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Quietest Case with a Window?

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June 25, 2012 1:07:17 AM

Hello all, planning a low to mid range gaming build sometime during summer. There will be no overclocking.

I'm looking for a very silent computer. I've really liked the features and minimalist looks of the Corsair 550D, Fractal Arc Midi, and Antec Sonata SOLO II, but I really want a window that will let me view the components. Would also like USB 3.0 front panel, as well as fan filters and/or panels covering unused fan slots. I wouldn't be running that many fans, and would also like to keep as much dust out as possible. Sound dampening material would obviously be helpful.

If there's no silent case with the window, I'll probably buy one of the 3 from above and throw the side panel under some kind of cutter and stick some clear plastic where the metal used to be.

Thanks!

More about : quietest case window

a b ) Power supply
June 25, 2012 1:26:07 AM

A quiet case with a window would be self-defeating: covering the enclosed perimeter with sound-dampening material is one of the defining characteristics of quiet cases and no such material can be applied to windows.

If you are going to buy a 'quiet' case only to un-quiet it by throwing away large areas of sound-dampening material, you may as well use a regular "noisy" case.
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June 25, 2012 3:31:27 AM

I see your point, so maybe a more productive question would be if there are any cases out there with windows that have at most 1-2 intake and 1-2 exhaust fan mounts? That would allow less noise pollution out as well as less dust in. Of course I'll be pairing them with quiet fans, looking at Cougars or the new Corsair quiet editions. I might get something like an H70 core mated with quiet fans because the computer must be quiet for around a year, but after that I'll be looking to overclock (probably with a different case).
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a b ) Power supply
June 25, 2012 4:15:19 AM

NZXT Switch 810 might work for you.

EDIT: just buy a set of dampening material from an auto store it's cheap - use it to cover the top fan mounts.
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June 25, 2012 4:39:00 AM

FinneousPJ said:
NZXT Switch 810 might work for you.

EDIT: just buy a set of dampening material from an auto store it's cheap - use it to cover the top fan mounts.


Never actually heard or thought of that, is it just like foam that you can cut to whatever size is needed? Won't affect heat dissipating too well? I would hope case manufacturers would have tested the air flow or heat characteristics of the cases, and that wouldn't affect it too much?

Edit: Just looked at that case, forgot to mention I would prefer a mid tower.
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a c 110 ) Power supply
June 25, 2012 5:14:04 AM

Buy a case with a window and replace all of the fans with silent ones! There's your answer!
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a b ) Power supply
June 25, 2012 5:25:36 AM

invertedbottles said:
Won't affect heat dissipating too well?

Most of the noise-dampening material is applied to case walls. If you have an intake and exhaust fan(s), the bulk of heat is moved through forced convection, there is little to no "dissipation" through the case's walls themselves.

Gluing acoustic foam/wool onto steel/aluminum panels might help with acoustic noises but not be quite as effective at 'deadening' case vibrations as factory-laminated stuff.
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a c 122 ) Power supply
June 25, 2012 6:12:04 AM

Case:COOLER MASTER CM Storm Series Trooper (SGC-5000-KKN1) Black Steel / Plastic ATX Full Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case:NZXT SWITCH 810 Matte Black CA-SW810-M1 Steel / Plastic ATX HYBIRD Full Tower Gaming Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case:COOLER MASTER Storm Sniper SGC-6000-KXN1-GP Black Steel, ABS Plastic, Mesh bezel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case:COOLER MASTER HAF X RC-942-KKN1 Black Steel/ Plastic ATX Full Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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June 25, 2012 6:28:04 AM

amuffin said:
Buy a case with a window and replace all of the fans with silent ones! There's your answer!


I'm probably going to do this, as well as pick up some sound dampening stuff to block all unused ports as well as line the sides.

@InvalidError: Does aftermarket stuff work as well as the stuff they use from the factory? I know Silverstone has some sound foam on Newegg for around $22 for two sheets, would the auto store stuff be a better buy?

