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Arctic Cooling Silentium 1
Arctic cooling has made several well designed products, many of them designed around being quite & cool. The Silentium S1 ATX style case falls in the same category. This new design has the best of all worlds ,no tools needed install, the airflow design to keep the case that little bit cooler, and the overall thought put into every detail of this case. I was very excited after opening this product. Let's take a look as to why...
Above material provided by Scythe USA.
Suggested Retail Price $129.99 USD
129 USD is a bit higher then your average case but considering all the extra features and the performance increase, it is a very good price.
We are going to be covering a lot in this section for the simple fact that this case breaks all your standard rules when it comes to case design. One of the main features to this case is the tool "less" or the lack of needing tools during the install of any pieces other then the actual motherboard itself.
The first part we will highlight are the drive bays. I am sure you have seen many sliding bay type installs that allow a person to remove and rearrange the bay devices quickly. Arctic cooling takes it one step further by making the mounts screw less as well. They placed clips that fit into the normal screw holes making it that much easier to install. Not only on the 5 1/4 bays but the 3 1/2 floppy bays as well. Even the front panel folds over on a hinge to gain easy access to the bay housing.
The next important feature are the PCI mounts. This uses two clips that firmly hold the cards in place. This is similar to what you see in some Dell PC's but with no movement when the cards are installed making it one step better.
The last major installation feature I thought was unique is the main hard drive bay. It is placed on a suspended mount using rubber band type fasteners to keep the drive in place. This bay not only reduces noise due to vibration but it is almost all solid aluminum. The aluminum will help dissipate any heat generated by the drive reducing chance of damage to the hard drive itself and increasing performance. AC calls this unit the "Hard Drive Muffler" and is highlighted in the Specs section above.
This case also comes with every power configuration needed, including SATA and the 4-pin power. Please note the SATA power is only a single outlet and is designed so that you would use the SATA drive in the aluminum drive bay due to the length of the cord itself.
As you will see by the pictures below, this case has a very clean and stock look to the exterior, but when you open the case you will note there are big differences from your normal ATX case. Most noticeable is the placement of the 450watt PSU placed not in the top corner but the lower front corner. This is done to change the over all air flow of the case and increase removal of heated air that in general rises. Where the PSU unit normally sits is a dual 80mm fan system using some of AC's patented fans. This is where the big increase in overall case temp is decreased due to placement and decreased restriction of outgoing air.
Another nice feature about the Silentium S1 is the base. It is removable and the case has many holes to allow air to flow through the plastic base in channels designed to increase fresh air, making for a cooler case. Also note the placement to the PSU and how AC left openings in the base to keep the PSU unit cool as well. On the top of the PSU are two more 80mm fans to help move the heated air generated by the power supply.
Even the wiring of this case has a little extra something. AC strategically places a wire harness to help with wire management. They also provide a number of zip ties to help with keeping the wires nice and neat.
Another thing I noticed on the quality side was the packaging. AC makes a very well designed box with multiple layers and a scratch resistant coating on the front panel. This is a major plus as I have personally sent cases to customers in the past to find out that somewhere along the way, the frame was bent and case destroyed. The packaging features are a plus in importance with a case as expensive as this.
When talking about performance in terms of a case there is one overselling factor, Heat. The AC Silentium S1 is designed to reduce heat in every way possible. I had an almost identical PC in a V-Tech 770sl running along side of the Silentium and after a few hrs of idle running I was amazed at the temperature difference between the two machines. The Silentium was on average 11 degrees Celsius lower then the V-Tech. What was more amazing was the fact that the V-Tech had a Thermaltake Polo 3-in-1 CPU cooler and four extra case fans and the Silentium still out performed the competitor hands down. What a reduced internal case temp actually means is a lower CPU temp. And a lower CPU temp equates into better performance or a more stable over clocking environment. Please note the AC case can probably fit more fans if needed, but to be honest, it works very well without the extra power drain.
Another item we tested was the Power Supply unit provided with the case. This PSU is rated at 450watt with a constant 350watt. After running for a few days there was never a moment where I noticed any power spikes or fluctuations. This means that the power stayed constant and kept everything running optimally. Another aspect of the PSU is the heat reduction. I didn't get into too much testing of this feature but as you can see in the Spec's section of the review, there are published findings of the decreased temp and the technology involved to keep these temperature low. I did note that the temp was much lower then the V-Tech using a stock 400 watt PSU, the difference was around 15 to 20(c) depending on load and external temp of the room. So I did verify that the technology does work. To be honest, if it didn't, the internal case temp would reflect the higher PSU temp.
Price is very reasonable for the number of features & performance.
Aluminum Hard drive muffler works great cooling and reducing noise.
Thermal dynamic design is outstanding.
Superior packaging to make sure the case arrives safe..
Tool less installation makes for quick setup and easier to repair.
Not really anything I can think of.
This case is amazing from performance to design. The S1 has everything you could want for keeping your PC cool and quite at the same time... Arctic Cooling has created another superb product & I am honored to give this case our highest award the Editors Choice Trophy of Excellence. For a product that takes case technology to the next level...
Rating: 6 out of 6 Stars PERFECT SCORE!!!!!!!!!!
Review Date: 01/26/05
Reviewer: pr101j (Paul)
Company Info: Scythe USA
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