Hush ATX silent PC
A work of art?
Review Hush ATX
If you want a PC that's truly silent, you need it to be completely passive, and that means that you can't go for your run of the mill, mix and match PC build - you're going to have to go to a specialist and one such specialist is Hush Technologies, writes Riyad Emeran.
The Hush ATX system is a full PC built using pretty standard components, but without the use of a single fan. This isn't the first totally passive system we've seen though. A while back we looked at the Poweroid 1204, which was based on a Zalman fanless case. This was a very impressive system, but it was very large and designed to be used as a performance PC. Hush, on the other hand, designs its own system cases, and is more interested in the style-conscious consumer who wants something that makes a visual impression rather than an audible one.
Leaving aside the fact that this Hush is a silent PC, let's look at it from a purely aesthetic point of view. Finished in solid aluminium with a brushed finish, the Hush wouldn't look out of place in any living room - no matter how much high-end AV equipment you happen to have in there. But unlike many PCs, the Hush's beauty is far more than skin deep. The build quality of the Hush is nothing short of staggering, and at the risk of sounding stereotypical, the whole package has a feel of precision German engineering - like the PC equivalent of a Porsche Carrera GT.
The system case isn't just finished in brushed aluminium, the case is constructed from solid billets of aluminium and if you've got a bad back, you better get someone else to lift it for you - this is one heavy PC. It's the sides of the case that add weight, both visually and literally. Both sides of the case are constructed from solid aluminium fins, designed specifically to dissipate heat from inside. Looking closely at the fins you'll see that Hush's attention to detail is admirable, with each fin ridged for ultimate heat exchange. The top of the case has 28 round holes in it, with an aluminium grille behind them. Once again, this helps heat escape from inside the chassis and once again it looks great.
The front fascia is also tooled from a single billet of aluminium and is about a centimetre thick. On the left of the fascia you'll find a round power button that glows blue when the machine is on. Although blue lights are becoming somewhat passÇ on technology products these days, the Hush pulls it off with aplomb. On the right of the fascia, is an optical drive. Since Hush builds to order, you can choose whether you want a vanilla CD-ROM drive, a CD/DVD combo or a DVD writer. Obviously with a machine like this it's worth going for the DVD writer, since you're probably going to want to burn content either recorded from TV or downloaded from a digital camcorder to disc. The drives used are notebook versions which means they're slim and quiet - of course the tray has a solid piece of aluminium attached to it to keep those minimalist lines in order. Beneath the optical drive you'll find two USB 2.0 ports, two six-pin Firewire ports, as well as mic and headphone sockets.