Case Advice: Silent, Powerful and Small (in that order)

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G4rry
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed May 18, 2011 1:46 pm

Case Advice: Silent, Powerful and Small (in that order)

Post by G4rry » Wed May 18, 2011 2:30 pm

I only discovered this site last week, what a great resource!

I'm planning a new build for my bedroom and want to use pre-prepared components ie no drills, glues, soldering irons etc.

I'd appreciate a recommendation for a case that will satisy the following criteria:

- silence is primarily important. It doesn't have to be completely silent Eg for sound studios but I do not want to hear it while I sleep and I leave it chugging away on a 10 hr process.

- i will start with an intel quadcore q9550 but will upgrade to the next generation after i7 in this build so will expect at least as much power usage and heat generated as an extreme i7.

- it will have a single full length 'gamers' graphics card that I expect to fit a better fan to with dual (or preferably triple) hd output. I expect to use fan control to up the rpm (and noise) when this is in heavy use.

- I could sacrifice having a bluray/DVD drive but would prefer one.

- just one hdd probably being an SSd if that is queitest.

- I would prefer an old desktop/htpc/box style instead of a tower (so I can stack it)

- I expect to use mini/micro atx

The antec mini p18x looks good as do the silverstone cases but Im not sure how small I can go without having to make it too loud.

Any comments much appreciated and I'll be sharing my experience as the build progresses.

ces
Posts: 3395
Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2010 6:06 pm
Location: US

Re: Case Advice: Silent, Powerful and Small (in that order)

Post by ces » Thu May 19, 2011 5:10 am

Take a look at:

Langear
http://www.lan-gear.com/langear-home

and perhaps this Lian Li Cube:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6811112265

They should both be stackable.
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"Aristotle calls man the rational animal. All my life I have been seeking evidence to confirm this" Bertrand Russell
"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former" Albert Einstein

G4rry
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed May 18, 2011 1:46 pm

Re: Case Advice: Silent, Powerful and Small (in that order)

Post by G4rry » Fri May 20, 2011 12:43 am

Thanks for the link ces, those cases look pretty good. They would certainly fit my power requirements. On size requirements they are acceptable but ideally I would prefer something wider and lower. What worries me about them is that they (like the silverstone range) don't seem to focus on silence.

Is there anything similar that is designed for silence? eg with closing doors, padded interiors and all that good stuff?

ces
Posts: 3395
Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2010 6:06 pm
Location: US

Re: Case Advice: Silent, Powerful and Small (in that order)

Post by ces » Fri May 20, 2011 2:32 am

G4rry wrote:What worries me about them is that they (like the silverstone range) don't seem to focus on silence.
My personal philosophy is to get quiet components and not worry about the case. This was once not so feasible. With modern components I believe this is the right route to take... though I am certain that others here would disagree with me.

Let's see where your noise will come from:
SSD - no noise
PSU - get a Seasonics (either passive or with fan that kicks in at 200 watts) no noise
Video Card - run it passive in the langear micro ATX case with an 800 rpm Slipstream the fan pointed at it, you are OK. The Lian Li should also provide it with plenty of cool air as well (it is pretty quiet with stock fans or you can swap in a Nexus and/or downvolt the fans).
CPU Heatsink - that may be your only potential area of concern.

The langear micro ATX case will take a Thermalright HR-02. You can feed it cool external air from an 800 rpm Slipstream case fan using a Thermalright airduct (http://www.thermalright.com/new_a_page/ ... _duct.html) (the red one is the short one)

The Lian Li doesn't have that much room for a cpu cooler. You will probably need to use the Scythe Big shurekin.

There are no "quiet" small cases to my knowledge. The closest would be an Antec Solo or a Lian Li A05. Both of these are tower cases. But with quiet components, you don't need a "quiet" case.

With loud components even a quiet case will not help. You still need to get ventilation air in and out... and with that air the noise gets out as well. There is no way around that.
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"Aristotle calls man the rational animal. All my life I have been seeking evidence to confirm this" Bertrand Russell
"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former" Albert Einstein

boost
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Joined: Wed Jul 12, 2006 10:29 am
Location: de_DE

Re: Case Advice: Silent, Powerful and Small (in that order)

Post by boost » Fri May 20, 2011 3:48 am

The Langear is probably the best gamer cube around.
Personally, I don't like cubes, so for my next build I bought this:
Silverstone CW-02B
It's very big for a desktop, but it fits coolers up 175mm in height!
It's very expensive, but I got one for less than one third the regular price of eBay, albeit with "mods" to the hdd cages.
Lian Li V600, Asus P77Z-M Pro, i5-3570K 4.4GHz with Scythe Orochi, 140mm Slipstream 500RPM and Mugen2 115X Bolt through kit, Evga GTX 970 Superclocked, BeQuiet E9 580W CM

ces
Posts: 3395
Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2010 6:06 pm
Location: US

