Looking for a very specific case... experts sought

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by Danny_G13, Nov 6, 2019 at 1:33 PM.

  1. Danny_G13

    Danny_G13 Master Guru

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    GPU:
    EVGA FTW 2080Ti OC
    Hi chaps, big one coming, posted about this before, and still looking into a new case, but I’m very specific about what I need so I’m hoping someone out there knows enough cases to know a few which fit what I’m about to ask.

    1: Silent when idle. Top priority is that this case has to be basically silent when not doing much, and close to silent when gaming. Preferably silent when both, of course.

    2: Excellent cable management. Too many cases make a mess of organising cables behind the tray – I need one specifically designed to have space there, and allow all cable trails to be neatly placed away. I even remember one case I saw which had a specific trough designed to place the ATX cable in. Touches like that.

    3: Mid-tower. It has to be midtower. Fulltower is just too big and cumbersome for my needs.

    4: Space. Lots of space. For airflow, for components, all of it. Especially my 2080Ti watercooled.

    5: Looks good – it’s not overly critical but I definitely prefer a case which looks sleek and the part.

    6: Absolutely NO TG! I don’t want any windows. None. They serve no purpose to me.

    7: Good quality (and thick) included soundproofing acoustic dampening material on all panels. Huge part of the silent thing but it absolutely must have this stuff.

    8: An exhaust space between ceiling and roof – as in where I’d install a rad or fans, I want them to exhaust into a relief space inside the case, rather than straight out of the case – this helps with sound proofing.

    I know it’s not asking for a lot, right…?

    Money is no object, budget irrelevant.

    I’ve been looking into this for a long time, and I did try a Fractal Define S but it lacked a tonne of what I need and was just no good.

    My hardware, in case it’s of help, is already basically silent with two exceptions:


    9600K @ 5GHz w/ Corsair H60


    16GB Predator @ 3800Mhz


    EVGA 2080Ti AIO watercooled


    4xSSD


    Soundblaster ZxR


    Corsair CP-9020062-UK RM Series RM1000 80 Plus Gold PSU



    Present case:


    Corsair Obsidian 450D – built for performance and airflow, not so much for soundproofing.

    The only two sources of noise I have are the 2080Ti cooler (EVGA provided a noisy one which can be modded but still does emit a small and high-pitched rattling – which I believe a good soundproof case would basically eliminate) and the Corsair CPU watercooler AIO which has a modest low hum.

    Any suggestions on a dream case or two?
     
  2. Danny_G13

    Danny_G13 Master Guru

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    I think I may have bewildered you all :D

    I'm now looking very closely at the Fractal Define R6...
     
  3. Only Intruder

    Only Intruder Maha Guru

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    @Danny_G13 Yeah R6 or S2 are very good picks, it just will entirely depend if they are suitable for you. The original S model was a bit of a blunder but the S2 is pretty much the same as the R6 (it's the same chassis really) except for better water cooling support at the cost of hdd bay support.

    R6 for expansion capability 1 5.25" bay, 9 HDD (3.5" or 2.5") and 4 2.5" mounts (2 on the rear of the motherboard tray and 2 on the PSU shroad) ( (can mount a custom loop but would need careful measurements to be accounted for)
    S2 for open loop capability (easier to mount a pump but very few hdd bays in comparison to the R6).

    I have the R6 TG Edition, courtesy of Guru3d Christmas competition and it's fantastic, looks very neat, loads of hard drive bays which is also kept discrete by a removable panel and plenty of options on where or how to mount cooling.

    Just a note though, if your GPU or other expansion cards are longer than 300mm, they will encroach on the drive bay area so may obstruct a drive or two, if you mount your drives towards the lower section of the case at least (I've got mine mounted near the top but my GPU would block 2 HDDs).

    And finally the 2 vertical slots, vertical slots aren't really good for GPUs imo but perfect for other things, particularly the daughterboard of my ZxR ;)

    Here are some photos of my rig if it will help you make a decision for or against the R6 for your usage needs.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    As you can see, the case is designed for discretion (keeping wiring hidden from view) and silence, the internal panels help reduce sound in addition to the sound absorbent material that is on the side panels too.

    The top of the case is flexible, you can either have it "silenced" as in, completely closed with the supplied metal cover, or like in my setup (not shown properly) filtered vent cover (since I have my AIO top mounted). Air intake going from the bottom and front of the case, with exhaust going to the rear and top (via AIO).

    I find my temperatures are well managed in my case, and noise is suppressed rather well despite having the top vent open, it's still rather quiet. I can hear the airflow but it isn't loud by any means and with the top panel closed/covered, it is near silent .

