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Silent PC - Gaming & Music Production

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March 2, 2012 12:01:29 PM

Hello Community, my first post here.

I am looking to turn my gaming rig into a more silent system as I have recently started music production on top of gaming.
The reason I need it to be more silent is mainly because with a high-end microphone you can hear all the background noise from the fans on the recordings I make.

With my Antec 300 + H70 (stock fans) there is a very loud noise, to record things in the past I have had to run the H70 without the fans on and cover the case with towels (I know this isn't a good idea). Temperature is currently not an issue my CPU and GPU both sit comfortably at around 35c most of the time.

So I have read several threads and watched several videos over the last week or so and I have come to the conclusion that something like a Lian Li case with Noctua fans would be a good way to go? I was thinking water cooling to begin with but it seems water cooling is more for performance than silence which I was suprised about.

So do you guys think Lian Li is good for silence?
Do you have any better suggestions?
I don't really have a budget so don't worry about costs

Thanks for everyone help in advance
Cheers

Jimmy P

More about : silent gaming music production

a b ) Power supply
March 2, 2012 12:27:35 PM

for silence go with fractal cases.add some silent low rpm noctua fans and you are done.
a b ) Power supply
March 2, 2012 12:30:45 PM

hellfire24 said:
for silence go with fractal cases.add some silent low rpm noctua fans and you are done.


:pfff: 

cases don't make noise
Related resources
March 2, 2012 12:38:50 PM

No but they dampen the sound, I checked out the Fractul cases and thought Lian Li was going to be better built and insulated but maybe I'll go check them out again thanks.
a c 158 ) Power supply
March 2, 2012 12:42:22 PM

What are your system specs? This is critical for effectively answering your question. I highly recommend going to www.silentpcreview.com (commonly known as SPCR) - they specialize in reviewing components for noise and silencing PCs. Their forums are also filled with people obsessed with low to no noise PCs.

You first have to know the sources of noise: PSU fan, CPU fan (in your case you have the H70's pump, too), GPU fan(s), HDD vibration, case vibration/resonance from spinning fans. And how the noise escapes...any intentional cutout for fan placement and vibration transferred via the case.

Absolute silence is extremely difficult to achieve...especially in a dual-purpose gaming/music production PC. I have an H80 so I understand the noise issue you're running into with the H70. If you're really wanting to silence your PC, then go air cooling....Noctua NH-D14 or a Zalman CNPS12X would be my choice. There are some fanless CPU coolers out there...not sure about their performance for gaming but i'll do a bit of research.

This leaves case fans, HDD vibration (Lian Li is reknowned for their HDD isolation), and the GPU fan.
1. Case Fans: Noctua fans are awesome if a bit pricey - good way to go without a budget. Use the rubber connectors vice screws to prevent vibration transfer to the case. I'd put every fan in the case on a fan controller...allows you to really dial down their speed/noise when you need silence and crank them up when you need the extra cooling. I could see 3-4 fans in your system; completely turn off all but one fan while recording and minimize speed on the single fan. Monitor temps while in this config.
2. GPU fan...should be able to control fan speed with Speedfan. Can't really suggest potential replacment HSF without the model of your GPU. There are fanless heat sinks, but they typically support a limited amount of GPUs. A couple of the better sites I've found for everything HSF are: http://www.bit-tech.net/ and http://www.frostytech.com/articles.cfm I would trust SPCR over either one, but they do review a lot of HSFs and can give you some ideas for GPU HSF.
3. There are a lot of noise isolation materials that you can use to line the interior of your PC...reduce noise and vibration transfer from the inside of your case.

That's a good start...questions?
a b ) Power supply
March 2, 2012 12:47:23 PM

dirtyferret said:
:pfff: 

cases don't make noise



if it's then why do some cases are tagged as 'noisy' and some as 'silent' ?
i know it's the fans that make noise but build quality also affects noise levels.
BTW thnx for the info.more is appreciated.
a c 158 ) Power supply
March 2, 2012 12:52:20 PM

One more thing...if you want to remove HDD sound, then go with an SSD. Slap in a good 512GB SSD and us it for recording/processing music. Use an external HDD array for storing finalized music and turn it off when producing music. If you're going this route, then make sure your connection is something other than USB 2.0....I would go eSATA for the best transfer speeds. If your mobo doesn't natively support eSATA, then you could get an expansion card. If you want to keep your HDDs inside your case, then you could simply disconnect their power when recording.
March 2, 2012 1:03:04 PM

Depending on the room(s) you have you could use a KVM Extender and move the PC to a diffrent room. you would also have to get the audio cable for the mic extended as well. this would give you a recording studio type solution with no noise in the same room as the mike.
March 2, 2012 1:04:16 PM

Wow very nice reply thanks for going to all that effort mate much appreciated.

