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Tom's Reviews Expensive, Noiseless Case

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the earplugs-much-cheaper dept.

Hardware 343

hakker writes "Toms Hardware Guide is running a review of a new case that claims it provides noiseless computing. The TNN 500A case from Zalman Tech is fanless (including PSU), and uses a bunch of heatpipes to move heat outside of the case from sources inside the system. Potentially costing as much as $1400, how much is your peace and quiet worth?"

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343 comments

I say, Wow! (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8005728)

Wow! I am sure I am not alone in saying $1400 for a case is a lot of money.

$1400 would sure buy a lot of Lord of the Rings DVD's or a lot of hookers. Since I am on Slashdot, you know they will be robotic hookers.

Re:I say, Wow! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8005813)

What, like these [realdoll.com] ? Um, no. They're $5999, with robotic versions costing even more. Still cheaper than a real woman though... Sorry geeks, LOTR DVDs it is then.

Re:I say, Wow! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8005863)

do they have a goatse version?

Re:I say, Wow! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8005854)

just use your hand like the rest of us u geek.

=)

Re:I say, Wow! (4, Funny)

Frymaster (171343) | more than 10 years ago | (#8005867)

Expensive, Noiseless Case

so, essentially, a g5 right?

Re:I say, Wow! (4, Funny)

harlows_monkeys (106428) | more than 10 years ago | (#8005919)

$1400 would sure buy a lot of Lord of the Rings DVD's or a lot of hookers

Hmmm...one $1400 hookerbot, or 1400 $1 hookerbots?

Perfectly quiet... (5, Funny)

DeathPenguin (449875) | more than 10 years ago | (#8005730)

...unless you're running one of these [tomshardware.com] :)

Re:Perfectly quiet... (2)

kazem (205448) | more than 10 years ago | (#8005886)

You just replace that fan with the heat spreader and heat pipe unit.

fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8005732)

fp

Re:fp (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8005742)

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o___\__H___\_-~____________________~-_\____|____o_ _
t____\__A____\_________.--------.______\|__|____t_ _
s______\__E__\______//_________(_(__C__\___|____s_ _
u_______\__L.__C____)_________(_(___C___|__/____u_ _
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s___|___F__E______|____/___/.__\__\____F__S___|_s_ _
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s__|______E___|_________|____|_______|_____C___|s_ _
u__|______W__|__________|____|_______|_____H___|u_ _
x__|______S__|__________|____|_______|_________|x_ _
*_s_l_a_s_d_o_t_s_u_c_k_s_*_s_l_a_s_h_d_o_t_s_u_x_

Important Stuff: Please try to keep posts on topic. Try to reply to other people's comments instead of starting new threads. Read other people's messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said. Use a clear subject that describes what your message is about. Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page)
Important Stuff: Please try to keep posts on topic. Try to reply to other people's comments instead of starting new threads. Read other people's messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said. Use a clear subject that describes what your message is about. Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page)

This is a first post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8005733)

Because i LOVE you GNAA niggaz.

Very important (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8005735)

When you've had a Volcano 9 in your computer for as long as I have, you'll really appreciate the silence when you turn it off.

Worth my 1400 bucks? (1, Insightful)

Averron (677873) | more than 10 years ago | (#8005736)

For 1400 I could put a godlike non-noiseless sound system in my car, so that would be a no.

Re:Worth my 1400 bucks? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8005752)

For $1400, you could buy two Linux licenses from SCO.

Re:Worth my 1400 bucks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8005784)

For $1400 you could get like 28 decent Blowjobs.

Hmm.. (5, Funny)

qewl (671495) | more than 10 years ago | (#8005737)

$1400 for a quiet PC or $1400 for a bunch of strippers and beer.. decisions, decisions..

Re:Hmm.. (4, Funny)

Soulfarmer (607565) | more than 10 years ago | (#8005746)

200$ for normal pc case and 1200$ for strippers lapdancing, who would know if the case is noiseless or not...

Re:Hmm.. (-1)

Brian Dennehy (698379) | more than 10 years ago | (#8005825)

Or $1400 for the quiet PC and a free evening with internet pr0n.

