Hi BTers! How are you all? Sitting comfortably I hope. If you had to choose between the two, which do you value more, silence or power? I have to admit to erring on the side of silence. I live and work in London, and during the day I'm bombarded with the chatter of work colleagues, the thundering tubes or rushing cars. By the time I get home, I'm usually ready to get into my joggers, kick back and watch some house of cards. My previous two cases have been the Fractal Design Arc Midi, which comfortably held the two 60mm EK 240 XTX rads I bought second hand but did zero to hide pump noise (bay res), and the Silverstone TJ09 which looked gorgeous but only had space for a thin 240 and a 120 rad. Ultimately neither was perfect. I was very excited to hear about the Nanoxia Deep Silence. It had the acoustic dampening features of the Fractal R3 - but also watercooling support. There was only one downside - no window. When it comes to aesthetics I sit somewhere between Gamer and Minimalist camps - I'm not a fan of, for example, the HAFX but I find Lians Lis boxes a little too dull. What's more - if I'm going to build an awesome looking (and performing!) watercooled rig - I want to show that off, so I'm a big fan of windows. Now, I know what you are thinking - but the truth is, I find it hard to slice and dice brand new cases, and prefer modding older ones. A few weeks ago though, Nanoxia tipped it for me - they confirmed a window was in development for the DS1 on their FB page (and even posted a prototype shot) What I like about this is, they've got it right. Controversial criticism time: what were Corsair thinking extending the window in the 800D over the 5.25" bays? I can't think of a single time someone has put something on the side of their 5.25" bays that they wanted to show off? Have Monsoon or Bitspower started making 'Premium' 6/32 screws for hard drives that cost £5 each? I hope not! Second controversial criticism time: what were Corsair thinking extending the window on the 800D down below the midplate? Sure ok, I confess, its not such a heinous crime - some people might have a super cool PSU, or want to show off their pump, but I'd bet for the majority of people it was more of annoyance having a nice window seperated halfway up by the edge of a midplate. Nanoxia have avoided this here, maybe showing the top of the PSU if you peek right up against the glass, but the focus of the window is where the focus should be - CPU, GPU, motherboard and res (assuming you are attaching one to the back like you'll see me do later). On the back of hearing and seeing this, I ordered one from Scan.co.uk for £88. It arrived the next day, kudos to scan, they packed it in a box bigger than my neighbours hallway....which was awkward when I had to collect it from my neighbours and we couldn't get it out, sorry number 45! Instead of using rivets which would require drilling out to secure the bottom drive bay, Nanoxia have used two sets of screws at the front and bottom, which are easily removed. The other two drive bays can be easily popped out by pushing down on levers on the reverse side of the case – though they are tightl. Once this was done, I also removed the central mounting rails that allow the attachment of the upper and mid drive bays, as I found they were fouling the 240mm radiators if I wanted the inlet/outlets at the top rather than the bottom. Again, these were fastened with screws which made life much easier. Now we have the naked case (ooo!), it’s time to check the fitting of the motherboard and radiators. Motherboard in…. P1030153 by Penderyn, on Flickr Up top I had the option of fitting a 30mm rad, which would have shown off more of the motherboard – especially the heatsink laden area around the CPU socket. You can see that below. P1030154 by Penderyn, on Flickr Ultimately I decided that cooling and silence were my prime concerns, and even a 30mm rad obscures the topmost heatsink, which is very close to the top of the motherboard on the UD7, so I plumped for using a 60mm EK 240 XTX. Below you can compare it to the 30mm (both have a Corsair SP120 attached). P1030155 by Penderyn, on Flickr Now, two points of note here. First off, for the top radiator Nanoxia have sensibly ‘offset’ the radiator mounting holes so that when fitted, they are set away from the motherboard. This allows you to use deeper rads (I’m using a 60mm which I’d say is the most you could get away without totally obscuring the CPU socket) and gives you more flexibility when it comes to choosing RAM. I’m using the absolutely awesome Crucial Ballistix Tactical Tracer 1866mhz OB which was £43 per 8GB from eBuyer. The CBTT has fully customisable blue or orange running lights around its base and on its top. It’s around 36mm high, and still has a couple of mm clearance between it and the radiator, but you won’t get stuff like the Corsair Vengeance line in here if you are planning on whacking a 60mm on the top. Be aware that if you are using a 280x60mm rad, you will definitely need some super low profile RAM to fit. Something to think about. Next up, we needed to test fit the front radiator. First of all, I placed it with the inlets on the floor of the case which seemed to work for me. As you’ll see later though, I ended up having to change this around and place the inlets at the top due to the location of the pump. P1030151 by Penderyn, on Flickr All seems good, lets get the screws out! Most modern radiators have M3 sized threads, so I ordered a pack of 20 6mm deep M3 screws to fit the top radiator. They don’t have to be too long as they are only going through one layer of metal, and we don’t want them any longer or you risk penetrating or bending radiator fin on their exit from the radiators thread. The stock fans in the Nanoxia snap out of their mounts quite easily, but I was very aware that the plastic used felt like it had the potential to snap if pulled to hard. I can’t say I like this system that much, but I didn’t encounter any breaks either. Once out, you can slip a screwdriver through the holes in the far side of the fan mounts to screw in the front radiator. Cleverly, the mounting holes are elongated, allowing for variations in radiator mounting hole placement, and of course, different configurations of the same radiator (the mounting holes will be in different places if you vertically rotate the rad). P1030148 by Penderyn, on Flickr P1030149 by Penderyn, on Flickr One thing I would like to comment on here, is that the radiator mounting bracket is made of plastic, and I wasn’t confident screwing in the metal screws, which I felt could have either sunk straight into the plastic, or worse, cracked it. As you can