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Best silent pc case

Last response: in Components
October 1, 2009 8:47:52 PM

hi guys.first off apologies if this typical question was mentioned here on this forum before.

i am looking to find the best (if there is such) silent pc case that could run most quietly with my hot latest hardware.they are: CPU: intel corei5-750 GPU:Nvidia quadro fx 3450 (will upgrade to nvidia gtx 295 in near future) Mobo:Asus P7P55 delux/premium RAM: corsair 4GB 1600mhz DVD:LG blue ray rewriter SOUND:Creative SoundBlaster X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Champion CPU COOLER:thermalright 120 extreme with Noctua/Nexus fans

i reviewed few cases i was considering: coolermaster cosmos s/r1000/r1100, Silverstone FT01, and Antec 1200 but i couldn't decide which.

some concerns starting with the cosmos s/r1000 is that there are issues with fitting the thermalright 120 extreme cpu cooler and that the door will not close after fitting this huge HSF?. silverstone:gpu cooling issues.seen and read that the gpu is restricted when it comes to cooling.the temps goes all the way upto 80 celcius and above. The antec 1200: despite good cooling, the fans will be loud even on lowest settings.

i mean i want really silent one say as loud as perhaps 23dba (if possible) with all these hardwares in computer tends to be on upto 12-13 hrs a day and most times im online and multitasking than playing games.but nowadays i will start to play games and possbily overclock my pc a bit.

i want a case where i woulnd't have any restrictions for lowering or having silent fans,able to fit even the thermalright 120 extreme cpu cooler with door closed.and one that will cool off my components well enough to not cause stability problems.first priority being silence as i am operating in my bedroom and cannot stand high pitched noise. Any good advice appreciated dudes. i live in the UK for your information.after choosing my right case,i will start buying most of these components and start building my nice computer.thank you =}

More about : silent case

October 1, 2009 8:51:33 PM

one last thing.i am looking for what i want and money is of no concern to me and don't put this in my way of as an obstacle. 0.0
October 1, 2009 8:54:59 PM

i will do all i can to buy additional silent fans and remove the case ones as necessary and mod it to my needs for the best possible silent & excellent cooling case out feel free to suggest any extra components i could buy to make it even quieter and for modding with no concerns to $$$ "forget bout it" al pacino accent.and no im not rich but im the type of guy to do all i can to get what i want when i need it most :p 
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a c 137 ) Power supply
October 1, 2009 9:16:18 PM

A good place to research quiet computing is

There is a difference between silent and quiet; I think you mean quiet.

The best quiet PC case is probably the Antec SOLO. The TRUE cooler fits fine. It has a problem with graphics cards over 10" long, like the GTX295. You can solve that with a simple mod to the drive cage. In lieu of a GTX295, I would look at the new 5850 or 5870 which is built on a 40nm process and should run cooler at any speed.

The Cosmos looks good, but has had some cooling airflow issues reported. Any of the Antec cases are good, like the 200, 300, 900, 902, 1200. Just keep the fans on low, and they will be quiet.
October 1, 2009 9:24:50 PM

yes i meant quiet i guess.i will check out the antec SOLO.i guess i will skip on the cosmos ones and keep antec in mind.particurly the latest 1200.i will remove few fans in it the front bay HD coolers but leave one on there too cool of my one western digital 7200rpm 16mn cache HD.

despite with antec 1200 fans on lowest setting,there are reviews that says it is still loud even when clamied on low settings so this put me on alarm. and wat did u mean with 5850/5870?

and yes i read reviews on cases didnt seem appropriate for my type of hardware so i came here for better suggestions/alternatives.

guess i will wait for more inputs from others.however i really appreciate your advice thanks very much pal
October 1, 2009 9:26:46 PM

another point forgot to i shouldn't have any problems with fitting the thermalright 120 extrem cpu cooler in any antec or antec 1200 case? also the reports on cosmos case with cooling issues still valid now with the newer models?
a b ) Power supply
October 1, 2009 11:11:51 PM

I bought the Antec P182 case after reading this Silent PC Review article on it. It's unique feature is a separate compartment for the PSU and hard drives so the main case and CPU fans don't have to deal with the extra heat from them. I'm very pleased with the it.
October 1, 2009 11:13:35 PM

yh i read about that too over there.but i dont like the mirror finish look.but i can live with it as long as it cools my components quiet is it in terms of overall dba noise and how hot does it get?what are your hardware like the specs?

