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Review: Zalman TNN500A / Poweroid Silent PC

by Tarinder Sandhu on 20 August 2004, 00:00

Tags: Zalman (090120.KQ)

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Zalman Poweroid TNN 500A PC / Poweroid Silent PC

Have you listened to a top-end OEM machine lately?. Components become more powerful year after year, transistor counts balloon, and heat, ever the enemy, is becoming a factor that's hard to control. Responsible PC manufacturers minimise heat-related failure by installing adequate cooling and ventilation. That can amount to at least 4 case fans, a GPU fan, and maybe a couple more in the PSU. That's potentially a lot of noise that most users could do without.

I have to admit, however geekily it may sound, that I'm a noise freak. If I can't hear the birds chirping away in my back garden I'm not happy. That's precisely why I've shied away from using Delta-style fans that allow for a few extra MHz when overclocking. I'm not alone in this semi-fetish, either, as most users would put noise, of lack thereof, high up their priorities' list. So, a rampaging, ball-busting, benchmark-bashing PC is nice to have, but the associated noise isn't.

Lowering noise volumes on powerful PCs requires excellent engineering. One could go down the watercooling route or choose a traditional air-cooling setup using high-quality fans that are controlled by a rheobus. Each method takes careful thought and implementation. Wouldn't it be nice, then, if someone could do the hard work for you and deliver a near-silent system that incorporated high-performance components?.

Zalman reckons it can. With the help of Poweroid to provide the innards and performance, Zalman's launching a range of fanless PCs that appear to break the unwritten rule that powerful PCs cannot be noiseless. It's a tall order, sure, but Zalman's got a few tricks up its sleeve to make believers of us. Let's take a closer look at this intriguing product.