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.