So it was just a couple of days ago when we received a test sample from AeroCool – thank you guys, appreciate your support and we hope you like the review.
Here is a list with more case reviews we’ve done for AeroCool:
Having said that, let me introduce you to the actual sample we’ve got here – it’s the Dead Silence DS230 chassis and its main purpose is to satisfy the needs of those who want…Dead Silence. It’s a new addition to the Dead Silence line up and it’s one of the most exiting ones, indeed. On top of that the entire case design is something worthy of admiration due to its simplicity and style, but let’s leave that for later and proceed with the actual unboxing of DS230 from AeroCool.
|Contrast packaging||Styrofoam pieces|
Honestly, it’s not too often when I see such a dark box and usually it’s more carton with black inscription, however AeroCool decided to present us with a slightly different approach – almost entirely black box with inscriptions “engraved” into the darkness. I like it. It catches the eye – the main purpose of any box. And it’s different. Good.
Black background is present on both front and back of the box with technical information being delivered on the sides. On the front you can see small icons with indications of the features this Dead Silence case can offer.
With an around 8.2 kg chassis, DS230 has been protected with two styrofoam pieces, medium thickness and they’ve done their purpose well. Along with those we have a nylon wrap all around the case to prevent any scratching from foreign materials.
Let’s have a closer look at the exterior once I remove the protective nylons and foams.
AeroCool Dead Silence DS230 EXTERIOR
DS230 is one of those short, chubby cases with wide stance which is great to work with when installing a system inside and this is obvious straight out the bat once you see it.
Physical dimensions are W230mm x H475mm x D477.8mm making this a Mid tower case and being lightweight is also vital as you can put more noise dampening material inside. Primarily made with the use of steel 0.7mm which is a tad thinner than usual, combined with the passive noise dampening material provide DS230 with a solid base and sturdy feel overall.
|Out of the protective materials||Exclusive front|
Sometimes a great case doesn’t need a full front grill to be eye catching, but rather a more subtle look, humble, yet elegant and simple. Entire front panel has a brushed aluminum look and feel. Although it’s made of plastic that doesn’t seem like an issue, given the cost of the case. A very small, but well placed AeroCool logo sits on the bottom portion of the case. Both left and right thin stripes are metal grills to allow air to pass through for the front fans. Horizontally there are two white stripes – those serve the purpose of home for the LED lights. Yes, one of the main selling points of this case are the RGB LED controllable lights and the noise dampening capabilities.
As you can see from the photos the black matte paint is all around this chassis and boy is the paint good. Not only that, but it also has that rubbery feel to it – very premium and nice to the touch. Less fingerprints also. Great paint job in my honest opinion, and it was intact.
I have to say that this design is very likely to be loved by many due to its simplicity and elegance. If you think there is no “pop” of the case – wait till you see the photos at the end of the article.
Moving along the exterior reveals more about the case and how it’s made. A perfectly flat top is always good to look at, especially when there is no grill or ventilation holes. To be perfectly honest those are hidden beneath the top cover, which is also flat with the top. But it looks very nice, also has magnets. And it dampens noise.
Rear side offers visibility to all seven expansion slots, fan slot and the ventilated bit near the PCI-e slots. Standard and straightforward.
|Bottom||Right side panel|
Right side panel doesn’t impress, nor it needs to in this case. It’s purpose is to hold the noise dampening material in place.
I’m pretty sure that by now you’ve noticed how this case sits on the floor – it appears slightly elevated. And you’re right. DS230 sits on a plastic stand with rubber feet to prevent slip on most surfaces. It’s also black, has a nice linear pattern to it and it holds a case badge which I find very sleek.
It’s a great way to give a case some identity and appeal, however be careful with how you use the stand as once a full system is assembled, tilting the chassis on one side can result in a cracked plastic stand. It’s study enough and I would have personally liked it better if it was made of metal, but it does the job well. Those rubber feet also provide non-slippery experience even with an empty case – good job.
Lets move forward with inspecting the interior of the case.
AeroCool Dead Silence DS230 INTERIOR
Access to the interior of DS230 is not hard at all considering you need to undo two thumb screws and slide the side panel away. It was immediately after that when I realized how heavy and durable the side panel is.
|Interior shot||Behind the motherboard tray|
Black paint all around the interior is structurally intact and appears to be evenly sprayed – not that we expect anything less, but it’s always good to see solid quality control.
Rubber grommets – not present. That one is kind of a downer, but not a deal breaker. There is no acrylic window on either panels, so you can’t see what you can’t see :).
This dual chamber interior can house ATX / micro ATX / mini-ITX motherboards, along with GPUs up to 388 mm / 413 (without front fans installed) which is great and it means more hardware and more money spent well. In terms of CPU cooler height clearance – 170mm is the maximum, more than enough to install the best coolers out there.
Here is a closer look at the sound dampening material used for the passive noise cancellation – it’s a hard material and it also aids the structural integrity of the case and side panels. Both are equipped with the same material.
Moving forward I removed the nylon package strapped with a zip tie for the chassis – nothing really out of the ordinary. Leaflet with pictures of which screw to use (probably the best way to make someone aware of how to install things), necessary screws and stand offs, fan screws and non reusable zip ties. Good. Personally I believe that for a case of this caliber it would be better to put a nicer user guide and what not to do with the case.