I'll check out that other forum you posted now.

1: Noctua is what I was going to go for, and regarding the rubber screws you mentioned, I watched a video on youtube showing someone trying to connect them to the H70 but it wasn't possible so had to use the stock screws which came with the H70. And yes a fan controller is what I will be doing while using the low voltage cables which come with the Noctua.

2: I will download jthat GPU software right now thanks mate, I have linked my gpu model below, any ideas for heatsink.

3: I have been looking at the Lian Li's extensively the past week and they come with isolation materials and rubber surrounds etc etc I'm just abit confused with which case to get as their website seems abit confusing, some of the really dampened cases don't show in the silent case section. Do you agree with the above Fractul suggestioin for a case, they are not as pretty and don't seem as padded as the Lian Li's I didn't think but I'll look into them more now.

My spec:

Case: Antec 300
Mobo: Asus P8P67 Pro
CPU: Intel i7 2600K with H70 (Stock fans)
GPU: GTX 580 (The one with 3 fans) - http://gamingcomputerbest.com//images/gg%20card%203.jpg
OS SSD: Corsair Force 3
Storage: WD Black 2TB
Backup: WD Green 2TB
PSU: Corsair HX620
Soundcard: Asus Xonor Essence ST

I have like 4 case fans but this is irrelevent I guess as I'm looking to replace the whole case + fans.
a b ) Power supply
March 2, 2012 1:07:15 PM

JimmyP69 said:
Hello Community, my first post here.

I am looking to turn my gaming rig into a more silent system as I have recently started music production on top of gaming.
The reason I need it to be more silent is mainly because with a high-end microphone you can hear all the background noise from the fans on the recordings I make.

With my Antec 300 + H70 (stock fans) there is a very loud noise, to record things in the past I have had to run the H70 without the fans on and cover the case with towels (I know this isn't a good idea). Temperature is currently not an issue my CPU and GPU both sit comfortably at around 35c most of the time.

So I have read several threads and watched several videos over the last week or so and I have come to the conclusion that something like a Lian Li case with Noctua fans would be a good way to go? I was thinking water cooling to begin with but it seems water cooling is more for performance than silence which I was suprised about.

So do you guys think Lian Li is good for silence?
Do you have any better suggestions?
I don't really have a budget so don't worry about costs

Thanks for everyone help in advance
Cheers

Jimmy P


putting a towel over your case most likely increases noise since the gpu will run hotter and the gpu will increase its RPM (therefore increasing noise). if you break down your PC into segments, you can address each area.

1. the case - your case does not make any noise, the fans inside it do. you can get a silent case like the NZXT H2 or antec P280. those cases use silent foam and don't have ports open in every area for noise to escape. case brands sell cases and after market fans, its for their benefit to have as many open ports as possible, not yours. Sticking a fan in every port can actually disrupt proper front to back airflow but it also increases their sales.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

or you can simply use silent foam to close the ports in your case and line the walls.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

purchasing a lian li won't help you since they have just as many open ports as does your antec 300 (a solid built case in itself)

2. case fans - the faster a fan spins the more noise it makes regardless of what fan boys state about their 1500rpm fans and manufactures place on their packaging. it's not regulated so I (or corsair, or anyone else) can state my 1600 rpm fan runs at 20db. you have no clue if that measurement is me with my ear to the case or 40ft away and I don't have to tell you how I got the measurement. use an independent site that tests fans and stick to fans under 1000rpm. my personal favorite test site and their youtube page
http://atreview.net/en/casefan.html

noctua fans at slow RPM will do the job, my personal favorite
scythe 800rpm (one of the few companies with accurate measurements)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

enermax TB silence & apollish (same fan but stay away away from the higher RPM LED TB silence fans)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

even the antec 300 fans on low make little noise

3-4 case fans in front to back airflow will do the job cooling your case, after that you start to get diminishing returns.
http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/2012/02/10/the-big-coo...