Re:Hmm.. (1)

Soulfarmer (607565) | more than 10 years ago | (#8005849)

Now that would be entirely stupid. How about 1000$ on the case, that SHOULD be pretty quiet too, and 400$ on bandwidth... if you like virtual simulation more than those 1200$ strippers...

Steep price for Many (4, Insightful)

jeffskyrunner (701044) | more than 10 years ago | (#8005745)

I know as a college student that a quiet atmosphere while doing work is valuable. The question for most would be, is it $1,400 worth. I *know* that I could not afford that while trying to pay tuition, renting a house, and feeding myself. Somethings are necessary, and some are just...not. Now, if someone gave that to me as a gift or something, no way i would complain :)

Re:Steep price for Many (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8005796)

Steep price for Many

Nigga, please!?!
It is steep for anyone but Donald Trump.

Re:Steep price for Many (1)

Svet-Am (413146) | more than 10 years ago | (#8005824)

No, I'm sure the Reverent Bill at ye Church of Microsoft is in the process of migrating the entire development farm to these.

I think The Donald would even have a hard time justifying it because it's just a big heatsink for crying out loud...

Re:Steep price for Many (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 10 years ago | (#8005870)

hmmm... place to sleep for 3 months or a quiet PC?

do your studying in the library. you might even meet some nerdy girls.

Re:Steep price for Many (1)

jeffskyrunner (701044) | more than 10 years ago | (#8005912)

Amazingly, this geek already has a girlfriend. :-)

Re:Steep price for Many (4, Insightful)

harlows_monkeys (106428) | more than 10 years ago | (#8005943)

I know as a college student that a quiet atmosphere while doing work is valuable

Earplugs, or ear protectors (available at gun shops), will do better in that case, because they will also block noises other than your PC. (Just be careful what you say if you go to a gun shop--I got some strange looks when I walked in and said I was looking for something to deal with a noisy neighbor!). BTW, earplugs and ear protectors stack--they tend to have different noise blocking characteristics, so using both helps.

It is situations where you don't want to block other sounds that an expensive low noise PC makes sense. Two examples come to mind.

First, home theater. If you have a PC as part of a home theater (or simply live in an apartment and the PC of necessisity is in the same room as your home theater), then earplugs won't work.

Second, a home recording studio. Again, space considerations might force the PC to be in the same room as the instruments, and so a low noice PC would be very useful.

$1400? (4, Funny)

PaulK (85154) | more than 10 years ago | (#8005747)

As expensive as that case is, it sure is gonna be quiet. It'd be months before I could afford to buy anything to put in it that made noise.

2nd Anniversary of the 1st /. troll investigation (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8005897)

Happy anniversary slashdot! Unfortunately, in response to the troll investigation, slashdot's editors have increased their repression of free speech even further. Learn more about the troll investigation here [kuro5hin.org] .

For more about sacred jihad against slashdot's editors, check out anti-slash [anti-slash.org]

In Jihad,

jihadi_31337

hmmmm.... (5, Funny)

graveyardduckx (735761) | more than 10 years ago | (#8005749)

for $1400 I'll rent the apartment next to mine, put the computer over there, leave the air conditioning on, drill a hole in the wall, and run my cables to it through the wall while leaving my monitor, keyboard, and mouse in my apartment... and still come out ahead!

Re:hmmmm.... (1)

Soulfarmer (607565) | more than 10 years ago | (#8005775)

How long would your $1400 last for paying the rent? Longer than the case's warranty? Would be another matter if you could buy cargo container on your backyard for a lump sum and do the same to that...

Renting a solution to make pc noiseless... kinda like renting a bank account... maybe not, but hey, this is my second post on this topic, so I get to be slightly off the map.

Re:hmmmm.... (3, Insightful)

rockwood (141675) | more than 10 years ago | (#8005864)

While avoiding the $1,400 fee by attempting to relocate the cases out of audible range may initially sound like a great idea, not to mention less expensive, you eliminate the access of the system being readily available.

ie: MS Office component not installed, please insert ms office cd and click 'ok'. I'd hate to run back and forth for such a thing.

