Something like the Fractal Define R5
with front bezel gone and amongst other improvements?
You guys are too much on the ball!
A Fractal R5 is in fact the case I've been working with. Got our sample late last week, transferred the entire ATX gaming setup to it on the weekend, played with different configs, and managed to get 14/17 dBA@1m idle/load with 3 fans, w/o any significant change in temps. Will try the Antec Truequiet 140 fan swap next. It is a great case, btw.
The unnecessary front grill should also be removed to improve intake. The latter requires popping the entire front bezel off and undoing the screws that keep the grill hinged.
Using a FD Arc instead of the Define wouldn't be a more straightforward way?
Don't think so -- leaving the door open does cost a couple dB.
Great post, thanks! Would be very cool to someday see an SPCR configurator w/ noise levels changing as you toggle components. I know it's not easy...things are nonlinear, etc...but still, would be cool and you have so much spectral data.
Yeah, this would be v. cool but it is unlikely to happen until one of us turns into a master coder -- and that's never going to happen!
Also, dB data isn't not intuitive to understand, even when you work with the measurement gear all the time. "Calibrating" one's perception to "hear" 20 dB vs 30 dB vs 15 dB (ie interpret what we hear to SPL #s) is almost impossible for me (or Larry), even after all these years. So we'll stay with the combination of measured data and lots of subjective descriptions to keep people on firm ground on the acoustics.
For example, the change from 15 dBA to 14 dBA I mentioned above is impossible to actually hear clearly without an A/B comparison; it's only by listening to recordings closely and looking at the data that we know it's there. Even 17 vs 19 dBA is not too obvious. Side by side, no problem but before and after an hour or 2 later? no way.