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Quiet Gaming Cases, Part 1: Antec, Azza, And Cooler Master

Test Settings

Test System Configuration
CPUIntel Core i7-3960X (Sandy Bridge-E), 6C/12T @ 4.25 GHz (34 x 125 MHz, 1.40 V Core)
CPU CoolerCoolink Corator DS 120 mm Tower
MotherboardAsus P9X79 WS: LGA 2011, Intel X79 Express, Firmware 0603 (11-11-2011) O/C @ 125 MHz BCLK
RAMG.Skill F3-17600CL9Q-16GBXLD 16 GB (4 x 4 GB) DDR3-2200 Benchmarked at DDR3-1600 CAS 9 defaults
GraphicsNvidia GeForce GTX 580: 772 MHz GPU,  GDDR5-4008 Maximum Fan for Thermal Tests, SLI
Hard DrivesSamsung 470 Series MZ5PA256HMDR, 256 GB SSD
SoundIntegrated HD Audio
NetworkIntegrated Gigabit Networking
PowerSeasonic X760 SS-760KM ATX12V v2.3, EPS12V, 80 PLUS Gold
Software
OSMicrosoft Windows 7 Ultimate (64-bit)
GraphicsNvidia GeForce 296.10 WHQL
ChipsetIntel INF 9.2.3.1020

We reused the test platform from our earlier gaming case series, complete with the same overclock settings, adjusting our thermal expectations rather than the platform’s voltage levels. A sacrificial C0-stepping Core i7-3960X on Asus’ P9X79 WS heats the CPU area.

Asus P9X79 WS

We normally choose a heat sink for its low noise and cooling performance, but Coolink’s Corator DS delivers the moderately low temperatures and moderately high noise results needed to properly evaluate the airflow and noise-dampening capabilities of these cases.

Blowers are the biggest cause for noise complaints in gaming PCs, so we tossed in Nvidia’s reference GeForce GTX 580 with an excruciatingly-noisy full speed for our load test. We let the fan rotate down to its minimum angular velocity for idle noise measurements.

Benchmark Configuration
Prime95 v25.864-bit executable, Small FFTs, 11 threads
3DMark 11Version: 1.0.1.0, Extreme Preset: Graphics Test 1, Looped
Real Temp 3.40Average of maximum core readings at full CPU load
Galaxy CM-140 SPL MeterTested at 1/2 m, corrected to 1 m (-6 dB), dBA weighting
  • jrayx
    I like the Silencio 650 features, but the airflow is restricted in the front and bottom. And no one sells that case in my country.
    Reply
  • James296
    sweet, been looking for a quiet gaming case =)
    Reply
  • dthesleepless
    I'd like to see how the Nanoxia Deep Silence 1 compares in your testing.

    In my testing I found it to be the most efficient silent case I've ever had on my workbench.
    Reply
  • EzioAs
    Things I love about silence optimized case: Simple, elegant look. Nothing tacky and doesn't looks like it was made for some 12 years old

    Things I hate about silence optimized case: Usually doesn't cool well (poor airflow) and isn't really that much quieter compared to non silence optimized case

    It 's really hard to find the right balance but I'm loving the Antec P280. Exterior and interior looks good and seems spacious enough. Price isn't so bad either.

    Any chance you could review the Nanoxia Deep Silence 1? Heard a lot of good things about it .
    Reply
  • JOSHSKORN
    I'd like to see the Fractal Design Define R4 (and/or XL if it's not out of stock, which it currently is) reviewed and compared at some point. It's suppose to be a quiet case. Gaming, not sure about that one.
    Reply
  • There is also the Corsair 550D to look at for the quite gaming experience.
    Reply
  • killerclick
    As usual, Cooler Master is mediocre at best. What pathetic company, the only thing they seem to do good is marketing to budget-conscious consumers.
    Reply
  • EzioAs
    9540164 said:
    As usual, Cooler Master is mediocre at best. What pathetic company, the only thing they seem to do good is marketing to budget-conscious consumers.

    I disagree. A lot of their chassis are good (HAF, Elite). I like their storm stryker/trooper. Most of their peripherals have great quality and reasonable price compared to something like Razer. Their coolers are also great as well (Hyper 212/212+/212 EVO). I just find their power supply unit to be the 2nd grade components, almost all of them I wouldn't use or recommend to other people
    Reply
  • mayankleoboy1
    ^ except for the high-end cooler master PSU's. They are quite decent, probably because Seasonic actually makes them.
    Reply
  • Crashman
    dthesleeplessI'd like to see how the Nanoxia Deep Silence 1 compares in your testing.In my testing I found it to be the most efficient silent case I've ever had on my workbench.JOSHSKORNI'd like to see the Fractal Design Define R4 (and/or XL if it's not out of stock, which it currently is) reviewed and compared at some point. It's suppose to be a quiet case. Gaming, not sure about that one.Perhaps you will...has anybody ever noticed the resemblance between those two?
    Reply