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Completely Silent Media PC

timothy posted more than 8 years ago | from the nothing's-completely-silent dept.

Media 275

Kez writes "Zalman's first completely fanless PC case, the TNN 500 was an impressive piece of engineering, but it was very bulky. Aiming their new chassis at those looking to build multimedia PCs and who don't want noisy fans to spoil their experience, the TNN 300 is smaller than its predecessor. From the Hexus.net review: 'It's a niche product that will appeal, in no uncertain terms, to a select bunch of users that value silence above all else. If you happen to be one of them, the TNN 300 is a pretty unique product that will appeal to you.'"

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275 comments

Yeah! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13277513)

right on

firstest postest? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13277514)

Et tu Brute?

RAAARRRR! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13277515)

Ha. That ruined your silence, didn't it?

And what better way to reach them (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13277519)

than a slashvertisement?

The sound of silence (0, Troll)

Linker3000 (626634) | more than 8 years ago | (#13277520)

The amount of articles on silent PCs is getting tedious - does someone on the ed. team have shares in a relevant company or something?

Re:The sound of silence (3, Insightful)

Device666 (901563) | more than 8 years ago | (#13277580)

There is a good reason to look for high quality cooled and silent PC's, quite the same as it is for better looking cases. People who use studio's will be really glad not to bistracted by a noisy computer, and require ultimate background noise. Some small office or home office users want can now use fileservers using very noisy scsi disks arrays and don't need a special room to place the severs in. Especially for high spec workstations (not to mention high spec gaming gear) need rubust cooling. People who spend many many ours behind their machine, like the idea of a silent pc, which is optimally cooled. If the article is tedious to you, it doesn't mean it is tedious to others. There are many types of users, and these kind of articles are not only meant to a niche. To me it is not tedious at all, I wish more of these products were available and I happily see the articles coming.. "Happy computing!"

Re:The sound of silence (1)

Device666 (901563) | more than 8 years ago | (#13277636)

I forgot to mention media computers for use in your living room.. You don't want to hear so much background noise while you are watching a movie or other stuff. A powerfull, small scaled, silent, fully equipped, good looking computer is key for entertainment system in your living room. There is actual quite a market for it, wouldn't you agree? The more of these products hit the market, the cheaper they will become. If the prices become more reasonable for the average user, I can't see why people not want to buy a silent, well cooled, robust system.

Re:The sound of silence (1)

Linker3000 (626634) | more than 8 years ago | (#13277749)

Yes, I have put about 7 together from off the shelf parts from various sources - my last P4 2.8GHz cost me around £220 - it does have 2 fans but you cannot hear it in a normal living room. It's not rocket science and this case is nothing new.

Re:The sound of silence (0, Flamebait)

Device666 (901563) | more than 8 years ago | (#13277962)

Ok it isn't worth mentioning because it's not rocket science (the Discovery is clearly rocket science..). " Yes, I have put about 7 together from off the shelf parts from various sources - my last P4 2.8GHz cost me around £220 - it does have 2 fans but you cannot hear it in a normal living room", Then why would it be worth mentioning this? Do you think it will help?

Re:The sound of silence (1, Insightful)

Linker3000 (626634) | more than 8 years ago | (#13277708)

Yeah, but it's not exactly 'news' or 'stuff that matters' is it? What we have seems nothing more than a blatant promo for a product and a Web site.

/. should be aiming to provide topical, interesting, innovative and informative stuff that might otherwise escape our notice without us trawling through half a ton of other sites. As it is, after a few years of frequenting this site I am finding it less and less 'cutting edge' and more and more driven by people who want to shift tin; if someone has developed some radical new cooling technique using hitherto unused methods, that's fine, but to get an article accepted because you've launched a new case - big deal - go look at the stuff available from people like Asus and AOpen etc. etc..

You hit the nail on the head when you said "There is a good reason to look for [my italics] high quality cooled and silent PC's" - the original article seems nothing more than feed for those who cannot be ar*sed to use Google for specific product needs.