3. CPU fans - those corsair fans are awful. I had them in my corsair case for exactly one minute before I replaced every one of them. i would replace your cpu fans with some of the recommended ones above in a push pull configuration. you will take a bit of temp hit but noise will go down. in fact scythe uses a push pull configuration with their 800rpm fans (linked above) on a version of their mugen CPU cooler to keep it silent.

another option is simply a fan controller to manually set the RPM on the cpu fans

4. gpu fans - they are smaller and tend to make the most noise. while you can buy after market cooler (some that are passive cooled with no fans) the easiest way to remedy that noise is to download MSI afterburner. it will let you manually set the gpu fan's RPM.

http://event.msi.com/vga/afterburner/download.htm

in my corsair case I use afterburner and enermax TB silence fans (5 of them). it hardly makes any noise, in fact I can't hear the fans at all unless I'm within 6ft of the case.





March 2, 2012 1:07:41 PM

KVM Extender good idea mate didn't think of that and didn't even know what it was until you just mentioend it, I really don't want my case to be elsewhere though but it's a thought.
March 2, 2012 1:12:54 PM

Regarding the large SSD I don't think I will be doging this, the last time I puchased a 200+GB SSD it broke a month later and the thing cost alot of money.
a b ) Power supply
March 2, 2012 1:13:56 PM

hellfire24 said:



if it's then why do some cases are tagged as 'noisy' and some as 'silent' ?
i know it's the fans that make noise but build quality also affects noise levels.
BTW thnx for the info.more is appreciated.


tagged by whom? manufactures use the term "silent" to sell specific cases to market segments. show me a noisy case and I will show you one with high RPM noisy fans. i can build a silent PC in the old antec skeleton case, that doesn't make it a silent case.
March 2, 2012 1:25:49 PM

Very nice reply dirtyferret, checking out all your links now.

So would you suggest the Scythes over the TB silence and Noctuas, I want the very best I can find.

Which software would you say is better Speedfan or Afterburner.

And do you really think Lian Li will not benefit me at all? Looking at their site I thought that it would be a big improvement on my Antec 300 (http://www.lian-li.com/v2/en/product/product06.php?pr_i...) Check out all the rubber and padding
a b ) Power supply
March 2, 2012 1:26:24 PM

^oops.pardon me for my mistake! thnx for info.
March 2, 2012 1:33:12 PM

The only things I would add to the other good responses are:

(1) I use a combination of Noctua fans and Arctic Cooling Temp controlled / PWM fans. The latter are very quiet when the PC is cool and low noise when it gets hot. This keeps the cost down as a full set of Noctua fans can be expensive

(2) I have tried various noise isolation products and the only one that I would recommend is http://www.quietpc.com/gb-en-gbp/products/acousticmater.... It costs a bit more but makes a real difference. Add a layer of this even if your case comes with some sound proofing

(3) I would also recommend a liquid cooled CPU solution as this has made a major difference to the noise levels. I use an Antec KÜHLER product but did replace the fan with a quieter PWM one.

(4) If you overclock your graphics card then it will be worth buying a new cooler. I recently added an Accelero Xtreme PLUS II to my GTX 570 and the fans spin no more than 40% under full load

(5) If your PC stands on a solid floor / desk, rather than a carpet I would also reocmmend quiet feet if your case does not already include them http://www.quietpc.com/gb-en-gbp/products/ultragrade/ac...

It really depends on how much you want to spend. My suggested priority would be:
1. Quiet case fans
2. Quiet case feet
3. Case sound proofing
4. Liquid cooled CPU
5. New GPU cooler

Also don’t forget to ensure there is enough cool air getting into the PC and that the air flows through the case well.

a c 158 ) Power supply
March 2, 2012 1:40:36 PM

gilpin said:
(3) I would also recommend a liquid cooled CPU solution as this has made a major difference to the noise levels. I use an Antec KÜHLER product but did replace the fan with a quieter PWM one.

He already has a liquid cooled CPU cooler; a Corsair H70. Different fans controlled by a fan controller would certainly help, but that still leaves the pump noise. Great idea on the feet silencing and thanks for the recommendation on specific noise isolation material to lien the case.
a b ) Power supply
March 2, 2012 1:42:34 PM

JimmyP69 said:
Very nice reply dirtyferret, checking out all your links now.

So would you suggest the Scythes over the TB silence and Noctuas, I want the very best I can find.

