Re: Mike's final sign-off - POSTPONED

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Re: Mike's final sign-off - POSTPONED

Post by MikeC » Tue Jun 14, 2011 9:49 am

The time is coming for my final sign-off from Silent PC Review. It will happen at the end of August this year.

SPCR has been my primary work for nearly a decade. The quest for solutions to the challenges of defining, measuring, assessing and eliminating computer noise led to a surprisingly wide range of adventures that kept me engaged, inspired and learning for years. In the process, I had the good fortune of making many lasting friends all over the world, in person and via the web.

But everything comes and goes. The circumstances that made Silent PC Review a viable project for me in 2002 no longer hold sway, though I will certainly miss many aspects of it.

Late last year, I began to entertain the idea of selling the site to operators of other tech web sites. The central question that arose in discussion with prospective buyers was, "What is SPCR without Mike Chin?" It is our own server hosted at Vancouver's Peer 1 hosting center, a domain name, a hard-earned reputation for high editorial and technical review standards, a large group of dedicated visitors and forum members, a collection of unique measurement tools, and a treasure trove of information, knowhow, and data on every aspect of acoustics in computers, and on every type of component that goes into a PC. It's true that the site has been "my baby" all along, but there is no question that others with the requisite skills and knowledge can muster up the focus and drive to keep SPCR's leadership in computer-related acoustics.

To date, no successful deal for transition to a new operator has been made, however, so unless things change in the next three months, after my final signoff, SPCR will be no more. This is a sad prospect, considering what a useful resource SPCR has been and continues to be -- I still receive several "I love SPCR, please keep up the good work!" emails every week.

I remain open to suggestions in order to keep the site active and moving forward. Purchase, licensing or other serious proposals will be entertained through 31 July. Contact me, mikec at silentpcreview dot com.

EDIT: 22 June 2011

Since this announcement was first made, a heartwarming outpouring of support for SPCR has caused several changes in my exit strategy:

1. SPCR will definitely stay alive. I will likely remain involved on some level. (At the very least, the main SPCR site will be archived/frozen and the forums kept open -- other tech web operators have offered no/low-cost hosting for this purpose.)

2. A secondary, fully equipped acoustics lab will be created, with staff to operate it at the same high standards we've always maintained. A call for a place and people interested in creating and running this secondary lab was made on 16/01 (the last post on this page), and it has resulted in only a single response. We are in discussion right now, but it would be really nice to see more responses. Ideally, two fully equipped acoustics labs would insure the future of SPCR for a much longer time.

I will keep the community informed of developments as they unfold. Thank you all again for your support.

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Re: Mike's final sign-off

Post by systemlayers » Tue Jun 14, 2011 10:21 am

This is incredibly disheartening news to me. All things have their end but SPCR has to be one of a select elite few havens on the internet I have come to cherish over the years. SPCR is the only tech site around that gets it. Most tech sites don't have the care of attention or materials to review components for silent computing. I believe this website has made a major impact on the computing world in terms of silence.

There have been some big advances in quiet components in just the last couple years and I hope that manufacturers continue to make silence a major focus but without SPCR it makes me anxious. In terms of alternatives there really is nothing for me, I post on several other popular tech sites and the silent enthusiasts are extremely rare and in between. If I were a few years older, had my own space etc I'd definitely consider stepping in. I already build my own rigs and test them out against each other in a sound proofed basement but alas it could never compare. This is the big wide internet however and I know somewhere somehow someone will take over a bit of the silence community.

What worries me is the amount of useful information here is there any thoughts to at least archiving the site Mike? At least the important bits could be hosted somewhere.
Last edited by systemlayers on Tue Jun 14, 2011 1:05 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Mike's final sign-off

Post by chienpourri » Tue Jun 14, 2011 10:42 am

No way!!! This is really sad news indeed... I visit your site at least once a week and I am glad to find all the information about silent computing. I am sure that many manufacturers pay a lot more attention to silence in their design because of the huge community here as SPCR. If you close the site, who will keep that flame going?

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Re: Mike's final sign-off

Post by josephclemente » Tue Jun 14, 2011 10:52 am


SPCR is my favorite web site. Please don't close! :'(

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Re: Mike's final sign-off

Post by Vicotnik » Tue Jun 14, 2011 12:42 pm

All things must end. I wish you luck in the future, Mike. The site and this forum has meant a lot to me. Thank you for that. :)

But I hope this is not the end of course, surly someone will be willing to take over this beautiful thing?

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Re: Mike's final sign-off

Post by Big Pimp Daddy » Tue Jun 14, 2011 12:52 pm

Wow, was not expecting that.

Quite blatantly the best hardware review site on the internet, with the most detailed reviews and most scientific methodology. I am far from an expert and know next to nothing about how these sites work, but cannot understand how there is a chance SPCR will cease while hundreds of other essentially worthless review sites seem to prosper.

Can't think of any solutions off the top of my head but if manpower or finance is an issue I am certain the hardcore regulars would be glad to club together to keep SPCR going.

