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The 5 Best Silent PC Cases for Quiet Builds

Written by Azzief Khaliq
Last updated Apr 24, 2021

Affiliate Disclosure: When you purchase products through our links, we may receive a commission at no additional cost to you.

Tired of living with a noisy PC? You’re not the only one. Noise used to go hand-in-hand with high performance computers, but silence-focused cases from companies like Fractal Design and be quiet! have made that a thing of the past. Both companies make some of the best silent PC cases you can buy and are featured prominently on our list.

We’ve tried to include all common form factors, so you’ll find some use here whether you’re building a monster tower PC or a compact mini-ITX rig. Without further ado, let’s dive in.

Our Picks for Best Silent PC Case

For the purposes of this list, we’ve defined a “silent PC case” as a case designed with silence in mind, with sound dampening material as standard. You can also build a quiet system in a non-dampened case by selecting the right fans and getting your fan curves just right, but that’s a topic for another time.

For now, let’s stick to cases that are silent right out of the box.

1. be quiet! Dark Base Pro 900 Rev. 2

Measurements (H x W x L)23.1 x 9.6 x 22.7 inches
Form FactorFull Tower
Motherboard SupportEATX, ATX, Micro ATX, Mini ITX
PSU SupportATX
Maximum GPU Length12.7 inches (with HDD cage), 18.6 inches (w/o cage)
Maximum CPU Cooler Height7.3 inches
Expansion SlotsEight
Fan Mounts• 3x 140 mm (front)
• 1x 140 mm (rear)
• 4x 120 mm or 3x 140 mm (top)
• 2x 120/140 mm (bottom)
Radiator Support• Up to 420 mm (front)
• Up to 420 mm (top)
• Up to 140 mm (rear)
Drive Mounts• 14x 2.5” drives (10 by default)
• 7x 3.5” drives (5 by default)
• 2x 5.25” optical drives
I/O Ports• 1x USB-C 3.1 Gen 2
• 2x USB 3.0
• Audio In/Out

It wouldn’t be a post about the best silent PC cases without a be quiet! case in the mix. The German company has built a reputation for producing high-quality silence-focused cases, fans, PSUs, and CPU coolers.

Even though the Dark Base Pro 900 Rev. 2 is coming on to three years old now, it’s still one of the few full tower cases available designed for silence. But that’s not its only selling point, the Pro 900 Rev. 2 has several interesting features that will appeal to anyone.

For one, there’s a fully relocatable motherboard tray with support for three different heights and an inverted layout. The Dark Base Pro 900 Rev. 2 also does away with hard drive cages and instead has individual slots that you can install or remove as needed.

be quiet dark base pro inverted

A Dark Base Pro 900 Rev. 2 with an inverted motherboard. Source: TechSpot

There’s also a dual-rail fan controller, which lets you set different speeds for two sets of fans, up to a maximum of eight fans in total. This helps you really tweak the fan speeds for maximum cooling, minimum noise, or something in between.

best silent pc cases noise benchmark

Source: GamersNexus

At full fan speed, the be quiet! Dark Base Pro 900 Rev. 2 is a noisy case, measuring 43.2 dBA in GamersNexus’ testing. However, changing the fan speeds on the built-in controller can bring the noise level down to as low as 32.4 dBA.

The be quiet! Dark Base Pro 900 Rev. 2 isn’t just a great silent full tower case; it’s an excellent full tower case full stop, silence-focused or not. It’s not cheap, but you definitely get what you pay for here.

2. Fractal Design Define 7

Measurements (H x W x L)18.8 x 9.4 x 21.5 inches
Form FactorMid Tower
Motherboard SupportEATX, ATX, Micro ATX, Mini ITX
PSU SupportATX
Maximum GPU Length12.4 inches (with HDD cage), 19.3 inches (w/o cage)
Maximum CPU Cooler Height7.3 inches
Expansion SlotsNine (including two for vertical GPU mounting)
Fan Mounts• 3x 120/140 mm (front)
• 1x 120/140 mm (rear)
• 3x 120/140 mm (top)
• 2x 120/140 mm (bottom)
Radiator Support• Up to 360 mm (front)
• Up to 420 mm (top)
• Up to 280 mm (bottom)
Drive Mounts• 2x 2.5” drives (dedicated)
• 14x 2.5”/3.5” drives (6 by default)
• 1x 5.25” optical drive
I/O Ports• 1x USB-C 3.1 Gen 2
• 2x USB 3.0
• 2x USB 2.0
• Audio In/Out

If you’ve been reading our posts, you’ll know that we’re big fans of Fractal Design and their cases. The combination of clean, minimalist design, top-notch build quality, silence, and user-friendliness makes them one of the best case manufacturers in our book.