Re:The sound of silence (1)

xtracto (837672) | more than 8 years ago | (#13277758)

Yeah, but it's not exactly 'news' or 'stuff that matters' is it?

Well, it is a new product and it matters to me (and to GP... anyway I have seen worst posts in /., this one seems nice

Finnally something that matters (-1, Flamebait)

Device666 (901563) | more than 8 years ago | (#13277800)

You've made a good point. But the guy that started this thread considering the "discovery landed" was more important, didn't convice me completely. He could post this news to Slashdot himself. I never use slashdot to look for common subjects like silent pc (which refer to a standard/hi-end product). But that's just me. And me is not the center of the earth, which is just fine to me. It's to easy to start wining, that's all.

Re:The sound of silence (1)

Da Fokka (94074) | more than 8 years ago | (#13277629)

The amount of articles on silent PCs is getting tedious - does someone on the ed. team have shares in a relevant company or something?

You'd almost think so... And it's even more annoying given the fact that the Discovery successfully touced down almost an hour ago. You'd think that's stuff that matters but somehow Slashdot is the only online news outlet outside the great firewall of China that missed it.

Re:The sound of silence (0, Offtopic)

Device666 (901563) | more than 8 years ago | (#13277667)

If you would have news coverage of the Discovery landing succesfully, stop wining, you good actually do something about it yourselves! Slashdot has a feature (a link) which enables you to submit news yourselves. You answer has (in my modest opinion) no relevance to this topic. You might as well could put this message as a reply on all the other topics as well.. In communities, these things doesn't work this way (at least not if you want something to be done) Communities thrive by contribution, so before you start complaining, at least contribute something! Whining is only a solution for powerless babies who cannot speak.. So why should you?

Re:The sound of silence (1)

Da Fokka (94074) | more than 8 years ago | (#13277779)

Why do you assume I have never contributed? I have submitted a couple of stories, of which two were accepted. However, given the fact that the time of landing was known beforehand and given the fact that most slashdot readers are interested in the topic I believe it's safe to assume that a submission already was underway.

But even if there was no submission at all, I'd say that the event was important enough to warrant an article entirely by the editors themselves *shudders*.

Frankly I don't think I was whining, I was just uttering criticism and criticism is something no community can thrive without.

Re:The sound of silence (1)

Device666 (901563) | more than 8 years ago | (#13277901)

Frankly I don't think I was whining, I was just uttering criticism and criticism is something no community can thrive without. I consider it whining because the discovery has nothing to do with the subject and I cannot see the contribution of you point at all.. Why do you assume I have never contributed If you could just find the word "never", than you would finally made your point, wouldn't you? But even if there was no submission at all, I'd say that the event was important enough to warrant an article entirely by the editors themselves *shudders* If you believe you could do a better job in moderating.. then why not become one?

Re:The sound of silence (1, Interesting)

clausiam (609879) | more than 8 years ago | (#13277769)

You'd almost think so... And it's even more annoying given the fact that the Discovery successfully touced down almost an hour ago. You'd think that's stuff that matters but somehow Slashdot is the only online news outlet outside the great firewall of China that missed it.

On the contrary IMHO. What has been getting tedious is that /. has lately become a mirror of major online news sites (CNN etc). If all the other news outlets carried the story of Discovery why on Earth (pun intended) should /. carry it too?

/. is (was?) "News for Nerds, Stuff that Matters", not "News for Everyone, Stuff that Just Happened".

Let's keep the tech-related news that don't get mainstream coverage here on /. but let the major outlets handle the news of the moment.

Re:The sound of silence (3, Informative)

OwnedByTwoCats (124103) | more than 8 years ago | (#13277790)

Fanless PCs. Hmmm....

Apple II, Mac, Mac 512, Mac +, Mac Cube, and the iMac (G3). None of them had fans.

