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

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.

AMD SB800 Fan Controller Features ignored by MB Makers

Internet News

"AMD's SB800-series fan speed controller has the sort of functionality enthusiasts want in spades", apparently, and "motherboard makers need only to connect fan and diode traces to the south bridge and implement the necessary BIOS hooks to give users access to fan control variables. But none have." More on these ignored fantastic features in the AMD chipset, in a rant by Geoff at The Tech Report. * Discuss this news in the SPCR forums.

Mid-Tower Home Server Configurations

Silent PC Build Guides

Our Silent Home Server Build Guide continues with configurations using a mid-tower case and an ATX motherboard for even higher storage capacity with the same ultra-low noise objective. Includes a detailed how-to on creating a multiple elastic cord suspension system to reduce noise from 6, 9 or 12 HDDs.

Gigabyte H55N-USB3: De Facto LGA1156 Mini-ITX Board?

CPUs|Motherboards
With the limited and expensive selection of mini-ITX LGA1156 motherboards, the affordable Gigabyte H55N-USB3 has enough features and general appeal to charm most SFF PC builders.

AMD HD6800 Series + Tech Day in LA

The Silent Front
The HD 6800 series cards are officially launched today, as any tech media reader is well aware. The 6870/50 cards are featured in umpteen reviews already — AMD feted a hundred tech journalists in Los Angeles for two nights last week. Our brief report and musings on the new cards and on the event.

Western Digital's 3TB GreenPower drive

Internet News

Western Digital's announcement yesterday of its new 3TB GreenPower drive brought many issues in the storage sector into sharp relief. A 3TB HDD by itself is not unique. Seagate's 3TB FreeAgent external hard drive has been available since the end of June, some four month ago. That begs the question of why Seagate has yet to release the bare 3TB drive.

SFF Gaming/File Server

The Silent SFF Home Server we showed you how to build has lots of thermal headroom and room enough to accommodate a 2+ slot video card, so we tried some discrete PCIe graphics cards and Windows 7. Can we keep the SPL to 20 dBA@1m?

Silent Home Server Build Guide

Do-It-Yourself Systems | Silent PC Build Guides

You've seen system build guides on other tech web sites before. They are usually shopping lists of components recommended for the "Ultimate Gaming Rig" or "Mini PC" or what have you. There's nothing wrong with these types of guides — otherwise we would not be proposing to do them ourselves — but there's no question they can be improved. The unique selling proposition (to borrow a phrase from marketing 101) of our Silent System Build Guides is that not only will we provide suitable lists of up-to-date recommended components for a particular type of computer, but we will actually build these computers, and run and test them acoustically under tough actual-use conditions in our anechoic chamber.

WD Caviar Black 2TB & VelociRaptor 600GB

Storage
The Western Digital Caviar Black 2TB and VelociRaptor 600GB are two of the fastest SATA hard drives money can buy. HDD performance almost always comes at an acoustic price, but are these drives quieter than the predecessors, and do their speed/capacity/acoustics compete well against an SSD plus low cost high capacity HDD of similar cost?

80 Plus Fakes; Gigabyte in Tibet

Hardware Secrets discovered that there are some power supplies in the market carrying fake 80 Plus badges. In other news, Gigabyte proudly opened the world’s highest altitude motherboard RMA center in Lhasa, 11,975 feet above sea level. Discuss this news in the forums.

News: Sandybridge, Bulldozer and UEFI

Internet News

Microprocessor industry analyst David Kanter recently posted a detailed analysis of Intel's upcoming Sandy Bridge Microarchitecture at Real World Technologies, describing it as the "most ambitious and aggressive microprocessors designed at Intel." It touches on the Atom as well as the new AMD Bobcat and Bulldozer microprocessors as well. Well worth a read.

Meanwhile, work on the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface is happening on many fronts to break free of legacy limitations of the BIOS. UEFI may feature on motherboards released before the end of the year. A succinct summary by AMI's Brian Richardson.

Discuss this news in the forums.

Samsung EcoGreen F4 & Seagate Barracuda XT 2TB Hard Drives

Storage
The Samsung EcoGreen F4 2TB emphasizes low noise and energy efficiency, while the Seagate Barracuda XT 2TB is all about performance, with 64MB cache and new SATA 6Gbps interface. We examine the noise, vibration, energy efficiency, and performance of these two equally large, but very different drives.

Puget Serenity, SPCR Edition v.2

SPCR Certified Silent PCs | Complete|Mobile Systems
In the few months after the Serenity was SPCR-certified as a silent PC, Puget went back to the drawing board to make the i7 PC even quieter. The development team made changes to fans, subtle improvements to the chassis, a series of small upgrades in other components, and perhaps most importantly, resorted to binning (like the big boys) to cherry-pick only the quietest components off their shelf for the SPCR edition. This second sample that we just finished testing is nothing short of marvelous.

Lian Li PC-Q08 Mini-ITX Mini Tower Case

Cases|Damping
The new Lian Li PC-Q08 supports up to six hard drives, a standard ATX power supply, and even a 30cm long graphics card in a stylish, well-crafted, 21-liter mini-ITX/DTX enclosure.