Question Good Airflow/Silence Balance for Video Editing Rig

Nervly

Honorable
Sep 7, 2016
39
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Hey, everyone!

My job consists of mostly video editing and some motion graphics. I mainly use Premiere and After Effects for this end. I usually work with either 1080p60 or 2160p30 footage, and sporadically 4k at 120fps too. I'm from Portugal.

My current setup is as follows:

- CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 3700x
- RAM: G.Skill Trident Z RGB 16GB (2x8GB) 3200Mhz CL14
- GPU: NVIDIA RTX 2080 Ti
- MOBO: Gigabyte X570 AORUS ELITE

- SSD #1: Samsung 850 EVO 500GB
- SSD #2: Samsung 970 EVO Plus NVMe M.2 1TB
- HDD: Western Digital Blue 1TB 7200RPM

- CPU Cooler: ADM Wraith Prism Stock Cooler (which can get loud and am planning on replacing it with a Noctua D15 in the future)
- Case: Kolink Observatory w/ Stock Case Fans (which make a big portion of the noise)


I'm looking to upgrade my case since I did the terrible mistake of getting a Kolink Observatory 3 years ago without knowing what airflow is, and let me tell you, this case's airflow is BAD, at least with the stock fans.
It was a budget case, so there's that. When idle or under light load (Opera, Discord, Telegram, Voicemeter Banana) my CPU runs at 60ºC - 70ºC and my GPU at ~60ºC the whole time.
When under heavier load (SteamVR (don't even need to boot up a game), exporting a project in Premiere/After Effects), they'll typically go up to the 75s - 80s ºC.
Because of this, my computer constantly sounds really loud, even at idle.

Switching just the case fans wouldn't quench my thirst of getting rid of this case, so I'm looking to get an entirely new one with a good balance between airflow and silence, that doesn't have a glass front panel like my current one does.
Yes, I know you can't have a case that excels at both, but a good balance between the two is mostly what I'm looking for, something that doesn't sound like an airplane taking off once I boot up SteamVR or exporting a video.

I've looked at a few but I'm never really sure what the best option would be. I have preference over white cases with tempered glass on the side.

Fractal Torrent has a nice design and seems to be at the top of the charts with good temperatures with its stock fans (in fact, slapping Noctuas in it increased the temperatures), according to Gamers Nexus, but it is AWFULLY loud at 50db with its stock fans at max speed, though noise-normalized to 36db keeps it at pretty acceptable temperatures (CPU 45´ºC & GPU 54ºC over ambient, which I think is around 20ºC for their tests. This would put them at 65ºC and 74ºC at max load, which is what my stuff runs at when idle). The problem is this case is very expensive and kinda out of my budget, costing 236€ where I live.

Lian Li Lancool 215 seems to be a pretty good option from what I've seen. It's a bit loud with its stock fans at 38db, noise-normalized to 36db keeps the temperatures at 46ºC for CPU and 52ºC for GPU over ambient (so add ~20ºC to those) which is also pretty acceptable, especially when compared to my current situation. This case is within my budget at 95€.
The problem is, I'm not really sure how loud (in db) my case is and if it is louder than this one would be or not.

Fractal Define R6 is a case I've been eyeing for around 2 years now. Its noise levels with stock fans at max speed are only 33db, though temperatures can go a bit high at 56ºC over ambient for both the CPU and GPU, so around 76ºC for both, which is around the same and sometimes a bit less than what I get right now at load. If ambient is truly 20ºC, then that means these, at idle, run at less than 30ºC, which are temperatures I've never seen with my current computer in any situation. This case is at pretty much the limit of my budget, stretching it eversoslightly, at 165€. So the thing for this one is, getting only 33db at max speed is really heccin' good, but I'm worried if getting 75ºC+ temperatures on both my GPU and CPU might make them throttle during video editing and stuff? I'm not extremely worried about exporting times but mostly their performance while scrubbing the timeline (although I'm aware the type of storage I use has a lot more influence but I wonder if CPU/GPU thermals can be a significant factor aswell). The case is pretty, I like that the front panel can be opened easily like a door so I can lower the temperatures that way if I absolutely need to and I'm not sacrificing tempered glass for less noise.