also i wonder how the antec p190 is
October 2, 2009 1:32:49 AM

im more in the favour of the antec p183 because the mirror finish on p182 im not fond off.the fans that come with p183 lowest rpm 1200rpm @25dba is way to loud for me!because i hear even on the lowest fan settings,it is still loud.if only the system with all the possible fans installed made just 19-22 dba that would be awesome.but for 1 fan @ 25dba on lowest settings is totally unnaceptable for me..let along together with other fans and cpu fan! so my question here would be is it possible to replace those stock exhaust & frontbay fans with my choice and have multi-fan controller to have total control over all the fans? thank you
October 2, 2009 1:34:21 AM

i have nexus and noctua fans in mind to replace all the fans inside.would this work?
a b ) Power supply
October 2, 2009 6:13:06 AM

core4less said:
yh i read about that too over there.but i dont like the mirror finish look.but i can live with it as long as it cools my components quiet is it in terms of overall dba noise and how hot does it get?what are your hardware like the specs?
The mirror finish model in the review is a "special edition" which, to the best of my knowledge, isn't actually available for sale anywhere. The one I have has a kind of gunmetal grey finish.

In the P182 case I have an Asus P6T6 WS Revolution with a Xeon X3520 (same as a Core i7 920 but supports ECC memory) running at stock speed, 12GB of DDR 1066 ECC memory, a passively cooled Asus EAH4350 video card, 2 Green / 1 Black WDD hard drives, and a 525W Enermax Pro 82+ power supply. The CPU is cooled with a Thermalright HR-01 heatsink and Scythe Kama PWM fan. This heatsink is also reviewed at Silent PC Review - supposedly it cools well with low airflows because it's radiator fins are more widely separated than normal. The heatsink is oriented so that the fan blows through it toward the rear of the case.

I'm using the two of the 3-speed fans included with the case, one "suck" in front of the upper drive cage (which is empty), and one "blow" at the upper back of the case. Both of these are set to "low", and I'm not using the top case fan.

As suggested at the Silent PC Review site, I applied duct tape over the rear vents around the power supply opening and removed the fan from the lower chamber so that the PSU's fan draws air through the lower chamber to cool the hard drives. This works very well and makes it easier to route cables from the PSU to the drive bays.

I'm very pleased with the whole system. I couldn't tell you the actual dBA levels, but it's very quiet. I can hear the whoosh of air, but no fan noise. The sound of typing on my keyboard pretty much drowns out the sound of the system.

Idle temperatures at 23C ambient are in the low 50s for the GPU, mid 30s for the CPU cores, high 20s for the CPU case, and low 40s for the chipset. Peak temperatures under an extended run of Prime95 are low 60s for the GPU, high 60s for the CPU cores, 67C for the cpu case, and high 40s for the chipset. I've never seen the system drop out of "turbo" mode (with the 21X clock multiplier instead of the "standard" 20X multiplier).

The variable-speed fan in the power supply works just fine for cooling the hard drives. Hard drive temperatures range from high 20s to mid 30s for the green drives and low 30s to low 40s for the black drive. Ironically, the drives get cooler as system load increases because the variable-speed PSU fan has to ramp up to keep the PSU cool...

The CPU heatsink fan speed ranges from less than 500RPM at idle to less than 1300RPM at full load, and the PSU fan speed goes up to about 900RPM under load. If I listen carefully I can hear the difference in the fan speed when I shut down Prime95, but I don't notice it at all unless I'm paying attention.

The fan mounts are all for standard 120mm fans, I can't see why you'd have any problems using 3rd-party fans and a fan controller...
October 2, 2009 1:32:41 PM

i value the amount of time u put into this thread to answer my questions.thanks

yes the one i want is the grey metal this comes with the p182.but what exactly is the difference compared to the p183?i thought i might get the p183 thinking,perhaps there is a little improvement to air flow or something and the colour.i'm not interested for the psu that comes with it,because i will get my own quiet one but even i can't decide to with the most best quiet psu between corsair Hx520,be quiet dark power 650w or the one u have Enermax Enermax Pro 82+.

