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

TechTV Article on Quiet PCs

TechTV has an article entitled, "World's Quietest PC". The article is a recap of a segment that ran on their Screen Savers television program. There are no ground-breaking tips or techniques discussed in this article, but it does provide a good overview of components designed to make your PC run quieter.

Silencing a P4-1.6A oc'd to 2GHz

Do-It-Yourself Systems
Recently, after reading about the higher efficiency of Intel's 0.13-micron Northwood core P4s, I found myself asking: Can a P4 be made to run silently at 2-GHz using non-exotic, inexpensive techniques? Attempting to answer this question was a great excuse to succumb to the siren call of speed glorious speed - once again. A long, detailed article part DIY, part review, part op-ed. The short answer, BTW, is YES!

Computer Noise in the 21st Century

The Silent Front
Dan Quinlan of Lucent Technologies predicted in January 1999 that hotter chips and the accompanying need for forced air cooling would increase noise in electronic equipment by “10-20 dB in the next 5-10 years.” Based on personal experience, his prediction of at least +2 dB/year noise increase is right on the money when it comes to PCs. I don't need test gear to tell me that my new 2 GHz system (in stock form) is easily 6 dB louder than what I was using in 1999. If any of the new 50+ cfm fan equipped CPU heatsinks were used, the increase would easily exceed 12 dB. Mr. Quinlan’s prognostic article from Electronics Cooling is reprinted with permission.

Bury the thing!

So you've tried and tried to silence your PC, but despite all your efforts, it still makes more noise than you'd like. What's next, you ask? Why, bury it, of course.

Extreme Cooling

OCTools.com has an article about a couple of guys who supercooled a computer using Flourinert and liquid nitrogen. They were able to overclock a 566MHz Celeron to over 1.0GHz before their CMOS got corrupted. This is a follow up to an earlier article where they overclocked a 366MHz Celeron to over 650MHz.

It should be noted that this system is entirely fanless, though the PSU is external. Additionally, with a little more Flourinert, you could run a top-of-the-line GeForce 4 card and a 2.2GHz P4, all without any fans. Now, given the cost ($1000 for the Flourinert alone!!) and danger (liquid nitrogen in your lap, anyone?) of building this system, I'm not sure this is a reasonable desktop PC. It is, however, a very cool system.

Make your own water cooling system

This article on Eimod.com describes a low-cost, DIY water cooling system. With lots of pictures, diagrams and explanation, this article is a great way to get that water cooling system you've always wanted.

Welcome to the Cooling Zone

According to their site, CoolingZone claims to be "the only comprehensive source of information and education for the thermal management of electronics. " While not focusing on reduced-noise, per se, CoolingZone does have a great deal of cooling-related information, including a magazine entitled, "Electronic Cooling" (which, at the moment, seems to be having technical difficulties)

Hard Drive Sandwich - Revisited

Storage
A thorough update of an article first published in mid-2001, HS Sandwich Redux discusses a unique, inexpensive DIY hard drive noise damper that also provides effective cooling. I have added refinements and enhancements developed since the original article was written. Some of this content is also discussed in Sandwiches & Suspensions.

Toolbox PC

A $20 Stanley toolbox, a MicroATX motherboard and a fair amount of elbow grease produced this case. The details are what make this case especially cool, from the vinyl-dyed CD-ROM to the custom case venting. This is one slick case mod.

Quieting the Enermax & other thermistor fan PSUs

Power
The Enermax EG-365P-VE is a popular example of a thermistor-controlled, dual fan PSU. Despite the promise of whisper, its performance in the noise arena is ordinary, and it usually becomes one of the 3 core noise sources in a typical PC. This hands-on article shows how to reduce its noise output so that it is just a whisper, barely audible from even just a couple of feet away. The basic methodology can likely be applied to any PSU with a thermistor-controlled fan that is too noisy. But be careful of high voltages!

Hope for notebook owners

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