One other question I absolutely want to ask is, about the Fractal Define R6 still, its review at Gamers Nexus doesn't have their standardized fans test (where they replace the stock fans with 2x NF-A14 in the front and 1x NF-F12 in the rear) so I was wondering if replacing its stock fans with Noctuas would keep the noise levels at ~33db but lower the temperatures further? I'm mostly asking because that's clearly not the case with the Fractal Torrent (or at least in their scenario) so I'm wondering if this case would benefit from it.

I think those are mostly my questions, basically I'd like a case for my video editing rig that's not super loud when at load but doesn't throttle my components either, and that it's actually quiet when idle. Feel free to suggest other cases as well.
I've messed around the speed curves in the BIOS but I can't get anything to make them work properly. I notice that my CPU's temperature is always going down to 58ºC which makes the fan immediately ramp up to 68ºC and then it cools down to 58ºC, rinse and repeat. No amount of changes I made to the speed curve made it stable so I'm guessing the case is a big problem here with the airflow. This has been a thing from the start so I don't think it's the thermal paste needing replacement either, though I'll definitely be applying new one when I replace my CPU cooler.

Here are the videos I took most of my information from:
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YtyWUAjmmZA&t=953s

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cHGAJYcgBHI&t=713s


Hopefully I'm not forgetting any details but feel free to ask any questions if needed and sorry if any of this sounded dumb!

Thank you for your attention!
 

Aeacus

Champion
Ambassador
Choosing a PC case is personal choice, and no-one can tell what to go for, since we'd be suggesting based on our preference.
Also, you've already found the best source regarding case thermals (GamersNexus).

What i can only add to this, for you to consider, are two broad options:
  1. Case with sound dampening material in it. Be Quiet! cases are really good at this. Link: https://www.bequiet.com/en/case
  2. Go big (full-tower ATX or super-tower ATX) and populate all fan mounts.
Now, the idea with 2nd option is, that to get the best possible airflow with the least amount of noise, install as many fans in your case as possible. Preferably 140mm rather than 120mm since 140mm fan moves more air and does that more quietly than it's (same spec) 120mm counterpart.

While installing 5x to 7x fans in your PC may look like that you'd get extremely loud noise out of your PC, it's actually vice-versa. The trick is that the more fans you have inside the case, the less each fan has to work to maintain the airflow and the less noise fans produce.

And that is also a main reason why i have 7x high-end case fans in my Skylake and Haswell builds (Corsair ML Pro LED and NZXT AER140 RGB). Mostly 140mm but few 120mm as well. (Full specs with pics in my sig.)
Since i have that many case fans, i can keep all of my case fans spinning between 800 - 1100 RPM and thanks to this, my PCs are very quiet while still having proper airflow inside my full-tower ATX cases (Corsair 760T V2 Black and Corsair 750D Airflow Edition).

---

Based on your described preferences, Be Quiet! Silent Base 802 White would do nicely,
specs: https://www.bequiet.com/en/case/2048

It also has good fan support of:
front - 3x 120/140mm
top - 3x 120/140mm
rear - 1x 140mm
PSU shroud - 1x 120/140mm

If all fan mounts would be populated, you can have 8x 140mm fans in your PC. That's even better than my PC cases are capable of. :LOL:

Oh, might want to look up how Silent Base 802 fared on GamersNexus testing. But take that with reservation, since GamersNexus tests stock configuration, while if you go all out, you'd be changing the airflow setup drastically.

---

Picking out a case is just one step. Picking the right fans is far more important, since the thing with PC cases is, that it isn't the case that makes the noise, but instead the case fans you put into there.
if i were to take a "quiet" case like Corsair 400Q and put a Noctua NF-F12 industrialPPC-3000 PWM fan into it which outputs 43.5 dB(A), then you can be certain that the PC won't be quiet at all, despite the claims it being quiet.