    No photo with the glass panel on because I keep getting reflections :D (And you said you're not interested in the glass panel anyway

    Hope this all helps :)
     
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  4. Danny_G13

    Danny_G13 Master Guru

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    Thank you sir :) Your setup is nice, although obviously with a non TG lid I wouldn't see any of those shiny lights of yours ;)

    Very nice also that you won it via this site - I've found, historically, this board to be by a distance the most amiable and decent one I've ever used. And giving away prizes is a nice touch.

    What I would be doing for sure is removing the HDD bay entirely. I have no need for it (2XSATA SSD and 2xM.2) and the absence of it will improve airflow (may install the SATAs in front of the PSU down below). May do the same with the 5.25 bay as well but my fan controller is designed to fit in there - but, of course, this case comes with its own indpendent fan controller too.

    I like the fact both front 140MMs are placed above the PSU shroud meaning their airflow will balance nicely into the case and none of it will be wasted on a cable-covered PSU which has its own fan anyway.

    The ONLY quibble I have so far with it is there's no relief above the ceiling exhaust - a rare feature in the first place, the best the R6 has is that choice you mention between covering up the ceiling entirely with the Moduvent cover or leaving it slightly open via that vent panel. That is something I could experiment with.

    I guess the thing I really want is the absolute silencing of the two components (the two AIOs) that actually make a little noise. I want this thing basically inaudible.

    Do tell, is the rear side good for cable management?

    This case is looking a strong contender at this point.

    PS: yes, Fractal fudged the Define S badly. It was a really bad example for me to judge their products on! It did have a lot of space and I could tell potentially the silencing was efficient but the design and layout was pretty abject.
     

  5. Only Intruder

    Only Intruder Maha Guru

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    The rear side isn't too bad for cable management, plenty of points to add cable ties or velcro straps with about an inch of clearance between the tray and side panel.

    To maximise silence, I would recommend mounting the radiators to the front and bottom of the case and leave the top closed - having the AIOs as intake will cause increased temperature within the case, however it will still allow the rest of the components (ram, vrms, other heatsinks etc) to be cooled, even if case temp would be in the 30s as a result whilst exhausting the rest of the heat out of the rear 140mm fan.

    As for the fan management, it's just a fan hub, not a controller so will be controlled by your motherboards settings - I have my fans all synced to the CPU.
     
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  6. Danny_G13

    Danny_G13 Master Guru

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    Inch is fine, just as long as there's plenty of room for the fat b*st*rd that is the ATX cable and all the extraneous power heads for SATA/Molex.

    I've always been wary about putting rads at front and rear - after all, like you say, to maximise cooling that's kind of counter productive - I want fresh cool air intake and exhaust with fairly neutral air pressure - putting a rad at the front will clearly mean significantly warmer air comes in during gaming, which increases internal temps notably, while equally an exhaust fan on a rad is fighting to push out hotter air even harder.

    I know all the experts suggest the rads at the front and rear, it just doesn't make scientific sense to me. I suppose I could try it, but I've just always been a purist for airflow - two 140s at the front and one 120 at the rear, with two 140s on the rads sucking out the rising hot air and the pressure balance being countered by them fighting against a rad. So kind of 2 x 140s uninhibited in v 1 x 120 uninhibited and 2 x 140s inhibited out. Seems to about balance. Gaming temps (it is winter after all) are excellent - 65 the highest I get on the card now. Just started on Breakpoint tonight and on absolutely full (ultimate) settings locked-in 60fps at 63C. Happy with that.

    Ah, right, thanks for that, ok, I'll stick with my controller then. I have never trusted mobo fan settings, and Asus' are particularly poor. Oh year, I excluded my mobo - Asus Z370-II Prime.

    I'm very close to giving the R6 a shot. It's hardly expensive and worst-case scenario Amazon returns are pretty good.
     
  7. Danny_G13

    Danny_G13 Master Guru

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    This case will be here Saturday. I'll let you know how it went/goes!
     
  8. Netherwind

    Netherwind Ancient Guru

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    Get the Define S which in my opinion is better than the S2 because:
    ¤ No ridiculous PSU shroud which adds cooling possibilities from the bottom of the case and also has unrestricted front fan airflow.
    ¤ Top cover is divided into three sections which is brilliant. I personally only have one top fan at the very back of the case, which means I can close the other two top covers making the case more silent.
    ¤ Good sound dampening overall
    ¤ Great dust filter that doesn't completely block airflow (like most do these days)
    ¤ The front cover has little air restriction on the sides

    Cons are unfortunately :
    ¤ Build quality...it's okay but not excellent
    ¤ Not too much room for cables, and since there is no PSU shroud that room for cables is gone
    ¤ Design, maybe not a con but it's no more than a square black box
    ¤ Front cover should have had sound dampening material
     

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