• Welcome to Overclockers Forums! Join us to reply in threads, receive reduced ads, and to customize your site experience!

SOLVED Looking for a quiet case

Overclockers is supported by our readers. When you click a link to make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn More.

Alaric

New Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2011
Location
Satan's Colon, US
I'm looking for suggestions for a quiet case. I'll be shuffling parts around this year and decided to move my TV tuner card and W7 to a HTPC/general purpose browsing rig and use the Skylake rig for gaming and higher performance needs.

So. Since the new build will be in the living room and on most of the time I want a quiet case. I'll probably (eventually) spring for Noctua fans and either a Noctua cooler or 240 AIO. It will be a 2500k at stock with all the quiet and power saving stuff turned on to keep heat down, but the HD 5450 VGA is fanless and the TV card puts off a fair amount of heat, so airflow also needs to be adequate to good. Quiet, good airflow, and has to take an ATX mobo. Smaller is good, cable management is important, don't care about windows (no windows is probably quieter), don't need or want RGB (sacrilege!), and $200 or less. Attractive would be nice, unobtrusive is interchangeable with attractive so either way on that.

Anyone have anything to say about Fractal Design's quiet cases? Or any others out there I may not be aware of. Thanks, guys. The refrigerator white $28 newegg bargain bin box it will be in at first has to go, though. LOL


edit: Also open to colors besides black or white (except beige).
 
Last edited:

stompah

Deep Pain Senior Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2001
For my HTPC I was all about quiet components. Quietest PSU, quiet HDD, oversized cooler for my CPU and undervolted fans. Never heard my HTPC even when sleeping on the living room floor with my kids. I have had my HTPC in 3 different cases. Cheap that weighed about an ounce, Newegg $20 shipped blowout that has to weigh about 50lbs and finally a Decent Thermaltake midtower with a window, bunch of fans and a window. All just as quiet as the one it replaced.

I would find one with good airflow, both side panels with factory sound deadening.

EDIT: Apparently I had to say my current case has a window and a window.
 

knoober

Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2015
I agree that quiet components are going to trump a quiet case for your needs. If you had a giant OC on a hot box chip and still wanted to muffle the fans.... Then you want a case designed for quiet. Just my. 02

A fan controller and some LNAs (low noise adapters, can buy them or make your own) + 2x140mm fans on intake with 1x140mn exhaust will be fairly silent. Even more silent with Noctua gear. More bonus silence if you use Ehume's trick of cutting out the exhaust fan grill to remove airflow restrictions.
 

EarthDog

Gulper Nozzle Co-Owner
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
Location
Buckeyes!
That's what I thought...but was confused when I saw a fan controller too. I'm surprised your controller doesnt give you enough flexibility and doesnt go low enough...first time I've heard such a thing. :)
 

knoober

Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2015
I wanted the cool aviator switches. The trade off is that I only ha e HI/LOW/OFF and no fine grain control

proxy.duckduckgo.com.jpeg
 

Blaylock

"That Backfired" Senior Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2013
Location
Go Blue!
I agree to all of the above. Also, you can mod any decent case to help reduce noise. A large square of closed cell foam rubber and some 3M spray glue and you're on your way.

I would also say you wont want a case with high air flow, but one with good "controlled" air flow. Think intake at the front and exhaust at the rear only. Foam everywhere else. Larger fans are generally quieter so think 2x 140mm or 1x 200mm intake and a high quality 140mm exhaust that is capable of ramping up to high speed if needed (using temp based curves).
 

Zerileous

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2002
I also tend to agree that good airflow with low fan speed is better than poor airflow and sound dampening that requires higher fan speed. That said, I don't think you could go wrong with the Define R6, for example. Here's a ton of thermals and noise comparison if you're interested https://www.gamersnexus.net/hwreviews/3177-fractal-define-r6-case-review-mid-tower. To be honest, I think you would ideally look for something near the middle of both packs, since the ones with the lowest thermals tend to be highest on the noise chart and vice-versa.
 

Blaylock

"That Backfired" Senior Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2013
Location
Go Blue!
Keep in mind the thermals and noise results from GamersNexus were during runs of P95 SFFT and Furmark. You will never duplicate this load in your rig so the results are highly extreme. Your actual results will be much better.
 

stompah

Deep Pain Senior Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2001
I also tend to agree that good airflow with low fan speed is better than poor airflow and sound dampening that requires higher fan speed. That said, I don't think you could go wrong with the Define R6, for example. Here's a ton of thermals and noise comparison if you're interested https://www.gamersnexus.net/hwreviews/3177-fractal-define-r6-case-review-mid-tower. To be honest, I think you would ideally look for something near the middle of both packs, since the ones with the lowest thermals tend to be highest on the noise chart and vice-versa.

LoL my Thermaltake looks like it is a 95% rip off of that case.

You can repin your fans to undervolt them for free. Just switch the pins in the molex connector. I don't know which ones to swap. It is easy to verify with a volt meter tho.
 
OP
Alaric

Alaric

New Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2011
Location
Satan's Colon, US
I agree that quiet components are going to trump a quiet case for your needs.

By golly, I live in America and I can have both! LOL The case is a big one time expenditure, so that's why I'm looking for a quiet case specifically. I can add Noctua fans, etc., as time and finances permit. I mentioned the Fractal cases because they're the only ones I can recall that marketed quiet aggressively.

edit: My first thought about fan silencers was silicone gaskets, available from Noctua and others.
 