People want their pleasures with their convenience. And while it seems (by the current posts/threads) that the pleasures for most are spending the $1,400 on a hooker, some of us have the fortunate position to have married our hookers. So while our payments are much higher for these pleasures and last the remaining part of your life.

ok, off track a little. If relocating the case is the more cost effective, then you'll need to have a cd server or other means readily avaiable.

I do agree that $1,400 is not worth the pleasure of a quite office - but then what other solutions are feasible?

Re:hmmmm.... (1)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#8005907)

Who says you'd have to run back to the box to get the to a CD drive?

Simply run a USB2 or FireWire line from the remote box to the actual desk, set up a hub at the other end of it, and you can run an external CD/DVD burning drive, an external floppy drive, an external sound-card, and even an external video capture device. Of course, trying to use all of those devices at once might lead to a slowdown, but you at least are available to avoid having to get up and walk just to insert a disk for a small file transfer.

Sears has one for 600 (5, Funny)

robdeadtech (232013) | more than 10 years ago | (#8005753)

Sears carries one [sears.com] for $600... And thouugh you'll need a tad more square footage to put it, it's ripe for some great extreme case mods.

$399, thank you very much :) (4, Informative)

F2F (11474) | more than 10 years ago | (#8005757)

Fanless cases running VIA EPIA chipsets and cpus have been available for some time and are quite useful, especially when running operating systems [bell-labs.com] that allow one to stick a huge monitor in front of them, a keyboard, a 3-button mouse and connect to the massively parralel machines in the quite noisy, but lovely air conditioned, server room.

I can't run Quake on one of these [mini-box.com] , but then again it's research we're talking about -- if I wanted games I'd buy a PS2.

The only fan I have is, funnily enough, on my video card.

Worth a hell of a lot (5, Interesting)

Saven Marek (739395) | more than 10 years ago | (#8005760)

> Potentially costing as much as $1400, how much is your
> peace and quiet worth?

I'd value it highly, but not that high. Almost all of my computing life has been spent around equipment with fans, drives or printers that clatter whirr hum or otherwise make other white noise underneath. That's stretching back to the late 1970s.

On a few occasions I've had a chance to use an entirely silent machine, one of which was a 700MHz iMac belonging to a dear friend, who has since sold it on for a G4 model. When I used it however, the sound from the HD was undiscernable, and with no fan inside it was genuinely silent. Browsing online and emailing while it was raining gently outside was an experience, at my own desk I often have no idea it's been raining for hours as I've been working with the white noise from at least two PC cases.

If I could have genuine silence again, I would. I'm considering putting all the noisy components in another room and cabling through the wall for the KVM.

The silence is well worth it. Perhaps if I won the lottery I'd invest in $1400 per case for it, but not on my current salary.

nude macgirls webcam [151.197.31.93]

After years of listening to my computer's hum (4, Funny)

rsilvergun (571051) | more than 10 years ago | (#8005764)

my room sound's eerily quite without it. Besides, the noise helps droun out my roomates, always a plus.

Re:After years of listening to my computer's hum (1)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#8005888)

Yeah, a computer hum equates to a white noise to the typical geek...

Re:After years of listening to my computer's hum (4, Interesting)

jred (111898) | more than 10 years ago | (#8005951)

I have 4 PCs running 24/7 in my bedroom, including the server w/ 2 PSU fans, 3 big case fans, and 10 little fans on the SCSI RAID enclosure.

On those rare occasions when my power has gone out at night,I wake up instantly. The absence of noise is what wakes me up.

Just don't tell my daughter, or she'll kick the power plugs to wake me up at 7am on Saturday :)

Re:After years of listening to my computer's hum (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8005985)

How are you ever gonna know if someone tries to break into your house while you are sleeping?

does the case run... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8005772)

solaris?

My fans sound delicious. (5, Interesting)

xankar (710025) | more than 10 years ago | (#8005774)

My box is located in my bedroom, and I have an assload of fans.

I recently discovered that I can't sleep without the computer running. I actually find the noise pleasant.

I wouldn't shell out 1400 bucks for insomnia.

