Introducing the Nanoxia Deep Silence 1

When I reviewed the BitFenix Ghost, some of you requested we take a look at the Nanoxia Deep Silence 1. Nanoxia isn't selling on American shores yet, but there's been a lot of buzz going around about this case, and Nanoxia has been steadily making inroads towards getting it into our hands. If you couldn't tell from the name, the Deep Silence 1 is designed for quiet, efficient running, and in many ways it looks like exactly the case I requested at the end of my review of the Ghost: same principles, just bigger and better.

As it turns out, Nanoxia wanted us to look at the Deep Silence 1 as well. I was initially reluctant as you can't actually buy it in the States yet, but hopefully this review will help change that. While the Deep Silence 1 isn't the grand slam some people make it out to be, it is very close, and demonstrates a real evolution in the way silent cases are designed. So what did this small German firm do with the Deep Silence 1 that makes it so different from other silent cases? A few things, as it turns out.

In my experience, cases engineered for silent running can oftentimes be chasing the wrong vectors. They're seldom bad cases, but acoustic padding can't make up for efficient airflow, and having to close off ventilation can actually cause more problems than it solves. It's entirely possible to produce a silent, well-ventilated case, but getting the design right means dodging a veritable minefield of decisions that will threaten to undermine your intended goal.

The result, thus far, has been that while cases like the BitFenix Ghost and Corsair Obsidian 550D aren't necessarily bad, with our testbed they've had to expend more effort on trying to smother the noise generated by high fan speeds rather than keeping the components cooler in the first place. Users interested in building a system designed to run quietly will have less trouble (they'll be more apt to use quieter-running parts), but the underlying issue persists, so the question is...was Nanoxia able to do the unthinkable and balance the equation?

Nanoxia Deep Silence 1 Specifications
Motherboard Form Factor Mini-ITX, Micro-ATX, ATX, XL-ATX
Drive Bays External 3x 5.25" (plus included 5.25"-to-3.5" adapter plate)
Internal 8x 2.5"/3.5"
Cooling Front 2x 120mm intake fan
Rear 1x 140mm exhaust fan (compatible with 120mm)
Top 2x 120mm/140mm fan mount
Side 1x 120mm/140mm fan mount
Bottom 1x 120mm/140mm fan mount
Expansion Slots 8
I/O Port 2x USB 3.0, 2x USB 2.0, 1x Headphone, 1x Mic
Power Supply Size ATX
Clearances HSF 185mm
PSU 200mm
GPU 12.4" / 315mm
Dimensions 20.35" x 8.66" x 20.94"
517mm x 220mm x 532mm
Weight 25 lbs / 11.34 kg
Special Features Removable fan filters
USB 3.0 via internal header
Analog dual-channel fan controller (three fans per channel)
Toggleable "chimney"
Removable drive cages
Acoustic padding on the doors and side panels
Price 109 EUR; expected US MSRP between $109-$129

Even just unboxing it, what struck me the most about the Deep Silence 1 is how heavy it is, and that was my first clue that it might be a bit better at its job than some of the other silent cases I've tested. It's appreciably heavier than both the BitFenix Ghost and the Corsair Obsidian 550D due to the use of both the acoustic padding and, frankly, a heavy steel frame. This is not a cheaply built case, and the thicker materials used in its construction should go a long way towards containing noise.

In and Around the Nanoxia Deep Silence 1
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  • charliem76 - Thursday, March 28, 2013 - link

    Glad to know I'm not the only one reviving an old thread.

    I'd love to see a temp/sound test with all the fan bays filled with the largest size they hold, on low.
    From what I see, it has 7 fan slots, and ships with 3, according to newegg, so that's how I assume you tested it.
    Reply
  • Deders - Saturday, February 22, 2014 - link

    You can remove the top 2 drive bays and slot one of them in the space on the bottom between the PSU and the fixed drivebay, leaving 2 thirds of one fan to cool the closest drives and 1 and 1 thirds worth of direct airflow towards the GPU and CPU. It makes a huge difference. Reply
  • emperius - Saturday, July 6, 2013 - link

    quietpcusa.com has the Nanoxia Deep Silence 1 in stock as of this comment for $100. Reply
  • emperius - Wednesday, July 24, 2013 - link

    Scratch that. UK QuietPC.com has them but beware of outrageous shipping. Reply
  • randl - Friday, November 29, 2013 - link

    All well and good. I bought the case and this may be also a nitpick, however, most Motherboards these days come with Molex fan plugs for intelligent fan control and this case comes with old-type 3 wire fan plugs which defeats the purpose. In addition, if you buy adapters (only from England so far), this case is no longer competitive. It also comes with a "Molex to Power adapter" which doesn't seem to plug in anywhere (as far as I could tell). The whole "fan" power up thing is flaky at best. Reply

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