be quiet dark power produces the lowest dba noise compared to others,at all loads.from 19dba.only concern is i'm not sure if this particular psu will keep my hot components stable and don't get too hot.since it's a psu made in germany,if it goes out,then i fear it may take out my other components with it. i can't see it having the "SafeGuard protection circuitry of OCP, OVP, UVP, OPP, OTP & SCP protects your system" so that puts me in alarm a bit. the corsair hx520 is on the other hand.provides clean but in terms of noise,raises to 29dba after 300w load which is too loud and think it can eaily go over this load with my type of hardware.Enermax 82+ one u have wins over in the silentpcreview chart for noise level.shows as lowest but one thing that struck me is this annoying slight electrical buzzing sound it makes at 300W output, 22 dBA@1m.but you don't hear this from other psu reviews from still can't decide as to which psu to go for between these three..

my plan is,since i will go with the antec p182/183 case,i will remove all the front bay fans,put one in front of the top HDD cage to to give the GPU extra cooling and control the speed with multifan controller if it makes too much noise,then replace the rear and rear top fans with either nexus or noctua fans spinning at around for HD cooling,im going to rely on the chosen psu to cool it off since if i mount the HDD on the lower cage vertically,i can't mount a fan in front.i will buy a multifan controller bay to give me control for all fans inside.u mentioned duct tape which im not quiet familiar with your setup.have any pictures to illustrate this? if it's alot of hassle it's cool.=}

as for the cpu heatsink,i am waiting for the Thermalright MUX 120 for socket 1156 Lynnfields to come out here in the UK as i will be using the intel corei5-750.should this huge Heatsink fit comfortably in this antec p182/183 case? if it doesn't come out soon enough,my alternative is to go with the Noctua NH-U12P SE2..
October 2, 2009 1:38:12 PM

i suppose with all this setup as long as it keeps all components temps in the low 60's will be good.
a b ) Power supply
October 2, 2009 4:57:25 PM

but what exactly is the difference compared to the p183?

The P183 is VERY similar to the P182, the improvements are very incremental as opposed to revolutionary. There's a table comparing the two at the bottom of this page at the Silent PC Review web site. In practical terms, the things that stand out for me are the front eSATA port on the P183 (nice), and the coarser fan filter on the P183 (not nice, I really like how effective the filters on the P182 and I'd worry about whether the P183 ones would do as good a job).

u mentioned duct tape which im not quiet familiar with your setup.have any pictures to illustrate this?

The idea is to prevent the PSU fan from drawing air in through these vents at the rear of the case instead of through the front opening. I applied the tape to the inside, which is a little more difficult to do but a little less ugly to look at:

should this huge Heatsink fit comfortably in this antec p182/183 case?

The P182/P183 are pretty big cases, I can't imagine that it wouldn't fit. The ThermalRight HR-01 heatsink that I'm using is 160mm high, so if the heatsink you're looking at is no more than that then there certainly won't be a problem.

October 3, 2009 12:40:03 AM

bonus to you dude..really.u actually took the time to take pictures and load it up here.
im little concerned on the GPU cooling in the antec p183 though.. u can see in the graph that the silverstone FT01 beats the antec p183 by few degrees.i personally consider the GPU cooling the most important part in the case,whereas no worries about the cpu because u could always find a good aftermarket cooler.but in terms in noise antec p183 is better..

silverstone FT01 was actually a case i was considering to buy.but perhaps i could go with the antec p182 be done with and buy some aftermarket good gpu cooler.

the new Thermalright MUX-120 for socket 1156 lynfield should be released here in the UK soon although i do not know how soon.with that,the only thing that remains for me to purchase altogether for me to build my dream computer, is a good "multifan controller" please note i will also buy a corsair fan cooler for the hoping that would be quiet too
October 3, 2009 12:52:41 AM

just noticed typing and grammer errors.for me to twice ignore it :p 
October 4, 2009 2:58:52 AM

I have P182 as well. It's a great case and I can't say anything bad about it. Maybe except for the weight, but it keeps everything quiet so it's not a big problem. I got my case for $99.99 shipped from Newegg. So keep on the lookout and you may find a great deal as well. I also have lots of fans at high speeds and it's generally very quiet. I have 2 Scythe Ultra Kaze 3000RPM fans at 2000RPMs to cool the CPU heat sink and exhaust air out of the back. I use the standard Antec fans for front intake and top exhaust. Both of those are around 1200RPMs.
October 4, 2009 10:20:50 AM

ok im taking your words of advice and going for the antec p182 instead of the ones i considered for a while which were between silverstone fortress FT01,coolermaster cosmos 1000 and antec 1200.but my aim was for best quietness case.

