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Aerocool DS (Dead Silence) Case Review

Aerocool DS (Dead Silence) Case Review
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Aerocool, a company best known for its flashy tower-style gaming cases, surprised us with a small and well-thought-out cube-shaped chassis with space for tall CPU coolers and long graphics cards, in spite of its size. It comes in six color combinations.

The DS abbreviation in the name of Aerocool’s newest case stands for Dead Silence, and the enclosure's cooling solution is supposed to be consistent with that nomenclature. Its 200 mm front fan runs at a conservative 500 RPM, and its 120 mm rear fan spins at 900 RPM. And yet, Aerocool maintains that the DS' thermal capabilities are sufficient for gaming platforms based on microATX or mini-ITX form factors. In case the stock setup proves unable to cope with all of your high-end hardware, you also have the option to install additional fans, a 240 mm radiator, or a mesh cover for the case’s top. A two-chamber system that separates the hot components, such as the motherboard, processor, and graphics card, from the rest of the system provides unobstructed airflow.

Aerocool's DS is supposed to hit the market in a few days at a price point of $120 under $75, and you can already find it listed on the company's own site. From that, we know the case will be available in six different colors: black, black/red, black/orange, black/gold, black/white, and white. From there, you can opt for or against a side window, too.

Packaging and The Bundle

The Dead Silence chassis itself is not the only thing less gaudy than the company's usual fare. Its packaging is environmentally-friendly cardboard.

Aerocool's DS comes with everything from spacers to screws to nuts. There are enough small parts to fill every slot, bay, and fan space in the case, all sorted in their own plastic bags, which are clearly labeled. A piezo speaker, a bunch of ties, and a cable that adapts USB 3.0 to a motherboard's USB 2.0 header round out the enclosure's accessory bundle.

Finally, there’s an optional top cover that promises better cooling performance, so long as you're willing to break the case's nice clean sweeping aesthetic. We'll go into more detail on that shortly. Aerocool's illustrated installation manual is simple, but completely sufficient. It covers all of the chassis' most unique aspects.

Technical Specifications and Front Panel

ManufacturerAerocool  
Model NumberDS (Dead Silence)
TypeCube
Dimensions
(HxWxD)
41.1 x 26.5 x 38.1 cm
Weight6.8 kg
MaterialsSteel
Plastic with Soft-Touch Surface
(Front Cover, Top Cover)
Form FactormicroATX, mini-ITX
Drive Bays
1 x 5.25" (external)
1x 3.5" (external)
2 x 3.5" or 2.5" (internal)
2 x 2.5" (internal)
Expansion Slots
4
Fans
(Preinstalled)
1 x 200 mm Front (500 RPM)
1 x 120 mm Rear (900 RPM)
Fans
(Optional)
2 x 120/140 mm Top
1 x 120/140 mm Front (Instead of Preinstalled 200 mm Fan)
1 x 140 mm Rear (Instead of Preinstalled 120 mm Fan)
Water Cooling (Optional)240 mm Radiator Top
120/140 mm Radiator Rear
CPU Cooler
Up to 19.0 cm
Graphics Card
Up to 25.0/32.0 cm (With or without Cage for External 3.5" Drive)
Power Supply Unit
(PSU)
Up to 17.0 cm (Up to 19.0 cm Including Protruding Cables)
Cable Management
Case Design with Two Chambers, Cables Can Be Routed through Motherboard Tray Openings and Space between Motherboard Edges and Side Panels
Price$120

The Dead Silence's front panel features everything that you would generally expect from a case like this. There’s a pair of USB 3.0 connectors (also usable as 2.0 with the included adapter) and a separate pair of USB 2.0 connectors, a power and a reset button, and two audio connectors that must be connected to the HD Audio headers on your motherboard. The front panel is split into two parts that are located on the left and right side of the case’s top. Each has its own highly polished plastic surface.

