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Quiet Gaming Cases, Part 3: Lian Li, Nanoxia, And SilverStone

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.

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 its fan at 100% duty cycle 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
    Where to buy the Silencio 650 or the Nanoxia Deep Silence ?
    Reply
  • e56imfg
    10447762 said:
    Where to buy the Silencio 650 or the Nanoxia Deep Silence ?
    Newegg e-mailed me saying that the Nanoxia DS1 ETA is 1/30
    Reply
  • abbadon_34
    I never ceased to amazed by these beastly cases from Silverstone. Before I die I hope to toss down $300 for some monster.
    Reply
  • johnsonjohnson
    e56imfgNewegg e-mailed me saying that the Nanoxia DS1 ETA is 1/30
    Thanks for that; I was wondering when it would arrive.
    Reply
  • My brother has the older FT02B with the red inside and I have the P280. I'm super happy to see how these cases performed
    He is running dual AMD 5850's with axial fans and a Corsair H50 water cooler cooling an AMD 8150, it's very quiet even at full fan.
    In my P280 I have a OC Intel i7-3770k with an Antec 920 water cooler and 2 scythe 2k rpm fans, with the scythe at full power and the 920 on aggressive thermal settings it keeps he 4.7ghz oc under 50 deg c under almost all loads while not being excessively loud.
    Reply
  • Onus
    The Define R4 appears to be lacking a HDD activity LED; baffling. Those who don't like it wouldn't have to use it, but what about those who do?
    It would be interesting to repeat the tests with an axially-cooled graphics card. After all, that style of cooler would be the choice of someone building for low noise. Of particular interest would be the resulting temperature differences, especially of the Silverstone.
    Reply
  • 1369ic
    I ordered an R4 yesterday before finding these articles and was happy to see it get the approved award. Now it wins a recommended buy award and UPS tells me it's on the truck to be delivered today. First time in my life I've had such luck. I am replacing an aging Antec P180, and almost got the 280, but went with the R4 because I liked the look better -- and it's currently $80 with free shipping on Newegg.
    Reply
  • cknobman
    As nice as the Fractal R4 is I still would go with my Antec P280 case especially considering after discounts I picked it up for only $80.

    Toms, thanks for doing this series it was really nice to see the time and in depth detail put into this. I will be bookmarking these for reference on my future builds.
    Reply
  • Au_equus
    1369icI ordered an R4 yesterday before finding these articles and was happy to see it get the approved award. Now it wins a recommended buy award and UPS tells me it's on the truck to be delivered today. First time in my life I've had such luck. I am replacing an aging Antec P180, and almost got the 280, but went with the R4 because I liked the look better -- and it's currently $80 with free shipping on Newegg.Half finished building with it last night. Once you get th R4, you can tell that a lot of thought went into building this case. I'm still a novice when it comes to cable management, but FD makes it real easy. For $80, IMO, you're getting a steal.
    Reply
  • tripkick
    Is there any chance that you could review the NZXT H2 in the future? I was hoping to see it on your review list and how it compares to the R4. I am looking to upgrade my old Antec P180 and wondered how those two cases stack up against the P180 and its newer version P183.
    Reply