my system will have an intel corei5-750 and for now i have the Nvidia quadro fx 3450 professional card.although i know this card is for CAD digital media graphics card,i will upgrade it to Nvidia gtx 295 or something better in future that uses/consumes less power. as for the cpu,i am waiting for the thermaltake MUX-120 for socket 1156 lynfield to arrive here in the UK.but since it's taking some time and i want to build new system,i may go for the Noctua NH-U12P SE2 cpu cooler.

how about the scythe fans in your case? are they any quieter and superior to the Nexus fans oneshot? hothot :p 
October 4, 2009 10:21:17 AM

lol sorry meant to say hotshot typing error
October 4, 2009 7:47:40 PM

The reason I like the scythe fans is because is because they have a high CFM rating at around 133. I can run them at low RPMs and they still move lots of air while being quiet. I also use a fan controller to control the speed of those, too. I fan controller is a wise investment because you can set the fans to the speed you need/want at the time. I'm not sure about the nexus fans, but I don't have any issues with my current setup, as long as you have a fan controller, because 3000RPM gets rather noisy.
October 4, 2009 8:25:22 PM

i agree with you on 3000rpm gets noisy and about the fan controller which of course im going to get anyway and turn down all the speed to a level that is inaudible..that is all left remaining,i need the best mutilfan controller out there but since there are quiet a few,not sure to go for which.i want one that monitors temps,alarms me if it goes overboard when overclocked,and notifies me if fans are not operating.i heard the Zalman ZM-MFC2 can be annoying where u have to literally look straight on the screen to see the rpms of fans.i don't mind this as i won't be looking every second!occasionally of course and im willing to get up from my seat and have a look as long as it does it's job well.but i heard they could be quiet slow to respond to your command.such as when u change rpm speed of the fans.i want a multifan controller that is possibly the best.while not putting limitations to $$$ as the system i will build will last me years to come and i want to invest in it..

thanks for your advice one-shot.i think i might go fhr scythe fans instead if they are silent while pushing more air CFM inside the case compared to other brands.but i will look into this further =}
October 4, 2009 9:35:37 PM

one-shot,if u are ever considering to upgrade your case fans for even quieter operation at 18dba 1200rpm max with upto 100.6CFM (which is good),u could go for the "NF-S12B-FLX - 120mm Noctua NF-S12B FLX Ultra Quiet" i compared these noctua 1200mm case fans to the scythe ones and i personally think they are superior.but of course just an advice.if you happy u keep yours =}. but here is a link if u wanna have a brief look at tech's a london based company

October 4, 2009 11:39:42 PM

on a second thought,im opting for 3"120mm Scythe S-FLEX SFF21E Silent 1200 RPM" case fans and the "Noctua NH‑U12P SE2" cooler for my intel corei5-750 cpu. all these fans speed will be reduced by a multifan-controller to about 800rpm, besides noctua at 1000rpm and that should do the trick.1 scyth fan at back top as exhaust? 1 scyth as rear exhaust? and 1 scyth fan mounted on be quiet! dark power psu to cool it off and blow at HD.would this setup work and give me good temps and very low noise?also should i setup my back top scyth fan as negative air pressure or positive one blowing at my cpu?

one last thing,either way negative or positive,shall i place the single noctua fan on the right side of cpu blowing at ram or left side blowing towards rear scyth exhaust fan? i think this pretty much sums up everything and again apologies for such long post on this thread.but im getting somewhere of an ultimate setup thanks to all your advice and knowledge..i will post up another thread for the final missing part for my system. a very good "muti-fan controller"
a b ) Power supply
October 5, 2009 5:25:50 AM

I haven't actually experimented with CPU fan direction so this is a bit of a guess, but I'd say that the CPU fan should blow in the same general direction as the rest of the airflow through the case. If you have the fan blowing in a different direction it seems to me that it could create dead spots which wouldn't be well ventilated.
October 5, 2009 10:49:59 PM

