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Quiet/Silent Case With Airflow

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March 21, 2012 3:02:39 AM

Hello,

I'm looking for a quiet/silent case with really nice airflow. I'm on a budget, so something < $100 would be nice. I'm going to get either the GTX560 TI or Radeon 7850, so it needs to be pretty large. Any recommendations? Newegg has a LOT of cases, so I'm not sure what to pick. I HAD HAF 912 (I think. It was the smaller one), but it seemed fairly loud, and there are cases with more airflow out there. Anything you would suggest?

Thanks!

EDIT: Forgot to say that looks aren't a problem, but I would definitely prefer something without LEDs
a c 111 ) Power supply
March 21, 2012 3:21:34 AM

Fractal Design Define R3, though the HAF 912 when paired up with the right fans provide much better airflow than any "silent" case.
a c 158 ) Power supply
March 21, 2012 10:31:34 AM

+1 for the Define R3.
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March 21, 2012 10:40:09 AM

the antect 300 case ive got would fit the graphics cards at the expense of hard drive slots


it has 120mm at back. 140mm on top. another about 120mm on side

and 2 120mm fans on the front


(ive kept the fans that came with it on the lowest setting and never had to turn them higher as they keep the case very cool)

im going to add two intake fans anyway but if i put my hand on the front i can feel the 2 fans on the top and back sucking air in.



one thing ive found is. psu's can be a lot louder than the fans



i know for a fact the powersupply on its own in old pc is 10x louder than complete new pc
March 21, 2012 10:49:13 AM

NZXT Hush. Definitely the most quiet you can get.
March 21, 2012 11:19:58 AM

Hmm.... I'm starting to think about just a nice case with good airflow, but putting foam on the inside. Is that a relatively easy mod to do? I also know that it would increase temperature. Most of the "silent" cases would probably stifle my Overclocked GPU and CPU... I'm also looking for USB 3.0 (but not necessity). Should I just soundproof?
March 21, 2012 11:28:46 AM

Bare in mind the foam is fairly thick, the high end stuff is pretty damn heavy, it will be a massive dust magnet and can come lose.
IMO sound proofing foam for a case is more hassle then its worth.
a c 158 ) Power supply
March 21, 2012 1:15:22 PM

ddan49 said:
Hmm.... I'm starting to think about just a nice case with good airflow, but putting foam on the inside. Is that a relatively easy mod to do? I also know that it would increase temperature. Most of the "silent" cases would probably stifle my Overclocked GPU and CPU... I'm also looking for USB 3.0 (but not necessity). Should I just soundproof?

Some of the 'quiet' cases already have sound-dampening material installed...the Define R3 is one of them.
a c 111 ) Power supply
March 21, 2012 2:05:38 PM

ddan49 said:
Hmm.... I'm starting to think about just a nice case with good airflow, but putting foam on the inside. Is that a relatively easy mod to do? I also know that it would increase temperature. Most of the "silent" cases would probably stifle my Overclocked GPU and CPU... I'm also looking for USB 3.0 (but not necessity). Should I just soundproof?

IMHO just replace all fans in your HAF 912 and heatsink etc. etc. with silent fans, such as the cougar vortex 120mm fan: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... or silverstone fm 121 fans: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... They perform nearly the same, but imo the silverstones probably are better for total airflow, but the cougars are much silent coming in at 18db maxed out!
March 21, 2012 5:59:17 PM

amuffin said:
IMHO just replace all fans in your HAF 912 and heatsink etc. etc. with silent fans, such as the cougar vortex 120mm fan: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... or silverstone fm 121 fans: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... They perform nearly the same, but imo the silverstones probably are better for total airflow, but the cougars are much silent coming in at 18db maxed out!


I would, but that gets expensive. Also, I know that the fans in the case themselves don't produce all of the noise... I was looking more along the lines of the case dampening some of the GPU and PSU sound.

I do know that some cases come with foam. They do cost quite a bit more, and, as someone pointed out, they are a hassle.

Does anyone know how loud the HAF actually is? Also, would you recommend any plain gaming cases with nice airflow?
a c 158 ) Power supply
March 21, 2012 6:42:40 PM

ddan49 said:
I would, but that gets expensive. Also, I know that the fans in the case themselves don't produce all of the noise... I was looking more along the lines of the case dampening some of the GPU and PSU sound.

