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Fractal Design Define Mini or Arc Mini, fans, and some input needed.

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Although this is for a far off upgrade, need advice as titled, and first I need to paint a little picture.

Background info:

Currently running a midi tower with mATX, and this Aerocool X Warrior case only has ONE exhaust and 2 front Intakes, if I don't count the side panel mesh which enables me to add two fans. I can only add one, because the clearance for the top is destroyed by the awesome Hyper 212 Evo.

Now, in a case this size and only one exhaust, I found that air isn't really being fed through as smoothly as I hoped, even with close to neutral pressure. Anyway, I just really don't like having one exhaust, as awesome as my 256 colour fans are (front and back). Also, the 212 Evo (with Cougar Vortex PWM) is really inhaling through the side panel mesh, and I really don't like that, both for dust and airflow management.

Now, I did wanted to upgrade mobo to an ATX one, but reinstalling everything AGAIN is just too much hassle, and I planned my MB upgrade along with as SSD, which would be last of the upgrades and I have virtually no money now. (See sig rig proposal.) And I figured a smaller mATX case would have more efficient airflow due to the smaller space. (And more fan slots.)

Now onto the upgrade ideas.

Ideas:

Simply put, I DO want a quieter set up, as the HDDs/Fans echo too much right now in various ways. Thin panels, or no anti vibration stuff etc etc. But I still want airflow obviously, as I won't be purchasing a H100i in the foreseeable future. Even then I will still need airflow.

So either (more fan questions later.) :

Define Mini with 2 or 3 Corsair SP120 (To get the air through the door.) Performance Edition for intake, 2 or 3 Corsair AF120/140 Performance Edition for exhaust, and 2 SP120 PWM Performance Edition for the Hyper 212 Evo.

or

Arc Mini with 2 or 3 Corsair AF120 Quiet Edition for intake, 2 or 3 Corsair AF120/140 Quiet Edition for exhaust, and 2 SP120 PWM Performance Edition for the Hyper 212 Evo.

Which would yield better performance, cooling and quietness? Is the Arc Mini really not quiet optimized, or with this amount of fans, it doesn't matter with either? Or is the Define Mini isn't all that quiet anyway? I'm not after a complete silent rig, but kept to minimum if something louder were to go in the case.

How different is the AF/SP fans from the Performance Edition but DOWNVOLTED, as opposed to the quiet edition fans?

I WOULD like to get the Corsair 350D, as that is THE mATX case. But it is a tad too expensive.

Sorry for the long post, please feel free to comment from experience or pure speculation. Any input is appreciated. Thanks!


tl;dr, Is the Define Mini that much quieter than the Arc Mini to worth getting, without sacrificing much cooling performance?

P.S. I personally cannot wrap my head around how cases like the Define series get air through the wrong through such small vents. Static pressure is needed, I guess?
Edited by neo0031 - 5/22/13 at 4:06pm
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post #2 of 7
Thread Starter 
Small bump before sleep. redface.gif
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post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Bump?

Or should I delete this post and post in "Air Cooling" instead?
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CoolingCoolingCoolingOS
Corsair AF140 Corsair AF140 Corsair AF120 Windows 8 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Asus VN247H-P WASD fully custom keyboard in UK layout Corsair AX860i Corsair 350D 
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post #4 of 7
Just my opinion on this, grab the Define. Sound dampening will help towards lessening the noise you hear from hard drives etc. In terms of air flow, as long as you have a steady flow going through the case (in from front, out the back/top) heat wouldn't build up too much in the case. The components i see in your sig shouldn't cause too much heat either, so save some money and get cheaper fans or even just stick to the stock fans.

Another thing... the 350D is not much more than a Define mini... why not just get that? Use the savings from not having to purchase such expensive fans and get a case that you know you'll like? thumb.gif
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks! Yeah for now the components don't heat up that much. I'll get a better CPU soon, as well as heat builds up quicker in a smaller case? Really, I just want a smaller case for my mATX build... And a better case where my Hyper 212 doesn't inhale through the side.

I have been thinking about saving up for the 350D even though I'm not that much of an enthusiast... but is it/would it be as quiet as a Define Mini? I have a pair of loud case fans I wanna keep, as well as if I decide to go all full on Corsair Air Series fans one day on all slots and still keep it quiet... ( The full Window is SOOOO nom even though I don't have impressive hardware... but what about noise level...)

