Skip to main content

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

Quality And Value: Part 3 Cases, Analyzed

While price-to-performance is often a top priority in our reviews, the quest for quiet gaming compels us to rebel against our value-seeking norms. Before we discuss build quality, here’s how today’s three cases stack up when it comes to relative efficiency over relative price.

The extensive use of steel and plastic allows Nanoxia to produce a relatively high-performance noise-dampening case for only $120. The lower cost of steel doesn’t necessarily imply a lower-quality case, and this is especially true for the Deep Silence 1. This case employs extra-thick steel to dampen noise, and the application of asphalt mat to many of its internal surfaces furthers that effort. However, that combination of heavy construction and heavy dampening materials weigh equally on the Deep Silence 1’s portability, with a finished product tipping the scales at 25.5 pounds!

Nearly half as hefty, the $170 Lian Li PC-B12 uses even thicker aluminum panels to provide lightweight rigidity. Medium-density acoustic foam provides similarly lightweight noise dampening. Aside from its lower weight, the main benefit of anodized aluminum is that most people think it looks better. It’s also chip-proof and scratch resistant. But we’re just not sure if many of our readers would willingly pay an extra $50 for a lighter-weight, better-looking case.

SilverStone’s FT02S-USB3.0 tops our performance chart, even if most of our graphics card's exhaust noise reaches our ears. But remember that we test our cases from 45° from the front panel, and that this case is designed to sit on the floor. The expense of a wraparound aluminum design combines with the weight of a thick steel body, resulting in a $260 product that everybody wants, but many cannot afford. Ironically, the folks who do have the money for this case often have even more demanding performance expectations, and it's possible that they simply won't accept the amount of noise that escapes from its top panel.

Nanoxia’s Deep Silence 1 looks like the value, performance, and quality pick in today’s comparison. On the next page we'll compare it to the other six cases in this series.

  • 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