More Case reviews?

Enclosures and acoustic damping to help quiet them.

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judge56988
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More Case reviews?

Post by judge56988 » Sun Sep 07, 2008 7:31 am

Hi,
This is my first posting on SPCR although I have been browsing the site for several years and find it very useful.
However there seem to have been very few case reviews this year - only a few new Antec cases have been looked at, despite there having been cases released from the likes of Zalman, Lian Li, Hiper, Nexus, Coolermaster and NZXT that appear to be designed with something approaching silence in mind.
I know that these cases do get reviewed on many other tech sites but I don't think any of them approach the review with silent operation as the primary focus as SPCR does.
Can we look forward to a review of some of these newer cases soon?
The Antec 182 seems to have almost iconic status at SPCR but personally I am looking for something as good but without the plastic and with no door. Any suggestions - based on personal experience, not review browsing!
Comments appreciated.
Thanks

m0002a
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Post by m0002a » Sun Sep 07, 2008 9:43 am

Although you may have a valid point (I don’t know much about the cases you mentioned), there are two main reasons for your observation:

1. The publisher of this forum was involved in the design of the original Antec P180 case (and maybe some others, I don't recall).

2. Antec was the first company to seriously tackle the issue of quiet computing cases. Most of the other manufacturers have historically focused more on keeping the case cool for high-end or gaming machines, but not necessarily for quiet computing.

m0002a
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Post by m0002a » Sun Sep 07, 2008 9:52 am

As far as recommendations go for a case without a door, the Antec Solo is a good choice. I just recently bought one in the US on sale for $40 USD (after mail-in-rebate). One nice thing about the Solo is that it does not come with a PSU, so you can select your own without throwing away an included PSU (Antec PSU's are OK, but not the quietest available).

I also have a Mini P180 (which is really more like a P182 than a P180), and the Solo compares fairly well to these in terms of low noise potential, although I would give the advantage to the P180/182 series because of the better insulated panels (sandwich design) and the PSU at the bottom (this keeps the PSU fan from spinning faster due to heat from the CPU on top mounted PSU cases).

judge56988
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Post by judge56988 » Sun Sep 07, 2008 11:36 am

m0002a wrote:As far as recommendations go for a case without a door, the Antec Solo is a good choice. I just recently bought one in the US on sale for $40 USD d
You would not get one in the UK for less than $110 USD - but that's another issue!

The thing is, I want a case that has the clean looks of a Lian Li PC -A77 with it's aluminium panels or the fantastic build quality of a Hiper Osiris. Both these do have a bottom mounted PSU (not included) and easily accessible ports on top. The PC-A77 in particular looks to have a very well thought out design for dealing with heat and noise. Perhaps by choosing the components carefully and maybe swapping out fans for quieter models, the quietness of the 18x series might be achieved?
But I'm not in the position of being able to build several cases with different components and assessing for myself the merits of each before making the purchase, so I and many others rely on review sites and forums for information. SPCR is the only site I know of that takes silence as it's primary aim, most other sites mention it in passing.

I do realise, as m1002a points out, that Mike Chin had input into the design of the original Antec P180 but that design is several years old now. Other cases have been produced that implement similar features to what the P18x series has. I would just like to see some reviews of these other cases, as there hasn't been (that I can see) a review of a non Antec tower case since the Lian Li PC-101 in July 2006.

m0002a
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Post by m0002a » Sun Sep 07, 2008 1:35 pm

The Lian Li PC -A77 (no PSU) sells for $350 USD at Newegg (including shipping charges). Add another 8% fro sales tax if you live in California.

I looked at the Zalman cases and most of them were either designed for liquid cooling, departmental servers, or gaming. The least expensive is $230 including shipping (no CPU), and the most expensive is $835 including shipping.

Remember, I am quoting Newegg.com prices.

Maybe people who build high-end gaming machines or businesses are willing to pay that much, but these cases cost way more than the vast majority of people on this forum are willing to spend, and many of them are way too large. One of the easiest way to build a quiet PC is to reduce the number of hard drives to one (two at the most) and many of these cases you mentioned are very large and designed to hold up to 10 drives (although I admit the P182 can hold a few drives itself).

judge56988
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Post by judge56988 » Sun Sep 07, 2008 2:20 pm

You're right, m0002a, although I'd pay $200 - $250 for the right case - I just haven't found it yet!