Of course I'll also go for anti-vibration gaskets or mounts for HDs and fans. Was considering buying something like a Corsair H70 Core or a H100, and sticking some of Corsair's Static Pressure Quiet fans on it. I haven't really read all the threads about the grinding noise, but should I be worried? Having this will allow me to overclock after a few years when I don't require quiet anymore.

I'm guessing I'll have to budget more money than I intended for quiet.
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a c 122 ) Power supply
June 25, 2012 6:32:57 AM

lol i just read you like the minimal look sorry none of the cases i linked are for you my bad
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a c 110 ) Power supply
June 25, 2012 6:46:08 AM

H100=WASTE!
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a c 122 ) Power supply
June 25, 2012 6:47:54 AM

+1 I agree with amuffin
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a b ) Power supply
June 25, 2012 6:59:21 AM

Generic auto store stuff should be the same stuff for a lot cheaper. Computer branded items are generally quite expensive.
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June 25, 2012 9:34:51 AM

bigcyco1 said:
lol i just read you like the minimal look sorry none of the cases i linked are for you my bad

Haha it's no problem, thanks for trying to help :D 

amuffin said:
H100=WASTE!

I was thinking it would be useful for future overclocking, but if that's the case, what would you recommend? Of course I'll be trying to mount some quiet fans on it (at least for now).

FinneousPJ said:
Generic auto store stuff should be the same stuff for a lot cheaper. Computer branded items are generally quite expensive.

That sounds good. Will the auto store have the thinness that I see some of the computer ones at (4mm for one of them)? I'd assume they are as dense to absorb sound.
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a b ) Power supply
June 25, 2012 1:40:39 PM

At my local store they come in various thicknesses starting at 3 mm.
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a b ) Power supply
June 25, 2012 10:30:32 PM

You might want to also check out the Raven 3. It's not exactly minimal looking, but I don't think it's ostentatious either. It's not dead silent, but it is rather quiet and all the drive mounts have rubber grommets to reduce vibration. The rotated board mounting makes it very efficient at cooling, and the bottom intakes have magnetically mounted filters. I haven't found it necessary to add any fans to it, though I did swap out the 120s on the case and CPU cooler with Scythes.

My only complaint about it are the front drive cages. They're not exactly easy to remove, though you don't often need to do that.
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June 27, 2012 4:40:00 AM

RedJaron said:
You might want to also check out the Raven 3. It's not exactly minimal looking, but I don't think it's ostentatious either. It's not dead silent, but it is rather quiet and all the drive mounts have rubber grommets to reduce vibration. The rotated board mounting makes it very efficient at cooling, and the bottom intakes have magnetically mounted filters. I haven't found it necessary to add any fans to it, though I did swap out the 120s on the case and CPU cooler with Scythes.

My only complaint about it are the front drive cages. They're not exactly easy to remove, though you don't often need to do that.

That is a very interesting case. I'll do some more reasearch on it. (edit: after taking a look, I could live with the styling but it is a full tower, a little too big for me. Thanks though!)

What do you fella's recommend for a CPU cooler? I know a lot use the CM 212 (Evo or Plus?), should I look at that? Replace the stock fan with a quiet one, or two?
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a c 122 ) Power supply
June 27, 2012 5:22:18 AM

CPU Cooler:THERMALRIGHT SILVER ARROW DUAL14CM ROUND FAN HEATSINK
http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=w...

CPU Cooler:Noctua 6 Dual Heatpipe with 140mm/120mm Dual SSO Bearing Fans CPU Cooler NH-D14 - Retail
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16820148410

:
PHANTEKS PH-TC14PE_BL 5 x?8mm Dual Heat-Pipes Dual 140mm Premium Fans and Quiet CPU Cooler with Patented P.A.T.S Coating
by Phanteks
http://www.amazon.com/PHANTEKS-PH-TC14PE_BL-Heat-Pipes-...

