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.

New Stock Intel Prescott P4 Cooler

Cooling
It could be what's standard on Prescott P4s these days, and it's somewhat quieter than the "high-end" copper base version we examined in January, but this HSF definitely does not cool as well. Seem odd for Intel to step backwards in cooling power while increasing CPU heat... Here's our review of the new

CoolerMaster Hyper 6 Heatsink for P4/K8

Cooling
The CoolerMaster Hyper 6 is the biggest and heaviest heatsink yet reviewed by SPCR. It is capable of a new level of quiet cooling performance substantially better than we've ever seen before. The design is advanced and clever yet not without flaws. Another lay-it-bare heatsink review brings you the Good, the Bad and the Ugly of the cross-platform Hyper 6.

Seasonic Super Series Revisited - Rev. A3

Power
The latest A3 Revision of the Super Series is Seasonic's attempt to fix intermittent fan controller problems that have dogged the previous revisions of these PSUs. Last week I received a package of four Rev. 03 Super series samples: One each of Super Tornado 300 and 400, and Super Silencer 300 and 400. Our revisit shows that not only has the fan controller been fixed, Seasonic also managed to make big improvements that might even justify the launch of a new line.

Spire Coolwave SP441B0-F HSF review

Cooling
Spire claims their value-oriented Coolwave SP441B0-F heatsink cools even Prescott P4-3.4 and does it quietly. An all copper, low-profile heatsink and an integrated 70mm fan with speed control: Ralf Hutter tells us how it fares.

Deep UnderVolt/Clock: 4.7W CPU PC

Do-It-Yourself Systems
A reader's account of the most extreme undervolted and underclocked system I've yet heard about. Mark Charlesworth created an auto-speed adjusting AMD XP1700+ system that runs with as little as 4.7W CPU power draw yet ramps up to full speed when needed. Read how he did it!

Avance Terminator case: Thermally Advanced?

Among the thousands of products being show at Computex in Taipei this week, news of the Terminator case (model C001) from Avance caught my eye. It seems to be a thermally well-optimized case with much promise for PC silencers. Here are some pics, courtesy of a TweakTown news blurb. (Click photos to enlarge.)

Like the recent Lian-Li V-series cases, there are separate thermal zones, and the mainboard is mounted upside down. There are two 120mm fan vents, one low on the front panel and the other low on the back panel. A cooling duct joins the two vents, blowing outside air across the CPU/Cooler that's in the duct path and exhaust the heat out. A chamber between the PSU and the mainboard compartments accomodates HDDs. The only issue is where the heat from a hot VGA card will go.

A review sample has been requested.

A Reader's Report: Lian-Li PC-V2000 Tower Case

Cases|Damping
Reader Charles Gilliatt's write-up on the big version of Lian-Li's new PC-V series of cases that turns the AXT tower configuration upside down with the PSU on the bottom. It's visually stunning, and Charles gives us lots of photos to ogle along with a detailed description of his impressions on his first step towards PC silence.

VoodooPC Rage F-50 PC / Zalman TNN-500A Case

Complete|Mobile Systems
When a gaming computer specialist teams with a quiet component leader, you expect the end result to be... the VoodooPC Rage F-50, which wraps a Zalman Fanless TNN-500A case/psu/cooling system around an Athlon A64, ATI9800XT, RAID drives and gobs of fast RAM. Our review of the F-50 System... and the fanless Zalman TNN-500A: It is impossible to write about the former without also discussing the latter.

Ducted Zalman 7000CU w/Countercurrent Flow Cooling

Do-It-Yourself Systems
A uniquely ducted, heavily modified Zalman Z7000cu heatsink on an AMD Athlon 64-3000 are the lungs, heart and brain of Han Bijlard's new PC. Countercurrent flow cooling is the concept he implemented with a dual-Panaflo push-pull fan duct and three suspended Samsung hard drives in an Ahanix Black Knight case . The end result is a cool, quiet and powerful computer.

Coolcases-modded Chenbro PC-610 Case

Cases|Damping
Coolcases.com is a high performance PC case specialist well-known to many DIY system builders. They offer a wide variety of modifications to cases that are preselected for high quality and performance. Here's a detailed look at Coolcases' modded, upgraded version of the Chenbro PC- 610 case for its suitability as a Silent PC platform.

Think-Tank Case by Coms-Com

Cases|Damping
If the name Coms-com.com doesn't ring any bells, don't feel bad. We had never heard of them either. Coms-com.com is certainly a memorable URL, though their website is not so original; it is a close facsimile of the Antec site, a brand they distribute in Korea. Their quirky naming extends to the Think-Tank, a surprisingly decent quiet-minded case for those on a tight budget. See the complete Russ review.

NY Newsday discovers PC noise... and SPCR

Yes, another major US daily paper has discovered PC noise as a topic worthy of editorial attention. In a piece entitled If there's too much noise coming from the bedroom, it may be the PC, NY Newsday columnist Lou Dolinar discusses how he dealt with the "sheer roaring noise" of a newly built PC. SPCR and several of our sponsors are identified as key sources of information and products... but why no hyperlinks?

Pentium M to replace P4

Just weeks after the Prescott-core P4s began rolling off the lines, these hottest CPUs ever made are on the chopping block. According to this Reuters news report, Intel has scrapped plans for two new P4-based products as it shifts focus to making chips that have twice the computing power. This is the highly efficient Pentium M, currently limited to mobile computing. The move comes amid concerns that in future versions, the Prescott would require too much power as well as expensive cooling systems. The new strategy shows Intel is backing away from a focus on raw speed. Intel plans to introduce dual-core chips for desktop computers in 2005 and plans to start shipments of dual-core chips for notebook computers the same year.

From a Silent Computing perspective, this is the best news from Intel in a long time. Thermals, cooling and noise are inextricably related. It is should be well known that not only can a Pentium M match the performance of a P4 that is double the clock speed, its thermal efficiency is around 4X better. That is, a Pentium M requires only 15W to match a P4 that draws over 60W for the same performance.

The Reuters report says Intel's dual-core chips for desktop computers will be available in 2005. Perhaps this means the single-core variety Pentium M for desktop will be available sooner?

The Register's analysis.
Overclockers.com's take: "The End of (Easy) Scaling"

Toshiba MK6022GAX 5400/16mb cache Notebook Drive

Storage
Reviewed today is the MK6022GAX, the highest performance notebook drive in Toshiba's lineup: A 5400 RPM, 2.5" drive with 16 mb of cache. It surely performs, but does it plumb the sub-20 dBA depths or remain in more audible >20 dBA territory? Here's our acoustic report on the Toshiba MK6022GAX.

Review: ActiveCool AC4G Thermoelectric cooler

Cooling
With Intel CPUs soaring well over the 100W mark, questions about the efficacy of conventional heatsink and forced air cooling arise again. The AC4G system from ActiveCool employs one of the likely alternatives: Thermoelectric Cooling. Thermoelectric Coolers (TEC) are nothing new, but Active-Cool aims to put the technology to work in a new way, by varying the power of the TEC in accordance with demand to keep both the temps and the noise down. Our indepth-report on the ActiveCool AC4G.