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 Post subject: Recommendation on silent case/form factor w. 3HDD
PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2014 12:29 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 11:31 pm
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This is my first post, please correct me if i should not be in line with forum rules.

I plan on building a workstation for photo editing. Primary concerns (assuming decent performance) are storage and silence. I will need one storage HDD, two internal backup HDDs, the latter will only be mounted for backup dutys. Also, I already own an i5 4430. I don't care for over clocking (I might engage in some undervolting) and I'm pretty sure there is no necessity for a discrete GPU.
In theory, this would allow for just about any form factor, as long as the case can hold three HDDs and an SSD. For ITX, I considered the FD Node 304, for ATX the FD R4 (PCGH edition) and the Nanoxia DS 3. For the R4 and DS 3 I am comfortable using a custom rubber band solution to prevent hard drive noise.
Given these restrictions, which form factor and case would give me the most silent system? (Of course, I am also open for any suggestions that differ from the three cases mentioned above).

Further parts i considered: Scythe Kotetsu, Crucial VLP ram, Asus Z97i-Plus (if ITX), be quiet! Dark Power Pro 10. Backup HDDs would be WD Reds, the storage hard disk (photo library) I'm not sure about.

Thanks for helping me out!


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 Post subject: Re: Recommendation on silent case/form factor w. 3HDD
PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2014 3:54 am 
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Joined: Fri Nov 15, 2013 8:07 am
Posts: 119
Location: Vienna - Austria
Hi dmitch and welcome here,

I'm adding my comments and you will certainly get more experienced guys, passing by.

Between the Node 304 and FD R4, I don't think there would be much of difference concerning the CPU dissipation.
Using the tower cooler Scythe Kotetsu, the Node 304 should be able to handle it.

But you are planning 3 HDDs, which might do the difference.
It will be easier to suspend them in the R4, than in the Node 304.


After reading around for many months, my preference goes to small factor, because they can handle some power and they seem to have a good airflow path.
Unless in need of 3 PCI cards, 5 HDDs, 2 DVD burners, etc... I don't see the need, today, to use ATX format. (it's my own opinion).

Also, you are not using a graphic card, so why thinking of the R4?


(thanks for the Scythe Kotetsu in your list, I'm going to add to mine. It seems better than HR-02 Macho. :wink: )

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(sold in Dec. 2013) Temjin TJ08-E / Be Quiet Straight Power E9 400W / GA-B75M-D3H / i3-3225 / 8GB / SSD 120GB / HDD 1TB / running Mac OS - Hackintosh


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 Post subject: Re: Recommendation on silent case/form factor w. 3HDD
PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2014 5:17 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 11:31 pm
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Hi thierry, thanks for your advice!
I was only considering the R4/Nanoxia DS3 because I wanted to be sure to get the system as silent as possible. My concern with the Node 304 is the side intake: Since I don't have a graphics card I would guess I don't need it, however I have not found thread where someone moded/dampened/closed the intake.
Of course I would like to go smaller, but I would refrain from it, if I had to sacrifice silence. Other contenders could be the Nanoxia DS4 and maybe a Cooltek/Jonsbo case, but I did not find high level reviews for them (especially not about noise). Does anyone have any experience with them?
Concerning the PSU I should add, that I aim for the 550Watt (even though I might not need all the power).


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 Post subject: Re: Recommendation on silent case/form factor w. 3HDD
PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2014 7:02 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:22 pm
Posts: 1892
Location: Guatemala
All 3hdd need to be 3.5? No SSD?

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Other builds ---> ServeMi | CamMi | MiniMi | HTPCMi


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 Post subject: Re: Recommendation on silent case/form factor w. 3HDD
PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2014 7:07 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 11:31 pm
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Abula wrote:
All 3hdd need to be 3.5? No SSD?

Indeed I aim for one SSD, one storage drive for photos and two drives to backup the photos. Since the photo library is bigger than 1 TB, I opted for 3.5'' drives (better TB/Euro ratio).


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 Post subject: Re: Recommendation on silent case/form factor w. 3HDD
PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2014 7:17 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:22 pm
Posts: 1892
Location: Guatemala
dmitch wrote:
Abula wrote:
All 3hdd need to be 3.5? No SSD?

Indeed I aim for one SSD, one storage drive for photos and two drives to backup the photos. Since the photo library is bigger than 1 TB, I opted for 3.5'' drives (better TB/Euro ratio).
There are now bigger 2.5 drives, like Hitachi 5k1500 (1.5TB) or Samsung M9T (2TB), that said 3.5 still is better in terms of price/size. But i was wondering since you seem to want to suspend drives, if it was only 2x 3.5 you could also consider Antec Solo II, which comes with a rubber suspension for 2 drives, pretty good for not doing much, but you still need 3x 3.5 hdds it wont work unless you mod to do more on the bottom or chose a 2.5 hdds for the 3rd hdd.

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GameMi >> MSI Z87-GD65 | Intel Core i7-4790K | Thermalright Silver Arrow IBE + 3x Noctua NF-A15 PWM @500rpms| Crucial Ballistix Sport 32GB DDR3 1600 | nVidia GTX780 + ARCTIC Accelero Xtreme IV | Samsung SA850 27'' 2560x1440 | Samsung 840pro 512GB | Hitachi 7K1000 1TB | Fractal Design Define R4 + 4x Noctua NF-A14 PWM @450rpm | SeaSonic SS-860XP2
Other builds ---> ServeMi | CamMi | MiniMi | HTPCMi


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 Post subject: Re: Recommendation on silent case/form factor w. 3HDD
PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2014 7:20 am 
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Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2005 4:36 am
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Welcome to SPCR.

Any of the cases would be pretty quiet. The stock Fractal 304 and R4 would be a little louder than the DS3. If you go ATX, an Antec Solo II would be even quieter. If you swap out the stock Fractal fans, then the R4 would be on par with the other two ATX cases. The 304, maybe. If you do go with the 304, note the clearance issues with HDD cables and the CPU cooler as you might have to place the fan on the same side as the case fan.

PSU: Your power needs are small. Stress load of 84W CPU, ~30W for mobo and fans, 60W if all HDDs spin up at the same time -> 175W. More likely scenario of 140W or less at start up. A 150W Pico PSU might cut it. 500W class is overkill.

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1080p Gaming build: i5-4670K, Mugen 4, MSI Z87-G45, MSI GTX 760 2GB Gaming, 8GB 1866 RAM, Samsung Evo 250GB, WD Red 2TB, Samsung DVD burner, Fractal Define R4, Antec True Quiet 140 (2 front + rear) case fans, Seasonic X-560. 35-40W idle, 45-55W video streaming, 170-200W WoW, 200-230W Rift, 318W stress test (Prime95 + Furmark)


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 Post subject: Re: Recommendation on silent case/form factor w. 3HDD
PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2014 3:01 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 11:31 pm
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Thanks for your advice, CA_Steve and Abula!
Given its age, I was not expecting that the Antec Solo II is still considered the most quiet case. Since at least one of the backup HDDs will only be mounted once a day, the Antecs setup with two suspend drives should suffice. If the third drive would bother me to much, I can always put it in one the 5,25 inch bays.
It's great to know that i have flexibility on the PSU. I just had some irrational urge towards the be quiet!.

Two further questions: Since CA_Steve was comparing stock setups: Leaving behind stock configuration, is there a consensus about which case can be modified to be the quietest? Can you recommend some reading on that topic?

And a third one: I have crush on the Cooltek UMX2/Rosewill Legacy MX2 (the other Jonsbo cases have sleek looks as well). In theory the bottom intake, top exhaust should give decent thermal performance. Does anyone have experience/a hunch about the acoustic performance of these cases?

Again, your advice is very much appreciated!


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 Post subject: Re: Recommendation on silent case/form factor w. 3HDD
PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2014 3:29 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2005 4:36 am
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Location: Monterey Bay, CA
Here's a generic answer. You'll have a silent cpu cooler. Go with a passive or semi-passive PSU. Change out case fans as needed and you'll have a silent case..except for seek noise on the WD Reds...and those are pretty quiet.

The build thread in my signature may provide some useful info.

As far as the 3rd HDD goes, if it's just used once per day as a backup, you might consider an external eSATA enclosure that you can power up/down.

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1080p Gaming build: i5-4670K, Mugen 4, MSI Z87-G45, MSI GTX 760 2GB Gaming, 8GB 1866 RAM, Samsung Evo 250GB, WD Red 2TB, Samsung DVD burner, Fractal Define R4, Antec True Quiet 140 (2 front + rear) case fans, Seasonic X-560. 35-40W idle, 45-55W video streaming, 170-200W WoW, 200-230W Rift, 318W stress test (Prime95 + Furmark)


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