Micro-atx or mini-itx case for a small quiet pc?

Enclosures and acoustic damping to help quiet them.

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Zenigata
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Micro-atx or mini-itx case for a small quiet pc?

Post by Zenigata » Mon Mar 09, 2015 9:03 am

Hello,
I want to buy a new system with Core i-5 cpu to do photo editing, internet browsing, stream hd videos, etc.

My old system is built around a Core2Duo E8400 in an Antec Sonata 500 under my desk; I'm happy with this case, but I'd like a smaller one (in a year or two I'll come to a new home, so I have no idea of desk dimension) with usb 3.0 ports.

My new system configuration:
Core i-5 84W TDP (no overclocked)
2 x 3,5" hard disks
1 x 2,5" ssd
2 x 4gb ram
Intel H97 motherboard (micro atx or mini-itx)
no discrete card (I don't play games).
1 x dvd+rw (external or internal)
fans, cpu air cooler and psu: no idea

What case do you suggest me to buy? I'd prefer a micro-atx or mini-itx. I don't need a deadly silent pc, but a very quiet one. Please remember my actual room has quite a lot of dust.

Thanks

Thanks

quest_for_silence
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Re: Micro-atx or mini-itx case for a small quiet pc?

Post by quest_for_silence » Mon Mar 09, 2015 12:16 pm

Zenigata wrote:fans, cpu air cooler and psu: no idea

case: Lian-Li PC-Q18
fans: 2 x Antec TruQuiet 140
cpu air cooler: Scythe Big Shuriken 2 Rev. B
psu: Seasonic G-360
Regards,
Luca

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Zenigata
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Re: Micro-atx or mini-itx case for a small quiet pc?

Post by Zenigata » Mon Mar 09, 2015 1:31 pm

quest_for_silence wrote: case: Lian-Li PC-Q18
Hi, don't you think the fan on the front will intake a too much dust? My room has a lot of dust. My Antec Sonata 500 has a fan behind the front mask and it has a filter. Also it's too expensiev (150 euro).

Thanks

quest_for_silence
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Re: Micro-atx or mini-itx case for a small quiet pc?

Post by quest_for_silence » Mon Mar 09, 2015 7:58 pm

Zenigata wrote:Hi, don't you think the fan on the front will intake a too much dust?
Personally at first instance I'd take the risk, and just in the occurrence of actual problems I'd order a custom DEMCiflex filter.
If you feel more comfortable with a solid front panel, you might use a PC-Q25 with 1 TruQuiet and 1 Noctua S12 Redux fans.
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Luca

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Re: Micro-atx or mini-itx case for a small quiet pc?

Post by Zenigata » Mon Mar 09, 2015 11:27 pm

Hi, after a lot of research, I've found two candidates:


1) Micro Atx: Nanoxia Deep Silence 4 (80 €), a sort of a revision of Fractal Design Define Mini
200 x 380 x 480 (W x D x H)

plus: sturdied, better airflow, quieter, good cable management, nice look
minus: bigger, not good quality check


2) Mini Itx: Cooltek U2 / Rosewill Legacy U2-S (80 €), which is similar to Rosewill Legacy U3 that was reviewed for spcr
208 x 233 x 319 mm (W x D x H)

plus: smaller, nice look
minus: more delicated, less airflow, noiser, not good cable management


What do you think?

Thanks

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Re: Micro-atx or mini-itx case for a small quiet pc?

Post by quest_for_silence » Tue Mar 10, 2015 3:14 am

Zenigata wrote:What do you think?

Does aesthetics matter more than technical aspects, for your needs?
Regards,
Luca

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Zenigata
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Re: Micro-atx or mini-itx case for a small quiet pc?

Post by Zenigata » Tue Mar 10, 2015 9:04 am

This is what is important, in order:

1) Cost (cheaper is better); 2) Quietness; 3) Technical aspects; 4) Aesthetics

quest_for_silence
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Re: Micro-atx or mini-itx case for a small quiet pc?

Post by quest_for_silence » Wed Mar 11, 2015 6:15 am

Zenigata wrote:This is what is important, in order:

1) Cost (cheaper is better); 2) Quietness; 3) Technical aspects; 4) Aesthetics
Just some comments on your list:

1) Broadly speaking, going cheaper isn't advisable while looking for a quiet and small case: there are obviously exceptions to this rule of thumb.
2) Achieving quietness is always a challenge with smallest systems.
3) For technical aspects I meant cooling/quietness/workability (almost always working inside those tiny enclosures is a pain in the ...).

