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

    Sounds like an interesting concept. Can you give an example of a case that does this? My pet peeve are external bays but I also think internal ones could be designed better and have been trying to find someone doing something new in this area. Reply
  • Death666Angel - Tuesday, November 27, 2012 - link

    Don't you guys have import in the US? I can buy stuff from all over the world and have it shipped to my door step in Germany. :D Reply
  • karagiosis - Tuesday, November 27, 2012 - link

    Just a small errata. On the noise level chart (overclocked) the labels for the fans at low and high speed should be swapped Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Tuesday, November 27, 2012 - link

    Nope, it's correct as posted. The higher fan setting for the case improves airflow so much that the CPU and GPU fans don't spin as high. Reply
  • dehemke - Tuesday, November 27, 2012 - link

    Where are the Antec Performance One series in the comparison charts?

    This thing looks like a P18x/28x inspired design, I'd like to see how well it stacks up against those.

    I'm still running a jet black P180 and a Mirror finish P182, but I had to do some modifications to get them to play nicely with the new longer PSU's and video cards.

    Is this the right successor?
    Reply
  • jjwa - Wednesday, December 12, 2012 - link

    I am still running my main rig in a P180 :). It rocks. And it's used for gaming, playing server and everything else at the same time. While overclocked. The only problem I have now is that I have put so many HDDs into it (replacing the upper stock HDD cage) that I reduced it's air intake too far :(. Reply
  • mascotzel - Tuesday, November 27, 2012 - link

    What is the high low significance in the review? Reply
  • Galcobar - Tuesday, November 27, 2012 - link

    It's explained in the first paragraph of the Noise and Thermal Testing section, just above the charts. Reply
  • mascotzel - Wednesday, November 28, 2012 - link

    so why are the fans on low noisier than the same fans on high in the charts? Reply
  • flyingpants1 - Wednesday, November 28, 2012 - link

    In my opinion, the only sources of noise in most modern computers should be two 140mm+ fans: The CPU fan and the PSU fan. The 140mm CPU fan on a 120mm heatsink can be ducted to the rear exhaust port - no need for case fans. SSDs make no noise. Hard drives make no noise when idle, and when running they require no active cooling, see the Google hard drive study. Integrated GPUs obviously don't need extra cooling.

    It's possible to eliminate the PSU fan by using a fanless PSU, but this limits your GPU choices. As for high-end GPUs like a GTX680, one could easily imagine an aftermarket GPU heatsink with a 140mm which spins at inaudible speeds on idle.

    Combine all that with a quiet case and an inch of soundproofing stuff, and your computer will be literally inaudible by human ears when idle.
    Reply

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