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Fractal Design Define R3 vs NZXT H2

Fri Nov 11, 2011 7:49 pm

Both AnandTech and TechReport reviewed both of these cases. Interestingly, the results couldn't be more different!
AnandTech finds the R3 to be both cooler and quieter than the H2.
Meanwhile, TR found the exact opposite.
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Re: Fractal Design Define R3 vs NZXT H2

Fri Nov 11, 2011 9:45 pm

AT measures noise from 12". TR measures noise from 6". Unless you sit with your head 6" from your desktop, I'd probably favor AT's acoustic measurements. Of course, SPCR is the best source for noise testing, and they found the Solo II, R2 and H2 to be within a hair of each other acoustically (They tested the R3 separately in a later article and found it to be slightly quieter than the R2).

EDIT: PS Building a silent PC is also a lot about component selection in addition to choosing the right case. TR's choice of a hot CPU and an average cooler may have had a significant impact on PC noise, penalizing cases that have lower airflow (causing the CPU/system fan(s) to ramp up faster, for instance). Sample variation can also lead to some discrepancies between reviews. At the end of the day, though, reading through multiple reviews of these cases leads me to believe that they are comparable to each other and that any of the three is a decent basis from which to build a budget silent (or at least quiet) system.
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Re: Fractal Design Define R3 vs NZXT H2

Sun Nov 13, 2011 10:23 pm

Your fan choice is every bit as important. The stock fans are rarely the best choice --if you go with Scythe Kama Flow 2 or Gentle Typhoon fans, you'll spend more, but get quieter, longer lasting fans. A fan controller can also help --my Lamptron FC5v2 has good looks, heavy duty circuitry, and lets me decide what the noise threshold is going to be.

I like the clean design of these two, but front doors like that are often an impediment to good cooling. I'd rather have a case without a door, unless you have issues with children's fingers or problematic pets.
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