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 Post subject: Tips for selecting a case (2018)
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2018 9:54 pm 

Joined: Sat Sep 23, 2017 6:49 am
Posts: 110
Generally, larger cases are better for silence than smaller cases because more (and larger) fans are allowed and there's more airflow to be had. However, it depends on the power consumption of the system. If you are not using a video card, Mini ITX should be, as the build won't get overly hot anyways. For builds which use high-end videos and want to overclock the CPU and GPU, Micro ATX or ATX may be the safest bet for silence. ITX would most likely not present issues at all for those who are using energy efficient CPU's and GPU's. Another warning. Smaller cases are harder to build in, and may cause an additional hour or two of frustration for beginners due to limited hand room. However, if you prefer compactness, you'll be glad you went with ITX in the long run.

Optimal performance-to-price budget: $40-80. Beyond $100 is more for luxury than necessity.

Airflow is important. Ideally, you want a case that allows you to place a fan on the front and on the back, as well as on the top. Being able to place a fan on the bottom is a bonus. You want a case with a balanced amount of vents. Some may have them on the sides and some may have them on the top and bottom. However, at the same time, you don't want vents with so many openings that the noise bleeds out. For example, the Fractal Design Define series. The vents on the sides of the front panel are excellent because they take in air without leaving much room for the sounds to be carried out, but for silence, I would always leave the top cover on the case because the top of the case is exposed (when the cover is removed).

Power supply shrouds. Some builders like them for aesthetic reasons but this is not a good feature if the goal is silence. The wind of a power supply ends up smacking against a metal shroud and creates extra noise. And if the power supply is facing up-side down, it's facing the floor or desk.

Cases with dust filters are recommendable. Intake fans do take in some dust. If you want to maintain your system, clearing out dust once every ~6 months is good idea. With dust filters, this is can be done as simply as taking out the filter, washing the dust off in the sink, drying it with a towel and reattaching it to the case (without needing to open up the case).

I've read a few articles testing the noise between cases marketed as "silent" and the differences aren't vast. Cases with sound-dampening material do seem to yield less noise than cases that aren't designed to dampen noise.
However, your case is really only as quiet as your build is. A quiet case can mitigate a noisy build, but not fix it. In my experience, the acoustics of a build seems to be 10% the case you use and 90% the parts you use.

Are cases with window panels worth it? People can differ in opinion on the aesthetic value, though I'm personally satisfied that I chose a case with a clear (non-tinted) window and I installed white LED lights inside; this allows me to check how the system is functioning, diagnose any possible problems, check to make sure too much dust doesn't accumulate and see how fast each fan is spinning.

 Post subject: Re: Tips for selecting a case (2018)
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2018 6:53 pm 

Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2008 10:44 pm
Posts: 2
Location: Singapore
Plan a new build so return to SPCR. Surprised to find the main site is basically dead, no new reviews for years. Now see that folks like you are keeping the place alive via forum posts. Just want to thank you for making the effort. Cheers!

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