you think.

Samsung 173T LCD Monitor

Audio|Video|Misc
The Samsung SyncMaster 173T is essentially a slim-bezel version with digital input of the 173B LCD monitor reviewed several weeks ago. The 173T is even sleek and handsome in black (also in silver), with the modern minimalist look that Samsung has cultivated in all of its products lately.

Samsung 173B LCD Monitor

Audio|Video|Misc
Samsung 173B Monitor ReviewThe Samsung SyncMaster 173B is the first monitor to be reviewed by SPCR. A monitor with sleek style, the 173B is silent. No hum, buzz or whine. How is it to actually use? In short, perfectly fine for most folks and applications, and its landscape / portrait pivoting fuction is great. But do read the review, please.

New Quiet Cases from Antec

Antec, who bring us the Sonata and the SLK3700, among the most popular cases for SPCR readers, have announced two new quiet-oriented cases. One is the SLK3700BQE ("Basic Quiet"... Edition?), which integrates the side-mounting hard drive rack from the Sonata into a black finish version of the original SLK3700 case. But not, it appears, the open grill exhaust design of the Sonata.

Antec Overture caseThe second is the Overture, described as a Piano Black Quiet Media Case. This looks like a horizontal ATX desktop case with a full complement of normal height PCI slots, outfitted with the same single-fan 380W version of the TruePower PSU used in the Sonata.

Aphonos' Dual HDD Bungee-cord Suspension

Storage
Aphonos' long post about an alternative HDD suspension is now an article in the SPCR Storage section. Using his ingenious technique, you can bring the noise reduction benefits of HDD decoupling to almost any PC case.