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Best DAW Case! Which Case Do You Like?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by SEA, Feb 19, 2007.

  1. SEA

    SEA Guest

    I'm getting ready to build a new daw and was planning on getting the Antec P180 or the 900.

    However, there's a lot new cases out there and I kind of like the Thermaltake ones as well! :p

    So... anyone with any suggestions please fill free to chime in! :D

    SEA 8)
  2. zemlin

    zemlin Well-Known Member

    The P180 looks good. I have a couple of Sonata cases and am very happy with those. My next PC (not DAW) upgrade is going to be in a P180.
  3. SEA

    SEA Guest

    Thanks Zemlin for your reply!

    I also was checking out this Lian Li case!

    Here's the link.

    Let me know what you think of this one. :wink:

    Jamie 8)
  4. zemlin

    zemlin Well-Known Member

    Things that are missing from the Lian - hard drives are not grommet mounted as in the Antec cases - VERY IMPORTANT!
    Also the case fans are (mostly) 80mm as opposed to 120mm fans on the Antecs.

    My bet would be on the P180 as the quieter case.
  5. SEA

    SEA Guest

    Thanks Zemlin for checking it out!

    What about the Antec 900 vs. the P180? I hear that one's pretty good as well.

    Here's the link

  6. jeffreydesign

    jeffreydesign Active Member

    My company has been manufacturing professional DAW's for a couple decades now and I am now [happily] retired and doing my own recording (a whole new learning curve.)

    After trying many case designs, my company settled on a couple of case manufacturers. I would divide cases into two categories; water-cooled (quiet to silent) and air-cooled (sorta quiet to not-so-quiet.) Personally, I prefer water-cooled (passive) with no fans since my DAW is in the same space that I record in. If you can relocate your DAW or build a cabinet for it (with active air I/O) then air-cooled is cheaper. If not, water-cooled is the way to fly IMHO.

    For air-cooled cases, I prefer Antec or Zalman aluminum cases. The Antec P150 is a good value. Be sure to buy the best power supply you can afford (that meets your motherboard's specs.) If you must mount your Hard drives, buy your own rubber grommets (available at most auto-supply stores) since you can buy much better ones than often come with the case. (We use rubber everywhere - between the motherboard and the case, between all drives and case, etc.)

    Buy the biggest, slowest moving fans you can afford that will fit into the case. You want to move air volume, you don't want to create air velocity (besides "fast air" is noisy.) Aluminum cases do transfer more heat but it doesn't amount to that much. The reason we like Aluminum is it's dampening - they're quieter.

    For water cooling, if you want a fast and reasonably quiet setup, Koolance will do. However if you want to build a completely silent machine that you know will handle anything you can throw at it, go for passive water cooling and a 'fanless' power supply. NOTE: I always put hard drives in their own enclosure so they're not heating the case. I use eSATA/300 drives which can be easily relocated some distance from the case with no adverse consequence (and they're fast, too.)

    If anyone wants to know how to assemble a passive, water-cooled machine, send me a message and I will go through all the parts needed (without busting your budget) or I can send you where you can buy one (more expensive.)

    Building a water-cooled system is quite a project but it can be done and the results can be very nice, particularly if you're employing multiple cores (my system has two, dual core CPU's) or multiple CPUs. High performance RAM and Video produces a LOT of heat and watercooling can be a great solution. Just my opinion, of course.

  7. SEA

    SEA Guest

    Thanks Jeff for your advice.

    I would like a water cooled one day. In my studio, I have a coat closet that's about 8 feet from my work area and the Antec P180 is almost silent (compared to my huge Thermaltank) :lol:

    I was also wondering about the Lain Li cases. Karl (above) said "the Lian -hard drives are not grommet mounted as in the Antec cases" I wonder if this is true for all there cases.

    The Nexus Breeze seems to be a pretty popular case and I was thinking about it or the P180 (or P150 like you suggested) :wink:

    Here's the Nexus Breeze http://www.nexustek.nl/breeze.htm

    Thanks again!

    Jamie 8)
  8. SEA

    SEA Guest

    Oops... double post :wink:
  9. SEA

    SEA Guest

    Hey Karl!

    What about the Lian Li PC-A10B? It's one of their new models.

    It has "HDD easy assemble module & Anti-Vibration rubber rings."

    Here's the link.


    SEA 8)
  10. zemlin

    zemlin Well-Known Member

    almost 2x the price of the Antec, and it looks like the panels and door are aluminum as opposed to laminated plastic/metal on the Antec. The laminated design will be less likely to vibrate.

    From a quick look, I don't see a significant benefit over the P180 - nothing that justifies the price.

    You like that Lian Li name, don't you?
  11. SEA

    SEA Guest

    Thanks Karl!

    Not really like the name as much as I ran across it on another daw resellers site. :lol:

    I was wondering what was so special (if anything) about it.

    Anyway... thanks for your input! Stay warm up there too! :wink:

    SEA 8)
  12. Kent L T

    Kent L T Active Member

    I have a p180 and like it very much except for the DVD there is no way to use gromets on it like you do on the hard drives so when the DVD spins up it reverberates througout the case, of course I could have picked a quieter dvd drive(obviously, I did some looking and thought it was a quiet one) but they spent a lot of time insulating the hard drives but did nothing for the cd or dvd drive.

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