In and Around the Nanoxia Deep Silence 2

As I mentioned before, apart from the top of the enclosure and the now blocked off fan fascia in the front of the case, the Nanoxia Deep Silence 2 is very much a dead ringer for the Deep Silence 1. Interestingly, Nanoxia opted to send me the white model of the DS2. As with the DS1, the DS2 comes in four color combinations: black panels on a black shell, silver panels on a black shell, gunmetal (they call it anthracite) panels on a black shell, and white panels on a white shell. My favorite continues to be the gunmetal finish, but the white isn't bad looking at all.

Losing the fan door in the front of the DS2 means losing the filters for the intake fans, which is an unfortunate loss. The front filters on my DS1 tend to get gunked up in a hurry (the joys of being a cat owner), so take note. That said, the door to the optical drive bays is basically the same in terms of build quality and acoustic padding, and it also hides the sliders for the fan controller as well as the reset button.

The top of the DS2 is where the differences are most noticeable, as the chimney is gone in favor of just a pair of fan mounts and a cluster of I/O surrounding the green LED-ringed power button. Once again I'm perplexed as to why an odd number of USB ports are included, though: you get two USB 3.0 ports, but why only one USB 2.0? It's a fairly minor grievance but enough of one; with how smart and quality-oriented the rest of the DS2's design is, why would they cheap out here?

Unfortunately my largest complaint with the DS1 remains unaddressed with the DS2. The side panels are held in place by thumbscrews, but they again use the notches and rails instead of a hinged design to secure themselves. The hooks on the side panels are very easy to bend inward if you try to force them back on. This is in fact the single biggest usability issue the DS2 has, but it's a frustrating one, requiring you to turn the case on its side and use your body to apply enough pressure to evenly replace the panel.

The interior of the DS2 is fairly by the book, but the biggest loss is the set of removable drive cages. In its place we have a pair of internal 120mm fan mounts that Nanoxia even recommends using for a 240mm radiator, and Nanoxia continues to include a smart set of cable routing holes in the motherboard tray as well as toolless clamps on both sides of the 5.25" drive cage. In fact, in the DS2 Nanoxia actually does one better than the DS1, as there's a proper rubber-lined routing hole above the motherboard tray for the AUX 12V line.

I remain fairly optimistic about the design of the DS2, but I do feel like the pair of internal fan mounts are of questionable value compared to being able to outright remove drive cages that aren't needed. Removing those cages is a good way to improve air flow in systems that don't need that much storage. I'm still pretty bitter about the notched side panels as well, but despite these minor grievances, I'm left with a very strong feeling of quality from the DS2. This is a heavy, robust case.

Introducing the Nanoxia Deep Silence 2 Assembling 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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