Re:My fans sound delicious. (1)

Thiago Ize (730287) | more than 10 years ago | (#8005814)

Same here. Some people spend money on a white noise machine to drown out disturbances. The noise isn't a bug, it's a feature!

goatse.cx guy?! (0, Offtopic)

ediron2 (246908) | more than 10 years ago | (#8005839)

My box is located in my bedroom, and I have an assload of fans.
Um, you might want to pick your adjectives and metaphors more carefully. You sound like the goatse.cx guy.

Re:My fans sound delicious. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8005856)

Same here. Having that quiet drone in the background in the wee hours of the morning makes me feel like I'm with Zorak, Moltar, and Space Ghost on Ghost Planet.

It's a very lonely place.

Re:My fans sound delicious. (1)

borgasm (547139) | more than 10 years ago | (#8005868)

Me too....

But I am too cheap to buy a slightly quieter fan, so I soldered resistors inline with my connectors.

Final cost: $ 1/100 plus some solder

Screw those Sharper Image white noise generators...mine runs SETI while it lulls me to sleep.

Re:My fans sound delicious. (1)

Feztaa (633745) | more than 10 years ago | (#8005887)

I have an assload of fans.

It must hurt having all those fans in your ass.

Recording studios? (3, Funny)

ikewillis (586793) | more than 10 years ago | (#8005778)

Perhaps if you could retrofit a Mac motherboard into it...

Silence? (4, Interesting)

bluewee (677282) | more than 10 years ago | (#8005780)

Could someone fill me in on the background of "silence". How many dBs is silent?

Re:Silence? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8005810)

Zero.

Kristopher

Re:Silence? (1)

bluewee (677282) | more than 10 years ago | (#8005828)

I mean for the human ear.

Re:Silence? (5, Informative)

toddestan (632714) | more than 10 years ago | (#8005880)

The AC is actually right, most humans can hear sounds down to about 0 decibels. It's no accident that it's scaled that way.

The decibel scale is logarithmic, which means a 70dB sound has 10 times the intensity of a 60dB sound. If you double the intensity, on the decibel scale you only go up 3db. So put 2 30dB case fans in a computer, and the total from them would be 33dB, not 60dB.

It's also possible to have sounds in the negative decibel range, it's just we can't hear them.

big enough for ya? (0)

viniosity (592905) | more than 10 years ago | (#8005786)

22.5("H") x 11.25("W") x 15.75("D")

And I was just about to complain about my little G4 cube too...

Yes, I know they have different audiences and uses.. please use your sense of humor subroutine before flaming.

Re:big enough for ya? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8005872)

22.5("H") x 11.25("W") x 15.75("D")
I was trying to read that line as leetspeak for a minute, sign of the times i guess.

Extension cables help a lot (2, Informative)

Bill_Royle (639563) | more than 10 years ago | (#8005792)

After loading up my case with 8 fans to control the heat from an excessive amount of drives, I placed some soundproofing paneling on the inside. From there, I ran KVM cables about 10 feet or so to a closet. I close the door on that side, but the hatch to the attic is cracked just a bit to keep the closet cool. Of course, it's not *completely* noiseless, but pretty damn close. Only costs were for the KVM cables, and maybe a couple of bucks a month for the warm air that leaks into the attic. And I'd certainly rather spend that $1400 on a trip to Mexico, or something to that effect.

recording box (4, Informative)

paradesign (561561) | more than 10 years ago | (#8005793)

this should be great for recording engineers trying to keep their studios as quiet as possible. you dont realize just how much ambient noise there is arround you until you step into a mix room of a recording studio, its an alien experience.

Re:recording box (1)

sholden (12227) | more than 10 years ago | (#8005973)

Or put the machine outside the studio, with some cat5 cable connecting (there must be air ducts somewhere...) it to a dumb terminal in the studio with no moving parts in it at all.

Dell and Apple? (1)

patdabiker (710704) | more than 10 years ago | (#8005798)

This is a good idea, but it's not going to appeal to many people until the price drops drastically. Dell and Apple make some pretty quiet computers that you can get for about the cost of this case.

Re:Dell and Apple? (2, Interesting)

toddestan (632714) | more than 10 years ago | (#8005855)

Even better if you don't need all the power is to pick up a used PIII system from Dell or HP. They are even more quiet machines than the P4's, and have plenty of power for most tasks. Right now I'm sitting in front of a 866Mhz HP Vectra, and hum from this old 15" monitor is louder than the computer.

