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

Thermalright Ultra-120 eXtreme Rev.C & AC Freezer Xtreme Rev.2

Cooling
The Thermalright Ultra-120 eXtreme Rev.C and the Arctic Cooling Freezer Xtreme Rev.2 are two divergent different approaches to extreme CPU cooling that manage to remain in the same basic "side-blowing fan on a tower of fins joined to the base by heatpipes" design dominating the field. Is there a winner? Yes, and its by a lot more than a nose.

New high areal density 2-and-3 TB Greens from WD

Storage
Three Terabyte capacity in a 4-platter drive and 750GB/disc density is excellent, but the 2 TB model in a drive with one less disc might prove to be even better for noise and power. We examine samples of the latest WD Caviar Green models along with an earlier 2 TB 4-platter AV-optimized Green.

Asus DirectCU & AMD Radeon HD 6850 Graphics Cards

Graphics Cards
The Radeon HD 6850 is AMD's sub US$200 entrant in the discrete graphics card market. We have two on the bench to compare, a reference sample from AMD, and the Asus EA6850DirectCU, which is overclocked, has an adjustable core voltage, and is cooled using a direct-touch heatpipe heatsink. They turn out to be winners, especially the Asus.

Zalman CPU & VGA Power Consumption Meter

Fans|Controls
These are not the first power meters to bear the Zalman name. But they are the first by any PC components company that seem to offer serious CPU and VGA power measurement tools for end users.

SuperTalent Introduces USB 3.0 Virtual PC

Internet News

Ma Labs today announced they will begin offering Ceedo Personal with Super Talent's USB 3.0 Express RAM CACHE flash drives. Ceedo is a software virtualization and delivery platform that creates managed application workspaces – a set of applications that can be run on any Windows PC without installation, and then managed remotely. Combining Ceedo Personal with the 4-channel USB 3.0 Express RAM Cache flash drive (16, 32 and 64 GB versions) allows you to create a Windows Virtual PC environment that is FAST, flexible and totally portable — your personal virtual PC in a wee USB stick. When used on a USB 3.0 port, the speeds approach those of standard SATA SSDs. *Discuss this news in the SPCR Forums.*

Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex 1.5TB Portable USB 3.0 HDD

Storage
The Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex 1.5TB is the largest portable bus-powered external hard drive money can buy, supports the new USB 3.0 standard and features a unique interchangeable adapter interface.

Silent SFF Gaming PC Build Guide

Do-It-Yourself Systems | Silent PC Build Guides

Gaming PCs consume more energy, put out more heat, and run louder than mainstream machines. There isn't much we can do about the power and heat of high-end gear, but we can certainly help gamers build quiet system to fulfill their needs. Since they are typically louder to begin with, gaming systems have the most benefit from SPCR know-how. For our first gaming system guide, we show you how to build a small factor gaming system that is well cooled and impressively quiet yet powerful enough to run modern PC titles smoothly at high resolutions.

HTPC Home Server

Silent PC Build Guides

A final home server variant in a Silverstone GD-03 Home Theater PC case, with a horizontal layout designed to go into a shelf below a TV. This is the final chapter in our Silent Home Server Build Guide.

Samsung LN55C650 55" LCD HDTV

Audio|Video|Misc
Inky blacks and vibrant colors from any angle, high contrast yet natural colors: Sounds like what you get a with a high price LED TV (or energy gobbling plasma)? Without resorting to expensive, exotic technologies, the Samsung LN55C650 55" 1080p web-enabled LCD TV turns in a great video performance at a very attractive price.

Zotac IONITX-P-E: First CULV-embedded Motherboard

CPUs|Motherboards
Zotac was the first to introduce tiny desktop systems featuring Intel CULV chips in the ZBOX line, and now they've introduced the first CULV mini-ITX motherboards. The Zotac IONITX-P-E features an integrated dual core Celeron SU2300 processor, ION graphics, 802.11n, eSATA, and a full-sized PCI-E expansion slot.

Electronic Noise and Tinnitus

The Silent Front
This article is in response to a recent email from a sophisticated technology user who suffers from tinnitus. The writer refers specifically to electronic noise from second generation Intel SSDs triggering his tinnitus symtoms in such an upsetting way that he was compelled to seek help from Intel directly. The kind of electronic noise Richard describes is not normally audible to most people, but there is little question that it is all around us, emanating from just about every type of electronic gizmo that is part and parcel of modern living.

News: Trust 80 Plus? nVidia GTX480

Silent Mike's Blog
"Can We Trust the 80 Plus Certification?" asks Hardware Secrets in an article which cites our biggest peeve with 80 Plus — unrealistically cool thermal conditions at higher load — plus the absence of re-testing for rebranded power supplies. Meanwhile.... nVidia's newly launched flagship GTX580 video card will not face direct competition from AMD's top-end 6900 series boards until mid-Dec. It's the fastest single GPU card right now, with power consumption to match. Reviews of the $500 GTX580 abound: TechPowerUp, OverclockersClub, Anandtech, HardwareCanucks, HardOCP, Techgage.

AMD Radeon HD 6870 Graphics Card

Graphics Cards
AMD's new Radeon HD 6870 is not a revolutionary game-changer, but with enhancements in efficiency and performance as well as extra display features, these video cards based on the new Barts core offer a lot of value in the competitive $250 bracket.

Arctic Cooling Accelero Xtreme Plus GPU Cooler

Cooling
Accelero Xtreme Plus is an unapologetic three-fan monster GPU cooler that Arctic Cooling claims can tackle cards drawing up to 250W. It may be the VGA heatsink noise-adverse gaming enthusiasts have been waiting for.

Consumer SSD Battle: WD, Kingston, OCZ, Intel

Storage
The WD SiliconEdge Blue 64GB, Kingston SSDNow V G2 64GB, OCZ Vertex 2 60GB, and Intel X25-V 40GB offer small capacities but big speed compared to most hard drives. One model ultimately rose to the top, both in real world performance and energy efficiency.