The idea of having a quiet PC isn’t anything new. If you’re like us, you can’t stand the excessive noise and humming of fans and hard drives.
It is one of the things that gets overlooked oftentimes when building a PC but is something that should always be considered. There’s a certain peace that having a whisper-quiet computer brings.
Our guide today walks you through the best quiet PC cases, how to choose your hardware to further help lessen noise, and what to look for in general when choosing the quietest parts on the market. As well as some other ideas that might pique your interest.
|Fractal Design Define 7|
Best Budget Case
|Phanteks Eclipse P400S Tempered Glassa|
|be Quiet! Pure Base 600|
Best Full-Tower Case
|Fractal Design Define XL R2|
Best Quiet Micro
|Fractal Design Define Mini C|
Best Mini-ITX Case
|Fractal Design Define Nano S|
- How Do Quiet PC Cases Differ From Regular Ones?
- Reviews of the 6 Top Silent Computer Cases
- 1. Fractal Design Define 7 – Best Overall (and Best Mid-Tower)
- 2. Phanteks Eclipse P400S Tempered Glass – Best Budget Case
- 3. be Quiet! Pure Base 600 – Best Aesthetics
- 4. Fractal Design Define XL R2 – Best Full-Tower Case
- 5. Fractal Design Define Mini C – Best Quiet Micro-ATX PC Case
- 6. Fractal Design Define Nano S – Best Mini-ITX Case
- What to Look for in a PC Case
- Tips on a Quiet PC Build
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How Do Quiet PC Cases Differ From Regular Ones?
Cases with quiet operation in mind generally differ from those with airflow as a priority in a few ways. A quiet PC case will almost always have its panels lined in a noise-deadening material to limit any sounds that can escape.
These panels, and the case in general, may also be made of thicker material to further aid noise deadening.
Front panel air intakes will generally have smaller air passageways, instead of a mesh, to prevent fan noise from being audible. Some designs go as far as to purposely restrict airflow to further lower noise in some cases, at the expense of better airflow.
Hard drive bays will have vibration reduction measures. Fan mounts will sometimes come with rubber grommets to reduce vibration.
Reviews of the 6 Top Silent Computer Cases
Below are the top quiet case in 6 different sections. We decided to cater to a number of different sections because not everyone wants the same type of desktop.
Some of you guys will want the nicest-looking case, whereas someone else may focus more on the quietest PC build possible. We hope that just about everyone will find exactly what they need below.
1. Fractal Design Define 7 – Best Overall (and Best Mid-Tower)
Fractal Design Define 7 Specifications Dimensions 547 x 240 x 475 mm (L x W x H)
Motherboard compatibility m-ITX, m-ATX, ATX, E-ATX* (*Only up to 285mm)
USB Ports 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C, 2 x USB 3.0, 2 x USB 2.0
Total fan mounts 9
Water cooling ready Yes
Our overall best quiet PC case winner is the Define 7, Fractal Design’s latest iteration of the well renowned Define series. As the successor to the critically acclaimed Define R6, it certainly is a worthy upgrade over its predecessor.
Featuring a highly customizable chassis, there are multiple parts you can customize and change to fit your needs.
Choose between two different internal layouts to suit your needs. An open layout, best suited for custom water cooling builds; or a storage layout, if you have many drives. If you are undecided on which layout to go for, here is a report on my opinion on whether I think liquid cooling is worth it or not.
Convert your unused fan slots to HDD, SSD, or Pump mounts with a versatile Multibracket. Drive vibration is a non-issue with dampened HDD trays.
The side panels are made out of metal, and all case panels are industrial sound-dampened, for superior noise control, the top panel is customizable for either airflow or noise deadening.
Swap out the solid steel panel for more airflow-friendly ventilation. With Nylon filters at the top, front, and bottom of the PC case, dust will never be a problem.
With up to 9 140mm fan slots (with 3 x 140mm Dynamic X2 GP-14 fans included), support for up to 420mm top, 360mm front, 280mm bottom, and/or 120mm rear radiators, and support for air coolers up to 185mm high, cooling options are endless.
Control your fans via the built-in Nexus +2 hub. Tidy your cables with built-in cable management guides and velcro straps. And last, but not least, a front panel complete with a USB 3.1 gen 2 Type-C connector, as well as 2x USB 3.0, and 2x USB 2.0 connectors.
Support for Motherboards up to ATX sizing, and some E-ATX motherboards up to 285mm wide, and for graphics cards up to 315mm long (in storage layout), or up to 467mm in the open layout. Build possibilities are practically endless.
Fractal really hits it out of the park with this case, and they offer something that few others do. With massive customization, premium build quality, polished and industrial aesthetics, and excellent acoustic performance, this is one of the best silent PC cases on the market.
