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Searching for a new "silent" case

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
So, I'm in the market for a new case, and this time I think I want to go towards to more silent oriented cases. Essentially, a case with sound dampening foam. lol. Here's a few that have caught my ear so far:

CoolerMaster Silencio 550
Antec solo II
Fractal Design R3
NZXT H2 (I've read somewhere that this case is no where near the R3 and cost much more..)
Corsair 550d

Thoughts on each case:

Silencio 550 - Really like the case design, but I heard it has poor airflow, but I'm assuming I can fix that by adding a good 140mm fan in the front (noctua or something else of high quality) and removing the top HDD cage.

Antec solo - Really like the layout of this case, but instead of using sound dampening foam, it uses a polycarbonate plastic or something? Not sure how great that is at reducing noise.

Fractal design R3 - I've heard nothing but good things about this case.

NZXT H2 - Probably won't get this case. lol. I don't even know why I listed it.

Corsair 550d - Not much information/reviews on this case since it's relativity new.


And I'm not going to be doing any overclocking with this case. Just play a few games here and there, that's all. Silence is the most important to me.

Also, a 2500k with a coolermaster hyper 212 and a gtx 460 will be going into this case.

Any other suggestions are welcomed as well!
post #2 of 7
Never tried any of those cases but I've read reviews on a couple.

Be wary that about getting the Antec Solo as the top of the case lacks some structural integrity when mounting fans on top. You might get excessive vibrations.

IMO, if you want to make your setup is quiet as possible, start from the source of the noise. Getting the quietest parts would give you the quietest rig. That means using very very quiet fans like Scythe Slipstreams or Gentle Typhoons and some other equally quiet fans. Using SSDs instead of HDDs. If you must use HDDs use those silencing enclosures to mute the noise. Also throw out that crappy fan that comes with the Hyper 212 (I dread that POS).

Pick a case your find aesthetically pleasing with good airflow and good fan placement. Preferably where you can minimize the amount of fans you need to use while keeping good cooling. Also if you plan to use a top fan, get a case where the top fan would be in front of your Hyper 212, not directly on top or behind as you want to blow cool air into the case so the Hyper 212 can use that cool air. Also try to get a case that doesn't use mesh grills for rear fans as mesh obstructs airflow and causes turbulence leading to noise. If you don't have a choice, you can always mod the case with a simple tool called the Nibbler which snips off the mesh.

The acoustic foam helps a bit on cases but don't expect them to fix any noise issues. Noise must be addressed at the source of the problem if you want silence. I have a case which is very acoustically disadvantaged (made of aluminum) but turned it into something totally inaudible because I was able to work around the problem. I didn't even use acoustic foam.

If you want fan recommendations, please ask. I've spent weeks and weeks getting my setup perfect.
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intel i5-4670k Gigabyte Z87X-UD4H Gigabyte GTX 670 OC Samsung Low Voltage 30nm 
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Samsung 840 Pro 256GB Samsung 840 EVO 500GB NH-D14 w/ 2x NF-A15 Prolimatech MK-26 w/ 2x NF-S12A 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Win 7 Ultimate HP ZR24W Ducky Shine 2 DK9008S2 Rosewill SilentNight 
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Lian Li PC-T60B audio-gd NFB-7.32 Krell KAV-400xi HiFiMan HE-6 
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intel i5-4670k Gigabyte Z87X-UD4H Gigabyte GTX 670 OC Samsung Low Voltage 30nm 
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Samsung 840 Pro 256GB Samsung 840 EVO 500GB NH-D14 w/ 2x NF-A15 Prolimatech MK-26 w/ 2x NF-S12A 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Win 7 Ultimate HP ZR24W Ducky Shine 2 DK9008S2 Rosewill SilentNight 
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Lian Li PC-T60B audio-gd NFB-7.32 Krell KAV-400xi HiFiMan HE-6 
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post #3 of 7
I just recently went with a Cooler Master Silencio 550 and I couldn't be happier with the design/looks. As for sound it is really quiet and I'm sure you'll hear your components before you hear the fans provided with the case however, I must say they have pretty weak airflow. My solution was to remove the top HDD cage and swap in some Noiseblockers PL-1's @900 rpm's they are quieter (? or about the same) and have more airflow than the cooler master 800 rpm fans that are provided with the case. The case only comes with two fans one in front and in one the rear yet there is room for two up front. A big plus is there is no top fan on the case which I was really trying to avoid in order to keep the noise down. All in all your fan options really depend on how picky you want to be about quieting the rig and how much cooling you need, I tried a SilenX rated at 1100rpm and 12dba and it was too much woosh from the airflow for my taste. As for the Noiseblockers I hesitated due to the price but I must say they are worth the money and if the PL-1's don't suit your needs I suggest going with another one of their models that fits your needs better, they're amazingly quiet for what they push and wish I wouldn't have wasted money on other fans and had just purchased noiseblockers from the get go. I'm trying out a M12-S1 to see if it will have enough airflow. If it does I might switch to running those in the case to go dead silent.

