Conclusion: We Need the Nanoxia Deep Silence 1

If it seems like I nitpicked the Nanoxia Deep Silence 1 in this review, it's only because the case itself is actually an incredibly strong design. It's not a perfect one, but Nanoxia did a heck of a lot right, and in many ways they're reminding me of another small company that was looking to break through in the US not too long ago: BitFenix. Together with BitFenix, Fractal Design, and Corsair, Nanoxia threatens to be part of a new wave of case designers that will shake the old stalwarts out of their complacency.

Before I start gushing about the DS1, it's only fair that I highlight some of the issues that the enclosure does have. As I said, it is by no means perfect. While Nanoxia assures me the I/O pop-up hinge has been fixed, that's not something I can readily test and prove (at least not until they send me another review unit) so I have to take them at their word. The old style mounting grooves for the side panels mean you'll be resting your body on the side of the case as you try to replace the panels, and it feels like the measurements for the motherboard tray seem ever so slightly off. Nanoxia's default fans are also obviously efficient, but because you have to push them to their fastest settings to get good thermal performance out of the case (great, even), that means there's very little room to grow without adding or changing fans. Finally, I'd like to see Nanoxia do a better job of matching the tone of the plastic fascia with the tone of the steel sides.

With all that said, while I was testing the DS1, I was expecting it to run $150 at the least due to the sheer weight and durability of the materials used, and at that price I felt it would've been competitive. It's feature rich (I'm particularly bullish on the integrated analog fan controller), mostly user friendly, and offers solid performance in a very comfortable acoustic envelope. When they told me they were looking at a substantially lower price range, my first thought was "well, that's an editor's choice award right there." Thermal and acoustic performance meet or beat every other silent enclosure I've tested, build quality is good, and features are generous.

BitFenix's Ghost and Fractal Design's Define R4 are both less expensive, but they don't perform as well either, and they're not as solid. Corsair's Obsidian 550D is more expensive and performs worse. The Deep Silence 1 could still use some refinement, but for the targeted price, it's going to be very tough for other manufacturers to beat. To me, that's Bronze Editor's Choice Award material. It doesn't quite live up to the hype, but it comes very close.

Noise and Thermal Testing, Overclocked
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  • Grok42 - Thursday, November 29, 2012 - link

    What are you thoughts on the Nanoxia's door? I like the split door compromise.

    I personally have moved from loving doors for providing a clean look to wanting cases with no external bays and no door for the same clean look. However, given the size of the Nanoxia I can't fault it for some external bays as cases of typical size typically have 5 or more bays. If you scaled up most mid-ATX cases up to the Nanoxia's size they would have 20 5.25" bays.
    Reply
  • johnsonjohnson - Tuesday, November 27, 2012 - link

    Looks like the Define R4's twin. If only they could merger into one.. Reply
  • johnsonjohnson - Tuesday, November 27, 2012 - link

    ..which they did to become the DS2. I'm sure Dustin will be looking at that one too. I wonder how it would fare against its future twin (R5) though. Reply
  • vhx - Tuesday, November 27, 2012 - link

    Looks more like an Antec P280 to me. Reply
  • martyrant - Tuesday, November 27, 2012 - link

    First off, well written and informative review Dustin.

    Second, sans the things you already mentioned (that were of course quite minor) the only major flaw I see that was not mentioned is the lack of a SD/card reader. They're already eating up the top 5.25" bay with the fan controller/reset button, there's obviously room to put at the very least a SD card reader there, which would mean most likely people would not need the 5.25" to 3.5" adapter.

    Thanks for this review, I hadn't heard of this case before and would very much like it to come to the States in time for Haswell!
    Reply
  • FragKrag - Tuesday, November 27, 2012 - link

    Doesn't really seem like that big of a flaw to me... I don't know any cases off the top of my head that come with an SD card reader Reply
  • martyrant - Tuesday, November 27, 2012 - link

    NZXT has one I believe, and if you already have almost everything perfect, there's no reason to not attempt pure perfection. Reply
  • Death666Angel - Tuesday, November 27, 2012 - link

    It would for some people. :D
    I personally don't need a card reader and don't want one either. All my stuff is handled by a USB cable to the necessary device (camera, phone, tablet...). If this had a reader, it would take away from the clean look and give me something ugly that's never getting used.
    Reply
  • martyrant - Tuesday, November 27, 2012 - link

    Are your eyes not working? Ignorant? Not read the article or look at the case at all?

    The card reader would be behind the top front door...and would not effect aesthetics at all.
    Reply
  • Death666Angel - Wednesday, November 28, 2012 - link

    Wow, you clearly have no issues with criticism.
    It would not destroy the aesthetics, except when I use anything that is behind the top front door....
    Reply

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