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Make SPCR Even Better in 2008

A new sound measurement and recording system, and a <15dBA anechoic chamber for the SPCR lab: We aim to implement these improvements and use them in our reviews by the end of June 2008. We need your support: If you find SPCR helpful, please consider donating for our new projects.

Silent PC Review and the SPCR Forums have been free of charge for all visitors since our launch over six years ago. They say you get what you pay for, yet despite the no-cost entry, the high quality of SPCR content has been applauded by visitors, other technology web sites, and the press. One reader appreciated how we manage SPCR “with such passion and devotion” in order to keep it “so useful and rewarding to visit“.

There are substantial costs in delivering SPCR’s high quality content, however, including continuous effort to maintain and improve test equipment, facilities and methodologies.

Our latest self-improvement initiatives are twofold:

1. To upgrade our sound level meter and test microphone for even higher precision at lower sound levels, and for complete Real Time Analysis of noise. The equipment will also allow high precision analysis of digital audio products, an area of growing interest for the SPCR community. The gear has been identified, and we’re communicating with suppliers to obtain the best terms. The total cost of this new equipment will be approximately $4,000. The target mics have self-noise levels of 8-12 dBA, and the PC-based RTA package is capable of just about anything a $20,000 stand-alone B&K SLM can do, perhaps more. Our trusty B&K SLM is >30 years old and it’s not getting any younger. It needs to be replaced before it dies.

2. To build an acoustic chamber with a noise floor below 15 dBA in order to make best use of the new SLM and RTA equipment. This will be a small hemi-anechoic chamber, built as a “floating room” within the existing room that is currently used for HDD, fan and heatsink testing. The materials have been identified, the construction techniques closely studied, and we’re communicating with suppliers to obtain the best terms. The estimated cost is $6,000, which is about 1/25th the cost of a typical commercial anechoic chamber. The most important aspect of this project is greater isolation from external noise, hopefully enough isolation that acoustic measurements and recordings can be done without waiting for ideal quiet conditions. Currently our room provides 30 dBA of attenuation from outside noise; we’re aiming to at least double this. Much time can be saved, and this will help to accelerate content creation: The end result should be more top notch reviews.

We aim to implement these improvements and use them in our reviews by the end of June 2008. An article will describe the new resources and how they’re used.

But… without your help, the help of the SPCR community of…

  • quiet computing enthusiasts,
  • power users,
  • ePC builders
  • digital audio amateurs and pros, and
  • companies who benefit from SPCR,

….we cannot achieve our goal of delivering even better insights on every aspect of computer acoustics, thermals and power.

Help build an even better SPCR! If you are a member of the SPCR Forums, we’ll publicly laud your support – just US$100 will win you Lifetime Patron of SPCR status. Of course, we’ll be happy to accept your donation even if you never register for the forums.

More Great Prize in 2nd Giveaway Draw for SPCR Contributors!
May 2, 2008

Our corporate sponsors have stepped up to the plate yet again to offer more great prizes in a second giveaway draw for supporters of the Make SPCR Better in 2008 project. Each $25 contribution to SPCR in the period 1 May to 12 May will give you one entry into a draw to win a range of prizes. Anyone can enter to win from the following prizes:

  • Enermax MODU82+ 425W power supply (2 units!)
  • Enermax PRO82+ 425W power supply (2 units!)
  • Antec Solo mid-tower case
  • Antec 900 ultimate gamer case
  • Corsair VX450W 450W PSU
  • Corsair Survivor 16GB USB drive
  • Intel E7200 Core 2 Duo processor
  • Intel QX9650 Quad Core CPU, retail box — The obvious 1st prize, currently selling for over $1000!

Boxed Intel QX9650 top prize valued at >$1000.

New prizes from CoolerMaster added May 6!

May 12, 7am Pacific: We’ve reached $10,700!!! Thanks to all the participants! To celebrate this milestone, an AMD Phenom 9600 quad-core processor has just been added to the roster of great prizes to be won.

There are already 18 lucky winners. Join them in this second contest for new prizes which have a net market value of over $2200.

Congratulations to the 15 new prize winners of the second giveaway draw.

As another gesture of our appreciation, we will mail you a spiffy, laser-cut, adhesive-backed, SPCR logo tag for each US$100 contribution. (Those who have already reached this level of contribution can just email Mike and ask for one. Indicate when you made your contribution and under what email address and/or forum user name. Of course, a further contribution towards these projects would be most welcome.)

You can just go to Paypal, log into your account, and send your contribution to donate@silentpcreview.com. If you are a SPCR forum member, please indicate your forum name in the notes with the contribution.

You can also use these simple, one-button Paypal contribution links:










Alternatively, you can send a cheque made out to Silent PC Review:

Silent PC Review
361-6417 Fraser St
Vancouver, BC V5W 3A0

If you work for a company that benefits from SPCR reviews and articles, please champion to the right people in your company the idea of becoming a sponsor… or increasing your level of support for SPCR. We’ll be happy to work with your marketing/PR or corporate-giving department to ensure a win-win arrangement for all. Just contact me if you have any questions or other approaches.

Thank you very much for your support!

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2008 SPCR Upgrade Drive Meter

This is probably a bit hokey, but it gives you an idea of the progress we’re making in this project. When the dB scale is completely orange, then we’ll have met our $10,000 target.

13 May, 7:30am Pacific: Great thanks to the generous 258 people who made contributions in the past 27 days to help raise $11,100. The outpouring of support for SPCR has been stupendous. My hats off to you all. You represent less than 0.2% of unique visitors to SPCR over this period; you are the crème de la crème of the most intelligent, genteel tech community on the web!

Congratulations to the 15 new prize winners of the second giveaway draw.

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Discuss this initiative in the SPCR forums.

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