Manufacturer: be quiet!

Introduction and Case Exterior

It has been almost three years since we reviewed the original Silent Base 600 enclosure, and today we have the brand new Silent Base 601 from be quiet! in for review. Launching this week, the latest case from the German manufacturer combines a noise-reducing interior with a no-frills exterior. Gone are its predecessor's optical drive bays and hinged front panel door, allowing for a wide-open internal layout, and overall this is a thoroughly modern enclosure design.

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The Silent Base 601 enclosure also marks this reviewer's first experience with a be quiet! product (Lee handled the Silent Base 600 review), so I came into the this with zero expectations - and was honestly pretty surprised by the case overall. My findings (and many photos) are documented in this review, so let's get started!

Features from be quiet!:

  • Noise dampening vents provide excellent air permeability with maximum silence
  • Extra thick insulation mats of 10mm in the front, top and sides
  • Two preinstalled Pure Wings 2 140mm fans
  • 3-step fan controller caters for up to three fans
  • The PSU shroud provides a neat interior
  • Ready for radiators up to 360mm
  • Three years manufacturer’s warranty 
  • Product conception, design and quality control in Germany

The Silent Base 601 is available in both the standard version (as reviewed) or a windowed version for $10 more, and with the option of three different front accent colors - orange, black, or silver.

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Continue reading our review of the be quiet! Silent Base 601 enclosure!

Subject: Systems
Manufacturer: Azulle

Introduction, Specifications, and Design

Azulle's Inspire Barebone Mini PC offers a range of processor options and is, in all but the Intel Core i7 variant, a fanless system. The Inspire supports up to 32GB of DDR4 across two SoDIMMs, and supports both 2.5-inch SATA and M.2 storage. We had a chance to test out a Core i5-powered variant, and we'll explore both the design and performance in this review.

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As this is a barebone system, the Inspire - like Intel NUC computers - requires users to supply memory and storage, leaving only the processor to be selected when you order. Four Intel platform options are available, with Apollo Lake ($169.99), Core i3 ($269.99), Core i5 ($334.99), and Core i7 ($449.99) CPUs. Our review unit is equipped with an Intel Core i5-7200U, which is the $334.99 configuration, and Azulle sent over NVMe storage and DDR4 memory to make this a complete system.


Specifications from Azulle:

  • Processor:
    • Intel Apollo Lake J4205
    • Intel Kaby Lake i3-7100U
    • Intel Kaby Lake i5-7200U
    • Intel Kaby Lake i7-7500U
  • RAM: Up to 32 GB DDR4
  • Storage: MMC Optonal, SSD supported
    • M.2. Slot: x1
    • SATA: x1
  • GPU: Intel® HD Graphics 620
  • Wi-Fi: 2.4g/5.0g Dual-Band
  • Ethernet: 1x Gigabit
  • Bluetooth: Bluetooth 4.0
  • DisplayPort: x1 Port, 4K @ 60 FPS
  • HDMI: x1 Port, 4K @ 60 FPS
  • USB: x3 3.0 Port, x1 Type-C
  • SD Card Slot: x1
  • IR: IR Control
  • Audio Output: 3.5 mm Jack
  • BIOS: Wake On LAN/ PXE/Auto Power
  • Power Supply: 12V/3A
  • Dimensions: 4.9 in x 4.9 in x 1.9 inches

Pricing and Availability:

  • Inspire Mini PC Barebone - Intel Kaby Lake Core i5-7200U: $334.99, Amazon

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Continue reading our review of the Azulle Inspire Intel Kaby Lake fanless mini-PC!

Manufacturer: Fractal Design

Introduction and First Impressions

The Define R6 marks the sixth generation of the Define series, and Fractal Design’s flagship ATX case now sports a cleverly-designed tempered glass side panel and a redesigned interior. Does the new R6 again define the ATX mid-tower market? We’re about to find out!

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Looking at the front panel alone it would be very difficult to tell the Define R6 from its predecessors, as it still has the trademark solid front door panel, nicely finished here with aluminum. 5.25-inch drive support is down to a single bay, but it is there if you need it for an optical drive or fan controller - though the Define R6 also includes a new PWM fan hub (more on that later on).

The most obvious change to the design is the tempered glass side panel, which makes sense considering that has been the biggest industry trend of the past couple of years. Fractal Design does it a little differently than you’ll see elsewhere, however, with a pop-in design that makes screws optional. The Define cases were already very clean and simple externally, and this implementation of a glass side panel fits that aesthetic perfectly.

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Improvements such as the third-gen ModuVent top panel and additional storage and cooling capacity from the redesigned interior make this release a bigger upgrade than it might at first appear, and in this review we’ll go over the case inside and out to see how this latest Define enclosure stacks up in this ever-crowded market.

Continue reading our review of the Fractal Design Define R6 case!

