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 Post subject: high end silent case
PostPosted: Fri Dec 02, 2011 10:18 pm 
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hello,

I am about to buy a new pc that will include the 3960x processor. I would like a great case that matches the high end value of this cpu. It should have both good cooling performances, and be silent (though I know it's quite antinomic). Price is not an issue, so I was considering the Lian Li V2120. It seems to have a nice design, but are its cooling and silence effective ? I didn't find any tests about its silence, so I was wondering if you could help me figure it out.

Thanks


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 Post subject: Re: high end silent case
PostPosted: Sat Dec 03, 2011 4:49 pm 
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Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Check out these:

Antec P183 and CP-850 PS
Silverstone Fortress FT02

To me very quiet at 1m means that the computer would make an almost imperceptible non-annoying sound when you got to a 1 meter distance. This very quiet at 1m situation would mean that the computer was around 1 dBa louder than the ambient noise level in the room. The ambient noise level in my den varies throughout the day. I have built my PC so that at idle it is silent during the day and when things quiet down in the late evening I can here a very gentle, faint 'whoosh'.

Have fun...

------ My Main System ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Antec P180 spcr_edition, Athlon II X4 640, Scythe NINJA, ASUS M2A-VM HDMI, OCZ Solid 3 120 GByte SSD, 500 GB FXD, WinXP


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 Post subject: Re: high end silent case
PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2011 1:34 am 
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I already have the Antec p180, and I'd feel quite silly to buy a new case (p183) that's pretty much identical as the one I already have. I would have preferred a much higher quality, hence my proposition: lian li v2120. It seems to be much better. But the thing is that I don't know how it performs as far as cooling and silence is concerned, which is why I came to you.


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 Post subject: Re: high end silent case
PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2011 10:18 am 
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SawyerZ wrote:
3960x processor

No dedicated GPU?


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 Post subject: Re: high end silent case
PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2011 11:25 am 
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The v2120, if the link points to the right product, is a huge case. Do you need/want something that big?

Here's my take on this case:
1. The large size means big side panels, which are much more prone to vibrate and resonate than smaller ones.
2. Airflow looks like it should be very good -- but then it does have lots of fans.
3. The door will help w/ noise as will keeping the top panel un-vented.
4. With so many movable parts, precision and tightness of fit will have to be tops to keep vibration at bay. If the screws tap straight into the aluminum sheet metal, chances of stripping them over multiple uses are high. This looks like it will become an issue on the little LianLi we reviewed a while ago -- V354 http://www.silentpcreview.com/lianli-pcq08 -- that we've assembled a couple of systems in. Hopefully the most often used screw holes are reinforced.
5. The foam in there is useless. Way too thin & light.
6. I'd guess the HDD grommets aren't going to be very effective -- that cage itself is huge, and unless it is well supported at many points, it will tend to vibrate.

You might take a look at another LianLi w/ a door that we reviewed a few years ago -- http://www.silentpcreview.com/article632-page1.html The mechanical fundamentals are the same, even though the size & design are not.

Bottom line -- almost any case can actually be used to build a quiet PC. The main question is how much of a challenge this is. With the v2120, I'd say it will be a bigger challenge than most cases SPCR has recommended.

btw, yes, the P180 and p183 have the same chassis, but the venting through the front in the latter is much improved, and that makes it considerably better -- unless you have already modified the P180 for better airflow.

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 Post subject: Re: high end silent case
PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 9:07 am 
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okay, so if you don't really recommend this one, then which one do you recommend, for best cooling and silence performances, for someone who really wants the best and doesn't really care about money ?

Thanks


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 Post subject: Re: high end silent case
PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 11:22 am 
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I really like how the Silverstone Fortress FT02 looks & it's one of the cases I'm considering.


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 Post subject: Re: high end silent case
PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 12:03 pm 
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SawyerZ wrote:
okay, so if you don't really recommend this one, then which one do you recommend, for best cooling and silence performances, for someone who really wants the best and doesn't really care about money ?

Well, if you have a yen for LianLi aluminum, the cases they list under Silent Chassis seem like better bets. The B10 w/ the front door might keep things bit quieter. Consider my review of the PC-B25S case (one of the three they say is silent). http://www.silentpcreview.com/LianLi_PC-B25S_case

Keep in mind that quiet CPU cooling isn't the big challenge any more, because CPU HSF have become so effective. It's the more power-hungry GPUs that are bigger challenges. You never mentioned what kind of video card you will go for -- this can affect the noise/cooling of the system considerably more than the CPU.

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 Post subject: Re: high end silent case
PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 11:37 pm 
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Which would you recommend, B25S or B10?

I don't particularly like Lian Li, it's just that it seemed to be the Roll's Royce of chassis, and since I can afford it I thought i'd go for it. I don't really care whether it's aluminum or not either, it's just that I think aluminum has better heat dissipation than other materials. But in the end I just care about the result (cooling and silence), so whether it's Lian Li or not, or aluminum or not doesn't matter.

I haven't really made my mind about the gpu. I am not a gamer, though I'd like to occasionally be able to play demanding games if I want to. I will buy the 3930k, which doesn't have its own integrated gpu so I will need one relatively good for all the graphics calculation. I have a large screen (27'',1920*1080). I want a gpu that is good enough to match the goodness of the rest of my future configuration, yet not overly expensive since I don't play regularly. I would also like it to be able to help the cpu for demanding calculations, since I sometimes (more often times than playing) do mathematical (mathematica, maple, ...) computations. Finally, I would like it to be as silent as possible. As a comparison, my current one doesn't make any sound, it's fanless. It's the 7600gs from nvidia if I remember correctly.
With this description in mind, do you have a gpu to recommend to me ?

Thanks.


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 Post subject: Re: high end silent case
PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2011 12:45 am 
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SawyerZ wrote:
Which would you recommend, B25S or B10?

I really could not say. I liked the B25S for its cool features and good looks despite its oddities and can make a system in there that is quiet enough for me, but I don't know that it would be my first choice. My guess is that the B10 might be quieter because of the door, but it could have other quirks that need to be dealt with, too.
Quote:
I don't particularly like Lian Li, it's just that it seemed to be the Roll's Royce of chassis, and since I can afford it I thought i'd go for it. I don't really care whether it's aluminum or not either, it's just that I think aluminum has better heat dissipation than other materials. But in the end I just care about the result (cooling and silence), so whether it's Lian Li or not, or aluminum or not doesn't matter.

OK. I'm not big on the idea of a "luxury" case that has lots of features -- if I will never use them. To me, generally, function should follow form; beautiful is as beautiful does.

When I think about all the cases that have come through here over the past couple of years, the one that stands out most -- from a functional, silent-featured viewpoint -- is the NZXT H2 http://www.silentpcreview.com/nzxt-h2. Like the Fractal and many other "silent" oriented case, it is a P180 takeoff, but it's done very well. Its built quality is solid -- I prefer it to the Fractals, whose mechanicals never seem quite solid enough to me -- the overall design and features are excellent, it's practical. It falls flat in not have open enough intake vents -- but that can be fixed somewhat (as shown in the mod page in that review). Once modified, as long as you don't shove a really hot video card in there, it will work very well. In fact, I am using that modified H2 sample to house my next main PC -- still haven't finished loading all the software, so until that's done, I'm still on this reliable old Win XP / C2D machine. The primary components for the new rig are 2600K, 8G RAM, Radeon HD6850, SSD, and WD Green 2TB. It's silent, really fast & powerful, & cool.
Quote:
I haven't really made my mind about the gpu. I am not a gamer, though I'd like to occasionally be able to play demanding games if I want to. I will buy the 3930k, which doesn't have its own integrated gpu so I will need one relatively good for all the graphics calculation. I have a large screen (27'',1920*1080). I want a gpu that is good enough to match the goodness of the rest of my future configuration, yet not overly expensive since I don't play regularly. I would also like it to be able to help the cpu for demanding calculations, since I sometimes (more often times than playing) do mathematical (mathematica, maple, ...) computations. Finally, I would like it to be as silent as possible. As a comparison, my current one doesn't make any sound, it's fanless. It's the 7600gs from nvidia if I remember correctly. With this description in mind, do you have a gpu to recommend to me ?

The most powerful fanless card is probably the Powercolor SCS3 AX6850 Radeon HD 6850. Gigabyte GV-R677SL-1GD Radeon HD 6770 is also a decent bet. There seem to be far fewer higher end fanless nVidia cards, though there is always the option to mod a fan cooled model w/ a passive aftermarket cooler. Re- GPU support for general computation -- all current model AMD GPUs should support OpenCL; nVidia has CUDA.

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Editor/Publisher, SPCR
Support SPCR with your donations!


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 Post subject: Re: high end silent case
PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2011 7:43 am 
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Location: 128.0.0.1
To be honest, I've never gotten the rave about cases being a silent factor.

Most modern cases have 12cm fans in the front and back. That's the most important thing. Cooling performance will depend on what kinds of fans you stick in there. A front door will muffle the noise, but will also greatly reduce airflow of the front fans. I've tested this with my old P182 and it was ridiculous. I've confirmed this with a Silverstone SG04. So you'll have to run the fans at higher rpms to achieve the same kind of airflow.