CPU Cooler:COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 EVO RR-212E-20PK-R2 Continuous Direct Contact 120mm Sleeve CPU Cooler Compatible with latest Intel 2011/1366/1155 and AMD FM1/AM3+
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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June 27, 2012 5:36:15 AM

bigcyco1 said:
CPU Cooler:THERMALRIGHT SILVER ARROW DUAL14CM ROUND FAN HEATSINK
http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=w...

CPU Cooler:Noctua 6 Dual Heatpipe with 140mm/120mm Dual SSO Bearing Fans CPU Cooler NH-D14 - Retail
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16820148410

:
PHANTEKS PH-TC14PE_BL 5 x?8mm Dual Heat-Pipes Dual 140mm Premium Fans and Quiet CPU Cooler with Patented P.A.T.S Coating
by Phanteks
http://www.amazon.com/PHANTEKS-PH-TC14PE_BL-Heat-Pipes-...

CPU Cooler:COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 EVO RR-212E-20PK-R2 Continuous Direct Contact 120mm Sleeve CPU Cooler Compatible with latest Intel 2011/1366/1155 and AMD FM1/AM3+
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


I've browsed through a bunch of these before, but the problem is choosing a single one to use. What do you guys personally use?
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a c 122 ) Power supply
June 27, 2012 8:41:17 AM

Most the guy's use COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 EVO i however am addicted to Overclocking and it doesn't get the job done for my extreme oc i use a rasa kit on my main rig and i use the NH-D14 on my secondary rig but i dislike the looks so i am thinking of switching over to PHANTEKS PH-TC14PE_BL but can't make up my mind because despite the NH-D14 ugly looks it's whisper quiet and keeps my CPU cool even on high overclocks.
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a b ) Power supply
June 27, 2012 9:44:51 PM

invertedbottles said:
That is a very interesting case. I'll do some more reasearch on it. (edit: after taking a look, I could live with the styling but it is a full tower, a little too big for me. Thanks though!)
It is a full tower, but it it shorter than most towers, under 21". If that's still too tall, then yeah, you may not have space for it.

invertedbottles said:
What do you fella's recommend for a CPU cooler? I know a lot use the CM 212 (Evo or Plus?), should I look at that? Replace the stock fan with a quiet one, or two?
The 212 and Noctua will be most common response. I'm pleased with my Xigmatek Gaia. Similar to the 212, it's great cooling for the price. I swapped the fans for a couple Scythes and it's probably way more cooling than I need ( I rarely overclock, and even then it's not by much. )
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June 28, 2012 9:38:43 PM

RedJaron said:
The 212 and Noctua will be most common response. I'm pleased with my Xigmatek Gaia. Similar to the 212, it's great cooling for the price. I swapped the fans for a couple Scythes and it's probably way more cooling than I need ( I rarely overclock, and even then it's not by much. )


For the $35 for the Cooler Master (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...) vs the $90 for the Noctua (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...), seems like the CM is the better bang for the buck.

Is the NH-U12P (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...) very different from the NH-D14 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...)? Newegg doesn't list the NH-U12P as working with LGA1155. Both are a lot more than the CM though.

The Xigmatek Gaia and the 212 Evo seem very similar, at least in terms of price. I'll read comparisons, but I'm wondering how you mount push/pull on either one. Do you plug both fans into the cooler, and then the cooler into the CPU fan header on the mobo (like how the Corsair Hs work), or does only one of them plug into the mobo header and the other into a different fan controller/header?
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a c 122 ) Power supply
June 28, 2012 11:54:02 PM

