I'm in the process of consolidating two extremely quiet machines into a single new machine. This is primarily to increase performance and capacity, but also to reduce total power consumption.
The new build will be based on
- an ATX motherboard from the Asus P8B series, probably P8B-C/4L or P8B-E/4L
- a Xeon E3-1220L or E3-1260L
- three 3.5" 5400 RPM hard drives (Samsung HD204UI, probably), and two 7200 RPM 2.5" hard drives (possibly WD7500BPKT)
- onboard video only, and then only during installation of the box
With the Xeon E3-1220L having a TDP of only 20 Watts, I have some hope of being able to cool the CPU passively using a Prolimatech Megahalems and a nearby exhaust/intake fan. That might be a bit more difficult with the 45 Watt 126
I was about to order an Antec Solo II and a Seasonic X-400 for this project, when I ran into an item offered by a retailer in Germany -- a Lian Li PC-A05FNB with a pre-applied noise damping kit, http://www.caseking.de/shop/catalog/Gehaeuse/Gedaemmte-Gehaeuse/Lian%20Li-PC-A05FNB-Midi-Tower-black-gedaemmt::17053.html?language=en
Having worked with an original Solo before but not with a PC-A05(F), I am now wondering if the pre-applied "King Mod" dampening material might put this Lian Li case into the same league as a Solo II. The Antec case has heavier side panels, but the Lian Li would have this thick (10-12 mm, by the looks of it) dampening mat hanging off them.
The cases' facilities for reducing hard drive noise seem similar as well, with silicone grommets in the Solo and rubber rings in the PC-A05. Suspending everything is not really feasible, but putting all drives into Scythe QuietDrive enclosures would be acceptable. Replacing the three 3.5" drives with 5400 RPM 1 Terabyte 2.5" drives (Spinpoint M8 or the like) might be as well.
So, what do we think? Does a dampened Lian Li PC-A05F stand a chance against a Solo II?