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.

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.

AcoustiProducts Vibration Dampers

A well-known noise-damping company offers a variety of vibration damping devices for mounting fans, and similarly soft feet. We take a listen to what AcoustiProduct's new vibration dampeners can do for PC noise.

Seasonic SS-400HT power supply, 80 Plus version

It is the least powerful of three ATX PSUs by Seasonic that have achieved 80 Plus approval. A plain-jane OEM model that's not available in a retail package, the 80 Plus version SS-400HT keeps all of its considerable strengths beneath its battleship gray appearance.

Antec SmartPower 2.0 SP-450 ATX Power Supply

The SmartPower 2.0 line is a move back to traditional 80mm fan PSU design, with a twist: It has two 80mm fans in a straight-through, push-pull configuration. The second fan only spins up when necessary in an effort to keep the noise down. Antec's new "value" line is also compliant with the ATX12V v2.xx PSU Design Guide, and claims higher efficiency than the original SmartPower models.

Cooler Master Real Power 550

It's a step up from the 450W model we reviewed a while ago, and it has the same range of features, high efficiency, and compliance with both ATX12V 2.xx as well as EPS12V. This means, for instance, three 12V lines. Is the Cooler Master Real Power RS-550-ACLY quiet enough for SPCR?

Scythe Kamaboko CPU HSF

The Kamaboko is a more conventional heatsink/fan than most others in Scythe's eclectic lineup. There is the usual (and now expected) play on words in its name, but all kidding aside, this may be Scythe's first venture into a budget-priced CPU cooler territory. Click here for our review of the Scythe Fishcake.

Samsung P120 200 + 250 GB Hard Drive

The Samsung P80 has been our top recommendation for a quiet 3.5" drive for quite some time, but it's showing its age. The new P120 series offers higher areal density and capacity, both of which translate to higher performance. Does the P120 retain the acoustic qualities that endeared the last generation of Samsung drives to quiet PC enthusiasts?

Legit Reviews tackles the Antec Sonata II

Coolmax CU-400T & 600T Detachable Cable PSUs

Coolmax offers up a line of power supplies with detachable cables that they say is also very quiet. We run them through the SPCR PSU test routines to check acoustics, thermal behavior, power delivery and stability. Those seeking high current on a single 12V line will be pleased.