Introducing the Nanoxia Deep Silence 1

When I reviewed the BitFenix Ghost, some of you requested we take a look at the Nanoxia Deep Silence 1. Nanoxia isn't selling on American shores yet, but there's been a lot of buzz going around about this case, and Nanoxia has been steadily making inroads towards getting it into our hands. If you couldn't tell from the name, the Deep Silence 1 is designed for quiet, efficient running, and in many ways it looks like exactly the case I requested at the end of my review of the Ghost: same principles, just bigger and better.

As it turns out, Nanoxia wanted us to look at the Deep Silence 1 as well. I was initially reluctant as you can't actually buy it in the States yet, but hopefully this review will help change that. While the Deep Silence 1 isn't the grand slam some people make it out to be, it is very close, and demonstrates a real evolution in the way silent cases are designed. So what did this small German firm do with the Deep Silence 1 that makes it so different from other silent cases? A few things, as it turns out.

In my experience, cases engineered for silent running can oftentimes be chasing the wrong vectors. They're seldom bad cases, but acoustic padding can't make up for efficient airflow, and having to close off ventilation can actually cause more problems than it solves. It's entirely possible to produce a silent, well-ventilated case, but getting the design right means dodging a veritable minefield of decisions that will threaten to undermine your intended goal.

The result, thus far, has been that while cases like the BitFenix Ghost and Corsair Obsidian 550D aren't necessarily bad, with our testbed they've had to expend more effort on trying to smother the noise generated by high fan speeds rather than keeping the components cooler in the first place. Users interested in building a system designed to run quietly will have less trouble (they'll be more apt to use quieter-running parts), but the underlying issue persists, so the question is...was Nanoxia able to do the unthinkable and balance the equation?

Nanoxia Deep Silence 1 Specifications
Motherboard Form Factor Mini-ITX, Micro-ATX, ATX, XL-ATX
Drive Bays External 3x 5.25" (plus included 5.25"-to-3.5" adapter plate)
Internal 8x 2.5"/3.5"
Cooling Front 2x 120mm intake fan
Rear 1x 140mm exhaust fan (compatible with 120mm)
Top 2x 120mm/140mm fan mount
Side 1x 120mm/140mm fan mount
Bottom 1x 120mm/140mm fan mount
Expansion Slots 8
I/O Port 2x USB 3.0, 2x USB 2.0, 1x Headphone, 1x Mic
Power Supply Size ATX
Clearances HSF 185mm
PSU 200mm
GPU 12.4" / 315mm
Dimensions 20.35" x 8.66" x 20.94"
517mm x 220mm x 532mm
Weight 25 lbs / 11.34 kg
Special Features Removable fan filters
USB 3.0 via internal header
Analog dual-channel fan controller (three fans per channel)
Toggleable "chimney"
Removable drive cages
Acoustic padding on the doors and side panels
Price 109 EUR; expected US MSRP between $109-$129

Even just unboxing it, what struck me the most about the Deep Silence 1 is how heavy it is, and that was my first clue that it might be a bit better at its job than some of the other silent cases I've tested. It's appreciably heavier than both the BitFenix Ghost and the Corsair Obsidian 550D due to the use of both the acoustic padding and, frankly, a heavy steel frame. This is not a cheaply built case, and the thicker materials used in its construction should go a long way towards containing noise.

In and Around the Nanoxia Deep Silence 1
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  • abhicherath - Wednesday, November 28, 2012 - link

    instead of:(similar to what BitFenix enjoys)
    I think you mean, bitfenix employs.

    Great review!
  • stren - Wednesday, November 28, 2012 - link

    Any interest in anandtech reviewing a CaseLabs case? I know real water cooling is a bit too "enthusiast" for this site, but still might be a nice to compare an SM8 with the Corsair 900D when/if it launches. Although I'm planning to do that myself anyway, it would be nice to see the professional/mainstream view also.
  • LV3 - Wednesday, November 28, 2012 - link

    I want this case! Hope it comes to the US soon, at least before Haswell.
  • LarryDan - Friday, November 30, 2012 - link

    Dustin: thanks for the "requested" review! It was very insightful and objective, and helped with my decision. I'll be buying one as soon as it becomes available at NewEgg; and BTW, I prefer the Anthracite version also.

    NewEgg just replied to my e-mail inquiry as to when it will be available on their Web site, and their response was "hopefully by Jan. 2013".
  • batguiide - Sunday, December 9, 2012 - link

    a website with you ,
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    Believe you will love it.
    laptop battery,CPU fan,AC power adapters.DC power adapters and laptop keyboard.
    I bought two. Cheap, good quality, you can
    go and ship with there.
  • jjwa - Wednesday, December 12, 2012 - link

    How much air intake is left from the front if I would put a 3.5" HDD in each HDD slide (and I would probably install 4 in the 3x5.25" bays too :P). From the pictures in the review I don't really have an idea how much space would be left around the HDDs. Thanks!
  • amber03 - Wednesday, December 12, 2012 - link

    After reading this review I built a home office/home server using 2012 essentials in this case. My boot drive is a samsung 840 and I have put in 6 x WD red 3 TB drives. Air flow seems fine and I am running it at low setting. Case is extremely quiet and cool.
    I used i3770s for cpu and there is no gpu installed.
  • vanwazltoff - Thursday, December 20, 2012 - link

    at the end of the day its still what you like the most and what you get for the dollar. i REALLY like fractal cases and the fact that they are coming out with new cases and revisions and constantly make their products better is a very admirable quality. i have a define r3 an i love it, getting a node 304 for xmas. i would also buy a bitfenix ghost, if i had to choose between this case, a ghost or a define r4 id probably get the r4, the second choice would be the ghost
  • DenniSys1 - Thursday, December 27, 2012 - link

    Should be able to crowd source a silent PC system. It may not look like your PC. It should be 99% silent, and very cheap. There's nothing that dictates that sound baffling has to be dense and heavy. Airflow, aka cooling, does not need to be generated by noisy fan blades or even push air.

    There are lots of different materials to use for a case, and it does not need to be rectangular inside or out. Sound travels, so lets move it somewhere. Sound vibration that is put to work can be transformed into a melody, even a symphony, or it can be effortlessly extinguished.

    Overall, a silent PC system should have been defacto 10 years ago. It is an engineering problem that does not require traveling faster than light. Throw a lamp shade over your PC for a second. It's already quieter.
  • qiankun - Tuesday, March 26, 2013 - link

    One question: why does nowadays drive cages all facing side way, other than that it provides easier wire routing?

    For someone with a lot of drives (8 in my case), the side way cages will totally block the front two intakes. Maybe I shall stick with my P180 where drives are very well cooled by the front fans.

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