Another thing to note, directly from Cooler Master support:

(Fans)
CFM ~35.07
Noise ~ 13.83dBA
800rpm

Hope this helps
Edited by OO7e - 4/25/12 at 10:21pm
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Western Digital (Blue) Western Digital (Blue) LGDVDR LG DVDRW 
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The Machine
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Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveOptical Drive
Western Digital (Blue) Western Digital (Blue) LGDVDR LG DVDRW 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
Noiseblocker PL-1 Cooler Master Silencio 550 Case Fans Thermaltake TMgi2 CPU Cooler Noiseblocker M12-S1 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Edition 64bit LG 23" Logitech K750 Wireless Aerocool Horsepower 750W 
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Cooler Master Silencio 550 Microsoft Wireless 7000 
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post #4 of 7
With good fans, you shouldn't be able to hear anything at idle. What components would make noise? Only thing I can think of is the GPU and HDDs. With Speedfan, you can lower the speed of the GPU fan at idle so there's no noise. HDDs are definitely a problem unless you get a Smart Drive NEO silencing enclosure for $100 (not worth it unless you need tons of storage on HDD). If possible, try to get an SSD for most of your needs and toss the rest on an external.

Those NB fans seem interesting. Not sure if they are worth the high price...

I have tried those SilenX fans and they are absolutely garbage. 1100rpm and only 12dBa sounds almost too good to be true and IT IS! I'd never buy a SilenX product again.
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
intel i5-4670k Gigabyte Z87X-UD4H Gigabyte GTX 670 OC Samsung Low Voltage 30nm 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingCooling
Samsung 840 Pro 256GB Samsung 840 EVO 500GB NH-D14 w/ 2x NF-A15 Prolimatech MK-26 w/ 2x NF-S12A 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Win 7 Ultimate HP ZR24W Ducky Shine 2 DK9008S2 Rosewill SilentNight 
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Lian Li PC-T60B audio-gd NFB-7.32 Krell KAV-400xi HiFiMan HE-6 
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Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingCooling
Samsung 840 Pro 256GB Samsung 840 EVO 500GB NH-D14 w/ 2x NF-A15 Prolimatech MK-26 w/ 2x NF-S12A 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Win 7 Ultimate HP ZR24W Ducky Shine 2 DK9008S2 Rosewill SilentNight 
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Lian Li PC-T60B audio-gd NFB-7.32 Krell KAV-400xi HiFiMan HE-6 
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post #5 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by ohhgourami View Post

With good fans, you shouldn't be able to hear anything at idle. What components would make noise? Only thing I can think of is the GPU and HDDs. With Speedfan, you can lower the speed of the GPU fan at idle so there's no noise. HDDs are definitely a problem unless you get a Smart Drive NEO silencing enclosure for $100 (not worth it unless you need tons of storage on HDD). If possible, try to get an SSD for most of your needs and toss the rest on an external.
Those NB fans seem interesting. Not sure if they are worth the high price...
I have tried those SilenX fans and they are absolutely garbage. 1100rpm and only 12dBa sounds almost too good to be true and IT IS! I'd never buy a SilenX product again.

Components, at least in my rig I refer to is the CPU cooler fan which at idle speed is quiet but once it spools up past 1200 to2000+ rpm it can be heard very faintly. PSU's can be a concern although mine is quiet and my GPU because I don't game stays at about 40-45%rpm and can't be heard. The cases silencing features definitely help because my previous open xoxide case let me know some of those were there.

