Silent PC Review is passionate about ergonomic spaces for people and finding creative, practical solutions to silencing all kinds of IT machines. We provide detailed reviews and ground-breaking knowhow about the acoustics of computers and components, as well as their energy efficiency and thermal performance.

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.

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.