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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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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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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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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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 Post subject: Re: Looking for a new quiet tower case
PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2018 12:22 pm 
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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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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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 Post subject: Re: Looking for a new quiet tower case
PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2018 7:29 am 
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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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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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 Post subject: Re: Looking for a new quiet tower case
PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2018 3:47 am 
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Abula wrote:
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.


I think pretty much all cases have room for HDDs on the bottom with the PSU now. The Meshify C does have some nice features, such as solid drive trays with rubber grommets to reduce vibration, but overall it seems less likely to be as quiet as the KL07, especially with the mesh front.

I decided to get the KL07 but I'm rather confused by the one I've received, as the HDD cage isn't movable as it's riveted in place, as is the PSU shroud (although I'm not sure why I thought this was removable). The removable metal plate on the shroud to allow for a 360mm radiator, as shown here https://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Sil ... L07/4.html is also missing, so there's just a hole there which will let HDD noise and heat into the main area. I'd probably live with that but with the HDD cage in the position it's in, it's impossible to fit my EVGA 750 G2 PSU and modular cables, so this is going to have to go back. There's also an issue with the PSU mounting, as to line up all four screw holes I have to lift the right side of the PSU (looking at it from the back), so when it's screwed in that side will be unsupported underneath as it won't be resting on the raised metal bumps on the bottom of the case.

I'm not sure what they've tampered with the design but it seems like they've done it to cut costs and screwed it up in the process. I'll probably exchange it for the R6 unless I find something better.

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 Post subject: Re: Looking for a new quiet tower case
PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2018 5:30 pm 
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I've seen some user reviews that have put me off the R6 somewhat.

R6 Cons:
Riveted PSU Shroud (having experienced the KL07 one, it just makes life harder when building and I don't really see much point in the shroud on non-windowed cases.
HDD shroud also seems that it would just get in the way and provide no benefit for non-windowed cases.
HDD racks can flex due to the way they are fixed to the case.
Non-magnetic front door is a pain to latch closed.
Removable top is insecure and can be knocked out of place.
No 5.25" bay (I'm not sure I really need one but may be good to have one just in case).

So the R5 might be a better option as it doesn't have the shrouds, it has 5.25" bays that can be removed if unwanted, more secure removable HDD cages and a magnetic door and is cheaper than the R6. I saw one comment that the front bezel can rattle very badly though.

Has anyone used the R5 and can recommend it as a quiet case?

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 Post subject: Re: Looking for a new quiet tower case
PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2018 7:45 pm 
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doveman wrote:
Has anyone used the R5 and can recommend it as a quiet case?
It was reviewed by SPCR on Quiet ATX Gamer, R5 Version, its a really solid case, i built on the R6 and its great case also, its more a matter of preference, either way they will be R7 on a year or two, with improvements, there is no perfect case, that said its up to you and what you think its better for your application.

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 Post subject: Re: Looking for a new quiet tower case
PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2018 8:47 am 
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Abula wrote:
doveman wrote:
Has anyone used the R5 and can recommend it as a quiet case?
It was reviewed by SPCR on Quiet ATX Gamer, R5 Version, its a really solid case, i built on the R6 and its great case also, its more a matter of preference, either way they will be R7 on a year or two, with improvements, there is no perfect case, that said its up to you and what you think its better for your application.


Thanks. OK it looks pretty decent. The supplier has agreed to collect the KL07 at no cost to me but they won't have the R5 in stock for a couple of weeks, so I'll have to wait a bit to get that as everywhere else is either out of stock or quite a bit more expensive.

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 Post subject: Re: Looking for a new quiet tower case
PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2018 10:38 am 
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I've got my R5 all setup now with my new EVGA 1070ti and my new (RMA replacement) EVGA G2 750W and it's pretty damn quiet, even with two HDDs and many times quieter than my old Coolermaster HAF XB EVO.

Obviously that case wasn't designed to keep noise in as it's largely open mesh but even so I'm surprised at the difference. It seems the 1070ti keeps the fans off at idle, so that obviously helps compared to my old HD6950 even with the Arctic Cooling Acellero Xtreme III I fitted, which was actually too long to fit in the R5 without removing the middle HDD cage so I'm glad I got a new GPU!