EarthDog

Gulper Nozzle Co-Owner
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
Location
Buckeyes!
The difference a case makes to noise is nothing compared to buying the right internals up front. I would get the case you want, buy the quiet internals and if it still isn't somehow good enough, add sound dapening to the case.
 

Zerileous

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2002
LoL my Thermaltake looks like it is a 95% rip off of that case.

You can repin your fans to undervolt them for free. Just switch the pins in the molex connector. I don't know which ones to swap. It is easy to verify with a volt meter tho.

Yep, reasons why some people choose not to do business with them, etc....

What you're describing is the 7v mod stompah. By using the 5v molex pin as ground, the fan sees 12v-5v instead of 12v-0v, in other words 7v. You could also run 5v-0v for a 5v mod, but many fans will not start at this voltage. However I'm not sure why anyone would really mess with voltage controllers or voltage mods in this day and age. My EK fans are silent at 600rpm, and it can be done with the motherboard's pwm fan header. If Alarics 2500K board is pre-pwm, an Aquacomputer QUADRO can be had for $40 and it uses one of the internal USB headers and a very nice windows program to do the same (I haven't tested this extensively, but in my experience once set it keeps the fan settings regardless of the program or service. E.g. in the BIOS or during boot up, or when the service has been killed in Windows).

Alaric you can also look a beQuiet! cases as as they also market heavily towards the silent market.
 

Blaylock

"That Backfired" Senior Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2013
Location
Go Blue!
The only silent case I have experience with is the Antec P101 Silent. I am very pleased with it. The only noise i hear from it is the slight whir of the fans. Keep in mind I don't have silent components by any means in this case, in fact they are quite the opposite. So the case is really doing an outstanding job keeping the noise at a very acceptable level. It is a bit bigger than you'll probably want in an HTPC, but maybe not.
 

stompah

Deep Pain Senior Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2001
Yep, reasons why some people choose not to do business with them, etc....

What you're describing is the 7v mod stompah. By using the 5v molex pin as ground, the fan sees 12v-5v instead of 12v-0v, in other words 7v. You could also run 5v-0v for a 5v mod, but many fans will not start at this voltage. However I'm not sure why anyone would really mess with voltage controllers or voltage mods in this day and age. My EK fans are silent at 600rpm, and it can be done with the motherboard's pwm fan header. If Alarics 2500K board is pre-pwm, an Aquacomputer QUADRO can be had for $40 and it uses one of the internal USB headers and a very nice windows program to do the same (I haven't tested this extensively, but in my experience once set it keeps the fan settings regardless of the program or service. E.g. in the BIOS or during boot up, or when the service has been killed in Windows).

Alaric you can also look a beQuiet! cases as as they also market heavily towards the silent market.

Now that I think of it all of the fans that came with my ripoff case had a 3 position speed switch. And the ones I added I modded.

Alaric, how much power do you need? You can pick up a fanless video card, undervolt a low TPD CPU, huge heatsink, SSD and buy the quietest PSU you can afford. Then just worry about buying the case that fits your needs and looks the most.
 
OP
Alaric

Alaric

New Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2011
Location
Satan's Colon, US
Alaric you can also look a beQuiet! cases as as they also market heavily towards the silent market.

Completely missed them. Drrrr!

If Alarics 2500K board is pre-pwm,

ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3. It has at least one PWM header for the chassis fans and one for the CPU cooler. :thup:
 

knoober

Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2015
By golly, I live in America and I can have both! LOL The case is a big one time expenditure, so that's why I'm looking for a quiet case specifically. I can add Noctua fans, etc., as time and finances permit.

Fine be that way. Cake and eating it too coming up :D
Silverstone SST-GD07B

Its my inclination to have an HTPC fit in with the rest of the media center and look like it belongs. To that end I present the SST-GD07B. Looks like a stereo if you squint a little. The intake is questionable (120mm on the side and 2x120mm on the bottom) but Ill bet it can handle what your 2500k and friends. I have no idea how quiet it actually is but as many have said, fan choice and case padding can make the difference there. I would personally like to see room for 140mm fans because they would be easier on the ears, but you cant have everything (unless you live in America and can have both :D ) Its spendy but pretty. Silverstone has a quite a few more that look like a stereo, in a variety of price ranges.

edit: My first thought about fan silencers was silicone gaskets, available from Noctua and others.
think cork rubber gasket material from the auto parts store. works great and costs less. Gotta be able to use a scissors or x-acto knife with a little precision though. This is the stuff I use, but it costs quite a bit less when sourced locally.

edit: messed up the url tags on the first link and spent a minute figuring why my post wasnt showing properly. Fixed now though :)
 
OP
Alaric

Alaric

New Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2011
Location
Satan's Colon, US
So far the suggestions have covered a must have I forgot to list-an ODD bay. Between my girlfriend and I we have a sizable enough DVD and CD collection to make that a requirement.

Alaric, how much power do you need? You can pick up a fanless video card, undervolt a low TPD CPU, huge heatsink, SSD and buy the quietest PSU you can afford. Then just worry about buying the case that fits your needs and looks the most.


VGA is fanless already, and everything will be run at stock speeds. A couple sticks of DDR3, TV tuner card (quad tuners on the card for recording up to four channels at once), a 120 GB boot drive and a big storage HDD or two with equal sized back up drive(s), the 2500k (95 watts) that may offer enough graphics power for the intended purpose by itself. That would definitely free up some thermal headroom and clear some airflow space.
 
Last edited: