Introducing the Nanoxia Deep Silence 2

Just recently we had a chance to review Nanoxia's Deep Silence 1, arguably the most impressive silent case we've ever tested. Nanoxia was able to produce an enclosure capable of delivering substantial air flow to components while still containing fan noise. In a market where silent cases usually lose a lot of their luster once overclocking enters the picture, the Deep Silence 1 was a breath of fresh air and proof that you could build a powerful system that you never had to hear.

In a bid to capture some of that sweet, sweet boutique volume, Nanoxia has refreshed the Deep Silence 1 into a slightly less expensive enclosure: the Deep Silence 2. The DS2 is an odd bird; it's a trimmed down DS1, but not heavily so, and in certain ways it can feel like a refinement. That all sounds incredibly promising, but did Nanoxia lose some of the potency of the original chassis in the process?

It's interesting testing the Deep Silence 2 so soon after the first one. This kind of refinement, starting with a top end product and gradually working things out as you make your way down the price ladder, is becoming less and less unusual. Corsair had a good thing going for a while, and NZXT just blew up their own top end with the Phantom 630. Yet when you look at the DS2, there isn't a whole lot that seems to differentiate it from its predecessor.

That's not a bad thing; the DS1 is one of the most attractive and functional cases I've tested. The DS2, by comparison, makes a few relatively safe trims: the bottom fan door is gone and replaced with just a solid fascia, the chimney is gone and replaced by a pair of 140mm fan mounts (with removable acoustic panels blocking them off, of course), and the flip-up I/O cluster on the top of the case has been eliminated in favor of just organizing the I/O around the power button.

Nanoxia Deep Silence 2 Specifications
Motherboard Form Factor Mini-ITX, Micro-ATX, ATX, E-ATX
Drive Bays External 3x 5.25" (plus included 5.25"-to-3.5" adapter plate)
Internal 7x 2.5"/3.5"
Cooling Front 2x 120mm intake fan (optional 2x 120mm fan mount behind drive cage)
Rear 1x 120mm exhaust fan
Top 2x 120mm/140mm fan mount
Side 1x 120mm/140mm fan mount
Bottom 1x 120mm/140mm fan mount
Expansion Slots 7
I/O Port 2x USB 3.0, 1x USB 2.0, 1x Headphone, 1x Mic
Power Supply Size ATX
Clearances HSF 165mm
PSU 200mm
GPU 13.5" / 345mm
Dimensions 18.42" x 8.15" x 23.15"
468mm x 207mm x 588mm
Weight 24.2 lbs / 10.96 kg
Special Features Removable fan filter
USB 3.0 via internal header
Analog dual-channel fan controller (three fans per channel)
Acoustic padding on the interior and side panels
Price 89 EUR; expected US MSRP $99

I had the Deep Silence 2 sitting near the Deep Silence 1 on the floor of my apartment, and I actually had a little bit of trouble discerning the differences between the two. Amusingly, the spec sheets are extremely helpful in teasing out how different these cases actually are.

First, the Deep Silence 1 is, overall, slightly larger than the DS2. That's owing to a reduction in height; the DS2 loses a drive tray and expansion slot along with the chimney and XL-ATX compatibility. The DS2 is also thinner than the DS1, losing 20mm of CPU cooler clearance and trading down to a 120mm exhaust fan instead of 140mm. Yet the DS2 is actually deeper than the DS1, presumably a result of the added internal fan mounts. That increase in depth is enough to make up the difference in weight; the DS2 is nearly as heavy as the DS1, and to be clear, these are unusually heavy cases for this segment of the market. Nanoxia doesn't cheap out in building material: they use thick steel and fairly durable plastic for these cases.

Importantly, and thankfully, we do keep the dual-channel analog fan controller from the DS1. I've been pretty gung ho about integrated fan controllers as of late because they add a lot of value to a case for not much expense. If you want your case to run as cool as possible, you need not bother with them, but if you'd rather tune for a balance of silence and performance, they allow you to do that. Many fans have an inflection point where their noise level increases substantially compared to cooling performance, and being able to tune for that point is handy.

In and Around the Nanoxia Deep Silence 2
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  • zinton - Thursday, February 14, 2013 - link

    Does anyone know a retailer in the United States that ships to Hawaii, and sells the Deep silence 1 or 2? Reply
  • headbox - Thursday, February 14, 2013 - link

    Amazing how far we have NOT come in case design in the 20+ years I've been building computers. Reply
  • jabber - Thursday, February 14, 2013 - link

    I know, it's like time has stood still.

    Just moved on from beige and that's about it.
    Reply
  • lurker22 - Thursday, February 14, 2013 - link

    Maybe because there really isn't much to holding a few parts together in a box? Reply
  • arthur449 - Thursday, February 14, 2013 - link

    Well, when I started building computers, the CPU was located at the front bottom of the case. Then came ATX, and then BTX compatible cases... then everyone said "meh" and kept ATX.

    It's just not worth it to make a new standard for cases and motherboards when custom builders are such a small portion of the overall market. All the big companies pay for custom boards if they need them, but most consumer-oriented brands have thrown in the towel and use mATX for lower cost and higher customer satisfaction due to future upgrade compatibility with different boards and add-on cards.
    Reply
  • GotThumbs - Thursday, February 14, 2013 - link

    Agreed.

    My first build was an AT case and I haven't built an ATX system for myself or anyone else is quite a few years. Most of my systems have been mATX based using Apevia QPACK cases with an upgraded PS. My systems/users are not for heavy gamers, so multiple graphic cards are not needed.

    I am moving my personal systems to mini-ITX format now. I find it unnecessary these days to have a big case, since I have a separate home-server for all my content storage. Using a SSD and an AMD APU based system more than does the job for my needs.

    Best wishes,
    Reply
  • Zak - Thursday, February 14, 2013 - link

    The ATX standard is adequate. But why is so hard to make a good looking AND functional case? There are some good looking cases that are barely functional, some functional cases that are butt-ugly and everything else is either boring or gaudy. Reply
  • LordOfTheBoired - Saturday, February 16, 2013 - link

    Because everyone's idea of good-looking is different.
    Some people like plain square boxes, some like case doors, some like plexiglass windows, some like blinky lights, some like black mesh, some like pointy bits...
    Ask ten people to name the best-looking cases on the market, expect ten different answers.

    Personally, I like the original Phantom. I don't understand how the best-looking case I've ever seen can be considered gaudy, but obviously tastes differ.
    I used to run in an old Antec Solo that I also loved(though not quite so much). And I've never understood how it could be considered ugly, but some people did.
    Reply
  • michaelheath - Thursday, February 14, 2013 - link

    I'm sure it doesn't help case designers that the ATX specification has been around since 1995 and hasn't changed all that much since. You can only do so much when your case design revolves around a 12" x 9.6" flat board (or a 9.6" x 9.6" or a 6.7" x 6.7" board, for that matter). Motherboard designers and component manufacturers would have to agree on a new specification for us to see a radical change in 'standard' case designs. Reply
  • ShieTar - Thursday, February 14, 2013 - link

    Really, you can't see a big difference between the DS2 and this thing: http://interloper.com/graphics/cases/mid_tower/mpe... ?

    You know, the AT-case with the non-replacable power supply, because it needed to be hardwired to the front-panel power button? And all those sharp-edged, hard to access drive cages? And the total lack of any kind of ventilation outside of the power supply, because nobody owned a 225W-GPU anyways, let alone several?
    Reply

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