Display 36 Comments.
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  • 0 Hide
    Protino , October 17, 2013 10:16 PM
    So organized and neat..!
  • 2 Hide
    DarkSable , October 17, 2013 10:30 PM
    Well damn. I really like this thing, but it's just too big for a mini-ITX rig, and there are a lot better options out there for micro-ATX.
  • 0 Hide
    slyu9213 , October 17, 2013 10:35 PM
    I agree kind of big and not sure how silent it is. But when I think of gaming I don't think of silent. Especially with some of the fans on the video cards.
  • 0 Hide
    DarkSable , October 17, 2013 10:36 PM
    But that's why you watercool. ;) 
    (Which this case doesn't have amazing support for. There aren't any good 200mm radiators to put in the front.)
  • 0 Hide
    chumly , October 17, 2013 11:58 PM
    Can you guys take a thermal reading at the point between the motherboard and PSU when the system is at load please?
  • 0 Hide
    Crashman , October 18, 2013 12:22 AM
    Quote:
    Well damn. I really like this thing, but it's just too big for a mini-ITX rig, and there are a lot better options out there for micro-ATX.

    Did anyone see any mention of the Bitfenix Prodigy? I used the Mini ITX version of this case in the June System Builder Marathon.
  • 0 Hide
    DarkSable , October 18, 2013 1:00 AM
    Quote:
    Did anyone see any mention of the Bitfenix Prodigy? I used the Mini ITX version of this case in the June System Builder Marathon.


    Hang on, I'm confused. Two points.

    1) I've used a prodigy before, and consider it huge for mini-ITX. It has its uses, but it's specialized... but no, I didn't see it mentioned in the article. What does that have to do with it?

    2) Wait, I'm confused. Is "this case" referring to the prodigy or to this dead silence case. Does the case reviewed in the article actually have two versions, a mini-itx and a matx? If so (and the matx isn't done as poorly as the matx prodiy), that would be awesome.

  • 0 Hide
    Crashman , October 18, 2013 1:36 AM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    Did anyone see any mention of the Bitfenix Prodigy? I used the Mini ITX version of this case in the June System Builder Marathon.


    Hang on, I'm confused. Two points.

    1) I've used a prodigy before, and consider it huge for mini-ITX. It has its uses, but it's specialized... but no, I didn't see it mentioned in the article. What does that have to do with it?

    2) Wait, I'm confused. Is "this case" referring to the prodigy or to this dead silence case. Does the case reviewed in the article actually have two versions, a mini-itx and a matx? If so (and the matx isn't done as poorly as the matx prodiy), that would be awesome.

    Now I'm confused? I just looked at the pictures and spotted a case structurally identical to my Mini ITX Prodigy, except for the added width. Does the different plastic really disguise it that well?

    Or are you thinking of the completely-revised Prodigy M, rather than the original Prodigy? Please take another look at the original Prodigy. If this case is better than the Prodigy M and I'd tested both, I'd have probably called the DS "What the Prodigy M should have been"

  • 0 Hide
    Myrkvidr , October 18, 2013 5:53 AM
    I would have compared the DS to the Prodigy, but unfortunately I never received one of the Bitfenix ITS-Cases for testing...
  • 0 Hide
    DarkSable , October 18, 2013 6:17 AM
    Quote:
    Now I'm confused? I just looked at the pictures and spotted a case structurally identical to my Mini ITX Prodigy, except for the added width. Does the different plastic really disguise it that well?

    Or are you thinking of the completely-revised Prodigy M, rather than the original Prodigy? Please take another look at the original Prodigy. If this case is better than the Prodigy M and I'd tested both, I'd have probably called the DS "What the Prodigy M should have been"


    Okay, gotcha, yes. It's another Prodigy spinoff, I agree. I still consider it large, though. :p 
  • 0 Hide
    OcelotRex , October 18, 2013 8:02 AM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    Now I'm confused? I just looked at the pictures and spotted a case structurally identical to my Mini ITX Prodigy, except for the added width. Does the different plastic really disguise it that well?

