Scythe Silent Box
Written by Michael Larabel in Peripherals on 17 March 2005. Page 3 of 3. Add A Comment

Performance:

When we heard news of the Scythe Silent Box SBX-1000 entering our labs, we knew just the testbed to use. Our MountainMods U2-UFO chassis has four 120mm intakes, two of which are occupied with fans, along with one 120mm and four 80mm exhaust fans, all of which are occupied with high performance fans. Three of these 80mm fans are focused specifically on the internal 3.5" HDD bay. Another feature separating the U2-UFO from traditional ATX cases is the location of the HDD bay. With the U2-UFO all of the drives are located directly behind the motherboard tray, which separates the heat from the RAM, CPU, and video card away from the hard drives. The testbed specifications consisted of the following:

Hardware Components
Processor: AMD Athlon XP 2000+ (1.67GHz) @ 2.08GHz
Motherboard: Abit NF7-S2
Memory: 512MB Corsair TwinX1024-4400C25PT
Graphics Card: Power Color ATI RADEON 9250
Hard Drives: Western Digital 40GB IDE 7200RPM 8MB Cache
Cooling: 3 x 120mm fans & 4 x 80mm fans
Case: MountainMods U2-UFO
Power Supply: Antec TruePower 380W
Software Components
Operating System: FedoraCore3
Linux Kernel: 2.6.10-1.770

Before the Scythe Silent Box SBX-1000 encapsulated the drive, we attached a thermal probe off an Enermax UC-A8FATR4 thermal monitor/fan controller to the Western Digital 40GB hard drive. The thermal sensor was attached to the top portion of the drive. Although it can be fairly difficult to obtain accurate temperature readings of the hard drive, we gathered temperature readings after the system had booted up and we entered the command hdparm -t /dev/hda and performed this operation four times. After the initial drive temperature was gathered, we then installed the drive inside of the Silent Box, with the thermal sensor in the same position, and repeated the same process.

During testing, the room temperature was kept at 22°C. Our initial hard drive temperature readings was 31.7°C while the temperature when the drive inside of the Scythe Silent Box was 33.5°C. Although there isn't a huge gap in the performance difference, users using less case fans than we had used in the U2-UFO will probably find a larger difference and in favor of the Silent Box. As for the noise, we were able to clearly hear less noise when the device was enclosed in the Silent Box.

Conclusion:

At a first we were a bit skeptical of the Scythe Silent Box SBX-1000 with its gel sheets and Heatlane technology, but our doubts were soon alleviated upon hearing (or not hearing) the noise level of the hard drive spinning. We suffered, however, a marginal increase in temperature. At $55 for the device, it's a bit expensive but in the long run, it should be well worth the investment. It would also be a great addition to a Small Form Factor system.

Pros:

· Heatlane
· Passive - No fan required
· Decrease Noise
· Easy Installation

Cons:

· Cost (~ $55 USD)
· Wasn't able to outperform multiple case fans

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.


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