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In Pursuit of Silence

Devon Cooke, once an essential SPCR editorial staff member who now pursues a career in film-making, wrote me recently about a new documentary. It sounds well worth seeking out:

"I saw an excellent documentary last night — my new favourite documentary — that I wanted to share with you. It's called In Pursuit of Silence, and it's a philosophical film about the nature of silence — with some obvious overlap with the subject matter we covered at SPCR. Put it on your list and see it as soon as you can! Right now it's still in theatrical release, so it's a bit hard to find, but once it comes out, it will be worth it! This is perhaps the first documentary I've seen that I can honestly say I wish I had made."

Discuss this post.


gpuShack offers quiet R7950 Twin Frozr card for just $139

Our partner gpuShack recently acquired a large stock of the R7950 Twin Frozr graphics cards, which measures 13.7db quieter and 10C cooler than the reference HD 7950 model. While the GPU is already two years old, it is still faster than the R9 270X.

The GPU normally sells for $149. However, gpuShack is running an inventory clearance promotion at $5 off, and an additional $5 off with discount code SILENTPC, bringing it down to $139. 

The R7950 Twin Frozr GPU is a great choice for a quiet budget build. You can pick it up at gpuShack while supplies last.


Ivy Bridge 3770K IHS removal and results

The high core temperatures of Ivy Bridge CPUs have been a lively topic for debate since the new Intel chips were released. Poor quality TIM has been deemed the culprit. SPCR forum member graysky put this idea to the test by removing the integrated heat spreader from his i7-3770K to try a proven, high quality TIM, and later, lapped both the IHS and the heatsink base to check for any further cooling improvements. His systematic, empirical testing is well worth reading.


IC Diamond 7 Giveaway

Not the kind of diamonds that might have glittered in your mind, but... Innovation Cooling is giving away 100 syringes of IC Diamond 7 Carat thermal compound to SPCR forum members. In return, Innovation Cooling seeks test data on how well the thermal compound performs in your system. Check out the details here.


Windows Home Server

A number of readers have asked for an SPCR investigation into MS Windows Home Server, which is available as OEM software, as well as appropriate hardware to run this OS. Popular opinion on WHS seems inordinately high for a MS OS; some people feel it's the best thing MS has produced in years. We're working now to deliver an article on WHS and building a power-efficient home server silent enough to not put it in the closet, hopefully by the end of this month. In the meanwhile, here is Missing Remote's recent comparison of the HP MediaSmart Server vs two homebrews variants, and Microsoft's home page on WHS. * Discuss this news in the SPCR forums.


2008 SPCR facility/equipment upgrades: hemi-anechoic chamber

This is a blog in the forum about facility and equipment upgrades currently being implemented at SPCR. The big project is the building of a hemi-anechoic chamber on the ground floor of my house. The blog was started at the end of May. Latest report, July 20: With double doors and nearly 600 lbs of blue fill for acoustic damping, daytime SPL in the room is now 12 dBA. External traffic causes only 1-2 dBA rises in SPL.


Massive Fan Update

SPCR is always working to improve its testing procedures, and every once in a while we make a breakthrough that massively changes the way we go about testing hardware. Recently, we had such a breakthrough in our airflow testing methodology.

The problem with breakthroughs is they tend to make things obsolete. Such is the case with our current database of airflow results — our new method improved things so much that we have to throw out all of our existing results and start again. After countless days refining our test procedure — and several more of retesting — we proudly present the fruit of our efforts. With the exception of some obsolete 80mm fans, every fan in our database has been retested with the new test procedure.

Fan Round-up #1: 80mm fans
Fan Round-up #2: 120mm fans
Fan Round-up #3: 92mm fans
Fan Round-up #4: 120mm fans (again)

Unusual Fans
Noctua NF-S12 Series
SilenX Ixtrema Pro
Arctic Cooling Arctic Fan 12L


Lab Clearance Sale

SPCR's lab clearance corner is open, we need to clear off the shelves again. Grab some great deals & support your favorite hardware site.


Modu82+ PSU Giveaway Draw

Enermax USA has decided to give away their new Modu82+ power supplies in a raffle draw to two lucky SPCR forum members. Read the giveaway details here, and our review of the Modu82+ 625W here.


Zonbu discount for SPCR readers

Zonbu is offering a 5% discount on their products for SPCR buyers. Use coupon code SILENTPC or just click this link to receive your special discount. Zonbu is a tiny, completely silent PC which has many other attractive features and benefits including:

  • silent and reliable because there is no moving parts - no hard disk, no fan
  • affordable at $99 plus a two-year service contract
  • hassle-free experience with transparent software update, unlimited support and automatic backup for $14.95 a month
  • eco-friendly - the first consumer PC to receive EPEAT Gold, it consumes only 9W on average.

P180/182/190 Intake Airflow Restriction: A simple solution

Some users feel the front intakes on Antec's popular enthusiast PC cases don't allow quite enough air inflow. Here's a simple way to improve it.


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.



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