I have experimented with changing direction of the air. I have had better luck with the top and rear exhaust moving as much as out of the case as possible. Those other fans looks great for the noise and CFM rating. If I ever decide to upgrade I'll get one for sure. I have a Cooler Master fan controller. It has temperature monitoring and fan/speed monitoring. I don't have the temperature setup because I just use software to tell me my temps. I have 2 exhaust, bottom fan blowing on HDDs and 1 intake. My temps are usually pretty low.
October 6, 2009 1:47:12 AM

i will have the top and rear fans as exhaust.but im still quiet unsure where to place the noctua cpu cooler.i see some users from video and pics placing the cpu fan on the right side (ram) and the rear fan blowing or exhausting air.

i was wondering if i put the cpu fan on the right side on the heatsink and it can push the air towards the rear fan and the rear fan can exhaust air.but would it be better to place the fan towards ram so it could give cooling on them? NOTE:i will have a ram corsair cooler fan.

may i ask what software you use to monitor your temps one-shot? and if they get high (perhaps unlikely in your system setup) what do you or what would you do in that situation?turn up the speed of your fans,and give it nice cooling?it may sound like a dumb question but i have never taken any action while my pc was perhaps getting hot.this explains the reason why my computer froze/blue screen error and/or restarted..

also will a 120mm scyth fan fit under the antec p182 case or do i have to get one of those noisy 80mm fans to mount on the psu too cool it off and blow towards HD?

as for the multi-fan,maybe this is my call,my own judgment as for which brand i should go for.zalman ZM-MFC2 has few other advantages over other multifan controller(s) ,monitoring total pc power consumption .i may not need this but it's a useful feature.

October 6, 2009 6:02:01 PM

With my CPU it has been shown to have the cooler and fan oriented to blow towards the rear exhaust fan. I use Core Temp and SpeedFan to monitor my PC temps. In an air conditioned room that isn't about 70-75F, the temps always stay low. My CPU idles at around 35C and load in the mid-high 60s. I have a 120mm fan in the bottom. I also have a 750Watt Corsair PSU. Organizing the wires and getting the back panel on was an achievement in itself. It just takes some times to get it right. I usually have my CPU(Scythe Ultra Kaze 3k) from around 1600-2000RPMs, depending on load. I also think the CPU fan helps move air around where the RAM is located so over heating has never been an issue for me.

There are lots of great fan controllers. Mine works well and I got a great deal on it. The display can be read from any angle and it really is great. I would advise you to do some research and get the one that best suits your needs.

Here is a good article about case fans:
a c 137 ) Power supply
October 7, 2009 3:22:09 PM

The true120 fits in my antec solo. It should fit in any other Antec case.

In the past, I have used the P180 which is similar to the P182. I found it to be quiet, but not a very good cooling case.

If you are looking at a GTX295, realize that it is a very hot card, and it will be loud under load. I suggested the 5850 which is a GTX285 class card or the 5870 which is a GTX295 class card because they are built on a 40nm mfg process. That should keep them cooler with lower fan speeds and consequently lower noise.

If a case has two input fans of 120mm or more, and two similar output fans, then the noise the case produces is almost entirely dependent on how fast all the fans turn. If you get any one of the Antec cases, they will come with some number of fans that have a speed control switch. I suggest trying out the stock fans first, particularly on low speed. You may find that no other changes are needed. It is easy to change out fans later.

You might want to read this review of the Antec 900. Look at the measurements of noise vs. cooling comparisons for the three cases involved. Antec 900, Antec SOLO, Lian-li G7. Look particularly at the charts. You will see that all three cases cooled the SAME at the same noise level. The 900 cooled better at high fan speeds, and the solo was quieter at low fan speeds. The point is, that at a specific cooling level, most cases will have the same noise level.
February 2, 2010 12:52:01 AM

You guys seem to understand fans, i have a question for you. If you have 3 fans that are 20db each, do you get a total of 60db noise?
a c 137 ) Power supply
February 2, 2010 2:34:15 AM

poopsheep said:
You guys seem to understand fans, i have a question for you. If you have 3 fans that are 20db each, do you get a total of 60db noise?

Good question, but I think no.
60db is like conversational talk.
20db is like whispering.

If you had three people whispering in front of you, would they be louder than a single person talking?
February 2, 2010 3:00:00 AM

acoustics don't work quite like that Sheep... A set of 3 20 db fans could broadcast (theoretically) up to 60 db, or down to only 20- 15 (Deconstructing wavelengths). In general usage, I think you would hear about 25-30 as a guess, depending on your case and where it sits.