I think the airflow echoing in my case right now amongst other stuff has me haunted too bad. I would NEED the new case's HDD cage to absorb most vibration, if not completely. (The WD Caviar Black is LOUD, hence why I'm having to bungee suspend it now in my 5.25 bay.)

Thanks for your input! thumb.gif
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CoolingCoolingCoolingOS
Corsair AF140 Corsair AF140 Corsair AF120 Windows 8 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Asus VN247H-P WASD fully custom keyboard in UK layout Corsair AX860i Corsair 350D 
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Hard DriveCoolingCoolingCooling
Hitachi 1 TB Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo Xclio 256 Colour 120mm Fan x 2 Cougar Vortex 120mm 
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Windows 7 Ultimate Cooler Master Quickfire TK XFX 650w XXX Edition Aerocool X Warrior Red 
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i7 3770k Asus Maximus V Gene Asus GTX 780 Corsair Vengeance Pro 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingCooling
Samsung 840 Series Pro 256GB WD Caviar Black 1TB Corsair H100i Corsair SP120 PWM x2 
CoolingCoolingCoolingOS
Corsair AF140 Corsair AF140 Corsair AF120 Windows 8 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Asus VN247H-P WASD fully custom keyboard in UK layout Corsair AX860i Corsair 350D 
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post #6 of 7
I can't compare it to the define.. but reviews have 350D side panels being pretty thin. I had a define XL once and it had some material on the side for sound dampening..

Know what? Gimme some time. Just got my 350D in.. I'll test it out for ya. I have a 2tb caviar black somewhere... tongue.gif
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks for putting time into testing! +Rep!

EDIT: Sorry to contradict (even though concern are still the same when in a bigger case, just which case to go for with which fan set up), but looking at the Define R4 price, I should really just buy the R4 in the future and future proof it IN CASE I do upgrade to an ATX (990FX chip?) one day...
Edited by neo0031 - 5/24/13 at 7:46pm
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Hard DriveCoolingCoolingCooling
Hitachi 1 TB Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo Xclio 256 Colour 120mm Fan x 2 Cougar Vortex 120mm 
OSKeyboardPowerCase
Windows 7 Ultimate Cooler Master Quickfire TK XFX 650w XXX Edition Aerocool X Warrior Red 
MouseMouse Pad
Razer Deathadder 2013 Razer Vespula 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 3770k Asus Maximus V Gene Asus GTX 780 Corsair Vengeance Pro 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingCooling
Samsung 840 Series Pro 256GB WD Caviar Black 1TB Corsair H100i Corsair SP120 PWM x2 
CoolingCoolingCoolingOS
Corsair AF140 Corsair AF140 Corsair AF120 Windows 8 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Asus VN247H-P WASD fully custom keyboard in UK layout Corsair AX860i Corsair 350D 
MouseMouse PadAudio
Razer Ouroboros OcUK Professional XXXL Mouse Mat Creative Labs GigaWorks T20 Series II 28W 2ch S... 
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Scarlett
(18 items)
 
   
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD FX 6200 Gigabyte GA-78LMT-USB3 EVGA GTX 760 SC ACX Crucial Technology  
RAMHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
Crucial Technology  Samsung 840 Evo WD Caviar Black WD Caviar Green 
Hard DriveCoolingCoolingCooling
Hitachi 1 TB Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo Xclio 256 Colour 120mm Fan x 2 Cougar Vortex 120mm 
OSKeyboardPowerCase
Windows 7 Ultimate Cooler Master Quickfire TK XFX 650w XXX Edition Aerocool X Warrior Red 
MouseMouse Pad
Razer Deathadder 2013 Razer Vespula 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 3770k Asus Maximus V Gene Asus GTX 780 Corsair Vengeance Pro 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingCooling
Samsung 840 Series Pro 256GB WD Caviar Black 1TB Corsair H100i Corsair SP120 PWM x2 
CoolingCoolingCoolingOS
Corsair AF140 Corsair AF140 Corsair AF120 Windows 8 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Asus VN247H-P WASD fully custom keyboard in UK layout Corsair AX860i Corsair 350D 
MouseMouse PadAudio
Razer Ouroboros OcUK Professional XXXL Mouse Mat Creative Labs GigaWorks T20 Series II 28W 2ch S... 
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