Button it up and let it run…
I used this case as a HTPC base in my bedroom. My wife’s hearing is *super sensitive*. I did this to see if the fans, hard drive, and optical drive were insulated well enough and that the case did not produce unexpected noise. The size of it made it impossible to add below my existing TV stand, so it was put to work on the carpeted floor next to the stand. To keep the visual distractions to a minimum, I disconnected the POWER LED and used the hard drive LED and fan noise as a notifier that the computer was on.
I installed a FM1 motherboard utilizing an AMD A8 processor, and the on die video, and factory issueheatsink. (*note* – I know the pics don’t show the same motherboard. The one in the pictures was used while I searched out my FM1 based solution, and I did not have it at the time of picture capture. Apologies for any confusion. ) The fans all kept the air circulating efficiently through the case, and while I was able to adjust the back plate fan controller knob, I honestly don’t remember a major difference in their noise profile. The fans had a bit of a “Wooosh” sound to them. Not sure how much of that is the fan, and how much is the air pulling through the case holes, or the fan blades near the case air holes. It was not a significant detractor, but was still noticeable. For those of you wanting utter silence, this is not it. But it is quiet. :)
The drive bays for the hard drives all have rubber insulation grommets (as well as enough custom screws for full drive bay population) that help to isolate the hard drive vibrations. The same cannot be said for the 5.25 bay area… and with the optical drive resting against the aluminum plate front door, as well as having the ability for the entire 5.25 bay area to forward/back adjustment to properly adjust the front clearance of the optical drive. My front plate for my optical drive did not match up with the Gigas. Looked like it had been flexed or pushed on. It was a color match, but not a shape match. When the DVD spun up, the drive cage or drive door would sometimes rattle.
Noise profile on the case was small, due to the 1000RPM fans, the top panel had some foam acoustic tape on the ends of it to help it seal onto the case when the top was attached and closed. The foam acted as an insulator and ket the top from rattling against metal on metal joints. Nicely played! And it works!
The brushed aluminum is elegant and simple, and all throughout the build. It works really well to create a look and feel of quality. It’s not flimsy aluminum either. it is sturdy, and reinforced as needed in places.
All in all…. the case works well, doesn’t take up a lot of space, and offers a TON of expansion options!