Coolcases-modded Chenbro PC-610 Case

Cases|Damping
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FINAL THOUGHTS AND CONCLUSIONS


Finished system: I like it.

One of the stand-out features of the Coolcases Chenbro PC-610 is the noise signature of the case itself. It's probably the quietest steel case I've ever used. The left side panel fits nicely and locks down tight so that it doesn't add any noise to the case and the thick plastic front bezel is well braced on the inside. The combination of the fixed right side panel, low-resonance side and front panels and the short stature of the case seems to reduce the resonance of the case itself. Its "sound" is a bit quieter and lower in tone than the SLK3700 series of cases from Antec. This characteristic, while subtle, becomes more important when you're trying to wring out that last little bit of noise from your system.

The case has very good ventilation. The absence of extraneous openings on the front wall helps channel the airflow from the lower front to the upper rear, as intended by the ATX specification. The removal of the fan grills by Coolcases improves the case airflow, too, especially the front grill. The side cover fan hole would probably help those with a hotter video card.

I wouldn't mind playing with a side cover that has a fan hole directly over the CPU. That would give me the ability to duct and potentially passively cool the CPU. This kind of customization is something you can actually request at Coolcases.

The fan controller made it easy to play with various combinations of fan speeds. It does not appear to add any buzzing or cause the fans to emit extraneous noise; chances are, it is a straight voltage controller, not PWM.

The snap-in mounting rails, while not looking particularly robust, make it easy to mount the drives and fit well enough to keep the drives from vibrating much while they're in use. The removable HDD bay makes it easy to mount the drives but would probably benefit from grommets to reduce vibration induced noise. The unlatching cams make it a snap to remove the front bezel without worry about snapping off mounting tabs.

The fixed right side makes cablegami a pain, and I'd rather have a smaller front fan mounted on the grill. The neat thing is, you can ask for this kind of custom mod from Coolcases!

Overall, I'm very impressed with the Coolcases / Chenbro PC-610. It lives up to the Chenbro reputation for well built cases, and confirms the great value-added service provided by Coolcases. All this translates into a good case with which to build a quiet PC.

PROS

* Solid, non-resonant construction
* Roomy, easy to work in interior
* Low-key, unassuming looks
* 120mm fans
* Excellent case ventilation
* Grommet mounted fans
* Grill punches with included filters
* No included PSU
* Easy to remove front bezel
* Front I/O with audio and USB 2.0 ports
* No front door
* Tool less case design

CONS:

* Fixed right side makes wiring a pain
* No grommets HDD cage adds noise
* No front door
* No manual

Much thanks to Coolcases for this custom Chenbro PC-610 sample.

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