Question what's the best airflow quietness case

Sep 14, 2019
2
0
10
0
I'm looking for the best on the market pc case that have the best airflow but also quietness ratio. Price doesn't matter.
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
Fractal design Define R6, although, I like the tempered glass version a lot better AND if you really want good airflow, you're not going to find ANY case that's particularly "silent" or quiet because in order to have great airflow a case also needs to have a free flowing full mesh front panel, which means it's not going to be as quiet since the fans are directly open to the outside of the case and therefore, your ears.

But the R6, and the R5 before it, are EXTREMELY quiet cases if you use the right fans with it.

To be honest, ANY case is VERY quiet if you use the right Noctua fans.

I have a Define S case with a full mesh front panel and a tempered glass side panel, with no noise baffling material, and there are 8 Noctua fans installed. Six 140mm NF-A14 chromax.black.swap fans, one 140mm NF-A14 iPPC industrial 2000RPM black fan and one 40mm NF-A4x20, and at idle it is DEAD SILENT. Even running a full stress test with Prime95 or Realbench, it can BARELY be heard. Sounds about like a room fan running in another room.

If you're willing to buy the right fans, at about 25 bucks a pop, then just about any case is a good choice so long as it supports 140mm fans in all the fan locations. I recommend having 2 or 3 front intake fans, one top rear exhaust fan and one REAR top exhaust fan, for most configurations. There are a lot of cases that only support a 120mm fan in the rear exhaust fan location, so if you choose a case with this limitation, obviously you're going to need a different fan model but that's ok too. Noctua (And a couple of others that aren't quite as good but might be nominally less expensive) makes a good 120mm fan in several different models as well.


Much might also depend on whether you intend to run air cooling for the CPU or are planning to use some form of water cooling such as an All in one closed loop cooler. If you want a quiet build, I recommend going with air. Pump and radiator fan noise CAN be quite annoying if you sensitive to such things.
 
Sep 14, 2019
2
0
10
0
Yep I only use Noctua fans and i was thinking about Fractal Define R6 and Meshify S2 and maybe Cooler master H500M
 

Joakim Agren

Proper
Sep 5, 2019
142
20
115
7
Cooler Master Mastercase SL600M. That is why I bought it for my next build. If you run it in the following configuration it is the best on the market for GPU temperatures (even slightly better then the old HAF X cases that came with side mounted 200 MM fans )and one of the best for CPU temperatures as well: Buy a PCI Express riser cable. Then mount the GPU vertically, make sure to rotate the rear I/O ports bracket (yes this case has a smart way of rotating the rear PCI brackets so that you do not have to place the card close to the window when running it vertically using just a riser cable). Then you get a 280 mm or 360 mm AIO water cooler for the CPU. Make sure to mount the radiator on top of the case. This way you get great CPU temps as well and help with the vertical air flow as well. This case released last year and was perhaps the most innovative. It is fun to build in since it is different. The power supply is mounted towards the front of the case in a vertical position. Then it has a extension cable that you connect to the power supply inside and that then goes out the back of the case trough a provided outlet so that you can still connect the power cable at the back. This removes the need for a power supply shroud at the bottom and removes the power supply as well. So that the bottom of the case have been fitted with 2X 200 mm Cooler Master fans and can provide free airflow upwards directly on the vertically mounted GPU. This case was really made for a GPU in this position since a regularly mounted GPU will block some of the airflow going up in the case.

You can still run a air cooler in this one but then you must complement the case with 2X 200 mm fans mounted in the top. Otherwise this case will be one of the worst cases on the market for CPU temperatures. The reason being that there is no rear mounted fan in the case. Where in a normal case there is perforated holes for a rear fan on this case the rear is nearly completely sealed to maximize vertical air flow and for silence. So on this case it is critical to have fans on top that can help pull air from the exhaust of the CPU cooler. The way the air will run is from the CPU cooler towards the back of the case where the air will hit a wall. The air will as a result of this be pushed down and up as a funnel (similar to when you run a hair dryer on your hair). But this air will of course be heated if the system is under load for a lengthy time. Because of this the top fans become essential for that air to be sucked up trough the top side mesh area and the rear top area (where there is a grill opening towards the back).

Given the vertical nature of this case you might be tempted to rotate the tower cooler (some coolers allow this type of mounting) for a vertical air flow. But this is bad because the cooler will then be sucking up hot air coming from the vertically mounted GPU. So not the best position. Avoid this!