So, if you're interested in "going big", we can look towards good performing fans for your setup.
 

dwd999

Honorable
Hey, everyone!

My job consists of mostly video editing and some motion graphics. I mainly use Premiere and After Effects for this end. I usually work with either 1080p60 or 2160p30 footage, and sporadically 4k at 120fps too. I'm from Portugal.

My current setup is as follows:

- CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 3700x
- RAM: G.Skill Trident Z RGB 16GB (2x8GB) 3200Mhz CL14
- GPU: NVIDIA RTX 2080 Ti
- MOBO: Gigabyte X570 AORUS ELITE

- SSD #1: Samsung 850 EVO 500GB
- SSD #2: Samsung 970 EVO Plus NVMe M.2 1TB
- HDD: Western Digital Blue 1TB 7200RPM

- CPU Cooler: ADM Wraith Prism Stock Cooler (which can get loud and am planning on replacing it with a Noctua D15 in the future)
- Case: Kolink Observatory w/ Stock Case Fans (which make a big portion of the noise)


I'm looking to upgrade my case since I did the terrible mistake of getting a Kolink Observatory 3 years ago without knowing what airflow is, and let me tell you, this case's airflow is BAD, at least with the stock fans.
It was a budget case, so there's that. When idle or under light load (Opera, Discord, Telegram, Voicemeter Banana) my CPU runs at 60ºC - 70ºC and my GPU at ~60ºC the whole time.
When under heavier load (SteamVR (don't even need to boot up a game), exporting a project in Premiere/After Effects), they'll typically go up to the 75s - 80s ºC.
Because of this, my computer constantly sounds really loud, even at idle.

Switching just the case fans wouldn't quench my thirst of getting rid of this case, so I'm looking to get an entirely new one with a good balance between airflow and silence, that doesn't have a glass front panel like my current one does.
Yes, I know you can't have a case that excels at both, but a good balance between the two is mostly what I'm looking for, something that doesn't sound like an airplane taking off once I boot up SteamVR or exporting a video.

I've looked at a few but I'm never really sure what the best option would be. I have preference over white cases with tempered glass on the side.

Fractal Torrent has a nice design and seems to be at the top of the charts with good temperatures with its stock fans (in fact, slapping Noctuas in it increased the temperatures), according to Gamers Nexus, but it is AWFULLY loud at 50db with its stock fans at max speed, though noise-normalized to 36db keeps it at pretty acceptable temperatures (CPU 45´ºC & GPU 54ºC over ambient, which I think is around 20ºC for their tests. This would put them at 65ºC and 74ºC at max load, which is what my stuff runs at when idle). The problem is this case is very expensive and kinda out of my budget, costing 236€ where I live.

Lian Li Lancool 215 seems to be a pretty good option from what I've seen. It's a bit loud with its stock fans at 38db, noise-normalized to 36db keeps the temperatures at 46ºC for CPU and 52ºC for GPU over ambient (so add ~20ºC to those) which is also pretty acceptable, especially when compared to my current situation. This case is within my budget at 95€.
The problem is, I'm not really sure how loud (in db) my case is and if it is louder than this one would be or not.

Fractal Define R6 is a case I've been eyeing for around 2 years now. Its noise levels with stock fans at max speed are only 33db, though temperatures can go a bit high at 56ºC over ambient for both the CPU and GPU, so around 76ºC for both, which is around the same and sometimes a bit less than what I get right now at load. If ambient is truly 20ºC, then that means these, at idle, run at less than 30ºC, which are temperatures I've never seen with my current computer in any situation. This case is at pretty much the limit of my budget, stretching it eversoslightly, at 165€. So the thing for this one is, getting only 33db at max speed is really heccin' good, but I'm worried if getting 75ºC+ temperatures on both my GPU and CPU might make them throttle during video editing and stuff? I'm not extremely worried about exporting times but mostly their performance while scrubbing the timeline (although I'm aware the type of storage I use has a lot more influence but I wonder if CPU/GPU thermals can be a significant factor aswell). The case is pretty, I like that the front panel can be opened easily like a door so I can lower the temperatures that way if I absolutely need to and I'm not sacrificing tempered glass for less noise.

