Depending on your technical prowess, configuring and building a PC can take as little as a few hours or as much as weeks of angst and hair-pulling as you try to decide what's best. Our Buyer's Guides are meant to help with choosing the components, but there are still quite a few people who prefer to get a built-to-order system that runs out of box. All of the large OEMs provide such systems, but their quality, features, customization, etc. are often more limited. PC-Club has sent us a complete system for review that offers many unique features, and so we've put it through the paces.

In terms of direct competitors, the best market for the Silencer is probably the Small Form Factor arena. The case is taller and deeper than most SFF designs, but it's also flatter and offers more in the way of expansion. More importantly, however, is that noise levels are a primary consideration. The case is actually a micro-ATX form factor, so at the very least, it will take up less space than your typical mid-tower chassis. One of the advantages for end users is that the components are all off-the-shelf parts, so upgrading or replacing components shouldn't pose a problem. Then again, you don't usually buy a pre-built system if you're really concerned about upgrading and tweaking the internals.

Given the similar target audience, we're going to run the Silencer system through the same review process that we use in evaluating SFF cases. We'll even provide some benchmarks with the included hardware as well as with the SFF platform hardware, just to see how it compares. Suffice it to say, if you're looking for something out of the norm, the Silencer is an interesting product that addresses a growing desire of computer owners. What audience does it target? The name should give you a clue.

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  • WooDaddy - Monday, March 28, 2005 - link

    Geez, Jarod... You sound like you absolutely hated the system. I think there was a little bias there... Most people who buy a full-blown system aren't as picky. I do agree with the LCD alarm issue. I had the same athenatech case and it would drive me nutz especially with the fact that sometimes my CPU fan would shutdown and the temperature alarm would go off.

    Also, I agree with #10 about the build cost. $100 is nothing to guarantee you have a working system. Also, the tax issue is moot as you'll have to pay shipping charges separately since those component prices listed aren't all at the same vendor.

    I think you're doing a diservice to those who want a cool looking yet powerful system that isn't your typical Dell, Emachines system. They would be pretty satified with this.

    Admit it. The system is good and the price is great considering it's prebuilt and tested. ADMIT IT, DAMMIT!!!
  • LoneWolf15 - Monday, March 28, 2005 - link

    Off topic, but I love my Fuji FinePix S5000 and disagree with the reviewers' assessment. Also, for web images you can set to ISO 800 (limited to 1MP resolution) if you need it, however at 200 and 400 film speeds I've had no issues with the quality of my pictures.
  • michael2k - Monday, March 28, 2005 - link

    The conclusion was a tad baffling, regarding paying taxes.

    PC Club may charge you $175 in taxes, but if you bought the items yourself you can avoid paying $166 in taxes?

    Anyway, $100 for assembling and testing is actually quite low; considering it is less than taxes, it's roughly 5% of the total cost.

    On the other hand, you CAN get quieter and cheaper systems, if you are willing to trade off things here or there; perhaps a slower processor, in exchange for a better video card, or a smaller hard drive in exchange for a quieter one, etc.
  • EPAstor - Monday, March 28, 2005 - link

    I thought I should point out an inaccuracy - although quiet systems are generally not the focus of this site, 35dB for a fast system is far from unheard of, though it does take significant effort. Another review site,, focuses primarily on silence. Following some of the techniques there, it is certainly possible to achieve 35dB levels or lower, even while using a higher-end CPU such as an Athlon 64 and improving the cooling on the GPU.
  • JarredWalton - Monday, March 28, 2005 - link

    AtaStrumf - did you like my "camera mini review"? I even purchased a few halogen lamps to see if increased light would help with the graininess. It didn't help at all. :(

    I'm working on getting a new camera, but first I need to take care of taxes. (I'm one of the "lucky" ones that will be paying the gov't rather than getting a return.)
  • AtaStrumf - Monday, March 28, 2005 - link

    Jarred you REALLY need a new digital camera because the ones in this and your previous articles are of extremely appalling quality. I can't believe that it is even possible for a camera like that to produce such low quality images.

    May I suggest you go for a Canon A510. I have one and I think it offers great quality and unbeatable features for a surprisingly low price. A520 is NOT worth the extra $$$!
  • Avalon - Monday, March 28, 2005 - link

    In Soviet Russia, AGP 8x owns you!
  • JarredWalton - Monday, March 28, 2005 - link

    #4 - Right you are! And anyone that tries to convince you that AGP 8X is substantially faster than AGP 4X should take a look at these benchmarks. AGP 8X offers more theoretical bandwidth, but it's almost never used.
  • RadeonGuy - Monday, March 28, 2005 - link

    on the second page where it lists the specs
    shouldnt the AGP be 4x not 8x since its the 855g
  • flatblastard - Monday, March 28, 2005 - link

    damn second posters... :)

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