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

More P280 Features

If you want to use more than a pair of 2.5" drives, you'll find mounting holes in the center of each 3.5" hard drive cage for devices like SSDs. Silicon grommets dampen the vibrations emanating from 3.5” drives, since most contain moving parts.

Antec tells us that the P280 is specifically designed to reduce the noise of gaming systems, which is why we question the placement of fans on the top panel. Many users will place a case this large next to their desk, though putting it underneath could be a good way to use the furniture to block fan noise.

Dirty floors can be a problem for PC cooling fans, which tend to pick up a lot of dust and hair. Fortunately, Antec protects the power supply’s intake fan with a removable filter.

The finger tab on this filter adds around 0.2” to the width used in our Page 1 dimensions chart.

A polycarbonate sheet adds weight and stiffness to the P280’s side panel, reducing any vibrations that could transfer internal noise outside the case.

We wanted one technical feature from each of the cases submitted for our round-up: an internal USB 3.0 header, which we believe our readers deserve from a modern case. The P280's is found, along with USB 2.0 and HD Audio, inside the P280. Antec doesn’t include a USB 3.0-to-USB 2.0 adapter for builders using outdated motherboards. The case similarly does not include AC'97 audio connectivity. Color us happy.

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  • 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.
  • James296
    sweet, been looking for a quiet gaming case =)
  • 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.
  • 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 .
  • 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.
  • There is also the Corsair 550D to look at for the quite gaming experience.
  • 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.
  • EzioAs
    326042 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
  • mayankleoboy1
    ^ except for the high-end cooler master PSU's. They are quite decent, probably because Seasonic actually makes them.
  • 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?
  • dasick
    Hm... A PC case noise benchmark test without a HDD???
    SSD is totaly silent, but HDD can make quite a bit of noise, and is still a basic part of every PC today.
    You guys seem to have forgotten something.
  • Crashman
    dasickHm... A PC case noise benchmark test without a HDD???SSD is totaly silent, but HDD can make quite a bit of noise, and is still a basic part of every PC today.You guys seem to have forgotten something.
    An HDD can make a lot of noise, but not nearly as much as a graphics blower. The HDD was rejected as redundant noise.
  • JOSHSKORN
    Can you even buy the Azza Silentium 920 case anywhere? I can't find it on Amazon or Newegg.
  • killerclick
    EzioAsI 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


    Their products are great when compared to box coolers and cheap no-name cases, but inferior to Corsair, Noctua, Scythe, Antec and the like. Hyper 212? Junk - even Tom's thinks so. Why buy fourth best? Find me one roundup of anything where Cooler Master comes out on top in performance or acoustics.
  • EzioAs
    326042 said:
    Their products are great when compared to box coolers and cheap no-name cases, but inferior to Corsair, Noctua, Scythe, Antec and the like. Hyper 212? Junk - even Tom's thinks so. Why buy fourth best? Find me one roundup of anything where Cooler Master comes out on top in performance or acoustics.


    Look at the price. The Hyper 212+ is not even remotely close to the price of top air coolers however it offers extremely good value and the link you provided is enough evidence. I'll also vouch for it since I have one and I'm using it to cool my 3570K running at 4.5GHz fully stable with cpu voltage of 1.18V and max temps of 78 degrees on the hottest core. I paid $30 for it and I can get my cpu to 4.5GHz, fully satisfied.

    Corsair do have great cases (no doubt here) but look at the total number of cases they have and the price point. Cooler master have everything from $30 to $300+ case.

    Look, this is not a debate on whoever makes the best products. We don't need one company dominating the other. If we do, we get fewer alternatives and high prices. Let's say you're right and let's take a look at the SSD market. Based on what I've found out so far is Samsung has the highest performing consumer SSD, the 840 Pro (if I'm wrong, consider this a hypothetical situation). However, does that make other SSDs like the crucial M4 or OCZ vertex 4 irrelevant? If the M4 and vertex 4 had lower prices and better price per GB than the 840 Pro, wouldn't it be a better deal for someone who's not looking for the best and/or is not willing to pay the premium?

    To conclude, there's nothing wrong with Cooler Master not taking the performance crown, value is not simply performance/aesthetics/size, it's more of how much you can get for the price you pay.
  • Crashman
    killerclickHyper 212? Junk - even Tom's thinks so.
    It's a decent low-cost cooler and the one Tom's fell back to in the recent SBM when Newegg's mid-priced parts were out of stock.
  • Draconian
    Where's the Corsair 550D?
  • killerclick
    EzioAsTo conclude, there's nothing wrong with Cooler Master not taking the performance crown, value is not simply performance/aesthetics/size, it's more of how much you can get for the price you pay.


    Yeah, but who wants to save $15 on a CPU cooler they buy once in two years, especially if the CPU it cools costs 15 times as much?
    And you said "great quality and reasonable price", it's more like "mediocre quality and reasonable price". Great quality would come up on top, being in the bottom half in most comparisons is not great quality, unless compared with a box cooler, in which case the price would be beyond unreasonable.
  • EzioAs
    326042 said:
    Yeah, but who wants to save $15 on a CPU cooler they buy once in two years, especially if the CPU it cools costs 15 times as much? And you said "great quality and reasonable price", it's more like "mediocre quality and reasonable price". Great quality would come up on top, being in the bottom half in most comparisons is not great quality, unless compared with a box cooler, in which case the price would be beyond unreasonable.


    Some people just aren't enthusiast :??: . Some people just want to spend little and they only change parts after a couple of years. You can call cooler master's products mediocre all you want, as far as I'm concern, most of them are decent to great quality
  • cknobman
    I absolutely love my Antec P280, my favorite case I have ever owned.

    My $250 Lian Li was nice and all aluminum but its overall design and features paled in comparison to my Antec p280.

    I added 1 120mm fan to the front of my Antec and will admit it is not exactly "silent" but it is not what I would consider noisy either and I am more than willing to live with it since I have easily overclocked my 3770k to 4.5 ghz with a cheap $25 3 heat pipe cooler.
  • Onus
    I'm with you, killerclick. For reasons I've enumerated too often in the forums to repeat here, Crappermaster is on my personal "Do Not Buy" list. Even in this article, it was said to arrive looking..."used." That's a pretty decent summary of my opinion on their quality. The point being, there is ALWAYS a better bang/buck choice; same price, better quality (cases, e.g. Rosewill), or lower price for the same quality (coolers, e.g. Xigmatek).

    I expect this to be thumbed down by Crappermaster fanbois, but that doesn't change the facts.
  • Onus
    On an entirely (and more relevant) note, I disagree that hard drive noise is "redundant." The type of noise can be as important as its volume when determining how acceptable it is. An even whooshing of fans is not as obnoxious as the intermittent rattles and buzzing of hard drive operation.

    Furthermore, someone concerned about noise will also select components to that end. "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure;" meaning quieter graphics cards and fans will be used.

    In that context, Antec is the clear winner of these three.
  • CrashmanPerhaps you will...has anybody ever noticed the resemblance between those two?

    i beleive anadtech did an article comparing silent gaming cases not long ago
  • i woulds still get a fractal define r4 or define mini. i love fractal cases, i have an r3 and a node 304