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.

Corrected Efficiency Results for Recommended PSUs

For PSU Test Rig V.3, we revised our testing equipment and methodology to improve the accuracy of the load testing and efficiency calculations for our power supply reviews. As part of this revision, we re-tested most of the power supplies on our Recommended PSU List using the new methodology. The new results are reported in this article along with the original results.

LS Cable SHS-X500 heatsink/fan

A new brand in the CPU heatsink/fan market hailing from Korea offers heatpipe technology in a small all-copper package that aims for low noise. Performance is comparable to the recently reviewed Scythe Katana, and the price is modest at an anticipated ~US$30, but the challenge will be to find one -- at least for the immediate future. The low profile and weight may make the hunt for the LS Cable SHS-X500 worthwhile for those who like to build systems in smaller cases.

Shuttle SD11G5: Pentium-M SFF PC

Complete|Mobile Systems
It's late to the table, but Shuttle's long awaited SD11G5 is a landmark SFF. Just the basics are enough to make a winning combination: A Pentium M SFF platform around a proven single fan heatpipe cooling system with a PCIe video card slot and an external fanless power box. Add Shuttle's usual attention to details, styling and packaging, extra features like the ambitious built-in Sound Blaster 7.1 sound card and dual monitor onboard display capability, and it looks just about perfect.

Trusted Reviews' 12 PSU Roundup

It's the second big roundup by Trusted Reviews, and they're using a commercial testing facility with very sophisticated test gear. They admit that for acoustics, they "were unable to source suitable test equipment to perform any sensible testing," but offer what look like good testing results on efficiency and voltage regulation at various loads. SPCR's PSU reviews are starting to see some competition.

Antec Neo HE 430 power supply

The features and specs read like a marketing hot list for a modern enthusiast PC power supply. High efficiency, detachable output cables, multiple 12V lines, APFC, auto-range AC input, quiet fan and intelligent fan controller. The big surprise is that the 430, like the rest of the Neo HE line, is not equipped with a 120mm fan. A traditional 80mm back mounted exhaust fan is used. It can be bought in a retail package or bundled with the new Antec P150 case. The Antec Neo HE 430 offers some pleasant surprises.

Antec P150 mid-tower case w/ Neo HE 430 PSU

Antec steps up to the line again with a brand new mid-tower case and power supply in their high-end Performance One line. It's an all-steel case with many unique features that will delight PC silencers. You could call it a post-P180 case. The Antec P150 will definitely make waves. NOTE: Postcript on the black SOLO variant and other updates added June 15, 2006.

Scythe Katana

This new budget heatsink from Scythe has many desirable features: * Long copper heatpipes married to thin alumimum fins * Good quality modest noise fan * Mountings for sockets 478, 775, K8, 370 and A * Very light weight * Angled, rather than perpendicular to motherboard Our review of this latest "blade" from Scythe.

MuteMat sound absorption kit

MuteMat is basically a competitor to the likes of AcoustiProduct: Sheets of damping material that can be applied to the inside panels of a PC case to help make it quieter. The big difference is that it's not foam. Instead, it is an "unwoven micro-fibre that can supposedly absorb more noise than acoustic foam due to its finer underlying structure." We tried MuteMat on a quiet system and wrote up our findings... along with SPL measurements, sound recordings and descriptions of before and after.

Archive: SPCR's PSU Test Platform V.3

Power | Reference|Recommended
PSU reviews have become bread-and-butter articles at SPCR. There are very few serious PSU reviews on the web; in this context, ours have stood out. However, in the last 18 months, PC power supplies have undergone tremendous changes. As a result, weaknesses in our testing setup have become evident: * The accuracy of our AC/DC conversion efficiency results; and * The adequacy of the test system to provide high enough load on the 12V line. This article documents the many changes we've made to address these issues in an improved, updated power suppy testing system. It's our PSU Test Platform, Version 3.0. ;D

Zalman CNPS9500 LED heatsink/fan

It's hard to believe, but the 9500 is Zalman's first CPU heatsink to use heatpipes. They're no strangers to heatpipes, having used them in many other cooling devices, such as VGA and HDD coolers; never before in a CPU cooler, though. But the waiting might have been worthwhile. The CNPS9500 could be the most sophisticated implementation of a heatpipe HSF for CPUs we've ever seen.

Paradigm Shift at Intel: IDF Fall 2005

The Silent Front
It's a big concept to apply to what is now a routine semiannual industry PR / info event, but paradigm shift best sums up how we see what's happening in the PC industry. Intel is smack in the center of this industry, and it's shifting its focus in a big way. This change will most definitely impact the industry, and in the end, the products consumers will be able to buy. Post-IDF musings and observations after the recent fall session.

Pentium M Dothan Vs. AMD Turion

Laptop Logic's detailed comparison of the Pentium M and Turion CPUs, along with a brief history outlining the various optimizations performed during their development. The article discusses the effect of the respective designs, the pros and cons of each CPU architecture, followed by a brief evaluation of price. Finally, the bulk of the article compares the Turion ML-37 against the Pentium M 760 in a myriad of benchmarks, starting from simple synthetic benchmarks to the four main categories of computing: office/business, multimedia, gaming, and scientific use. Battery life is also compared.

Power Distribution within Six PCs

Power | The Silent Front
Power consumption and heat generation have become the most topical issue in PCs in the waning days of the Prescott, with a new focus on performance-per-watt by Intel, still the maker of the worlds most power hungry processors. SPCR has been espousing power parsimony for years. We take a look at the distribution of power between the 12V, 5V and 3.3V lines inside six different PC systems. There are no big surprises, but the results are interesting all the same.

Seagate Momentus 5400.2 120GB SATA notebook drive

This is a second generation sample of Seagate's flagship model Momentus, now with SATA interface and the highest capacity of any 5400 RPM notebook drive. Our sample of one of the original Momentus left us nonplussed. This 5400.2 fares much better.

Fortron-Source Zen fanless 300W ATX12V power supply

It was first seen by SPCR staff all the way back at the January 2005 CES in Las Vegas, but the Zen by Fortron-Source Power didn't make it to our test lab until a couple of weeks ago. It takes a somewhat different approach to cooling, boasts very high efficiency numbers and a more modest price. We repeat our caveats about careful usage, however, as with all fanless PSUs.