BitFenix Ghost: Quiet ATX Chassis

Cases|Damping
Viewing page 7 of 7 pages. Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

AUDIO RECORDINGS

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.

FINAL THOUGHTS

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 CPU cooling).

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 R2/R3/R4 and NZXT 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.

* * *

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

* * *

Discuss this article in the SPCR Forums.



Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Cases|Damping - Article Index
Help support this site, buy from one of our affiliate retailers!
Search: