In and Around the Nanoxia Deep Silence 2

As I mentioned before, apart from the top of the enclosure and the now blocked off fan fascia in the front of the case, the Nanoxia Deep Silence 2 is very much a dead ringer for the Deep Silence 1. Interestingly, Nanoxia opted to send me the white model of the DS2. As with the DS1, the DS2 comes in four color combinations: black panels on a black shell, silver panels on a black shell, gunmetal (they call it anthracite) panels on a black shell, and white panels on a white shell. My favorite continues to be the gunmetal finish, but the white isn't bad looking at all.

Losing the fan door in the front of the DS2 means losing the filters for the intake fans, which is an unfortunate loss. The front filters on my DS1 tend to get gunked up in a hurry (the joys of being a cat owner), so take note. That said, the door to the optical drive bays is basically the same in terms of build quality and acoustic padding, and it also hides the sliders for the fan controller as well as the reset button.

The top of the DS2 is where the differences are most noticeable, as the chimney is gone in favor of just a pair of fan mounts and a cluster of I/O surrounding the green LED-ringed power button. Once again I'm perplexed as to why an odd number of USB ports are included, though: you get two USB 3.0 ports, but why only one USB 2.0? It's a fairly minor grievance but enough of one; with how smart and quality-oriented the rest of the DS2's design is, why would they cheap out here?

Unfortunately my largest complaint with the DS1 remains unaddressed with the DS2. The side panels are held in place by thumbscrews, but they again use the notches and rails instead of a hinged design to secure themselves. The hooks on the side panels are very easy to bend inward if you try to force them back on. This is in fact the single biggest usability issue the DS2 has, but it's a frustrating one, requiring you to turn the case on its side and use your body to apply enough pressure to evenly replace the panel.

The interior of the DS2 is fairly by the book, but the biggest loss is the set of removable drive cages. In its place we have a pair of internal 120mm fan mounts that Nanoxia even recommends using for a 240mm radiator, and Nanoxia continues to include a smart set of cable routing holes in the motherboard tray as well as toolless clamps on both sides of the 5.25" drive cage. In fact, in the DS2 Nanoxia actually does one better than the DS1, as there's a proper rubber-lined routing hole above the motherboard tray for the AUX 12V line.

I remain fairly optimistic about the design of the DS2, but I do feel like the pair of internal fan mounts are of questionable value compared to being able to outright remove drive cages that aren't needed. Removing those cages is a good way to improve air flow in systems that don't need that much storage. I'm still pretty bitter about the notched side panels as well, but despite these minor grievances, I'm left with a very strong feeling of quality from the DS2. This is a heavy, robust case.

Introducing the Nanoxia Deep Silence 2 Assembling the Nanoxia Deep Silence 2
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  • Sabresiberian - Thursday, February 14, 2013 - link

    Seriously?

    You can buy a case today that will allow you to pop in a couple of high-end video cards without the need for even buying additional fans. A decade ago, you could hardly run one card without pulling off the side cover and setting up an external fan to blow into the case.

    But case design is largely based on mainboard format, and the rest of the components that go into the build. Those haven't changed much in 20 years, so the appearance and function of cases is going to remain similar. How I'll agree with you is to say the ATX format isn't serving us well today (particularly those of us interested in building high-end rigs). No mainboard form factor advance is something of a limit to advances in case design.
    Reply
  • Tech-Curious - Thursday, February 14, 2013 - link

    Having recently assembled a build in a circa-2001 case that was collecting dust in my basement, I'm a bit torn. Tthere've been innumerable QoL advancements in case design; 120mm fans, more flexible fan mounting options, more general recognition of cable management, fewer hard edges, and so on and so forth.

    My old case works surprisingly well, but it was also an unusually expensive product at the time, and I searched high and low for it (and I don't even remember which company manufactured it). Even so, it's noisier than it needs to be simply because it uses 80mm fans. Cable management is nonexistent; I had to bundle up and toss every loose cable into the drive cages. I had to jury-rig my own fan filters.

    As others have pointed out, there's only so much true innovation anyone can impose on the ATX standard. If I have one complaint about current-day cases, it's that they all seem to come with a bottom-mounted PSU, which is fine if you plan to place the box on a hard floor or on your desk, but even a well-filtered down-facing PSU makes me extremely nervous when I'm placing the computer on a carpeted floor. Call me paranoid, but I'd like more options there.
    Reply
  • crimson117 - Thursday, February 14, 2013 - link

    Dustin,

    I'm digging your reviews lately, but I really with you'd use an ATX sized motherboard instead of a mATX.

    With an ATX motherboard in certain cases, it may be cramped / difficult to access:
    - the SATA ports, when pushed up against the hard drive cage(s) (especially those mobos with SATA ports pointing sideways off the board)
    - the front case header connectors on the motherboard, when pushed against the lower portion of a case
    - the rear side of the 5.25" bays

    Even if you continue testing with mATX for consistency, would you please consider temporarily placing an ATX motherboard in each case, taking a picture, and commenting on whether any issues arise compared to an mATX board?
    Reply
  • crimson117 - Thursday, February 14, 2013 - link

    *I really wish, not with. I don't have a lisp IRL. Reply
  • anynigma - Thursday, February 14, 2013 - link

    I completely agree. With any case that fits an ATX motherboard, I want to know if I will have any issues with Sata cables and long graphics cards specifically, and everything crimson mentioned above as well.

    Dustin can you please follow up with an ATX space analysis, or as a bare minimum, a picture. as crimson describes above?
    Reply
  • crimson117 - Thursday, February 14, 2013 - link

    Especially in these enthusiast cases like the Phantom 630 - who would use an mATX board in that thing? Reply
  • niva - Thursday, February 14, 2013 - link

    And here I was thinking if it won't fit an EATX I'm not interested. Very valid point, test the biggest possible board the case was designed to fit. Reply
  • Hrel - Thursday, February 14, 2013 - link

    Agreed, mini boards are for "normal" people. Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Friday, February 15, 2013 - link

    Part of the problem is that there's no major incentive to use an ATX board in general anymore. I have one in my desktop, but even if I used SLI I'd still only need four slots total. :|

    The clearance thing is admittedly worth considering. I'm not sure how well I can address this without trying to acquire an ATX board to test with, and then you have to keep in mind that some ATX boards are not as wide as others; meanwhile, our Micro-ATX board is actually *wider* than most mATX boards are. So when you're looking at the depth of the board and its proximity to the drive cages (including the side-oriented SATA connectors), that actually *is* what a conventional ATX board's clearance will be. Our mATX board is as deep as a standard ATX board.

    I'm pretty sure you guys are going to chop my head off and crap down my neck when you see what I'm planning for my super high stress testbed, but a lot of this is a matter of using what will fit the widest number of builds and allow me to get the most testing done.
    Reply
  • crimson117 - Friday, February 15, 2013 - link

    I'm rockin' a Sonata III with the popular GIGABYTE GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3 (12" x 9.6") and it's nearly impossible to access the SATA ports due to the hard drive cages - especially while my modest 6850 GPU is installed.

    Sonata III is an old, tiny case, but that's where I"m coming from, anyhow.

    >when you see what I'm planning for my super high stress testbed

    Mini-ITX stapled into an engineering-sample 900D? ;-)
    Reply

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