Most IT workers or computer enthusiasts tend to ‘accumulate’ computer and electronics gear over time. Over the years it is easy to end up with piles of old and outdated computer parts, components and electronics–whether it’s an old Pentium machine that your work was throwing out, RAM chips you no longer needed after your last upgrade, or an old CRT monitor that your cousin wasn’t sure what to do with. Tossing the accumulated hardware out with the next trash pickup doesn’t even enter the equation, because there’s that slight possibility you might need it someday.
I myself have one (or two, and maybe half an attic…) closet full of old stuff ranging from my old Commodore 64/1541 Floppy disk drive with Zork 5.25” floppies, to a set of four 30 pin 1 MB/70ns SIMM chips that cost $100 each as upgrades to my first 486 DX2/50 Mhz Compudyne PC back in 1989. (Yes, you read that right, $100 for 1 MB of memory.) No matter if you have it all crammed into one closet or spread all over your house, you likely have a collection of gear dating back to the days of punch cards, single button joysticks, and InvisiClues guides.
Occasionally I’ll look into my own closet and lament all the ‘wasted’ technology that resides there. I’m convinced much of the hardware still has some sparks of life left. As a result, I am always looking for a reason to revive some of it from the dead. Since they’ve already been bought and paid for, it feels almost blasphemous to the technology gods not to do something with the hardware. In some cases, it might not be worth the effort, (Windows Vista on an old Micron Transport Trek2 PII-300 laptop doesn’t end well for anyone). In others cases, you can build something fun or useful using parts that you have sitting around and are waiting for a new lease on life.
Subject: Systems | April 24, 2012 - 06:51 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: silent, SFF, Lenovo, ThinkCentre M91p
Most people who want a small form factor PC at home are those who will build it themselves, but not everyone has the time or inclination to do so. That is where systems like the Lenovo ThinkCentre M91p come in handy. Powered by a 2.7GHz Core 5-2500S, a single 4GB DIMM of DDR3-1333 and a 500GB HDD it is not overwhelming in its abilities but certainly qualifies as a low heat and low noise machine. Silent PC Review thought that this machine would be better for an office PC than an HTPC as the Intel HD3000 struggles with playback in some cases but are very glad to see the rare 2500S in a system as it is hard to purchase as a seperate item but is quite nice with a turbo speed of 3.7GHz.
"The USFF version of Lenovo's ThinkCentre M91p packs a significant punch in a small package. Utilizing an Intel "S" low power processor and a 150W external AC power adapter, it's also incredibly energy efficient."
Here are some more Systems articles from around the web:
- Dell Alienware X51 Review @ TechReviewSource
- Dell Precision T3600 Review: Dell's New Enterprise @ AnandTech
- QuietPC Nofan Icepipe A40-Z68 Silent PC @ OC3D
- ZOTAC ZBOX Nano XS AD11 Plus Mini PC Review @ HardwareHeaven
- Ars Technica system guide: Bargain Box April 2012
Subject: Graphics Cards | October 5, 2011 - 12:49 AM | Josh Walrath
Tagged: silent, Passive, HD 6770, cooling, asus, amd
Something nice was dropped off at the house today, and I thought I would share.
Passive, eh? HD 6770? Sure enough...
How long has it been since I last saw a passive midrange video card? Well, I would guess it would be in 2007 with the Gigabyte 8600 GTS Silent Pipe.
Don't worry, I have permission from the owner of that site to use this picture.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | October 3, 2011 - 12:42 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: PSU, Kingwin, Kingwin Stryker 500W, silent, fanless
Not too long ago Lee gave the PC Perspective Gold Seal to the Kingwin Stryker 500W Fanless PSU thanks to the superior power quality and five year warranty. Just in case you weren't swayed by his testing, you can double check the results over at Think Computers. They tried the same PSU with a different test machine set up and came up with the same results, a 80PLUS Platinum rated silent PSU that delivers everything you would expect. Their only negative point was the same as Lee's, the price is more than double the cost of an equivalent PSU with active cooling. You have to pay a premium for this type of PSU but it is worth it if you need it.
"Almost everyone wants the quietest yet most powerful computer possible. Most components generate noise because of the fans cooling them, or because of moving parts. Obviously, solid state drives have eliminated the necessity for moving parts for storage and liquid cooling can replace fans for most components. However, there’s still one pesky component which still generates noise: the high wattage power supply unit. Fanless PSUs have been around for a while, but they’re generally lower wattage and meant for business machines or ultra-efficient HTPCs."
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- HEC Cougar SX 550w @ Funky Kit
- In Win Glacier 900 W @ techPowerUp
- Antec High Current Pro 850W Power Supply Review @ HardwareHeaven
- Corsair Professional Series HX1050 Power Supply Unit Review @ eTeknix
- Thermaltake TR2 700w @ XSReviews
- Antec Basiq VP550P 550 W @ techPowerUp
- OCZ ZS750W @ Tweaktown
- OCZ ZS Series 750 W @ techPowerUp
- Corsair TX750M Power Supply Review @ HardwareHeaven
- NZXT HALE90 750W Power Supply Unit Review @ eTeknix
- Be Quiet! Pure Power CM L8 730 W @ techPowerUp
- Antec VP550P 550W PSU Review @ HardwareLOOK
- LEPA W500-SA 500W Power Supply Review @ Real World Labs
Subject: Cases and Cooling | May 24, 2011 - 04:17 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: HDPLEX, silent, mITX
Silent PC Review just met it's first so called 'silent' case that actually lives up to the name without needing user modification. The HDPLEX H3.SODD is an mITX case which looks like a home theatre component or a fancy rack-mount case. The inputs and outputs are hidden nicely as are the power button and slim DVD eject port. The design should be cool enough to handle a CPU of about 85W TDP, the i3-2120 SPCR used had no problems which lead them to make that estimate on the cooling power. It is a little more expensive than some cases, coming in over $200, in this case it does seem you get what you pay for.
"The new H3.SODD media case for mini-ITX from HDPLEX is a more compact version of the H10 we examined a couple of months ago. This slim-line case performances and exudes high end chic despite its modest price tag. Our sample also manages to be the very first completely silent commercial computer SPCR has encountered after nine years of continuous operation."
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- NZXT H2 Classic Review @ OCC
- SilverStone Raven RV03 Full-Tower Chassis Review @ Techgage
- AZZA Toledo 301 Case Review @ Hardware Secrets
- Cooler Master Silencio 550 Chassis Review @ HardwareHeaven
- Silverstone Fortress FT03 @ Overclock3D
- BitFenix Shinobi Case Review @ Hardware Secrets
- Corsair Obsidian Series 650D Mid Tower Case Review @ Legit Reviews
- Cooler Master Silencio @ OC3D
- Cooler Master Centurion 5 II Review @ OCC
- LanCool First Knight PC-K63 @ TweakTown
- AZZA Toledo 301 Review @ OCC
- Fractal Design Arc Midi Tower @ techPowerUp
- SilverStone Raven SST-RV03B-W EATX @ TweakTown
- NZXT H2 Silent Mid-tower Case Review @Hi Tech Legion
- Cooler Master Silencio 550 Chassis Preview @ eTeknix
- Spire CoolGate 10 cpu cooler @ Hardwareoverclock
- Prolimatech Genesis CPU Cooler Review @ Hardware Secrets
- Noctura NH-C14 Heatsink Review @ Ninjalane