    Or are you thinking of the completely-revised Prodigy M, rather than the original Prodigy? Please take another look at the original Prodigy. If this case is better than the Prodigy M and I'd tested both, I'd have probably called the DS "What the Prodigy M should have been"


    Okay, gotcha, yes. It's another Prodigy spinoff, I agree. I still consider it large, though. :p 


    I am glad to see others in agreement with me about the Prodigy. When I was shopping for a HTPC/Gaming build I found the Prodigy (and the reviewed case) to be as large as good Micro-ATX cases like the Silverstone Temjin. I ended up with the PS07W instead; in purchasing the case I calculated the footprint and internal volume of the cases and found the Micro-ATX to have much more volume (to move air and cool) with the same footprint of the Prodigy. This case and the Prodigy are great cases but not SFF by any means.
  • 0 Hide
    Crashman , October 18, 2013 9:07 AM
    Quote:
    I am glad to see others in agreement with me about the Prodigy...This case and the Prodigy are great cases but not SFF by any means.
    That's true! Since SFF is supposed to mean Shuttle Form Factor (SMALL is NOT a Form Factor, since the term "form factor" means "standardized"). The closest thing open-architecture builders have to SSF is AMD's DTX Form Factor, so none of the available cases are SFF.

  • 0 Hide
    fozzie76 , October 18, 2013 9:32 AM
    Need a mini-itx version of this case. Go small or go home!
  • 0 Hide
    g-unit1111 , October 18, 2013 9:45 AM
    This is a very nice looking mATX case, but the color is a bit off-putting. Maybe if they could produce black, white, and gunmetal gray versions then I would be recommending this thing left and right. It's very clean looking, reminiscent of a mini Silverstone FT-02B.
  • 0 Hide
    jtd871 , October 18, 2013 9:51 AM
    Ya, I thought Prodigy clone, too, on first sight. I understand that the design puts the mobo flat (which has advantages), but this seems to create wasted space under the mobo tray. The design could possibly find better ways to utilize this space while lowering the overall height of the case.

    Also, in light of the skull-sweat and effort Steiger Dynamics demoed with their jam-packed mATX LEET watercooled beast featured in the recent Z87 article on the US site, this case looks a bit underwhelming, whether deserved or not.
  • 0 Hide
    gadgety , October 18, 2013 11:24 AM
    Quote:
    But that's why you watercool. ;) 
    (Which this case doesn't have amazing support for. There aren't any good 200mm radiators to put in the front.)


    What about the Phobya Extreme 200 mm? I have not checked the interior dimensions of this case to see if it fits. It's 240x200 mm.

  • 0 Hide
    Crashman , October 18, 2013 11:43 AM
    Quote:
    Need a mini-itx version of this case. Go small or go home!
    So you didn't read the June System Builder Marathon, and you didn't see the comment above about the Bitfenix Prodigy, and you haven't...OK, glad to see your internet is back up, hope you had a great summer!

  • 0 Hide
    Myrkvidr , October 18, 2013 12:45 PM
    @g-unit1111: Actually there ARE 6 different color combinations including a black AND a white version.
  • 0 Hide
    Onus , October 18, 2013 12:52 PM
    This case looks well-made, and I like the top port selection. The price looks reasonable too. The rear-fan noise could probably be addressed by replacing the fan screws with those silicone "nails" to isolate it from the case. If the width isn't a problem, I'll have to consider this one for future builds for people. I'd like to see a narrower mini-ITX version too. In the non-windowed version, I wonder if gluing a carpet-square on the inside of each side panel would make it even quieter.
  • 0 Hide
    OcelotRex , October 18, 2013 1:04 PM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    I am glad to see others in agreement with me about the Prodigy...This case and the Prodigy are great cases but not SFF by any means.
    That's true! Since SFF is supposed to mean Shuttle Form Factor (SMALL is NOT a Form Factor, since the term "form factor" means "standardized"). The closest thing open-architecture builders have to SSF is AMD's DTX Form Factor, so none of the available cases are SFF.



    Got me there! I would argue however that even though the term "small form factor" is not technically correct it has been adopted in the colloquial vernacular [threw in big words to look more smarter] of open tech message boards like Tom's as it is easily more easily understood than a more technically correct answer.

    What I should have said is that the Bit Fenix Prodigy takes up the same footprint (on the floor or on the desk) as certain Micro-ATX Mid Towers like the Silverstone Temjin with less internal volume for airflow and cable management. There's also the (more than likely) added cost of the Mini-ITX board over a MIcro-ATX board and the lack of AM3+ Mini-ITX boards out there.

    The new Aerocool solves the issue with the Prodigy by widening the whole chassis by only 5 more CM than the cases I pointed out in the above post. That shouldn't be too much wider than most Micro-ATX Mid Towers. It's an interesting product and the review was done well. I should have read it more thoroughly. ;) 
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