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.

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.

Chill Innovation CP-350A PSU

Power
The name Chill Innovation came up in in the SPCR forums, with some European members suggesting a close look at this 350W 120mm fan PSU. Not long thereafter, there came a promotional e-mail from Chill Innovation; naturally I responded with a request for a sample. That sample recently arrived, and now we have another PSU review for you to consider.

Review: ASUS QuieTrack CRW-5232AS & CD-S520/A4

Storage
ASUS QuieTrack CRW-5232AS & CD-S520 are examined for noise performance in SPCR's second optical drive review. The new optical drives fare well against earlier ones regarded as quiet — or at least noise-reduced.

Zalman ZM400B PSU

Power
The Zalman ZM400B-APS is a solid ATX12V v1.3 compliant PSU that is very quiet at lower power levels. The current capability of the 12V line is high enough to handle all but the most loaded systems, the high >75% efficiency ensures it stays reasonably cool throughout the power range, and it can handle the heat all the way to max power at 50 degrees C. Check out the complete review.

Fujitsu MHT2060AH review by HardwareZone

Singapore-based HardwareZone.com has a department store approach to hardware reviews, so sooner or later, they do something that strikes your fancy, no matter what your particular interest. Their recent review of the Fujitsu MHT2060AH does it for SPCR, commenting as they do, on the performance of several other 2.5" notebook drives from Seagate, Hitachi, and Fujitsu, ranging in spindle speeds from 4200 to 7200 RPM, and 2 mb to 8 mb cache. Makes for an interesting roundup.

PCWorld carries MikeC Review of Fanless PCs

A brief review I wrote for PC World Magazine on the fanless Hush ATX PC and Voodoo PC Rage F-50 (based on Zalman TNN500A) is in the May issue of the magazine curretnly on the newstands. It's in their webzine as well.

160G/8mb-cache Faceoff: Samsung vs. Seagate

Storage
Seagate Barracuda and Samsung SP Series hard drives are topics of endless discussion in the SPCR forums. We have also featured reviews of these drives, some in direct comparison. However, this is the first time that we're considering the current ATA performance leaders of each series, head to head. The review is Edward Ng's debut as a writer for SPCR.