The Silent Front

Studios & Silence: AES Student Summit in St. Louis

The Silent Front

It should come as no surprise that we're computer geeks here at SPCR — that's a given for almost any tech site. But, bearing in mind the Silent part of our name, we're as much audio geeks are we are computer geeks. So, it was with great excitement that we accepted an invitation to participate in a Student Summit for the AES (Audio Engineering Society). Our participation was twofold: A presentation on building silent PCs for studio applications, and an actual, bona fide SPCR-built silent system awarded as second prize for best pop mix.

80 Plus expands podium for Bronze, Silver & Gold

Power | The Silent Front
The 80 Plus program has been expanded with higher efficiency categories using the Olympic medal colors of Bronze, Silver and Gold. It's differentiation that has been called for by many participating PSU manufacturers for some time, and it may set the stage for continuing competition in the push towards ever higher efficiency.

CES 2008, Days 2 & 3: Zalman, Coolermaster, eCoupled, and Seagate

The Silent Front
In our second two days at CES, we found a few interesting products from some names that are familiar to SPCR readers, as well as a couple of new and emerging technological players.

CES 2008, Day 1: Antec, Arctic Cooling, and CoolIT

The Silent Front
We’re trying something new with our Consumer Electronics Show coverage this year. Instead of a single big wrap-up article that tries to compress everything into one tidy package, we’re going to be bringing you daily show updates. With 2,700 booths and exhibits spread over 1.7 million square feet and jammed by 140,000 attendees and 4500 members of the press, we’re not even going to make an attempt at covering it comprehensively: Rather, we will try to glean the silent-pc related highlights from each days’ convention hall wanderings.

Reflections on the Asus Eee PC

Complete|Mobile Systems | The Silent Front
Three weeks after the Eee PC was released for retail sale to a thunderous roar of applause, we consider the hardware, the software and the significance of this new ultramobile notebook from Asus in an article that's equal parts review and editorial.

AMD DTX small form factor system preview

Complete|Mobile Systems | The Silent Front
AMD's DTX small form factor specification has progressed since its announcement in January 2007. Here's an interim overview of DTX and its objectives, and a preview of a reference DTX system from AMD.

DTX coverage by other selected sites: The Tech Report, Anandtech, Ars Technica, Hot Hardware, Techware Labs

Exclusive Tour: Gigabyte's Anechoic & Thermal Test Chambers

The Silent Front
Gigabyte arranged an exclusive tour for SPCR of its impressive anechoic and thermal testing chambers in Taipei during Computex 2007. These are ultimate tools for acoustic/thermal analysis. Here's a mini-tour for SPCR readers.

Computex 2007: Cases

The Silent Front
Computex Taipei in June is usually at least a little wet. The 2007 event was the wettest. Here's a brief on some of the most interesting cases seen before we were completely swept away by the torrential rains.

SPCR Does CES 2007

The Silent Front
After missing CES 2006, SPCR was back at CES in 2007 doing the usual: Watching for new and unusual Silencentric products. Low noise was everywhere and nowhere: Quiet has reached the status of an industry buzzword, but, as usual, one or two companies seemed to treat it as more than just marketing speak. What did we see? Long time SPCR contributors Russ Kinder and Charles Gilliatt report from Las Vegas...

EnergyStar Computer Spec 4.0 Finalized

The Silent Front

Since 2005, SPCR has been eagerly anticipating the new EnergyStar 4.0 specifications for computers. As reported in our March '05 article, "A New Energy Star... in 2007", the EPA proposed tough new targets for both operational and idle power consumption. After nearly two years of revisions and industry consultations, the final spec has finally been delivered. How has the new spec been changed since the original proposal, and how will it affect the industry and the computer consumer when it comes into effect July 20, 2007?

An Interview with mCubed

The Silent Front
This interview article with Maik Berendt, by new European correspondent Christoph Derndorfer, is a behind-the-scenes look at mCubed, a company that is developing products aimed at the "silent PC" market. It's also a look at the mentality that leads people to develop solutions for an all too common problem: The noise our computers produce.

Audio Recording Methods Revised

Reference|Recommended | The Silent Front
We listen to our visitors and forum members. We really do. We can't always give you what you want (we get enough requests to triple our workload), but sometimes it takes an outside view to show us how we can improve. And improve we have. We're unveiling a new methodology for making audio recordings and new equipment to make them with. The end result will be recordings that do a better job of capturing what we hear during our reviews so that you can hear them better, too.

SPCR's first WinHEC: Seattle, May '06

The Silent Front
My first attendance at WinHEC came earlier this week with a 2.5 hour drive starting at daybreak from Vancouver, across the Canada / US border to Seattle, the seat of the Microsoft empire. It wasn't perfectly clear to me then what software developers mean by "hardware"; this is supposed to be the Windows Hardware Engineering Conference. By the time I left the Emerald City 48 hours later, I had strong the sense that even when they say they're talking about hardware, software guys really aren't. What they're referring to is only hard from their soft point of view.

The State of the Industry, March 2006: Through Silent Eyes

The Silent Front
In the three years since an overview of Acoustics in the PC industry was posted here at SPCR, much has changed. Performance-per-watt, Mobile on Desktop, high efficiency dualcore processors, the 80 Plus PSU program, Entertainment PCs and a new Energy Star spec for computers are all converging to suggest a quieter, cooler future is not far away. Our observations, analysis and conjectures on the current state of the quest for quiet computing.

Intel's new Capabilities Assessment Tools

The Silent Front
They're benchmarks, designed to test a PC's gaming or "Digital Home" capabilities. It's probably the first time that a processor company is trying to create benchmarks for a whole PC rather than specific components. It's also the first time in the PC industry that real "User Experience" based on perceptual research is embedded in benchmarks. We present a first look of beta versions of these very interesting new performance assessment tools.
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