At this stage, a decent (monster) CPU cooler will probably always keep your Core i7 cool quietly. And a decent graphics card (say an Asus DCII or MSI Twin Frozr) will be dead quiet at idle and only rev up while playing games or working some 3D app.

Hard Disks are still the loudest component in my experience. Even Caviar Greens. I'm paranoid about noise. I've never found any mounting mechanism in any case to be sufficient. So I've always ended up putting HDDs in Scythe Quiet Drive enclosures and either just laying them on the case floor, or squeezing them into a 5.25" bay, surrounded by foam.

I bought a Lian Li V-1000 in 2004 (!). The hardware demon made me try a lot of other cases over the years, so I relegated this beautiful specimen to my parents guest bedroom ages ago, but it's still up-to-date, in my opinion. Front 12cm fan, 12cm exhaust in the back, PSU intake. It's housing an old system of mine: Core 2 Duo, Radeon 4850 and it's SILENT.

What I want to say is: choose whatever case looks the nicest while maintaining a price point you can live with. Stuff like front USB 3.0 or the position of the front panel (top, middle, bottom) are also worth considering.


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 Post subject: Re: high end silent case
PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2011 9:01 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2011 7:09 am
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Location: Canada
tim851 wrote:
To be honest, I've never gotten the rave about cases being a silent factor.

Most modern cases have 12cm fans in the front and back. That's the most important thing. Cooling performance will depend on what kinds of fans you stick in there. A front door will muffle the noise, but will also greatly reduce airflow of the front fans. I've tested this with my old P182 and it was ridiculous. I've confirmed this with a Silverstone SG04. So you'll have to run the fans at higher rpms to achieve the same kind of airflow.

At this stage, a decent (monster) CPU cooler will probably always keep your Core i7 cool quietly. And a decent graphics card (say an Asus DCII or MSI Twin Frozr) will be dead quiet at idle and only rev up while playing games or working some 3D app.

Hard Disks are still the loudest component in my experience. Even Caviar Greens. I'm paranoid about noise. I've never found any mounting mechanism in any case to be sufficient. So I've always ended up putting HDDs in Scythe Quiet Drive enclosures and either just laying them on the case floor, or squeezing them into a 5.25" bay, surrounded by foam.

I bought a Lian Li V-1000 in 2004 (!). The hardware demon made me try a lot of other cases over the years, so I relegated this beautiful specimen to my parents guest bedroom ages ago, but it's still up-to-date, in my opinion. Front 12cm fan, 12cm exhaust in the back, PSU intake. It's housing an old system of mine: Core 2 Duo, Radeon 4850 and it's SILENT.

What I want to say is: choose whatever case looks the nicest while maintaining a price point you can live with. Stuff like front USB 3.0 or the position of the front panel (top, middle, bottom) are also worth considering.


Amen to all this, wise component choice is just so much more important, get something that is durable and looks good to you! I am also being driven nuts by my caviar green. It is suspended (no vibration transfer) but when it is spinning it is by far the loudest component, especially since I have it in the 5.25 bay and it is just blocked from me by a thin piece of aluminum. Haven't been able to find a vendor in Canada for the scythe silent drive though so I guess I will just have to deal with it. So close to perfection!

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 Post subject: Re: high end silent case
PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2011 10:02 am 
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Quote:
A front door will muffle the noise, but will also greatly reduce airflow of the front fans. I've tested this with my old P182 and it was ridiculous. I've confirmed this with a Silverstone SG04. So you'll have to run the fans at higher rpms to achieve the same kind of airflow.

Neither of those are examples of great front doors. The P183, for example, has much better airflow through its door, as does the P280. Most of the Fractal cases have decent airflow even w/ the door closed.

But stepping back, maximum venting for airflow is not really necessary for a silencer -- it's enough venting for airflow to keep things cool enough that you need, and that's a very different thing.

In most silent (or near silent) system I have built for the lab, for me or for others, core component temps are perfectly good at idle/modest load, but with extended high load on both CPU & GPU (like a really demanding game played for hours), they tend to run close to maximum recommended/specified by the manufacturer... but the fans rarely speed up. I take advantage of thermal headroom to run fans slower for lower noise. And if a fan or 2 has to run a bit faster at extreme load -- usually while the user has sound effects from his games blasting -- does the temporary increase in noise really affect the user?

What I am getting at is that unless you use an all passive cooling setup, a silent PC is a balancing act -- balancing noise blocking & airflow, fan noise & speed, cooling & performance. You can have most of these things simultaneously, but rarely can maximum cooling be had in a silent PC.... and you don't need it. The PC hardware industry (read: HS makers) wants you to be obsessed about low temps and maximum overclocking because it keeps them in business. I have no problem with that; most of the best cooling solutions for silent computing that we suggest are adapted for this purpose from products made originally for extreme overclockers.