One other question I absolutely want to ask is, about the Fractal Define R6 still, its review at Gamers Nexus doesn't have their standardized fans test (where they replace the stock fans with 2x NF-A14 in the front and 1x NF-F12 in the rear) so I was wondering if replacing its stock fans with Noctuas would keep the noise levels at ~33db but lower the temperatures further? I'm mostly asking because that's clearly not the case with the Fractal Torrent (or at least in their scenario) so I'm wondering if this case would benefit from it.

I think those are mostly my questions, basically I'd like a case for my video editing rig that's not super loud when at load but doesn't throttle my components either, and that it's actually quiet when idle. Feel free to suggest other cases as well.
I've messed around the speed curves in the BIOS but I can't get anything to make them work properly. I notice that my CPU's temperature is always going down to 58ºC which makes the fan immediately ramp up to 68ºC and then it cools down to 58ºC, rinse and repeat. No amount of changes I made to the speed curve made it stable so I'm guessing the case is a big problem here with the airflow. This has been a thing from the start so I don't think it's the thermal paste needing replacement either, though I'll definitely be applying new one when I replace my CPU cooler.

Here are the videos I took most of my information from:
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YtyWUAjmmZA&t=953s

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cHGAJYcgBHI&t=713s


Hopefully I'm not forgetting any details but feel free to ask any questions if needed and sorry if any of this sounded dumb!

Thank you for your attention!
I use the Fractal Design Define 7 which holds 9 140mm fans (but I only use 7 because I still like to have an optical drive). The fans are all Noctua NF-A14 PWM which run at around 500rpm most of the time along with the D15 cooler. But the Movavi video editing software I use is not as sophisticated or demanding so I don't have to worry about noise or heat. There's an even larger version of the Define 7 which would allow more airflow and volume if you want to go all out.
 

Nervly

Honorable
Sep 7, 2016
39
1
10,535
0
Choosing a PC case is personal choice, and no-one can tell what to go for, since we'd be suggesting based on our preference.
Also, you've already found the best source regarding case thermals (GamersNexus).

What i can only add to this, for you to consider, are two broad options:
  1. Case with sound dampening material in it. Be Quiet! cases are really good at this. Link: https://www.bequiet.com/en/case
  2. Go big (full-tower ATX or super-tower ATX) and populate all fan mounts.
Now, the idea with 2nd option is, that to get the best possible airflow with the least amount of noise, install as many fans in your case as possible. Preferably 140mm rather than 120mm since 140mm fan moves more air and does that more quietly than it's (same spec) 120mm counterpart.

While installing 5x to 7x fans in your PC may look like that you'd get extremely loud noise out of your PC, it's actually vice-versa. The trick is that the more fans you have inside the case, the less each fan has to work to maintain the airflow and the less noise fans produce.

And that is also a main reason why i have 7x high-end case fans in my Skylake and Haswell builds (Corsair ML Pro LED and NZXT AER140 RGB). Mostly 140mm but few 120mm as well. (Full specs with pics in my sig.)
Since i have that many case fans, i can keep all of my case fans spinning between 800 - 1100 RPM and thanks to this, my PCs are very quiet while still having proper airflow inside my full-tower ATX cases (Corsair 760T V2 Black and Corsair 750D Airflow Edition).

---

Based on your described preferences, Be Quiet! Silent Base 802 White would do nicely,
specs: https://www.bequiet.com/en/case/2048

It also has good fan support of:
front - 3x 120/140mm
top - 3x 120/140mm
rear - 1x 140mm
PSU shroud - 1x 120/140mm

If all fan mounts would be populated, you can have 8x 140mm fans in your PC. That's even better than my PC cases are capable of. :LOL:

Oh, might want to look up how Silent Base 802 fared on GamersNexus testing. But take that with reservation, since GamersNexus tests stock configuration, while if you go all out, you'd be changing the airflow setup drastically.