So it’s no surprise that Fractal’s premier case, the Define 7, is on our list. The Define 7 has almost everything you could want out of a high-end quiet PC case. What stands out about the Define 7 is its modular internal layout; you can load it up with drives or strip them all back and run a custom water-cooling loop instead.

The Define 7 also has a modular top panel, which can be removed entirely to make it easier to build in. You can also swap in a ventilated top panel, which adds three fan intakes for improved cooling.

fractal define 7 removable top panel

Source: Fractal Design

Fractal Design’s experience with silent cases shows with the Define 7. The Define 7 measures 34.6 dBA in GamersNexus’ testing, making it one of the quietest cases they’ve ever tested. For context, that’s somewhere between the sound of a whisper and a quiet library, according to the American Academy of Audiology.

fractal define 7 noise benchmark

Source: GamersNexus

Swinging open its front panel will improve cooling performance at the cost of increased noise. 38.9 dBA as measured by GamersNexus still isn’t too bad, but you definitely lose out on the Define 7’s best selling point by doing so.

The Fractal Design Define 7’s unique combination of silence and internal flexibility makes it an absolute shoo-in for one of the best silent PC cases ever — it’s that good. If you want the Define 7’s features in a smaller footprint, check out Fractal Design’s Define 7 Compact.

3. be quiet! Silent Base 802

Measurements (H x W x L)21.2 x 9.6 x 20 inches
Form FactorMid Tower
Motherboard SupportEATX, ATX, Micro ATX, Mini ITX
PSU SupportATX
Maximum GPU Length11.3 inches (with HDD cage), 17 inches (w/o cage)
Maximum CPU Cooler Height7.3 inches
Expansion SlotsNine (including two for vertical GPU mounting)
Fan Mounts• 3x 120/140 mm (front)
• 1x 120/140 mm (rear)
• 3x 120/140 mm (top)
Radiator Support• Up to 420 mm (front)
• Up to 360 mm (top)
• Up to 140 mm (rear)
Drive Mounts• 15x 2.5” drives (7 by default)
• 7x 3.5” drives (3 by default)
I/O Ports• 1x USB-C 3.1 Gen 2
• 2x USB 3.0
• Audio In/Out

The second be quiet! product on our list is the Silent Base 802, one of their newest cases. The Silent Base 802’s standout features are its interchangeable top and front panels. You get two panels for each position with the case. One is a standard solid panel designed for silence, while the other is a perforated mesh panel for maximum airflow.

be quiet silent base front panel

Source: be quiet!

The Silent Base 802 isn’t as quiet as the Fractal Design Define 7, even with the sealed front panel in place. But at 36.2 dBA in GamersNexus’ measurements, it’s by no means a loud case.

be quiet silent base noise benchmark

Source: GamersNexus

Installing the mesh front panel increases the noise level to 39.0 dBA, about the same as airflow-focused cases like the Cooler Master H500P. It defeats the Silent Base 802’s purpose, but it’s still a nice option to have.

It might not be quite as silent as the Define 7, but be quiet!’s Silent Base 802 is still an excellent choice for a low-noise PC build.

4. Cooler Master Silencio S400

Measurements (H x W x L)16 x 8.3 x 16.5 inches
Form FactorMini Tower
Motherboard SupportMicro ATX, Mini ITX
PSU SupportATX
Maximum GPU Length12.6 inches
Maximum CPU Cooler Height6.5 inches
Expansion SlotsFour
Fan Mounts• 2x 120/140 mm (front)
• 1x 120 mm (rear)
• 2x 120/140 mm (top)
Radiator Support• Up to 280 mm (front)
• Up to 240 mm (top)
• 120 mm (rear)
Drive Mounts• 4x 2.5” drives
• 4x 3.5” drives
• 1x 5.25” optical drive
I/O Ports• 2x USB 3.0
• Audio In/Out
• SD card reader

Cooler Master isn’t a name usually associated with silent PC cases. But with the Silencio line, the company’s proven that it has what it takes to compete with the big boys in the quiet PC case segment.

The Silencio S400 draws liberally from Fractal Design’s playbook with its clean lines and reversible front door. The Silencio S400 is a mostly no-frills chassis, but you do get the option to remove the sound dampening on the top panel. This will improve ventilation and reduce temperatures, at the cost of a louder PC.

With its sound dampening top panel intact, the Silencio S400 is an impressively quiet case:

The Cooler Master Silencio S400 is quieter than be quiet!’s Silent Base 601, an impressive achievement for a company that doesn’t specialize in silent PC cases. It’s an excellent option for a micro ATX silent build, as long as you’re aware of the potential for higher temperatures.

