The Silent Front

Paradigm Shift at Intel: IDF Fall 2005

The Silent Front
It's a big concept to apply to what is now a routine semiannual industry PR / info event, but paradigm shift best sums up how we see what's happening in the PC industry. Intel is smack in the center of this industry, and it's shifting its focus in a big way. This change will most definitely impact the industry, and in the end, the products consumers will be able to buy. Post-IDF musings and observations after the recent fall session.

Power Distribution within Six PCs

Power | The Silent Front
Power consumption and heat generation have become the most topical issue in PCs in the waning days of the Prescott, with a new focus on performance-per-watt by Intel, still the maker of the worlds most power hungry processors. SPCR has been espousing power parsimony for years. We take a look at the distribution of power between the 12V, 5V and 3.3V lines inside six different PC systems. There are no big surprises, but the results are interesting all the same.

A New Energy Star... in 2007

The Silent Front
The U.S. Environment Protection Agency is moving to tougher Energy Star specifications for computers. For the first time, the spec will define efficiency in terms of power consumed while a computer is on, rather than just on standby. Preliminary conditions for desktop computers include the following: The PSU must be rated for >80% efficiency, and not exceed 50~60W AC power during idle. Over 60 stakeholders met to discuss the proposed changes for the first time on March 15. We managed to speak with a handful of attendees after the meeting. The catch is the new energy Star spec is not effective until Jan 1, 2007. A lot can happen between now and then.

IDF Spring 2005: Report from San Francisco

The Silent Front
For SPCR, the Intel Developers Forum is interesting for the plethora of genuinely valuable information, technical education and marketing that Intel and its partners pack into the three days. Then there is the usual guerilla marketing parallel event AMD runs at a nearby hotel, and this time around, in the skies above San Francisco with several planes spelling out "AMD Turion 64 Mobility", their forthcoming mobile CPU. Intel's main focus was multi-core... everything. Naturally, AMD also focused much attention on multi-core. My interest was mostly issues that impact acoustics in computers, but there wasn't much to focus on, really.

CES 2005: A Silencentric Summation

The Silent Front

SPCR's news team of Russ Kinder, Edward Ng and Charles Gilliatt spent several days in the controlled chaos of the 2005 CES in Vegas, slogging through miles of convention center aisles and ogling everything in sight to bring you an SPCR-centric report. Consider it an idiosyncratic, selective web log — blog — from CES through SPCR eyes.

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.

Archive: SPCR's Test / Sound Lab: A Short Tour

Reference|Recommended | The Silent Front
Sometimes it is still a rat's nest of equipment, computers, components, wires and other assorted geeky things that my home office was before the launch of SPCR. But 30 months later, the SPCR lab has taken over the downstairs kitchen and half of the adjoining TV/den. A lot of equipment, instrumentation and plain old stuff has been acquired. The most recent additions to the lab include various audio equipment acquired for the purpose of making sound recordings of computers and components. Here's a short tour through the SPCR lab.

Archive: A Primer on Noise in Computing

Reference|Recommended | The Silent Front
A primer on noise and sound was one of the many items on my list for core articles when SPCR was first launched. There is so much misinformation about sound that I felt it mandatory to provide some kind of baseline, an introduction to this complex subject. It is, in fact, a subject that seems simple only if you never scratch below the surface. Hopefully, this article serves well enough for its purpose: To provide guidelines by which you can interpret noise specifications, commentary by others, and what your own ears tell you.

Speech Recognition Demands Quiet Computers

The Silent Front
It's an application that I've never considered before, but it is a natural for quiet computing. Speech recognition veteran Mark Pearson shares some insights about quiet computing and speech recognition that he has gleaned over the years. He gives us a few more good reasons to keep pursuing the silent grail.

Intel's Quiet PC Tips

The Silent Front
Late but still interesting follow-up on Intel's Quiet PC R&D, covering thermal control issues in new SFF PCs as well as controlling and reducing computer noise. Includes a look at ther new fan design, which may already be in production in their latest high-end P4 heasinks.

The State of Computer Noise: January 2003

The Silent Front
It's amazing to look back and see that it's been three quarters of a year since the launch of Silent PC Review. Time flies when you're having fun - and busy beyond belief! As it is the beginning of a new year, it seems appropriate to review the State of Computing Noise in Jan 2003: An overview, a challenge and a promise.

Report from San Jose: IDF Fall 2002, part 2

The Silent Front
Well, not exactly. A handful of companies Silicon Valley does not make. Still, it is probable that of all the press at IDF, Silent PC Review is the only one reporting about the State of PC Noise. Part Two of SPCR's coverage of IDF fall 2002 includes meetings and discussions with Seasonic and Molex, and offsite visits to Antec and Silicon Valley Compucycle.

SPCR does IDF, Fall 2002

The Silent Front
It's the first industry event covered exclusively from the perspective of a silent PC enthusiast. With over 140 companies and 200 training sessions to consider, this PC silencer was run right off his feet. Back in the shelter of my quiet enclave, here is the first of a 2-part report on the State of PC Silence from the Fall 2002 Intel Developer Forum: SPCR does IDF.

Computer Noise in the 21st Century

The Silent Front
Dan Quinlan of Lucent Technologies predicted in January 1999 that hotter chips and the accompanying need for forced air cooling would increase noise in electronic equipment by “10-20 dB in the next 5-10 years.” Based on personal experience, his prediction of at least +2 dB/year noise increase is right on the money when it comes to PCs. I don't need test gear to tell me that my new 2 GHz system (in stock form) is easily 6 dB louder than what I was using in 1999. If any of the new 50+ cfm fan equipped CPU heatsinks were used, the increase would easily exceed 12 dB. Mr. Quinlan’s prognostic article from Electronics Cooling is reprinted with permission.

Quiet and Fast?

The Silent Front

In these days of multi-gigahertz processors, the juxtaposition of the words quiet and fast seems contradictory. If it isn’t loud, how can it be fast? This exposition tells a little of the history of silence -- or noise, rather -- in computing, its current state and of Silent PC Review's role for the future.

XML feed