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Anitec's SPCR-certified SilenT3 PC

Anitec Computers of Vancouver BC offers SPCR certified quiet PCs in Canada

Anitec Computers is the system integrator and vendor of these systems. SPCR has no involvement whatsoever in their sale, distribution or servicing; only the verification of acoustic and thermal design objectives in the production sample supplied by Anitec. For details of the partnership, please see SPCR Certified Computer Systems.

SPCR SILENT3

A slim, compact all-purpose personal computer, the acoustic signature of the SilenT3 is below the ambient noise level of most urban homes. It has been designed for the same constant low noise level within a wide range of work loads, from idle all the way to maximum load, in a broad range of ambient temperatures. Based around an Asus T3 barebones system, this PC is very small and attractive enough to complement any decor.

The design goals for SPCR SilenT3 were:

  • Smooth, powerful performance for all kinds of applications including HD video.
  • Good cooling of all the components up to at least 30°C ambient.
  • Ultra quiet acoustic signature.
  • Very low energy consumption.



Asus T3 barebones system is the base.



The center panel of the front panel slides down with a satisfying clicking to reveal memory card slots, USB and Firewire ports, audio i/o, and the eject button for the stealthed DVD writer just above.



Back panel bristles with in/out connections. Note optional Asus Xonar sound card atop the video card, part of the deluxe Home Theater package.

COMPONENTS in SilenT3 Base Configuration

  • - Asus T3-P5945GCX Barebone Tower
  • - Enermax Modu82+ 425W Power Supply
  • - Intel Core 2 Duo E7300
  • - Kingston KVR800D2N5K2/2GB 2GB DDR2-800 Memory Kit
  • - Seagate Momentus 5400.5 320GB SATA
  • - Asus DRW-2014L1T 20x DVD-Writer w/LightScribe
  • - GeForce 9400GT 512MB passively cooled video card w/DVI, SVGA, HDMI Outputs
  • - Scythe Shuriken Low-Profile CPU Cooler with Kaze-Jyu slim fan
  • - AcoustiPack Sound Dampening Treatment
  • - Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium (32-bit)
  • - Anitec 1-Year Parts & Labour Warranty

Anitec's page for SPCR SilenT3

SYSTEM DETAILS

The performance of the system is perfectly good for all applications, including playback of HD 1080p video. The C2D E7300 is a good processor choice for the machine, as is the GF 9400GT video card, which offers HDMI output and capable enough with 3D to allow casual gaming. The Seagate laptop drive is a touch slower than typical 3.5" 7200 RPM drives, but it will hardly be noticed by any user, while the low noise level affording by its inclusion will certainly be appreciated.

The Asus T3-P5945GCX features a clam-shell style case which allows the use of a full ATX12V power supply and a custom form factor socket 775 motherboard with Intel 945GC chipset. A key aspect of Anitec's customization is the replacement of the stock power supply with an Enermax Modu82+ 425W modular cable power supply. The Modu82+ series is one of the most energy efficient on the market, and offers the best acoustics of any fan-cooled PSU. (See SPCR's review of the Modu82+ 625W.) Despite its role as the primary heat extractor for the system, because the thermal envelope has been kept way down, the thermally controlled PSU fan spins at extremely low speed at virtually any load.



Removal of the U-shaped cover shows highly packed interior and Acoustipak panel damping. Note the size of the PSU: This is a very compact system.



Front bezel opened to show slidng rod mechanism for the sliding panel, and generous vents on the sizes of the bezel.



Clamshell opened to show the interior. Note unrestricted air intake vents on the front panel of the chassis, and 2.5" Seagate 320 GB SATA laptop drive nestled within Acoustipack damping.



The Scythe Shuriken Low-Profile CPU Cooler with a quiet slim fan controlled by the motherboard.

Anitec's page for SPCR SilenT3

VERIFICATIONS TESTS

The system came with Windows Vista Home Premium installed, with these settings engaged:

  • Minimal Power Management
  • S3 Standby mode (20 minutes delay)
  • Asus "Q-Fan" thermal fan speed controller enabled

Temperature, noise and AC power consumption were measured under various loads in ambient conditions of 11 dBA and 21~23°C. These tests were performed mostly in SPCR's anechoic chamber, as shown below.



Acoustic testing was done in the anechoic chamber, which has an ambient noise level of just 11 dBA.


Activity


CPU


GPU

HDD

AC Power



standby


-

-

-

silent

1~2W


idle


32°C

46°C


33°C


15

64W


GPU load


ATITool

45°C

83°C

33°C

15

80W


CPU load


Prime95 x2

56°C

49°C

36°C

15

96W


full load


(ATITool and Prime95 x2)


56°C

83°C

36°C

15

106W

All the temperatures were modest, well within safety limits. The measured SPL never changed, and this reflects the subjective experience: The computer always sounds the same. The noise can be described as a barely audible hum. A bit of muted clicking noise is also audible when the hard drive is seeking. Atop the desk, even just 2' away from one's head, it's difficult to hear when there's any other noise. Greater than 3' distance, you have to work to hear it.

The following recording, made in the anechoic chamber with a lab reference audio recording system, lets you hear the sound for yourself. The original was made as 24-bit / 88 kHz WAV files with a high
resolution, lab quality, digital recording system
inside SPCR's
own anechoic chamber
(11 dBA ambient), then converted to LAME 128kbps
encoded MP3s. We've listened long and hard to ensure there is no audible degradation
from the original WAV files to these MP3s. They represent a quick snapshot of
what we heard during the review.

The recording starts with 7s of room ambient, followed
by 8s of the product's noise. For the most realistic results,
set the volume so that the starting ambient level is just barely audible, then
don't change the volume setting again while comparing all the sound files.

Anitec SPCR SilenT3 MP3 recording - 15 [email protected]

This system is the quietest commercially built system we've tested or heard, by a small margin. The use of the laptop drive, is probably the single biggest factor in achieving this result.

In High Ambient Temperature

Because the speed of the PSU fan is thermally controlled, a check was made of acoustics at a much higher ambient temperature, to simulate hot summer conditions. A 900W radiant space heater was placed about two feet diagonally in front of the PC and left for nearly an hour with full load testing ongoing. When a thermometer placed at the front of the PC read 30°C, measurements were recorded, as shown below.

Hot 30°C Ambient Testing



Activity


CPU


GPU
HDD

AC Power



full load


(ATITool and Prime95 x2)


58°C


86°C


40°C


17


107W

There was a slight increase in the PSU fan speed, but the overall noise barely increased, neither subjectively nor by SPL measurement. Temperatures remained perfectly safe. It wasn't possible to achieve higher ambient temperature in our lab, but it's safe to say that in hotter weather, the PSU fan may speed up more and the whole system may get louder. In such weather, you probably wouldn't spend much time in front of your computer.

Note: Anitec Computers also offers this system without any operating system for those who already have their own.

Summary

The SPCR SilenT3 by Anitec Computers works exactly as intended. It is highly capable and virtually silent.

Anitec's page for SPCR SPCR SilenT3

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