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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  • Grok42 - Thursday, November 29, 2012 - link

    What are you thoughts on the Nanoxia's door? I like the split door compromise.

    I personally have moved from loving doors for providing a clean look to wanting cases with no external bays and no door for the same clean look. However, given the size of the Nanoxia I can't fault it for some external bays as cases of typical size typically have 5 or more bays. If you scaled up most mid-ATX cases up to the Nanoxia's size they would have 20 5.25" bays.
  • johnsonjohnson - Tuesday, November 27, 2012 - link

    Looks like the Define R4's twin. If only they could merger into one..
  • johnsonjohnson - Tuesday, November 27, 2012 - link

    ..which they did to become the DS2. I'm sure Dustin will be looking at that one too. I wonder how it would fare against its future twin (R5) though.
  • vhx - Tuesday, November 27, 2012 - link

    Looks more like an Antec P280 to me.
  • martyrant - Tuesday, November 27, 2012 - link

    First off, well written and informative review Dustin.

    Second, sans the things you already mentioned (that were of course quite minor) the only major flaw I see that was not mentioned is the lack of a SD/card reader. They're already eating up the top 5.25" bay with the fan controller/reset button, there's obviously room to put at the very least a SD card reader there, which would mean most likely people would not need the 5.25" to 3.5" adapter.

    Thanks for this review, I hadn't heard of this case before and would very much like it to come to the States in time for Haswell!
  • FragKrag - Tuesday, November 27, 2012 - link

    Doesn't really seem like that big of a flaw to me... I don't know any cases off the top of my head that come with an SD card reader
  • martyrant - Tuesday, November 27, 2012 - link

    NZXT has one I believe, and if you already have almost everything perfect, there's no reason to not attempt pure perfection.
  • Death666Angel - Tuesday, November 27, 2012 - link

    It would for some people. :D
    I personally don't need a card reader and don't want one either. All my stuff is handled by a USB cable to the necessary device (camera, phone, tablet...). If this had a reader, it would take away from the clean look and give me something ugly that's never getting used.
  • martyrant - Tuesday, November 27, 2012 - link

    Are your eyes not working? Ignorant? Not read the article or look at the case at all?

    The card reader would be behind the top front door...and would not effect aesthetics at all.
  • Death666Angel - Wednesday, November 28, 2012 - link

    Wow, you clearly have no issues with criticism.
    It would not destroy the aesthetics, except when I use anything that is behind the top front door....

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