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.

Run a Power Supply without a Fan?

This is a question often asked but rarely answered. In this exploratory article, we present temperatures of an Enermax PSU's heatsink with and without fan, under a defined and measured load, in different positions. Following where the questions lead brings us to some surprising answers!

DIY Water Cooling has published a DIY Water Cooling System. Replete with diagrams, material lists and lots of pictures, this article is great for the Do-It-Yourself crowd.

Wecome PC Club of Toronto!

Our friend Albert "ATX" told us a large group of PC devotees from this Toronto club may descend upon Silent PC Review in the coming days, after attending his recent presentation about quiet PCs. We applaud Albert's efforts to spread awareness of PC noise and welcome new PCCT visitors beginning to hear the possibilities of silent computing.

Microsoft's 11th Annual WinHEC

At Microsoft's 11th annual WinHEC, one of the session topics was on Quiet PCs. We'll keep an eye out for the conference paper, which should be posted to Microsoft's site later today or tomorrow. It's very encouraging to see a major manufacturer throwing their weight behind the Silent PC movement.

Why aren't today's PCs quiet?

Salon ran an article a while back that talked about the increasing noise in computers, as well as why PC manufacturers might be having a hard time making their computers silent. The article gives a nod to the iMac as one of the most silent computers available from a big-name manufacturer and also talks about European regulations hopefully helping to reduce noise in PCs.

Building a Silent Thin Client

Jason Spisak wrote an HOWTO on building a silent thin client[?]. The end result is a great thin client that has no moving parts. Perhaps not a great primary computer, but it's perfect for checking email and surfing the web. Works well with the Linux Terminal Server Project.

From the My-Quiet-PC -is-quieter-than -your-Quiet-PC department

Doesn't this seem like a bit much?

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 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 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

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.