Quiet Case Recommendations for a Workstation-eqsue system

Discussion in 'Cases & Cooling' started by darkfoon, May 6, 2012.

  1. darkfoon

    darkfoon Member

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    I have pretty sensitive hearing, so as I am planning my new system I am trying to find a case that is quiet.

    I am looking for suggestions from users of any case who think they have sensitive hearing.
    I'd also love to hear from owners of the cases below.

    I have read several of Dustin's case reviews on AT, and the list I have built has Fractal Design's Define R3/XL and Antec's P280. I know there are other candidates out there that I just don't know about. Particularly, there must be some contenders from Lian-Li.


    As for suggestions, assume price is of no concern. I am looking for suggestions now; I'll sort out price later.

    The hottest hardware I would put in this system is i7-3930K, GTX680 (I'm not doing work that warrants workstation graphics, but I play games sometimes), ~4 drives.


    Thanks in advanced for your suggestions.
     
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  3. Subyman

    Subyman Moderator <br> VC&G Forum

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    The design of the XL makes it the quietest. The R3 and P280 have top mounted fan slots, which create an opening for sound to escape from the top of the case. The XL vents out the back only and the top is completely covered. It also has sound deadening foam in the front. The XL is a very large case though, so be prepared. Lian Li offers some quiet cases, but they will be much more than the others you have listed.

    If you can find some place with the old line of Lian LI Silent V, then that is about the best you can do without custom mods.
     
  4. darkfoon

    darkfoon Member

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    I thought the R3 had sound-dampening plates covering the top mounted fan slots when they are not in use.
     
  5. joncollett

    joncollett Junior Member

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    I use an Antec p180 mini for a pro audio recording pc which has a 200mm top fan. Its nearly silent but unfortunately only allows the use of a micro ATX board.
     
  6. joncollett

    joncollett Junior Member

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    You might want to take a look at the Corsair 550D as well.
     
  7. darkfoon

    darkfoon Member

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    I definitely need a case larger than the P180 Mini.
    The 550D definitely has been added to my list, but it's fairly new. Do you have any experience with one?
     
  8. nitromullet

    nitromullet Diamond Member

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    I've been really happy with the performance/noise ratio of my SilverStone Raven RV02-E. With the case fans set to low it's pretty quiet, and still cools everything really well. The SilverStone FT02 is essentially the same layout, but with a sleeker look and a higher price tag.
     
  9. SolMiester

    SolMiester Diamond Member

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    I can vouch for that, build a Raven 3 at Xmas, with 2500k\H80\GTX580 Windforce, with those big 180? fans at the bottom, the case was almost silent..

    Side note, just pulled the trigger on LL PC-9F...6 HDD bays, 2 front fans, 1 rear, room for closed loop w\c kits and a PC-6 I put together yesterday seems very quiet too. It only has 1 fan front and back and only 3 HDD bay, but it is very nicely built...
     
  10. DigitalWolf

    DigitalWolf Member

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    I have a Corsair 550D and I really like it. (this is my work box/sometimes game box for reference).


    I can definitely make it silent to the point you can sit on the floor in front of my box.. and can't hear it. Well ok when the fans on my Phanteks cooler spool up due to my 3960x wanting to chill... they are barely audible but that's pretty quiet.


    Now ahem...


    With my "stock" Sapphire 7970 in there... I don't think the sound level dropped all that much, compared to the same setup in my previous case (600T SE). It might have even been the Anandtech review where they made a comment similar to... "acoustics were not really the issue with other Corsair cases" ... I know I read a review that mentioned this.


    My Galaxy GTX 680 didn't require any noise "fixes" for comparison. In fact the first time I turned on the computer after installing the 680... I thought I must have broken something because I couldn't hear that it was on... oh hello bios splash screen.


    The Asus P9X79 Pro motherboard that I have seems to do a really good job with my fans. I've used other motherboards where my once quiet fans were suddenly not that quiet until I started messing around in the fan section of bios (or included software).


    I don't have any personal experience with other "quiet" cases for comparison. So I don't know if this is a pretty normal experience or not. However, it is the experience I've had with my 550D.


    I don't regret buying it and I'm still very happy with it.

    /the end
     
  11. darkfoon

    darkfoon Member

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    DigitalWolf, in the review I read for the 550D, the reviewer expressed concern that the "optional" panels on the top and side might rattle in the future. Have you noticed anything with those that might lead you to have the same concern?
     
  12. DigitalWolf

    DigitalWolf Member

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    I can't really say for "long term" but I don't personally think its going to be an issue. A user is either going to mount side/top fans or they are going for "quiet". If you don't mount fans there .. you have no reason to remove them. If you don't remove them.. they are never going to rattle (my opinion). If you DO mount fans there.. then you can't use the panels for obvious reasons... and again they won't rattle but this time because they wouldn't be there to rattle. The nice thing there is if you use fans... the included filters are held on with magnetic strips (easy to remove/clean/reinstall).


    Oh and there is the same exact type of panel in the front that covers the intake filter. You have to pop it off every time you go to clean that filter. I don't believe they even mentioned that one in the review or at least not as a possible source of rattle.


    My opinion is if you are going to have an issue... its going to be the front door. I have a suspicion that if you removed it often or open it both ways often... you will have hinge issues long before anything begins to rattle (unless you drop the case *.* lol).


    I haven't had any issues with mine... but the door is the point of concern I have.


    The only other "issue" depends on your setup. I like having a fan in the bottom (big plus to the case design imho). The bottom filter which is included is very long and slides out the back. Its long because it goes under the Power supply area (which has a bottom intake) and the fan. So if you mount your PS with its intake fan down.. or use a bottom fan you'll have to clean it. Depending on your setup it may be a pain to slide the thing out... just for reference.