Which software would you say is better Speedfan or Afterburner.

And do you really think Lian Li will not benefit me at all? Looking at their site I thought that it would be a big improvement on my Antec 300 (http://www.lian-li.com/v2/en/product/product06.php?pr_i...) Check out all the rubber and padding


scythes, noctua, TB silence are all good. i would stay at or under 1000rpm of those fans

you can try out both speedfan and afterburner, see which one you like best. speedfan lets you control other fans besides the GPU but does not always work with every motherboard.

the lian li will help but you can simply add the silent foam to your case for similar performance. addressing your fans will be the best noise improvement though.
March 2, 2012 2:00:47 PM

Some really great replys and ideas here thanks everyone, let me take a step back and read all the suggestions a few times and look around these links you have shown me, then I will come back with questions or what I am going to order :) 
March 2, 2012 2:01:28 PM

Rugger said:
He already has a liquid cooled CPU cooler; a Corsair H70. Different fans controlled by a fan controller would certainly help, but that still leaves the pump noise. Great idea on the feet silencing and thanks for the recommendation on specific noise isolation material to lien the case.


Opps probably should have read spec before I made a reply!

With my Antec KÜHLER and noise isolation material I do not hear the pump. I did look at a number of reviews between Antec KÜHLER and Corsair H60/70 and the Antec ones were slightly quieter and had longer pipes, giving you more options to where you install it in the case.
March 2, 2012 2:31:09 PM

Hmmm someone suggested Accelero Xtreme Plus II over the Shaman, what do you think?
March 2, 2012 2:34:46 PM

I can imagine the one big fan being quieter but he seems to think its not? :S
a c 158 ) Power supply
March 2, 2012 2:35:44 PM

I think the THG review was pretty conclusive on performance and it included the AXP II.
March 2, 2012 2:46:30 PM

I can only see the Extreme Plus 1
a c 158 ) Power supply
March 2, 2012 4:38:28 PM

Good catch....can't believe i missed it the first time around. Even though the II has an extra fan and adjustable fan profiles, the reviews that I found did not show a large difference between its cooling power from the original. From a noise perspective, do you want to silence one or three fans?
March 2, 2012 4:52:33 PM

Rugger said:
Good catch....can't believe i missed it the first time around. Even though the II has an extra fan and adjustable fan profiles, the reviews that I found did not show a large difference between its cooling power from the original. From a noise perspective, do you want to silence one or three fans?


I can only comment on the Xtreme Plus II. I don't hear these fans much even under load, so would not want to disable any of the them. Alternatively in MSI Afterburner you could set up a custom profile for the fan speed.

According to the Toms Hardware Review the Sharman is only 2dba less then the Xtreme Plus II, which is not a lot difference.

I did create a small hole in the side of my case to let air in near the GPU and that helped keep the temp and noise down.

Would like to try out the Sharman one day but having recently purchased the Xtreme Plus II I will not be doing this in the near future.
a c 158 ) Power supply
March 2, 2012 4:56:35 PM

A 3dB increase in noise level doubles the perceived sound level.
March 2, 2012 6:20:14 PM

Trouble is the shaman is so friggin' huge and I really don't think it will fit with my motherboard as the Asus soundcard is 2 slots down from the gfx card and the shaman takes up like 4 slots.

I've been researching all day and what I'm thinking of getting right now is:

Fractul Design R3 (White, must find a white fan controller/CD Drive)
All Noctua Fans
Fan Controller
Maybe add more padding to the R3 at later date
a c 158 ) Power supply
March 2, 2012 8:30:28 PM

Size is the biggest drawback of the Shaman. You don't have to eat the entire noise elephant at once. Take the first big bite with the fans and fan controller and install it in the Antec 300. That will be easy to install and then you can get a feel for the noise levels in that config. If it's too loud when recording, then you can figure out what the noise culprits are and consider whether you want a new case, sound dampening or something else. It may sound weird, but when I'm trying to figure out what's making the noise in my case I actually put a paper towel roll on my ear and point it at the likely sound sources to see what's making the most noise. A tube helps to isolate the other sounds.
March 3, 2012 4:51:13 PM

I hope you do that with the curtains drawn your neighbors would think your a bit weird haha :D 

Joking aside I've ordered the following for starters:

Fractal Design R3 Black Pearl
Nesteq FanMax 8-Channel Black Fan Controller
Noctua NF-P14 X 2
Noctua NF-S12B X 4
Fan Extension cables just incase

I'll either use the 2 X NF-P14 on the H70 or a mix of NF-P14/NF-S12B, with the more silent fan (NF-S12B) towards the back of the case to lessen the noise exiting the case, not sure if this is a good idea but I will play around with them and see what is best.