---

Picking out a case is just one step. Picking the right fans is far more important, since the thing with PC cases is, that it isn't the case that makes the noise, but instead the case fans you put into there.
if i were to take a "quiet" case like Corsair 400Q and put a Noctua NF-F12 industrialPPC-3000 PWM fan into it which outputs 43.5 dB(A), then you can be certain that the PC won't be quiet at all, despite the claims it being quiet.

So, if you're interested in "going big", we can look towards good performing fans for your setup.
Thank you so much for your detailed reply!

I did some searching around and I love that the Silent Base 802 is modular, that's a pretty cool concept, I like the idea of adapting it to different situations and the white version is definitely pretty.
Unfortunately it seems to be pretty out of my budget, costing a tad bit over 200€ where I live :/ I didn't want to go over 150€, hence why the Fractal R6 was stretching the budget a little bit.

One sweet ass thing I saw today however, a local store where I usually buy my stuff started crazy good sales today on cases! So the Fractal Define R6 is only going for 89.90€ right now (previously was 169.90€). After making the original post, I also looked into the Fractal Torrent Compact which is just as good as the original Torrent and is currently ALSO on sale for 139.90€, so both these two cases have veryy good prices right now. I'm pretty much settled on one of these two at this point, I just don't know which to pick.

If I got the R6, and according to what you said, it seems like it'd be a good idea to populate it with fans. I realized earlier today that its stock fans aren't actually PWM, despite it having three 4-pin PWM headers on its hub, so I wouldn't be able to mess with their RPM, though considering they run at 33dBA at their max speed, I don't think I'd have to anyway. Though I'd like to decrease the temperatures a little bit, in case they do hover the 75s, so I was thinking of adding 3x140mm exhaust fans to the top of the case, do you think that'd lower thermals significantly? Also, considering the PSU shroud on the R6, would adding 2x140mm fans on the bottom do anything at all? Doesn't sound like it'd be worth it. At the same time, I'm also wondering if I could just leave the R6 be with its stock fans and call it a day since I've had people tell me the CPU doesn't really lose performance until the mid 80s. If having it circling the 75ºC actually isn't really an issue and it runs at 33db, remembering this is all at load so when idle it'll be extremely silent, I could potentially not need to spend money on extra fans at all (which my wallet would definitely thank me for ahah). Kinda wish I knew the ambient temperature of my room so I could have a better idea if it'd match Gamers Nexus' results or if it'd actually be lower than theirs (I imagine their lab would run a tad hotter than my bedroom).

On the other hand, if I got the Fractal Torrent Compact, I would have full control over its 2x180mm stock fans' speed and could lower them to match the 33dBA. Considering 50% speed makes it run at 36dBA I don't imagine I'd have to lower much more to get it to match the R6's noise levels without compromising the temperatures much more. If necessary, I could install 2x140mm on the bottom as more intake, that'd help the GPU's thermals too (I think) since it seems to run the hottest at 50% RPM. This also makes me wonder if it'd be more worth getting the R6 + extra fans, where I'd be spending a little over what the Torrent costs, or if I should just get the Torrent with no extra fans so I'd end up spending around the same amount in both scenarios.

Also, about the Torrent Compact, do you know if the top mounted PSU could become a problem? I'm scared it might suck in too much hot air from the CPU and GPU and not only run hotter which would make its fan spin faster and be noisier, but even worse, potentially become damaged. My PSU is the Seasonic Focus Plus GOLD, can't remember the exact max wattage, but I think either 650w or 750w.

Here's a table for reference about what I said above:
Fractal Torrent Compact - Case Torture, 100% RPM Stock Fans, 47dBA:Fractal Define R6 - Case Torture, 100% RPM Stock Fans, 33dBA:Fractal Torrent Compact - Case Torture, 50% RPM Stock Fans, Noise-Normalized to 36dBA:
CPU: 41.1ºC over ambient
GPU: 51.2ºC over ambient
CPU: 56.0ºC over ambient
GPU: 56.4ºC over ambient
CPU: 44.3ºC over ambient
GPU: 55.8ºC over ambient
Source: Torrent Compact | Define R6

Thank you!
 