Re:The sound of silence (-1, Troll)

Device666 (901563) | more than 8 years ago | (#13277837)

None of them where using very powerfull configurations or were not so succesfull due to overheating.... All them are old (which is to some users a bad thing these days).. I am a proud owner of AppleII

Re:The sound of silence (2, Informative)

shotfeel (235240) | more than 8 years ago | (#13278076)

I've been using an iMac DV, and it does just fine capturing DV and playing any kind of video file I throw at it (haven't tried HD yet though). It also hasa built-in DVD player and that nice VGA port on the back that I hook up to my TV through a VGA-S-Video convertor, and the sound goes straight to my stereo. Couple that with an FM remote, OS X, QT and VLC and I have what I consider to be a "Media PC". And no problems with overheating (though my house is air conditioned during the summer).

If I actually want to burn a DVD, I just sit down at my "main" computer and pull the captured video off the iMac (100 Mbps ethernet) and burn.

Really, unless you're encoding/transcoding video, you don't need that much computing horsepower.

Noisy PC (2, Insightful)

johnnyb (4816) | more than 8 years ago | (#13277521)

I never really noticed how much noise my PC was making until I finally turned it off!

Re:Noisy PC (1, Funny)

RockModeNick (617483) | more than 8 years ago | (#13277530)

and afteword I had to turn it right back on, because all the noises in my space I didn't hear before started driving me BATTY!

Re:Noisy PC (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13277554)

How are you posting then??????

Re:Noisy PC (1)

Erebus (13033) | more than 8 years ago | (#13277697)

I had the same experience with my wife. My ears are still ringing...

Re:Noisy PC (1)

baylanger (780885) | more than 8 years ago | (#13277815)

Seriously, my PC replaced my teddy bear, can't sleep without its noise in the background.

Re:Noisy PC (1)

Device666 (901563) | more than 8 years ago | (#13278058)

I never really noticed how much noise my PC was making until IT finally turned it off, during a crash! I think it was the heatshield, after some discovery.

Re:Noisy PC (1)

ralf1 (718128) | more than 8 years ago | (#13278108)

Turned it off? Why would one do that?

First post (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13277524)

Ever! i rulez

Bucking the trend. (2, Interesting)

mrRay720 (874710) | more than 8 years ago | (#13277527)

Newer mode = smaller number! I can't remember the last product I saw that on.

Still, silent computers really are the way forward. Who wants fans buzzing at you non-stop? The noisiest components in a PC should be the HD and the optical drive.

No... I don't mean use an IBM Deathstar and wait for the click of doom, either.

Re:Bucking the trend. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13277718)

The noisiest components in a PC should be the HD and the optical drive.

What? Not the hamster in its threadmile?

Re:Bucking the trend. (1)

timts (766509) | more than 8 years ago | (#13278000)

my dell poweredge 400sc is very quiet, the only noisy components in my dimenion 4550 and 4600 are the 6600gt and radeon 9600 pro video cards. I dont mean the box is silent, it has CPU fan and case fan, but with my fish tank bubble maker sound, my frig noise and my central AC noise, I cant hear anything from those CPU/case fans.

the problem with silent... (2, Insightful)

soop (22350) | more than 8 years ago | (#13277528)

How will I know when I walk into a room that my pc is on if I can't hear fans humming?

Re:the problem with silent... (1, Funny)

Linker3000 (626634) | more than 8 years ago | (#13277537)

Look for the blinkenlights of course!

Re:the problem with silent... (1)

khellendros1984 (792761) | more than 8 years ago | (#13277617)

Oh, that's easy. What kind of geek would you be if the machine wasn't always on?

Re:the problem with silent... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13277666)

Why would you have left your room?

Silent Media PC (5, Funny)

CPUgrind (630274) | more than 8 years ago | (#13277531)

With a silent media PC would you at least be able to use closed captioning so you know what is going on?

Re:Silent Media PC (1)

Poromenos1 (830658) | more than 8 years ago | (#13277613)



(whirrrrr)

Re:Silent Media PC (1)

dr_dank (472072) | more than 8 years ago | (#13277635)

No need for that. Just load it up with your favorite Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton movies.