Re: Case Advice: Silent, Powerful and Small (in that order)

Post by ces » Fri May 20, 2011 4:42 am

boost wrote:for my next build I bought this:
Silverstone CW-02B
It's very big for a desktop, but it fits coolers up 175mm in height!
That's quite an impressive piece of equipment!
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"Aristotle calls man the rational animal. All my life I have been seeking evidence to confirm this" Bertrand Russell
"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former" Albert Einstein

G4rry
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed May 18, 2011 1:46 pm

Re: Case Advice: Silent, Powerful and Small (in that order)

Post by G4rry » Fri May 20, 2011 11:54 pm

Wow, I've got to tell you, I'm loving that CW02. http://www.silverstonetek.com/products/ ... 2&area=usa The build quality is excellent. It has totally changed my mind about size. I've re-jigged my workplace and will now slot the PC under my amplifier. This means I now require a HTPC enclosure of sufficient size to support the thinline rackmount amplifier.

Unfortunately, the CW02 does not quite fit my requirements. To fit I require smaller dimensions than w 479mm d 353mm meaning that the width of the CW02 is fine but it is too deep by about 9cm. Further, the remote control bay means that fan control will not be available so that I cannot actively adjust computer noise.

@ces I totally see what you mean about achieving silence through components other than the case. For my specific requrements there is simply not enough selection in the silent enclosure ranges. Once I get the right case with good build quality then I'll focus more on silence in my components.

So, would anyone recommend a premium build quality case with the following:

- Full ATX
- Dimensions slightly under w 479mm d 353mm;
- Room for a full size, modular >=500 Watt PSU;
- Free optical drive bay AND 5 1/4 inch front bay for fan controller (with digital display e.g Zalman, NZXT or Scythe)
- Suitable for later silencing features (airflow capabilities)

perhaps it will have to be mini or micro ATX for those dimensions?


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JamieG
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Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2008 10:31 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Case Advice: Silent, Powerful and Small (in that order)

Post by JamieG » Sat May 21, 2011 12:18 am

G4rry wrote: - Full ATX
- Dimensions slightly under w 479mm d 353mm;
- Room for a full size, modular >=500 Watt PSU;
- Free optical drive bay AND 5 1/4 inch front bay for fan controller (with digital display e.g Zalman, NZXT or Scythe)
- Suitable for later silencing features (airflow capabilities)

perhaps it will have to be mini or micro ATX for those dimensions?
The depth of 353mm is going to be the most problematic dimension. Most motherboards are approx 250mm wide, so that doesn't leave too much room for other components.

The Silverstone GD04 and GD05 cases (depth 325mm) are the only cases I can think of that are the HTPC style of case that fit that depth requirement. They are micro ATX motherboard cases only. Also, they only have a single optical drive bay. I'm also not sure how well these cases would handle a hot graphics card (max 11 inches length) and a quad core cpu, as the optical drive restricts the height of the CPU cooler.

Is there any reason you have to be able to see the fan controller? Would using a couple of Zalman fan mates or some PWM fans and software fan control (like SpeedFan or motherboard software) be ok?

Otherwise, another option would be to use the optical bay for your fan controller and use an external optical drive.

Hope that helps in some way!
My PCs:
Main PC (E5200, G31, Lian Li Q07) | Gaming PC (E6850, X38, 5870 Vapor-X, P182) | HTPC (4850e, 780G, 3450, NSK2480B)

boost
Posts: 661
Joined: Wed Jul 12, 2006 10:29 am
Location: de_DE

Re: Case Advice: Silent, Powerful and Small (in that order)

Post by boost » Mon May 23, 2011 12:46 am

- Full ATX
- Dimensions slightly under w 479mm d 353mm;
- Room for a full size, modular >=500 Watt PSU;
- Free optical drive bay AND 5 1/4 inch front bay for fan controller (with digital display e.g Zalman, NZXT or Scythe)
- Suitable for later silencing features (airflow capabilities)

perhaps it will have to be mini or micro ATX for those dimensions?
-
I only know two cases which are that short, both support Micro ATX only:
SilverStone Grandia GD05B received quite a favorable review on this site.
Lian Li PC-C50 which I like better for two reasons. First is Lian Li's build quality and all aluminum construction, second it should allow a higher CPU cooler ~125mm (but that height number is only guesstimate), since the optical drive is on the left side with the PSU (obviously a better design choice, imho).THe only downside is that the Lian Li's aluminum construction might vibrate more if your HDDs vibration is strong, so choose the drive(s) accordingly, 2.5" drive fit as well, btw.
Lian Li V600, Asus P77Z-M Pro, i5-3570K 4.4GHz with Scythe Orochi, 140mm Slipstream 500RPM and Mugen2 115X Bolt through kit, Evga GTX 970 Superclocked, BeQuiet E9 580W CM

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