UK price (as reviewed):£74.99 US price (as reviewed): Currently unavailable
It was only late last year that we looked at the first case from German manufacturer Nanoxia, the Deep Silence 1. What that case lacks in cooling power it makes up for with its near silent operation and some nifty design features that make it a viable competitor to Fractal's R4.
The next case in its lineup is the aptly named Deep Silence 2, although it's not a replacement for the DS1 but more of a trimmed down offering. Its £75 price tag is certainly attractive, as it dips below that of the R4 and is at least £10 less than the original DS1 too, so let's hope Nanoxia has made the requisite sacrifices in the right areas.
Our black sample sports much the same aesthetic as the Deep Silence 1, as every face of the chassis is sleek and flat with minimal features. Compared to the original case, however, the DS2 is over 50mm deeper, but also nearly 50mm shorter too. This increased depth makes it even longer than the Fractal Define XL R2, and the most prominent result of it is the support for E-ATX motherboards, something which few mid-tower cases in its price range can lay claim to.
Click to enlarge - The Deep Silence 2 sports a very similar aesthetic to its predecessor
As with its predecessor, the DS2 has a hefty weight to it, this time coming in at a fraction under 11kg. While this won't make it the best of choices for those who require portability, it's a reassuring sign of good build quality that's particularly good to see in a chassis designed for low noise operation. The steel panels, plastic front fascia and the core frame of the chassis are all robust and solid, and the tall, rubber lined feet once again provide the case with excellent grip and plenty of clearance from the ground.
The front of the DS2 is no longer split into dual magnetic doors, with only the top one having been retained. This door is lined with noise absorbing foam, and opens to reveal three optical drive bays, the reset button and a pair of sliders for fan control duties. This is the same set of features found behind the DS1's top door, but improved ergonomics see Nanoxia cram them into a smaller space, so in this area at least little has been lost along with the height reduction.
Click to enlarge - The front and roof of the chassis have been simplified compared to the DS1
The covers for the optical drive bays clip in and out of place and can be reused, and are also backed by foam for extra protection from noise and dust. The fan control from the DS1 has been fully retained, which is excellent to see, and as such each slider supports 18W and up to three fans. Vents along the sides provide an inlet for cool air, which is sucked in by the two front mounted Nanoxia Deep Silence 120mm fans.
The front panel no longer pops up from the roof of the case, although we weren't the biggest fans of this design anyway. One USB 2 port has also been sacrificed, but this isn't a particularly big loss and we'd much rather lose that than one of the USB 3 ports. The power button is secure in its housing and pleasing to press, although no HDD access LED is included.
Click to enlarge - The DS2 supports a pair of 140mm/120mm roof mounts and a slide out bottom dust filter
It's a shame to see the Air Chimney go, as this did actually improve ventilation and CPU cooling in the previous case. That said, its omission in the cheaper case is certainly understandable, and in its place is a pair of standard 140mm/120mm fan mounts. Both mounts come with a blanking plate backed by noise dampening foam, but neither comes with a dust filter should you choose to use them.
You'll find another 120mm Deep Silence fan mounted to the rear exhaust fan mount, as well as an empty 140mm/120mm mount which, along with the PSU area, is protected by a slide out dust filter. Four tubing holes are also present at the rear for external water-cooling solutions, and Nanoxia again provides grommets to block these out completely should they not be needed, closing up another potential area of noise leakage.
The featureless side panels mean there's no longer an option to add a side fan to bolster your GPU cooling.
Dimensions (mm) 207 x 588 x 468 (W x D x H)
Material Steel, plastic
Available colours Black (reviewed), anthracite, silver, white
Front panel Power, reset, 2 x USB 3, 1 x USB 2, stereo, microphone
Drive bays 3 x external 5.25in (including 1 x 3.5in adaptor), 7 x internal 3.5in/2.5in
Form factor(s) E-ATX, ATX, micro-ATX, mini-ITX
Cooling 1 x 140mm or 2 x 120mm front fan mounts (2 x 120mm fan included), 1 x 120mm rear fan mount (fan included), 2 x 140mm/120mm roof fan mounts, 1 x 140mm/120mm bottom fan mount, 2 x 120mm internal HDD fan mounts (fans not included)
CPU cooler clearance 165mm
Maximum graphics card length 345mm (370mm with HDD fan bracket removed)