Re:Silent Media PC (4, Funny)

justforaday (560408) | more than 8 years ago | (#13277677)

Mine uses Cage's 4:33 as it's startup sound.

Re:Silent Media PC (0, Offtopic)

OwnedByTwoCats (124103) | more than 8 years ago | (#13277705)

I would mod this up, but I wanna post. I like it. Much funny. I'll throw some karma to the author anyway...

Its not a computer (1)

Lipongo (704267) | more than 8 years ago | (#13277538)

Unless you can hear that high pitched whine of a black label Delta fan.

When the power goes out (5, Interesting)

ReformedExCon (897248) | more than 8 years ago | (#13277540)

Sometimes, when the lights goes out, you can really hear what it is like to be in total silence. The refrigerator stops running, the air conditioners stop running. The computer fans and drives stop spinning, and suddenly you're thrust into this silence that is eerily uncomfortable.

When the power comes on and all those once-dead appliances roar to life, it is like stepping back to reality.

I personally can't stand to be somewhere without sound. I can appreciate sound kept to a minimum, but there has to be some indication that things are running, in my opinion. So that when things do eventually expire, that it's not until days later when the CPU has melted itself into the motherboard that I find out the cooling system broke just as silently as it ran.

Re:When the power goes out (1)

kyouteki (835576) | more than 8 years ago | (#13277568)

Psh. I'm never without [wikipedia.org] computers [wikipedia.org] when the power is out. Otherwise, I'd go crazy!

Re:When the power goes out (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13277585)

Living in Florida, I get this all the time, especially when a hurricane is coming through. It just goes to show how noisy our lives have become. Is it any wonder some many people don't get good sleep and are permanently irritable?

I personally like the lack of electric crap buzzing around me, and I'm sure we'd all be somewhat saner if appliances weren't squealing and buzzing around us all of the time.

Re:When the power goes out (1)

lisaparratt (752068) | more than 8 years ago | (#13277868)

You might - without the gentle hum to drown it out, some of us would be sent completely insane by our tinnitus in no time at all.

Horse for courses, and all that.

Re:When the power goes out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13277620)

So that when things do eventually expire, that it's not until days later when the CPU has melted itself into the motherboard that I find out the cooling system broke just as silently as it ran.

It's a passive cooling system. There's nothing to break.

Re:When the power goes out (1)

leonardluen (211265) | more than 8 years ago | (#13277710)

i allow the soft musical chirps of my UPS sooth me...

Re:When the power goes out (1)

Device666 (901563) | more than 8 years ago | (#13277735)

The times before refrigerators and computers and other electronic machinery, it was not silent... And now with all the traffic noise or hifi sets at home, there's no need to feel scared by silence. You're in control. If you are afraid you're not able to monitor the cooling, because there's no sound. Well, I got good news for you: there are things like bios which triggers an alarmfunction, or programs, thermometers and other stuff. If you want to directly hear the performance of your cooler, why would you need a silent pc in the first place? There aren't so many silent pc systems. So just buy the noisiest PC you're money can buy and feel pleased that there are so many....

Re:When the power goes out (4, Insightful)

2nd Post! (213333) | more than 8 years ago | (#13277774)

That's almost the opposite of me. You don't really notice how noisy your life is until you go out and take a hike in the middle of a forest. No road noise, no freeways/expressways, no fans, no hum of lights or electronics, no buzz of compressors and no creaking of houses and water pipes.

It's like being totally comfortable, like being submerged in warm water with the lights off, and no external stressors. Only the occasional bird, the sound of the ground underfoot, and the rustle of the wind keeps you company.

After an experience like that, I am bugged by the hiss of the hard drive on my otherwise silent laptop, the sound of the freeway in the background, the buzz of fans in the kitchen. It's why I want my next computer to run fanless, and with enough ram to never spin up the harddrive.

Re:When the power goes out (1)

sammy baby (14909) | more than 8 years ago | (#13277869)

Amen, brother.

