Monday, 28 March 2011

An addendum to my addendum

I have previously mentioned my main desktop rig on here several times because, lets face it, you're not here to talk about fashion no matter how stylish I am.

My Antec 300 is a great case but it's just too noisy to sleep next to (great spponer though) and the cable management isn't great. It was fine until I got a GPU that needed a separate power cable or two but once they were installed it really got ugly, and I don't mean my photography skills.

But they're hideous too.

I have been drooling over the Fractal Design XL since before it was released. Actually, I've been drooling over that, the Cooler Master ATCS 840 and the Corsair 700D for months, and very recently the Caselabs M8, but the Fractal was the best. Don't get me wrong, it's by far the worst case there in many ways but it's almost as though someone designed a case for me.

The design is right up my alley, I hate hate hate when cases (or anything) are tailored towards the typical lan-party geek. Lights, pointy bits and massive mesh panels need to grow up. Now my friend The Captain, whose opinion on computers I respect the most, has an NZXT Phantom in white. Many of my friends ARE the typical lan-party geeks and that's all fine, I'm not being nasty, it's just not my scene. 

Secondly, the 10 HDD bays means that I can start to consolidate all of my existing data into one manageable, monthly repayment pc to make everything easier. This is particularly relevant to my server as my desktop is usually on anyway. Now my desktop IS my server.

It's geared towards silence and largely is silent. Also, the cable management is top-notch.

So I bought one, a titanium grey one. I moved the 140mm fan on the back to the front so both 140mm bays are now full of Fractal fans. That 120/140mm hole was filled with a Sharkoon Silent Eagle 2000 fan. I also put one of my Sharkoon Silent Eagle SE fans (set to minimum) in the top 120mm bay, pointing right at my CPU. The back Sharkoon and the 2x140mm fans are on the supplied fan controller. I'd have liked the front 120mm fan on the controller as it is pointing right at the CPU (and the Fractal fans are wasted on the controller as they're so quiet anyway) but the fan power plugs didn't match up. Maybe I'll get some adapters and rejig stuff in the future. The only source of noise in the case is the high-speed Sharkoon exhaust which I added, of course even that is silent when on minimum speed.


I have to say it's a brilliant case all round. The build was soooooooooo easy, the quietness is as-advertised and there's so much room in there it's not even funny. You can read a dozen proper reviews elsewhere so don't expect me to try and compete, but if you're looking for a case and have similar needs to me then it certainly gets my vote.

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