New SPCR design & management

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New SPCR design & management

Post by Admin » Mon Apr 06, 2020 10:49 am

Hey everyone -

My name is Eric Carrell, and I've recently acquired SPCR from Mike Chin. I'm super happy about taking the reins of this site/blog/forum into the future. :)

I started with a redesign; I think the old design ran its course and it needed some freshening up. I hope you guys like it; there are some small image issues that need to be fixed, but for the most part, everything has been migrated over to the new CMS/redesign.

In terms of content going forward - I plan on keeping as much of the content as makes sense for the website. I don't think it makes too much sense keeping posts on pc components from 2004, for example, because that technology is well outdated. However, if it makes any sense at all to keep a piece of content, I will. I also plan on expanding content quite a bit in the next month or two. I have ~15 new articles written out in long-form from our content team, and it's quite good + the technology is much more relevant than what is on the site.

I'd love to connect with moderators who would like to help keep the forum alive. I think as technology progressed, the need for a site specifically built for quieter PC's was lost, but I want to expand the interests of the site for people are not only interested in silent PCs but also interested in: state of the art PC gaming rigs, PC builds, cooling systems, etc. So if any moderators would like to connect or have an idea on how to keep the forums alive, please contact me: [email protected]

Appreciate the attention!

- Eric

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Re: New SPCR design & management

Post by Wild Penguin » Wed Apr 08, 2020 2:24 am

Hi Eric,

It is partially true what you say, as indeed, something like 10+ years ago, many components were noisy. Quietness was something which was sometimes not considered at all, or sacrificed at the cost of more noise. Perhaps most manufacturers were still thinking they are mainly building for gamers in their teens and 20s, or older single men living in their man-caves. However, manufacturers noticed that offices need to be quiet, some gamers care about their computers aesthetic and noise, and in general, the typical stereotype of a gamer from 90s does not cover all home PC users.

As for offices, in the 2000s PCs laying around everywhere seemed like something put together by manufacturers to satisfy the needs of an office, but not something someone would actually wants to use or be next to for a prolonged period of time. At some point manufacturers noticed offices need to be quiet and ergonomic - and generally something where people can work for prolonged time, and the PC being an essential tool. The typical small form factor PC used for office application needs is really quiet these days (at least compared to what they used to be 15-20 years ago!).

Hence overall, PCs are not as loud as they used to be, and for nearly any component out there are also quiet alternatives (at the same performance).

Also, there has not been any new content on the site for the last few years. I guess that tells about the need for the kind of articles written previously diminishing, MikeC having lost interest (or lack of time), or both (I don't know MikeC so I can only speculate here, not saying anything on his behalf).

This means this site needs to change. However, were you to take that route you say above, this site would become just another generic PC site (and that way you will loose all value of the legacy of the old site). I would suggest maybe keeping the focus on other stuff at least loosely related to (and including!) quiet PCs - such as aesthetics and ergonomics of PCs. I believe these could be something which might save what is remaining of the old site users, but still expanding to other users, too, and not wasting the value of the old site.

Also, it would be nice to have the old content in an archive somewhere (perhaps sectioned away from new content, so the site won't feel too cluttered up). Although some of it wont be relevant anymore at all, many principles still apply. For example, fans never get obsolete (or the principles on, how you make a less intrusive sounding one). You could link to the most important "old" articles from the new site and new content.

[EDIT:] TYPOs and grammatical fixes
Last edited by Wild Penguin on Fri Apr 10, 2020 1:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: New SPCR design & management

Post by SometimesWarrior » Wed Apr 08, 2020 8:51 pm

Hi Eric, thanks for dropping by. I hope you and your family are doing well in these uncertain times.

I am sad that Mike Chin sold the domain to a link aggregator without first asking the handful of forum regulars to make an offer. And also sad that Mike either no longer felt enough pride in his past work, or was in such need for cash, that he was willing to pawn off his legacy this way.

On the other hand, SPCR was still maintained long after it lost relevance, and left running for years after it lost its writers. Few tech sites can claim that, so I guess I'm being terribly unfair to Mike. Really, I should thank him for not doing this sooner. And scold myself for not reaching out to Mike while the site could have been preserved.

