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This build guide began with a love-at-first-sight reaction to the Corsair Carbide
Air 240 case. The Air 240, with its side-by-side compartments, struck me as
such a clever design that I felt compelled to obtain a sample to build a quiet
gaming PC with it. After several weeks and many long days of hands-on work with
the Air 240, my initial fascination has faded but we do have our first Micro-ATX
Gaming PC Build Guide to present.
SPCR's Quiet Gaming PC Build Guides is a series designed to bring a new level
of low-noise computing to gaming PC enthusiasts, much like that enjoyed by non-gaming
SPCR enthusiasts for years. Just duplicate our builds and you will enjoy the
same level of ultra low noise even in a powerful gaming PC. The biggest challenge
in building a quiet gaming PC is cooling the very hot components without loud
fans. We bring 12+ years of computer silencing experience to the task. Thus
far, we've presented four build guides for PCs that are virtually silent at
low to modest load, and barely go past 20 [email protected] even at loads higher than any
game can reach.
This MicroATX build doesn't reach quite as deeply into silence as the others,
but it is still a viable, interesting, very quiet gaming PC. You'll understand
the reasons for the title when you finish reading the article.
CASE: Many prospects were considered. Some of these will feature in
other SPCR Build Guides in the future.
Silverstone Sugo SG09
is a crafty marriage of breadbox and mini-tower style of just 23 liter volume
that manages to a Micro-ATX board, a full length graphics card, multiple SSDs
and HDDs, an ATX PSU, and a 180mm cooling fan. We're awaiting a sample of
the Sugo SG10, which has a more attractive brushed aluminum fascia.
Corsair Obsidian 350D, a 42 liter mid-tower style model, offers room
for 240mm watercooling radiators in front and on top and a clean external
design. Its closest competitor here is the Fractal Design Arc Mini R2.
Fractal Design Arc Mini R2 is another large 41 liter mATX case, but
in a more conventional min-tower format. Our
review showed it to be a very good performer, and though not small, its
form factor makes it suitable for floor placement. Only four expansion slots
makes a quiet dual-VGA card setup challenging, as there's not enough space
between the cards for adequate airflow, and no room below the bottom slot
for a large VGA cooler. Hence, it is limited to a single VGA card configuration
despite the large size.
In Win / Nofan Dragon Slayer is a slightly smaller (36l) tower-style
MATX case with large expanses of meshed vents on all panels but the right
side. With low noise, well-cooled components, it might house a suitably quiet
The chosen case this time, the CORSAIR CARBIDE AIR 240, is a cube-style
33-liter micro-ATX model with side-by-side separate thermal zones. There is
no practical limit to PSU size, and room for at least 3 SSDs and 3 HDDs.
The Corsair Carbide Air 240 case is only a foot tall, but also 10.2"
The rear shot shows why it is so wide: The Air 240 is divided into two
side-by-side compartments, with PSU & drives on one, and motherboard
on the other.
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