BTW I've had a Nexus Breeze for 4 years - I got it because it was supposed to be silent but it isn't and as everything in it except the HDD is also 4 years old, I think it's time to build a new system!

m0002a
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Post by m0002a » Sun Sep 07, 2008 2:38 pm

judge56988 wrote:You're right, m0002a, although I'd pay $200 - $250 for the right case - I just haven't found it yet!

BTW I've had a Nexus Breeze for 4 years - I got it because it was supposed to be silent but it isn't and as everything in it except the HDD is also 4 years old, I think it's time to build a new system!
I think that the Solo and Mini P180 are good candidates. I have both of them.

If you get the right components (PSU, CPU, fans, HS, drives), I don't think the case is the most important factor in building a quiet PC. Most cases can be modified with sound absorbing material on the panels, modified drive mounting, etc.

judge56988
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Post by judge56988 » Mon Sep 08, 2008 6:17 am

Just been looking at the Silverstone FT01 on another thread - seems to tick all the right boxes; for me anyway.

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Post by pony-tail » Mon Sep 08, 2008 1:20 pm

I also have a Mini P180 (which is really more like a P182 than a P180), and the Solo compares fairly well to these in terms of low noise potential, although I would give the advantage to the P180/182 series because of the better insulated panels (sandwich design) and the PSU at the bottom (this keeps the PSU fan from spinning faster due to heat from the CPU on top mounted PSU cases).
I too have one of these - though not in use - because of design issues - I can say it is pretty well built , but definitely NOT worth the money , it is almost quiet out of the box and easily made quiet , but not that well conceived -for a quiet system there are other cheaper and better options . I am very far from happy with mine !
Small Fast and Silent - Quiet SFF With Gonads!

m0002a
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Post by m0002a » Mon Sep 08, 2008 2:22 pm

pony-tail wrote:I too have one of these - though not in use - because of design issues - I can say it is pretty well built , but definitely NOT worth the money , it is almost quiet out of the box and easily made quiet , but not that well conceived -for a quiet system there are other cheaper and better options . I am very far from happy with mine !
Maybe you should try and sell it on this forum.

I am not a complete fanatic when it comes to computer noise, since my central air conditioning and heating has some ambient noise level, and the room with my computers has heavy wall-to-wall carpeting.

I actually like the top 200 mm fan (I initially presumed that I would have to plug it up). It makes very little noise on low speed and allows me to run my CPU HS (Xigmatek S1283 ) without a fan. CPU temp at idle is 2 C over ambient room temp (AMD 4050e). Works perfect as a low power Linux server that I use for software development.

judge56988
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Post by judge56988 » Tue Sep 09, 2008 1:54 am

pony-tail wrote:
I also have a Mini P180 (which is really more like a P182 than a P180), and the Solo compares fairly well to these in terms of low noise potential, although I would give the advantage to the P180/182 series because of the better insulated panels (sandwich design) and the PSU at the bottom (this keeps the PSU fan from spinning faster due to heat from the CPU on top mounted PSU cases).
I too have one of these - though not in use - because of design issues - I can say it is pretty well built , but definitely NOT worth the money , it is almost quiet out of the box and easily made quiet , but not that well conceived -for a quiet system there are other cheaper and better options . I am very far from happy with mine !
Can you elaborate on what the better options might be please? Doesn't have to be cheap because I want a case that looks good, (i.e. classy, not some replica of a space ship or alien monster) is made of aluminium, has no door and has the USB/Audio ports on the top. I would be prepared to swap fans/suspend hard drives and add some damping so it doesn't need to be silent out of the box.
Is it true to say that almost any case can be made silent by choosing the right components?
No gaming but a lot of video editing/encoding and 2D CAD; so might be looking at Ati 3870/4850 or an Nvidia Quadro with a Q9300 CPU.

To put it another way, I'm after the "Audi" of PC cases - solid reliable engineering, understated good looks and no bling, rather than the loud look at me Impreza Turbo or the cheap tinny whatever from Korea. :lol:

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