Quietest PC Cases for your Silent PC Build
PC cases have been one of the best components on the PC component market for years. Manufacturers have managed to constantly improve their products based on user feedback, evolving cases from simple rectangles with the barebones required to mount a motherboard and hard/disc drives, to what you see today. Most cases are modular, built for compatibility, and packed with features.
One of the newest trends is the quiet case. Cases claiming to be quiet have been around for years, however, they have become more popular, and for good reason. For those that need a quiet PC simply to not interfere with their gaming experience, to those that wish to not wake those they live with, the quiet PC is the only PC.
There are a good few guides on reddit on how to build a super quiet PC, but in this particular guide I have focused on the best silent cases in 2018/19. In this guide, I have collated a list of the most silent cases on the market, and all of them include some kind of insulation to stop sound, as well as using techniques to minimize fan noise. With the trend towards quieter PCs, many manufacturers have began to produce cases that sacrifice some amount of air flow in the name of silence. This is an essential thing, however, there is a balance that can be struck, where air flow is minimally impacted. Below I have focused the many options for silent PC cases into the best of the best.
Without further ado, let’s get to it.
1. Fractal Design Define S
Introduced in early 2015, the Define S mid-tower case has been a hit. The Define S is made of high quality materials and boasts a sleek, minimalistic profile and modular design. Focusing on quiet operation with this model, Fractal Design lined the panels with sound dampening material. Boasting much quieter operation without compromising air flow, the Define S is a great PC case at a good price.
For those looking for water cooling support, the Define S is built with that in mind, with included mounting points for radiators and radiator support on the top and front of the case. Included with the case are two Fractal Design Dynamic GP14 120mm fans. In order to optimize airflow, the case does not come with cages for hard drives and disc drives, but does include mounting points for both 3.5” and 2.5” drives to accommodate both hard drives and solid state drives. Unfortunately, those that need a case that can accept a disc drive will not be able to use this case. Coming in at $103 at this time of writing, the Define S is positioned nicely in the middle of our list on price.
2. be quiet! Silent 800
For those looking for a lot of room and silent operation, you can do a lot worse than the be quiet! Silent 800 full tower case. Featuring an optional polycarbonate side window, stylish design, and sound dampening panels, this be quiet! case lives up to it’s namesake. The Silent 800 comes with 3 included Pure Wings 2 140mm fans, and features a removable dust filter on front and bottom of the case. Being a full tower, it has extensive support for hard drives, SSDs, and has 3 external drive bays. Despite being a full tower, it does not support EATX motherboards.
One of the standout features of the Silent 800 is the large amount of room behind the motherboard tray, allowing for a lot of room for cable management. Those with long graphics card will have to remove one of the included 3.5” drive cages. Front panel includes 2 USB 3.0 and 2 USB 2.0 connectors, as well as headphone and microphone to round out a fairly standard I/O, except for the missing reset switch. The case also includes accents on it’s front vents, which can come in silver, black, or orange. The windowed version comes in at just under $150, with the windowless version about $10 less.
I’d recommend this case to the builder that doesn’t want to have to buy extra fans, doesn’t mind the size, and needs the room inside for many hard drives.
3. NZXT S340 Elite
One of the most trusted names in the PC case market, NZXT’s S340 Elite Mid Tower case is very popular, and one of the best values on this list. Featuring a tempered glass panel to display your PCs precious innards, the S340 is compact and simple, but packs many features into it’s $99 pricetag. The case comes in one exterior color, black, but you can get multiple interior colors, including red/black, blue/black, matte white, and matte black, allowing you to match with other parts and turn your PC into a work of art.
To achieve such a small footprint and keep more modern features, like the Define S, the S340 Elite lacks drive cages, and does not have support for disc drives. Sacrificing air flow for aesthetics and noise reduction, the case’s intake fans get air only from a small vent at the top of the case, so this case does run a little hot, unless of course, you plan to watercool, which this case does support. The case also has a full length PSU shroud, with ample cutouts for cables. The S340 is aimed primarily at those looking to create a great PC to look at, but provides much to the pragmatic builder as well.
4. Corsair Carbide Series 100R Silent Edition
If you have a tight budget, the 100R Silent Edition, a mid-tower case by Corsair, is a great value case with a focus on staying quiet. Coming in at just $57 on Amazon, the Carbide 100R is the cheapest case on the list. To keep things quiet, Corsair lined the side panels with noise dampening material, and opted for a closed faced design. Despite it’s low cost, Corsair still managed to include 2 120mm fans.
The 100R Silent Edition comes with 2 external drive bays, and up to 4 of any combination of 3.5” or 2.5” hard disk drives or solid state drives in it’s included cage. With the most minimal front I/O on the list, the 100R has 2 USB 3.0 ports, a headphone port, and a microphone port. It also has the least support for watercooling, accepting only a 120mm radiator on top or front.
