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  • zero2dash - Friday, September 13, 2013 - link

    I thought about buying one of these a few days ago but since the only 2 reviews out there for the case are not very flattering, I figured I'd wait for someone more worth their salt to review it.

    AT delivers as usual; thanks for the review Dustin.

    This looks like a silent case built for computers that don't make a lot of noise to begin with....the onboard video, 1 HD, ≤ 430W PSU systems.

    Guess I'll continue trying to lower the noise in my Core 3000 instead.
  • flemeister - Saturday, September 14, 2013 - link

    You've got the right idea. =)

    First deal with the noise making components:

    * Fans: fan control, undervolt, or change to better quality or quieter models (eg. for the PSU).
    * Hard drives: 5400/5900RPM models to reduce vibration and high-freq. noise compared to 7200RPM models (relying on your SSD for speedy stuff). Also suspension with elastic cord, which can even be done in the internal 3.5" bays if they're wide enough. Or go all SSD. ^_^

    That should be a marked improvement. But if you'd like to go further, get an enclosed case with solid panels, solid build quality (eg. Antec Solo, Antec P18x), mass damping and acoustic foam. Ideally, a case with not too restrictive ventilation. Generally though you'll have to sacrifice one of performance, temps or dust filtering to keep the noise down. Only under load though; at idle there should be no problem keeping the rig quiet. Few are so anal as to desire near silence at both idle and load. =)
  • WarrenSmith - Saturday, September 14, 2013 - link

    Love my job, since I've been bringing in $5600… I sit at home, music playing while I work in front of my new iMac that I got now that I'm making it online( Click on menu Home)
  • KLC - Friday, September 13, 2013 - link

    "the perfect silent chassis for users looking for the bare essentials"

    Maybe 20 years ago a huge case was required for the bare essentials, but not anymore. With better CPUs that require lower power, with 4tb hard drives that negate the need for multiple hard drives, and with higher power integrated graphics that eliminate the need for GPUs, the bare essentials in 2013 are more like a small mini ITX box than gigantic case the size of microwave.

    The PC industry is still living in the past.
  • et20 - Friday, September 13, 2013 - link

    I completely agree.
    At this point, in any case review I see I immediately check for for factor and ignore everything larger than microATX.
  • JoanSpark - Monday, September 16, 2013 - link

    so true.. where are the reviews of mini-ITX or m-ATX cases? Reply
  • lwatcdr - Saturday, September 14, 2013 - link

    For the average home user yes. Even an ITX board would do. Thing is that the average home user buys a PC or these days a notebook or even a tablet.
    1. Integrated graphics are not good enough for high end CAD, gaming, or video editing.
    2. Multiple monitors are becoming the norm for developers and large high resolution monitors are becoming cheap.
    3. People do still roll their own NAS boxes so lots of drives is a plus for them.
    Bare essentials vary by use case.
    For me it would be a good nVidia graphics card, i5 or i7, at least 16gb of ram, one SSD boot and two HDDs in Raid for storage. I like slots because I do some hardware work as well and like to add at least one real serial port.
  • Grok42 - Saturday, September 14, 2013 - link

    Every thing you describe is handled by common mITX systems. I build a mITX system with an Intel i7 3770k, 16GB of ram, Nvidia 660ti and a 840pro SSD. Your need for a real serial port is pretty unusual given that I work for a company that does tons of hardware development and everything has USB interfaces these days even when it's serial over USB. Reply
  • JoanSpark - Monday, September 16, 2013 - link

    Zotac H87-ITX... besides the other stuff you need we find.. "internal connectors: .. serial COM port header".
    Admitted though.. with mATX this would be easier ;-)
    Still no need for full blown ATX cases anymore for 90% of the users of such hardware.
  • Grok42 - Sunday, September 15, 2013 - link

    I completely agree. I've noticed a lot more "mini" GPUs coming out lately as well which will make it even easier to build mITX systems. I guess everyone is getting the picture that small cases are the future except the case manufactures.

    My only complaint with mITX is the PSU. While there are tons of good ones out there and most mITX cases support full ATX or small ATX PSUs, there is a lack of a specific standard for small ATX PSU that makes picking a PSU a case by case decision.
  • ghitz - Monday, September 16, 2013 - link

    Totally agree. 1/3rd of the space of common mITX cases is for the unnecessary large standard ATX PS. We need a new standard. Reply
  • Barbarossa - Sunday, September 15, 2013 - link

    You might be right, but standard ATX mid towers and full towers still account for more than 3/4 of all case sales. Mini ITX and Micro ATX are growing, but slowly. It's a bit of chicken and egg scenario, though.