Much of the site content is protected by the Wayback Machine, but many images in the archive are broken, and their original image locations have been flushed away by the redesign. The article URLs redirect to their new, more SEO friendly locations, but the articles' images now come from other random articles ("small image issues that need to be fixed"?) and are useless.

Thanks Eric for not silently (ha!) removing the forums without warning. I'll take this opportunity to review some of the posts I've made here over the last 17 years.

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Re: New SPCR design & management

Post by Admin » Thu Apr 09, 2020 8:00 am

Thanks for the notes & thoughts, guys. I really do appreciate it.

As I take the content strategy forward, I plan to preserve as much of the content and identity of the site as possible. I can tell you guys are a passionate bunch, and I can appreciate that.

I can't speak to Mike's side of the deal, but I can tell you that he wasn't strapped for cash and willing to pawn the site off on anyone. I approached him via cold email and we were able to make a deal we both felt good about. PC builds/PC gaming is a very big part of my life - so this is a passion project. I really encourage you guys to keep this forum space your own and keep these forums as closely tied to the legacy of SPCR in the era of Mike C as possible. :)

The forums aren't going anywhere :)

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Re: New SPCR design & management

Post by khaakon » Tue Apr 14, 2020 12:03 pm

SPCR was my favourite computer site for years when silencing really mattered. It meant a lot to me as I loved to build and tinker with computers. After the golden years, I was really sad to see the diminishing trickle of articles and tests run into a full stop a couple of years back now.

I had high respect for most of the authors and a good many of the forum members. Mike Chin was the reference regarding acoustics, and even though I miss his gospel very much --- I think maybe he's just an old (sorry, meant in the best way..) hi-fi freak with an education and a tech/computer interest/need, and most certainly a human being, and not everyone can be asked to run a website full throttle for a decade or more.

What I would like to see, and I think will make (or more like keep) SPCR interesting, is to focus on the unique profile of acoustics/silencing for computers and tech, gear and technologies. But of course some diversity is fine too, just please don't make it into a whole other thing (too much design), even if that’s interesting too. Essential here would be the acoustics measuring chamber, and I'm not sure but I think this might be a tall order?

If I remember correctly Mike stated it wasn't easy to do measurements, even his chamber would benefit from working at night when general activity was low. But still, quality data will mean quality reporting, so how will the 'lab status' be under the new ownership?

I will also say I loved the metrics from some of the later tests; Performance vs. noise scale - that will be useful. With idle /(gaming) /full graphs, unfortunately it will take some time to get comparative data since old SPCR data won't be very useful now methinks. But they had a well developed test regime and data representation, and while it can surely be improved upon, I think it would mean a lot to stick to some of the ideas and the acquired knowledge there is from the old website.

In my view, noise is still not out as an ergonomics factor in computer use. Its just the goalposts that have moved. I think potentially many will still be interested in improvements all the way to completely silent pc's. For high FPS gaming on 4k you need a monster machine and cooling is imperative, so noise is a big factor and PC gaming won't go away anytime the next decades.

Lovely to see someone is taking on the challenge to get SPCR back up and running, keep up the good work!

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Re: New SPCR design & management

Post by deadlockedworld » Wed Apr 15, 2020 6:53 pm

I think you should find a way to feature this note on the front page. I came here by accident and I took me a little while to find the post. Also, the personal touch would help people reengage.

I first read SPCR when I was new, and couldn't imagine caring more about noise than performance -- I just read it to understand cooler value. Today I have a wife and cost is waaay down the list of priorities. I think the community focused on quality and performance per decibel is very much alive.

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Re: New SPCR design & management

Post by theyangster » Mon Apr 20, 2020 11:08 pm

I was needless to say shocked when I decided to check SPCR today and see the redesign (which I enjoy). I also agree some sort of announcement on the main page would be good, but you're probably planning something.

At lot was already said above, but I truly want to emphasize that SPCR helped sparked a joy in computing for me that has carried on to an IT career for me. My very outdated signature reflects one of the very first builds I did! I tested and I learned many things from the forums here and still found myself occasionally checking this site to see if anything new happened. And now it appears it has!