Re:When the power goes out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13278080)


I had just moved to a new house in the 'burbs, and the appliances had yet to be delivered.

When trying to go to sleep, I was kept awake with this eerie feeling as if someone was watching outside the window. I tried to go back to bed after making sure everything was locked and ok, but it didn't work. Eventually I realized that the problem was that there was no noise! No cars, sirens, horns, planes, refrigerators, or anything else. My mind was subconsciously interpreting this peaceful calm as "eerie silence".

Habituation, boiled frogs, etc. (4, Interesting)

gobbo (567674) | more than 8 years ago | (#13278082)

Habituation happens when a stimulus is so consistent that it interferes with sensitivity to our environment, so we filter that, for instance, flat-line sound out, it becomes part of the baseline condition, a new version of silence in a way.

Our audio environments are so suffused with fans and other hums that our bodies are adapted to these sounds. Without them the soundscape [uoregon.edu] feels empty and eerie. Think of it as an extension of chronic industrial disease, however. Case studies in the Sahel discovered that 70 year-olds showed no significant hearing loss, due to typically healthy blood and an extremely quiet environment.

Some of that deep discomfort people feel when they're camping away from honking traffic is also due to ideology that's sunk down into the bones over a few industrial generations. Silence [www.sfu.ca] , not just quiet but really quiet, is deathlike, an absence of life, an absence of civilization. It's dangerous.

Interesting how I can always hear these "silent" computers. It really is relative.

Silence is Golden, like my component cables (3, Interesting)

kyouteki (835576) | more than 8 years ago | (#13277543)

This is wonderful. I have an HTPC in my living room, but it is enclosed in a cheap MATX case with 3 small case fans, plus the CPU fan. Since I don't like turning it off (thus preventing me from recording TV programs), the sound of the fans is just something I've learned to live with. However, with a case like this, I could enjoy my expensive home theatre setup just that much more.

Ahh, but if you listen carefully... (3, Funny)

Zemplar (764598) | more than 8 years ago | (#13277547)

...you can hear their servers grinding to halt!

Re:Ahh, but if you listen carefully... (1)

Laglorden (87845) | more than 8 years ago | (#13277638)

It's not their site I think grinding to a halt but the servers supplying the ads. Try Adblocking hexusads*

This sites running one... (-1, Offtopic)

frogometer (906249) | more than 8 years ago | (#13277549)

See if you can /. it [overheardintheuk.com] .

Also: (4, Interesting)

imstanny (722685) | more than 8 years ago | (#13277550)

Another selling point is that the dust collection is kept to a minimum, and there's no need to worry about dust getting stuck in the most crucial areas like the fans or heat sinks.

Department of repetitive redundancy department... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13277551)

FTFS:
It's a product that will appeal to a select bunch of users that value silence above all else. If you happen to be one of them, it will appeal to you."
Yes, if happen to be one of the people to whom it will appeal, then it will appeal to you.

Silent servers... (0, Offtopic)

Tune (17738) | more than 8 years ago | (#13277565)

Hmm.

It seems the linked site has decided to demonstrate its ultra-silent page server after being slashdotted.

My attempts for a silent PC (3, Interesting)

PIPBoy3000 (619296) | more than 8 years ago | (#13277566)

My first attempt [archive.org] was to build a stylish case with large fans, quiet hard drives, and a massive heat sink for the CPU. It worked fairly well, though the CD drive was incredibly loud in comparison.

My second attempt was far more successful. The CPU is in another room, with a hole in the wall for cables. This is a far better approach as the only noise I hear is the quiet hum of the monitor.

There's one down side, of course. I have to walk through a couple doorways to put in a CD, though that's a fairly rare occurrence these days. If I was really hardcore I'd have a USB CD-ROM drive next to the monitor to solve that problem. Still, it's probably good to get me out of my chair from time to time.

