Silent PC Review is dedicated to reviews, news and information about acoustics of computers and components, as well as their energy efficiency and thermal performance.

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.

Seasonic Super Tornado 300 ATX12V v1.3 PSU

Power
The Seasonic Super Tornado 300 is the subject of a SPCR review. The Tornado is one of the new Super family of high efficiency power supplies by Seasonic to which the previously reviewed Super Silencer 400 also belongs. How does the Tornado fare? Well, we have a new fan-cooled quiet PSU king. Here also is Mikhailtech's review on the SS Tornado 300. He likes it a lot too: "The Super Tornado is one of the best power supplies I have had the pleasure of testing... recommend it without reservations."

Bluefront's Lanboy, Part 3: Acoustically Muffled Case Fan Box

Do-It-Yourself Systems
The Seasonic Super Tornado 300 is the subject of a SPCR review. The Tornado is one of the new Super family of high efficiency power supplies by Seasonic to which the previously reviewed Super Silencer 400 also belongs. How does the Tornado fare? Well, we have a new fan-cooled quiet PSU king. Here also is Mikhailtech\'s review on the SS Tornado 300. He likes it a lot too: "The Super Tornado is one of the best power supplies I have had the pleasure of testing... recommend it without reservations."...

Intelforum's Arctic Silver Ceramique Review

Intelforums has a review and comparison of Artic Silver's Ceramique thermal grease:

"We were very impressed with Arctic Silver's Ceramique overall. It is defiantly an improvement over previous Artic Silver offerings in that it offers slightly improved thermal conduction, and is non-conductive, meaning a lessened risk of shorting your processor (esp. an Athlon processor). As with previous Arctic Silver TIM offerings, it is heads and shoulders over the competition, once again showing us that they are the market leader in this field."

SSI Intel spec PSUs become increasingly expensive

The Inquirer has an article on how choosing power supply is no longer as easy as it once was, specially when you're building a high-end Pentium 4 system. It's a useful, practical and informative article, particularly for those who are upgrading systems and wondering about the suitability of older power supplies for the latest CPUs and motherboards. One thing it does not tackle are video card requirements, which can also be heftly these days.

Quiet PC Primer at Overclockers.com

Overclockers.com has posted an article called "Step-by-Step: Building a Quiet PC From The Ground Up" by Chris McQuistion. It's his second article in a series of 3 on building quiet systems. The first was about an AMD dualie, this one is about a single CPU system. This installment and the original are both good, though much of it has already been covered extensively here at SPCR. What is significant that the article is in Overclockers.com, which has traditionally valued computing speed & power (at min cost) over all other issues. Expanding the audience for quiet computing will help the cause.

A few quibbles:
- Reliance on storagereview.com's HDD's noise data due to their questionable "nearfield" approach
- Quiet PSU choice limited to a single recommendation
- No clear acknowledgement of SilentPCReview as an info reference source.

Fortron FSP350-60PN "Aurora" 120mm fan PSU

Power
The Fortron-Source Aurora 350W ATX12V FSP350-60PN / LED Fan / non-PFC is the first 120mm fan power supply to be reviewed by SPCR. With its cool blue LED fan and nickel-plated exterior, it's one that's meant to be seen but not heard -- well not heard much, anyway.