The PC case is without a doubt one of the most underrated PC parts. It’s responsible for upgradeability options, cooling, building options, and also noise levels.
But, the truth is that there are hundreds of options out there. Many of which are completely focused on providing a silent experience.
It’s no surprise that finding the best silent case can quickly become a very tedious task. That’s why we decided to do the research for you and list some of the best.
In this article, we’ll be mentioning 3 different cases; each one of them at a different price point with different pros and cons. That being said, let’s get right into it!
1: Best Overall: Fractal Design Define R5
For those who want the absolute best
The biggest issue with most silent cases is that they sacrifice a lot of cooling in order to achieve lower noise levels. The Fractal Design Define R5, on the other hand, doesn’t. That’s one of the primary reasons that it’s ranked as the best overall case in this list.
Yes. It’s very big and heavy. But, there’s a very good reason for that. Plenty of reasons, to be more accurate.
We’re talking about:
- 8 slots for 3.5/2.5 drives
- 2 dedicated SSD slots
- 2 dedicated 5.25 bays
- Enough room for a total of 9 fans (120 or 140mm)
- Dust filters for both the front and bottom part of the case
- Enough room to build a monster rig
And let us not forget about the impressive modularity. This case gives you the option of adjusting all drive slots and fan covers for a great balance between cooling and silent operation.
Furthermore, you’re free to put a CPU cooler of up to 180mm and a GPU of up to 440mm. For a point of reference, the Noctua NH-D15, which is one of the bulkiest coolers in the market, if not the bulkiest, only asks for 165mm.
Not a fan of air-cooling? No problem. The Fractal Design Define R5 also supports liquid-cooling with radiators that start from 120mm all the way up to 420!
- Offers silent operation without sacrificing thermals
- Has enough room for the bulkiest coolers and GPUs
- Great modularity
- Offers more room for fans and drives than you’ll ever need
- The fan controller is a welcome addition
- Support for liquid-cooling/radiators is outstanding
- Solid build quality
- Great cable management
- Very big
- A little bit on the heavy side
Overall, this is one of the best cases that you can get and it has been for a long time now. That being said, if there are any other options that will manage to dethrone it in the future, then that’s going to be something very impressive!
2: Best Silent PC Case for Budget Users: Corsair 100R Silent Edition
For those who are on a budget
There is no doubt that the Fractal Design Define R5 is a great case. But there’s also no doubt that it’s rather expensive.
So, for those of you who need something more affordable that still manages to stay quiet, then the Corsair Carbide 100R Silent is definitely a solid contender!
Since it’s priced at less than half as much compared to the R5, it goes without saying that there are compromises that need to be made.
One of the biggest downsides is without a doubt the maximum CPU cooler height. Since the maximum supported height is just 150mm, this means that you won’t be able to fit in some of the most popular coolers like the Hyper 212 EVO or the Dark Rock Pro 4.
Chances are that budget users aren’t going to need a bulky cooler. But, as far as upgradeability is concerned, that can be an issue. Thankfully, you can at least install the Cryorig H7 (According to the official specs).
Adding more to this series of misfortunes is the fact that if your motherboard has the PCI-E 16x slot near the bottom, then you may not be able to fit a long GPU there. To be more accurate, anything longer than 275mm needs to be placed somewhere in the middle where the drive bays are not blocking the card.
It’s not all bad, though. For the price, you’re getting a silent case that offers somewhat decent cooling with lots of drive slots without having to pay with a kidney.
- Allows for some modest upgradeability
- Keeps the PC relatively quiet without asking for a lot of money
- The overall serious design makes it approachable for most people
- Despite being a MIDI tower, it doesn’t offer a lot of room for upgradeability. (High-end coolers won’t fit)
- Only enough room for 3 fans
- Cable management can get a bit messy in some cases – no pun intended
- Very little to no modularity
The list of cons may look a bit long. But, honestly, for $50, it could be much worse.
3: Best Silent PC Case for Mid-Range Users: Phanteks Eclipse P400S
Perfectly balanced; as all things should be
The P400S isn’t just our best mid-range option. It’s also one of the best values that you can get and it has been for the past 3 years or so.
It looks beautiful and offers silent operation without asking for a lot of money. Other than that, upgradeability options are good. Not great. Not bad. Just good.
With a max CPU cooler support of 160mm, you’re 5mm away from being able to install some of the best options out in the market. Thankfully, this case allows us to install an AIO cooler on the front or the AMD variant of the NH-D15 since it barely fits at exactly 160mm.
Other than that, you’re also getting support for up to 5 fans, great cable management, a transparent glass window, and the option to install up to 7 drives (Assuming that you haven’t removed the optional drive slots in exchange for liquid-cooling. If you did, you only get two 3.5 slots and two 2.5 ones).
- Great value
- Decent upgradeability options
- Elegant look
- Allows you to install some high-end coolers
- Offers a few modularity options for balancing out cooling vs noise levels
- Lots of additional (Optional) goodies, including LEDs and drive slots
- Airflow with the front panel closed is somewhat bad. There is always the option of leaving the latch open, but that increases the noise levels
- Installing an AIO cooler means that you’ll have to get rid of extra drive slots (The top panel doesn’t have enough room for a radiator)
Overall, the Eclipse P400S is a decent case for a decent price. If you’re looking for something that offers a balance between price to performance, then look no further, for this is your match!
Things To Look Out for When Buying A Silent Case
As you probably already noticed, our reviews contain quite a lot of information regarding features, options, good things, bad things, etc. It’s very easy to get lost amongst all that and make the wrong choice.
That being said, here are some of the things that you must look out for in silent cases:
- Silent targeted options: Some cases offer different variants. For example, there is the Eclipse P400 and the P400S. You want the S variant. Careful with that.
- Modularity: Can you remove fan covers? Drive slots/bays? Etc.
- Airflow: Silent cases are known for sacrificing a bit of cooling in exchange for low noise-levels. Be careful not to sacrifice too much, though.
- Upgradeability: Lots of components can only fit under a limited height or width. GPUs, CPU coolers, and radiators are the ones that you commonly need to look out for.
- Size: An ATX motherboard isn’t going to fit a Mini-ITX case. All of our options are ATX-sized, though.
- Cable management: It’s a bigger deal than you may think. Bad cable management doesn’t just look ugly, but it can also affect the airflow.
- Padded covers: All silent cases should include noise dampening materials. But, do keep an eye out for that; just to be safe.
Other than that, there are also a few other standard things to look out for that apply to all cases. Things like fan headers, fan slots, drive slots, etc.
When everything is said and done, there is no perfect silent case for everyone. It’s all a matter of personal preference and needs.
If you want the absolute best that you can get and money isn’t an issue, the Fractal Design Define R5 is your best bet.
If you’re on a budget and don’t mind sacrificing a bit of cooling and upgradeability to save money, the Corsair 100R Silent Edition is a solid choice.
Last, but not least, there is the Phanteks Eclipse P400S which stands in the middle. A good value for those who want a little bit of both worlds.