As far as potential topics/areas to cover. I think covering homelab or server components would be a potential area as that is a niche that still has challenges in power/cooling.

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Re: New SPCR design & management

Post by golden silence » Sat Apr 25, 2020 6:34 am

I'm glad to see that there is someone who cares about the site still and the content that was produced. I hope that the site eventually returns to something like its former glory.

So far, I like the format of the new articles that have been posted. It's good to get a summary of what the authors considered important and how the parts were judged before seeing the winners.

I wanted to add two bits to the conversation though:
1) I'm seeing more and more accessories and PC adjacent components use fans now. Docking stations, routers, motherboards, phone chargers, etc all seem to be adding their own small and noisy fans. I could reasonably see expanding content to include those items too.
2) If you are going to collect data then please spend some extra time thinking about how you can present the data. Bar charts comparing decibels between different components is great and all, but it could be more interesting to see noise vs performance or noise vs cost or something. Looking at the same old data in new ways can lead to new insights.
3) Don't forget about server hardware! There the focus seems to be "cooling at any cost" which puts them at about the same place desktop PC components were 20 years ago...

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Re: New SPCR design & management

Post by hikeskool » Thu Apr 30, 2020 6:46 am

Good to see things up again. Not gonna waste time with sentimental stuff. Let's just say you have big shoes to fill.

A few things:

1) This content is still relevant. A couple recent personal examples:
- I bought a 2080 Super recently (EVGA Black; 08G-P4-3081-KR). There is almost no content out there regarding its sound profile, so I did the best I could cobbling together Amazon and Newegg reviews. I regret my purchase, although it is silent when not gaming. It's impossible to cover every product in-depth, but oftentimes noise profile is totally ignored.
- I haven't seen very good coverage of X570 motherboard fan noise *at all.* I don't feel comfortable looking at these boards for that reason.

2) YouTube has taken over. I would consider an accompanying channel.

3) I don't know how you plan to monetize. SPCR has been my Amazon affiliate link for around a decade. I don't want to see a ton of obtrusive ads or "Looks like you're using an ad blocker" pop-ups. If the content is good enough, the community will whitelist.

4) 140mm fan support and advanced (at least competent) motherboard fan controls are commonplace. "Silence" is easier to attain than it used to be. So be creative.

5) It should be easy to keep the old content "tucked away" and not in everyone's face.

6) Not sure how this fits in, but Gamers Nexus is really the only source I know that regularly performs "noise to performance" comparisons. Other sources do "yeah it's not that loud" or "wow this is loud." So maybe partner with Steve and co. if you can't best their methods.

I'm glad SPCR is back. We still want the content, but we expect quality. Good luck!

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Re: New SPCR design & management

Post by Sylph-DS » Thu May 07, 2020 11:29 am

Hello Eric,

It's been a long time since I've visited these forums. But I felt this is a moment to come out of hiding and speak up.

You have big shoes to fill, this website and the articles on it used to be kind of a big deal to those who cared about quiet computing. The new articles I've seen show up in the last few weeks appear to be completely original and have taken you a fair bit of work, and they're not terrible, but I will say they lack something that sets them apart from other media outlets.

The thing that brought SPCR success in the past was depth, thoroughness and openness in review/testing methodology. If you wanted the quietest component SPCR would be the place to go because it was only place where you could get a great amount of detailed information on the noise performance of said components. Other websites just quoted marketing material, or perhaps gave it a listen and said "yeah ok that's pretty quiet". I think the reason this was such a big deal is that ultimately the pursuit of quiet computing is a pursuit of engineering. All of us who build our own quiet computing machines are amateur engineers, and Mike C wrote our textbooks, technical manuals, and datasheets. On top of that he showed us the engineering that went into creating them, which not only allowed us to assess the value in his judgements, but also helped us better understand the problems faced in our engineering domain. Reading SPCR didn't just tell us what product to buy, but it taught us about the problems it solved and how it solved them, and in the process we learned about acoustics, vibration, airflow, heat transport; the fundamentals of our field. For me at least, SPCR was not primarily a place for purchase advice or digital window shopping. Rather, it was a place of learning. And though I have now forgotten about most of the products of the past, the deeper lessons about engineering silence have stayed with me.

