Zalman TNN-500A Fanless PC Case Review - Some of the Problems with Existing Solutions
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As specialists in the manufacture of quiet PCs, we at Poweroid, get to play around with a wide range of components. Not all of them live up to expectations.
Hard disk enclosures: Some are badly designed and don't take into account that 7200 rpm disks generate a lot of heat. Those that have fans built in to circulate air over the hard disk are kind of self-defeating as those fans generate noise. Other hard disk solutions involve the suspension of the hard disk in a rubber sling. The simple task of turning the PC bottoms up causes the hard disk to fall out of the sling. Why turn the PC bottoms up? Because couriers do a lot worse and unless it's a PC you're building for your own use, it's got to get from manufacturer to consumer.
VGA heatsinks: These are cumbersome, are very fiddly, take ages to put together, are very heavy. Further, as the graphics card is taking the full weight of this item, it's not ideal for a PC that's going to be moved. If the PC is bouncing about in the back of a courier's van (and sometimes upside down) the stress on the graphics card will tear it out of the AGP socket.
Acoustic lining/barrier mass with foam: Very nice products when you can line the complete inside of the PC. It's almost impossible to achieve this in real life. When you stick the lining on the side panels you've got to leave a 1-2" border for where the side panel slots into the main body of the PC. Then there are nooks and crannies that can't be lined for a variety of reasons and the rear of the front panel is almost impossible to access on some cases. The most effective of the acoustic lining products are, as you would expect, the thicker ones but when you use the best ones you'll line your side panels and find that they don't fit onto your PC anymore. However, for cost vs effectiveness the acoustic lining is difficult to beat. More images
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