Is it really quiet?
Well once the system was connected and I was sure everything was in the right place, I fired it up. If it wasn't for the power LED I wouldn't have known if the system was on. I'm always used to the case sounding like a small jet engine. I was like, "Oh man, I must have messed up. I hope I connected everything..." But when the monitor came on I realized that the system was really quiet hehehe. Even with the delta fan in there, it's significantly less noisy than other systems with similar setups. I've been using the system for a few days now and it's been a good experience. I definitely sleep better and I don't have to yell when I'm on the phone anymore hehehe. At full load with Prime95 running and playing Q3 in the background, the system stays just as quiet. The only time the case gets a little louder is when you use the CDROM drives. Since those are right in the front, there's little you can do to reduce the noise. The hard drive doesn't make as much noise because it's in the back and the hard drive rack has vibration dampening lining. This is by far one of the most silent systems I've used. You really have to put your ear next to it to even hear the hum of the fans.
Does it cool?
The case is based on an open architecture which means that SP doesn't recommend adding an intake fan. They contend that an intake fan will increase the pressure inside the case which can increase the temperature a few degrees. In all cases there will be air currents, turbulence, and some stagnant air that can be trapped by poor fan placement. Also you'll probably notice that with more air flow you get more dust. The Silent-PC case is built so that there is low pressure which eliminates any stagnant air pockets and enables the hot air to dissipate naturally. Less dust is brought into the case as well. This keeps the case quiet while not totally giving up on cooling. What's the result of this? Well I find that the CPU and case temps are higher than normal. The CPU runs at 38 degrees C at idle and up to 45 degrees C at full load. The system temp runs similar but only gets up to 42 degrees C. Mind you, this is all with the Alpha heatsink and delta fan. Nothing dangerous or anything, but still higher than I normally had in my other cases. It's still well within the operating limits of the system. I guess there is always a price to pay for everything. In this case to make a quiet system, you have to sacrifice cooling. However, since you're not overclocking here, cooling isn't as vital. You don't get a performance increase if you cool down the system more. If you decide to add your own motherboard to overclock then this will be a concern. Right now though, the temps I'm running at are perfectly fine.
But I'm a hardcore gaming freak and still want some quiet, will the Silent-PC work for me?
The answer to this question is a resounding maybe... well maybe because it's really all subjective whether you want to trade off some cooling for quiet. I'm a gaming freak, although not as hardcore as I once was, and I find the Silent-PC ok for everything I need. You definitely have to install a new video card if you want to play any 3D games. The case and CPU temps might get a little too high for my tastes, but they are within the operating limits of the system. For those who are looking to reduce temperatures, maybe adding more powerful fans will do it but you're also sacrificing noise. You really have to find a middle ground if you're looking for both cooling performance and quiet. The overclocker might not be too happy about the motherboard since there are no overclocking options at all. This system is really suited more to the average individual working at home or the office where noise is not desirable. Of course, you can always replace the motherboard with your kickass system and get some of the noise reduction benefits of the case. I personally like the style of the case and all the usability features definitely draws me in. So this system is still good for the gamer. However, the price aspect might turn away the budget enthusiast.
>> Pros & Cons/Conclusion