If you’re looking for a simple case with the basics, or are looking for the cheapest, yet good quality noise conscious case, this is the one for you.
5. Fractal Design Define R6
The Define R6 is well known and loved by many enthusiasts and PC builders alike. In fact, I built my PC in one! The Define R6 is a mid tower case that boasts sound dampening panels on the front, top, and sides. From experience I can say it’s very quiet, in fact, despite being loaded with 5 fans and running demanding games, ramping those fans up, I’ve yet to be bothered at all, in fact, I can’t say I’ve ever even noticed a peep from it.
The Define R6 comes with support for a single external drive, radiator support up to 420 mm on top and 360 mm in front of the case, a full length PSU shroud, and an optional tempered glass side window. You can get it with several interior color options: matte black, white, or gunmetal. It includes a brushed aluminum front panel, dust filters on top, front, and bottom of case, and a standard I/O of 2 USB 3.0, 2 USB 2.0, audio in and out. Sold separately is a replacement I/O panel with a USB 3.0 Type C connector port as well as a vertical GPU mount.
Coming in at $155 for the windowless version, and up to $180 for the windowed one, the Define R6 is the most expensive case on the list. Despite this, the great amount of modularity and features packed into this case, built with premium materials, makes it a good value and a great option for a case made for quiet operation.
6. Nanoxia Deep Silence 3
Deep Silence 3
- Clean design
- Solid build quality
- Extremely silent
- Good value
- Only one USB port on front I/O
- Not best option for watercooled builds
- Tight fit behind motherboard tray (15mm)
The Nanoxia Deep Silence 3, or DS3, is a mid-tower case that uses a combination of decoupled hard disk/power supply mounts, anti-vibration feet, and foam padding to provide optimal silent operation. The DS3 ships with 3 120mm fans, has 3 external drive bays, and cages for 5 3.5” disk drives and 3 2.5” drives. With all of the now standard quality of life features including rubber grommet cable management holes and removable drive bays, the DS3 is a breeze to build in.
Features include dust filters on bottom and front, front I/O with 2 USB 3.0, a USB 2.0, microphone, and headphone jack, and the case comes with 2 fan controllers. With a simple aesthetic, the DS3 is a solid option at $90, and for a little cheaper than the S340 Elite, for those looking to build a pragmatic PC and are not interested in water cooling or the side window, this can prove a better value.
7. Fractal Design Mini ITX Define Nano S
Define Nano S
- Excellent build quality
- Efficient use of space
- Well suited for watercooled build
- Sound dampened side panels
- Graphics card sits very close to PSU (Limited to blower style cards)
- Limited airflow
- Max CPU cooler height only 162mm
The Define Nano S, the little cousin of the Define S and the smallest case on this list, is a mini ITX case with quiet operation in mind. Featuring the same sound dampening material as the Define S and the Define R6, you might lose it, given how small and quiet this case is. Featuring an acrylic side panel, a brushed aluminum front, noise dampening feet, and comes with a Fractal Design Dynamic GP12 fan. It can accomodate GPUs up to 315mm, and CPU coolers up to 162mm.
On the larger side of the Mini ITX specification, the Nano S manages room for 2 3.5” drives and 2 2.5” drives, with no external drive bay. Being an ITX case, the Nano S supports only ITX motherboards. The front I/O has 2 USB 3.0 connectors and audio in/out. Despite it’s size, the Nano S supports radiators of up to 280mm on top, and 240mm on the front. With ample cable management room in back and space for an ATX power supply, the Nano S has a surprising amount of features and high quality for the low price of $70.
8. Cooler Master Silencio 352
The Silencio 352, built by trusted PC component manufacturer Cooler Master, is a MicroATX case, slightly larger than the Define Nano S. It ships with 2 XtraFlo 120mm fans, and has dust filters on top, bottom, and front. Featuring noise cancelling foam lined front door and side panels, the Silencio 352 is optimized for minimal noise. Despite it’s small size, it does have an external drive bay, and has a robust front I/O for a microATX case with 2 USB 3.0, 2 USB 2.0, audio in/out, and an SD card reader.
The Silencio 352 supports Micro-ATX and Mini-ITX motherboards, GPUs up to 355mm, and up to a 240mm radiator in front and 120mm in the rear. It has room for up to four 2.5” drives and three 3.5” drives.This case has the lowest max cpu cooler height on the list as well at 155mm, so make sure that your cooler will fit. At about $100, it is a great value case for those looking for silence and a low profile.
There has never been a better time to shop for a quiet PC case. From the small form factor Fractal Design Define Nano S, to the full tower be quiet! Silent 800, and everywhere in between, there are quality cases offering a PC builder many options to build a silent system. It’s my hope that this guide turned you on to a new case you hadn’t heard of, or at the least better informed you of the many great features of these wonderful cases. Each case on the list is a great value offering something unique from the others, and there are no bad choices to be made. Happy building!