I'm attempting to build a silent (or very quiet) system with the following parts:
2 x 1TB WD 7200 RPM drives
AMD FirePro V4900
Rosewill Capstone-450W 'Gold' PSU
The first attempt involved these components:
Stock Intel HSF
NZXT Source 210 Elite
The HSF is next to silent at idle, but audibly changes speed under load. I'll be replacing it with a Mugen 3. The PSU has moderately noisy broadband noise characteristic. For a unit with this efficiency, the fan is simply spinning too fast. I'm tempted to swap it with another even at the expense of the warranty. The NZXT case was light and has no capacity or room to suspend hard disks. With a single 5400 RPM disk, it hummed audibly and amplified very loud seek noises.
What I'd like is:
* A subdued, heavy case
* With either an incredibly good drive mounting system, or the space for me to put in a disk suspension system. I can't believe how few case designers prioritize this, it's far and away the most significant noise source in any system with otherwise decent components.
* 2 or more 5.25" bays
* Ideally, a bottom-mounted PSU
* Cable routing that allows USB 3 cables out the back
* USB 3 ports (or can these be added to any case?)
My existing cases are Antec Solos and a Proto. The Solos have excellent build quality, drive suspension, and silence, but are generally a PITA to build. Top-mounted PSU, no holes for USB cables out the back, cramped drive installations, no hole in the motherboard section to allow for back-mounted heatsinks. The Proto is my minimum build quality standard, but doesn't have a removable rear panel.
A couple I see:
* Antec Solo II - still top-mounted PSU, no cutout for USB cables (?), no expansion past 2 3.5" drives + 2 5.25" devices, BUT the right size, build, and has integrated suspension
* Corsair 550D - huge, flimsy drive trays (room to suspend?), BUT great capable management, build(?), USB 3 cutouts, expansion
* Fractal Design R4 - drive trays (room to suspend?), no grommets for USB 3 (but a weird vertical PCI-style cutout?), only 2 5.25" devices, BUT nice build
* Cooler Master Silencio 550 - ?
I don't see the perfect case. Is drive suspension still necessary with the Corsair and the Fractal? What else ought I consider?
Also, if you're aware of a quiet PSU under $100 in the 350W-550W range, I'd love to hear that. Idle load for this system is 65W. Max load is 220W. Two potential alternatives:
* PC Power and Cooling Silencer MK III 500W Modular (Bronze)
* Seasonic S12II 430B
No idea which is preferable. Thanks!