5. Fractal Design Define Nano S

Measurements (H x W x L)13.5 x 8 x 16.2 inches
Form FactorMini ITX
Motherboard SupportMini ITX
PSU SupportATX
Maximum GPU Length12.4 inches
Maximum CPU Cooler Height6.4 inches
Expansion SlotsTwo
Fan Mounts• 2x 120/140 mm (front)
• 1x 120 mm (rear)
• 2x 120/140 mm (top)
• 1x 120 mm (bottom)
Radiator Support• Up to 280 mm (front)
• Up to 240 mm (top)
• 120 mm (bottom)
• 120 mm (rear)
Drive Mounts• 2x 2.5” drives (dedicated)
• 2x 2.5”/3.5” drives
I/O Ports• 2x USB 3.0
• Audio In/Out

Fractal Design’s Define Nano S is a bit older than most of the offerings here. But as the saying goes, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, and the Nano S certainly ain’t broke. Fractal got it right the first time around, since the Nano S is still one of the best silent ITX cases you can buy in 2021.

Like its bigger brother, the Define 7, the Define Nano S has an open interior layout. Despite being a mini ITX case, this openness means it’s compatible with full-size parts and even custom water-cooling.

The Define Nano S features Fractal’s ModuVent technology on the top panel, which is the technology that Cooler Master copied for the removable sound dampening panel on its Silencio S400. It serves the same purpose on the Nano S, offering a removable panel that gives you the option of silence or improved ventilation.

The Define Nano S performs decently on most noise level tests. It’s not the quietest case you’ll ever use, but it’s pretty outstanding for a mini ITX case. In our opinion, the only real downside of the Fractal Design Define Nano S is its size.

At 28 liters, it’s a bit on the large side for a mini ITX case and definitely isn’t the case you want to build a portable small form factor rig.

What To Consider in A Silent PC Case

Important factors to consider when choosing any PC case like motherboard size, component compatibility, and aesthetics, all still apply here. However, there are a few extra points to consider when you’re shopping for a quiet PC case.

Temperatures

An important thing to remember is that even the best silent PC case will run hotter than an airflow-focused case. That’s just the price you must pay for silence.

Let’s take the be quiet! Silent Base 802 for example. With the sound dampening solid panels, an Intel Core i5-9600K hits 78.1 degrees Celsius in TechPowerUp’s torture testing. That’s about 5 degrees Celsius hotter than airflow cases like the Cooler Master TD500 Mesh and Phanteks Eclipse P500A.

best silent pc cases benchmark

Source: TechPowerUp

Sure, five degrees Celsius isn’t the end of the world. But every degree matters if you live in a hot climate or have to endure scorching summers. The Silent Base 802 has optional mesh panels but it’s the exception rather than the norm.

Tempered Glass vs. Steel Panels

Most of the cases on our list have the option of either a tempered glass side panel or a more traditional steel (or aluminum) side panel. The noise differences between the two aren’t as large as you might think, though.

Note the dBA measurements for the first two configurations in KitGuru’s testing below:

cooler master silencio side panels benchmark

Source: KitGuru

There’s a 1.4 dBA increase in noise during heavy GPU loads with the glass panel, but idle and CPU load noise levels are pretty much identical. 1.4 dBA is probably noticeable in a quiet room, so the steel panel is objectively better for silence. But we’d argue that it’s such a slight difference that you won’t be losing out on a quiet PC experience by opting for a tempered glass side panel.

Liquid Cooling vs. Air Cooling

Out of the box, there probably won’t be much difference between a liquid-cooled AIO CPU cooler and a decent air cooler in terms of noise level. In fact, if your AIO ships with noisy fans, the AIO might actually end up being louder than a tower cooler from a company like Noctua or be quiet!.

The sound dampening of our recommended cases should help absorb any pump noise from an AIO but won’t be as effective at reducing fan noise. So, for a quiet AIO, take a look at its fan speeds. You can either set a custom fan curve, swap the radiator fans for lower-noise equivalents, or do a combination of both.

We particularly like Noctua’s NF-F12 and NF-A14 for low-noise, high-performance fans. Both will work brilliantly for radiators and tower coolers and will likely drastically cut down on the noise from your chosen cooling solution. For more info on liquid vs. air cooling, check out our guide here.

Build with many silent Noctua fans

A whole lot of Noctua. Source: u/Scaraden

The same logic applies to case fans. The cases on our list all come with low-noise fans as standard, and we’d suggest you get identical fans if you want to add more. But you can also swap all your fans out for quiet Noctua fans like the ones we linked above. It’ll be a pricey endeavor, but you’ll get an incredibly quiet system in return.

Silence Is Golden

The best quiet PC cases are proof that you can have your cake and eat it too. The combination of low-noise fans and sound dampening means that you can have a rig that’ll blaze through games and crush productivity tasks without sounding like a jet engine ready to take off.

The Fractal Design Define 7 is our favorite case on the list and is the one we’d recommend you check out first if you’re looking for a mid tower. But each of our picks has something to offer, and as long as you keep the temperature tradeoffs in mind, we think you’ll be more than happy with any of them.

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