Well the title says it all. I can't afford water cooled atm but I am going to use this computer to record live music and it needs to be very quiet I realize a lot depends on the powersupply but i need a case that will quiet the hard drives and case cooling as well. At this point looking at a seasonic powersupply of about 500w if anyone has any quieter more reliable options will be glad to hear them. Between $100 and $200 is my target price range. oh and atx mid towers would fit the bill.
I don't know of any cases I've had experience with that have been designed to be quiet. HOWEVER.
I do have a little experience in quieting components.
The best thing I've found to date? Sticky-backed felt circles. Yep.
They're the ones to put on the ends of furniture legs and stuff. I use them to stick to where metal will rub on metal in the case. Sometimes it'll take a little care to finness things in, it'll tighten up the fit. (of course )
The one other really handy things to do with them is punch a hole in the middle and stick them so it covers around the holes where you screw in DVD-ROM/Burners and HDDs
The quitest case I have is the Antec's Sonata (380w). They use 120mm fans, turning at slow rpm. The II (430w) model uses a duct to care the CPU heat from the case. You may hear the cpu fan with it. The early model just exaust the heat in to case, for the 120mm fan to carry out. I have built some computers lately with the II case. If it is located on the floor, you may not hear it at all.
I've got an Antec model SLK 3700-BQE (Solution Series) mid-tower case.
I've been very happy with it.
It was on closeout at Circuit City and I got it for $39.95 with an Antec 350W power supply installed.
That power supply was very quiet, but I changed out the power supply later for an even quieter OCZ Modstream 450W model with a 120mm fan.
The case came with rubber mounts for two 120mm case fans (one intake, one outtake). Plus it even has a removeable plastic filter located in front of the intake fan.
I've also got the big 120mm Zalman cooler on my X2 cpu. All of this combined makes for a very quiet computer. Big fans + low fan speed = quiet computing
Im using vibration dampers for my case fans and psu helps reduce the noise. Also there are fans out there with low noise like the silverstone 2 ball fan. There is also a sound insulation, however cause temps increase in the case.
So the best thing is get fans that are low noise and as well as fan controller.
The antec P180 was on sale recently @ the egg (newegg.com for ya) and its very very quiet with a quiet PSU and insulated doors. it was $120 including a strong enough PSU for nearly any single vid card rig. Do get a 120mm based CPU cooler or something like that, the big and slow is the quiet way.
First one is it, the second is the case the other gentleman was speaking of. Its only $115, its about as good as it gets. The thermaltake big typhoon 120mm CPU cooler is on sale too. Those two, and you ready.
I second, third and forth the use of the Antec Sonata cases. They have a great warranty. They will even replace things if they get loud! I have had my Sonata for nearly three years and they were easily willing to replace the 380w PS when it recently became loud...
1. Those that use case designs to maximize airflow using a lower number of fans (antec sonata series for example)
2.Those that use padding in the case to dampen the sound (P180 for example).
I have the Sonata II case and love it. You can't tell from the pictures on the net, but the case is gorgeous. High gloss black finish, it is like having an elegant grand piano sitting on my desk.
Anyways, it's designed to use only one 12 inch fan on the case plus the fan on the PSU, both designed to be quiet. There are no fans on the front of the case to draw air in. This is why the case is so quiet, it uses less fans, and the fans it DOES use are quiet. The drawback of these cases is that they are not really the best selection if you plan on overclocking or setting up a crossfire/sli setup for example, as the cases are not that good at cooling. They are fine for normal use though. I have an Athlon64 3700+, a 7800GT etc in mine and my temps are excellent.
Note that with these types of cases, your "quiet" system is limited to the noisiest part of your computer. In my case, my graphics card is a fairly noisy one (I have the Asus En7800GT).
If you go for the type 2 case, like the Antec P180, you are going to pay a little more, but they are nice. I built a system with the P180 a few weeks back and they are sweet. Here, cooling is not a problem at all with 3 big fans in the case. These cases have special padding built into the walls to dampen the noise.
I was looking at the Antec P-180 for my next build. For many of the same reasons you have stated.
For the OP of the this thread please remember that the Sonata and P-180 cases also ship with rubber mounts for the 120mm fans and also rubber grommets for the hardrive mounts. These are excellent for noise/vibration mitigation.
Since I'm planning to do some recording and nearly bought an Antec150 this link was enormously helpful, their PS bug is still not fixed. Also are some case comparisons, with the Antec 180 on top. Lots on quiet case design
you could go with a zalman all heatsink case for super silence, but that doesnt fit your bill. anyway, get zalman anythings for the cpu/gpu etc coolers you need. the company's motive is nothing but silence...
Wow tons of good info. Thanks I had my eye on that p180 already. Weight is not even an issue this will be stationary for the most part. No overclocking either Stability and queitness is the priority with this system.