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Craig Allen

New DAW build: Recommend a Quiet Case

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Wondering if any of you who have completed DAW builds over the past year can recommend a Quiet Case.

I am noticing that many cases (i.e. Fractal Design and Be Quiet! in the $80-130 range) are not including bay(s) for optical drives. I still have reason to burn CDs.

So, I believe I'm looking for:

- 1 external access optical drive bay (5.25")

- External (top or front) access to USB 3, USB 3.1 (USB - C connection), ideally TB3

- 4+ SSD drives. 4+ SATA HDD bays

- 6+ PCI card external outs

- Well-ventilated, good airflow design

- Acoustical damping material

- super silent fans (2+ included); room for more (top and rear)

 - good, flexible routing options. So, not too small a case.

- I don't care about lights. 

Anything else I should be thinking about?

Thank you so much for any recommendations!

 

Craig

 

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I have a Cooler Master Cosmos 1000 that is super quiet. It's no longer being made but it has children.  Look for a case that uses large fans that turn slower.  120 mm size.  I strongly suggest a front door to cut noise from the case and components that are at the front. They selling for more then when new. 

 

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I built a new machine at the end of last year with a Fractal Design Define R6 USB-C Blackout case (product code is FD-CA-DEF-R6C-BKO) got it from Amazon.  It has everything you mention except no Thunderbolt on the top.  The blu-ray drive (one slot) lives behind the front door.  I'm using air cooling (Noctua) the end result is very quiet.  Don't get the glass side so you can get more damping material (the sides are padded) and less flashing lights. 

The only thing that disappointed me about it was how tricky it is to get to the back of the power supply through the power supply cover (which isn't removable).  I was always feeding cables into the modular power supply and having to wedge my hand in there to get them through and connected.  If I had removed the lower drive bay it would have been easier perhaps though.  I only had to deal with it a few times but it was my only real issue.  It's a pretty nice case and a good size.  I ended up using a different fan controller (that came with the ASUS motherboard) that didn't fit along the back panel like the one included with it but it's hard to fault them for that.

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I went passif with S series cpu s ... will never go back to fans !!

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The Fractal Design Define R6 USB-C Blackout case is an excellent case.  We just received 2 AV systems where I work using these cases with the Noctua cooler.  Things are dead silent.  Wish I had this case for my DAW system.

Jim

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1 hour ago, Zo said:

I went passif with S series cpu s ... will never go back to fans !!

If you use the right fan/s, you have to pull the side panels off the case... and put your ear right next to it to hear it.

There's no way you're going to hear said fan with the side-panels on a "quiet designed" case.  😉

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For those who don't know...

Don't assume USB-C means Thunderbolt-3.

USB-C ports can carry Thunderbolt-3 or USB-3.1

Many motherboards have USB-3.1 (via USB-C)... but don't have Thunderbolt-3.

If the logo doesn't show a "Bolt of lightning", it's not carrying Thunderbolt-3.

To have Thunderbolt-3, the motherboard has to specifically have the controller onboard... or via AIC (add-in-card).

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If you have fans on the top of the case, that will generate noise, shouldn't really need those for music production. Although it sounds as though you have very heavy needs with  4+ SSD drives. 4+ SATA HDD bays and  6+ PCI card external outs. I cannot begin to imagine what you would need all these for. If your looking to put 4 CD bays in there for mass production, I would see that as a separate computer from your DAW. DAW's run best with fewer components to worry about.

It would probably help to know what you want the computer to do exactly. What your needs are.

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We have clients who are professional composers who run about a dozen internal drives.

Those doing huge orchestral mock-ups (common for scoring larger video games) are often using numerous SATA and M.2 Ultra SSDs.

 

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6 hours ago, Matthew Sorrels said:

I built a new machine at the end of last year with a Fractal Design Define R6 USB-C Blackout case (product code is FD-CA-DEF-R6C-BKO) got it from Amazon.  It has everything you mention except no Thunderbolt on the top.  The blu-ray drive (one slot) lives behind the front door.  I'm using air cooling (Noctua) the end result is very quiet. 

 

3 hours ago, haydn12 said:

The Fractal Design Define R6 USB-C Blackout case is an excellent case.  We just received 2 AV systems where I work using these cases with the Noctua cooler.  Things are dead silent.  Wish I had this case for my DAW system.

Jim

Matthew and Jim --

Thanks so much! YES, this FD case looks like it will be just what I'm looking for!

 

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I've been using the previous Fractal Design Define R5 for some years now. Looks similar, and I can confirm it's also very quiet.

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2 hours ago, lmu2002 said:

I've been using the previous Fractal Design Define R5 for some years now. Looks similar, and I can confirm it's also very quiet.

Me too! Nice quiet case. Lots of fan locations  and easy to route cables out of sight. Really like being able to mount two SSDs on back side of MB plate.

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