Quiet Gaming Cases, Part 1: Antec, Azza, And Cooler Master

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[citation][nom]TheBigTroll[/nom]wtf? no fractal? what is this?[/citation]
It is the first of multiple articles, in which a number of cases are being examined.
[citation][nom]article[/nom]In the days that follow, we'll be going in-depth on six more enclosures before figuring out which one does its job the best.[/citation]
Hopefully we'll see a Fractal in another set.
I really like the Define Mini. It has a couple of anomalies (e.g. no HDD activity LED), but it is very quiet and has decent cable management.
 

teamhead

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Corsair 550D and Fractal Define R4 are both excellent choices and would of loved to see them included as I was actually planning on using the 550D within the next few months for a build.
 

jeffredo

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Have just an average case (Lian Li mini-tower ATX) that's not designed to be "quiet", but I purposely sought out quiet 120mm fans, CPU HSF/fan and video card. Its very quiet while gaming (just hear a the soft sound of air moving, that's it). Basically, components are way more important than cases where noise is concerned.
 

stratosrally

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So far it seems they're going alphabetically - Antec, Azza, Cooler Master. So, hopefully there will be 2 more articles with 3 more cases each - and the Corsair 550D follows next following this pattern. Fractal Design Define XL R2, Nanoxia DS-1, NZXT H2, etc. But where's the BitFenix Ghost in this scenario?
I'm currently wanting the 550D, but my SLI GTX580's may be too much for that - heard the airflow is lacking although noise reduction is great. Hope the Nanoxia gets distributed in the US soon!
I do want to see how the new Define XL R2 compares - it's a solid maybe...

*Waiting for the rest of the articles*
 

stratosrally

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[citation][nom]bigshootr8[/nom]no fractal design case no bueno[/citation]

This is Part 1 of the comparison tests - They repeatedly stated that there will be 6 more cases tested.

Come back tomorrow or the next day and check for a Fractal Design...
 

Crashman

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[citation][nom]Draconian[/nom]Where's the Corsair 550D?[/citation]Alphabetically, Cor comes after Coo, look for part 2?[citation][nom]TheBigTroll[/nom]wtf? no fractal? what is this?[/citation]F also comes after C...[citation][nom]teamhead[/nom]Corsair 550D and Fractal Define R4 are both excellent choices and would of loved to see them included as I was actually planning on using the 550D within the next few months for a build.[/citation]I'm not going to talk model-specifics yet, but the third article has a final bonus page to show how the top solutions of all three articles compared.
 

fimbulvinter

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I have the Antec p280 and reconfigured it with 2 intakes up front, one exhaust in the back, and sealed the top fan ports with sound dampening foam. Put a nice dial switch fan controller up front in the 5.25, and this keeps my overclocked i5 and overclocked GTX580 at good temps while being pretty silent.

Really like the level of quality on that case. I'm interested to see if Fractal will be on the list and how it compares because their Define cases were on my shortlist of silent cases before I ultimately went with Antec.
 
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and then you all realize the Hyper 212 evo provides quite a boost in temp lowering power for only a slight bump in price ... CM doesnt make all crap parts.
 

killerclick

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[citation][nom]Coldfire_Trilogy1[/nom]and then you all realize the Hyper 212 evo provides quite a boost in temp lowering power for only a slight bump in price ... CM doesnt make all crap parts.[/citation]

It's not just about lowering temps, there's also noise to consider. Some people don't mind the noise, but for me noise is the only reason I buy aftermarket cooling (both CPU and GPU). It's easy to make a product that compromises on either cooling or noise, and charge a low price for it, but don't say it's a great product. You buy aftermarket cooling, might as well pay an extra $15 and get the best product that you'll use for 2-3 years.
 

supall

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I enjoy my Antec P280. I've used up all of the fan slots inside of it, adding Noctua fans to help make it quieter. I even flipped the top two fans so I had a positive pressure system to help keep the dust out. The case is huge and heavy, but I consider that a good thing. Definitely worth getting, imo.
 

hannibal

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How about Antec 183. How good is it compared to p280? It should be a little bit more silent and reasonable good for gaming too, but without comparison it is hard to tell.
 

gaborbarla

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I have a p180 and the plastics used on the doors are brittle. Both the sliding side door and the front door broke off within the first 6 months of use. Not one reviewer warned me about the fact that this box is weaker than glass. Tell me if the p280 fares better.
 
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I have been building systems since 1984. I have found Antec makes a solid, quiet and reasonable priced case. The P280 is a dream. Roomy and quiet. I also like the Lian Lee Aluminum cases. They are pricey but elegant, and very well made. Silverstone is another excellant cse. Possibly too pricey for the average user?
Chiefwiz
 

fanchiuho

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Agree.
As a part-time student, I have not much money, but a moderate emphasis on computing performance and decent cooling. That is when people like me get to choose CM.

When the 212 first appeared it is a value-performance king that I can't easily find them in stock around my region, so yeah maybe it's mediocre and all but at least they can satisfy a lot of users, and there's nothing to say about it.

I am using an N200 with Hyper 212 plus, cooling my IB i5 very well IMO.
 
The Hyper212 EVO is a bang/buck LOSER compared to the generally superior Xigmatek Gaia:
http://www.techreaction.net/2011/07/07/review-xigmatek-gaia-sd1283/7/
http://www.techreaction.net/2011/11/27/review-cooler-master-hyper-212-plus/4/

Unlike the Hyper212 EVO (ignore the URL; it IS the EVO they tested), the Gaia never throttled, although it wasn't always the coolest depending on the fan used. Both got awards, but if you factor in the price, the Gaia wins hands down.
 

fanchiuho

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Thank you for your info! My local region have literally no news about Xigmatek. Yes this seems like a good opponent to the 212 EVO. From the looks of it I can bet it is designed to compete on that market segment even. :)

But what I mean just now is just that every product has a reason to survive for a few generations (Like Win XP) so ultimately it's still up to the individual preference when choosing hardware.
 

MrPeteH

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I'm glad you at least mentioned the (unique?) one-bay cover for the top external slot on the Azza Silentium 920. This is the only quiet case I could find that allows external access without opening a big door.

As a photographer, my wife is constantly using her flash card reader; kind of defeats the purpose of a silent case if one must leave the front door open all the time.

For that reason alone, we're about to do a build using the Azza Silentium 920. Hopefully the other minor challenges won't bite us. The features are very right, and the price looks good too. (Even better when I note that they donate a full 50% of their profits to charity. A real do-good company.)
 
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