    Why build Micro ATX system if all the cool cases are ATX or larger? And then once you've already got the case and nothing's wrong with it, when you decide to upgrade, why limit yourself to Micro ATX or smaller?

    Don't get me wrong - I think a lot of people are buying smaller PCs, and it's more and more each year, but the vast chunk of the DIY market is still buying standard or full tower cases.

    -George @ Corsair
  • ghitz - Monday, September 16, 2013 - link

    Most of them end up being mostly empty. Reply
  • Grok42 - Tuesday, September 17, 2013 - link

    I've looked a lot for good stats on that the ATX, mATX and mITX market numbers. Very interesting to know it's still highly skewed toward ATX. I would love to read an article on where the market is and where it appears to be going. I certainly put 100% of the blame for the current emphsis on ATX at the feet of consumers and not companies like Corsair. Reply
  • Dentons - Friday, September 13, 2013 - link

    Why not Fractal Design's R4?

    It's often discounted to the same price as this and was very well reviewed here. It's available from Amazon, Newegg, Microcenter and others. The Nanoxia is very difficult to recommend, not only because of its price, but because it's so hard to find a reseller stocking it.
  • meacupla - Friday, September 13, 2013 - link

    My thoughts exactly.

    H230 looks exactly like a Define R4, except done worse in every conceivable way...
    I would rather pay the extra $10~20 for an R4.
  • Touche - Saturday, September 14, 2013 - link

    You really need to improve your noise floor. There are significant idle noise differences that aren't showing up in your tests. Reply
  • kevith - Saturday, September 14, 2013 - link

    For a brief walkthrough and a quick summary, AT´s case reviews are absolutely fine, often with a subtle humor, nice to read.

    For the in-depth review with an extra emphasis on noise, go to SPCR.
  • EnzoFX - Saturday, September 14, 2013 - link

    This. It's surprising actually since the rest of Anandtech is so thorough. Stark contrast. Reply
  • Barbarossa - Sunday, September 15, 2013 - link

    That's easier said than done though. It's not like you can just add some foam to your walls and drop the sound level. Especially if you're reviewing from an apartment or townhouse or something. Reply
  • flemeister - Monday, September 16, 2013 - link

    New Audio Test Gear 2008 [SPCR] --
    An Anechoic Chamber for SPCR --
  • rpg1966 - Saturday, September 14, 2013 - link

    Can you please produce charts that show both temperature and noise on the same chart, one on X axis and the other on Y-axis, so that we can more easily interpret the results and compare cases? It would be trivially simple to do. Reply
  • jasonnovak - Saturday, September 14, 2013 - link

    I bought an H2 when they first came out, I'm interesting in some more info on the factory tweaks you mention they made to improve airflow. I did a mod I came across somewhere cutting some material away from the bottom of the door. Reply
  • Building Wealth - Saturday, September 14, 2013 - link

    When's the pink version out?

    I like the design of this case. The front door looks good in my opinion. Those drive trays are annoying, though.

    Building wealth
  • Silma - Monday, September 16, 2013 - link

    I have a loud pc with 6 7200 rpm harddrives in raid 6, 2 ssds, 1 gtx680, and an Intel i920.
    Would a silent enclosure work or is it wishful thinking? If yes which enclosure?
    ON my Alienware laptop I have a silent mode which switch from gpu to processor gpu - the laptop basically goes silent, the difference is very noticeable. Is there nowadays a similar technology for desktop pcs?
  • TGressus - Thursday, September 19, 2013 - link

    Near silence can be done in your situation with oversized or multiple radiators used with water blocks and mid-speed/dampened water pump(s) for the the cpu and gpu. This will eliminate the loudest fans and allow you to tune the fans around the case and at the radiator to a lower speed. Fluid-dynamic bearing fans seem to be the best balance of silence/longevity.

    Without water cooling you best bet is a huge aluminum case that allows for convection and radiation through the case itself. Again most of the noise is going to be a result of your cpu/gpu heat sink efficiency and how their fans react to your workloads, plus the tuning of the case fans.
  • dehemke - Monday, September 16, 2013 - link

    Antec P180 retread again? Was the 180/2 the one true silent case that everything since has just been a refactor of? Where's the new innovation? Reply
  • quas - Saturday, September 21, 2013 - link

    How did you test? Did you open the front panel door to allow more air in? Reply
  • xoham - Friday, February 14, 2014 - link

    If the front door was a rectangle instead of that cut, and if they took off the brand name, this would be a perfect looking case for me. I don't get why they are putting on brand names. It is not like I take this computer around and people get to see what brand it is and then go buy one. Reply

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