Silverstone GD01 and LC17 HTPC Cases

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The stock fans are two identical 80x25mm models, positioned directly over the back I/O panel, which is exactly where these fans should be. The fans are well-positioned to extract the heat from the CPU, the VRM on the motherboard, and the nearby graphics card as well.

Both cases have the same fans, although the Silverstone case specification pages cite slightly different data for them. There's no reason to believe they are different. When the fans were turned on and monitored one by one, we could discern no significant audible or airflow differences. In both cases, the fans have wire guards on both sides, which seems a bit paranoid. One wire guard adds some minor impedance to airflow; two adds more.

Both cases have 80mm fans with wire guards on both sides.

The trailing edge of the blades is parallel to the struts (red and yellow dashed lines).
This is not a good acoustic design choice.

Web searches for Silentmatic turned up Silverstone fans on eBay, and searches for the model number turned up nothing useful at all, so all we really have is the data on the fan label, and Silverstone's contradictory noise / airflow data from their case specs. The model designation SFA8025MS-12N tells us something too: It's 80x25mm, Medium speed, Sleeve bearing. So here's our summary of given data about the fans:

Given Data: SFA8025MS-12N Fan
80 x 25mm
Rated voltage
12V DC
1800 or 2100
19 or 21 dBA (@1m?)

We did not run a complete set of tests on the fan, but a few basic measurements were made on all the fans. They measured the same, although one sounded very slightly buzzier than the others. The results are shown below.

Measured Data: SFA8025MS-12N Fan
19~20 dBA@1m

They are pretty quiet fans. Two of them together measured 22~23 dBA@1m in free air, outside the case. Of course, in the case with the cover on, the noise jumps quite bit due to the effects of...

1) cavity resonance — the enclosed air in the case actually has resonances which get "excited" by the noise of the fans.
2) mechanical coupling — any vibrations from the fans get conducted into the chassis, which then vibrates in sympathy, causing addtional noise.

Cavity resonance is virtually unavoidable; mechanical coupling can be eliminated with soft mounting.

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