Silentium! – New All-in-One Fanless Desktop PC from Deltatronic
Since the dawn of computing, an annoying but necessary stigma attached to most desktop PCs was the continuous noise they made. Though the eventual addition of temperature-controlled fans and fluid-dynamic bearings in hard drives have drastically reduced some of this noise, there are some people out there who find that these are still just not enough.
Well, those people may worry no more, as, with the continuing push for “green computing” that started at around 2006 or so, more and more fanless, diskless computers are hitting the market. German PC maker Deltatronic has been part of the ranks for a while now, and its new entrant comes with a bonus – not only is the Silentium! AIO silent, it also takes after the so-called 'iMac' form-factor, in that all of the hardware is integrated into the monitor. Noise-challenged and space-challenged users rejoice!
Those who aren't space-challenged, though, can plug in two extra monitors to the Silentium! AIO's HDMI and DisplayPort outputs for a three-monitor workspace. The machine can surely handle such a setup well, too, despite being fanless. Through the configuration page, buyers can choose up to a quad-core Intel Core i7 processor, up to 16GB of RAM, up to two solid-state drives with 512GB of capacity each, a Blu-ray disc-writing optical drive, and either Windows 7 or Windows 8, among other things.
Non-configurable components include the 23.6” integrated display, which offers a 1920x1080-pixel resolution and LED backlighting, alongside a pair of stereo speakers, two gigabit LAN ports, 802.11n WiFi, Bluetooth 3.0, a multi-card reader and a 0.3-megapixel webcam. Deltatronic offers a two-year warranty standard, which can be upgraded to three years for a fee if the buyer chooses.
Now, admittedly, this isn't a completely silent system, in that the optical drive will make noise. That's only when you put a disc in, though. Just idling there, it will not make a sound, unlike hard drives, which are not even offered as an option on the Silentium! AIO. Still, I get the feeling that Deltatronic should allow buyers to similarly eschew the optical drive completely (by default, you get a DVD writer) – disc storage isn't as popular as it once was, what with web-streaming taking that market by storm.
With that said, how much does all of this almost-silent goodness cost? Well, the bottom-end configuration, which includes a dual-core Celeron CPU, 4GB of RAM, a single 128GB SSD, and – surprise – no operating system, costs 990 euros, not including shipping. That's a little bit over $1300 in US dollars. Ouch. Adding beefier parts to the config will only make that number go up.
Then again, there are no fans in the Silentium that will eventually wear down and stop cooling effectively, or at all. Often this can happen without the typical user noticing. As well, no constant airflow through the innards means less dust to clog and further reduce cooling effectiveness. What I'm getting at, is that perhaps for some people, the high price tag will be worth the potentially longer system life. Along with the lack of noise and the all-in-one design, of course.
Sadly, you'll have to be somewhere in Europe to order a Silentium! AIO from Deltatronic. As I said earlier, though, the fanless PC segment is still growing. I recently wrote about how HP is preparing a similar all-in-one silent PC, and, while that machine's specs are positively anaemic compared to even the cheapest Silentium! AIO model, who's to say that HP – or Dell, or Acer, or some other big name – will eventually start competing with the smaller shops like Deltatronic in this brave new world of noiseless computing?