Fanless, SFF or heavy weights, check out the best in quiet coolers

Subject: Cases and Cooling | September 23, 2014 - 03:45 PM |
Tagged: heatsink, air cooling, water cooling, quiet

Silent PC Review has just done a major update to their lists of the best Big, Small and Fanless coolers, both air and water.  The Big list requires a fair sized case in which to contain the cooler and consists of those coolers which operate at 20 dBA or less from 1m away with no more than 45°C rise over ambient.  The graph starts with the loudest 20dBA and grows more quiet with the measured temperature appearing at the noise level they tested, those with multiple values have adjustable speeds.  The Small list has the same setup but consists of coolers that should fit in most SFF cases and the fanless lacks noise ratings for obvious reasons.  Check them all out here.

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"Recommended Heatsinks lists SPCR-reviewed top cooling devices for CPUs, VGA and other hot computer parts, ordered by cooling performance and low noise. Major update on 16 Sept 2014."

Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:

CASES & COOLING

Noctua Announcing PC Fans With Active Noise Cancellation

Subject: General Tech | May 30, 2012 - 09:58 PM |
Tagged: quiet, pc case, noise cancellation, noctua, fans, air cooling

Enthusiast PC fan manufacturer Noctua has announced a partnership with RotoSub to produce fans with active noise cancellation technology. They two companies have already developed a prototype chassis fan that uses fan blade modulation and a series of stationary blades in addition to the moving fan blades to improve performance while keeping the noise down. The noise canceling fan prototype will be shown off at Computex 2012 in Taipei next month (booth J1312 in Exhibition Hall 1F).

In a recent press release, RotoSub and Noctua have announced a “strategic partnership” to develop and market a line of Noctua fans with a new noise cancellation technology from RotoSub. The technology in particular is called the RotoSub Acive Noice Control (R-ANC). It uses phase cancellation principles to cancel out the annoying hum (or whine in those smaller server fans that sound like jet engines) given off by the fans. The fans do this by slightly modifying how the blades spin using proprietary algorithms (hopefully they will release more information on exactly what is going on there), and by including physical features like the stationary set of fan blades behind the moving set of blades.

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The prototype Noctua NF-F12 fan that will be on display at Computex 2012.

Mårten Oretorp, RotoSub CTO stated that the company is aiming to achieve 80% more airflow and 120% greater static pressure than the Noctua NF-F12 fan by incorporating the company’s ANC technology. Noctua is licensing the RotoSub technology, which is claimed to deliver better noise-per-performance ratios than can be accomplished by physical aerodynamic improvements alone.

Further, Noctua CEO Roland Mossig stated “it has always been our goal to push the boundaries of acoustic optimisation and this partnership will allow us to reinforce our technology leadership in the field of premium grade PC cooling equipment.”

RotoSub hasn’t detailed the algorithms but they do have hints of information on their page including a video demonstration of the fan and an animation that shows the “anti-sound” being generated by the fan itself to cancel out the annoying fan noises that it produces. The video can be seen below.

It is an interesting concept, and I hope that it works. While moving to watercooling has cut down on the number of fans I’m using in my desktop, it is still not anywhere near what I would call quiet. Stay tuned for more information once the prototype is shown off at Computex 2012.

Source: Rotosub

DeepCool's new heatsink has a shallow footprint

Subject: Cases and Cooling | November 14, 2011 - 06:25 PM |
Tagged: SFF, quiet, IceEdge 400XT, Deepcool

At only 127x100x85mm and 585 grams the new Deepcool IceEdge 400XT heatsink seems rather small, as does it's 92mm fan.  It is not quite half the size of top end coolers but is certainly less than 2/3rds the size.  FrostyTech tested to see how the reduced weight and surface area impacted the effectiveness of this cooler in their latest review. The results placed it in the middle of the pack for both cooling performance and noise levels, with many other low noise heatsinks providing better cooling; however they also tend to be much larger.  If you are cooling a i5 or Llano based system with limited space then Deepcool's new heatsink is worth looking into.

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"Deepcool's IceEdge 400XT heatsink is a mid-size tower cooler that stands a modest 127mm high and weighs 585 grams. At its heart are four, 6mm diameter copper heatpipes and a 92x100mm stack of dark nickel plated aluminum fins. As with DeepCool's other heatsinks, the IceEdge 400XT ships with a novel rubber clad 92mm PWM fan. Every bit of the fan frame that makes contact with the heatsink is covered in a rubbery material so motor vibrations are greatly diminished. The 92mm DeepCool brand fan spins at 2200-900RPM and moves ~40CFM air according to the maker."

Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:

CASES & COOLING

 

Source: Frosty Tech

Thermalright's new heatsink is so cool it's macho

Subject: Cases and Cooling | July 15, 2011 - 12:42 PM |
Tagged: thermalright, quiet

Thermalright's Macho HR-02 CPU Cooler is an upgrade to the existing HR-02 heatsink which was originally designed to be used as an 860g passive cooler.  The upgrade is a bundled 140mm fan, designed for quiet operation and able to have its speed controlled to allow for even quieter operation.  Thermalright succeeded in their aims, not only does the fan vastly improve the performance of the cooler, RealWorldLabs was also impressed by how quietly it operated.

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"The very recently launched Macho HR-02 CPU Air Cooler is actually an TY-140 140mm PWM silent fan bundled with the already excellent, yet somewhat bulky standalone HR-02 passive CPU Cooler by Thermalright which also passed from our test bench almost a year ago."

Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:

CASES & COOLING