We were left disappointed after our last experience with an Aerocool chassis, with the budget X-Predator X1 having mediocre features and poor cooling, but first impressions of the Dead Silence Cube are much more positive.
More cuboid than cube, it's a micro-ATX chassis with soft touch (and scratch resistant) plastic panels for the front and roof that curve neatly into each other. We feel the black and white colour scheme works well. It's available in multiple colours too, and there's also an optional window. Its £70 asking price puts it on par with Fractal's excellent Arc Mini R2, although Aerocool's cube is noticeably shorter than Fractal's case.
The window is made from relatively cheap and thin plastic, but it's at least flush with the textured steel panel and nets you a decent view of the interior. The opposite panel is bare. Most of the panels do have some flex when you press on them, as a whole the case is sturdy and has no major weaknesses on its outer shell.
Click to enlarge
At the front, the case is equipped with one 5.25-inch and one 3.5-inch external bay, although you'll have to yank the entire front fascia off to push the covers out – presumably this has been done to preserve the sleek finish.
The indented sections that outline the roof and front panels give the white sections some prominence and lend the case a touch of visual flair beyond the standard boxy look. They're also functional, as they're finished with ventilation holes. These holes provide the sole inlets for the included front 200mm fan – the predominantly solid front panel means that airflow here will be quite severely restricted. The fan itself is also rated as low airflow, which won't help things in this regard, and it isn't shielded by any form of dust filter either. The front intake is complemented by a 120mm rear exhaust fan, also a low airflow model
Click to enlarge - The interchangeable roof panel can be used to improve airflow and gives you access to the top fan mounts
The dual I/O panels are located on the roof and feature the standard audio plugs and plenty of USB connectivity. Sadly, there's no fan control, which is a risky move in such an enclosed chassis, especially one that Aerocool has equipped with low airflow fans. While it's obvious from its name that the Dead Silence is prioritising silence over performance, the lack of any flexibility here stands out. Simple fan control switches are inexpensive to implement, and it's not without good reason that both Fractal Design and Nanoxia utilise them in their own silence-oriented cases.
As well as the I/O panels, the roof is equipped with an interchangeable panel. By default, it's the solid white one, but a black meshed panel (with dust filter) can be fitted instead, with the sliding black clip at the back used to lock them in place. In theory, it's a good idea as removing it grants you easy access to the fan mounts below and the dual panels let you choose between airflow friendly mesh if you do install fans here and a silence friendly solid panel for when you don't. However, it's poorly executed, and for a silly reason. Once you've unlocked the panel it's nearly impossible to get a hold of it and pull it off because it's so flush with the rest of the case – we had to resort to gripping the lock with a pair of pliers to do so.
Click to enlarge
Round the back, the rubber grommets on the rear water-cooling pass-through holes are fixed very securely, which is always nice to see. The PCI brackets, meanwhile, are shielded by a single cover that's held in place by a thumbscrew. However, this proved to be fiddly, and we saw no reason that the brackets couldn't have just had their own individual screws.
The bottom of the chassis is coated in more soft touch material, and has a concave curve that ends in the two feet which also have rubber pads on for grip. There are also a series of large vents here to give the PSU some airflow. Thankfully, the PSU is protected by dust filter that's easy to slide out and thus clean.
Dimensions (mm) 265 x 381 x 411 (W x D x H)
Material Steel, plastic
Available colours Black/White (reviewed), Black, White, Red (windowless options available)
Front panel Power, reset, 2 x USB 3, 2 x USB 2, stereo, microphone
Drive bays 1 x external 5.25in, 1 x external 3.5in, 2 x internal 3.5in/2.5in, 2 x internal 2.5in
Form factor(s) Micro-ATX, mini-ITX
Cooling 1 x 200mm/180mm/140mm/120mm front fan mount (200mm fan included), 1 x 140mm/120mm rear fan mount (120mm fan included), 2 x 140mm/120mm roof fan mounts (fans not included)
CPU cooler clearance 190mm
Maximum graphics card length 255mm; 320mm (no ODD cage); 350mm (no ODD cage, no front fan)