Your articles such as I have seen them so far do not live up to this. You do not go into such detail, you do not appear to make your own measurements, you do not give us data, and you do not tell us about how you do what you do. However, it has been a long time and I think the vast majority of the SPCR readers will have either forgotten about it, or have simply lost interest, having moved on to solving other problems than noise in PCs. So, even if you can't fill Mike's shoes, most of the people who still remember what his shoes even looked like are gone anyway, so who really cares? One way or the other you have to rebuild an audience for this website, based on *your* work, meaning it will be *your* audience. That which makes you stand out may be something completely different from what made Mike stand out. That's up to you.

Having rambled for a bit about the past, some practical remarks:
* Your website design looks fancy but is somewhat poor in functionality. Everything is large and spread out, that has an aesthetic effect but also a practical one. When I am using this site I have to scroll waaaaay too much to find what I am looking for. It feels like I should be viewing the site at 50% zoom or something. I would say, use less great big icons, more text titles, and simply less space. Previously this website was about the densest thing on the planet (design started in 1024x768 era and built out as resolutions got bigger, I suppose?), which had its own problems, but still I preferred it to the current layout. At the moment I end up using Firefox's readability plugin if I actually want to read your content, because I get tired of having to scroll every 20 words.
* I would suggest posting using your own personal account, not the admin account. You are a human being and your audience expects you to identify yourself as one. Look at any other succesful news outlet and you will see author's name above or somewhere near the article, perhaps even with a short bio. People aren't quick to pick up anything if it's coming from some anonymous entity behind a keyboard. Show yourself. You matter.

Lastly, I ask you please don't just throw away any old articles. There's a wealth of information here that simply is not available elsewhere. You might not see the value in an in-depth noise profile of some decade old graphics card, but you never know what value it might have to somebody else. Who knows in the next few years somebody might decide to write their master thesis about accoustics in consumer electronics in the 00s or something like that. So, please consider keeping them on some kind of archival page on this website in a complete and properly viewable form (that is to say with all the images in tact), or at least get them to the internet archive (contact Jason Scott if you need help).

Gosh, that became a long post. Well, good luck, Eric. I hope you find out what makes your work unique and interesting, and how to build your audience :)

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Re: New SPCR design & management

Post by tuuleveski » Sat May 23, 2020 4:03 pm

The difference in effort put in the articles between original and current ones are several orders of magnitude. <- no mention about coil whine noise <- nothing about noise again <- how are these noise measurements done? Is your environment's noise floor 38 dbA? <- article title says Hard Drive, but no actual content about hard drives, only solid state drives <- best cpu description links to a 2018 benchmark article on another site was excellent source of hard data which helped make informed decisions. The new articles are basically someone's quickly written up opinion without any evidence to back it up.

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Re: New SPCR design & management

Post by Ibskib » Sat May 23, 2020 6:43 pm

Those articles are just a wall of text, with nothing, except a headline to delineate each section. The layout needs a lot of work, it needs images and datacharts. In its current state it's actively difficult to read.
I'm also disappointed by the lack of scientific rigueur, they are basically opinion pieces more than tech articles, with little testing and data shown.
SPCR, and Mike's articles in particular has always had a bit of an engineering bend in how systematic and meticulous they were, which the new articles completely lack.
I would suggest the new owner try to read Mike's articles and learn from them, maybe hire a sound engineer to do testing.
The new content doesn't show the slightest understanding of what SPCR is all about. It reads like the same low effort, superficial stuff that pops up in Google searches from sites like TechRadar where the text more seems like placeholders to justify ads and affiliate links.
Last edited by Ibskib on Fri May 29, 2020 1:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: New SPCR design & management

Post by Trull » Wed May 27, 2020 6:59 am

Damn, that's disappointing. Can't say that I'm surprised, though.