So in summary this case can have nearly sealed panels on front, back and sides and still provide great airflow ( best in market for GPU) and being rather silent (SL in the model name stands for Silence) at the same time compared to a traditional mesh case . Usually air flow coming from top and bottom will be experienced as less disturbing to your ears then fans and air flow going from front to back. To top it of I think this is one of the best looking cases on the market. Very sophisticated looking, futuristic I think! Love the silver blast finish on the aluminium front and top panel. In case you do not like silver and want only black. There is supposed to be a black version of this case that will be launched in October this year.
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
That's a nice opinion, but I don't see any supporting evidence to back that up. When you have some, let us know, in the meantime.

Define R5 anechoic chamber testing.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dVdkIi9iUVM




And the Define R6 is, seemingly, better.

https://www.gamersnexus.net/hwreviews/3177-fractal-define-r6-case-review-mid-tower


If you don't need drive cages in the business side of the case, then the Define S2 might be an even better choice because without the drive cages and shroud sitting there directly behind the intake fans, the GPU temperatures are far better than with the Define R6, and the only realistic difference between the two cases IS the drive bays and shroud on the left side of the motherboard tray. A custom or self modified front panel to go from stock to full mod mesh improves things even further, but obviously at the cost of some increase in noise levels, which again are nullified if you populate all the drive bays with the very quiet Noctua fans.
 

Joakim Agren

Proper
Sep 5, 2019
142
20
115
7
That's a nice opinion, but I don't see any supporting evidence to back that up. When you have some, let us know, in the meantime.

Define R5 anechoic chamber testing.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dVdkIi9iUVM




And the Define R6 is, seemingly, better.

https://www.gamersnexus.net/hwreviews/3177-fractal-define-r6-case-review-mid-tower


If you don't need drive cages in the business side of the case, then the Define S2 might be an even better choice because without the drive cages and shroud sitting there directly behind the intake fans, the GPU temperatures are far better than with the Define R6, and the only realistic difference between the two cases IS the drive bays and shroud on the left side of the motherboard tray. A custom or self modified front panel to go from stock to full mod mesh improves things even further, but obviously at the cost of some increase in noise levels, which again are nullified if you populate all the drive bays with the very quiet Noctua fans.
Just to clarify. I never claimed that the SL600M was the most silent case. That reward probably goes to one of the Fractal Designs or BeQuiet cases out there given their sealed and sound dampened nature. But the thread starter seemed to be on the look out for the same thing I was when looking for a case. To combine great airflow with as much silence as possible. That is going to be somewhat of a compromise of course! But to my surprise with the SL600M I found out it reached the very top of Gamers Nexus charts for GPU cooling even slightly beating the air flow king HAF-X that had a special (but loud) 200 mm side mounted fan for the GPU. Gamers Nexus also found out (which I also mentioned in my post) that this case had some of the worst CPU temperatures when run in his standardized test system that is air cooled. He tested the tower cooler in both positions vertical flow and horisontal flow and came to the conclusion that vertical flow was the worst of the 2 (probably because of heat coming from the vertically mounted GPU). But both positions was bad in this configuration. But he never mounted any top fans during his testing since the case is not delivered with such fans. Someone in the comment section in a YouTube video had placed 2X 200 mm fans on top and gotten several degrees off the CPU temp compared to when not running them. So the CPU temp problem with this case can be easily solved. But ideally the absolut best option in this case is to run a AIO water cooler with a top mounted radiator. One thing a decibel meter will not measure is the impact of air turbulence on the human ear (which is very subjective) but one thing that also swayed me in the direction of this case. the very fact that the vertical air flow almost completely removes any fan being in my direct right ear path since my head will be placed below the top part of the case that will have the most noise (I have the case mounted on top of desk).


As for modifying a that case. I think changing that case like that removes too much of the aesthetic impression since it is a case just like the SL600M with a side window, unlike the SL600M that was designed to be used without a bottom power supply shroud the Fractal design one does not look right without one I think. I also do not like the idea of removing storage spaces since I need lots of it! :D The SL600M can be fitted with up to 4 mechanical drives and 4 SSD's (and if we include 1NVME on the mother board that gives a total of 9 drives) by default or if complemented with 2 additional multi functional brackets (on sale on Cooler Master EU website for 4 Euro a piece) then it can fit up to a total of 11 drives(but I do not recommend that configuration since it will be blocking some airflow at the bottom). As for changing fans out to Noctua yes that will make cases even more quiet but those are rather expensive and IMHO opinion not very pretty to look at! :D
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS