Cooler Master Silencio 652S Tower Case

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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 5~10 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.


I've test dozens of cases for SPCR over the years, but can't recall one with such bad sounding fans. And usually letting the system fans do as much heavy lifting as possible (as the GPU fans typically have worse acoustics) is our usual approach, but with the Silencio 652S, the opposite is true. The chassis has damping sheets on the side panels, which really can't do much to ameliorate the fan sound quality. (Editor's Note: We consider most internal case foam lining to be just a marketing ploy; it hardly does anything for noise reduction.) It lacks a fan controller, something every noise-conscious multi-fan case should include unless its fans are lower speed models. Out of the box, hard drive vibration isn't an issue but if the upper drive cage is dismantled, the lower cage's lack of physical support becomes exposed. The cages are also fairly restrictive of airflow, impeding the intake fans, even if the individual drive trays are removed. On a non-noise related front, the amount of space behind the motherboard tray is limited, making it a challenge to fit the right side panel.

The 652S' strengths are more general rather than specific for any one function. It's reasonably well-built and manages to pack some degree of versatility while maintaining an attractive appearance. The door and top cover have an elegant design that makes the chassis look solid, but this is deceiving. There are many fan mounts with some support for 180/200 mm models, and the side and top placements have covers if they're not being used. The front bezel and the floor of the chassis are sufficiently ventilated and the removable dust filters are numerous, easy to access, and not too restrictive, though the front filter serves little purpose due to a flaw in the bezel design. The chassis is also sufficiently wide and deep that CPU cooler and video card clearance are non-issues.

The upper hard drive cage and expandable drive trays is a rather clever idea, allowing users to configure it to support either 2.5-inch or 3.5-inch drives, or to take it out entirely. However, the design forces users to choose between increased airflow and lower drive vibration. If you leave this section in, the case seems like a decent option for a quiet server. With subpar thermal performance and poor acoustics, this is probably the best usage case for the 652S.

While Cooler Master Silencio 652S is pushed as a premier quiet tower, it falls well short of this billing. The mediocre stock fans alone are enough to disqualify it, and while it does have some redeeming qualities, the sum doesn't have enough appeal for any particular niche or demographic.

Our thanks to Cooler Master for the Silencio 652S case sample.

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