An Antec Sonata II will be the host of the Silent Box, it uses drive rails to secure the 5.25” drives, which can lead to complications with certain devices; luckily the Silent Box has a CD/DVDrom like nature and installation was easy and swift.
ResultsThe system was stressed with Sisoft Sandra HDD benchmark in loop for 30 minutes
JMke's A64 Test Setup
|CPU ||A64 3200+ @ 2200Mhz 1.47v vcore|
|Mainboard ||DFI nForce3 250Gb|
|Memory ||1*256Mb OCZ PC3700|
|Other ||Chaintech FX5900XT + NV Silencer|
Maxtor 120 GB PATA Hard Drive
Thermalright XP-90 + Delta 92mm fan @ 50%
Sonata II Rear 120mm fan running @ LOW setting
Room temp was 21°C
dBA reader was put at 60cm from the front of the case. Lowest recorded dBA in the test room was 30dBA.
The A.C. Ryan Xtor was included for comparison, this drive does not use screws to mount into the 5.25” bay, which in this case with the Sonata II and the drive rails led to quite a bit of problems to get the Xtor installed.
The Xtor scored good in the cooling section of the test, since it’s like a large heatsink this did not come as a surprise. What we noticed though is that due to mounting issues with the Xtor the drive created more vibration noise than the “stock” setting.
The Silent Box is able to take the lead when it comes to muting the hard drive, the “seek noise” (The heads moving over the platters) was reduced in pitch and is definitely an improvement over the “stock” mounting.
Testing an enclosure very accurately with dBA and sound measurements is hard to do and depending on your current case, results may differ also. To get an idea of the difference between having your hard drive mounting inside the Silent Box versus “free air” we like to point you towards these recordings (scroll down near the end of the page) from SilentPCReview. Since their test is not done in a case the difference will be more severe than when you test inside a case.
Scythe’s first foray into the none-CPU cooling market is quite a success; their product delivers on its promise. As an off-the shelve product it is hard to beat, DIY will surely find alternative ways to silence their hard drives using rubber hands, foam pads and other constructions, but for those Joe who wants a ready to go solution the Silent Box might well be the ideal solution.
Priced at ~€50 it does not come cheap and will add to the total cost of your silent system after you have invested in a 3rd party CPU cooler, Passive Power Supply and special VGA cooling.
Noticeable noise reduction
Does not act as a heat trap, hard drive remains within safe operating temperatures
PATA/SATA compatible (extra power cords included)
We like to thank Scythe for sending over the Silent Box for testing
Questions/Comments: forum thread