QuietPC Nofan Icepipe A40-Z68 Silent PC Review
Once upon a time a home computer was so lacking in power that it was quiet, then they became so powerful that we thought nothing of a couple of Delta's in an attempt to rein in the heat generated by biblical performance. Nowadays, as cooling manufacturers have overcome the hurdles that extreme speed provides, we're expecting the best of both these worlds. We want huge performance, but we don't want to feel like we're sat next to a 747. Enter QuietPC with the entirely passive Nofan system. And they all lived happily ever after.
QuietPC have been around for a long while now, seeking out the finest products on the market that can lessen the noise generated by our towers and have a huge range from quieter case fans all the way to vibration absorbing materials and everything in between.
So with so much expertise it made perfect sense for them to be the providers of a system that has absolutely no noise generated at all thanks to entirely passive cooling and an SSD.
To some degree you have to compromise if you're going for a totally passive system, but QuietPC have actually given us a serious bit of kit here, at least with the majority of the parts. We have the OC3D award winning Nofan IcePipe cooler, our favourite CPU (the i5-2500K), an excellent Gigabyte motherboard and a Zalman 120GB SSD. Indeed the only 'lesser' component is the HD7750, but with graphics cards you would be foolish to expect a high-end card with a passive cooler (unless you had a spare room to put the heatsink in).
|Machine name||Nofan IcePipe A40-Z68 Silent PC|
|Compatible Operating Systems||Windows 7 / Ubuntu Linux|
|Power supply||Nofan 400W Fanless PSU|
|Graphics||Intel HD 3000 850-1350 MHz|
|Graphics ports||DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort and VGA (max any 2 ports simultaneously)|
|Max resolution DVI & HDMI / DisplayPort||1920 x 1200 / 2560 x 1600|
|SATA 6Gb / 3Gb / eSATA 3Gb ports||4 internal / 3 internal / 1 rear panel|
|SATA RAID Support||RAID 0, 1, 5 and 10|
|LAN||10/100/1000 Mbit Ethernet|
|USB ports (front/rear)||2/4 USB2, 0/2 USB3|
|Audio||HD 2/4/5.1/7.1-channel with S/PDIF and 6 x audio jacks|
|Other rear ports||1 x FireWire IEEE 1394a (400 Mbps), 1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse port|
|Available drive bays||1 x 3½ inch, 2 x 5¼ inch *|
|Accessible PCI Express x8 / x1 slots||1 / 2|
|Accessible PCI slots||1 **|
|PC dimensions (W x D x H)||172 x 415 x 380 mm|
|Maximum PCI card length (PCB only)||255 mm|
|Clean Build™ promise||OS+updates, drivers and MS Security Essentials only|
|Recovery method||Windows installation and drivers DVDs supplied|
|Warranty type||Collect and return, open-case policy|
This is the particular specification of our review system. QuietPC provide a wealth of customisation options though so you can really tailor the system to your needs, from a 2.6GHz Dual-Core Pentium G620 with the Intel HD3000 graphics built in to the Z68, all the way up to a i7-2700K and a HD7750. So we're looking very much at the middle of the range one today.
Being from the fine folks at QuietPC it has a 2 year, collect and return, open case warranty. So you can certainly buy with confidence.
Let's take a look shall we.