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Antec Fusion HTPC case

We took a look at a Fusion as a postscript to the NSK2400 review, and it's pretty much what we expected: A new brushed aluminum bezel with built-in VFD on the NSK2400. It's slick, and aimed at the top.


Postscript: Scythe Ninja v.3

The Scythe Ninja heatsink, originally reviewed 18 months ago, took the enthusiast world by storm. Since then, the Ninja has under gone two major revisions. Kelly Stich examines the latest, designed to mate with the latest CPU sockets.


Massive Heatsink Roundup @ Madshrimps

It's an ambitious project: 44 CPU coolers which fit on AMD/Intel latest platforms compared on two hot running systems. Which one will keep your CPU the coolest, how quiet can it get? Madshrimps' latest roundup provides pretty good answers.

Early Snow Blankets Vancouver

It's not our typical news... but worthy of note as it's happening in SPCR's home city: This is the earliest big snowfall I've seen in 25 years of living in Vancouver. Started yesterday afternoon; 20-30cm predicted by the end of today. Disastrous for the homeless and traffic (street and air); great for kids and skiers. It sure makes things quiet. ;)

Click here for BIG picture in new window
The residents of this nearby cemetery have a fresh new snowy view of Vancouver's north shore mountains.

Now, on Tuesday, we are apparently "into the deep freeze", have -15°C to -20°C with the wind chill, and another 10cm of snow is expected tomorrow night. Click on read more for more photos

Off-topic Forum discussion link.

Lab Sample Clearance: Nov '06 Blowout

We have to clear off the lab shelves periodically to make room for the steady flow of new review samples. Our overflow is your benefit: Most samples of the gear we've reviewed in the past 6 months are all priced to sell.


Protocase's innovative enclosure design competition

This email arrived in my my box today. It could be of interest if you don't mind sharing your unique case design ideas with the world:

We are seeking creative and innovative enclosure design/s. To make this interesting we launched our first annual enclosure design competition where we provide free custom enclosure to a selected design. Might be of any interest to your audience? For more information please check Thank you.

Sagar Thulung, Electronic Marketing, Protocase Incorporated

Discuss this news in the forums.

Metal Foil Disk Drives

A post by Lilias Cupio in the SPCR forum led to this news: Robert X. Cringely wrote Shameless Self-Promotion: Bob's Disk Drive in his weekly coumn at i, cringley, a PBS web subdomain. A self-described 30-year veteran of the PC business, Bob says he finally has a financial interest in a technology he's writing about. The concept is a metal foil disk drive with platters made from stainless steel or titanium foil that is 22/25 microns thick, many times lighter and thinner than current aluminum or glass platters. The potential benefits claimed: 3x current data density and storage capacity, 3x spindle speed, lower cost and complexity, 1/3 the power demand, faster access than flash memory, higher reliability and so on. Bob says he and his partners have been talking to big business (in the PC world) for months, and metal foil drives will appear under big brand names this time next year. I have calls out to my HDD company contacts.

35W AMD X2 3800+ in HP s7600e series PC

Hewlett-Packard, which overtook Dell as the world's biggest personal computer maker by shipments in Q3 2006 for the first time in three years, has a new enegy efficient PC in its AMD CPU based s7600e series PC. One of the three CPU options in the compact Slimline s-series chassis (just 9.75"H x 4.375"W x 13.125"D) is the much talked-about low power 35W AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ dual-core processor. Click on read more to read more.


Web News: Albatron 754 mITX reviewed, VIA's Carbon-Free Computing

When Albatron's unique socket 754 mini-ITX motherboard (KI51PV-754) was shown at Computex Taipei a few months ago, we were sure that either SPCR, mini-ITX or epiacenter would get the first review samples. A slew of emails to Albatron went unanswered... and now, the first review has been posted by The Tech Report, an excellent tech site that doesn't normally pay much attention to low power or acoustics. It's a good review, though.

Carbon Free Computing is an environmental program initiated by VIA. They work with environmental experts to calculate the electricity used by one of their Carbon Free Computing product over its lifetime (assumed to be 3 years). VIA calculates how much CO2 emissions will be released into the environment mainly as a result of fossil fuel burning power plants. Each product is assigned a "Treemark" rating, which is the number of broad-leaf trees needed to compensate for the CO2 produced by electricity generation over the lieftime of the product. A VIA C7-D has a "Treemark" of 4; a "leading" competitive processor (presumably a Prescott) has a Treemark of 26. VIA then works with regional organizations to "offset" that amount of CO2 through projects such as.... Click on read more to read more.

IDF Fall 2006

There were no big surprises from Intel at the Fall IDF, 2006. The overwhelming message, distilled to a single sentence: Core 2 is a powerful power-efficient platform, and Intel will keep pushing the performance boundaries with multiple cores while keeping a tight rein on energy consumption. Tech news web sites are already full of details, I am sure... There were a couple of interesting bits and pieces, however, including:

Ionic PC Cooling

It's a tantalizing DIY project that begs better documentation, but claims to "have produced the first ionic cooling system for your high end gaming system. This system produces absolutely no noise and in fact has no moving parts at all. While this is a proof of concept it proves that you can get the CFM you need to cool a system efficiently with no moving parts and no increase in power consumption." SPCR's forum members discuss their doubts.

Join the SPCR team!

Exceptional new talent always welcome: SPCR seeks Hardware Reviewers in Vancouver, and News Contributors anywhere in the world. Click on read more for details.

Good Job!

Statistically, most small businesses don't make it to five years. I think it's at least partly due to drudgery. SPCR is kind of a small business, and I feel its age more and more. Tasks I used to look forward to with relish now feel like... tasks. One has a sense of soldiering on. But once in a while, a little lift comes along, like this email, with the header "good job!":


i've been into computers most of my life, starting with early sinclairs and commodores (god, these were really silent!)

then PCs came along and made my world a noisy place

then i found your site

thanks to all your expertise, advice, articles, forums and so on and so forth, the noisiest component of my rig is now my... CRT screen! (a new LCD is on its way already)

anyway, i just would like to say that spcr is one mighty fine site, and i know of no other PC-related site that is managed so well, with such passion and devotion, that is so useful and rewarding to visit

your guys rule and kick bxxx and i wish you all the best in your quest to hush the world (isn't the world computers, after all?)

my best regards to you and your team!

patryk bartkiewicz

You're welcome... and thanks, Patryk.

Efficient PSUs that don't start

The following discussion has been added as a section to the Power Supply Fundamentals & Recommendations article. It addresses the issue of modern, high efficiency power supplies that sometimes don't work with some modern motherboards.

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Higher efficiency PSUs generally tend to need higher minimum power on the 12V line in order to simply run. Typically, we're talking about 1A or greater. Older, less efficient PSUs have much lower minumum current needs, under 0.5A and often ZERO. Click on Read More... to read more.


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