Re:Dell and Apple? (2, Informative)

zer0halo (704731) | more than 10 years ago | (#8005960)

I recently got the Optiplex SX270 from Dell, which costs about $500, and was impressed with how virtually silent it is (not to mention the small footprint). And of course you could always pick up a second hand Cube :-)

There is only one problem with noiseless PCs.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8005799)

.. I tend to leave my TV going while using or at work I have noise sources called co-workers ;)

Quiet! (2, Interesting)

bluewee (677282) | more than 10 years ago | (#8005800)

If I wanted to put my computer in my Closet, what would be the easiest way of allowing me to connect my monitor / keyboard / usb goodies[toothbrush :D] at my desk, about 10-20ft away.

Re:Quiet! (1)

toddestan (632714) | more than 10 years ago | (#8005834)

I would get a powered USB hub, that would pretty much cover everything but the monitor. As for the monitor, you'd have to get extension cables. If you want to go all out, get a flat panel with a DVI input - as the signal won't degrade over the DVI extension cables like it will over the analog VGA ones (up to a point, but 20 feet you should be ok).

Re:Quiet! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8005858)

And once those wireless CD/DVD drives come out, I will be truly able to emerge from my basement.

Re:Quiet! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8005977)

And once those wireless CD/DVD drives come out, I will be truly able to emerge from my basement.

A USB or FireWire CD/DVD drive would probably work. But usually CD and DVD drives are pretty loud, so you'd have to deal with that somehow (maybe by reducing the speed).

Re:Quiet! (3, Informative)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#8005893)

Another way to do it would be under the "dumb terminal" model. The computer in front of you having very little power, and the computer that actually does the work sitting somewhere in the house. Doesn't quite work for those who need high-end video cards, but for your typical office PC, there's several solutions which allow you to have the real work be done in another room...

If you really want a silent PC, here it is... (5, Informative)

WIAKywbfatw (307557) | more than 10 years ago | (#8005801)

...in three easy steps.

1. Antec Performance One P160 case [antec-inc.com] .
2. Nexus [nexustek.nl] PSU, fans and CPU heatsink and fan.
3. Samsung SpinPoint [samsung.com] series of HDDs.

Zalman's products aren't bad but, IMHO, Nexus' are superior.

Oh, and either ditch the jet engine that masquerades as a graphics card with something quieter or replace its fan too.

Re:If you really want a silent PC, here it is... (2, Interesting)

babba (736335) | more than 10 years ago | (#8005903)

Totally agree on the Nexus count.. just put in a Nexus cpu fan and 2 case fans and the quiet, gentle hum is great. I'd also recommend good old standard Seagate for a quiet hard drive (switched from a Maxtor - good god was that loud).

Re:If you really want a silent PC, here it is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8005975)

...in three easy steps

1. Get utility knife.
2. Locate power cord.
3. Slice power cord.

Tinnitus information from ATA (4, Informative)

Chatmag (646500) | more than 10 years ago | (#8005808)

The American Tinnitus Association [ata.org] has a wealth of information regarding hearing and tinnitus. It's well worth your hearing to do whatever you can to prevent hearing loss or damage.

I've suffered with tinnitus for years, and have changed fans several times looking for something quieter. It's amazing the amount of noise the average fan produces, and it would be well worth it to me to quieten down the office even more.

Of course, all those years going to rock concerts at the Grande in Detroit probably didn't help either.

At work. (1)

miffo.swe (547642) | more than 10 years ago | (#8005827)

At work i have a linux terminal server for the students and i use it myself. The Fujitsu Futro i use as a terminal client is dead silent. The new computer lab uses diskless old intel P2 200mhz terminal clients and they are silent aswell.

Our old computer lab on the other hand would make a jetfighter green of envy. The noice is abnoxious and disturbing. Since both labs is in opposite sides of a corridor the difference is extreme.

The only really silent computer i have seen elsewhere is one from Fujitsu wich uses the ATX power supply fan to chill the CPU. Cant really remember the model but it sure is silent.

