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These recordings were made with a high resolution, lab quality, digital recording
system inside SPCR's own 11 dBA ambient anechoic chamber, then converted to
LAME 128kbps encoded MP3s. We've listened long and hard to ensure there is no
audible degradation from the original WAV files to these MP3s. They represent
a quick snapshot of what we heard during the review.
Each recording starts with ambient noise, then 10 second segments of product
at various states. For the most realistic results,
set the volume so that the starting ambient level is just barely audible, then
don't change the volume setting again while comparing all the sound files.
The BitFenix Ghost has many of the hallmarks of a good quiet case: Reasonably
sturdy construction, thick dampening foam, and indirect intake vents on the
front door. Ironically, its very quiet fans are a bit of a detriment: They don't
spin fast enough or there simply aren't enough of them. The fans are great for
users who want a quiet out-of-the-box experience with a minimalist system. Add
a decent discrete graphics card and the limited airflow provided by the case
fans forces the GPU fan, which typically sounds considerably worse, to spin
faster to make up the difference. The two fan placements on the top panel are
wide open, allowing more noise to escape than usual (though it does help with
The 2.5/3.5 inch hard drive cage is another major point of contention. The
adjustable design is flimsy and unsuitable for housing any hard drive if vibration
is a concern. Furthermore, the 3.5 inch configuration doesn't actually increase
the number of 3.5 inch drives you can use, as only four compatible trays are
included (the other three are for 2.5 inch drives only). It makes more sense
to use a fully removable 3.5 inch cage and universal trays for drives of both
sizes. We also found it difficult to disengage drives from the SATA docking
bay at the top of the case; we would have liked to see a release mechanism or
at least some padding at the back of the compartment as drives easily bang into
the side during removal.
Marketed as a quiet tower and priced at US$100, the Ghost goes head-to-head
with the well-known Fractal Design Define
H2. While its performance can be considered comparable to the H2, the
H2 has better fan mounts, a fan controller and more hard drive support. The
Define R2/R3 delivers noticeably better noise and cooling levels (if its side
fan option is utilized) and while it lacks a hotswap bay, it has more hard drive
bays, a fan controller, and a cleaner, classier aesthetic. As a relative newcomer,
the Ghost needs to eclipse one or both of these cases in some meaningful way
but fails to do so.
Our thanks to BitFenix for the Ghost case sample.
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Articles of Related Interest
Corsair Obsidian 550D Quiet Mid-Tower Case
Silverstone Fortress FT02 Revisited
SilverStone Raven RV03
Cooler Master Silencio 450: Silence on a Budget?
Cooler Master Cosmos II: Ultra Tower Case
Raidmax Viper: A Modern Budget Tower
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this article in the SPCR Forums.
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