RIP SPCR - 2002-2016. It was a great website.

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Re: New SPCR design & management

Post by dave4444 » Fri May 29, 2020 5:36 pm


I wish you the best, but as others have said, SPCR was about learning and providing rich deep content that went that extra mile to really understand engineering, design, and how the attention to detail could achieve 1+1=3.

While the niche that SPCR filled may or may not exist anymore, it was the uniqueness that made it special. The content was unlike anywhere else and if you needed to know more about silent computing it was the place to go.

As a long-time reader (but apparently I never created a forum account, or at least I couldn't find it), you have big shoes to fill. Please keep the historic content online, these days, preserving content for future readers is a rare occurrence online.

While I don't wish to be harsh, when new articles popped up in my RSS reader last month (yes people still have those!) I first thought the site had been hacked or something because it was clearly not SPCR original content.

My recommendation to you is to skip the beginner content, no one that has been to SPCR before cares about 'Best gaming monitors', or 'Best gaming PC under $400'. If I wanted something generic and mainstream like that there are plenty of other sites to get it. Find your new niche, some adjacent topic, but it needs to be unique and lacking elsewhere, and dive deep.

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Re: New SPCR design & management

Post by pablov » Tue Jun 02, 2020 1:59 pm

tuuleveski wrote:
Sat May 23, 2020 4:03 pm
The difference in effort put in the articles between original and current ones are several orders of magnitude. <- no mention about coil whine noise <- nothing about noise again <- how are these noise measurements done? Is your environment's noise floor 38 dbA? <- article title says Hard Drive, but no actual content about hard drives, only solid state drives <- best cpu description links to a 2018 benchmark article on another site was excellent source of hard data which helped make informed decisions. The new articles are basically someone's quickly written up opinion without any evidence to back it up.

I have been a fan of the site since around 2006. Lately, I used to check it every now and then, feeling a bit sad about it being almost abandoned. Seeing the new site today I was full of joy, only to be disappointed by the articles. They're terrible. In fact, I came to the forums looking for an explanation and so I found this thread.

I just registered to say that there is indeed still a need for rigorous noise testing in PC components today. While there are more quiet ones these days, there's still a lot to review when it comes to noise and efficiency in heatsinks, graphics cards or power supplies. Motherboards are unrelated to noise (for the most part) and there are dozens of sites you shouldn't try to compete with when it comes to testing them properly, so why not focus on what this site is about, leveraging its reputation and honoring its legacy? That is: "How to make the quietest possible computer."

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Re: New SPCR design & management

Post by Big Pimp Daddy » Thu Jun 04, 2020 12:12 am

This used to be the only site I would consult when upgrading or building PCs for myself or friends/family. The depth of detail in reviews, and scientific rigour in testing was unparalleled. The forums added another layer of information, with people posting detailed build logs, mini-reviews of components and weird hacks to increase airflow or reduce noise levels.

Admittedly the last few years has seen less need for this site from a purely silencing perspective, as mainstream PC components have evolved. However, there will always be a hardcore of tech/audio geeks who don't just care about LEDs and frames per second, and this site was our mecca.

I sincerely hope that this new iteration of the site finds its niche and thrives in the spirit of the original, though the current new content reminds me of the words of ol' Jud; "Sometimes dead is better".

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Re: New SPCR design & management

Post by Wild Penguin » Thu Jun 04, 2020 7:12 am

I didn't notice there were new articles until I red the replies here. But the new articles are disappointing, to say the least. I agree with other replies. Seems Eric decided to do exactly this:

[quote]However, were you to take that route you say above, this site would become just another generic PC site...[/quote]

And it is a mediocre site for PC hardware.

I will see how long the forums stay active, but seems like SPCR like we knew it, is dead. Indeed, maybe it is better that way.

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Re: New SPCR design & management

Post by Nazgul » Thu Jun 18, 2020 7:18 am

I agree with everything said above with regards to how much lower quality are the new articles. And yes, it seems that, indeed, our beloved SPCR is dead. However, I personally still use its database of articles from time to time, as I have a hobby of playing around with old hardware. And thus I would be very upset if (as it seems to be the case now), old records are mostly purged with few being converted to new design.