Can you hear me now? (0)

Wiser87 (742455) | more than 10 years ago | (#8005829)

Silent PC case: $1400 Headphones and CDs to drown out computer noise: $50 Cost saved: $1350 Zalman's PR firm putting a price on your head: Priceless

You Live in The Matrix ! (0)

ertpihreth (737159) | more than 10 years ago | (#8005830)

NOISE-IS-ENERGY!

- - - -

MATRIX THEORY ! [slashdot.org]

i have submitted this as a story. WE will see how DENSE the editors are. LET THE ENERGY FLOW!

A cheaper solution (5, Interesting)

sokk (691010) | more than 10 years ago | (#8005833)

I have a totally silent workstation.

I've got a empty room besides mine, and some months ago I got the idea of putting the computer in the other room (while having the monitor, keyboard, mouse etc in my room). So I drilled a hole in the wall, and bought extension cables for the monitor, keyboard and usb. On my end I've put a USB-hub, so my extension cable give me four usb inputs (nice if you've got memory card readers, joysticks etc). I've been thinking about buying an USB2 CD-writer, but since I already own a cd-writer it seemed like a better idea to somehow get my cd-writer inside my room. I managed to get an IDE-cable through the wall, and I now only have to reach a little to use the cdrom drive. I've also put an own power switch on my side (extended), so that I don't have to leave the room to restart my computer.

I tried putting the computer back, just to check the difference. It's huge!

Because I have my workstation in the same room as I sleep, I can set some downloads for the night (eg. Linux ISOs) -- and sleep :).

Cost: ~60 bucks. (usb hub included)
Value: Great! ;)

Better investments.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8005838)

I really think I can find something better to spend that kind of money on... Though in all honesty, if a case alone could make an entire computer 100% silent - I'd probably pay the $1,400.00 for it.

Now, if they'd make something to shut my wife up - I'd pay $14,000.00 for that!

If They Wanted to Make Real Progress (0, Offtopic)

Jarwulf (530523) | more than 10 years ago | (#8005841)

Chip Companies..I'm not going to name names but companies like Intel should stop ramming clockspeeds up to insane numbers just for more $$. I've noticed a trend of clockspeeds continuing to rise at ever faster rates while real world performance increases only hold steady or decline with time. All this is doing is just increasing heat and decreasing reliability for MONEY...

Re:If They Wanted to Make Real Progress (0)

740916 (740916) | more than 10 years ago | (#8005885)

I think you want an Epia system. Epia boards can have a 500Mhz - 1Ghz processor. They are usually fanless or have a very quiet fan on them. I have an Epia-800, and after changing out the fan (it died out after a few months) I've been happy with it. It makes no discernable noise from a few feet away, and best of all, it's cheap. Everything you need is built into the board. Sure it's not a benchmark winner, but its more than enough for playing DVDs and older games like half-life and quake3. The new boards feature DDR RAM and better onboard graphics. Mini-itx.com has more info on them.

What about... (2, Interesting)

inode_buddha (576844) | more than 10 years ago | (#8005844)

Heatsinks without fans? Does anybody still do those? One box I have here pulls about 70 watts per CPU using aluminum wide-fin sinks and *no* fans. The HDD noise is greater. FWIW cost-wise I picked it up on E-bay a couple years ago for $150 USD. And no, performance does *not* suck for day-to-day desktop apps (sorry, not a gamer). Does anybody still design shiznit like that?

Solid state hard drives (5, Interesting)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 10 years ago | (#8005859)

If you want a truely silent PC, then you will need one of these flash drives. It will cost you a shit-load of money, but it's a solution non the less. Check them out here http://www.m-sys.com/

Re:Solid state hard drives (3, Informative)

Naffer (720686) | more than 10 years ago | (#8005991)

Flash drives are only rated for a certain number of cycles. The cells wear out after a certain number of times they're written to. I'd hate to have a flash drive that expensive just die on me.

I want noise! (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8005860)

I'm really not bothered by the noise of the fans, and I'm always annoyed when I *can't* hear my hard disk spinning and my ROM drives whirring - I'd think something's broken.

