Reference|Recommended

Recommended Power Supplies

Power | Reference|Recommended
Our short list of recommended power supplies for quiet or silent computers. Last update: 25 September 2013.

SPCR's 2012 Graphics Card/Cooler Test System

Graphics Cards | Reference|Recommended
Our updated 2012 Graphics card/cooler test system utilizes a Sandy Bridge CPU and Gigabyte's versatile Z77X-UD3H motherboard, a modified Define R3 tower case, a Kingwin 1000W 80 Plus Platinum power supply, and cooling products from Thermalright, Scythe, and Antec.

SPCR's Updated 2012 Small CPU Heatsink Test Platform

Cooling | Reference|Recommended
Four previous favorites from Noctua and Scythe run through their paces once again on our updated small CPU heatsink test platform. With Sandy Bridge hardware, the new testbed is closer to contemporary SFF builds.

SPCR's 2010 CPU Heatsink Test Platform [Updates: 10 April & 31 May]

Cooling | Reference|Recommended
Our CPU heatsink test platform has been updated with a hotter, more power hungry CPU. Eight of the top heatsinks we tested previously get put through the wringer once again. Some continue to excel while others drop to the wayside.

Introduction to Recommended Silent / Quiet Components

Reference|Recommended
The section is a quiet computing guide to selecting components best suited for your needs. The "recommended/reference" articles are updated periodically as new information comes to light and new products surpass old ones. Please read this Introduction, which covers a lot of ground about the how and why behind our recommendations. Enjoy.

Fan Test System, SPCR 2010

Fans|Controls | Reference|Recommended
A new fan test system for 2010 focuses on the desired end result of fans in a PC: Cooling, as seen in temperature drop. Measured airflow ranks low on measured parameters; noise remains priority number one. No one has tested PC fans this way before.

Recommended Hard Drives

Reference|Recommended | Storage
Our reference article about HDD noise, along with a select roster of recommended quiet drives. Latest update 28 April 2010.

An Anechoic Chamber for SPCR

Reference|Recommended | The Silent Front
It's a hemi-anechoic chamber, to be precise. A silent, echo-free room for measuring computer gear that's been an impossible dream for nearly seven years: We made it happen with the great support of the SPCR community, and it works... to the tune of 11 dBA! Settle down for a long and winding story...

Power Supply Fundamentals

Power | Reference|Recommended
A reference article comprehensively discussing many aspects of power supplies and how they affect system noise, cooling, efficiency and stability. Also lists recommended quiet power supplies. This is a years-old article that has been updated numerous times. It remains the most popular article at SPCR, with nearly 900,000 reads as of April 2007. Last updated April 4, 2007.

Anatomy of the Silent Fan

Cooling | Fans|Controls | Reference|Recommended
A distilled summary of fundamental design elements and key factors that affect the acoustic performance of DC axial fans in the role of PC cooling. This information is presented apart from our fan test methodology or actual fan review articles to keep information overload at bay. NOTE: A Postscript Q&A features Dorothy Bradbury, UK fan maven extraordinaire.

SPCR Power Supply Test Rig, v.4 (and v.4.1)

Power | Reference|Recommended
A little over a year after our last major update, we've made changes extensive enough to consider this the fourth iteration of SPCR's power supply testing system. PSU reviews have been popular bread-and-butter articles at SPCR for years, partly because of our close attention to detail, fundamentally sound test procedures, good test gear and thorough acoustic analysis. It is also because there were few serious PSU reviews done by other hardware web sites. Now, we've added crossloading, low AC input voltage, and ripple testing to complete our mix of PSU tests.

What is a "Silent" Computer?

Reference|Recommended | The Silent Front
Admittedly, it's a bit odd that Silent PC Review has taken over four years to publish an article that deals explicitly with what a "silent" computer is. This seemingly innocuous question is far from simple. Trying to answer it gets at the heart of PC acoustics issues, and the challenges for those trying to create or document a "silent" computer.

SPCR's Hard Drive Testing Methodology

Reference|Recommended | Storage
The HDD testing system underwent a major series of upgrades that reflects the growing sophistication of SPCR readers -- and our own increasing awareness of hard drive acoustics issues. The acoustic testing tools of careful listening and SPL measurements remain; they are enhanced with a new vibration testing methodology, as well as measurements of power draw in an effort to predict thermals.

Case Basics & Recommendations

Cases|Damping | Reference|Recommended
Our reference article about cool & quiet computer cases, completely re-written, including updated recommendation lists, on Sept 28, 2014. For those eager to peruse the recommended lists immediately, they are on page five.

Recommended Heatsinks

Cooling | Reference|Recommended
Recommended Heatsinks lists SPCR-reviewed top cooling devices for CPUs, VGA and other hot computer parts, ordered by cooling performance and low noise. Major update on 16 Sept 2014.
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