Whatever happens all the best in the future Mike, if you put a fraction of the passion into whatever you do next as you have into SPCR I am sure it will be an unqualified success. My ears thank you.

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Re: Mike's final sign-off

Post by cordis » Tue Jun 14, 2011 1:25 pm

Aw, that is truly sad. Well, I wish you luck in any future endeavors, and if you need any help in getting the site sold or if there's anything we can do to keep you in it, be sure to let us know! This site fulfills a pretty singular need on the net, the world will be worse off if it goes away. Thanks for all the great work you've done over the years!

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Re: Mike's final sign-off

Post by CA_Steve » Tue Jun 14, 2011 1:30 pm

Holy cow!

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Re: Mike's final sign-off

Post by dancingsnails » Tue Jun 14, 2011 1:39 pm

That is very sad. This has been a great site for many years. Much of the information that's been generated here, I don't think you could find anywhere else. Thanks for putting this together. I hope you find a buyer. In any case good luck and have fun with you next adventures!

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Re: Mike's final sign-off

Post by rpsgc » Tue Jun 14, 2011 2:24 pm


SPCR mustn't die!

(will the forum still remain at least?)

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Re: Mike's final sign-off

Post by merlin » Tue Jun 14, 2011 4:32 pm

Whoa that's a major bomb!
This is by far one of the most useful sites on the web for computer hardware compared to many other ones. I'm going to be extremely sad to lose a major resource if there isn't someone who can continue with the same standards that you have.
But I can see after 10 years why you'd want to move on to something else too!
Thanks for all the great reviews, and hopefully you find a buyer. And also good luck with your next projects.

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Re: Mike's final sign-off

Post by NeilBlanchard » Tue Jun 14, 2011 5:31 pm

Wow. If August 31st comes and there is no one to continue -- we will have a moment of silence.

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Re: Mike's final sign-off

Post by MikeC » Tue Jun 14, 2011 6:52 pm

NeilBlanchard wrote:Wow. If August 31st comes and there is no one to continue -- we will have a moment of silence.
:lol: :lol: :lol:

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Re: Mike's final sign-off

Post by dhanson865 » Tue Jun 14, 2011 6:57 pm

uggh, I just got in from doing the majority of the work of planting a new tree in my back yard. I was thinking of this day as a beginning of a new era but then I read that it may be forewarning of the end of an era.

I wish I didn't live thousands of miles/kilometers away. I'd love to drop by your favorite pub, have a beer, and discuss this with you face to face.

I'd like to see the site stay up and I'd like to help but space and time aren't my friends in getting to your place and doing some of the grunt work it takes to keep a operation like this going.

If I win the lottery between now and Jul 31st I'll be sure to let you know.

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Re: Mike's final sign-off

Post by Dr. Jim Pomatter » Tue Jun 14, 2011 7:53 pm

[quote="MikeC"] The circumstances that made Silent PC Review a viable project for me in 2002 no longer hold sway[/quote]

2002: The Pentium 4 era
The stock heatsinks from Intel, and the heatsinks that were used by OEMs, were not chosen with any idea that users care about noise. Power supplies were using 80mm fans that made a large amount of noise, and some cases had no other forced ventilation.

2011: Decibels are under control
Intel and OEMs keep their CPU coolers under 40 db at idle, and many cases and power supplies use 120 mm fans. An enthusiast can now build or buy a system that is quieter then the other appliances in his house. We enthusiasts usually talk about fans having bad "character" and power-component "whining".

Mike C's side won the game (or 90% won), so it is time to leave the field...
Last edited by Dr. Jim Pomatter on Sun Jun 19, 2011 11:30 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Mike's final sign-off

Post by fmriguy » Tue Jun 14, 2011 8:28 pm

Wow, such a sad day. I've visited this site almost daily for several years and love the rigorous reviews and unique contribution to the hardware scene. It was a breath of fresh air to certain folks who were tired of every overclocker screaming to talk to his friend over his ridiculously loud Delta fan. I still have hope that something may work out, but if not, you have provided an amazing service to the tech community. Every time I look at my P180 I can't help but think that Mike and this site had a big part of helping to create it. Thanks!

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Re: Mike's final sign-off

Post by victorhortalives » Tue Jun 14, 2011 10:37 pm

Sorry to hear this news. This site will be badly missed.
Thanks to Mike for the pioneering and helpful work.


I agree in a way - all things must pass.

For my part, SPCR has been a godsend as I learned to build very very quiet PCs, but now IMO the job has been done.
Sure, there are some new components to learn about (mostly SSDs and mITX mobos) but only from time to time.

I wish Mike well in what he does now.

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Re: Mike's final sign-off

Post by flemeister » Wed Jun 15, 2011 12:19 am


Two thoughts on my mind:

1) If the site was to come to a close, it would be great to have a final, concluding article, outlining things that SPCR has done to help influence silent computing.

2) If an online archive can't be created for whatever reason, it would be prudent for members to make personal archives of as many pages on this site as possible. All SPCR articles, as well as influential forum threads (eg. the show your pics HDD suspension thread).

