I am starting a build for a box that I would like to be very quiet.
I am trying to find a case that will be less than $100 since I want to purchase the PSU separate and replace the fans.
Some of the cases I have been looking at are:
Antec Sonata Elite
Antec Sonata Proto
Antec Three Hundred
Antec One Hundred
I like the feature of having USB/audio/e-SATA on the front and good cable routing on the inside.
I do not need any side windows, led lights or cool styling on the case exterior. Sleek and plain is fine.
I would like a good quality energy efficient power supply that is also quiet. I am estimating I need a minimum of 550W at peak.
I am also looking at Enermax fans for the case. But I am open other options that are quiet, super low Db but can move a lot of air with out the risk of overheating.
I am also looking at
corsair H50 liquid cooling system
but would love to hear what any of you who are reading this think I should consider.
Pretty much any case will do, if you want to replace the stock fans with quieter ones.
I would suggest getting noctura fans, as they're really quiet and move quite a bit of air. You can also go for a noctura heatsink.
Almost all power supplies have quiet or silent fans, as long as they're a good brand. I have an antec 650w in my case, and when I was testing it earlier, I couldn't even tell it was on, only knowing because the fan was spinning.
I wouldn't get the corsair H50, it's got really noisy fans, the noctura is almost silent and does an EXCELLENT job at cooling the CPU.
I have a lian-li k58, and the fans are very quiet, almost drowned out by my stock intel CPU fan and my ASUS 6850 GPU. It's a sleek case, with an option to not have a window, and you could add some dampening foam to further reduce noise.
i would check out seasonic psu's. they make fanless psu's up to 460w, and their x-series, higher wattage psu's have extremely quiet fans that dont spin under low load. they also happen to be absolutely top notch (but so is the price).
Have you looked at the Fractal Design R3? I see the $100 version is sold out on newegg. It's $110 with free shipping here. Other than that, I think that NZXT H2 looks pretty solid, aside from the USB 3.0 cable plugging into the rear I/O shield. They have good fans and sound-dampening foam included. The space behind the motherboard tray looks deeper than most cases so cable routing should be ideal.
I would suggest against replacing the fans before your build is complete and running. You might be surprised by how quiet the stock ones are.
You can also make pretty much any case silent by using a noise dampening foam kit like this one http://www.acousticpc.com/quiet_computer_case_insulatio.... I'm thinking of getting something similar for my case.. The supposedly silent fan on my graphics card isn't so silent, so I need something to dampen the noise.
Actually the Fractal Design R3 made it on to my short list of case options yesterday. I like that it as eSata on the front. Not that I am going to be moving my box around, but what I noticed was the R3 is 27lbs! Most cases are around 16lbs. Kinda crazy.
I might have to spend the extra dollars and go for a Lian-li case tho... so clean!
on a side note, anyone use the Kingston SSD drives?