I know this is a (the) regular question, but I'm looking for a new case for my watercooled system:
- Intel Core i5-3570K,
- 2-way CrossFire of AMD Radeon HD 7970 3GB,
- Swiftech MCP655 pump with a Koolance COV-RP450 Rev.2.0 top,
- One or two 3*120mm radiators (not sure, may change),
- Scythe Gentle Typhoon AP-15 fans, with DIY analog voltage control (not PWM).
Everything being 'gently' overclocked.
My first concern is that experience proved me the choice of the case could play a crucial role in the chase for a silent system, especially with such systems which often suffer from 'structural noise' (humming, thrumming and growling...you know what I mean?
My second one is to find a case with enough room for all that stuff.
And finally, aesthetic (considering that I'm more on the understated, elegant, full black aluminium side from this point of view).
To give you some background, I owned MANY cases before, from the very low-end white mid-tower to the high-end Lian-Li (PC-101B) and CoolerMaster (ATC-201B-SXT, best finish I've ever seen!) aluminum cases, including some nice cases from Antec (1030B, Sonata, P180...) and Zalman (HD160 Plus, an ATX HTPC case). I used to change often 'cause I never got really satisfied…
As previously said, I love the look and the finish of full black aluminum cases (e.g. Lian-Li). Unfortunately, you and me know that they're also prone to 'structural noise' and vibrations.
Thus, I'm looking for a case that would combine this type of aesthetic, a very sturdy chassis and enough room to assemble my w/c.
I explored several options, includind the SilverStone FT02B, a fully damped Lian-Li (see the postscriptum
) or the Corsair Obsidian serie.
The FT02 is my more serious option. It seems to be an amazing case and the big opening at the bottom of the case, with its three 180 mm fans, sounds like a watercooler dream. But, I still have a few concerns, including aesthetic (I'm not a fan of its 'rounded' shape and not sure the mix of painted steel, plastic and aluminium looks very elegant) and integration of my watercooling system. In fact, it seems there isn't room for a thick radiator, which dramatically reduce the choice (who said Maxicool Xtrem Triple 180 ?). And so I'm not sure this the most efficient solution in terms of silence, performances and cost, compared with two 360 rads with Gentle Typhoon 120 mm fans (that I already have, bought second-hand).
Any advice is welcome.
PS : I plan to buy vibration mounts (for the pump and the HDDs), a high density material to cover the case panels (to reduce structural noise and vibration transmission) and maybe acoustic foam (to absorb aerial noise) from a specialized supplier. Experience proved me the two first solutions to be very efficient, especially in aluminum cases.
PS2 : Please note that I live in France and – unfortunately – importing a Case Labs case would be VERY expensive (something like USD700-800 for a SM8 with few options). Some other brand are not available here. By the way, If I can, I would go for a second-hand case to reduce the cost...