Aeacus

Champion
Ambassador
I also looked into the Fractal Torrent Compact which is just as good as the original Torrent
Or as bad?

Here are my thoughts about Torrent Compact:
  • very little room for cable management (which can lead to shattering the TG back panel, if it is bulging when closed)
  • top mounted PSU
  • need to remove case feet to install bottom fans
  • 38mm thick front stock fans (normal fan thickness is 25mm)
  • not able to use ATX MoBo, when those thick stock fans are mounted at the bottom
  • no mounts for 3.5" HDDs
Torrent is bigger version of Torrent Compact, and with it (more room), comes better features over the Torrent Compact, like:
  • no need to remove case feet to install bottom fans
  • bottom fans will not bock usage of ATX MoBo
  • 38mm thick front stock fans
But it also retains some of the faults, like:
  • top mounted PSU
  • no mounts for 3.5" HDDs
  • a bit more cable management room, 2.2cm
Top mounted PSU has one fault, and that is sucking in hot air generated by CPU and GPU. With it, PSU doesn't have much, if any, cool air, to cool itself. This is the reason why most modern cases come with bottom mounted PSU. Since with bottom mount, and fan facing downwards, PSU sits in it's own ecosystem, completely separated from the rest of the case.

Now, if you're happy with the faults they have, you can go with either of the two.

I, personally, do not like very limited room for cable management. No matter how good the other features are. If there is little, if any room for cable routing, i won't be buying that PC case, to put myself through the hardship of cable management, made worse with very limited space. (My Corsair 760T has 3.2 cm of cable management room behind MoBo tray.)

If I got the R6, and according to what you said, it seems like it'd be a good idea to populate it with fans.
Like you pointed out, the PSU shroud gets into the way of bottom intake fans. That is, if you use PSU shroud. (I, personally, don't like PSU shroud. I prefer to see the PSU and bottom of my PC case. And it doesn't block airflow either.)

Now, you can control the speed of 3-pin fans, if the fan hub signal cable is plugged to the MoBo fan header. So, fans not being 4-pin, doesn't mean you can't control them. You can control all fans, be it 2-pin (now obsolete), 3-pin (with RPM feedback) or 4-pin (with PWM signal and RPM feedback).
Only those fans, that have big molex connector, and connect directly to PSU - those you can't control.

Define R6 is more silence focused, compared to Torrent and Torrent Compact (airflow focused). With Define R6, you may not need to buy additional fans, since it comes with three and it should be enough for most instances. Though, since it's noise focused case, it doesn't excel in thermals, being around average.

I did some searching around and I love that the Silent Base 802 is modular, that's a pretty cool concept, I like the idea of adapting it to different situations and the white version is definitely pretty.
Unfortunately it seems to be pretty out of my budget, costing a tad bit over 200€ where I live :/ I didn't want to go over 150€, hence why the Fractal R6 was stretching the budget a little bit.
Here's GamersNexus review of Silent Base 802 as well (if you haven't seen it yet);

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XsiffsT5li8


Yes, i get that it is expensive case, but it also offers several features other cases do not. Like: inverted build, sectional PSU shroud and probably the most important feature to you: comes with different front and top panels, so you can test out, on the fly, if to use solid panels for less noise, or mesh panels with more airflow. With Fractal cases, you have to buy completely different case, if you want to test out another option (noise vs airflow).