$1,400 is cheap.... (5, Insightful)

ezraekman (650090) | more than 10 years ago | (#8005861)

...if you're an audio engineer, video producer, or run a studio. A case like this allows you to work with instruments and other devices, while editing the sound live, with easy access to your monitor/keyboard. This is particularly useful for those who operate recording studios as a side business, out of their home or office space... or people trying to develop their own music, semi-professionally.

People who know how to do this can start up their business without spending well over $1,400 building a soundproof room. For full-blown recording studios, this is a no-brainer. They probably wouldn't think twice about spending double that to keep the sound engineer from getting distracted and/or missing sound details just because of a noisy fan.

Just Like a Concept Car (4, Insightful)

foo fighter (151863) | more than 10 years ago | (#8005877)

You know those sweet looking cars you see in auto show reports? Those one-offs designed to get people excited about the manufacturer and looking at its other models? Ever try to buy one? They're frickin' expensive. A concept of a $15,000 vehicle will set you back six figures.

That's what this case is, a concept. It's a limited run designed to get the money of early adopters, get people excited about the manufacturer and looking at its other products, and test the market viability of such a product.

It's very cool, I want one but can't afford one, have looked over their other products (well-priced nice stuff and I'll probably get one of their quiet CPU HSFs), and look forward to this case hitting the $100-$200 price range where I'll be able to afford it.

As far as Zalman is concerned with me, they have a success in a $1400 case. Crazy, huh?

Re:Just Like a Concept Car (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8005917)

Since *ONE PART* of a a concept of a $15k car costs about $20k, and by one part I mean like the little plastic air ducts, you should know it'll set you back a lot more than six figures for the concept car.

Err (1)

xX_sticky_Xx (526967) | more than 10 years ago | (#8005945)

I don't think so.

Bah (3, Interesting)

Feztaa (633745) | more than 10 years ago | (#8005878)

My noiseless case [members.shaw.ca] was about $150, thankyouverymuch.

Don't forget --- (1)

ir0b0t (727703) | more than 10 years ago | (#8005906)

watercooled systems [thinkgeek.com] . Though it makes me nervous to have fluid and electrical components sharing such a small space together, its a quiet (and affordable) alternative to trying to insulate a case that's stuffed with fans.

Buy a Dell 400SC instead for $299 (3, Informative)

linuxguy (98493) | more than 10 years ago | (#8005916)

After years of trying to build and buy quiet PCs I
finally stumbled upon a Dell 400SC. That thing is
super quiet and super cheap. I have a few of them.
You can pick one up for about $399 and most of the
time there is a $100 rebate on them that brings the
price down to $299. Free shipping too.

Oh and I do have the completely silent VIA based
mini-ITX system also that I boot over the network.
But it aint fast. I end up using my Dells most of
the time. They are not as quiet as the VIA, but
they are *very* quiet.

Here is the unofficial FAQ [aaltonen.us] with
tonnes of more information for those interested.

$1400 for peace and tranquility? (1)

SolitaryMan (538416) | more than 10 years ago | (#8005924)

...how much is your peace and quiet worth?

I'll pay this amount of money for this case, if it can suppress all noises from outside world.

It's silent. Who cares? (2, Interesting)

UPAAntilles (693635) | more than 10 years ago | (#8005925)

I like the sound of fans in my computer, it's reasurring. I know that everything is working properly. Now, when it gets a high workload, the fans speed up. If I'm not doing anything to it at the time, I'll look to what's causing it. Or, for example, if I turn it on, and the fans spin up, but nothing else does. Noise has become a diagnostic tool of sorts. Now, I've heard my share of windtunnel cases (not my computers, other peoples), but I've never owned a computer considerably louder than my P-166. I use my Dell as white noise when I sleep too. (the second quietest computer I own is my Dell XPS [dell.com] , that model has 5 fans in it, though you wouldn't know by listening to it)(don't flame me over that either, I build my own computers in most cases, but in this case it was $400 cheaper than building my own (seriously!), gotta love gotapex and Dell e-mail coupons, but I'm getting off track)

It's not worth the cost in my opinion. Especially not that $1400 monetary cost, but the loss of my fans as diagnostic tools is too much.

Pocket pains. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8005927)

"Potentially costing as much as $1400, how much is your peace and quiet worth?"

Cheaper than the divorce. I say go for it.

