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 Post subject: Looking for a new quiet tower case
PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 10:28 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2007 10:30 am
Posts: 858
Location: London
I need to get a new case to build a spare PC after I gave my old one to my Mum when her PC died. It wasn't worth the effort of moving all the components over to her old case, so I just gave her the whole unit.

I've currently got my PC in a Cooler Master HAF XB EVO case, which I was really excited to find as I'd long thought of building such a case as I figured it can't be good for the motherboard to have the weight of the CPU cooler and GPU hanging off it but after my PSU died recently and I had to dismantle everything to remove it I realised it's not so great! It's pretty bad from a noise point of view too, even with just three Arctic Cooling PWM fans running between 800-1000 RPM at idle/light use (which is about as low as the BIOS will let me go and the CPU temp gets a bit high if I try running them any slower) as the top mesh lets all the fan noise out and there's vents on either side as well. The one on the left might be useful as it allows the graphics card fans to draw in cold air but from a noise POV it'd probably be better to block all those vents and just leave the front vents and fans to provide the intake air.

So I'm looking for a normal tower case again. I'll probably use it for a music composition/production PC, as the noise level is more important for that, and keep my current case/PC as a general purpose/gaming machine where the noise doesn't really matter, or I might end up buying two towers and selling the HAF XB EVO. Either way, I want to keep my options open with the case I'm buying now so I want one I can fit a decent GPU in. I can't imagine I'd need to run more than 2 SSDs and 2 HDDs and I guess I don't really need any external drive bays, as I can either have an optical drive in the other PC or just get a USB one.

I've seen the Deep Silence 3 https://www.quietpc.com/na-ds3 and Deep Silence 1 https://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/AS ... 12-20?th=1 but have read some reports of poor quality on the doors. I'm not keen on top vents on tower cases, as they present too much risk for spilling stuff inside for my liking and vents on the side panels just let noise out so I'd prefer a case without either, otherwise I'd have to block them off myself which just ends up looking messy (and won't do much to block any spillages anyway).

Maybe the Fractal Design Define R6, which can fit a 7cm CPU cooler? https://www.scan.co.uk/products/fractal ... tx-3x-140m

I believe the Deep Silence cases can only take a CPU cooler of up to 6.5" height and a GPU of 13.5" length, whilst for the Fractal Design R6 it's 7.2" and 17.3" respectively (max width for GPUs longer than 11.8" is 6.1" including power connectors) . I'm not sure what height decent CPU coolers are or if there's any modern consumer GPUs that would be too long to fit in either case, unless perhaps they have the power connectors on the end as I know some used to

Having a tempered glass window has the advantage of allowing you to easily confirm that the fans are working and some tasteful lighting can look nice but if it's going to compromise the sound reduction I'd rather have a solid panel. I believe some cases have padding on the inside of the panel, which you obviously can't have with a glass window so I guess it's inevitably going to be inferior on paper, it just depends whether it's noticeable in real terms. With cases with padding on the panel perhaps such they need to be wider to accommodate the GPU but that wouldn't bother me.

Perhaps if I'm not fitting any optical drives I could even lay the tower on it's side, to get the advantage of not having the weight of the CPU cooler and GPU hanging off the motherboard but without the disadvantages of the HAF XB EVO. Then I could even stack two cases on top of each other, or build some shelving to separate them slightly, in which case a glass window would be pointless. That orientation might make it difficult or impossible to use any front-mounted ports but that's not that critical. More important will be whether the front door can still be opened/detached to clean the fans but I guess as long as the case is raised off the floor a bit that should be OK.

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 Post subject: Re: Looking for a new quiet tower case
PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2018 1:17 pm 
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Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2005 3:29 am
Posts: 1637
Location: UK
You could consider the Silverstone KL07 (SST-KL07B), the web site page is here. Should cost around £85 in the UK.


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for a new quiet tower case
PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2018 11:47 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2007 10:30 am
Posts: 858
Location: London
Thanks, that looks like a nice case. Have you used it yourself?

