As with some other recent reports concerning the trio of new consoles, we're not asserting that this decibel test is entirely accurate, as the methodology was far from scientific, but the results were interesting -- and a bit unexpected -- to say the least. While users have long since complained that the Xbox 360 kicked out an unusual amount of fan noise courtesy of the overheating problems it's been plagued with, one lucky owner of all three consoles found that Microsoft's unit actually wasn't the biggest racket-maker in the bunch, all things considered. By utilizing a standard handheld decibel meter, he measured the ambient sound output of the Wii, PS3, and Xbox 360 just after start-up, playing games sans an optical disc, and during disc playback to judge which console is noisiest overall. While results were noticeably mixed, it was concluded that the Xbox 360, on average, was actually the quietest of the bunch, and while the PS3 remained fairly calm initially, an extended period of play threw its fans (and consequently, the noise factor) into overdrive. Interestingly, Nintendo's Wii kept nearly silent during bootup, but after playing a few rounds of Wii Sports, it actually became the loudest of the three, clocking in at 70dB, or nearly 8dB higher than the nearest competitor. Granted, most folks won't notice the background whir when the 5.1s are thumpin' and folks are getting rowdy on the last lap of Excite Truck, but c'mon, this is the stuff we geeks are made to scrutinize, so be sure and hit the read link to make of it all what you will.

[Thanks, Alex]

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