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Re: Mike's final sign-off

Post by mkk » Wed Jun 15, 2011 1:24 am

It's all understandable, a long time project cannot realistically go on forever with a single helmsman. Hopefully with this advance notice and some publication that it brings there can still pop up a solution, even if summertime might add something to the difficulty of these things. If in the end the worst is realised, please try to find some way for the forum to live on a little longer. Perhaps if nothing else the forum alone could be sponsored, and after all in spite of the knowledge therein it is not extremely crowded as far as forums go(thinking about running costs). Please consider this if all else fails.

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Re: Mike's final sign-off

Post by pet » Wed Jun 15, 2011 2:03 am

Really, really sad.

I hope you could keep working in spcr, doing what you clearly love and know how to do. I would love somebody could buy the site and still keep you and preserve the good old core values you have managed to keep during all those years: quality, transparency, hard work and the will to make things better. Maybe those are values with a low marketing value, but highly appreciated by spcr followers.

Thanks for the wonderful work you have donated to the community.

Hope your move forward is crowned with success :)

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Re: Mike's final sign-off

Post by ame » Wed Jun 15, 2011 2:30 am

This is very sad news, Mike.

This site has made a true impact not only on the computer world but also on my own life and career. I can't imagine what it would be like to wake up to a day when SPCR is no longer available.

I hope someone will be able to continue what you have started to some degree, still I doubt it will be possible for anyone else to do what you have done.

I wish you all the best at whatever you do next... (while I silently pray you reconsider...)

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Re: Mike's final sign-off

Post by Greg F. » Wed Jun 15, 2011 6:42 am

This is a surprise, but I must say I have lately wondered about the relevance of this site as it it is now very easy to build a silent computer. Still, this is my fave computer website and, to put it simply, I trust Mike's opinions. I also have come to like the congeniality of the forum members and the non-confrontational style. There are a number of ordinary forum members whose opinions and info I value higher than many entire other websites. I will likely hang at Anandtech.
All things must pass. I will miss you all.

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Re: Mike's final sign-off

Post by kuzzia » Wed Jun 15, 2011 7:25 am

Anandtech seem to be most relevant for SPCR readers out of the many tech pages I read daily. Also like Techreport, they review lots of cases, SSD's, and PSU's thoroughy with clear methodologies (though their methodology for cases is still quite new.) Their knowledge and their test bench to SSD's are exceptional. They also review the acoustics of PSU's, though not at SPCR-standards of course.

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A bit disappointed that they don't mention ambient noise level, but that can be seen in the first link.

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Re: Mike's final sign-off

Post by vivithemage » Wed Jun 15, 2011 8:07 am

Are you looking to get out of the game entirely? Or are you just having issues with hosting costs/fee?

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Re: Mike's final sign-off

Post by Zargon » Wed Jun 15, 2011 2:21 pm


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Re: Mike's final sign-off

Post by lhopitalified » Wed Jun 15, 2011 3:03 pm

I do hope the forums will still be around. It would be a shame for this community to disappear.

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Re: Mike's final sign-off

Post by jrocks84 » Wed Jun 15, 2011 3:50 pm

I notice Anandtech articles have referenced SPCR a few times recently. I'd imagine that they were a potential buyer and were gaging reaction. I unfortunately guess it must have not been large enough. Too bad you haven't found a solution to keep SPCR running, but here's to hoping you can in the coming months.

I wish you best of luck in your future ventures, Mike and thank you for the wealth of knowledge I've learnt here.

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Re: Mike's final sign-off

Post by frenchie » Wed Jun 15, 2011 3:55 pm

Darn, what an announcement !! I wish you the best of luck Mike, and thanks for a great quiet adventure !!
I hope there is a way to keep all that good data for a few more years, site and forum ! (maybe you could make it available for download if nobody picks it up?).
Again thank you Mike !

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Re: Mike's final sign-off

Post by notquitequiet » Wed Jun 15, 2011 6:07 pm

Thanks for all of the great reviews, guides, recommendations and such. I was very happy when I found this website and I learned a few things. I don't post very much, but I do read quite a bit.

Please considering attempting to merge into They do have some rowdy members, but in general seem to care about what they do. Anandtech has already been mentioned and is also a good candidate.

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Re: Mike's final sign-off

Post by MikeC » Thu Jun 16, 2011 3:02 pm

Thanks for all the supportive comments, everyone.

I've been contacted by some tech site operators, since my first post above, offering various ways to keep SPCR alive. It seems clear that SPCR will not go away even if I do.

One question that came up: Is anyone in Vancouver willing to house a new lab for SPCR on their premises? It could be part of a residence, a commercial building, etc -- any place that is relatively quiet where an anechoic chamber can be built. Minimum amount of space needed is probably around 400sf. The level of involvement for the owner of such a premise is up for discussion/negotiation.

Also, is anyone anywhere in the world interested in operating a satellite lab for SPCR (w/ anechoic chamber)?

Let me know by email, please.

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