Desktops That Can Be Seen and Not Heard

Say goodbye to annoying fan noise. These systems manage to stuff power and speed into a pleasantly quiet package.

When it comes to getting work done, some people just cant concentrate. Perhaps youre one of them, reading this roundup as yet another diversion from duty. But maybe youre not the one with the problem. Maybe youre just distracted by your obnoxiously loud desktop computer.

Many of todays top components rely on noisy internal fans to stay cool—which means the systems that carry them are sometimes audible from several feet away.

But you dont have to let your computer drown you out. If silence is what you seek, there are several whisper-quiet systems out there that still pack plenty of speed and power.

Some are taking advantage of the latest processors on the market to keep things blissfully silent.

The Apple Mac Pro has two dual-core Xeon processors, which let it run at lightning fast speeds. But as an added bonus, the processors run at cool temperatures and require a lot less fan power.

The same is true for the Velocity Micro Vector GX Campus Edition. It swaps the Pentium D found in previous Velocity Micro systems for a cooler-running Core 2 Duo E6300 dual-core processor. As a result, the two case fans can turn slowly and keep the noise level down.

Some systems maintain a hushed atmosphere by relying on case designs that optimize airflow.

The Dell Dimension C521 is quiet thanks to its BTX-style case and slow-turning fans.

BTX (Balanced Technology Extended) is a motherboard design that provides sufficient airflow over the processor to keep things running cool.

In similar fashion, the Overdrive Core2.X-Fires case is designed to channel air from the front to the back and has perforated metal side, front, and top panels.

But another advantage to the whisper-quiet Core2.X-Fire is its fans. Overdrive includes slow-turning fans as well as Zalman fans, which run cool and prevent that irritating drone.

If youre starting to have nightmares about whirring fans, dont despair. These desktops will let you get your work done in peace and quiet.

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