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Antec 900 vs Antec Sonata III


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Greetings everyone,

 

To give you an overview, I'm currently working on a new build which will be used as an audio workstation (via PC) and video workstation (via OSX86). As I'm having to upgrade my current audio workstation due to newer software stresses/requirements and want to wait until the new Mac Pros are released before purchasing one for the video work, my thought is that I can have the best of both worlds until those new Mac Pros are released.

 

Now for the million dollar, actually 2 cent question...

 

I'm looking at two cases, the Antec 900 and Antec Sonata III. Ventilation seems to be absolutely fantastic with the 900 but at the possible cost of too much unwanted noise when recording with condenser microphones. I continually read that the Sonata III is extremely quiet. Would it be possible to run the fans on the 900 at a lower speed to gain a similar noise level of the Sonata III? I wouldn't mind even disabling/unplugging all the case fans except the exhaust fan in the back if the noise level reduction would be similar so that I could fire them all back up when not using the mics and have better cooling.

 

Both of these cases seem to be fantastic but I'd love to have the option of better cooling if possible, even if it simply means lowering/disabling/replacing the existing fans on the 900 with quieter ones while performing certain tasks.

 

Thanks in advance for any advice on this,

TR

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You would really struggle to get the 900 as quiet as the Sonata, the 900 is intended for gaming setups/overclocking and extreme cooling, at the expense of noise. I would definitely recommend getting the Sonata for quiet computing. They have excellent ventilation too (not as much as the 900, but good enough). For more information (these guys are crazy about silence), check out www.silentpcreview.com

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Thanks for information and the link!

 

You're right, they're crazy about silence over there, so much that I've now added a few other options I'll have to sit down and think about. Oh wait, I'm already sitting... I guess now I just have to crank up the noggin and start thinking... then it's off to pick out the rest of the parts. Good times... good times... ;)

 

TR

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Greetings everyone,

 

To give you an overview, I'm currently working on a new build which will be used as an audio workstation (via PC) and video workstation (via OSX86). As I'm having to upgrade my current audio workstation due to newer software stresses/requirements and want to wait until the new Mac Pros are released before purchasing one for the video work, my thought is that I can have the best of both worlds until those new Mac Pros are released.

 

Now for the million dollar, actually 2 cent question...

 

I'm looking at two cases, the Antec 900 and Antec Sonata III. Ventilation seems to be absolutely fantastic with the 900 but at the possible cost of too much unwanted noise when recording with condenser microphones. I continually read that the Sonata III is extremely quiet. Would it be possible to run the fans on the 900 at a lower speed to gain a similar noise level of the Sonata III? I wouldn't mind even disabling/unplugging all the case fans except the exhaust fan in the back if the noise level reduction would be similar so that I could fire them all back up when not using the mics and have better cooling.

 

Both of these cases seem to be fantastic but I'd love to have the option of better cooling if possible, even if it simply means lowering/disabling/replacing the existing fans on the 900 with quieter ones while performing certain tasks.

 

Thanks in advance for any advice on this,

TR

 

Check out my sig. I've got the Antec Solo, and I'm guessing it would be a better choice for you than the Sonata. My setup is really, really quiet (and I've got sensitive ears). Plus, if you don't intend to overclock your cpu/gpu you could easily go completely passive, i.e. practically inaudible. The built-in HDD suspension works wonders, wouldn't wanna be without it.

 

SPCR really is the {censored}. ;-) :)

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fruktsallad,

 

You're right about the Solo. I'm currently torn between that model and the P182. Those seem to be the top of the quiet case heap for Antec unless you spring over a grand for some other specialized enclosures I ran into. (From what I've read the P182 and a few others within that P18X line are identical now minus the outside color/finish.)

