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.

Intel's ATX12V 1.3 PSU noise spec!

In June, when news about the ATX12V 1.3 Power Supply Design Guide was posted in SPCR's Recommended PSUs, I failed to notice a most important change in section 5 of the Guide on environmental factors: Section 5.7 on page 54 covers Acoustics!

The guideline calls for a maximum sound power level no greater than 4 Bels at 50% load under well defined conditions. This is "for power supplies designed for low noise". Four bels is not exactly whisper quiet, but it is a good starting point, and Intel's inclusion of this definition is very good news for silent PC enthusiasts. The full text of section 5.7 is now available in the Recommended PSUs page.

Ron's Water Cooled HDD Silencing Enclosure

Ron Wlock's first major DIY PC project was the design and construction of what is probably the world's biggest passively cooled radiator for his water cooled computer system. Ron's latest project extends that water cooling system to his hard drive while insulating its noise. His successful project is fully detailed in this well-documented article: The HDD temps & noise achieved will amaze & perhaps inspire.

Samsung ML-2150 Laser Printer

The Samsung ML-2150 is the second printing device to be submitted for review, another substantial no-nonsense business machine. It's bit quieter than the Samsung multifunction reviewed a couple weeks ago; still not silent in idle, only in sleep. But it is a super-capable laser printer with automatic double sided printing. That makes the Samsung ML-2150 worthy of modding for silence! For US$400, it seems amazing.

Review: Arctic Cooling Super Silent 4 Pro TC

Another cooler reviewed for the hot summer, this time a brand new thermally controlled HSF for P4-478 from Arctic Cooling. Inexpensive and effective, fine attention to details, great for those seeking simplicity and not cutting-edge performance.

Review: Kamakaze HSF by Scythe

The Kamakaze CPU heatsink by Scythe in Japan is an unusual product, offered as a complete package with 80mm fan and manual speed controller. With a strong resemblance to Alpha heatsinks, the Kamakaze seems to have been designed from the ground up for "native" compatibility as a socket-478 or socket-A/370 cooler. Read the review.

Review: Zalman 7000-Cu / AlCu CPU Heatsink

An extensive review of the Zalman CNPS7000-Cu and -AlCu, the current top of Zalman's extensive P4 cooler line. They depart from the last generation of Zalman's top P4 coolers from by being radial rather than "fanned", and by having an integrated fan rather than one on an extended overhead bracket. How quiet and how cool?

Review: Nexus KCZ-2700 CPU Cooler

A review of the KCZ-2700 MS / LS socket-A heatsink from Nexus, the people who brought you quiet PSUs. Thin aluminum fins soldered to a nickel-plated copper base plate, a slim 60mm fan and a handy 6-lug mounting clip: Is this HSF a quiet champ?

HushPC now available in US & Canada

The Hush mini-ITX PC uses an innovative cooling system and fewer moving parts. The CPU and heat sinks are connected to the side of the finned chassis, allowing for passive and silent cooling.

LOGIC Supply is the official reseller for the Hush mini-ITX PC in North America. They ship anywhere in the US and Canada.

See the Logic Supply website for more information.

proSilence PCS-350 Fanless PSU

Fanless operation is the Holy Grail of silent computing: The proSilence PCS-350W is the first fanless drop-in substitute for a ATX12V Power Supply. It is not a product for everyone, but in the right PC configuration, this PSU gets you one step closer to the fanless ideal.

Power Mac G5 3X quieter than G4

Click to reach Apple page on quiet case design
So their promotional pages proclaim. Considering how noisy the G4s are, this really isn't hard to do, especially as the phrase "3 times quieter" is not qualified with any real measurements. It could mean almost anything in the world of marketingspeak.

Still, they appear to have developed a case design superior to the standard PC tower ATX: "The Power Mac G5’s enclosure houses four discrete thermal zones to compartmentalize the primary heat-producing components. Fans in the zones spin at very low speeds resulting in a system three times quieter than the Power Mac G4."

Samsung SCX-4216F Multifunction Printer

It's another first: The Samsung Laser MFP SCX-4216F is the first printing device to be submitted for review at SilentPCReview. This 4-in-1 unit prints, faxes, scans and copies, quickly with a godd deal of competence. It's quite a nice unit, though not particularly or unusually quiet. It is a good way to reduce the clutter of many stand-alone office machines.

Seagate "Momentus" - silent notebook HDD

In a news release dated 16 June 2003, Seagate announced the new Momentus hard drive, the first notebook HDD (2.5" form factor) to offer 5400-rpm performance and optional 8-Mbyte cache with power consumption comparable to current mainstream 4200-rpm notebook drives. Specifications for the new Momentus, which is already shipping to large corporate clients in 20G and 40G capacity (single platter for either size), show maximum power consumption of just 2.4W! Its noise ratings are on par with or better than the Barracuda IV single platter HDDs. Depending on pricing and availability, these may become popular in PCs other than notebooks -- small form factor desktops and other miniatures that are all the rage. This is Seagates first entry into the notebook market.

Stylish compact Tranquil PC

click to enlarge imageThe Tranquil PC is a "compact, stylish PC system for the discerning user" based around a VIA EPIA M10000 with Nehemiah core 1GHz CPU. The basic system features integrated fanless cooling along with a quiet hard drive and slim-line optical drive for very quiet operation. This Brit system certainly is a looker, done up in extruded aluminum panels and an acrylic blue-glow front panel. Comes in different color combinations, of course. Very nice for a complete PC that starts at just £399.00.

Yes, it does draw comparison to the Hush PC, in the same way that certain BMWs evoke certain Mercedes: These machines bring a lot of panache to the Small Form Factor (a term which has always sounded so pedestrian). Check out Tranquil PC's web site for more details on this sexy wee beast.

Nexus NX-4000 PSU

The follow-up to its successful NX-3000 power supply is a higher power 400W model called... the NX-4000! We put the Nexus NX-4000 PSU through the grinder in SPCR's torture chamber and find out if it stays mum (quiet) and strong (stable).

Deltatronic Manufacturing Fanless P43Ghz

Deltatronic Inc. has been offering a totally fanless modified chieftec case that can house the latest p4 processors and radeon gfx cards. Cooling is done via fanless PSU w. external heatsink, heat spreaders on CPU and GPU carrying heat to the case exterior (a modded chieftec with cooling fins on side). Looks very serious!