Anyhow, I agree that the choice of case is not really critical -- as I mentioned earlier, almost any case can be made to run near-silent (with most components) -- it is a question of how hard/easy you want this task to be. Certainly I agree that a case that doesn't have the features that you want (like USB3, easily accessed front panel, great looks, whatever) probably not going to keep you satisfied for long even if it is quiet.

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 Post subject: Re: high end silent case
PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2011 12:20 pm 
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MikeC wrote:
The P183, for example, has much better airflow through its door, as does the P280. Most of the Fractal cases have decent airflow even w/ the door closed.

Indeed. They achieve this by cutting open the sides of the front doors. And when I observe the way most people place their towers - somewhere on the floor and to the side - it will open up a direct noise path again. So I'm really sceptical as to how effective a front door is.

I've come to prefer to use a setup where the front fan is either veeery slow revving, because it only cools some HDDs, or if it's used to cool the graphics card, it's turned off when I'm not stressing the GPU.

Quote:
But stepping back, maximum venting for airflow is not really necessary for a silencer -- it's enough venting for airflow to keep things cool enough that you need, and that's a very different thing.


I agree. In the SG04 it was bothersome, because, for those that are familiar with the case layout, the upper front fan is desperately needed to cool the CPU, because in this small form factor case, the PSU sits above the CPU area, severly limiting cooler height and once the GPU is dropping its heat, having no airflow to the CPU area is painful. In the summer, I've had to open the front door, because it was killing ~80% of the airflow. But I concur, this case is probably one of the worst examples in this regard.

Quote:
And if a fan or 2 has to run a bit faster at extreme load -- usually while the user has sound effects from his games blasting -- does the temporary increase in noise really affect the user?

Absolutely. When I'm gaming in the summertime, my PC definitely becomes audible. Although it's never bothered me, because, as you said, when I'm gaming the room ain't silent, I've thought about buying a Thermalright Shaman just for the academic exercise of achieving true silence in every situation. Thank goodness, it wouldn't fit my GTX 460 (Gainward custom short PCB).

The occasional visitor will still remark in awe about the supposed silence of my rig under full load conditions, but as somebody, who's visited SPCR the first time probably 10 years ago, I can only laugh in pitty...


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 Post subject: Re: high end silent case
PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 5:02 pm 
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MikeC wrote:
When I think about all the cases that have come through here over the past couple of years, the one that stands out most -- from a functional, silent-featured viewpoint -- is the NZXT H2 http://www.silentpcreview.com/nzxt-h2. Like the Fractal and many other "silent" oriented case, it is a P180 takeoff, but it's done very well. Its built quality is solid -- I prefer it to the Fractals, whose mechanicals never seem quite solid enough to me -- the overall design and features are excellent, it's practical. It falls flat in not have open enough intake vents -- but that can be fixed somewhat (as shown in the mod page in that review). Once modified, as long as you don't shove a really hot video card in there, it will work very well. In fact, I am using that modified H2 sample to house my next main PC -- still haven't finished loading all the software, so until that's done, I'm still on this reliable old Win XP / C2D machine. The primary components for the new rig are 2600K, 8G RAM, Radeon HD6850, SSD, and WD Green 2TB. It's silent, really fast & powerful, & cool.

[...]

The most powerful fanless card is probably the Powercolor SCS3 AX6850 Radeon HD 6850. Gigabyte GV-R677SL-1GD Radeon HD 6770 is also a decent bet. There seem to be far fewer higher end fanless nVidia cards, though there is always the option to mod a fan cooled model w/ a passive aftermarket cooler. Re- GPU support for general computation -- all current model AMD GPUs should support OpenCL; nVidia has CUDA.


Apologies if you've already answered the following in some form, but I couldn't find it: what motherboard did you choose for your build? And which specific Radeon HD6850 model? Is it the PowerColer mentioned above?


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 Post subject: Re: high end silent case
PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 5:17 pm 
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Dmesg wrote:
Apologies if you've already answered the following in some form, but I couldn't find it: what motherboard did you choose for your build? And which specific Radeon HD6850 model? Is it the PowerColer mentioned above?

Asus P8P67 Pro + the reference HD6850 that AMD sent us. The latter is fan cooled, but except during hard gaming, it's inaudible in my setup.

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 Post subject: Re: high end silent case
PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 10:30 am 
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Location: Germany
If you like the looks, your hooked :D

http://www.thermaltakeusa.com/Products.aspx?S=1341

And with a bit of fiddling it should be reasonable quiet, i guess.


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