The other benefit with the R5 is that I'm using 140mm fans rather than 120mm. I replaced the R5's exhaust fan with a Noiseblocker BlackSilentPro PK2 I had but that was the only 140mm fan I had, so I'm using the supplied front fan for now. Both are set to DC mode as they ran faster/noisier in PWM mode. I need to double-check which is which in HwInfo but I think it's the Intake fan I was able to set to run at 44% until the temperature rises to something like 60c and that translates to approx. 510RPM, whilst the exhaust fan (Noiseblocker) is running at around 560RPM and my 120mm CPU fan at around 800RPM. Are there any 140mm fans you'd recommend to replace either the stock front one, the Noiseblocker, or both?

The only annoyance is that the PSU fan keeps spinning up quite regularly, even though I'm just browsing and not stressing the system. I may have to switch off the silent mode as the change in noise levels is probably more annoying than having the fan on constantly but it does mean the PSU is probably going to be the loudest component at idle, ruining my dreams of a silent PC.

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 Post subject: Re: Looking for a new quiet tower case
PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2018 11:09 am 
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Do you want to replace the case fans because they are too noisy? or not providing enough airflow @ the min speed?

How much do you want to spend per fan? The range is ~10-25 pounds.

Also, pretty sure the R5 stock fans are DC controlled only. probably went to max rpm when you tried with PWM.

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 Post subject: Re: Looking for a new quiet tower case
PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 4:35 am 
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CA_Steve wrote:
Do you want to replace the case fans because they are too noisy? or not providing enough airflow @ the min speed?

How much do you want to spend per fan? The range is ~10-25 pounds.

Also, pretty sure the R5 stock fans are DC controlled only. probably went to max rpm when you tried with PWM.


Yeah, that would make sense if the fans aren't designed to work with PWM. I'm not sure what the max RPM for the stock fan is but as I recall the BIOS only showed it running a bit faster before I switched to DC mode. I'll check that though.

It's hard to say at the moment why I might want to change the fans, as the weather's turned a bit colder here now so even if I stress-test the fans probably won't need to spin as fast as they will in summer to keep things cool enough. I'd probably spend up to £15 per fan.

My 4670k is probably my weakest point as it's not a great overclocker so I had to bump it to 1.265v to OC to 4.3Ghz, so that tends to get a bit hot, hitting spikes of up to 60c even when not gaming. At the moment Software Reporter Tool (something to do with Chrome) is loading all four cores at 25-40% and core temps are 43-50c with the CPU fan at 800RPM, so it's probably OK. After blocking that Tool, cores are at 9-14% and temps are 35-40c.

The PSU is the biggest problem at the moment though. I tried it in non-silent mode but it's quite intrusive, with a bit of a rattle/tick to it and completely runs the "silence" of the PC. My previous G2 wasn't spinning up regularly in silent mode before I had to return it and EVGA have replaced it with a brand new sealed one, so it's not like they've just done a dodgy repair on it. I've got a brand new G1+ 750W spare, which doesn't have silent mode but it might be useful to compare the two in non-silent mode so I'll try swapping that in.

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 Post subject: Re: Looking for a new quiet tower case
PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 7:22 am 
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Bummer about the PSU. You can get the Corsair RM550x or the Seasonic Focus Plus 550 for £75-80.

How much longer do you plan to hold onto the HD 6950 gfx card? 200W TDP and less performance than the 75W GTX 1050...

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 Post subject: Re: Looking for a new quiet tower case
PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:37 pm 
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CA_Steve wrote:
Bummer about the PSU. You can get the Corsair RM550x or the Seasonic Focus Plus 550 for £75-80.

How much longer do you plan to hold onto the HD 6950 gfx card? 200W TDP and less performance than the 75W GTX 1050...


The EVGA G2 is still under warranty for another 7 years or so, so if the replacement they've sent me is faulty I can just get them to replace it again.

I'm not really sure what to do with the HD6950 now I've got the 1070ti. As my motherboard has Intel onboard GPU, I could still use my PC even if the 1070ti had to be sent back for repair (not for gaming but for other stuff) so I don't really need a backup card. I guess it's always useful to have a spare for diagnostic purposes, to confirm a card is faulty rather than the motherboard or PSU, but a small cheap card would be easier to store away than my 6950 with the Xtreme III heatsink attached. 6950's are only selling for about £25-30 on e-bay, although I guess I might get a bit more for it with the heatsink. Obviously it won't fit in the box with that attached, so I'll have to find another to package it if I sell it.

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