    *edit*


    Oh another thing for consideration comes down to connections you might want. The 550D only has two front USB 3.0 ports (with an adapter for 2.0 if that's what your motherboard has). If you wanted more front USB ports and/or Firewire... you'd want to keep that in mind. This is the one thing I actually miss from my 600T (it had a lot of ports up front).
     
    #11 DigitalWolf, May 8, 2012
    Last edited: May 8, 2012
  13. Stochastic

    Stochastic Member

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    I'm going to be building a new system and just received my Corsair 550D yesterday. Once I have it fully setup later this week (still have to wait for my motherboard :| ) I can report, subjectively, what noise levels are like.

    Here's a review you might want to read if you're interested in the case: http://www.silentpcreview.com/Corsair_Obsidian_550D
     
  14. videogames101

    videogames101 Diamond Member

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    [​IMG]

    More from the p280 review here.

    550D Review

    R3 Review

    Whatever marketing gimmicks like sound plate/deadening, tri-material sides, or the like, just ignore.
    The dB meter doesn't lie, so using just volume seems like an easy criteria to decide with.

    I know you've probably read those reviews, so here's a different contender, one of my favorite cases:

    Lian-Li PC-B25S

    Lian-Li added sound foam everywhere and put hoods on the fans with extra foam there too, and that blue circle looks sexy as hell! :biggrin:

    [​IMG]
     
    #13 videogames101, May 8, 2012
    Last edited: May 8, 2012
  15. darkfoon

    darkfoon Member

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    I am seeing that the 550D is really a contender worth considering. I am strongly leaning towards it now.
    My only concern with most of these cases is the quality of construction and materials. My current case certainly isn't quiet (a fact I'm reminded of by the ringing in my ears after a few hours of computing), but it's solid steel all-around. Built like a tank. It seems that most of the quiet cases I have seen are not quite so sturdy.

    I don't know the manufacturer of my case, but I know it's 3U rack-mount case I got for free. I would try to make it quieter, but It wont accept 120mm fans in the back (the loudest fans are the cooling fans in the back)

    I must admit, I am shocked that Lian Li stopped making the Silent V case. I was looking for it without knowing the name until you mentioned it, Subyman.

    The placement of my computer will be on the floor next to my knees. I would expect that something that vents out the top, like the Silverstone FT02, would sound louder than other cases if one is sitting "above" it, like I will be. Nitromullet/Solmeister, can you tell me if your experience with your cases are in a similar position?

    Stochastic, I'd love to hear from you once you get your system all set up.

    Any other contenders worth considering?

    Thanks
     
  16. birthdaymonkey

    birthdaymonkey Golden Member

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    I'm an R3 owner and have been pretty happy with it, especially for the price. I'm also extremely sensitive to computer sound (GF claims I'm mentally ill on this point).

    I've replaced all the fans with Nexus and Noctua models and keep everything dialed down to 5V. The only thing I can hear at the moment is the AC Twin Turbo II I have installed on my video card, yet the CPU at idles at ~30C with an NH-D14.

    The problem with this case isn't the noise or the airflow: it's the somewhat rinky-dink construction. You can tell that corners have been cut in a few areas to keep the price down.

    Overall, I'd say I'm pleased with the R3. However, I'm still waiting for the perfect case to come along to replace it. 550D sounds nice, but I'm not a big fan of the looks myself (that ugly gray plastic panel...eugh).

    EDIT: #1 suggestion for quiet computing. Make sure your parts are quiet. A quiet case will do nothing for you if you've got a screamer of a video card in there. Make sure you select a quiet PSU. I have seen some high quality units (like the Corsair TX 750 I have installed in my secondary machine) that are nevertheless quite noisy. 7200 rpm hard drives can introduce a lot of vibration. For mass storage, I rely on a 5400rpm "green" drive suspended with elastics.
     
    #15 birthdaymonkey, May 10, 2012
    Last edited: May 10, 2012
  17. greenhawk

    greenhawk Platinum Member

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    currently looking for something similar to the quite setup. but also still undecided on what to actually put in it, a sb-e or ivy.

    anyway, two of the contenders are both from lian li, the PC-B10B and its big brother, the PC-A71FB.

    not seen too many reviews on them, but they tick most of my boxes for my next case.
     
  18. pcunite

    pcunite Senior member

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    Cases don't make noise, fans do ... get rid of fans with the Zalman TNN-300
     
  19. darkfoon

    darkfoon Member

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    yeah, thanks for the unhelpful link.
    I was looking for the TNN-500 but they don't make it anymore (not the TNN-300 either)
    Besides, those cases are as much as the entire computer going into them.
     
  20. darkfoon

    darkfoon Member

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    I want to thank you all for your input.

    I went with a case that had a really good 1-day deal: Lian Li PC-A71F.

    It's really quiet (the loudest fan is on the processor heatsink. I think I'll change that in the future). Much quieter than my last system. The noise characteristics are much more pleasant. More like the sound of whooshing air and less the whine of fans.
     
  21. lehtv

    lehtv Elite Member

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    Surprised that no one mentioned that GTX 680 is not worth it. GTX 670 performs within 5% and costs $100 less - surely this is a good idea for someone who sometimes plays games? Could even have got 7850 2GB or lower.

    edit: looks like the thread dates back to early May when the 670 wasn't released yet :\
     
    #20 lehtv, Jun 16, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2012
  22. MoInSTL

    MoInSTL Senior member

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    n/m
     
    #21 MoInSTL, Jun 16, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2012
  23. darkfoon

    darkfoon Member

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    Lehtv,

    That is a good point, and by the time I got around to purchasing the card, the 670 had been announced and was available. However, I haven't been playing games as much as I would like due to hardware restrictions. So I went with something that could run just about anything for future-readiness. I plan on using this system for many many years wihtout too many upgrades