As for SilenX fans, I will agree. 12dBa LOL yea right. The Noiseblockers blew them out of the water.
The Machine
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Q6600 - G0 Asus P5QPro EVGA 9800GTX+ Mushkin Blackline 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveOptical Drive
Western Digital (Blue) Western Digital (Blue) LGDVDR LG DVDRW 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
Noiseblocker PL-1 Cooler Master Silencio 550 Case Fans Thermaltake TMgi2 CPU Cooler Noiseblocker M12-S1 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Edition 64bit LG 23" Logitech K750 Wireless Aerocool Horsepower 750W 
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The Machine
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Western Digital (Blue) Western Digital (Blue) LGDVDR LG DVDRW 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
Noiseblocker PL-1 Cooler Master Silencio 550 Case Fans Thermaltake TMgi2 CPU Cooler Noiseblocker M12-S1 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Edition 64bit LG 23" Logitech K750 Wireless Aerocool Horsepower 750W 
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Cooler Master Silencio 550 Microsoft Wireless 7000 
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post #6 of 7
CPU cooler is considered a fan and is easily replaceable. I have a 212+ myself and I think it is garbage, especially since it comes with such an outrageously loud fan. Exactly why I highly highly recommend that the OP replace that fan with a Gentle Typhoon or a PWM Slipstream. If it is possible, which I think is, stick a TY-140 on there which would be even better! That is only if there is enough clearance for the ram.

I have one of the quietest PSUs around the Seasonic X-series. Runs fanless under 20% load so it is totally silent at idle.

I'm sure case silencing helps, but it should be minimal like 1-2dB. It helps if you have an already very quiet rig. I have considered getting insulation but some of the stuff I was looking at was quite expensive. And since I have a full tower, I would have to buy a lot of it. My rig is already quiet enough for me. I would have to sit here in the middle of the night and concentrate to hear it. The solid state speaker amp I use for headphone has a louder electric buzz than my whole rig. Since that noise is unavoidable, I decided silencing for my rig was done.
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(16 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
intel i5-4670k Gigabyte Z87X-UD4H Gigabyte GTX 670 OC Samsung Low Voltage 30nm 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingCooling
Samsung 840 Pro 256GB Samsung 840 EVO 500GB NH-D14 w/ 2x NF-A15 Prolimatech MK-26 w/ 2x NF-S12A 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Win 7 Ultimate HP ZR24W Ducky Shine 2 DK9008S2 Rosewill SilentNight 
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Lian Li PC-T60B audio-gd NFB-7.32 Krell KAV-400xi HiFiMan HE-6 
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
intel i5-4670k Gigabyte Z87X-UD4H Gigabyte GTX 670 OC Samsung Low Voltage 30nm 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingCooling
Samsung 840 Pro 256GB Samsung 840 EVO 500GB NH-D14 w/ 2x NF-A15 Prolimatech MK-26 w/ 2x NF-S12A 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Win 7 Ultimate HP ZR24W Ducky Shine 2 DK9008S2 Rosewill SilentNight 
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Lian Li PC-T60B audio-gd NFB-7.32 Krell KAV-400xi HiFiMan HE-6 
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post #7 of 7
I have the Fractal Design R3. I love the case as it is the smartest designed case I have ever used. The case is padded with a kevlar-like noise dampening material that really makes the thing quiet. I added an additional silent grade front fan to the case and I was worried about heat dissipation. Let me just say my worries of heat went out the windows when I started using the case. Because of the way the case is a closed design the front fans push air quickly into the case and this air gets vacuumed thru the top. I purchase a CPU heatsink from Zalaman that pulls air from the right side and exists air directly into the rear fan. While most gaming cases today have huge fans that are pointed directly at PC hardware the amout of heat dissipation created by this cases 3 fans is impressive and almost on par with directly facing a side fan at your GPU for example.

That said I ended up purchasing a HDD and is audible (2TB Black WD) in the case. I should have done more research as I guess this HDD is considered noisy during operation by others. This is the only hardware I can actively hear during use of the PC or if it is idle. Literally this PC has been on and my family or friends thought it was off!

Now for me to be nit-picky. The cases front design is cool. It has a foam material on the front door directly in front of the fans. The fans pull air thru the sides of the front door and the bottom. In my home I have a carpet floor that totally blocks air from being pull from the bottom of the case. The cases small feet does not give the case enough leverage for carpet flooring. I ultimately ended up mounting the case on 2x4's so it isn't choked. The other slight annoyance I have had with the case is the weight. For a mid size case the kevlar-like material adds significant weight to the case. I'd wager the case is about 50-60lbs with my hardware in it.

That said I'm very pleased with this case! thumb.gif I'd buy from Fractal Design again.
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