 

I've seen where some people actually undervolted the fans of that 900 and were arguing that against the P182, although I didn't see any numbers to back it up. With the way that 900's mesh vents are in the front it would seem to me you'd have more base noise to start with no matter what. An example of this would be like if you locked your wife or girlfriend in the closet. If the closet doors have vents on the front, you'd hear lots of rumblings, if it had no vents, then you have less rumblings. Now there's a cheery holiday thought... :hysterical:

 

What I'd love to do is take several of these cases one at a time in turn, put the exact same setup inside each unit, then measure the dB at 1, 3, 5, etc. feet away with the stock fans while taking note of the internal temperature as well as the temps of the CPU (stock and overclocked). You could even vary between a fanned and fanless GPU. That sounds a little crazy I know but it sure would make it easier to make a decision and for those in the same boat as myself. (Although my boat has several corked holes and water buckets, but hey it's still afloat! ) There are software tools to get rid of the excess noise when recording, however I'd like to start out with as clean a signal as possible.

 

TR

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I have made at least a couple of dozen machines for recording studios and the used Sonata 1 , 2, 3 and the p180, you can say I was an antec fan (pun intended?).

 

Well the recent hackintosh I made, I gambled with the case and went with the cooler master COSMOS 1 and wow Wow WOW, its by far the quietest case with 6 fans I have ever heard!! :), looks killer as well , my edit rig is now cooler and quieter than the recording studio rig!

 

Its a little pricey though and huge with acoustic foam lining and all, kinda looks like a MAC pro case on the peak of a steroid cycle....hehe .

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You're right about the Solo. I'm currently torn between that model and the P182. Those seem to be the top of the quiet case heap for Antec unless you spring over a grand for some other specialized enclosures I ran into. (From what I've read the P182 and a few others within that P18X line are identical now minus the outside color/finish.)

 

One other thing you might want to consider in choosing between the Solo and the P180 / P182 series is that the P series of cases has a door while the Solo does not. I personally loathe doors so I have used the Solo when building cases for a few friends that wanted a more silent machine.

 

I personally have the 900 and don't find it noisy at all. The noise maker in my office is an old Sun Ultra 10. When that thing is off I can't hear the 900 at all and when it's on I just know there's noise there. But in your case, if silence is golden for the work you do, I'd say go with the Solo as it is quiet without being overpriced like the P series cases.

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Newear2006,

 

Thanks a bunch for the info on that Cosmos case. I've been checking into it and it seems pretty nice, and huge as well. I like those Nissan Xterra bars on top. Don't know how well a canoe would hold up strapped to it though. :) It looks like a lot of folks are taking the fan from the bottom and mounting it above the hard drives otherwise from what I've read they can get fairly hot. What's your experience with that and how many drives are you running in your setup? I'm looking at a minimum of 4 hard drives. With a good rebate it's price shouldn't be too bad either.

 

EvilEuro,

 

The door issue doesn't really bother me. I do continue to read about that 900 being silent with everything on low or undervolted fans. It does seem to be the leader when it comes to the cooling factor.

 

I think probably what I'll have to do, (and I hate to start another thread asking for build advice), is start another thread asking for build advice. :P

 

I've got the majority of the components narrowed down with a little variation here and there, however I'm still searching threads for answers to a few questions that have most likely already been posted. Things like flashing video cards, etc.

 

Right now the P182 has a rebate which makes it about $6 cheaper than the Solo, the rebate on the 900 makes it $16 cheaper. Decisions, decisions.

 

Thanks again for all the helpful info,

TR

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Newear2006,

 

Thanks a bunch for the info on that Cosmos case. I've been checking into it and it seems pretty nice, and huge as well. I like those Nissan Xterra bars on top. Don't know how well a canoe would hold up strapped to it though. :D It looks like a lot of folks are taking the fan from the bottom and mounting it above the hard drives otherwise from what I've read they can get fairly hot. What's your experience with that and how many drives are you running in your setup? I'm looking at a minimum of 4 hard drives. With a good rebate it's price shouldn't be too bad either.

 

TR

 

You welcome Twisted raven!

 

This case has by far the best air flow I have seen and with a total of six fans ( i have a silent vid card) each 120 mm and running off the s975xbx2 motherboard's fan jacks there is enough cooling to go around and I have 3 drives each 320 gb running all day and night in my editing suite. You could add the fan mod to the hdds especially if your ambient temps are high but any ways the air flow is designed from front to back and each major component runs in its own little isolated thermal zone. also the fan mod costs you the hard drive space of 3 drives you will have to install only three....

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