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 Post subject: # MUST-READ FAQ for System Advice Forum #
PostPosted: Sun Jul 11, 2004 8:29 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2003 10:06 am
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Location: Pittsburgh, PA
This FAQ is an attempt to reduce the level of repetitive traffic in the SPCR forums. Most of these questions can be answered by looking at the recommended pages or searching the forums. Sometimes though, there are no clear answers and I hope that this FAQ will help clarify these types of questions as well.

Q: My computer is too loud, how do I make it quiet?
A: This is a question frequently asked by both Newbies and Veterans alike. In both cases, the best advice to follow is MikeC's FAQ for Newbies.

Q: Can someone recommend me a good (heatsink/powersupply/case/fan/hard drive)?
A: Yes.

Q: Is this a good (heatsink/powersupply/case/fan/hard drive) [On the recommended list]?
A: Well what do YOU think? (i.e. If we recommend it then we think it's a good product).

Q: Is this a good (heatsink/powersupply/case/fan/hard drive) [NOT on the recommended list]?
A: This is a much trickier answer. Sometimes, there's a product out that none of us have really had a chance to try out. Do a search to find out. If there are results, then READ them and find out what the deal is. Chances are, it's one of four things:
1) It's NOT good for silent computing.
2) It's alright, but some people have had some issues and/or there are better choices.
3) It's great, but since the SPCR staff hasn't had a chance to formally review it, it hasn't made the recommended lists (or it's been reviewed more recently than the last recommended update).
4) No one knows.

Since there are usually a lot of tried and true choices out there, it's best not to get hung up on any one product that we haven't covered.

Keep in mind that although the SPCR community is global, the SPCR staff is primarily North American. So if there's a product that's not really available in North America (the Be Quiet! power supplies come immediately to mind), it probably won't be reviewed any time soon.

Q: Can someone recommend a quiet or silent >500W power supply?
A: Hold your horses there. Very very few people need a power supply that can put out 500W. I have personally measured a fully loaded Dual Athlon XP 2400+ with a FireGL X1 Video card and 4 hard drives to pull less than 255W AC. On the Recommended Power Supplies pages, MikeC has painstakingly explained why bigger is not always better. On THIS forum discussion, people have listed their systems that work fine with various PSUs rated at 300W. Chances are there is at least one system that looks a lot like the one you have or are considering.

Q: Can SPCR review this (heatsink/powersupply/case/fan/hard drive)?
A: Yes. We don't generally buy samples but rely on donations from users and contributions from sponsoring retailers and companies. If you would like to see a product here on SPCR, don't write to MikeC. Write to the company and/or its distributors and ask if they would send a sample to SPCR for review. Or read what MikeC suggests.

Q: Can someone recommend me a retailer that sells silent PC parts in Canada/UK/Australia?
A: Many SPCR members are from Canada, UK, and Australia, and have posted threads on stores that sell silent PC parts in their respective countries. There are some products that are not easily available outside the United States (like Sorbothane). Unfortunately, there's little one can do about it. Your best bet is to make an offer, but be sure to do that in the proper forum.

Q: What processor should I choose, AMD or Intel?
A: There is no clear and easy answer here. The less heat that a processor produces, the easier it is to cool quietly. As of this writing, Intel makes both the hottest processor as well as the coolest processor between the two companies (Prescott and Pentium-M respectively). But AMD has an impressive range too (Athlon 64 FX and Mobile Athlon XP respectively). Check out the CPU List

Via is a company that produces x86 compatible processors that run about as cool as the Pentium-M at its best. If you primarily use your computer for Email, Web browsing and music listening, then Via should be worth at least considering.

Q: What's up with those annoying green advertising links? Is there any way to turn them off?
A: They're "IntelliTXT ads" by Vibrant Media. The short answer is that SPCR is expensive to operate and those ads help generate much needed revenue, in the same way that they do on many other tech sites. SPCR gets paid for click-throughs, so please click on IntelliTXT, Google and main banner ad links to support this site. Read the details of the IntelliTXT program.

Q: There's a question that ought to be in the FAQ. Why haven't you answered it?
A: As much as I hate to admit it, I don't know everything about silent PCs. I'll be happy to add your question to this FAQ if you can post both the question and answer to this thread.


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