A Waste of Money (1)

Joel Carr (693662) | more than 10 years ago | (#8005931)

As alluded to at the end of the artical, a quite case does not mean a quite computer. In fact I have a friend who has just bought new computer whose case cost significantly less than $1,400 but yet is virtually silent. It has a single, very good fan in it. Unfortunately, one of the fans on the motherboard is very noisy, and is installed in such a way it would be near impossible to replace it.

As a result I see little value in spending such a large amount of money on a computer case when much cheaper and very quite alternatives exist. Especially considering the noise generated buy the case is likely to pale in comparison to that of other computer components.

---

have you heard the G5s? (1)

Malcontent (40834) | more than 10 years ago | (#8005932)

The powermac G5s are awfully quiet. You can barely hear them. For the price of the case you can get a nice computer.

Re:have you heard the G5s? (1)

otterpop378 (254386) | more than 10 years ago | (#8005947)

I found this comment by scanning the comments for G5. Because that's exactly what I was about to say.

Or, just go with an Antec power supply (2, Informative)

abischof (255) | more than 10 years ago | (#8005938)

Instead of spending $1400, how about assembling a case around a fanless Antec Phantom 350 [theinquirer.net] power supply?

One of the most chunky pieces of metal was the Phantom 350, a fanless 350w power supply. Yes, you heard that right, a completely fanless power supply, for those into low noise PCs, this is the one for you. It combines the legendary Antec quality with high efficiency parts, and a massive, heavy, ribbed aluminum case. The entire case acts as a heatsink, and runs utterly silently. For $169 MSRP, it looks like quite a deal.

1400? Buy a Powerbook (1, Informative)

teamhasnoi (554944) | more than 10 years ago | (#8005939)

Sure, they aren't absolutely noiseless - the fans come on when you're playing a game or running something processor intensive, but they are quiet enough to have to strain to hear.

I have a 733 Quicksilver mac at work and that can be one noisy computer at times; my PC at home takes the cake - it's loud as hell, which is unfortunate since that is my recording PC.

I'll be soon recording on my Powerbook, which is fast, beautiful and quiet.

Plus, I can take it to a pals house to lay down some tracks. I will never buy a noisy PC again.

Now a G5, with that I'll just play louder... :)

For $1400, cut hole in wall... (1)

ivi (126837) | more than 10 years ago | (#8005940)

... and keep computers on the other side of wall.

For that kind of money, I could keep ALL of my gear
in the next room & fit a noise-isolarion port
between the two rooms, no? ;-)

much cheaper (3, Funny)

flacco (324089) | more than 10 years ago | (#8005941)

i sent my noisy pc along with $999 to some guy in india named Haji, who will be doing my computer work for me for as long as i live. not only is it quiet, i have $401 left over for hookers and beer.

Money Better Spent... (2, Interesting)

teledyne (325332) | more than 10 years ago | (#8005946)

For probably the same amount as that case, you can buy yourself a Vapochill, which will undoubtedly drop the temperature to around -5 to 5 degrees F. Of course, it still has fans and hard drives and optical drives, but you could create a case for your case. Using the same methods to make ported speaker enclosures, you can create a windy path for the sound to slowly leak out. Sorta like how Bose WaveRadio's work, except using eggcrate foam in the inner paths to dissipate the noise, rather than channel it out into beautiful, beautiful noise. Cheaper, cooler, and sexier, because you made it yourself.

Or maybe I'll just get (1)

Digital Dharma (673185) | more than 10 years ago | (#8005967)

A pair of earplugs for two bucks

Something about a desk... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8005970)

In other words, we do not recommend placing the Zalman TNN 500A under a desk, or in the farthest corner of a desk butted up against the side of a desk or a wall. A better solution would be to place this unit in the middle of a desk, on top of a desk, or next to a desk in such a way that there is adequate airflow around both of the side panels, allowing for maximum heat dissipation. What's this about the desk again? Anonymous Joe

Picture of case (1)

Alcohol Fueled (603402) | more than 10 years ago | (#8005988)

You know, from the first picture [tomshardware.com] that Tom shows of the case, I wonder if its really worth 1400 bucks. I mean, come on! It may be quiet, but its fugly! :(

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