Nanoxia Deep Silence 2 Case Review
When looking at the Deep Silence 2 you can't help but compare it with the more expensive DS1 model. Remembering of course that this case is not intended to replace it, but rather to offer some of the same qualities at a lower price point. For those of you that haven't read through the whole review we shall re-cap on what these changes are, reflecting on their impact and leaving you guys to decide on whether or not the changes matter to you.
It's doubtful that the change in the DS2s overall dimensions will give aesthetic cause for concern, although they do have an impact on the internal layout and ultimate flexibility, The DS2s additional depth for example enables the accommodation of the larger E-ATX motherboards. The DS2 is also squatter which might go some way in helping us understand why the roof rad is no longer an option. If you want to get wet however all is not lost, as the DS2 offers native 240 and 280 rad support in the front of the case thanks to a handy dandy bracket that secures the rads on the motherboard side of the HDD rack. While on the subject of HDD racks, unlike the DS1 the DS2 does away with the option of flexible HDD rack configuration, leaving you with a single solid 7 bay rack that can only be removed with a hand-drill and a degree of determination. If the thought of custom water makes your bottom twitch like a bunnies nose then you'll be delighted to know that the DS2 should be able to accept a great many of the 120 and 240 rad AIO systems out there. We say should as you'll need to check the distance from your CPU to the rad isn't greater than the tubing on your AIO, We tested with the recently reviewed Cooler Master Seidon and Corsair AIOs finding that their 30cm of tubing reached...but only just. If you're thinking of buying this case and keeping with air cooling then like the DS1 it comes resplendent with 3 of Nanoxias trademark acid green fans. Want to get to your front fans in a hurry to clean the filters? then the DS1 is the case de jour with it's opening lower door and tool-less fan access. If you're not that fussed about rapid fan filter access then the DS2 is the better option. The 1300rpm fans themselves are quiet units even at full tatt and can can be slowed and quietened still further by the either of the 2 built in 3 channel fan controllers. The last real difference between the two cases are the changes made to the roof of the case. The front I/O panel is now a more traditional affair at the leading edge of the roof, with the pop up fan vent in the rear of the roof now being replaced by removable sound dampened blanks.
By now you should have a good idea of the variances between the two cases, so with that out of the way lets focus in on the DS2 in it's own right. Starting as we often do by looking at build quality it's fair to say the DS2 is tank like. Nanoxia have used 0.7mm steel for the panels and have covered everything but the rear of the case in sound and vibration dampening material. The one criticism we do have is that both the side panels were ridiculously hard to remove, so much so that we were almost convinced they'd been closed while the sleek black coating was still wet and had dried in place. Rest assured they weren't, as Getting them back on was an equal struggle, not because of a poor fit, everything lined up nicely, just because they're so damn tight. On the plus side, with the fit being so tight you're not going to have to worry about them rattling are you!!!
Building into the DS2 was a pleasure in no small part down to the copious and well spaced grommeted management holes. It would have been easy for Nanoxia to lose the inner set of vertical holes that run down the inside of the mobo requiring the builder to use just the outers provided for the E-ATX form factor but Nanoxia chose not to, factor in that they have also coloured or braided all their cables black in a case that has no window so they won't be seen and you begin to get an idea of Nanoxias obsessive attention to detail. Round the back of the Mobo we were a little worried that the 19mm or so of space would be limiting, especially with the further reduction of 5mm as a result of the padding on the door. As it happens all went swimmingly needing only 4 cable ties to route our cables tidily, and a tidy cable job means the case side goes on without bulges.
Designed as a "silent" case the Nanoxia Deep silence 2 doesn't disappoint. A faint whisper can be heard from the case with the fans at their max settings but this all but disappears when they are stepped down. Overall ventilation is good, and can be improved with the addition of extra fans but remember the more of the sound dampening padding that is removed the less silent the case will be. Personally we feel that if you want balls out tip top ventilation and airflow, then buy a high airflow gaming case. If you want a silent case, buy a silent case and don't make holes in it.
While the market is not quite so awash with Silent cases as it is with gaming cases the Deep Silence 2 is not without significant competition. Both the Fractal design Define R4, the Silencio 650 and for that matter Nanoxia's own DS1 offer much of what the DS2 is able to, albeit at a higher price point, and it is really this higher price point that separates the DS2 from the others.
It looks very much like Nanoxia have looked that the DS1 with a view to making a less expensive model. Their design spec appears to have been to remove any frippery whist at the same time keeping core functionality and quality. Have they succeeded? We think they have. Now all we need is a windowed version to show off all that lovely interior.