Assembling the Nanoxia Deep Silence 1

While Nanoxia's Deep Silence 1 has a fairly smart layout and is reasonably convenient, there are were still a couple of hangups when I went to assemble our testbed inside it. There weren't any major issues, just a series of small annoyances.

The motherboard went in easy enough, but I would've appreciated a center-mounted guide post similar to how I've seen in recent cases (including BitFenix's Ghost), and I had an unusually difficult time getting the motherboard's I/O shield to snap into place. Routing case headers to the motherboard was also mostly easy, but there's nothing inside the DS1 that keeps the cables from slipping into the optical drive bays; you pretty much have to have an optical drive installed to keep that clean. Depending on how you route the cables and if you removed the top panel at any point, you may also find that the I/O hinge at the top of the case actually sticks. Nanoxia says they've already solved the problem, so hopefully if the DS1 gets to retail in the United States end users won't run into it.

Installing the optical drive and SSD was pain free. Toolless installation of the optical drive was easy and Nanoxia smartly includes toolless clamps on both sides of the drive; better still, the drive bay shields are similar to the snap-in ones that NZXT uses, which feature a locking lever. The drive sleds themselves are durable metal with rubber vibration grommets for 3.5" drives, but they're not toolless; both 2.5" and 3.5" drives need to be screwed into place. Thankfully the sleds themselves fit securely into the drive cages.

Getting the power supply in, on the other hand, proved to be more challenging than it needed to be. Nanoxia features two rubber studs that hold up the back of ther power supply, but there's no guide for the front of it, causing it to easily dip and thus requiring some Arm Fu to get the PSU lined up and screwed into place. This could've been avoided by just putting a slight lip inside the case to hold up the front.

The graphics card was also difficult. I'm used to having to bow either the bracket or the case to get everything to line up, but the DS1 required more force than I expected. This can be kind of a crap shoot, but it feels like the measurements here were ever so slightly off.

Thankfully, getting everything wired together was fairly easy apart from two minor complaints. The routing holes in the motherboard tray are all very intelligently aligned and spacious enough, and the grommets themselves stay securely in place. My only issues were the aggravatingly small hole for routing the AUX 12V line above the motherboard tray where I accidentally snapped one of the clamps after it got caught on a rivet, and the use of a molex connector for the fan controller instead of a SATA power connector.

Finally putting the side panels back on wound up being easier than I expected given the old style notched mounting system Nanoxia uses to lock them in place. They include a healthy amount of space for routing cables behind the motherboard tray, though they'd do well to consider dedicating cabling channels around it similar to how Corsair designed the Vengeance C70. Doing so could make the DS1 that much easier to wire and keep neat.

In and Around the Nanoxia Deep Silence 1 Testing Methodology
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  • Grok42 - Thursday, November 29, 2012 - link

    I with you I too have absolutely no need for a card reader and consider them to be at best a legacy device. Really they are more like the zip drive which some people really needed and used and a lot of people never needed or used.

    That said, I certainly would not care if they included one. I wouldn't see it much different than all the front, side, bottom USB ports they tend to litter cases with these days like blue bullet holes. Sure if I had my choice they wouldn't be there but they don't bother me either. Given that they cost $5 retail it should be a very cheap way to move any case up market for little additional manufacturing cost. The one critical caveat is that they not just install it in an external bay but make it like the USB port an integrate it into the case in a discrete way.
    Reply
  • roberta - Tuesday, November 27, 2012 - link

    Good Day Dustin,

    Thank You Very Much for a SUPERB review....
    I hope the Nanoxia Deep Silence 1 (DS1) becomes available in Australia in time for Haswell.

    Best Regards,
    Roberta
    Reply
  • nevcairiel - Tuesday, November 27, 2012 - link

    At least the DS1 is available here in Europe already (guess it helps being from the same country as the company making them), but before i go out and buy it, whats the outlook on future cases, like the DS2? Its not available yet, but i would love a comparison to the DS1 to decide if waiting is worth it. Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Tuesday, November 27, 2012 - link

    From what I can see, the DS2 looks like a slightly cut down DS1. If you want a DS1, pull the trigger on it. Reply
  • HollyDOL - Tuesday, November 27, 2012 - link

    I think openable chimney starts fulfilling it's purpose when you mount radiator under that... Reply
  • pdjblum - Tuesday, November 27, 2012 - link

    The materials used to construct the case are important to at least a few of us, if not more. It would be nice if they were listed in the spec table. I have left a comment to this effect a few times already, but to no avail. Please consider. Reply
  • monkey23 - Tuesday, November 27, 2012 - link

    I'm glad you finally got to review the case Dustin.

    I had my mind set on the Fractal Design R4 for my silent built even with all the Nanoxia DS1 reviews on the web. After reading your review, however, I'm not so sure anymore. It looks like you prefer the DS1 to the R4 since it has better performance and is "more solid". I agree that the DS1 could use some more refinement but aside from performance I thought that the R4 is more solid of the two. I guess I would like to know how the two compares on the ease of assembly, quality, features, etc. In other words if they both perform about equally at the same price, which one would you prefer?

    I know that the DS2 has been announced and it looks very similar to and shares many of the features of the R4. Maybe that could be the perfect case I'm looking for if it continues to improve on what they did with DS1.
    Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Tuesday, November 27, 2012 - link

    I reviewed the R4 and still have it on hand. I was going to build a system for a friend in it, but now I'm going to use the DS1 instead. They're also sending me a second one in the anthracite (gunmetal) finish, and I'll be moving my desktop into that most likely.

    That should be about all you need to know.
    Reply
  • monkey23 - Tuesday, November 27, 2012 - link

    Thanks for the reply. I know you like the case but I didn't expect you to move your desktop into it though. Maybe you will have to make another move in the future (into the DS2.) I guess we'll have to wait and see. Reply
  • monkey23 - Tuesday, November 27, 2012 - link

    Here's an afterthought: how would the R4 perform with Nanoxia's fans? I know Nanoxia started out making fans so they have the advantage on that department. I wonder if the R4 might perform at least as well given three better case fans. I know that would drive up the total costs and make it an unfair comparison though. Reply

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