by Rory Buszka on October 4, 2007 in Cases & PSUs
If you’re not into silent PCs, then the AcoustiCase 340 probably isn’t for you. If that comment piques your interest, read on and find out why this case is a good choice for those who have the goal of reducing the noise output of their PC. We put it to the test, both thermally and sonically.
AcoustiProducts is a UK-based company that offers a wide variety of products with a single focus: reducing the level of noise produced by your PC. Noise is an important ergonomic component of the PC user experience â€“ high levels of noise have been shown in studies to cause impaired concentration and increased amounts of stress while working at the PC, and a constant source of background noise can interfere with getting restful sleep. AcoustiProductsâ€™ offerings allow you to retrofit your PC with quiet-operating cooling solutions.
Among the items sold by AcoustiProducts are â€œAcoustiFan” quiet case fans, â€œAcoustiPack” acoustic damping materials, rubber case fan mounting grommets, and â€œAcoustiFeet” highly-compliant (â€œsquishy”) adhesive feet for decoupling the PC from the desk. AcoustiProducts also offers â€œAcoustiCase” PC cases with the compliant feet and acoustic damping materials pre-installed, though the AcoustiFan case fan is sold separately. In the United States, one of the most notable distributors of AcoustiProducts items is QuietPC USA.
At QuietPCâ€™s request, weâ€™re having a look at the AcoustiCase model 340, which is a rather generic-looking mid-tower case thatâ€™s outfitted with several other AcoustiProducts items, including AcoustiPack foam damping materials throughout and AcoustiFeet decoupling feet underneath. QuietPC USA also supplied an AcoustiFan â€œDustproof” 120mm case fan (not included), as well as a set of â€œUltra-Soft” elastomer studs for mounting the fan to the case.
We like to think weâ€™ve got a fairly stringent standard of what â€˜silenceâ€™ in a PC means â€“ it needs to disappear beneath the noise floor of a quiet room, which usually means <25dB total noise output. One thing weâ€™ve learned after evaluating many supposedly â€œsilent” products is that there are lots of pretenders out there â€“ manufacturers who unscrupulously brand products as â€˜silentâ€™ when they can only reasonably classified as â€˜quietâ€™ â€“ not â€˜noisyâ€™, but still audible. However, AcoustiProductâ€™s specialist niche likely counts in their favor, since silence is what they do. Does the AcoustiCase 340 make it appreciably easier to build a silent PC? Weâ€™ll also see how it performs both thermally and acoustically with the supplied AcoustiFan 120mm case fan.