Said that, I'd rather the proven Define Mini over the newer Nanoxia, while about the Cooltek you may give a read here.
Those Cooltek U2/U3 may be a valuable option, particularly without a discrete graphics, even if I don't know how their stock mountings will behave with multiple HDD (to say, a Define Mini would be likely better): by the way, german prices are usually better on Cooltek, it might be interesting buying there (it will be less hassle free, mainly due to language, but it's perfectly doable).

Other possible alternatives, if you don't like the already quoted Lian-li enclosures for their aesthetics, or even costs, might be:

1) Bitfenix Phenom M (cheaper)
2) Ncase M1 rev. 3 (very expensive but really small and exclusive)
3) Lian Li TU-100 (might come in handy for your next relocation :wink: )
4) the various Cooltek Coolcube-series (way cheaper! You might read something here)
5) Xigmatek Nebula (cheaper but, to be honest, I didn't checked how many drives it can handle)
6) Fractal Design Node 304
Regards,
Luca

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Re: Micro-atx or mini-itx case for a small quiet pc?

Post by Olaf van der Spek » Thu Mar 12, 2015 1:53 pm

Zenigata wrote:2 x 3,5" hard disks
5400, 7200, 10000 or 15000rpm? Why two?
Will you suspend the HDDs or mount them normally?

If you want cheap (and quite compact): http://www.fractal-design.com/home/prod ... 000-usb-30 (W: 175mm)

Why an i5 instead of an i3 (or even a G3220)?

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Re: Micro-atx or mini-itx case for a small quiet pc?

Post by quest_for_silence » Fri Mar 13, 2015 1:12 am

Olaf van der Spek wrote:If you want cheap (and quite compact): http://www.fractal-design.com/home/prod ... 000-usb-30 (W: 175mm)

AFAIK the issue is with height and depth, not the width. In this respect, a Core 1300/1500 would be more flexible at about the same price, but maybe it would still be not really preferable to a similarly priced CM Silencio 352.
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Luca

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Re: Micro-atx or mini-itx case for a small quiet pc?

Post by Zenigata » Fri Mar 13, 2015 12:42 pm

Olaf van der Spek wrote: [hard disks]
5400, 7200, 10000 or 15000rpm? Why two?
Will you suspend the HDDs or mount them normally?
Hi, I'd like to use two hard disk of my acutal build (the one with Antec Sonata 500 and Core2Duo E8400): one is a 1gb CaviarGreen WDC WD10EZRX , one is a SAMSUNG HD501LJ (7200rpm). Am I wrong to keep two hard disk?

Does the suspension worth? In my actual Antec case they are suspendend but it's a feature of the case.
Olaf van der Spek wrote: If you want cheap (and quite compact): http://www.fractal-design.com/home/prod ... 000-usb-30 (W: 175mm)
Why an i5 instead of an i3 (or even a G3220)?
Can be a mesh-type case quiet?

I am considering a Core i5 because has more power for raw editing and compiling and because is quad-core. G3220 has not that much power compared do E8400. I'm using Linux and some multimedia solutions I use (such as Flash) are not well optimized for Linux and I need power (some flash hd-videos in my system have 100% cpu).

quest_for_silence wrote: AFAIK the issue is with height and depth, not the width. In this respect, a Core 1300/1500 would be more flexible at about the same price, but maybe it would still be not really preferable to a similarly priced CM Silencio 352.
In my actual room I haven't any problems with mini-towers; in one or two years I'll relocate to a new house. I don't know room type, spaces and desk, so I am assuming smaller is better in my case...or not? As for Cooler Master Silencio 352 I've read some bad reviews about hard disk noise and cable management.

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Re: Micro-atx or mini-itx case for a small quiet pc?

Post by quest_for_silence » Fri Mar 13, 2015 1:26 pm

Zenigata wrote:G3220 has not that much power compared do E8400.

Really? I have some doubts, it should be at least a 50-60% faster, and the G34X0 or a G3258 should be even more for about the same price (I say so after I gave a quick scan on Phoronix, but I'm not fond about).

Zenigata wrote:so I am assuming smaller is better in my case...or not?

It depends, there's not right answer IMO/IME.

Zenigata wrote:As for Cooler Master Silencio 352 I've read some bad reviews about hard disk noise and cable management.