I have a feeling that this setup should be sufficient enough for my needs, with the Fan Controller I have chosen I can completely switch off Fan channels when recording but with the Ultra Low Noise cables and Fan Controller I should be able to use all fans with very little noise at all (I hope).

While using a Fan Controller do I even need to use the Low Noise/Watt cables? Surely with the Fan Controller I can set the fans to their lowest speed setting anyway without the cables. While using the cables + Fan Controller it will just allow me to be more accurate as speeds will reduce slower is that right?

Thanks for all the help much appreciated,

Jimmy P
a c 111 ) Power supply
March 3, 2012 6:12:32 PM

Have you considered the Antec True Quiet Pro series? Also consider cougar's fans.
March 4, 2012 3:12:19 PM

Well I've already ordered it all now ;P

I'll post before and after pictures once it's all delivered and built, maybe make a video too.
a c 158 ) Power supply
March 5, 2012 6:21:47 PM

Good luck on the build! Would definitely like to know your subjective noise differences...with your recording equipment you could probably get some objective, measured differences. If you were curious and had some extra time on your hands, then you could even try the new fans and controller in the old case. Compare the noise levels and report how much or little the case helped in reducing perceived noise.
March 6, 2012 7:23:46 PM

Well I finally have the case all fitted out and working, took alot longer than expected because I encountered a few problems as you do with builds.

The 140mm fans wouldn't fit the H50 that well so I had to sort of force the side of the case on but it's not causing any problems. I had to use just 1 140mm fan on the h50 as the other had 0 chance of fitting, so I have the 140mm on the inside of the case and the 120mm S12B on the far back of the case.

Another problem was that the R3's door doesn't shut with the Nesteq FanMax 8-Channel's fan speed knobs, do I had to pull off the knobs and it works fine and doesn't look too stupid.

For some reason I was getting no signal for ages with everything connected, had to disconnect/reconnect everything a couple times and mess around with everything before it would work, hate it when that happens but it always seems to happen with me when I replace my case or mobo or something, so annoying. Was probobly messing around trying to find the problem for 30 minutes or more.

I'll post pictures later, I have recorded the sound of my old case and I will record my new case sound too later, the difference is pretty ******* amazing actually... wether or not you will beable to pick it up though I don't know, but I have used my studio microphone. It sounds so eerie in here :D 
March 6, 2012 7:24:49 PM

Temperatures are slightly higher than with my old case but I am using 2 less fans and all the fans that I am using are all on the lowest possible speed so it's a big advantage, I'll try gaming later.
a c 158 ) Power supply
March 6, 2012 7:51:54 PM

Awesome and congrats! Did you try the new parts in the Antec case or go straight for the R3?
March 6, 2012 7:57:42 PM

Nah sorry mate I didn't, I'm a little inpatient and wanted to get the thing running for the night ahead after work. Just tryed gaming, temperatures reached higher than normal CPU max around 50c, GPU about the same, thats nothing extreme I know, but it just shows how good the Antec 300 was with all fan slots used, the CPU would barely hit 40c.
March 6, 2012 8:07:38 PM

Just a quick comparison, i'll post a more detailed report later when I can be bothered ;) 

The cable management with this case is far more superior, especially with the HDD bays turned 90 degrees.



a c 158 ) Power supply
March 6, 2012 8:10:12 PM

But it couldn't do it quietly...you'd probably be surprised on the temp drops in the R3 if you maxed the fans and fan speeds in your R3. It's always a balance between cooling and noise. If you're in the 50s and near silent, then I'd say you're GOLDEN!

Edit: Looking Sweet!
March 6, 2012 8:16:02 PM

Well I rarely game anymore so earlier I decided to turn the fans off completely with the new fan controller and temps didn't go above the 40 range, but that was just with browsing, wasn't even music making so nothing special. With the fans all on low though there isn't really any noticable change in noise.

Slightly annoyed with one thing though, as I had to force the side of the case on with that big 140mm fan on the inside of the H50 some of the sound proofing material has been slightly damaged, no biggie though.