The KL07 is more limited space-wise than the Fractal Define R6, with Max CPU at 163mm (with the wavy foam on the side panel) or 172mm (without the foam), compared to the R6's 185mm (I made a typo in my previous post and meant 7", not 7cm), Max GPU 388mm (L) x 165mm (W) vs 440mm (L) and PSU 140-200mm (depending on drive cage position) vs 300mm.

I'm not sure what the average/max CPU cooler height is but the Hyper 212 is 159mm, so that would fit with the foam on the panel. The biggest EVGA 1080ti is 299mm x 142mm (most are 269mm x 118mm) with the power connectors on the side, so the GPU shouldn't be a problem. My EVGA 750 G2 PSU is 180mm long, so it might fit but I'm not sure how much drive cage space I'd have to sacrifice.

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2nd PC: MSI 990FXA-GD80, Phenom II X4 [email protected], TRUE Rev. C/Nexus, HD6850 1GB, Yate Loon 140mm intake, Nexus 120mm exhaust, HD103UJ, WD6400AAKS, Nexus Value 430W, Bach VX case


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for a new quiet tower case
PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2018 12:22 pm 
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Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2005 3:29 am
Posts: 1637
Location: UK
doveman wrote:
...My EVGA 750 G2 PSU is 180mm long, so it might fit but I'm not sure how much drive cage space I'd have to sacrifice.
You can reposition the drive cage horizontally so, according to Silverstone, a PSU between 140 to 200mm long will fit.


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for a new quiet tower case
PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2018 3:17 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2007 10:30 am
Posts: 858
Location: London
lodestar wrote:
doveman wrote:
...My EVGA 750 G2 PSU is 180mm long, so it might fit but I'm not sure how much drive cage space I'd have to sacrifice.
You can reposition the drive cage horizontally so, according to Silverstone, a PSU between 140 to 200mm long will fit.


OK, looking at this review it seems the default position for the drive cage allows 200mm for the PSU. It's only if you move the drive cage back to make room for a 360mm radiator at the front that it reduces the PSU space to 140mm. https://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Sil ... L07/4.html

I guess the HDD trays aren't going to absorb the vibration noise as well as some other cases that use rubber grommets and I generally prefer a few more HDD slots just so I can space them out but I'll probably only use two SSDs and two HDDs anyway.

The Define R6 is about £28 more than the KL07 and has the advantage of being a larger case with more space for the PSU and can accommodate more HDDs in various positions and has a fan controller, although it would be less suitable to lay on its side unless the feet can be removed. Theoretically the placement of the HDDs in the KL07 is better, as it avoids the heat from them being blown onto the GPU or CPU but with little space between the HDDs and the PSU and no obvious vents I'm not sure where the HDD heat is supposed to go.

Incidentally that was one of things I liked about my HAF XB case, having the PSU and HDDs on a separate layer to the motherboard to keep their heat away from the MB/CPU/GPU.

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Main: Asus Z97-A, [email protected], Scythe Kotetsu HSF, Corsair Vengeance LP DDR3 4x4GB, eVGA SuperNova G2 750W, Powercolor 6950 2GB GPU, Samsung 840 Evo 256GB SSD, Samsung 2TB and WD 2TB HDDs, Coolermaster HAF XB case

2nd PC: MSI 990FXA-GD80, Phenom II X4 [email protected], TRUE Rev. C/Nexus, HD6850 1GB, Yate Loon 140mm intake, Nexus 120mm exhaust, HD103UJ, WD6400AAKS, Nexus Value 430W, Bach VX case


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for a new quiet tower case
PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2018 7:29 am 
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Joined: Thu Oct 23, 2008 6:53 am
Posts: 9
Location: Seattle
doveman wrote:
Perhaps if I'm not fitting any optical drives I could even lay the tower on it's side


Optical drives work fine with the case on it's side. The trays are built to hold a disc even when it's vertical. It's a little unsettling the first time but it works.


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for a new quiet tower case
PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2018 11:18 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:22 pm
Posts: 3300
Location: Guatemala
I think the Define R6 is worth the extra money, but it really depends on each needs.

doveman wrote:
Incidentally that was one of things I liked about my HAF XB case, having the PSU and HDDs on a separate layer to the motherboard to keep their heat away from the MB/CPU/GPU.
What about the Meshify C, it will have the hdds on bottom with the PSU.

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