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

New ultra-quiet PSU at

A new ultra-quiet power-supply was just released at
It is a Fortron Source 300 watts model modified with a decoupled VERAX-fan. This fan uses a new technology which results in a better air-flow and less turbulences. The fan itself is thermo-controlled which ensures a low-noise-level. The noise-level of the power-supply was measured with 21db(A) which is a really low-level!

AOpen announces vacuum tube motherboard

AOpen has released a new motherboard with "vacuum tube audio output". Yes, you read that right. AOpen released a motherboard with vacuum tubes on it. One can't help but admire AOpen's willingness to experiment, but you have to wonder about the size of the potential market for this. No question vacuum tubes provide superior audio quality, but it remains to be seen how many people need that level of audio output quality in their PCs.

Seagate announces "virtually silent" hard drive.

Seagate has announced a new series of hard drives geared towards non-traditional markets. The U Series X drive is targeted at systems such as Xbox gaming consoles, audio jukeboxes and low-cost PCs. Utilizing only one read/write head, this drive is 25% thinner than traditional half-height drives. According to Seagate, this improves airflow within smaller systems where space is at a premium and components are often packed closely together. Utilizing the same technology found in their Barracuda cousins, Seagate quotes the U Series X drives at 2.6 bels, which is slightly higher than the 2.4 bels quoted for the Barracuda IV.

IBM gets rid of the local hard drive is reporting that IBM has developed a new technology called iBoot. Taking advantage of the new iSCSI standard, iBoot allows computers to boot from remote hard drives, located in remote locations. While IBM is targeting the technology at easing administrative burdens and increasing performance, this technology also should help reduce the noise in desktop PCs.

Another Review of Shuttle SS40G

Via hardware has a review of the new Shuttle SS40G. Seems shuttle have made some good attempts at silencing this version, although the db levels quoted in the review don't look that impressive. Hopefully it'll give us modders a head start though. Check out the review here.

The fact that they posted some noise readings is also encouraging. Thanks for the news, Jon!

Petitioning Retailers is Crucial

So says Jake in his call to silent action in our General Forum, asking folks to email, phone and write letters to retailers urging them to include noise ratings alongside their products... Lots more good ideas to promote silence awareness in the industry. Thanks, Jake!

A $5 DIY Power Meter


Consumer electricity monitors work fine to measure power consumption, but they cost upwards of US$100. It's also more than we need. Our electronics advisor Tommy Yee suggested building one really cheaply. With our shoestring budget, that sounded much better. My super simple power meter took half an hour and $5 of parts. A very useful tool.

Fujitsu announces new, quieter SCSI drives

For the SCSI fans out there, Fujitsu has announced a new line of SCSI hard drives using their "Fluid Dynamic Bearing" (FDB) technology. Currently, these drives are vaporware and are not expected to be available to consumers until at least September.

Fanless (or Not) with TKPower 300 & VIA C3

Do-It-Yourself Systems | Power
Partly a review of the TK Power 300 power supply and partly a DIY quiet computer project, John Coyle's quiet computer project utilizes many components and techniques discussed in Silent PC Review: the above-mentioned PSU, VIA C3 processor, quiet Seagate Barracuda IV hard drive, Zalman fan mounts, Panaflo 80mm fans, variable fan speed contro, drive decoupling by suspension, etc. A worthy first article!

MX-EVA3 CPU Evaporator Cooler

Icrontic has a review of the MX-EVA3 CPU evaporator cooler. Described as sounding "like a refrigerator", this cooler isn't for the silent PC crowd. However, the technology used here to allow overclocking could just as easily be applied to enabling silent-running computers. Of course, with a price tag of $499, this cooler isn't exactly for the mainstream crowd.

Seagate to offer "upgrade kits" for Barracuda IV drives is running a story about Seagate's new upgrade kits for their Barracuda hard drives. Designed at making the upgrade process smoother and easier for folks not as comfortable with a hard drive swap, these kits will be sold at Fry's retail locations and (also owned by Fry's) The kits will include detailed instructions, both as a booklet as well as printed directly on the hard drives.

Samsung offers "silent" CD-RW drive

ZDNet has a review of Samsung's new SW-232B 32X/10X/40X EIDE CD-RW drive. According to ZDNet:

It's...affordable, and it offers generally good performance for a 32X/10X/40X burner. However, the SW-232B's biggest selling point is actually on the inside, where some great technologies make the drive both reliable and nearly silent.
All this silencing goodness comes from Samsung's "Dynamic Vibration Absorber" (DVA) technology. While most CD drives are silent when not in use, DVA apparently allows the drive to run nearly silently even when burning CDs.

nVidia video card shootout at Tom's includes noise test

Noise awareness seems to be on the rise. Tom's Hardware Guide has a shootout of nvidia 4400 and 4600 video cards. Tom's is focussing more on noise these days, and in this shootout they measured the noise from all the cards! The quietest cards were the Abit 4400 and PNY 4600 at 30db. The loudest was 50 db!

Thanks to Daryl for submitting this news!

"Low power" AMD SFF Processors Coming Soon! says 35W "Athlon SFF processors on Palomino and Thoroughbred cores are in the AMD Ordering Part Number table for May. It means that Athlon SFF should also be announced very soon. Athlon SFF (Small Form Factor) is a new AMS solution designed for quiet fanless PCs. As we see, from the table, these CPUs will feature lower Vcore and will be rated up to 2000+. Athlon SFF is expected to work in a special processor socket different from the current Socket A."

Fanless at 35W seems like quite a challenge, but this is interesting news for PC silencers.

Shuttle releases SS40G with heat pipe cooling technology

Shuttle has released the SS40G version of their popular barebones systems. This version is the first one to accept Athlon XP processors, and uses an innovative (for computers) heat pipe cooling mechanism to keep them cool. However, as any Shuttle owner (including this one) can attest to, the main source of Shuttle noise has always been the PSU fan. Word on the street is that Shuttle has made some inroads here, at least for US models, though the results are still not 'quiet'.