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Re: New SPCR design & management

Post by nagi » Fri Jun 19, 2020 3:40 am


Just another very long-time member who almost forgot about the site except for a PM I got....

So yeah, most of the old articles are historic, but also a good way to learn. Some even have value today, as while the mid/high-end cases have good anti-vibration pads, you can still see the occasional thin, bare-metal cases that benefit from relatively janky solutions.

Just a few quips as a former tech journalist:
- As Mike before, and is standard on most (reputable) multi-author pages, don't want to use "Admin", especially as the author of any blog post / article. That's a privileged account without any face. It conveys that you don't trust the content enough to link it to your nick / name.
- The new blog posts are not very deep, and linking benchmarks on another page without doing your own is, again, questionable. In some places, you go too deep (cache level differences are mostly mentioned, without specificity, where they don't really matter much for that article), but mostly too shallow.
- There are some grammatical mistakes, but that's understandable, especially for a one-man crew.
- The problem with the new design is that the text are is so thin and the font is so large and spaced out that you just wouldn't get the necessary amount of text out for any real review without making it seem way too long. This is usually solved by having a multi-page article.
- Testing environment description is a must. This also includes noise floor for dBA measurements, case and room temperature, etc.
- Graphs, graphs and graphs: these are sorely missing and would have provided a quick, efficient overview of e.g.: temperatures, speed and noise of the 1080Ti cards.
- All data within an article must be presented in the same manner and order. In other words, if stick to the very same format for each items. (e.g.: "Screen Size & Aspect Ratio" are one line with most, but 2 at the 32:9 monitor, and some lines are in different order later)
- Spacing is an issue. E.g.: h3 paragraph titles don't have enough spacing before them, and aren't sufficiently different from the paragraph text itself to be distinguishable at first glance.
- Also, there are a questionable if not downright wrong information in the articles. E.g.: UHD vs 2160p vs 4K. Those are - unless you are talking with cinema technicians or pro filmmakers where 4K means "DCI 4K" and is usually 4096x2160/4096x1716 - actually the same resolutions: 3840x2160. Also, the XG350R is 21:9 ratio, not 16:9, which is quite a big typo.

(Those are just a few issues I found without going through the articles and site in earnest, on a Friday.)

And yeah, coil whine is still a big issue. Even my mouse (Logitech Performance MX) suffers from it. Granted, in a very low noise room and neighborhood. Also, as Intel has uncoolable CPUs and AMD too has some hotheads, (and reduced thermal limits for optimal perf,) silent cooling has become an issue again. At least it's not about hanging HDDs up with rubber rope.

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Re: New SPCR design & management

Post by BillyBuerger » Tue Jun 23, 2020 8:00 am

> At least it's not about hanging HDDs up with rubber rope.

Wait, we're not still doing that? :)

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Re: New SPCR design & management

Post by grant2 » Wed Jun 24, 2020 4:33 pm

Hi Eric, best of luck.

I don't know if there's money to be made from this site, but if it's a labour of love for you, I'm thrilled you've chosen to commit at some level to SPCR.

There's a lot of criticism in this thread. I hope you'll hear the fair criticism with humility, and tune out the unfair criticism. You may want to entice vocal forums members to contribute articles.

my personal suggestion: any strategy involving low-content articles & scalping income from affiliate links seems unlikely to succeed. Simply because hundreds of other sites are doing the same thing and they beat you with experience & drowning you out of search results.

Wishing you all the best for whatever dreams you have for this site!

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Re: New SPCR design & management

Post by Finley11- » Sat Aug 15, 2020 4:53 am

Good to see things up again. Not gonna waste time with sentimental stuff. Let's just say you have big shoes to fill.

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Re: New SPCR design & management

Post by aim9x » Thu Sep 03, 2020 3:43 pm

From the "about us" page from the website you have acquired:
In our product reviews:

We tell you about how hot a component runs, what this means in terms of its need for cooling, and how it relates to noise generation and power efficiency.
We describe in detail the noise produced by each component, rank products by their noise characteristics and measure the noise — a challenging task made harder as quieter components emerge.
We make high quality audio recordings of the sound made by each component and make them available as MP3 files so that you can listen and compare for yourself, almost as if you were in our lab. (Beginning Nov 2004)
We review complete prebuilt and barebones systems for noise, power efficiency and performance.