see below, there is ample space for even a 60mm or even 80mm (Alphacool Monsta anyone?) radiator in the front section – even in push pull. P1030151 by Penderyn, on Flickr I initially settled for a push config, using the stock fans, but as you’ll see later, this is another thing I changed my mind about during testing. Some users might note that there is a small gap between the front fans and the radiator, which is a little annoying but by no means a deal killer. So with the front rad in, it was time to load up the P67-UD7 with the CPU, waterblock and RAM. I picked up the UD7 as a returned RMA for £73, and although it doesn’t have the great UEFI of the Asus/MSI boards of this generation, I think we can all agree, it looks absolutely badass, and with its 24 power phases, the reviews tell me it overclocks like a dream. The waterblock is a Nickel Plexi EK Supreme HF, also second hand, and the CPU is a 2500K. Performance wise, I see almost no reason to upgrade beyond this CPU at this point, and it looks like even Haswell won’t give me a good reason. P1030156 by Penderyn, on Flickr Motherboard in… P1030158 by Penderyn, on Flickr P1030157 by Penderyn, on Flickr As anyone who has built a watercooled rig will know, this is the easy part. Radiator attached using 8x M3 screws to the top of the case. Also popped the PSU in. The Deep Silence has an easily removable dust filter along the bottom, which allows you to mount the PSU with the fan drawing air in from the below the case. As an aside, the case feet on the Deep Silence 1 are pretty tall, around an inch high, so there shouldn’t be any issues with the PSU or indeed any mid mounted fan sucking in dust from your carpet. If I was being critical, I’d say that the silver plastic finish on these is of a fairly low quality, but lets not forget – this is an £88 case – not a £200+ Corsair behemoth. P1030159 by Penderyn, on Flickr The fans I’m using on the top rad are Akasa Apache Black. These are marketed as ‘Silent’ and they pretty much are at their lower speeds. Since the aim of the build was silence, I decided to compromise some of my cooling ability in favour of a quieter system. Gah! I hate compromises, and as you’ll see I later went back on this decision. Bonus hint: Some of you may have noticed the green background on some of my shots. This is actually a towel. When building I always pop one down, as it allows you to easily spin whatever you are working on around without scratching the paint, if you need to get to the other side. So, now, where to put the pump and reservoir? I really wanted to show off the reservoir. For this I’m using a second hand EK Multioption 250 – an awesome piece of hardware, which gives you so many different options when it comes to inlets and outlets. In my previous build I’d made the stupid mistake of having the inlet at the top of the res – this kind of setup has the unfortunate side effect of making water trickling sounds if there is any air at all in the res. Nice for going to sleep to, not nice for watching quiet bits in movies! Also makes you want to pee. The obvious place for this was up against the rear of the case. All it obscures is the SLI connectors on the GPU, and I/O ports on the motherboard– no great loss! The Deep Silence has a meshed back, which, along with a couple of small metal washers, makes it easy to mount the Res. A res this large does require the removal of the rear 140mm fan, which was a shame, but since a majority of the air it would be blowing would be hitting the side of the rad, it wasn’t at all essential. P1030163 by Penderyn, on Flickr In the past I’ve used a XSPC bay reservoir which fit my 18W DDC MCP355 pump. However, in my experience these always cause a hell of a racket as they are ‘hard mounted’ to the case, and the reverberations ring out. Yuck. I had a Shoggy Sandwich from a previous build lying about that I’d never got round to using. Time to employ that! Using some 90 degree EK reservoir mounts I fitted it vertically to the floor of the case, right in front of the PSU. Hmm. The meshed bottom concerned me, I wanted this baby to be silent, even at full speed. I fitted some Acoustipak sound absorbtion material I had spare to the bottom of the case, which totally blocked the mesh – no sound was getting out the bottom now. You can see it below and better in some of the later shots. Some of you might also recognise my use of convoluted cable. If you’ve visited the modding section you might have seen my love of the stuff in places where you haven’t the time or money to custom sleeve wires. The over saturated yellow and blue wires of the pump were hidden. Though you can’t see it I also hid the bright yellow wire to a digital temperature sensor that monitors the temp of my pump, and relays it back to my second love – the Mcubed BigNG which you can read a full review of here P1030182 by Penderyn, on Flickr Some of you might be wondering about hard drives after I removed all the 3.5” mounts. I only run 2.5” drives nowadays. One OCZ 240GB Vertex 3 that was a refurb from Scan (£115), and 2x 500GB 7200rpm drives, and 1x 320GB 5400rpm drive. Most of my media is on a N40L under the stairs, so really all I need on these is my music and picture collections (the 5400rpm drive) and my Steam and Origin games (the SSD/7200rpmdrives). The reason I’ve gone down this route is the fact that these drives are all but silent vs their 3.5” counterparts, and give off less heat. Sure, there might be some small compromises made here and there on game loading times, but I certainly don’t notice it. All four drives were mounted into 3.5” to 5.25” adaptors which both hold 2x 2.5” drives. These were then installed in the 5.25” bays up top, along with the BigNG fan controller. For those of you that decided the review of the BigNg I linked to earlier was very much a ‘TL;DR’ type scenario, the BigNG monitors air and water temperatures, and then you can programme it via software to ramp up the fans, and the pump from 0-100% depending on any detected changes. This allows you to have an almost silent build at idle, and then ultimate cooling at load, and in my opinion it should be on the shopping list of any serious PC builder trying their hand at watercooling. In some of the later pics you can see the wire from the first temperature sensor leading up to the BigNG in the uppermost (of 3) 5.25” bay. For those have you that are thinking about jumping onboard with a BigNG – it has a heatsink for a reason! They run quite warm especially when feeding up to 80W worth energy to fans and pumps. They don’t really need active movement of air, but they shouldn’t be pressed right up against the side of your case for example.