---

In the end, what i can suggest you to do, to pick a case, is to list all their positives and negatives out, including Silent Base 802. Compare the features and drawbacks, and then make a choice.
To list out, e.g:
  • aesthetics (color, case size, panel design)
  • functionality (fan mounts, cable management space, clearance inside PC etc)
  • modularity (what parts are easily removed, any other options for modularity, like inverted build)
  • price
---

When i was looking for a PC case for my Skylake build, i also searched far and wide. In the end, i had a choice between Corsair 760T V2 Black and Phanteks Enthoo Pro. Since i liked Corsair case more, whereby it offered all the features i needed + then some, it was easier to swallow the €198.40 price tag it had. Since by then, only downside of 760T was it's price. Sure, nearly €200 for a PC case is a lot, but when considering that i found a "perfect" case for myself, i was willing to pay the premium price.

So, this is something to consider, if Silent Base 802 happens to be "perfect" case for you too, except it's price. :)

My PSU is the Seasonic Focus Plus GOLD, can't remember the exact max wattage, but I think either 650w or 750w.
A good quality PSU, with 10 years of warranty. Worth the effort to take care of it. (y)

I too have same PSU in use, but a tad bit different model: Seasonic Focus+ 550W (80+ Platinum) powering my AMD build.
I also have: Seasonic PRIME Ultra 650W (80+ Titanium) powering my Haswell build.
And: Seasonic PRIME 650 (80+ Titanium) powering my Skylake build.
Latter two have 12 years of warranty and were the best 650W PSU, money could buy, at the purchase date when i bought them. PRIME 80+ Titanium units are still one of the best (if not the best) PSUs out there. :sol:

So, i, personally, would not buy PC case with top mounted PSU. Not only it hurts PSU's own cooling, there's also an issue of power cable lengths, since modern PSUs are built with the bottom mounted PC cases in mind. With top mounting, you may see issues with cable lengths.
 

Nervly

Honorable
Sep 7, 2016
39
1
10,535
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Or as bad?

Here are my thoughts about Torrent Compact:
  • very little room for cable management (which can lead to shattering the TG back panel, if it is bulging when closed)
  • top mounted PSU
  • need to remove case feet to install bottom fans
  • 38mm thick front stock fans (normal fan thickness is 25mm)
  • not able to use ATX MoBo, when those thick stock fans are mounted at the bottom
  • no mounts for 3.5" HDDs
Torrent is bigger version of Torrent Compact, and with it (more room), comes better features over the Torrent Compact, like:
  • no need to remove case feet to install bottom fans
  • bottom fans will not bock usage of ATX MoBo
  • 38mm thick front stock fans
But it also retains some of the faults, like:
  • top mounted PSU
  • no mounts for 3.5" HDDs
  • a bit more cable management room, 2.2cm
Top mounted PSU has one fault, and that is sucking in hot air generated by CPU and GPU. With it, PSU doesn't have much, if any, cool air, to cool itself. This is the reason why most modern cases come with bottom mounted PSU. Since with bottom mount, and fan facing downwards, PSU sits in it's own ecosystem, completely separated from the rest of the case.

Now, if you're happy with the faults they have, you can go with either of the two.

I, personally, do not like very limited room for cable management. No matter how good the other features are. If there is little, if any room for cable routing, i won't be buying that PC case, to put myself through the hardship of cable management, made worse with very limited space. (My Corsair 760T has 3.2 cm of cable management room behind MoBo tray.)



Like you pointed out, the PSU shroud gets into the way of bottom intake fans. That is, if you use PSU shroud. (I, personally, don't like PSU shroud. I prefer to see the PSU and bottom of my PC case. And it doesn't block airflow either.)

Now, you can control the speed of 3-pin fans, if the fan hub signal cable is plugged to the MoBo fan header. So, fans not being 4-pin, doesn't mean you can't control them. You can control all fans, be it 2-pin (now obsolete), 3-pin (with RPM feedback) or 4-pin (with PWM signal and RPM feedback).
Only those fans, that have big molex connector, and connect directly to PSU - those you can't control.

Define R6 is more silence focused, compared to Torrent and Torrent Compact (airflow focused). With Define R6, you may not need to buy additional fans, since it comes with three and it should be enough for most instances. Though, since it's noise focused case, it doesn't excel in thermals, being around average.