2. Phanteks Eclipse P400S Tempered Glass – Best Budget Case
Phanteks Eclipse P400S Tempered Glass Specifications Dimensions 210 x 465 x 470mm (W x H x D)
Motherboard compatibility m-ITX, m-ATX, ATX
USB Ports 2 x USB 3.0
Total fan mounts 6
Water cooling ready No
You don’t always need to spend big bucks to get good noise isolation. Phanteks’ Eclipse P400S proves that, coming in as our best quiet PC case on a budget.
Jumping straight in, the P400S features a full metal body, with coated front and back panels with soundproofing material to deaden noise, as well as optional noise-deadened top covers should you really want that silence.
Removable dust filters are always a plus, and this case has them front and bottom.
Aesthetics aren’t lacking either. A tempered glass side panel, PSU shroud, RGB LED strip, RGB Power light, and 10-color ambient lighting are all included to spice things up and complement any color scheme. ASUS Aura Sync, MSI Mystic Light, and Gigabyte RGB Fusion compatible.
The front panel is rather minimalistic, featuring only 2x USB 3.0 ports, a mic, and a headphone jack. The reset button, and 2 buttons for controlling the (optional, sold separately) fan-hub, and lighting respectively, are tucked underneath the top below their respective icons.
Hard drive bays are towards the front of the case, have rubber dampers for vibration control, and slide in and out easily for hassle-free installations. There are also 2 dedicated SSD holders at the back of the case.
Cooling for this case comes in the form of either 3 x 120mm or 2 x 140mm fans in the front (1x 120mm included). 2 x 120mm or 140mm at the top. And 1 x 120mm at the rear (1x 120mm included).
Support for up to a 360mm radiator in the front and a 120mm in the back should be adequate for most AIOs.
160mm air cooler clearance gives you room for all but the biggest tower coolers. Graphics cards up to 395mm will fit, ensuring any modern GPU will have no problems residing in this case.
With room for everything up to ATX boards, and partial support for E-ATX boards up to 272mm wide, most users’ needs will be met.
3. be Quiet! Pure Base 600 – Best Aesthetics
Pure Base 600 Specifications Dimensions 492 x 220 x 470mm (L x W x H)
Motherboard compatibility m-ITX, m-ATX, ATX
USB Ports 2x USB 3.2 Gen 1
Total fan mounts 7
Water cooling ready Yes
From Germany, we have be Quiet! and their wonderful Pure Base 600 as our Best Aesthetics winner today. be Quiet! as a company focuses on producing products that specifically emphasize low noise, sturdy construction, and high-quality components, and the Pure Base 600 is no exception.
Looks are sleek, understated, and elegant. This desktop case takes a break from the RGB lighting craze of today’s mainstream market and goes back to the roots of what a case should be.
Functionally beautiful, the Pure Base 600 comes in a simple black-on-black color scheme, or with orange accents should you want something a bit different.
All panels (aside from the window) are noise dampened with high-quality soundproof acoustic foam. An adjustable/removable top cover is also included to regulate noise further, with the option to leave it fully closed, partially open, or fully open, for varying levels of airflow. Removable dust filters capture any unwanted dirt getting into the case.
With a total of 7 fan mounts (2 x Pure Wings, 120mm and 140mm respectively, and a built-in fan controller that supports up to 3 fans included), support for 360mm radiators front and top, or 120mm rear, this small case has no problem fitting any water cooling or AIO setup.
Support for 165mm tall air coolers is a plus should you want to go with a more silent route.
Motherboards up to ATX size can be accommodated. Graphics cards up to 425mm can fit, thanks to an easily removable ODD cage, and repositionable HDD mounting cages, that come with anti-vibration dampening.
The front panel keeps it simple with 2 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 connectors, the usual audio jacks, and a power and reset button, with an additional button to control the included fan controller’s speed.
This is the best silent PC case that money can buy if good looks are an important aspect for you.
4. Fractal Design Define XL R2 – Best Full-Tower Case
Fractal Design Define XL R2 Specifications Dimensions 232 x 559 x 560 mm (W x H x D)
Motherboard compatibility m-ITX, m-ATX, ATX, E-ATX, XL-ATX
USB Ports 2x USB 3.0, 2x USB 2.0
Total fan mounts 7
Water cooling ready Yes
For those of you who want a big case to fit larger motherboards, more hard drives, and more elaborate custom water cooling, you might want to consider a Full-Tower case. Our Best Full-Tower is the proven Fractal Design Define XL R2.