And yes I have 1 spare S12B, 3x Xilence fans, 2x Fractul fans, 1x 140mm Antec fan, which all seem to run pretty quiet, so might try the other fan slots at some point but I don't feel the need right now.

Thanks for all the help by the way, I think I'll post more here in the future.
March 6, 2012 8:19:56 PM

Was a little annoyed that I could only use the rubber screw/grommits on the bottom case fan though, they wouldn't fit on any other of the fan mounts, nevermind hey.
March 6, 2012 9:29:05 PM

Goodies arrived:






Old Antec 300 setup: (Dusty and looking sorry for itself)






Check out the dust on the H50, scraped half away for the picture, looks terrible.



Cable management was terrible, I probobly could of made it better but there wasn't many options with this case.



a b ) Power supply
March 6, 2012 11:38:21 PM

you do now you should clean your case out every 3-4 months... even if you have filters... less dust means lower temps and quieter fans. as they dont have to work as hard to keep everything cool..
a b ) Power supply
March 7, 2012 2:04:30 AM

put your cable behind mobo.
a c 158 ) Power supply
March 7, 2012 10:47:09 AM

DUDE! I'm surprised the H50 was cooling anything with that much muck on it!
March 7, 2012 11:21:41 AM

Haha the thing is my rooms extremely dusty it's so annoying. I've just had the whole room redecorated and it's already getting dusty, I guess I spend FAR too much time in here.

The H50 was cooling fine with all that dust, I even turned the fans off at times haha, oh well should be alot better now and I will clean it much more often, although I shouldn't need to as much with all the filters on the R3.

Do you guys use some sort of air blower to clean out all the dust, that would be awsome, I usually just use a soft paint brush and hoover.

hellfire24 - Which cables are you suggesting I hide behind the motherboard, are you refering to my old case? (I don't use it anymore)
a c 158 ) Power supply
March 7, 2012 12:26:05 PM

JimmyP69 said:
Haha the thing is my rooms extremely dusty it's so annoying. I've just had the whole room redecorated and it's already getting dusty, I guess I spend FAR too much time in here.

The H50 was cooling fine with all that dust, I even turned the fans off at times haha, oh well should be alot better now and I will clean it much more often, although I shouldn't need to as much with all the filters on the R3.

Do you guys use some sort of air blower to clean out all the dust, that would be awsome, I usually just use a soft paint brush and hoover.

hellfire24 - Which cables are you suggesting I hide behind the motherboard, are you refering to my old case? (I don't use it anymore)

I typically use cans of air and a brush. Some people use air compressors or portable air tanks to provide extra pressure.
March 7, 2012 1:07:53 PM

Hmmm air compressor sounds like a good idea, I'll have a look around cheers.
March 7, 2012 2:05:37 PM

All the goodies together before build (Excuse the messy bed)



Noctua NF-P14 and NF-S12B mounted to the H50 in push pull, I like the colour scheme.





I love the cable management options in this case, compared to the Antec 300 it's amazing for that reason, look around the motherboard I have 6 holes to use.



Here is the front of the case before mounting the Noctua fans, fan controller is fitted and you can see a Fractal design fan.



Here is another picture of the front of the case with the 2 x Noctua NF-S12B fans installed. (I didn't realise at first but on this picture the lower case fan has become de-mounted and it has been fixed now, this is probobly due to them only clipping in place they don't actually screw in place, so once again I couldn't use my rubber screws which was annoying)



Here I have installed my SSD and 2 x HDD's, I love the quick release mounts which come out really easily without the use of screws. The Harddrives also sit on pieces of rubber to stop vibrations, the SSD doesn't but it has no moving parts so it shouldn't matter.
I should probobly move the harddrives up a space as the Green Caviar doesn't seem to be level with the fans so probobly isn't being cooled as well as it could be.



Here I have fitted my GTX580 and Asus Essence ST.
I have plenty of space with the HDD bays turned 90 degrees, on the Antec 300 they are the conventional way which causes you to lose several HDD bays when having an oversized GFX card and makes cabale management awfull!



Here I only just managed to get all the PSU wires out the closest cable management hole which has made things far more tidy comapred to my old case.
Trouble is when I wan't to upgrade my PSU I will have to try and look for small units as I won't beable to have an overly large one due to the fan obstructing the way.



Here you can see that the 140mm fan sticks out from inside the case, I managed to get the side panels on though.






!