Re:My attempts for a silent PC (1)

Astatine (179864) | more than 8 years ago | (#13277997)

The "put it in another room" technique is one I use too and is worth considering. A 10-metre DVI cable and a USB repeater cable are much cheaper than one of these cases :)

Department of repetitive redundancy department... (5, Funny)

shreevatsa (845645) | more than 8 years ago | (#13277569)

A not-direct quote FTFS:
It's a product that will appeal to a select bunch of users that value silence above all else. If you happen to be one of them, it will appeal to you."
Yes, if you happen to be one of the people to whom it will appeal, then it will appeal to you.

Grammar Nazi (0, Offtopic)

darkitecture (627408) | more than 8 years ago | (#13277575)


If you happen to be one of them, the TNN 300 is a pretty unique product that will appeal to you.

Sorry to be the annoying English teacher from 9th grade here but something can't be "pretty unique" or "very unique". It's either unique or it isn't. Yes, informally it can be used with an adverbial modifier but that doesn't mean it's proper English.

Re:Grammar Nazi (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13277619)

This is in consistency with the stupid Americans' slang in which something can be "so true!"

Re:Grammar Nazi (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13277700)

Right-o. Spot on. G'day for shrimp on the barbie. Bugger off, eh.

Re:Grammar Nazi (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13277671)

It's either unique or it isn't

And we all know that the Nazi's lost the war, right?

From Merriam-Webster :

3 : UNUSUAL - a very unique ball-point pen - - we were fairly unique, the sixty of us, in that there wasn't one good mixer in the bunch -- J. D. Salinger -

Re:Grammar Nazi (0, Offtopic)

Epistax (544591) | more than 8 years ago | (#13277741)

Almost, but not quite, entirely unlike unique.

Rating Nazi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13277941)

Off-topic? Clicking on parent, I see the topic to this post is one about the use of unique as a non-absolute qualifier. Now this post is an excerpt from a particularly popular book among the local crowd modified to fit the subject of varying the qualifier which is indeed absolute under correct circumstances. We've established that this post is in fact on topic, with respect to the parent. Now, whether the parent itself is off topic, funny, flamebait, etc, does not affect this post in the least. By comparing the absolute position of every posts' content to the summary, I would venture a guess that around 90% of all posts would be off topic. Try again, loyal moderator.

Re:Grammar Nazi (1)

Cat_Byte (621676) | more than 8 years ago | (#13277784)

It's either unique or it isn't.

Not true. You are unique just like everyone else. According to the logic of being unique or not, that would mean nobody is unique and therefore we are all the same.

Re:Grammar Nazi (1)

RedMage (136286) | more than 8 years ago | (#13277972)

Not true. You are unique just like everyone else. According to the logic of being unique or not, that would mean nobody is unique and therefore we are all the same.


Leaving the "logic" of this alone for a moment (can you really associate the set of all unique things to equate with a member of that set??) what the original said was "pretty unique", which under most strict english parsing would be "A good looking, aestetically pleasing, unique...", which is not what the poster intended. Try "Novel" or "Innovative".

Re:Grammar Nazi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13277938)

I also enjoyed this:
It's a niche product that will appeal, in no uncertain terms, to a select bunch of users that value silence above all else. If you happen to be one of them, the TNN 300 is a pretty unique product that will appeal to you.

Both sentences essentially say the exact same thing.

A bit overpriced? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13277579)

£1,000 for a cooling system??

How about buy an air conditioner, make a gigantic computer case, put the former in the latter, and keep both outside of your house, wiring the needed appliances right back to your room. a perfect silent solution in LESS than £1,000 !.

Re:A bit overpriced? (1)

unts (754160) | more than 8 years ago | (#13277612)

How... portable!