This computer case has been on the market for longer than any of our other picks but has withstood the test of time. Few Full-Tower PC cases offer acoustics as silent as the Define XL R2.
Steel panels, with sound dampening all around, and sound-optimized airflow make sure of this. A removable ModuVent™ on top further deadens sound, should you choose to leave it installed.
The front of the case is a door that swings open to reveal 4 x 5.25” drive bays, with removable vented covers, a tool-less removable fan holder that supports either 2 120mm, or 2 140mm fans, and a fan controller switch for the built-in fan hub.
The front panel has plenty of connectivity as well, with 2 x USB 3.0, and 2 x USB 2.0 ports, along with the usual audio jacks and power/reset buttons.
Inside the case, you have 2 HDD cages, with 4x 3.5” bays each. The top of which is removable for better airflow and the bottom one can be moved further into the case to fit a 240mm radiator.
There’s also room for a top-mounted 240mm or 280mm radiator (once the removable Moduvent is taken off), and up to a 140mm radiator in the rear. As well as 7 total fan mounts.
Support for all motherboards up to XL-ATX, Graphics cards up to 330mm with the top HDD cage in place, or up to 480mm with it removed, and Air Coolers up to 170mm in height, there is no lack of options for hardware.
5. Fractal Design Define Mini C – Best Quiet Micro-ATX PC Case
Fractal Design Define Mini C Specifications Dimensions 210 x 399 x 399 mm (W x H x D)
Motherboard compatibility m-ITX, m-ATX,
USB Ports 2x USB 3.0,
Total fan mounts 6
Water cooling ready No
Should you want a smaller option compared to a Mid-Tower, micro-ATX cases provide performance without taking up as much space. Our pick for the best micro-ATX case is the Define Mini C from Fractal Design.
Compact performance at a reasonable price, the Mini C features all of the premium sound-dampening measures that its big brothers have, including industrial-grade sound dampening material at the front, and side panels. And a ModuVent™ removable top cover.
Helpful features include a PSU shroud that also tucks the HDD bays away, improving airflow, removable and washable nylon filters that are easy to clean, and dedicated SSD mounts behind the motherboard tray. Velcro straps are included behind the tray to help tidy up cable management.
Despite its smaller size, cooling options are still very adequate. Inside, you’ll find room for up to 3x 120mm fans at the front, 2 x 140mm fans at the top, 1 x 120mm bottom, and 1 x 120mm fan at the rear, with 2x 120mm Fractal Design Dynamic X2 GP12 pre-installed.
Radiator support is good as well, with space for up to 280mm (max-width of 144mm) at the front, a 240mm up top (with a max allowed 40mm total thickness including fans), and a 120mm rear (max-width of 125mm).
THE maximum CPU cooler height is at 170mm, so you can fit all but the largest air-coolers. THE maximum GPU length is 315mm, so be sure you’re not trying to fit a behemoth 3-fan GPU in this case.
6. Fractal Design Define Nano S – Best Mini-ITX Case
Fractal Design Define Mini C Specifications Dimensions 203 x 330 x 400 mm (W x H x D)
Motherboard compatibility m-ITX
USB Ports 2x USB 3.0,
Total fan mounts 6
Water cooling ready Yes
If you’re constantly moving your PC around with you, are space-constrained, or just want the smallest desktop PC possible, the mini-ITX form-factor has you covered.
Building in a fully bespoke mini-ITX can be a pain with compatibility, and that’s why The Fractal Design Define Nano S gets our nod for Best mini-ITX choice.
Its stellar acoustic performance, quality design, and compatibility with full-size parts give you a compact case that is easier to build in.
As with the other Fractal PC cases on our list, this one’s no exception with its silence. Industrial-grade sound dampening material at the front, and side panels, noise-optimized airflow, and a ModuVent™ removable top cover, and removable and washable nylon dust filters front and bottom are par for the course.
The Define Nano S maybe a mini tower, but cooling options certainly aren’t. 6 fan mounts in total, with up to 2x 140mm fans in the front and up top, 1x 120mm rear, and 1x 120mm bottom, airflow is plenty.
Radiator support is there too, with up to 280mm (max-width 147 mm, max overall length 312 mm) being supported in the front, and a thin 240mm up top should cover your water cooling needs.
Should you want to go the air cooling route, support for up to 162 mm tall coolers gives you an adequate range of options.
GPUs with a maximum length of 315 mm are supported, but be careful on width as cards wider than the dual-slot bracket may run into compatibility issues.
What to Look for in a PC Case
Before you go headfirst into purchasing a new PC case, you should take a step back and ask yourself “what do I really need in a case?” You’ll thank yourself later.
