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.

Biostar's unusual iDEQ 300G SFF PC

Biostar's new iDEQ 300G is based on the Intel 915G chipset. Low noise level is claimed for use in the living room. This SFF has a unique mechanical design for a new level of ease for the barebones buyer: Entire hardware installation in just two minutes. "Not a single screw is needed; the chassis can open upward together with the front panel, looks like a shark stretches out its big jaw." This comment is certainly worth a photo. Click on the next link...

Silverstone's Flagship: Temjin TJ06 PC case

The TJ06 is a tall mid-tower aluminum-steel hybrid with a host of unique features: Upside down mounting of the motherboard, a "wind tunnel" duct that directs the airflow of two 120mm fans in push-pull mode across the CPU area, separate thermal zones, a hinged front bezel, etc. It is a most unusual thermally and acoustically optimized PC case. We review the Silverstone Temjin SST-TJ06 along with the Silverstone TN01 heatpipe heatsink made expressly for this case.

AOpen XC Cube EX915: 775-socket SFF barebones

Complete|Mobile Systems
The EX915 is a 775 or socket T SFF barebones from AOpen, based on the same mechanical platform as the previously reviewed EZ65, but with a more techno sleek facia and the Intel 915 chipset. Socket 775 processors appear to be all Prescott-core right now. The $6 million question: Can a Prescott-CPU SFF system be quiet?

Thermaltake CL-P0025 Silent Tower CPU heatsink/fan

After two and a half years of heatsink reviews, we finally tackle one from the most prolific of aftermarket CPU cooler brands. Thermaltake's Silent Tower is one of the new breed of tall heatpipe-equipped designs with fan airflow that goes across the board rather than down or up. They've incorporated some nice design features and a couple of real muffs. Are the snafus fatal?

Coolermaster Centurion 5 mid-tower case

The Centurion 5 is a mid-tower case with the kind of great style that has made Coolermaster one of the top case design brands among PC enthusiasts. Not being silver, it is atypical for Coolermaster; in fact, only the facia has any aluminum, and it's purple, not silver. We look past the unusual classy cosmetics to answer the question,

Chaintech AA6800GT + Arctic Cooling NV Silencer 5

The NV Silencer 5 faces the challenge of taming a hot Chaintech AA6800GT Apogee gaming video card in our look at a second new video card cooler from Arctic Cooling. Is it up to the cooling challenge? And does it achieve cool quietly? We share our findings in a dual product review.

Intel BTX releases analyzed by Anandtech

Intel finally released some BTX products today (ie, they will actually be on the market some time soon), and Anantech posted an article about the Intel BTX release. They compare an Intel 915G microBTX board in an AOpen B300 microBTX case against ATX and microATX systems using the same CPU. Anandtech finds the microBTX quieter (but they are comparing against very standard ATX solutions) but a bit hotter. An interesting opening round for BTX.

Review: Coolmax Xtreme Files F1-B Drive

An external USB2.0 HDD with one-button functions for both Windows OS and data, the Coolmax Xtreme Files Drive aims at providing easy-to-use backup and restore for desktop PC users. The review also features SPCR's first MP3 sound files of HDD noise -- Samsung SP80 and WD800JB in idle & seek.

Arctic Cooling ATI Silencer 2 VGA cooler

Since our review of the original VGA Silencer a year ago, Arctic Cooling wised up to the demand for similarly quiet cooling for all kinds of VGA cards, not just selected ATI cards. Hence the recent release of their second generation of video card coolers, called ATI or NV Silencers, eight models in all to cover almost all the current cards from the two VGA giants. A close look and listen of the ATI Silencer 2 installed on a Sapphire 9600XT.

AOpen i855 desktop Pentium-M board reviewed!

GamePC publishes the first AOpen i855GMEm-LFS M-ATX motherboard and Pentium M review in North America, with a slew of benchmarks as might be expected from a web site of that name. No details on power dissipation, but enough thermal notes to show how coolly the combo runs. It also turns out to be a great gaming rig.

Anand's PC Industry Update from Taipei

An industry overview article by none other than Anantech's founder Anand Lal Shimpi. Subtitled Industry Update - Q4-2004: AMD adds SSE3 Support, Intel's 925/915 not selling and more, the focus is entirely on PC component makers, with whom Anand personally met "for three days straight, usually from 8AM until as late as 11PM every night." It's a good newsy piece with interesting insights and tidbits on many topics of interest to hardware development watchers.

CoolerMaster Hyper 48 HSF: 478, K8, 775

Yet another new high-end HSF from CoolerMaster loudly claiming "Ultra Silent" status, the Hyper 48 is large, all-copper, heatpipe equipped, comes with an integrated 92mm fan and with mounting hardware for sockets 478, K8 and 775. How does it fare in SPCR's thermal, acoustic and airflow testing chamber?

An Interview with Shuttle

The Silent Front
Ken Huang of Shuttle Inc. discusses the origins of SFF and the impact of Microsoft's MCE 2005 public release, noise and aluminum cases, AV component style versus the toaster shape, SFF system integration and Shuttle's future. SPCR's first interview article, with SPCR-centric questions on acoustics.

Thermalright XP-90 CPU Heatsink

Thermalright's XP-90 CPU heatsink, which features four heatpipes, thin aluminum fins and a nickel-plated copper base, was released at the same time as the XP-120. It is essentially an XP-120 shrunk to work with a 92mm fan for those who cannot accommodate a 120mm fan. Amazingly light, a little cheaper, and much easier to install: How does it perform with a quiet fan like the Nexus 92? SPCR puts the XP-90 through its paces and brings you the full monty, complete with high resolution sound files.

mCubed T-Balancer: The Ultimate Fan Controller

mCubed offers a multiple fan control system called the T-Balancer which is sophisticated enough for even the most demanding users. The T-Balancer is a small microprocessor-controlled external hardware unit that can reside inside the PC and connects via USB. Control is via Windows-based software. We have had a model in the lab for weeks; in lieu of a full review, here's a quick preview. The feature set is so rich that only a few key elements can be touched on here:

  • 4 separate configurable fan output channels, each with independent tach signal output to mainboard
  • Accurate speed control in manual or automatic mode via editable response curves
  • Fans can be slowed to an absolute speed minimum of 2% depending on model
  • Adaptive PWM allows adjustment of frequency for every fan model, with analog smoothing and filtering for quiet smooth operation
  • Definable hysteresis allow smooth operation even at steep response curves, no "up and down"
  • 0 rpm possible: if temperature rises, the controller speeds up the fan according to the response curve
  • Up to 8 temperature sensors