More or less it's about the same for any comparable enclosure, like the Fractal Core ones.
Regards,
Luca

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Re: Micro-atx or mini-itx case for a small quiet pc?

Post by Pappnaas » Sat Mar 14, 2015 1:23 am

Zenigata wrote: one is a 1gb CaviarGreen WDC WD10EZRX , one is a SAMSUNG HD501LJ (7200rpm). Am I wrong to keep two hard disk?
IMHO yes, you are. I see no reason to keep old HDDs of a total of 1.5 TB when you can buy a single 2TB 2.5". You are willing to throw good money at stuff for silence but want to keep comparatively slow and old HDDs just to deal with all the vibrations and such, which in the end eats up more money and effort to silence?

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Re: Micro-atx or mini-itx case for a small quiet pc?

Post by quest_for_silence » Sat Mar 14, 2015 2:45 am

Pappnaas wrote:when you can buy a single 2TB 2.5".

Or a 2 TB CaviarGreen WDC WD20EZRX: I guess it should be quieter than current generation 2TB 2.5" HDDs (even if those ones are easier to suspend in a 3.5" bay).
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Luca

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Re: Micro-atx or mini-itx case for a small quiet pc?

Post by xan_user » Sat Mar 14, 2015 7:36 am

Can be a mesh-type case quiet?
yes. but only if you stick with a single quiet, suspended HDD. -or just go all SSD and run a NAS outside of earshot.
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Re: Micro-atx or mini-itx case for a small quiet pc?

Post by quest_for_silence » Sat Mar 14, 2015 8:53 am

xan_user wrote:yes. but only if you stick with a single quiet, suspended HDD. -or just go all SSD and run a NAS outside of earshot.

I wouldn't be so drastic: just two examples

SPCR 9-drives home server: http://www.silentpcreview.com/NZXT_Tempest_EVO_Case - http://www.silentpcreview.com/Nine_Susp ... nd_Testing
Fractal Arc Mini R2: http://www.silentpcreview.com/article1379-page6.html

for comparison purposes, Fractal Define Mini: http://www.silentpcreview.com/article1230-page7.html

Anything is about doable, more or less.
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Luca

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Re: Micro-atx or mini-itx case for a small quiet pc?

Post by Olaf van der Spek » Sat Mar 14, 2015 9:42 am

quest_for_silence wrote:
Pappnaas wrote:when you can buy a single 2TB 2.5".

Or a 2 TB CaviarGreen WDC WD20EZRX: I guess it should be quieter than current generation 2TB 2.5" HDDs
Why?

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Re: Micro-atx or mini-itx case for a small quiet pc?

Post by quest_for_silence » Sat Mar 14, 2015 9:55 am

Regards,
Luca

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Re: Micro-atx or mini-itx case for a small quiet pc?

Post by CA_Steve » Sat Mar 14, 2015 10:23 am

For grins, here's a comparison of the e8400 vs G3420, i3-4360, and i5-4690 running Cinebench R10, both single threaded and multi-threaded under windows. Data was pulled from Anandtech Bench. It'll give you a feel for how much $'s you can spend vs performance increase/time improvement...with the caveat that Cinebench get's a bigger bump from a physical core than from hyperthreading. YMMV with your linux apps.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
1080p Gaming build: i5-4670K, Mugen 4, Asrock Z97 Anniversary, MSI GTX 1660 Gaming X, 8GB 1866 RAM, Samsung 860 Evo 500GB, Crucial MX100 256GB, WD Red 2TB, Samsung DVD burner, Fractal Define R4, Antec True Quiet 140 (2 front+rear) case fans, Seasonic SSR-550FX. 35W idle, 45-55W video streaming, 170-200W WoW, 318W stress test (Prime95 + Furmark)

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Re: Micro-atx or mini-itx case for a small quiet pc?

Post by xan_user » Sun Mar 15, 2015 2:56 am

quest_for_silence wrote:
xan_user wrote:yes. but only if you stick with a single quiet, suspended HDD. -or just go all SSD and run a NAS outside of earshot.

