Introducing the Nanoxia Deep Silence 2

Just recently we had a chance to review Nanoxia's Deep Silence 1, arguably the most impressive silent case we've ever tested. Nanoxia was able to produce an enclosure capable of delivering substantial air flow to components while still containing fan noise. In a market where silent cases usually lose a lot of their luster once overclocking enters the picture, the Deep Silence 1 was a breath of fresh air and proof that you could build a powerful system that you never had to hear.

In a bid to capture some of that sweet, sweet boutique volume, Nanoxia has refreshed the Deep Silence 1 into a slightly less expensive enclosure: the Deep Silence 2. The DS2 is an odd bird; it's a trimmed down DS1, but not heavily so, and in certain ways it can feel like a refinement. That all sounds incredibly promising, but did Nanoxia lose some of the potency of the original chassis in the process?

It's interesting testing the Deep Silence 2 so soon after the first one. This kind of refinement, starting with a top end product and gradually working things out as you make your way down the price ladder, is becoming less and less unusual. Corsair had a good thing going for a while, and NZXT just blew up their own top end with the Phantom 630. Yet when you look at the DS2, there isn't a whole lot that seems to differentiate it from its predecessor.

That's not a bad thing; the DS1 is one of the most attractive and functional cases I've tested. The DS2, by comparison, makes a few relatively safe trims: the bottom fan door is gone and replaced with just a solid fascia, the chimney is gone and replaced by a pair of 140mm fan mounts (with removable acoustic panels blocking them off, of course), and the flip-up I/O cluster on the top of the case has been eliminated in favor of just organizing the I/O around the power button.

Nanoxia Deep Silence 2 Specifications
Motherboard Form Factor Mini-ITX, Micro-ATX, ATX, E-ATX
Drive Bays External 3x 5.25" (plus included 5.25"-to-3.5" adapter plate)
Internal 7x 2.5"/3.5"
Cooling Front 2x 120mm intake fan (optional 2x 120mm fan mount behind drive cage)
Rear 1x 120mm exhaust fan
Top 2x 120mm/140mm fan mount
Side 1x 120mm/140mm fan mount
Bottom 1x 120mm/140mm fan mount
Expansion Slots 7
I/O Port 2x USB 3.0, 1x USB 2.0, 1x Headphone, 1x Mic
Power Supply Size ATX
Clearances HSF 165mm
PSU 200mm
GPU 13.5" / 345mm
Dimensions 18.42" x 8.15" x 23.15"
468mm x 207mm x 588mm
Weight 24.2 lbs / 10.96 kg
Special Features Removable fan filter
USB 3.0 via internal header
Analog dual-channel fan controller (three fans per channel)
Acoustic padding on the interior and side panels
Price 89 EUR; expected US MSRP $99

I had the Deep Silence 2 sitting near the Deep Silence 1 on the floor of my apartment, and I actually had a little bit of trouble discerning the differences between the two. Amusingly, the spec sheets are extremely helpful in teasing out how different these cases actually are.

First, the Deep Silence 1 is, overall, slightly larger than the DS2. That's owing to a reduction in height; the DS2 loses a drive tray and expansion slot along with the chimney and XL-ATX compatibility. The DS2 is also thinner than the DS1, losing 20mm of CPU cooler clearance and trading down to a 120mm exhaust fan instead of 140mm. Yet the DS2 is actually deeper than the DS1, presumably a result of the added internal fan mounts. That increase in depth is enough to make up the difference in weight; the DS2 is nearly as heavy as the DS1, and to be clear, these are unusually heavy cases for this segment of the market. Nanoxia doesn't cheap out in building material: they use thick steel and fairly durable plastic for these cases.

Importantly, and thankfully, we do keep the dual-channel analog fan controller from the DS1. I've been pretty gung ho about integrated fan controllers as of late because they add a lot of value to a case for not much expense. If you want your case to run as cool as possible, you need not bother with them, but if you'd rather tune for a balance of silence and performance, they allow you to do that. Many fans have an inflection point where their noise level increases substantially compared to cooling performance, and being able to tune for that point is handy.

In and Around the Nanoxia Deep Silence 2
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  • saf227 - Thursday, February 14, 2013 - link

    .... and still no US availability? Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Friday, February 15, 2013 - link

    They're working on it. That's actually part of why I elected to review Nanoxia's stuff. You guys were interested, the products are actually really good, and the review helps them make a case (no pun intended) with American distributors. Reply
  • Zak - Thursday, February 14, 2013 - link

    Boring. Looks like a small refrigerator... Reply
  • nassaux - Thursday, February 21, 2013 - link

    One good reason to choose DS2 could be if you cannot squeeze a 230mm case in your computer hold. I know it might sound silly to some of you, but that is a real problem for me now and that "wide" case I've got. I was lookig for a nice quiet and thin case for about 6 months now. I think I've found it. Reply
  • JNo - Monday, February 25, 2013 - link

    "The DS2 is likely going to be the standard bearer for quiet cases under $100. That assumes Nanoxia hits the price point in the States that they're targeting, much as some of the DS1's success rides on that same factor. Yet the DS2 sells for 89 Euros (and the DS1 for 119) .... At the same time, though, the Deep Silence 2 doesn't really feel different enough from the Deep Silence 1 to really merit a purchase. Yes, you'll be able to save $20"

    Firstly, that'll be closer to a $30+ cheaper using your implied exchange rate. It may not sound much but when you're trimming $30 here and the case, $50 on a cheaper soundcard, $50 on an i5 instead of an i7, $20 off a cheaper PSU etc etc it all adds up. $30 isn't nothing.

    "It's like the used games at Gamestop that go for a whole $5 less than new. What's the point?"

    Er... because all the 1s and 0s are the same anyway? All those $5s add up and can soon be spent on another game. Or, you know, food and bills and stuff.

    You've got to remember just because you're a tech enthusiast who won't skimp, there are plenty who are still enthusiasts but trying to cut costs where they can...
    Reply
  • DLeRium - Monday, February 25, 2013 - link

    The 820? 620? You spend time reviewing those, giving gold and bronze awards, and then you don't include them in the benchmarks? You also mention NZXT in this review too. It's like talking about the Nexus 4 right after the iPhone 5 release and not comparing two flagship phones... Reply
  • DLeRium - Monday, February 25, 2013 - link

    Sorry. Better analogy might be HTC One and SGS4. I'd imagine two flagship Android phones would get heavy comparisons, but if you were to do a review without accounting for the other, that would be an epic fail. Reply
  • pudl - Tuesday, March 26, 2013 - link

    I recently got this case and am not happy with it. It has thin cover plates which tend to vibrate defeating its Deep Silence acronym. There are also some tiny rust spots bulging through the white paint while a cage on the inside has a more significant amount of rust. :S

    I think it's a cheap copy of Fractal Design's cases.
    Reply
  • tahelia - Monday, April 08, 2013 - link

    I haven't read all of the comments, so I don't know wether it's mentioned, but where the review states, that the front intake has no filter, that's not true. There still is one to the front, though that's not as easy accessible as at the DS1, and there is one at the bottom, of course. Reply

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