Yeah,it doesn't list it works with LGA1155 but trust me it does you could even call Noctua and ask them if it would make you feel more assured ;)  the 212 Evo is good for mild OC it's not good for any thing other than that i would say best bang for buck low end/mid end heat sink is 212 Evo and best bang for buck high end heat sink is NH-D14 P.S. The price went way up on NH-U12P it's not even worth $75.99 newegg is on crack lol that's crazy it use to be 49.99 and at that price is worth it so don't get that unless the price goes back down this would be worth considering http://www.amazon.com/Noctua-CPU-Cooler-NH-U12P-SE2/dp/... otherwise get the 212 Evo for a cheaper it's slightly noisy but gets the job done
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June 29, 2012 4:41:09 AM

bigcyco1 said:
Yeah,it doesn't list it works with LGA1155 but trust me it does you could even call Noctua and ask them if it would make you feel more assured ;)  the 212 Evo is good for mild OC it's not good for any thing other than that i would say best bang for buck low end/mid end heat sink is 212 Evo and best bang for buck high end heat sink is NH-D14 P.S. The price went way up on NH-U12P it's not even worth $75.99 newegg is on crack lol that's crazy it use to be 49.99 and at that price is worth it so don't get that unless the price goes back down this would be worth considering http://www.amazon.com/Noctua-CPU-Cooler-NH-U12P-SE2/dp/... otherwise get the 212 Evo for a cheaper it's slightly noisy but gets the job done


I've pretty much decided on CM 212 Evo, but if it gets too loud I'll replace with quiet fans.
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a c 122 ) Power supply
June 29, 2012 5:11:59 AM

invertedbottles said:
I've pretty much decided on CM 212 Evo, but if it gets too loud I'll replace with quiet fans.

Sounds good :) 
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a b ) Power supply
July 2, 2012 9:10:24 PM

invertedbottles said:
For the $35 for the Cooler Master (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...) vs the $90 for the Noctua (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...), seems like the CM is the better bang for the buck.
Exactly, the Gaia and 212 are designed for the value crowd. They're not bad coolers by any means. You can get good overclocks on both, but they're not going to be the coolest or quietest doing it. But for only $30, how can you expect more? The Noctua will be a little cooler and a lot quieter, but it's also more expensive.

invertedbottles said:
The Xigmatek Gaia and the 212 Evo seem very similar, at least in terms of price. I'll read comparisons, but I'm wondering how you mount push/pull on either one. Do you plug both fans into the cooler, and then the cooler into the CPU fan header on the mobo (like how the Corsair Hs work), or does only one of them plug into the mobo header and the other into a different fan controller/header?
Both heatsinks come with the hardware to mount a second fan ( the 212 has plastic clip brackets, the Gaia has rubber plugs that help minimize vibration. ) You can use any standard 120mm fan with this hardware. But the fans don't draw power from the cooler. You either plug them into mboard headers or get PSU splitters to power them. Here's the rig I built last year.



My mboard has two CPU fan headers right between the CPU socket and the RAM slots ( you can see the little tail of the red/yellow cable just above and to the right of the blue RAM modules. )

I did swap out the single Xigmatek fan with a pair of Scythes ( much quieter. )
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July 3, 2012 4:28:34 AM

RedJaron said:
Exactly, the Gaia and 212 are designed for the value crowd. They're not bad coolers by any means. You can get good overclocks on both, but they're not going to be the coolest or quietest doing it. But for only $30, how can you expect more? The Noctua will be a little cooler and a lot quieter, but it's also more expensive.

Both heatsinks come with the hardware to mount a second fan ( the 212 has plastic clip brackets, the Gaia has rubber plugs that help minimize vibration. ) You can use any standard 120mm fan with this hardware. But the fans don't draw power from the cooler. You either plug them into mboard headers or get PSU splitters to power them. Here's the rig I built last year.

