PC Case Roundup: Spring 2008

Noise Benchmarks

It’s one thing to see pictures and hear tales about our experiences with the cases, but here is a bit of quantifiable data: how much noise these cases make when they’re running.

To get these numbers, we put a fan-less PSU in each case and attached all of the cases’ fans, then took a decibel reading 4” (10 cm) from the top front of the case. Remember, because we used a completely silent PSU to drive the fans, the actual noise output when using these cases with a typical PSU/fan will likely be a bit higher. Using the fan-less PSU let us eliminate other noise factors, so we could concentrate what the cases themselves were putting out.

Our only problem arose when our decibel meter was unable to read the 3R System R240 Grace case, as it was so quiet it didn’t register at our meter’s 35 dB range! So we’re going to estimate the Grace at 34 dB, and start the graph at 33 db, which would effectively represent silence.

pc case roundup

There are some really interesting numbers here, but there are two main points of interest. First, the 3R System R240 Grace is extremely quiet, as mentioned above. Second, the NZXT Tempest case — while offering the most fans and airflow — is surprisingly one of the quieter case offerings in the pack.

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74 comments
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    Top Comments
  • Gravemind123
    Nothing from Lian-Li, Thermaltake or Antec? In that price range you could review a nice case from any of those companies.
    15
  • Anonymous
    Yep is a very poor roundup allright !
    Where is Antec Nine Hundred or the new Twelve Hundred and the excelent P182 ???
    The Cosmos S seems to be out of place here.... its in another league: Armor+, Silverstone TJ07B, Stacker
    10
  • Other Comments
  • geotech
    Nothing on the Thermaltake Armor?
    One of the best case designs and plenty of room and features.
    1
  • bf2gameplaya
    Every one of those cases is butt ugly, unwieldy and depressing.
    -4
  • Gravemind123
    Nothing from Lian-Li, Thermaltake or Antec? In that price range you could review a nice case from any of those companies.
    15
  • Anonymous
    Yep is a very poor roundup allright !
    Where is Antec Nine Hundred or the new Twelve Hundred and the excelent P182 ???
    The Cosmos S seems to be out of place here.... its in another league: Armor+, Silverstone TJ07B, Stacker
    10
  • otheos
    Simple is an uknown word in the aesthetics of the east.
    3
  • scherfistv
    Lazy review, the guys from TOM's couldn't find more attractive PC Cases? It's all made in "China"-like?
    -3
  • TiberiumSoldier
    poor Roundup.. no Enermax Chakra/uber Chakra no EZCool .....
    -2
  • SinisterCanuck
    All mid tower cases... not one Full Tower! I haven't purchased a mid tower case in nearly 8 years for any of my builds because they are too crammed for my liking. As stated by other commenters, where's the Thermaltake Armor? Where's the Antec Twelve Hundred? etc. These were nice looking cases, but they are all middle of the road as far as I am concerned. You need to do a cases revisited or an enthusiast case round up! ...please do that
    1
  • Anonymous
    I have my doubts about your praise on 3R System case. I have similar model. Exactly the same inside structure but without the remote control, display and with different front side.

    First of all, it's not that well-built. Sides bend and that inside metal (Al?) is really soft. And if you want to remove the front there are like 6 almost unreachable screws to be unscrewed which is pain in the a**.

    Fans are really quiet though.
    1
  • Anonymous
    only Cosmos S look good to me.
    -1
  • ilovebarny
    well its not bad information but they really could have done a better job picking out cases to review.
    2
  • Dogsnake
    Funny how you keep referring to the Antec case(s)but do not include one in the review. Why buy an imitator when you can get the real thing?
    1
  • HyperBladeST
    No need to add the good old 900 and P182. We all know they're good and it's not a coincidence that the NZXT and the Raidmax looks so much like the 900 ;)

    As for the 1200 : it's a bigger 900 so there's nothing much to say about it.

    But yeah it would have been more appropriate to use case from all company to make a round-up.
    1
  • spaztic7
    It would be really cool if for another roundup they did all of the Maximum PC cases that won a "Kick Ass Award". Yeah you may be using info from a competitor, but it would make for one really interesting read to see who would be the best of the best!
    0
  • retratserif
    I have the Cosmos S, its the best water cooling case out there next to the Mozart. You can easily get 2-3 Radiators in and installed with no mods what so ever. Plus the heat sensitive power button is very impressive. It may not get you laid, but it sure will fit into any modern or high tech lifestyle. The Nine Hundred is quite old in comparison to these cases. I have not seen a new stacker... I think the Cosmos is closest thing to them.

    I was skeptical of the Cosmos s at first. But after everything went in without a hitch, I had to really appreciate the work that had gone into this case. The thing I like the most is the rails. Its not that easy to move a 60+ lb case with 2 rads and at least a liter of water.

    Good job guys. I enjoyed the round up. I would like to see a more practical round up in the future for more budget PC's. To see more cases that have good practical usage and lower prices. They should all have 2 120mm fans minimum though. 40$-100$ cases.
    0
  • Kurse
    No Antec 900 or P182? Certainly two of the best cases on the market.
    0
  • Lumberboy
    Why do people love the Thermaltake Armour cases so much? It was the hottest case I ever owned. When I switched to my CM 690 my cpu temps dropped 10 degrees.
    1
  • MU_Engineer
    I also find it funny that the Antec Nine Hundred was mentioned about five times (and the NXZT Tempest is a clone of it) but was not in the review. How about a Nine Hundred vs. Clones comparison?
    1
  • byebye
    not toward this but everyone needs to start measuring the distance between the processor and the wall. because i want a IFX-14
    0
  • xsamitt
    We really need a list of full tower cases.........High end if you wish............Pretty Please.

    Most of the cases you picked out I wouldn't consider at all.Mid tower is not where things are going....Some cases have 10 Expansion slots.......I belive we need a review thats with the current trend...as we live in the now ...not the past.
    0