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

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.

Corsair Gold: AX850 Power Supply

Power
Corsair's new AX850 has 80 Plus Gold certification for 90% efficiency, totally modular cables, a hybrid passive/active cooling for silent operation, and is backed by a 7-year warranty. It's perfect for a Silent Gaming Rig in a thermally advanced case.

Logic Supply SolidLogic Montivina Fanless Mini-ITX System

Complete|Mobile Systems
The SolidLogic Montevina GS-L10 is a passively-cooled mini-ITX system. Powered by a dual-core mobile Intel processor, this silent PC by Logic Supply offers a whole lot more performance than the standard Atom box without gaining much girth.

Seagate Momentus XT: The Best of Both Worlds?

Storage
The Momentus XT 500GB is a hybrid notebook drive from Seagate featuring two 250GB platters spinning at 7200 RPM, 32MB of cache, and 4GB of SLC NAND flash memory. Is it truly an affordable high capacity drive with SSD-like performance?

Cougar GX-700: 80 Plus Gold from a new brand

Power
A German affiliate of HEC, Cougar is offering the 80 Plus Gold rated premium GX series only in the EU at this time. How does the GX-700 fare against other Gold PSUs?

Zotac ZBOX HD-ND22: A CULV Nettop at last!

Complete|Mobile Systems
At long last, an Intel CULV processor has finally made its way into a nettop device. The Zotac ZBOX HD-ND22 sports a dual-core Celeron SU2300 CPU and ION graphics in a compact, VESA-mountable form factor.

Antec TruePower New TP-750

Power
The TruePower series has been bread-and-butter for Antec for many years, but the line has recently received a refresh. Partly modular cabling, high efficiency, lower noise, and high quality parts are all promised in these new Seasonic-made models. How do they fare against the SPCR short list?