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PC Case Roundup: Spring 2008

Noise Benchmarks

It’s one thing to see pictures and hear tales about our experiences with the cases, but here is a bit of quantifiable data: how much noise these cases make when they’re running.

To get these numbers, we put a fan-less PSU in each case and attached all of the cases’ fans, then took a decibel reading 4” (10 cm) from the top front of the case. Remember, because we used a completely silent PSU to drive the fans, the actual noise output when using these cases with a typical PSU/fan will likely be a bit higher. Using the fan-less PSU let us eliminate other noise factors, so we could concentrate what the cases themselves were putting out.

Our only problem arose when our decibel meter was unable to read the 3R System R240 Grace case, as it was so quiet it didn’t register at our meter’s 35 dB range! So we’re going to estimate the Grace at 34 dB, and start the graph at 33 db, which would effectively represent silence.

pc case roundup

There are some really interesting numbers here, but there are two main points of interest. First, the 3R System R240 Grace is extremely quiet, as mentioned above. Second, the NZXT Tempest case — while offering the most fans and airflow — is surprisingly one of the quieter case offerings in the pack.

  • geotech
    Nothing on the Thermaltake Armor?
    One of the best case designs and plenty of room and features.
    Reply
  • bf2gameplaya
    Every one of those cases is butt ugly, unwieldy and depressing.
    Reply
  • Gravemind123
    Nothing from Lian-Li, Thermaltake or Antec? In that price range you could review a nice case from any of those companies.
    Reply
  • Yep is a very poor roundup allright !
    Where is Antec Nine Hundred or the new Twelve Hundred and the excelent P182 ???
    The Cosmos S seems to be out of place here.... its in another league: Armor+, Silverstone TJ07B, Stacker
    Reply
  • otheos
    Simple is an uknown word in the aesthetics of the east.
    Reply
  • scherfistv
    Lazy review, the guys from TOM's couldn't find more attractive PC Cases? It's all made in "China"-like?
    Reply
  • TiberiumSoldier
    poor Roundup.. no Enermax Chakra/uber Chakra no EZCool .....
    Reply
  • SinisterCanuck
    All mid tower cases... not one Full Tower! I haven't purchased a mid tower case in nearly 8 years for any of my builds because they are too crammed for my liking. As stated by other commenters, where's the Thermaltake Armor? Where's the Antec Twelve Hundred? etc. These were nice looking cases, but they are all middle of the road as far as I am concerned. You need to do a cases revisited or an enthusiast case round up! ...please do that
    Reply
  • I have my doubts about your praise on 3R System case. I have similar model. Exactly the same inside structure but without the remote control, display and with different front side.

    First of all, it's not that well-built. Sides bend and that inside metal (Al?) is really soft. And if you want to remove the front there are like 6 almost unreachable screws to be unscrewed which is pain in the a**.

    Fans are really quiet though.
    Reply
  • only Cosmos S look good to me.
    Reply