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.

Sandy Bridge, Part 2: Intel DH67BL & Asus P8H67-M EVO H67 Motherboards

CPUs|Motherboards
The second portion of our Sandy Bridge examination focuses on the budget H67 chipset which enables use of the Sand Bridge CPU's internal HD 2000/3000 graphics, and more specifically, the Intel DH67BL and Asus P8H67-M EVO motherboards.

Hot ASUS Eee Slate video demo from CES 2011

Internet News

That tablets would pop up all over CES 2011 like daisies in the spring was no surprise to anyone aware of the iPad. The tablet market is expected to reach 50 million units this year, and virtually every major electronics/computer brand has at least one to vye for a piece of the pie. Industry giant Asus has three and possibly the most compelling of them for the "serious" computer user who wants one is the Eee Slate EP121-1A010M 12.1-Inch Tablet PC. As of yesterday, it was the most highly viewed computer accessory product in Amazon's catalog over the past few days. Read more to view our demo video of the Asus Eee Slate from CES.

Lenovo's exciting IdeaPad U1

Internet News

This afternoon's preview show event at CES2010 was deluged with journalists surging from one overcrowded display to another. One of the hottest tables was where Lenovo was showing a sample of its IdeaPad U1, an Intel driven Windows 7 mini-laptop with nicely curved corners whose screen detaches effortlessly into an Android-based iPad look-alike. Full details will be released tomorrow, and company reps could only provide pricing in China, where it is set at 3500CNY (US$530) for the tablet alone, and ~8000CNY(US$1200) for the combo. An earlier version was shown at CES 2010, with the tablet running Linux when undocked. The new version looks slick, fully functional, and could be a real crowd pleaser for those who want both a tablet and a notebook. * Discuss this news in the SPCR forums. *




AMD Fusion APUs Arrive

Internet News

As expected, AMD officially launched its Fusion APU platform today, the day before the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, just in time to counter Intel's Sandy Bridge barrage. The press release announcing AMD Fusion APU Era Begins lauds the graphics portion of its APU, which has...

* DirectX 11-capable graphics
* Massive parallel processing to speed application performance
* The UVD3 video acceleration block found in the new AMD Radeon™ HD 6800 Series GPUs

Gigabyte preceded AMD's announcement yesterday in unveiling the E-350 APU (Zacate) powered GA-E350N-USB3 mini-ITX all-in-one motherboard. This is obviously aimed at the base of the pyramid, unlike the Intel i5-2500K we posted our examination of 36 hours ago, but the new AMD APUs look like they have the potential to transform the sector. We expect a lively heating up of rivalry between the industry's biggest processor companies this CES. * Discuss this news in the SPCR forums. *

Sandy Bridge, Part 1: Intel GMA HD 3000/2000 Graphics

CPUs|Motherboards
In our first piece on Sandy Bridge aka LGA1155, we examine Intel's new high-end integrated graphics chip (if there is such a thing), GMA HD 3000. It has inherent advantages from residing on the same die as the CPU, and it also has a clever dynamic clock generator.

Noctua NH-C14 Dual Fan Top-down CPU Cooler

Cooling
Noctua's NH-C14 is a big, beastly follow-up to the popular NH-C12P top-down CPU cooler. Armed with a bigger fin stack and two 14 cm fans, the C14 is the first down-blower cooler that truly competes against the against the formidable side-blowing towers that have taken over in recent years.

Silent Mid Gaming PC Build Guide

Do-It-Yourself Systems | Silent PC Build Guides

The relentless downward pressure on PC component prices has made it possible for enthusiasts to assemble ever more powerful yet inexpensive systems. In our hands, $1,000 is enough to assemble a PC capable of pretty high performance game play at astonishingly low noise levels. We showed you how to assemble a Silent SFF Gaming rig a few weeks ago; this time, it's a mid-budget gaming system in a mid-tower case that is even quieter, at least at lower loads when you care most about the noise.

Thermalright Shaman 140mm Fan GPU Cooler

Cooling
The Thermalright Shaman is a massive eight heatpipe GPU heatsink with an equally imposing 14cm fan. Taking up three extra expansion slots and weighing a total of 680 grams, this monster should have no trouble quietly cooling a high-end graphics card. We check it out on a 215W GPU.

MUKii TransImp USB 3.0 Adapter and Hard Drive Dock

Storage
The MUKii TransImp USB 3.0 adapter and hard drive dock are a pair of useful gadgets for anyone who works extensively with PCs and needs the ability to quickly access a hard drive without the bother of hooking it up inside a PC.

AMD HD 6900 Series Launch

Internet News

AMD PR has done a good job: Reviews of the Radeon 6950 and 6950 graphics card dominate today's tech news as tech web editors trot out their findings in accordance to AMD's NDA schedule. We wonder if such a concentrated salvo is better for market awareness than a slightly less intense but longer lasting barrage, given the apparently short attention span of Joe Public. Perhaps it's all just about mind-share at any given point in time. A quick scan at most of the reviews suggest the 6970 reaches parity with the nVidia GTX 570 but fails to catch the GTX 580, which remains the fastest single-chip video card on the market. The HD 6950 appears to have hit the value sweet spot, providing all the features like triple monitor support, 2GB memory and the architecture of the new Cayman chip at $299, a price point where there is no direct competition. Hit read more for the review links.

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.*