Buying the wrong case for the job could end in disappointment, or even worse, your components not fitting properly. Below, we’ll walk you through some fundamentals in choosing what’s right for your application
The Right Size for You
When choosing a case, you have to figure out how big (or small), you want it to be. Size isn’t everything, but you should generally figure out which form factor you want to go with before choosing your respective parts.
Full Tower cases are the biggest of the bunch, and can generally hold any hardware you can fit in them. They are tall, wide, and long, and take up a fair amount of space.
With this size comes support for multiple drive bays, the biggest air coolers, the largest AIOs, and multi-radiator custom loops.
They can fit bigger, E-ATX motherboards, with some even offering enough space for multi-CPU boards, and multi-GPU configurations. We’d recommend a Full Tower for very high-end builds.
Mid Tower PC cases are the most popular on the market right now, with a large variety of options to fit your aesthetic and performance needs. They can fit full-size ATX motherboards, most lengthy graphics cards, have impressive storage options, and quality options have support for most AIOs and Air coolers.
They are the best fit for most users as most hardware will fit with no issues, and they are generally more affordable.
Micro-ATX, or m-ATX cases, are the next size down, and are perfect if you’re space constrained, or want a smaller computer. They are built specifically for compatibility with m-ATX or m-ITX motherboards, so keep this in mind if you decide to go this route.
Storage slots, cooler height, AIO support, and graphics card length may be limited, depending on which case you choose.
Finally, we have Mini-ITX or m-ITX cases. They are the smallest of our choices, only support m-ITX boards, and can be the most difficult to build in.
They are popular for HTPC or media-center builds, or for those who move around a lot and like to take their PC with them. While making excellent compact builds, they do come with their limitations.
Hardware support is limited, with the smallest of cases not even supporting full-size coolers, AIOs, graphics cards, or power supplies.
Stray cables can hinder airflow, and don’t do much for looks either, so it’s best to keep them tidy and neat. Most cases have cable management routing behind the motherboard tray, but some cheaper casing don’t, so it’s something to look out for.
More premium quality cases have specific channeling and adequate room for cables, and velcro straps to aid in keeping things clean. Opting for a semi-modular, or fully modular Power Supply can also greatly help since you can choose which cables are needed, and which ones can be left unplugged.
Making sure you have enough room for your storage is important. Cases should have their drive bays listed on their spec sheet, and you want to pay attention to this. Something else to look for is tool-less drive bays.
They make installing or changing drives much easier, and most cases nowadays have this feature.
Front panel connectivity shouldn’t be overlooked either. Reaching around to the back of the PC can be difficult, depending on orientation, and having a good front panel I/O makes life easier.
Make sure the case of your choosing has enough USB ports to cover your needs and to make sure you get at least some of those in USB 3 flavor since some cheaper computer cases don’t come with USB 3.
Newer cases come with USB Type-C ports, so if you’re looking for USB Type-C connectivity, it’s best to get a case that comes with one.
Figure Out What Components You Want to Use
Sometimes it’s easier to choose your components first, and pick a PC case that fits your needs afterward, instead of choosing your components around a case.
Things like motherboard form factor, graphics card length and size, AIO or air cooler size and length, and the number of drives can all play a factor in what case may be the best fit for you.
Cooling is Crucial
Making sure your components are cooled sufficiently is imperative. Airflow should be prioritized in situations with small cases and high-end, power-hungry hardware.
Cases with mesh fronts can help ease this situation but can sacrifice silence, while cases with tempered glass or restrictive fronts may require more case fans due to limited airflow. Cooler compatibility is also an important consideration.
Smaller Cases are Harder to Build in
Some Mini-ITX cases can be hard to build in due to size constraints. Beginners just starting out may not be aware of all the compatibility issues, and even experienced builders can stumble when trying to fit components into such small and tight mini-ITX chassis.
Compact builds can be great, but just remember that it may take more time, research, and patience to complete than a regular-sized build.
Choose Something That Catches Your Eye
Unless you don’t care about looks, want function over form, or are going to be hiding it out of sight, chances are you’re going to be spending a lot of time seeing your case.
Take the time to find something that you’d enjoy looking at, all day, every day. Whether that be an RGB equipped, tempered glass case, or a simplistic and sleek black metal case, make sure it appeals to you.
Tips on a Quiet PC Build
Below are a handful of tips to help you build a quiet PC.
Water Cooling Isn’t Always Better, and GPUs
AIOs may be attractive, and the best ones on the market undoubtedly provide better performance than their air-cooled counterparts. But sometimes water cooling isn’t the best choice for a silent build.
It can be noisy, as noise from the pump is non-stop, and fans ramping under load can contribute even further to this.