I do know that some cases come with foam. They do cost quite a bit more, and, as someone pointed out, they are a hassle.

Does anyone know how loud the HAF actually is? Also, would you recommend any plain gaming cases with nice airflow?

You don't have to buy $17 fans to get good, quiet performance. I use a Kaze master fan controller: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
and buy (4) Yate Loon D12Sl-12 for $20: http://www.petrastechshop.com/12yalod1cafa.html
Review of the fans: http://www.overclock3d.net/reviews/cases_cooling/yate_l...
I run the fans at about 800RPM and they are silent while maintaining good flow thru the case (Antec P183). You could run them at max speed (1350RPM) without a fan controller and they are still quiet.

The issue with the HAF cases is that there are a LOT of uncovered fan mounts that allow noise to easily travel out of the case. This is true of any case design that provides a lot of case fan mounts but leaves them open even if they aren't being used. It's one of the reasons that I like Corsair's approach to a low noise case in its new 550D: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... Top and side case fan mounts have noise-insulated covers that can be installed if the fan mounts aren't used, but this case is outside your price range ~$139.

You bring up a good point about the PSU/GPU noise. I use Speedfan to control the fan speed and noise of my GPU (never goes above 50%). I highly recommend Speedfan or another similar program that will allow you to control fan speed while monitoring temps. My PSU is a Seasonic M12II-520W that is silent.

What are your system specs? Please include CPU cooler and PSU make/model, too.
March 21, 2012 10:55:34 PM

Okay... system specs. So I am overclocking both my CPU and my GPU, but I don't have a hypercooler 212 for my CPU (I don't need to overclock THAT much). Here's my build:

Mobo: ASRock Z68 PRO3 GEN3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU: i5-2500k overclocked

GPU: MSI N560GTX-TI Twin Frozr II/OC GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU: Still deciding. I'll have something along the lines of 650W... probably like this:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM: Mushkin Enhanced 8GB DDR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

My HDD is an SSD, so no worries there :) . I also have a USB connected DVD drive, so that's not a problem either.
a c 111 ) Power supply
March 22, 2012 12:42:55 AM

The twin frozr is pretty quiet, I have 2 hawks and they aren't that loud. I also own the 912 and honestly the fans aren't that loud, and I have 2 antec 3 speed fans set on low as intake, 2 hyper 212 Evo fans and the stock out take fan.
March 22, 2012 12:53:00 AM

So... ultimately, you would recommend the HAF anyway? (912)
a c 111 ) Power supply
March 22, 2012 1:18:03 AM

It's not intended to be a silent case, but it's not that loud. You must be paranoid, because I have 5 120mm fans and they arent loud at all, in fact the stock fans aren't that loud, but you want 2 intakes. it's 50-60 for the case, spend 34 for 2 fans (cougar?) and those will go in the front.
a c 158 ) Power supply
March 22, 2012 11:10:53 AM

ddan49 said:
So... ultimately, you would recommend the HAF anyway? (912)

If it's too loud for you, then you can try to quiet down components or make the jump to another case. You can get a simple fan controller for $20-30 and reduce the speed of all your PC fans except the GPU and PSU. Buying an overpowered PSU means that you're not likely to stress it too much...that will lead to less heat and PSU fan noise. Then you can use something like Speedfan to reduce the GPU speed and noise.

My point is that by spending very little money on a fan controller, you can re-evaluate the noise from your HAF 912. If the noise levels are still too high, THEN you can spend the extra money to upgrade the case or try out the $20 Yate Loon fans I linked before. If the noise levels are ok, then you just saved yourself the cost of a new case.
March 22, 2012 11:14:22 AM

Calm down, guys! I said above I didn't want a SILENT case, since that would constrict airflow (or if it didn't, it would be over $120). I just need a QUIET case. What do you think of the Cougar case? It has the fans included. The fractal is nice, but I feel like it would restrict airflow a bit. Also, is it soundproofing only the case fans, or the entire inside?
a c 158 ) Power supply
March 22, 2012 11:21:55 AM

Define R3 has soundproofing throughout most of the case, but airflow is not restricted...this case provides both excellent cooling and sound reduction. I'm not sure about the Cougar case.
!