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.

AMD Thoroughbred "B" Catches P4, Runs Cooler?

Stories today in virtually all the major hardware sites about the new Thoroughbred "B" XP 2400+ and 2600+ restablish AMD as the speed holder in the processor race against archrival Intel. The new XP models are faster, more overclockable and produce less heat per clock cycle than the first Thoroughbreds. The higher efficiency was apparently achieved by moving to 9 layers of interconnects (from 7) and copper (instead of aluminum). The XP2100+ at 1800MHz produces 67.9W, almost exactly the same as the 68.3W of the new 2600+ running 333MHz faster!

Still, the CPU surface is 40% smaller than with the earlier Paomino XP, and there is no helpful heat spreader as in the Intel Pentium 4 and the coming AMD Hammer.

VIA's Mini-ITX Projects Page now Live

VIA's Mini-ITX projects page is now live at their main web site. Some mind boggling car projects are featured -- min-itx PCs in model cars & REAL cars, the latter with flat screen monitors in the middle of the dash.

Zalman ST300BLP "Black Box PSU Mod" at Frostytech.com

Frostytech has done a very "extreme" mod on an early model Zalman PSU. Definitely attractive, but does this help the acoustics?

Serial ATA benefits for PC Heat/Noise

We've reported here on Seagate's Serial ATA Barracuda hard drives, but given scant attention to the benefits of the new interface. Dell provides a good overview of these benefits, which includes:

- backward compatibility with ATA
- higher potential dtata flow rates (150~600MB/sec)
- low cost
- improved data bobustness

For PC silencers, however, the single most interesting aspect of Serial ATA is the replacement of "the wide Parallel ATA ribbon cable with a thin, flexible cable that can be up to 1 meter in length."

It doesn't take a great deal of imagination to consider what this means:

- Less cable clutter, leading to improved airflow and reduced air turbulence noise.
- The option to place hard drives in an external case optimized for low noise and good cooling (without spending an arm and a leg on external USB drives), which would also have the benefit of lowering the total heat in the main CPU box.

We're already working on our external drive caddy. :)

Installing Debian Woody on an Eden EPIA VE1000

SPCR reader dbri has posted a set of instructions on installing the latest release of Debian (Woody) on a VIA Eden VE1000 system in the SPCR Forums.

Q-Technology QT-02300 Power Supply

Power
Long considered the quietest PSU on the market, Q-Technology has now discontinued their original 230W model and offers 250, 300, 400 and 460W models. We examine one of their 300W models. Does it continue the Q-Technology tradition? How does it compare with quiet PSU models from other manufacturers?

CPU Undervolting & Underclocking: A Primer

CPUs|Motherboards
Two terms that often come up in Silent PC Review are undervolting and underclocking. These terms refer to setting the CPU core voltage and clock speed under the default settings in order to lower its heat output and make it easier to cool with a quiet, low speed fan. Computing performance does take a hit, but CPU temperature can be lowered dramatically, making it much easier to obtain quiet operation.

SPCR announces new forums!

We are pleased to announce our new-and-improved User Forums. Offering many new features, as well as increased ease-of-use, we think you'll find these new forums a big step up from the old system.

Posts and user accounts from the old system were, for the most part, preserved during the upgrade, but there were a few quirks and snags that we ran into. For complete information about the upgrade, please read our announcement in the Site News forum.

JMC’s new 92x32mm Single-Fan Cooling Solution

JMC Products, a manufacturer of thermal cooling solutions, today introduced the 9232-12V DC fan, designed to cool an entire computer chassis. The 9232-12V has been effectively applied with a passive heatsink and baffling system to direct air through the heatsink and out of a dual or single processor workstation. The fan can also cool power supplies in a similar method.

The 9232-12V can be thermally controlled for low noise (20 dBA) at low speed. Consuming little power at high speed, it cools a system with an impressive 82 CFM, running at 4000 RPM. (But not quietly at that speed!) Available now for OEM & dstributors in low, medium and high speeds at $5 to $6 depending on features, speed, and quantities. For more info, visit www.jmcproducts.com.

Vantec Stealth PSUs Coming Soon

Vantecusa.com is getting ready to release a new series of Stealth Power supplies that are supposed to be powerful and very quiet. It's good to see another manufacturer recognizing the noise issue. The noise stats cited suggest they will actually be quieter than the top ranked ones on our Recommended PSUs, but we'll have see how the measurements were made. They do have three fans, after all...

MSRP & noise ratings for these product are:
420W -- $129 -- 18 dBA
470W -- $139 -- 20 dBA
520W -- $149 -- 22 dBA

Vantec USA anticipates delivery of review units by the end of this month and shipment to distributors shortly thereafter. Hopefully, they will send over some samples for us to review.

Fanless PCI Radeon?

VIAHardware has a review of a 64MB Radeon that fits in a PCI slot and on top of that it's fanless! Looks perfect for one of the sans-AGP Shuttle mini-barebones systems.

Check out the review here.

For Dilbert fans: PC Feng Shui

A hilariously appropos Dilbert strip about Feng Shui and noisy computer fans. Thanks to Tim Handley of VIA for pointing it out. :)

FrostyTech review of Zalman CNPS6500-Cu Fan Heatsink

FrostyTech.com has a very positive review of the Zalman CNPS6500-Cu Fan Heatsink. Notable for its audio recordings of the noise the Zalman makes, the review offers a comparison of the Zalman fan against many of its peers.

Advertising in SilentPCReview.com

As of today, you may notice advertisements in the pages of SilentPCReview.com. We have begun accepting ads from qualified sponsors in an effort to offset the costs of running a web site that reviews and tests all manner of products. The demands on our time and energy is considerable, and we have been "running in the red" since the start 4 months ago.

We are committed to keeping a sensible balance between content and advertisements by limiting the number of advertisements per page. Additionally, all sponsors of SPCR will offer products that are of interest to the Silent PC community. No Smash-the-monkey ads here! Rest assured that our sponsors are fully aware of our insistence on editorial independence: thorough, honest assessments are the very foundations of SPCR.

Finally, we have not changed our Privacy Policy: We still do not release your email address or other personally-identifiable information to any external company. We do still collect information in aggregate and supply that to our sponsors. If you have questions or concerns that are not addressed here, please email us at privacy@silentpcreview.com.

Ultimate Underclock & Undervolt Project

Do-It-Yourself Systems
New contributor Leo Velikovich shares an impressive PC silencing project which involves underclocking and undervolting not just an AMD XP1700+ but also a hot GeForce 4 Ti4200 video card. Is it the Ultimate Underclock & Undervolt Project?