Here's GamersNexus review of Silent Base 802 as well (if you haven't seen it yet);

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XsiffsT5li8


Yes, i get that it is expensive case, but it also offers several features other cases do not. Like: inverted build, sectional PSU shroud and probably the most important feature to you: comes with different front and top panels, so you can test out, on the fly, if to use solid panels for less noise, or mesh panels with more airflow. With Fractal cases, you have to buy completely different case, if you want to test out another option (noise vs airflow).

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In the end, what i can suggest you to do, to pick a case, is to list all their positives and negatives out, including Silent Base 802. Compare the features and drawbacks, and then make a choice.
To list out, e.g:
  • aesthetics (color, case size, panel design)
  • functionality (fan mounts, cable management space, clearance inside PC etc)
  • modularity (what parts are easily removed, any other options for modularity, like inverted build)
  • price
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When i was looking for a PC case for my Skylake build, i also searched far and wide. In the end, i had a choice between Corsair 760T V2 Black and Phanteks Enthoo Pro. Since i liked Corsair case more, whereby it offered all the features i needed + then some, it was easier to swallow the €198.40 price tag it had. Since by then, only downside of 760T was it's price. Sure, nearly €200 for a PC case is a lot, but when considering that i found a "perfect" case for myself, i was willing to pay the premium price.

So, this is something to consider, if Silent Base 802 happens to be "perfect" case for you too, except it's price. :)



A good quality PSU, with 10 years of warranty. Worth the effort to take care of it. (y)

I too have same PSU in use, but a tad bit different model: Seasonic Focus+ 550W (80+ Platinum) powering my AMD build.
I also have: Seasonic PRIME Ultra 650W (80+ Titanium) powering my Haswell build.
And: Seasonic PRIME 650 (80+ Titanium) powering my Skylake build.
Latter two have 12 years of warranty and were the best 650W PSU, money could buy, at the purchase date when i bought them. PRIME 80+ Titanium units are still one of the best (if not the best) PSUs out there. :sol:

So, i, personally, would not buy PC case with top mounted PSU. Not only it hurts PSU's own cooling, there's also an issue of power cable lengths, since modern PSUs are built with the bottom mounted PC cases in mind. With top mounting, you may see issues with cable lengths.
Thank you so much for such a detailed answer once again!

So, the Compact I was looking at is the white version which has no glass panel on the cable management side, just a normal plate, so the shattering wouldn't be an issue, and the Compact does have one single 3.5" mounting tray on the top in the same casing as the PSU. But to be honest, the other cons still outweigh the pros, especially with the top mounted PSU which was my other bigger concern. Ah, I forgot about the cable management issue. My current case is tough to close as it is and it still bulges out a bit, let alone the compact :sweatsmile:

I actually didn't know the PSU shroud was removable. I think in general I'd prefer it on just because it'd hide all the cables coming out of the PSU but it's definitely something worth looking into!

Ohh, that's really good to know! Sadly I just looked through my current case and its fans are all molex, was hoping I could experiment with these first, but I'm definitely keeping this in mind for future reference!

I see what you're saying and that's a pretty good point. My main concern is that I'm saving up money for some house renovations I need to do, like fixing roof and whatnot, so I'm trying to spend as least as I can, and considering I'd potentially still need to get extra fans for the Silent Base 802, it'd probably raise the total cost to mid 200s, possibly close to 300. The only reason I'm looking to upgrade my case right now is because the noise it makes really gets in the way of me focusing on my job, because it's loud enough that it gets through my headphones and it's really frustrating at times. Still, the SB802 really sounds appealing, so I think what I'll do is follow your advice, write down the pros and cons for each case on the list (which at this point I think just comes down to SB802 vs R6, since the R6 also has the ability to open the front panel like a door to reveal a mesh), do some more research on the SB802 and finally come down to a conclusion.

I super, super appreciate your guidance on this! You've been really helpful and I feel a lot less lost and closer to a final decision.
Thank you so much!
 
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