Been awhile since I've posted here, though I do regularly come check out the reviews. Frankly I was a little disappointed by this one. The fan was tested and measurements made quite nicely, but am I simply remembering wrong, thinking that you folks usually put together a system in new cases to see how they perform? At least so that you can give readers (at the very least) some subjective observations about performance?
I understand that it seems like an insignificant update, not worthy of such trouble, but I would argue that the side vents could be an excellent feature or a horrible detriment, and until someone has tested it and reported what the effect is in terms of noise escaped vs. cooling acquired, I would say that this 3000B is a a gamble not worth taking. I do know that in other cases that have side vents this has been a major issue in past articles. I'm slightly saddened by the fact that it wasn't closely examined here. I'm inclined to think that it would do more harm that good, especially considering the lower opening that would provide an excellent way to hear un-modded graphics cards' fans. But again, 'who knows?' until someone checks.
Also, I was checking out newegg, and I was suprised to see other additions to this line, including a 1650B and a 2650BQE, both of which appear to be variations on this theme. The 2650 in particular looked like a possible candidate for a good, cool, quiet case (Ralph would maybe appreciate the HDD bays facing the right direction). I was little surprised that these weren't even mentioned in this article, as it would fit in nicely in the parts about changing design based on user feedback.
I really do not mean to sound overly critical or any such thing. I was just slightly shocked that this review differed so much from other case reviews I have seen here. You folks do THE most thorough reviews of THE most interesting gear anywhere on the net (as far as I know). I love the standard you generally keep yourselves to, and I appreciate everything you have done... I seriously don't know what I would do in terms of building PCs without this site and your hard work. I would be (yet ANOTHER) naive consumer blindly making purchases based on manufacturers' claims and the shoddy reviews available elsewhere on the net. That would be sad.
Finally, FWIW, a friend of mine gave me his antec 350S power supply, and it is (by FAR) quieter than any other PS (I own the latest version of the Super Tornado 400), even quieter than any other fan I have witnessed (and yes I have many Panaflo 80L1A's). It also moves virtually no air to speak of, and when I stick a piece of plastic in to stop the fan, I find it barely moving. I'm ok with that. If it gets too hot, it'll shut itself off, right? I hope so anyway...
OK seriously, my last comment is... did you see that new mac mini?? That looks NICE. Talk about SFF... I finally got the chance to check out the new iMac in a very quite room, and was impressed by how seriously quiet it was. How do those things move air?? There was a Dell in the room that I had turned off... when I turned it back on, it nearly burst my eardrums.
OK and I'm spent.
I guess I felt the need to make up for not posting for so long...