Let's take a look at this "Best Hard Drives in 2020" article. Aside from the fact that most of the products in this article were SSD drives and not Hard Disk Drives, you seem to neglect almost everything this site has taken pride in. Not one single mention of sound profile of any of these products, let alone a "description in detail". You didn't even bother to bring up noise in your generic comparison between ssd and hdd drive types, which seems an important distinction to make for a site with silent in the name. No mention of which hard drives run hot and might fail early. No audio recordings of any kind. You did mention CrystalDiskMark tests, but you're going to need to give credit to whoever took the tests if you haven't done so yourself.

I also looked at the "Best gaming pc under $400 in 2020". Two of the systems you recommend are using FX8000 series bulldozer chips. Of those two, one has a geforce 710 gpu. Was half this article written in 2013 and just recycled into new content? Will this become one of many sites with recycled content?

I've been browsing this website probably since 2003. This was the only place I could go to see which hard drives made the most noise, while also offering methods to quiet them down, as well as giving empirical data on how those modifications affected the sound profile. This was the site I went to to see if the 7200.4 Barracuda was still top dog or if I should go check out the new Samsung Spinpoint drives. There have always been places to see what's the fastest, but this was the place to go for quality-of-life reviews. This was also the site I always went to for info regarding which system fans were worth buying, and which fan controllers were worth picking up for them (done mostly by the motherboard nowadays). I was legitimately excited when the last multi-part roundup of system fans was released. I always looked forward to new content because I knew it was a labor of love. A love of data, accuracy, transparency, and a true love of silence.

My only regret now is that it took someone buying the website out for me to finally register an account to show appreciation for the work put in by the previous staff. Thanks to this site, I used grommets to mount all my fans, suspended hard drives with mini bungee cables when they couldn't be mounted with grommets, purchased and modded an antec p182 back in 2007 with an early Seasonic 120mm PSU to have a near-silent PC. I thank the old staff for everything they've worked for. My ears thank you too.

All these new articles I've read appear almost identical to the standard SEO-centric fluff articles that you would find when you search "best hard drive" or "which video card to buy for fortnite". There's no data. There's no mention of audio quality. I really hope these are just the early submissions and content will improve. I'll check in from time to time to see if things change. I have too much love for SPCR to not check in.

As for articles to keep:
PLEASE do not get rid of any of the old fan roundups/reviews. Many of these are still relevant. Even just to keep the old testing methods available.
Please keep the old case reviews, so we can have an archive to show people what we had to deal with building pcs in the early 2000s.
I would love if you kept the old HDD reviews too, as many of us would scan this place whenever buying a hard drive to see which ones had the loudest seeks.

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Re: New SPCR design & management

Post by Navvie » Tue Sep 08, 2020 10:46 pm

Came to the site this morning after reading the ArsTechnica piece on WD hard drive RPM and sound frequency. I'm sure I read about this many many years ago on SPCR and wanted to link an old article.

New site design... interesting but no real improvement over the old one, it's just flashy, the content is harder to reach. Maybe Mike is back?

No announcement on front page, he must have said something on the forums.

Oh, Mike sold the site.

Spent a few minutes reading new articles... sorry, they are not a patch on Mike's previous, comprehensive, work and read more like a personal blog.

As previously mentioned, I've been relying on Gamers Nexus for noise comparisons although they

Does the old content still exist? The fan comparisons, the hard drive testing etc, the testing methodology. There was nothing wrong with that content, it just needed newer products adding to it.

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Re: New SPCR design & management

Post by frenchie » Tue Oct 06, 2020 11:29 am

Well, that's a bummer... It looks like SPCRas we know it is gone. I haven't logged into the forum in years, but I still use the same super quiet machines I built many years ago, with some minor tweaks. Thanks to Mike C for all the work he put into the website and the forums over those many years.

