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

SPCR Database Transfer Complete

SPCR's able admins moved SPCR to the new server during last night's scheduled shutdown. This does not mean that you are now looking at this site from the new server. The domain name server change request will become effective for some starting today; for others it will take longer. By the end of the 31st, all visitors will be at the new site.

Sunbeam Hard Drive Silencer

It has been ages since we examined the NoVibesIII, which still remains the best commercially made 3.5" hard disk decouple-mounting device. Recently, we came across an absolute knock-off that looks like it comes from the same factory. Called the Hard Disk Silencer, it's marketed by Sunbeam, whose simple yet effective multi-fan controller we reviewed a while ago.

FrontierPC and ADPMods, an online Canadian store in Windsor, Ontario, both submitted samples recently. After examining and using the samples for a couple of weeks, I can say the Hard Disk Silencer is so close to the NoVibesIII that they are interchangeable. The best thing is the price: Just CA$16~17.

Samsung's New Silent Notebook Drives

A quick preview of an item in the review queue: Samsung recently released their first notebook drives, the “SpinPoint M” Series: 5400 RPM and 8MB cache in 30G, 40G, 60G and 80G capacities.

I obtained a 40G model (MP0402H) and have been working with it for a couple of weeks. In a nutshell, this sample is about as quiet as the quietest 4200 RPM notebook drives (~16 dBA/1m) with super quiet seeks and vanishingly low vibration, and performance close enough to desktop 7200 RPM drives that in normal desktop apps, any difference is not noticeable. It generates 2.4W max and runs utterly cool. The retail price paid was just under US$100, which is only a modest price penalty compared with desktop drives.One of these notebook drives for the PC with 250~400 GB desktop drives in one or more external USB 2.0 boxes placed remotely would make for a silent computing solution without any serious penalties in performance, storage capacity or price. It's a great storage option for a silent computer. (The new Samsung notebook drive was used in the recent review of the YY Mars case.)

Shuttle becoming a System Integrator

Shuttle's seems determined to transform itself from a component manufacturer to a major systems integrator. Shuttle has been selling complete build-to-order XPC systems direct to end-users in the US since around May this year.

"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.