Building a quiet PC
is a difficult task, but not
impossible. One of the main reasons why watercooling has exploded in popularity the
last few years is because a good kit can give you excellent cooling abilities, while
remaining very quiet. Thanks to heatpipes, heatsink designs have
also become a bit more creative which has helped to improve cooling
capabilities beyond the average.
The processor is probably
the first component people think about when talking about heat produced by
a computer, however videocards definitely deserve some consideration. With modern
videocards like the GeForce 6600GT and its 147 million transistor cores (rivalling the
complexity of processors like the Pentium 4 Prescott core and its 125 million
transistors), videocards can run quite toasty as well.
lack of real estate around the typical AGP/PCI Express slot, manufacturers are
turning towards less orthodox forms of cooling.
For instance dual slot cooling solutions used to be the exception,
now it is the norm. A few manufacturers are even building videocards that
are intended to be used with watercooling systems right out of the box.
At the moment this is more for show, but perhaps it is a
sign of things to come if manufacturers have to deal with rising videocard heat loads.
Asus Speed Setup, Users Manual, DVI to Analog
Converter, TV/Component Out Connector, Driver CD, Manual CD,
Joint Operations: Typhoon Rising CD, Xpand Rally CD, Asus
Bonus GAMEPACK CDs, PowerDirector CD, AsusDVD CD, Media @ Show
Those of you who are looking to build a quiet
computer are not out of luck, you just have to look a bit harder for the right
parts. The Asus
EN6600GT/Silencer/HTD/256M/A offers users an excellent mix of performance from
its GeForce 6600GT core and silent operation thanks to its passive heatpipe
videocard is based on the GeForce 6600GT core and is backed by 256MB of DDR3
memory. The card sports dual output with a pair of DVI/analog connectors. There
is also a DVI to analog converter in the package for dual monitor users. If you
want to build a quiet HTPC machine, the Asus EN6600GT Silencer/HTD/256M/A also
supports component (Y, Pb, Pr) output.
The most striking feature of the
EN6600GT/Silencer/HTD/256M/A is obviously its cooling solution, but we will
discuss that in detail a bit later. Asus uses a custom PCB board layout with the
EN6600GT/Silencer, the large heatpipe cooler would not be compatible with the
One feature computer users should be
happy about is virtually all new videocards these days support component output.
With high definition TVs the way of the future, hardware manufacturers
are positioning computers as powerful home theatre multipurpose
include a handy break out box with its videocard that incorporates both
component (Y, Pb, Pr) and standard TV output (S-Video, composite) capabilities.
Component cable quality is important when it comes to output image there is a
good reason why Asus does not include any with the EN6600GT/Silencer/HTD/256M/A
Including a set of high quality cables would dramatically increase the price of
the videocard, while bundling lower quality cables could possibly make the
videocard look bad. This way users can buy the cables that they need, instead of getting
something that they might not want.
One area where Asus really excels is
its software bundle. Included are five full version games, Joint Operation:
Typhoon Rising, Xpand Rally, Chaos League, Second Sight and PowerDrome which
will no doubt keep gamers busy for quite some time. Those who want to do video
editing on their PC can thanks to Asus also including a copy of