I wouldn't be so drastic: just two examples

SPCR 9-drives home server: http://www.silentpcreview.com/NZXT_Tempest_EVO_Case - http://www.silentpcreview.com/Nine_Susp ... nd_Testing
Fractal Arc Mini R2: http://www.silentpcreview.com/article1379-page6.html

for comparison purposes, Fractal Define Mini: http://www.silentpcreview.com/article1230-page7.html

Anything is about doable, more or less.
true. my point was that a mesh case can be quiet, if you choose, and implement components properly. IE, you shouldn't be looking to the case to silence the (noisy) parts inside.
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Re: Micro-atx or mini-itx case for a small quiet pc?

Post by Zenigata » Sun Mar 15, 2015 12:00 pm

Hi,
Pappnaas wrote:
Zenigata wrote: one is a 1gb CaviarGreen WDC WD10EZRX , one is a SAMSUNG HD501LJ (7200rpm). Am I wrong to keep two hard disk?
IMHO yes, you are. I see no reason to keep old HDDs of a total of 1.5 TB when you can buy a single 2TB 2.5". You are willing to throw good money at stuff for silence but want to keep comparatively slow and old HDDs just to deal with all the vibrations and such, which in the end eats up more money and effort to silence?
I don't think 1tb Caviar Green is slow for my needs; the same apply for Samsung. For sure, a hard disk is quieter than two, but in idle I can't hear them, even if the case is open.
quest_for_silence wrote:
Zenigata wrote:G3220 has not that much power compared do E8400.

Really? I have some doubts, it should be at least a 50-60% faster, and the G34X0 or a G3258 should be even more for about the same price (I say so after I gave a quick scan on Phoronix, but I'm not fond about).
I know, but with a Core i5 for twice the price I get twice performance in multi-threading. Also integrated graphic is better.
quest_for_silence wrote:
Zenigata wrote:As for Cooler Master Silencio 352 I've read some bad reviews about hard disk noise and cable management.

More or less it's about the same for any comparable enclosure, like the Fractal Core ones.
Fractal Core case are cheap and comparable to CM Silencio 352. They are cheap and I don't like them that much.
xan_user wrote: true. my point was that a mesh case can be quiet, if you choose, and implement components properly. IE, you shouldn't be looking to the case to silence the (noisy) parts inside.
Dust love mesh. :) I think a mesh case would take a lot of dust.

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Re: Micro-atx or mini-itx case for a small quiet pc?

Post by quest_for_silence » Sun Mar 15, 2015 12:29 pm

Zenigata wrote:I know, but with a Core i5 for twice the price I get twice performance in multi-threading
I have different quotes: the G3258 (3.2GHz overclockable) is 69 shipped, a Core i5 4430 (3.0GHz) is 175 shipped (ratio 2,5), a Core i5 4570 (3.2Ghz) is 193 shipped (ratio 2,8), a Core i 5 4690K (3.5Ghz overclockable) is 265 shipped (ratio 3,8). I hope you have better options.
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Re: Micro-atx or mini-itx case for a small quiet pc?

Post by Zenigata » Mon Mar 16, 2015 2:42 pm

Yes, you're right, but I-5 is much better in multithreading.

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Re: Micro-atx or mini-itx case for a small quiet pc?

Post by Olaf van der Spek » Tue Mar 17, 2015 12:53 pm

Do you do a lot of multi-threading?
Your money, your choice. ;) i5 is fine

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Re: Micro-atx or mini-itx case for a small quiet pc?

Post by Zenigata » Tue Mar 17, 2015 1:16 pm

Olaf van der Spek wrote:Do you do a lot of multi-threading?
Your money, your choice. ;) i5 is fine
This is my system activity (a sort of Windows task manager for Gnu/Linux kde):

Image

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Re: Micro-atx or mini-itx case for a small quiet pc?

Post by Pappnaas » Wed Mar 18, 2015 12:56 am

Looks like surfing, listening to music and running spotify in the background...

If that is how you mostly use your system, no need to go i5.

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Re: Micro-atx or mini-itx case for a small quiet pc?

Post by quest_for_silence » Wed Mar 18, 2015 4:09 am

Pappnaas wrote:Looks like surfing, listening to music and running spotify in the background...

If that is how you mostly use your system, no need to go i5.

+1 (well, unless you're used to run 2-300 browser's tabs at once).
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Re: Micro-atx or mini-itx case for a small quiet pc?

Post by Zenigata » Wed Mar 18, 2015 6:47 am

Pappnaas wrote:Looks like surfing, listening to music and running spotify in the background...

If that is how you mostly use your system, no need to go i5.
You're right, but i also use rawtherapee, a powerful raw editor / converter.

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