]http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7055/6792876978_4f142dcb46_b.jpg

My mboard has two CPU fan headers right between the CPU socket and the RAM slots ( you can see the little tail of the red/yellow cable just above and to the right of the blue RAM modules. )

I did swap out the single Xigmatek fan with a pair of Scythes ( much quieter. )


I've decided on the 212 Evo and mounting some quiet fans if it starts to bother me. I just bought the mobo for the build and reading the manual, I realized what you said. It does have two CPU headers. I've virtually decided on the whole build:

CPU: i5-2500k
Mobo: z77 Sabertooth
Ram: Vengeance LP White 8gb
SSD: Intel 520 60gb (SRT)
HD: Caviar Black 1TB or Velociraptor 1TB (not sure if VR is worth the extra money)
PSU: Corsair TX750M
Case: Corsair Vengeance C70 White
optical: Samsung dvd burner
GPU: old 8800gt for now (no need to upgrade)

Thanks to all of you guys for the help!
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a b ) Power supply
July 3, 2012 5:24:12 AM

IMO drop the velociraptor and RST and get a bigger SSD and a normal HDD.
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a c 122 ) Power supply
July 3, 2012 7:13:22 AM

I wouldn't pay the extra money for the Velociraptor but that's just me lol
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a b ) Power supply
July 3, 2012 3:17:28 PM

Same here, a 7200 rpm drive is the most you need ( and if you're using a sizable SSD, you can get by with a 5400 rpm just for storage. )
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July 3, 2012 6:57:37 PM

Yeah I'll stick with the cheaper HD then. What do you guys think about ram, 8gb enough or should I just throw 16gb in and not have to worry about it again?

And while I'm at it, any budget speakers you guys know of that would be good for gaming and music? Was looking at the Corsair SP2200, only $40 @ NCIX right now, but the crackling that comes up scared me away.
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a b ) Power supply
July 3, 2012 7:09:40 PM

8GB RAM is fine. Near any 1333 or 1600 RAM will do. You don't need to spend the extra money on 1833 or super low CAS timings because they don't make a huge difference.

I'm rather fond of my Logitech 2.1 speakers ( I picked them up about two years ago for ~$70. ) They're nothing special, but they can pump out some good, clean sound. You might want to consider a good pair of headphones instead of speakers. If you want to play at night without disturbing people or if you want simulated surround sound, headphones can be a great alternative.
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a b ) Power supply
July 3, 2012 8:44:47 PM

RedJaron said:
8GB RAM is fine. Near any 1333 or 1600 RAM will do. You don't need to spend the extra money on 1833 or super low CAS timings because they don't make a huge difference.

About 2% between 1066 and 2133 in most real-world benchmarks is even less than "not huge", it is negligible. Between 1333 and 1600, it certainly isn't going to be worth losing any sleep over with.

One exception might be when using HD2500/4000 IGP, I bet the IGP can use all the spare bandwidth it can get... but then you end up paying a $60 premium on RAM to improve the performance of an IGP that is about even with a $50 discrete card, which is a little silly. Wonder if someone has an HD4000 memory clock vs performance chart somewhere out of curiosity.
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July 4, 2012 6:00:52 AM

InvalidError said:
About 2% between 1066 and 2133 in most real-world benchmarks is even less than "not huge", it is negligible. Between 1333 and 1600, it certainly isn't going to be worth losing any sleep over with.

One exception might be when using HD2500/4000 IGP, I bet the IGP can use all the spare bandwidth it can get... but then you end up paying a $60 premium on RAM to improve the performance of an IGP that is about even with a $50 discrete card, which is a little silly. Wonder if someone has an HD4000 memory clock vs performance chart somewhere out of curiosity.


I certainly won't be using the IGP so I won't worry about that. I'll just go with 8gb then too.

RedJaron said:
I'm rather fond of my Logitech 2.1 speakers ( I picked them up about two years ago for ~$70. ) They're nothing special, but they can pump out some good, clean sound. You might want to consider a good pair of headphones instead of speakers. If you want to play at night without disturbing people or if you want simulated surround sound, headphones can be a great alternative.


Would you happen to remember the model number or be able to look it up, I know logitech has many 2.1 speakers out. I do also have a pair of headphones I will be using.
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