Month: March 2009

Samsung YP-S3 digital media player

The Samsung YP-S3 is a small, slick, touch-sensitive portable audio/video media player priced at $100. SPCR’s first Short Take article.

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Sparkle GeForce GTS 250 1GB Graphics Card

The GTS 250 shares the same GPU core as the 9800 GTX+, a midrange gaming graphics card. Though the core is unchanged, the PCB has undergone some revision, perhaps to reduce power consumption. That could be one explanation for the smaller heatsink atop Sparkle’s 1GB version of the GTS 250.

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WD Caviar Green 2TB & Seagate Pipeline HD 500GB: Two Very Quiet Drives

Two drives vie for the title of Miss SPCR Quietest 3.5″ Hard Drive 2009. WD’s candidate is the first and only (so far) 2TB desktop drive, and happens to be part of their famous Green Power series. Seagate’s contestant is a 500GB Pipeline HD, marketed for media applications and spinning at an odd 5900 RPM.

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Chill Innovation CP-700M: Quiet EU Power

The brand name suggests cooling, but this Danish company specializes in power supplies, exclusively to the EU market. Some silent PC enthusiasts have said it’s very quiet, so we test the 700W modular CP-700M to find out whether it can join the ranks of SPCR-recommended PSUs.

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Cooler Master Hyper N520 dual 92mm fan cooler

Do two 92mm fans provide improvements on a tower heatsinks a smidgen smaller than the ones that use a 120mm diameter fan? This is one of the many questions we pose of a new CPU cooler from Cooler Master.

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Asus EN9400GT Silent Edition

The Asus EN9400GT Silent edition is a passively cooled PCI-E graphics card based on nVidia’s GeForce 9400 processor. If GeForce 9 was an office hierarchy, the 9400 would be its star mail boy. To differentiate itself from the other mail boys, it only has to be silent and power efficient.

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Nexus Value 430 PSU: Affordable Silence

It’s an innocuous little ATX12V power supply from silent component pioneer Nexus. This 430W model vaults to the top of the silent PSU charts at SPCR by virtue of its amazingly quiet, yeoman-like performance and its modest price tag.

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Asus Radeon HD 4870 Matrix

The Asus Radeon HD 4870 Matrix features two fans without a restrictive shroud, giving the heatsink more room to “breathe”, and providing direct airflow to the GPU and board components. By sharing the cooling work between two fans, it should be a quieter, cooler card. We pit the Asus Matrix against ATI’s reference design.

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AMD Maui: Ultimate HTPC Integration

It’s an island, but Maui is also AMD’s codename for a motherboard and dedicated 5-ch hifi audio amp card designed to take HTPC integration a step farther into broad acceptance. We take a close look at a Maui sample system, and the audio core that is its unique selling proposition.

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790GX Showdown: Gigabyte vs. MSI

The Gigabyte GA-MA790GP-DS4H and MSI DKA790GX Platinum motherboards are based around the same AMD 790GX and SB750 chipsets and sport similar features. Which board will prevail in this head-to-head contest?

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