mid-size case recommendation for separate GPU + CPU rads?

Enclosures and acoustic damping to help quiet them.

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Joined: Thu Jun 08, 2017 3:12 pm

mid-size case recommendation for separate GPU + CPU rads?

Post by mic » Thu Jun 08, 2017 3:30 pm

Greetings folks.. little bit of a different one here.. I'm pondering an upgrade/new system in the near future, and am looking for some good quiet case recommendations.

Thing that makes things slightly more complicated than normal is fitting in the existing "carry over" gear from my existing system. Notably, the EVGA 980Ti Hybrid with its 120mm radiator. I'd like to pair that up with a decently large AIO CPU radiator for some good silent running. Also going in is a pair of SSDs and a 3.5" mechanical drive (using my old 128GB SSD to cache it, the other's a Samsung 850 1TB that I can't really justify replacing with an M2 just yet). No need for opticals. I'm thinking a 7700 in one of the ASUS Maximus boards, but I'm open to suggestions there. No real desire for overclocking, though a few free MHz never hurt.

I'd been looking at the Corsair 400Q, then saw the Fractal Define P5 and S.. I'm thinking I could mount both radiators pulling through the front panel (the 120mm down the bottom, and as large a radiator as I could fit - 240? 280? above it) without having to worry about the drive cages. I'm mildly concerned having read the review in here about the vertical mounting system for the 3.5" drives in the S and the drive noise that comes from that - has anyone had any experience with it and found ways to support that drive a little better? I'm thinking with the P5 I could mount the 120mm in front of the PSU on the floor, a drive cage in front of that and still have a high-mounted radiator on the front panel?

Also: fan swaps. What's the current standard? I went through this all a while back and saw good things about the Corsair ML series? Are there recommendations for radiator use fans (I'd probably like to run push/pull sandwiches at low RPM) and for case exhaust? Bonus points if there's AIO radiators around that already have them fitted, but I'm fine with retrofitting if it's worth replacing them.

Are there other cases I should be looking into though? FWIW: portability is of no concern, nor is lighting and windowy bling. Also: I'm happy to consider mATX if the cooling + silence is there. I'm thinking though that that would preclude a larger cpu rad (I'm thinking the corsair hydro series - 240 or 280? Again: suggetions?) which I could run with lower RPMs and hence a nicer sound profile.

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