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

"New" Nexus products

Long-time SPCR sponsor Nexus (Nexutek) released several products over the past few months that are certainly worthy of note, as this brand is almost completely dedicated to quiet PC products. Some items have long discussion threads on the forums already; not exactly news, but better late than never:

NX-4090 400W PSU, an even quieter upgrade of the 120mm fan NX3500. They say 16.2 dB(A).
DampTek®, a dual-layer noise absorption material for internal case panels that looks like a serious contender.
92mm and 120mm versions in addition to their 80mm "Real Silent Fan"
Nexus Breeze case, a well-damped case with a unique airflow design that draws in from the bottm and exhausts only out the 120mm fan PSU.

All are probably worthy of reviews; just a question of when.

Shuttle XPC ST61G4 SFF barebones PC

Complete|Mobile Systems
The Shuttle XPC Zen made a big splash at SPCR earlier this year as the quietest SFF system we'd reviewed, with an external fanless PSU and no AGP slot. The Shuttle XPC ST61G4 uses a quiet fan-cooled higher power PSU and offers the AGP slot on the same basic ATI9100 chipset board, making it more suitable for power users. How about quiet-loving power users? Check our ST61G4 review to find out.

Alpha S-PAL8952 P4 Heatsink

Cooling
The Alpha 8952 is the latest in a long evolution of distinctive "blow-up" fan optimized CPU heatsinks. Can this now venerable high-end aluminum pins on copper base design keep up with the latest heavyweights with processors in the 100W range? SPCR's review of the Alpha 8952 P4 HSF, quiet fan version.

New Arctic Cooling VGA coolers coming

Arctic Cooling, who made a big splash here with their cost-effective CPU coolers and the innovative VGA Silencer, are about to release a whole series of VGA coolers for both ATI and nVidia graphic cards. Eight separate coolers, apparently, all based on the original concept of blowing the hot air from the GPU out the back of the case. No news on the Arctic Cooling web site, but PC Modding Malaysia has a preview.

Antec NeoPower 480 PSU

Power
Antec has named a new power supply after pop cinema culture's most recent futuristic savior icon. The Antec NeoPower 480 is the first retail PSU with detachable, customizable peripheral output cables. Very nifty! It is also Antec's first 120mm fan model, with Active PFC and ATX12V V2.0 compliance for PCI Express. You can't help ask, Is it The One?

Yeong Yang "Mars" YY-5603 mid-tower case

Cases|Damping
Yeong Yang's new MarsYY-5603 mid-tower case is a Thermally-Advantaged Chassis designed for hot systems. It happens to have many strengths that make it suitable for quiet computing. The intelligent bezel design, the very good airflow potential, the sturdiness of the case, the attention to small details: All these add up to a serious case, one with some very nice user-friendly features that many silent PC enthusiasts will willingly adapt. Click here for SPCR's detailed review of the Yeong Yang Mars YY-5603.

SilverStone SST-LC01 HTPC Case

Cases|Damping
SilverStone's SST-LC01 is a high quality, generous size, aluminum HTPC case with good overall design that's actually pretty good for a quiet computing platform. It also happens to be an excellent prospect if you wish to modify a case for extreme silent performance. In essence, a clever adaptation of a small mid-tower into a HTPC case.

Coolmax Taurus CF-300 Fanless ATX PSU

Power
The Coolmax Taurus CF-300 is the second fanless ATX power supply to be reviewed by SPCR. Fanless cooling is the ultimate goal for those who pursue silent computing, and the Coolmax Taurus is one of the many new components that boast fanless operation. It is quiet and hihgly efficient but runs hot, and the review sample had a small malfunction. Nonetheless, a product worthy of consideration and a nice option for those who run cooler components in cooler climes.

OCZ Power Stream 470

Power
OCZ leaps into the PSU market with their new Power Stream series, which boast high power (420, 470 and 520W), low speed dual fan push-pull cooling, user adjustable voltage lines, EPS12V and SATA compatibility, and much bling in the form of mirrored chrome finish and LED fans. Is it suitable for high power quiet computing? We review the OCZ Power Stream OCZ470ADJ to bring you the full details.

Scythe Samurai SCSM-1000 CPU Cooler

Cooling
Scythe continues its tradition of unusual and effective cooling products with their new Samurai SCSM-1000, an all-platform (socket A, 478 & 754) CPU cooler that combines all-copper construction, a fan with an integrated speed controller, and superior performance with the fan blowing up rather than down. SPCR's Ralf Hutter likes it.

Cool-n-Quiet Athlon 64 Motherboards

CPUs|Motherboards
AMD's Cool 'n' Quiet for Athlon 64 reduces the working frequency and Vcore for reduce power consumption and heat when the processor is not under heavy load. Combined with an intelligent thermal fan setup, CnQ can be an easy way to make a quiet, very powerful PC. Unfortunately, only some Socket 754 and Socket 939 boards have CnQ support. Information about CnQ boards is spotty, and even AMD does not appear to have a comprehensive list. Here's a start to SPCR's own CnQ motherboards database in the Recommended section, with data compiled by Joachim Kluge.

Fanless DIY Dual-P3 WC System

Do-It-Yourself Systems
Given the the absence of any decoupling suspension on the hard drive, Ami's fanless dual-CPU P3-500 Blue 42 can't be a silent system. But I think it must be very quiet and it must have been fun for Ami Rodan to build. It's another testament to PC silencing creativity — although some will quibble over the mixing of metals in the watercooling system.

Getting Ready for BTX

PCStats looks at the BTX form factor and early boards on display at the recent Computex show in Taiwan. Intel's 775 CPU, and 915 / 925 chipsets are featured in almost all the prototype boards but none are available for sale to consumers.

Athlon 64 for Quiet Power

CPUs|Motherboards
Athlon 64 for Quiet Power is a detailed discussion of the AMD Athlon 64 Processor as it pertains to silent computing by Bryan Cassell, a new contributor to SPCR. Close attention is paid to AMD's and Intel's divergent definitions of Thermal Design Power, and the likely actual maximum power dissipation of these CPUs.

15 Multi-Fan Controllers reviewed at Tom's

Fighting Fan Noise Pollution is Tom's Hardware Guide's massive review of 15 multi-fan front panel controllers. They fail 2/3 of the units for not having a good high temp or fan fail alarm, but do list the fan voltage range of each controller (critical for SPCR) -- and other features. No time is spent on whether the controllers cause PWM noise in the fans or buzz themselves when fan voltage is reduced, both of which are not uncommon problems.