Good luck to Eric with the new direction he wants to take the site.

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Re: New SPCR design & management

Post by fastturtle » Mon Oct 19, 2020 2:38 pm

First off, it's been a long time since I visted SPCR but the news that Mike has retired is not a surprise to me as there had been an announcment before hand.

Now as to older content, it doesn't take much space for the articles to be kept though I agree that anything more then 10 years old should be archived. As to why I susgest 10 years as the cut off. Some of us are using hardware that's from that long ago and sometimes the information is still relevant. Yes decade old hardware is still quite usable and I have customers using systems I built that long ago. So archive the older data, don't worry about the Multimedia Files unless they're pertinent such as "What is Coil Whine?" Another type of file that can take up lots of room involves those audio files of the noise. They may still be useful but as I've never personally bothered to download any of them while reading the articles, I can understand and somewhat agree with removal.

As to the forums and posts, unless they're using more then 1TB of space, don't delete any of them as the discussions and such are still valid so long as they don't have multimedia files attached.

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Re: New SPCR design & management

Post by Kralnor » Wed Dec 23, 2020 9:22 am

I just realized that I haven't visited this site for over half a year as I only just discovered the new design.

I'll be blunt; I'm not impressed. While the previous design did look dated, it was very functional and easy to navigate. The new design is anything but that. Obnoxious animations, huge icons requiring a lot of effort scrolling, lack of formatting making old articles much harder to read, single-page articles that lack pagination. I have to say I felt a bit depressed when I tried navigating the new site.

As for the content of the new articles, I won't comment any further as other posters already pointed out the lack of quality.

I apologize for being so critical, but the work of Mike Chin was exceptional and I admired the incredible rigor that he put into his articles. I made a small donation many years ago to show at least a little appreciation. Now I regret not donating more.

While the demand for careful study of silent PC components may not be what it has been in the past due to hugely increased energy efficiency and focus on acoustics, I very much believe there is still a niche for a site like SPCR, perhaps with a broader focus on aesthetics and ergonomics, as some users have already suggested.

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Re: New SPCR design & management

Post by Elrast » Sun Feb 14, 2021 10:17 pm

Hi Eric

I was wondering if you could share your vision of where SPCR is heading. Speaking personally, I used to come here to look for measured data, stuff that can't be found in typical product reviews. That I think was a core element of what differentiated SPCR from other websites. There literally was no other place to find out what is the expected noise level X meters away from Y component in Z environment.

Sure, sometimes X, Y and Z don't quite match up to what I'm looking for, but it usually gives a pretty good idea, and Mike sometimes even filled those gaps in with educated guesses.

Given the progress of silent components (esp in non-gaming rigs), maybe that is no longer necessary. I'm typing this up on a converted chromebook - no fans, no HDD. The noise floor is dominated by the whine in the external monitor's internal power circuit. All stock components except for the firmware in the chromebook :)

Perhaps the future focus is on heat generation and power efficiency? It could lead into green angles such as using computers for co-generation in home environments, etc. I suspect lots of people who were here weren't just interested in minimising noise - perhaps it was about creating a comfortable environment when you're at the PC, doing whatever it is you're doing. Noise just happened to be an obvious thing and Mike just happened to have the answers.

EDIT: heat generation and power efficiency seems like an oxymoron. I'll just acknowledge previous posts and say the theme is broader horizons.

The S in the SPCR may be largely mined out (maybe with the exception of silencing gaming rigs which is an ever moving target), but there are other ideas out there that can still pull eyeballs.

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Re: New SPCR design & management

Post by tuuleveski » Mon Feb 21, 2022 9:07 am

Gamers Nexus has been the best alternative to SPCR thus far and it seems like they got MikeC to consult for them about proper silence testing environment and tools. GN Steve talks about it here:

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Re: New SPCR design & management

Post by Japanese Capacitor » Sat Feb 26, 2022 11:58 am

We will see, but it looks like Gamers Nexus finally will start do do something seriously. For now everything they do in terms of testing is at best average, but I have to say that I can't wait for their fan testing.

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