Feeds

Silence is golden

Hey, we're kinda getting used to this quiet PC stuff

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Top three mobile application threats

Review After we had a look at Quiet PC's Molex Radial Fin cooler last week, it occurred to us that it would make a refreshing change to see just how quietly, rather than how fast, we could make a PC perform.

A quick call to Quiet PC resulted in an extra quiet power supply and a SilentDrive turning up in the post.

Hard disks account for a sizeable chunk of the noise created by PCs due to both the platters in the hard drive spinning and the heads moving. Although one of the USPs of current hard drives is quiet operation, older drives may well come from a time when performance was the main aim. These drives, such as our two year old 6.5GB Maxtor 87000A8 make a fair old racket, despite only spinning at 5400rpm.

One solution to drive noise is to enclose the drive in an acoustic sleeve, but this can lead to overheating problems.

The Molex SilentDrive is a chunky plastic box lined with sound deadening foam and gets round the overheating problem by having two aluminium plates which cover both the top and the bottom of the drive and conduct excess heat into the surrounding air and chassis mountings.

Due to its size, it needs a 5.25in drive bay which shouldn't be a major problem for reasonably new PCs.

Quiet PC claims the enclosure reduces hard drive noise by over 90 per cent and can cool hard drives dissipating up to 5W of heat.

To check if your drive will be happy in the SilentDrive, Quiet PC supplies a temperature-sensitive sticker which can be affixed to the surface of the drive while it is enclosed. After running the drive up to temperature, the sticker will show the maximum temperature reached. Our Maxtor was quite happy, running at the same temperature in the SilentDrive as outside.

Fitting instructions (supplied on the Quiet PC website) are extremely clear, with good use of photographs.

In terms of noise reduction, our test 1GHz PIII (already equipped with the Molex Radial heatsink) now has the SilentDrive and a 300W extra quiet power supply with a thermally-controlled fan. It's now so quiet that if the monitor has gone to sleep, you can't tell if it's running without putting your ear to it. In fact it has already been switched off accidentally by people trying to turn it on.

So for a total outlay of £95 (£17 for the Radial cooler, £24 for the SilentDrive and £54 for the power supply), we now have an extremely restful PC. If we weren't the power-crazed loons that we are, we could have got away with the cheaper 230W PSU and saved £10.

Next on the list for improvement is our Slot 1 1GHz PIII - its dual fan heatsink sounds as if it was originally designed for use in a 1950s Soviet air conditioner. ®

Related Story

It's oh so quiet

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Sorry London, Europe's top tech city is Munich
New 'Atlas of ICT Activity' finds innovation isn't happening at Silicon Roundabout
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.