If silence is your priority, you may want to consider a big air cooler instead. The best options, like the Scythe Fuma 2, be Quiet Dark Rock Pro 4, and Noctua NH-D15, come very close to AIO performance, but with the added benefit of whisper silence.
Another consideration is your choice of GPU and it’s cooler. Some models are louder than others, and some heat sink designs perform worse than others.
Ideally, your choice would be a 3-fan model with a well-designed heat sink for near-silent operation even under load. ASUS’s STRIX, EVGA’s FTW3, Gigabyte’s Windforce 3x, Sapphire’s Nitro+, and MSI’s Gaming X Trio cards are all good examples.
Most modern GPUs also have a 0-fan feature that stops fans from spinning while not under heavy load, further reducing noise output.
Airflow Doesn’t Always Have to be Compromised
Having a quiet PC doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice airflow for better acoustic performance. While cases designed with silence in mind won’t be on par with traditional cases, you can get close.
There are cases on the market that are designed to have good airflow while still being silent or have flexible options for varying amounts of silence and airflow. Fractal Design’s Define series is a good example.
PSUs and HDDs
When building a silent PC, don’t overlook your Power Supply. Choosing too low of a wattage for your system can lead to excess strain and heat, causing the fan to spin up.
Another consideration is efficiency (80+ rating), the higher the efficiency, the less power that winds up getting wasted and turned into heat during voltage conversion.
This leads to lower overall temps and the fan spinning up less, or not at all. Some PSUs also have a hybrid fan mode that lets the fan shut off during lower loads.
We’d generally recommend at least an 80+ Gold rated unit that is rated around 40% more than your total system power draw. Some good examples are Corsair’s RMx, be Quiet!’s Straight Power 11, or Seasonic’s PRIME and Snow Silent series.
Hard drives are yet another source of noise, and even the quietest models can be audible once they start spinning. Consider going with a full SSD storage setup, for extra silence.
Fans can make, or break, a silent build. When choosing fans, you want to take dB rating at speed, size, fan blade design, noise dampening, and bearing type into consideration.
140mm fans are generally quieter than 120mm fans for the reason that they don’t have to spin as fast to achieve the same airflow.
Decibel rating (dB) at a given RPM will also give you a good idea of how well a fan can flow air while still remaining silent. The choice of bearing is also crucial. The best silent fans on the market use Fluid-Dynamic bearings for reduced noise.
Furthermore, silent fans have blade designs intended to reduce turbulence at speed and include anti-vibration mounting, and unique frame designs to further dampen or reduce excess sound. PWM support is important as well for precise speed control.
The best examples of noise-optimized fans on the market are Noctua’s NF series, be Quiet!’s Silent Wings series, and Arctic’s F and P series PWM fans. These do a great job in keeping noise levels down.
If you visit the following section you will find many more reviews of computer cases.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the quietest PC case?
There’s no real concrete answer to this one. There are plenty of good quiet cases, but your choice of hardware will ultimately decide how quiet that PC case can be.
Are quiet computer cases good?
If you want near-silent performance, then yes, a quiet computer case is good. HTPCs, music production, games streaming, and live podcasts are good examples of scenarios where you don’t want any excess background noise polluting your environment. If you would like to learn more about steaming games you can check this article https://www.gizmofusion.com/how-much-ram-do-you-need-for-streaming/.
The trade-off, however, can be slightly higher temperatures, so make sure your cooling is adequate.
Are Silent cases worth it?
That will depend on what you want out of a case and where your priorities lie. If you value low noise above all else, and if you are okay with sacrificing some thermal performance for silence, then a silent case may be worth it for you. Silent cases are also worth considering when your PC is being used in a studio environment, or as a Home Theater PC.
How can I make my current PC quieter?
Check that all your screws are tight, that your PC case is on a flat surface with all feet firmly planted, and inspect any attachments, grommets, or gaskets that may have come loose or weren’t assembled properly. If your case’s feet aren’t rubberized, you can add your own.
Sound insulation is also an option for cases that didn’t come with it from the factory. You can get insulation, which is usually in the form of foam, fairly easily and cheaply.
This can be put on side panels with adhesive to dampen noise, or to fill extra holes to lessen the amount of sound escaping from your PC case. Just be careful not to hinder airflow too much.
I hope that after reading each review of these awesome cases you have found the one that suits your needs the best.
You should read our article on the best graphics cards for less than $300 if you need a GPU to go alongside your new silent PC case.
James Cosgrove has been the lead writer at GizmoFusion since 2019. He has a huge passion for the latest technology and gadgets. He loves to talk and write about this interest. He hopes that visitors to the website will find his reports informative and helpful when it comes to making the best choices for their needs.