This The Quiet PC Nofan IcePipe A40-Z77 Silent PC offers a key unique feature. You’ll find no less than four clues as to what that feature is cunningly hidden within its name. See also Group test: What's the best family PC.
On booting up the Nofan IcePipe A40-Z77 Silent PC you will be met, rather unsurprisingly, by complete silence. This has been achieved not by sound-proofing the case or by the use of quiet fans, but by removing these moving parts altogether.
The processor is cooled not by a fan but by an absolutely huge passive heatsink which takes up the majority of the space within the Nofan CS-30 system case. The fanless power supply is similarly silent, and Quiet PC has even taken the radical step of forgoing a hard drive and providing only an SSD for storage. Being devoid of moving parts, this too is silent.
Even the Microsoft Wired Desktop 600 keyboard/mouse combo has been chosen partly because of its “quiet touch” keys.
Fanless operation means harmful dust isn’t drawn into the case, and Quiet PC’s thermal balancing also means the system only consumes a fraction of the power required by any of the other systems.
The only part of the PC to emit sound is the Samsung DVD re-writer, and even this has been specially selected for its relatively quiet operating noise and the ability to be made still quieter by using Samsung’s Magic Speed software to reduce its speed.
Silence isn’t the only thing the PC has going for it. It’s also fitted with a Gigabyte GA-Z77-D3H motherboard, featuring one of Intel’s latest Z77-Express chipsets.
QuietPC had intended to supply the PC with one of the latest Ivy Bridge processors, but didn’t have one available in time for us to test. However, by the time you’re reading this you should be able to buy one. As it stands, the Gigabyte board allows installation of the new chip as a drop-in replacement for the 3.3GHz Core i5-2500K included here.
With the current chip this system can’t keep up with the Chillblast Fusion Longbow, but with a score of 177 points in WorldBench 6 it’s already a great performer.
No graphics card is included, and you’ll need to be careful installing any upgrades as that enormous heatsink obscures some of the motherboard expansion slots. There is however room for a graphics card in the second PCI-Express slot.