For a lot of people silence is an important characteristic of a build. Many people keep their PC where they sleep, others need silence for movie watching or simply the noise of a whirring PC is just an irritating sound that gets on your nerves.
Finding the correct case to keep the noise down can be a difficult task but we have selection of some of the best silent PC cases around to help narrow down your selection.
On a budget?
Budget PC cases nowadays can be quite the value proposition, they may not always have the superfluous RGB lighting and things like that but the build quality has improved greatly over the past few years meaning a cheap case can last many builds to come.
1. Cooler Master Silencio 352
Cooler Master have long since been on top of the PC case hierarchy, their cases have a lot of thoughtful planning, even on the lower end.
The Silencio 352 is categorised as a “Mini-Tower” (17.8 x 7.8 x 14.9 in), making it perfect for those short on space. This small size also means there is only support for mITX and Micro ATX Motherboards.
As the name may suggest, this case was designed from the ground up to be quiet. The Silencio has foam padded front and side panels to help dampen noise. This doesn’t mean that airflow is an afterthought, with support for two 120mm front fans, a rear 120mm fan and another 120mm fan for the top. It can even house water cooling systems with radiators up to 240mm in length.
The Silencio can support graphics cards up to 14 inches in length and house up to 3 3.5” drives and 4 2.5” drives, giving plenty of room for HDDs and SSDs. There is even room for a 5.25” drive behind the front door panel, which is good for a disc drive of some sort or a fan controller. There is room for a CPU cooler of up to 6.1 inches.
The Silencio can easily house a powerful PC with no compromises, there may be little room to play with but the clever design helps get the most out of the space. This is a great small form factor silent PC case.
2. Corsair Carbide Series 100R Silent Edition
Corsair is another big player in the field of PC cases, many people trust Corsair and for good reason as much of the time they hit it out of the park when it comes to the quality of their products.
The 100R Silent Edition is a mid-tower case (7.9 x 18.5 x 16.9 in), giving a good balance of size and performance. This case is certainly designed to be more subdued, to help it fit in rather than to stand out. Making it a good choice for a media centre. The 100R Silent Edition supports ATX, Micro ATX and Mini-ITX motherboards.
What makes this 100R a “Silent Edition”? Firstly, the inclusion of noise isolating materials in the side panels helps to keep the noise down and a 3 speed fan controller built into the back of the PC; the latter being something you don’t see very often, especially on a case as cheap as this. The case supports two front 120mm or 140mm fans and the rear takes one 120mm fan, giving the case a lot of potential for great cooling.
There are four storage bays, each supports both 3.5” and 2.5” devices allowing you to tailor the storage capabilities to your needs. There is support for GPUs up to 16.2 inches and space for a CPU cooler of 5.9 inches.On the front panel there are two USB 3.0 ports. There is room also for two 5.25” drives.
The 100R Silent edition provides a lot of case for cheap, the inclusion of the fan controller is an interesting one for the price point and it really adds to the value of the case.
Looking to spend a little more? Mid-tier cases for middling budgets
As you move up in price some of the features that come with cases are great additions to any build. You don’t have to break the bank to get a case that offers just that little bit more.
1. Corsair Carbide Series 330R Blackout Edition
Another Corsair case from the acclaimed Carbide series but a step up in price bracket.
The 330R is a mid tower case (8.3 x 19.4 x 19.1 in) that offers a lot of room to play around in. The design is sleek and business like, clean metallic edges give the case a sturdy and reliable look. The case supports the trio of ATX, Micro ATX and Mini-ITX motherboards.
The 330R Blackout Edition offers a three speed fan controller, like its smaller brother but the similarities stop there. The sound dampening has been extended to the whole case making for greater sound-isolation potential. There is space for two front 120/140mm fans, one rear 120mm fan and two top 120/140mm fans, creating great exhaust potential for the case. There is even room for radiators up to 280mm in length.
There are four hard drive bays, each with support for 3.5” and 2.5” drives. 5.9 inches of room for a CPU Cooler and space for graphics cards up to 17.7 inches, meaning you can fit whatever you like in it. There is room for three 5.25” drives and two USB 3.0 ports on the front panel.
The 330R Blackout edition is a great choice over the cheaper model due to extra airflow and sound dampening available. The cooler you keep the components the quieter they will be ultimately and this case offers that extra to stop the problem at the source.
2. Thermaltake SUPPRESSOR F31
Thermaltake has really improved with their PC case offerings and whilst they may not be household names like Cooler Master and Corsair, they offer a really impressive collection and are certainly making a name for themselves.
The Suppressor F31 is another mid tower case (9.8 x 20.3 x 19.5 in) but in a slightly more cubic nature. There is a windowed side panel for those that like to look at the innards of their PC, making it a good choice for builds you want to show off. There is support for the usual ATX, Micro ATX and Mini-ITX motherboard form factors.