Re:A bit overpriced? (1)

Poromenos1 (830658) | more than 8 years ago | (#13277663)

Or just get a case with a fan and put it in the next room? I mean, if you're going to wire it anyway, why do you need the A/C? :P

Re:A bit overpriced? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13277890)

This way you can definatly say 'money well spent', and your cpu is breezingly cool.
it was a sarcastic remark anyways =I

fanless not silent (2, Insightful)

skatephat420 (803185) | more than 8 years ago | (#13277605)

Just because the computer is fanless doesn't mean it is completely silent. After all, it still has a harddrive right?
--------------
Expectations are the mother of all sorrow

Re:fanless not silent (1)

Amyhr (216957) | more than 8 years ago | (#13277693)

It needs some solid state storage http://www.anandtech.com/storage/showdoc.aspx?i=24 80 [anandtech.com] to be a good quiet PC. Then the only thing left is the CD-ROM drive, but if you rip everything from another computer and use strictly USB flash drives you could have a wonderfully quiet PC.

Re:fanless not silent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13277904)

I agree. My DVRs (TiVos, Cable DVRs, HTPCs) all have pretty silent fans, but the hard drive can be heard above all of them. It drives my wife batty when she can hear the drive.

Re:fanless not silent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13277847)

Yes. I've just replaced an ageing Quantum hard disk that was starting to get a bit noisey with a new Seagate 80Gb model that claims to have "industry-leading" acoustics. It's true, it is quiet: except that every 30s it does a burst of self-testing, which emits an annoying buzz-tick noise.

I've also managed to end up with a monitor with a fan in it! It's a Sony 18" LCD, which is about 6 years old and cost a fortune at that time. I aquired it from an office environment where no-one had even noticed that it had a fan. But at home you most certainly can.

I'm planning to make my next PC have no moving parts except the keyboard. The hardest part is obviously the "disk"; flash is expensive, and some question its lifespan.

Why?!? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13277609)

Why would you want a silent Media PC. It's supposed to be playing your music and movies! Action films just aren't the same in closed captions. I say, bring back, the noise!

Car, Audio amplifiers (2, Insightful)

dogpuppy5 (906007) | more than 8 years ago | (#13277623)

Anyone who's been to a car audio store knows what the amplifiers look like. Their entire case is one big heat sink. Plus, the use more electricity than a PC. Yet they don't need a fan.
I've been waiting for case manufacturers to turn the case into a big heat sink. If the audio folks can do it, why not the computer people?

Re:Car, Audio amplifiers (2, Informative)

edremy (36408) | more than 8 years ago | (#13277674)

You mean kind of like this [quietpcusa.com] ?

It's by the same people. I've got some Zalman fans and heatsinks in my machine and they are really nicely done.

Re:Car, Audio amplifiers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13277977)

Zallman have already done this. IIRC it was 2-3 years ago and cost around $1000. I guess it didn't catch on, can't think why ;-)

But who is going to buy one? (1, Interesting)

Alkonaut (604183) | more than 8 years ago | (#13277641)

The only time you need a monster like that for cooling your computer is if you are a gamer. Normal passively cooled chassis don't allow for the ultra-high powered graphics cards of today. The question is perhaps why a gamer (who is probably listening to deafening explosions) would need his computer to be silent?

A media computer however doesn't really need a high-power 3d card. So it doesn't need a £1000 case either. A next-gen console will be less than half the price and probably serve well as a media computer including gaming.

A totally fanless media computer, or a quite noisy gaming computer can be built for a fraction of the price.

Re:But who is going to buy one? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13277801)

The question is perhaps why a gamer (who is probably listening to deafening explosions) would need his computer to be silent?


Maybe because this gamer also uses his machine for actual work? Game mode = first hard drive (XP), work mode = second hard drive (FreeBSD).

Seriously, I used to have multiple machines, and then the wife declared this verboten after she noticed a difference in ambient room temperature. When I'm gaming, sure, I want loud thunderous kabooms. When I'm working, I want to hear very soft, faint music in the background and NOTHING ELSE while I try in vain to find that coding error. My BSD box used to sound like it was about to go into a hover. My wife wants zero difference in ambient room temperature.

In addition, after spending substantial amounts of time in data centers I notice that I have a ringing in my ears that won't go away (and have now started using earplugs). I don't need any more white noise.

Re:But who is going to buy one? (2, Interesting)

frooddude (148993) | more than 8 years ago | (#13278114)

Apparently you don't know what kinds of things people that use home-built Media PCs want to do.

http://avsforum.com/ [avsforum.com] has all the info you're looking for. And these people are putting the highest-end "gaming" hardware to use doing video transform functions on their source material before putting it out to their projector/TV

Scale, sharpen, color correction, and a whole lot more. Not to mention that once they have all this taken care of, alot of them go on to play... games on their big screen.

Alternative reviews (5, Informative)

flurdy (301431) | more than 8 years ago | (#13277657)

Here are some alternative reviews and piccies while the site is slashdoted: dutch site [tweakers.net] , uk site [pcw.co.uk] , toms hw [tomshardware.com] , japan [coneco.net] .

ok its a google search, but usefull

what? no link? (4, Informative)

dostick (69711) | more than 8 years ago | (#13277661)

There's link to shameless plug "review site" but no link to product itself. Not even in the sidebar thing on top.
Here it is. [zalman.co.kr]

Re:what? no link? (2, Informative)

hcdejong (561314) | more than 8 years ago | (#13277719)

That's a link to the TNN 500. I can't find the TNN 300 on the Zalman site yet.

Or, alternatively.... (1)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | more than 8 years ago | (#13277732)

Just drop the innards of the computer (minus the hard drive of course) in an aquarium full of oil

Here is a cheaper solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13277737)

Put noisy computer somewhere else. (In a closet) Run cord to tv. -or- put computer with no hd that boots from lan by tv and use "network" to connect to noisy tv.

Coral Cache (2, Informative)

lucas teh geek (714343) | more than 8 years ago | (#13277776)

link [nyud.net]

Weird form factor (2, Insightful)

hcdejong (561314) | more than 8 years ago | (#13277796)

For a media PC, I'd want a 44 cm or 19" wide pizza box, not a tower.
And it still looks like a PC: way too fussy and with blanked-off plastic panels, instead of a metal front plate like other A/V components [denon.com]

Overrated.. (4, Informative)

chewy_2000 (618148) | more than 8 years ago | (#13277799)

Why would you bother with that? The Hush PC [hushtechnologies.net] (no affiliation) looks much better for most silent applications, especially HTPC - it's small, (the case in the article looked huge) it looks good and it's silent. Shame it looks like it's hard to upgrade, not to mention massively expensive. And, contrary to TFA's claims, it has been around for a few years now.

Mod Parent Up! (1)

kromozone (817261) | more than 8 years ago | (#13278092)

Hush is immeasurably more sexy than that piece of junk. Then again what do you expect from this kind of article, clearly it's just advertising disguised as news.

Anandtech Post (2, Informative)

HansF (700676) | more than 8 years ago | (#13277955)

Not really a mirror, but some pics from this case are at anantech [anandtech.com] . They took them while visting Computex.
Just wanted to mention it since zalman.com and hexus.net are currently down.

Bah silent Pc overrated. (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 8 years ago | (#13278025)

If you want a silent Pc then simply do what we did in the computing industry in the 70's and 80's put the computer in a box with the air vented to a fan in another room. recording studio's do this all the time. we use dryer vent to duct the air from and away the box. using a simple booster duct vent fans in the other room.

other advantages are you can use disposable HVAC filters on the intake so the Pc is almost perfectly clean all the time.

That new? (3, Interesting)

torpedobird (895167) | more than 8 years ago | (#13278088)

I have a Cube sitting here from years ago with not a fan in it, and with a barracuda hard drive, the thing is silent.

There were hundreds of computers with one or no fans back in "the day" where megahertz was what really counted, not gigahertz. Hard drives WERE the loudest part.

Now we seem to have left all that behind in the name of going faster. My LCIII can still check mail, and I can still do graphic design on my cube.

I like my lower power bill and quieter room.

Harley PC (1)

stickytar (96286) | more than 8 years ago | (#13278089)

Quiet!? Give me a computer that sputters to life when I press the power button. A computer with a deep rumble when the hard drive is being read. Give me noise!
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