Thermaltake claim that this case was tested in a semi-anechoic chamber, this really shows a lot of effort has been put into the acoustics of their product. The Suppressor offers many different fan configurations. In the front, support for two 120/140mm or one 200mm fan. At the rear, space for one 120/140mm fan. The top has room for a mighty three 120/140mm fans or two 200mm fans. This case also has room for 2 120/140mm fans on the bottom. In addition to that, the non windowed side panel version has space for another on the left panel. Support for radiators is huge because of this, supporting up to 360mm rads easily. In addition to this there is sound dampening material on all panels of the case.
There is space for up to six storage drives, regardless of size. There are four USB ports on the front panel, two of which are USB 3.0. You can fit two 5.25” drives. CPU Coolers have 7 inches of space to play with. GPUs of 10.9 inches are supported but remove the HDD rack and you can install GPUs as long as 16.5 inches in length!
The Suppressor F31 is a monster of a case. The sheer amount of fans that can fit inside such a small case will do wonders for keeping components cool and therefore quiet. This case offers features way above its price range.
3. Fractal Design Define C
Fractal Design have become well known for their sleek, small and feature packed cases. They are on the more expensive side of PC cases but the quality on offer is top notch.
The Define C is monolithic in design, a minimalistic front panel gives an understated styling to the case. This may be another mid-tower case (11.42 x 21.38 x 19.06 in) but it is more skyscraper like in its proportions. Supported are ATX, Micro ATX and Mini-ITX motherboards.
The Define C offers “industrial-grade” sound dampening in the front and side panels. There are plenty of spaces for fans, on the front, three 120mm fans or two 140mm fans. The rear can fit one 120mm fan, the top has slots for two 120/140mm fans and the bottom has space available for one 120mm fan. This also means radiators of up to 360mm can be installed, giving great cooling potential.
There are three 2.5” dedicated drive bays for your SSDs and two for 3.5” drives. There are two USB 3.0 ports on the front panel. CPU Coolers are supported up to 6.7 inches and GPUs of 12.4 inches or less. A nice little feature is the PSU and HDD cover that really helps make a build look a lot cleaner.
The Define C is a feature rich case with a lot to offer. Great stylings and well thought out innards really help the case stand out.
Money no object?
The quality and little touches that are applied the further you move up the price scale are what really make these expensive cases stand out and make them worth the money.
1. Fractal Design Define R5
Once again Fractal Design show off their uniform look in an immensely feature packed case.
The Define R5 is a big case (23 x 21.5 x 13 in) and is one of the more popular cases around. It has the classic Fractal Design look to it but the bigger insides are really taken full advantage of. The case supports ATX, Micro ATX and Mini-ITX motherboards.
The Define R5 was designed for silent computing from the start and as such included is high density noise-dampening material, whilst not compromising the thermal capabilities of the case. There is support for no less than nine fans, two 12/140mm fans in the front, one 120/140mm fan in the rear, three 120/140mm fans up top, two 120/140mm fans on the bottom and one 120/140mm fan for the side. Not only that it comes with a three step fan controller, located on the front of the case, that supports up to three fans. Radiators of up to 420mm can be installed in the Define R5, giving you plenty of room for a comprehensive water cooling setup.
Storage wise, there are 8 storage bays that store both HDDs and SSDs and two dedicated to the latter, for a total of 10 bays. In addition two 5.25” drives can be installed. CPU coolers no higher than 7 inches are supported and GPUs shorter than 12.2 inches will fit comfortably. On the front panel there are two USB 3.0 ports and two USB 2.0 ports. There is also a windowed side panel available for this case.
The Define R5 really stands out in this price range for the sheer amount of equipment it can hold and it looks good doing it too. If you are looking for a case you’ll never have to upgrade from, this is a good choice.
2. Nanoxia Deep Silence 3
Nanoxia are a German company that aren’t necessarily that well known, which is a shame because the cases they make are of top quality.
The Deep Silence 3 is very understated in design, this makes for a very clean and professional looking case. The case is a mid-tower (17.95 x 8.14 x 20.47 in) and supports ATX, Micro ATX and Mini-ITX.
Nanoxia says themselves that their guiding principle is to have a silent case running with low system temperatures. As is standard with these cases that are made for quiet computing the Deep Silence 3 comes with sound-insulating materials. The HDDs are mounted in the case using rubber suspensions that eliminate annoying vibrations and background noise. There is room for six fans, two 120mm fans in the front and one in the rear. Both the top and bottom have room for 120/140mm fans, two spacse for the former and one for the latter.
The Deep Silence 3 has room for eight drives in total, three of those being dedicated to 2.5” drives. The maximum height for CPU coolers is 6.5 inches, GPUs must be shorter than 13.5 inches. There are three USB ports on the front panel, two of which are USB 3.0.
The Deep Silence 3 has a lot to offer at its price range. It is a well built and full featured mid tower for those that are short on space. This allows you to make a powerful PC, that is well cooled and quiet, in a good looking and space conscious case.
This selection of silent PC cases should help everyone, regardless of budget. There is always quality to be had at any price point and these cases certainly show just that.