Now that I’ve checked most bits of the case it is time to disassemble it and have a look around the chassis’ design and its structural integrity.
|Chassis design||DS230 Chassis|
Going into detail with DS230 isn’t difficult and the chassis doesn’t disappoint in terms of strength. To be perfectly honest those 0.7mm make a difference to 0.8mm steel cases as in places you can very easily bend the metal, even by accident. It’s not going to fall apart on you – no, but in order to cut of the cost there has to be a compromise somewhere.
I wasn’t able to remove the stand nor the LED stripes due to several reasons – screws of the stand are less than accessible and the LED strips could be damaged easily if removed. Good thing the LED lights have longer lifespan.
Quality-wise AeroCool DS230 doesn’t disappoint and sits in the mid range in terms of structural strength. Have a look at the list of parts I was able to remove:
- 2 x side panels with hard noise dampening material
- 1 x top cover with hard noise dampening material
- 1 x front panel with hard noise dampening material
- 2 x PCBs with LED controls and fan control
- 1 x front dust filter
- 1 x rear dust filter
- 2 x HDD/SSD plastic mounts
- 1 x dedicated hidden SSD metal mount
- 1 x 120mm Aerocool fan
Now let’s begin the backwards process of assembly and explaining how things are connected here.
Beginning with the front panel one can easily see that this is an important part of the overall case as it holds all the needed cables for the LED lights, I/O ports and buttons. Speaking of those here is a list with the I/O ports and buttons:
- 1 x Power button
- 1 x PWM button
- 1 x LED switch button
- 2 x USB 2.0 ports
- 2 x USB 3.0 ports
- 2 x HD audio 3.5mm jacks
The way to connect the front panel is only by clicking it into place, be careful with the plastic clips. Same way goes for removal – just pull forward.
|Cables, ports and buttons||PCBs and LED controls, Fan connector|
Here is the final stage of connecting the PCBs:
Both PCBs are attached with velcro to the chassis which makes them easy to remove. I’ve connected back the fan hub and LED light control board and went onwards to the top panel.
There I found the top cover which contained noise dampening material of the same type as the side panels. Powerful magnets hold it into place and in order to remove it you’ll need to use your fingernails – beware not to hurt yourself as it can be a bit hard to remove. A handle or a small notch to pull out the panel would have been nice, but on the other hand the perfectly clean top would have been compromised.
|All storage mounts||Mounted|
In DS230 you can mount up to 5 drives, be they 3.5″ or 2.5″. There is a dedicated 2.5″ drive mount and two plastic HDD mounts, compatible with 2.5″ drives as well. Two more 2.5″ drive mounts are available near the front panel. In terms of plastic quality – flexible and durable, easy to use and install a drive inside. No issues there.
We’re moving forward to the cooling capabilities of this case and the time has come to install the rear fan right where it belongs. This piece is a 120mm x 120mm x 25mm fan frame with a 9 blade propeller, capable of running in the range between 600-1800 RPM. Maximum airflow it generated is 53.4 CFM at a noise level of 34.1 dBA.
Total number of fans that can be installed in this case is 6. You have one fan included out of the box, which is enough to get you going, but should you need more cooling – go and buy some fans, plug them into the fan control unit and enjoy.
1. Front : 3 x 120mm or 2 x 140mm (Optional)
2. Rear : 1 x 120mm fan (PWM fan Included)
3. Top: 2 x 120mm or 2 x 140mm (Optional)
Water cooling is also supported in this case, I actually believe DS230 is initially designed for water cooling as it has tons of options to choose from:
Front : 3 x 120mm or 2 x 140mm (Optional)
Top: 2 x 120mm or 2 x 140mm (Optional)
Rear : 1 x 120mm (Optional)
Last but not least I’ve slid the top cover in place and installed the side panels back where they fit. One more thing – while building the system inside DS230 I’ve accidentally stumbled upon the PSU dust filter. It slides under the PSU and is easy to remove due to its short size.
Okay, so, I’ve managed to disassemble and assemble the case, examined most part of it and the next best thing to do is to install my system inside and go on with the tests.
AeroCool Dead Silence DS230 TESTS
For the testing I will use an Intel based system with Z97 chipset motherboard.
Intel Z97 Test system
- CPU: Intel i5-4670K
- At standard frequency 3.400 MHz (Voltage set to Auto when not OC-ing)
- Motherboard: ASUS Maximus VII HERO Z97
- Video card: MSI AMD R9 280X GAMING 3G
- Memory: Kingston Hyper-X SAVAGE 8 GB, Dual channel, 1866 MHz
- Solid State Drive: Intel 530 Series, 120 GB
- Hard drive: Western Digital 1 TB RED Series, NAS
- Case: AeroCool Dead Silence DS230
- Power supply: Corsair RM750 W
- Cooler: Cryorig H5 Ultimate
- Thermal paste: Cryorig CP7
The test was conducted in a closed system with:
- 1 x 120mm AeroCool fan, rotating at maximum RPM at 12 volts
- Room temperature of about 21~22 degrees Celsius.
And here I want to describe my testing method.
I will install my test rig inside the case and do CPU and VGA stress tests using AIDA64 for about 10 minutes with these settings:
- CPU: Intel i5-4670K – At standard frequency of 3.400 MHz (Voltage set to Auto when not OC-ing)
- MSI AMD R9 280X GAMING 3G – running at stock voltage and auto speed control of the fans.
AeroCool Ds230 is a case where you build with ease. It was a genuine pleasure to work with the case and 0 issues were found. Since this is a case made for noise cancelling, less cooling performance out of the box is expected. Thus I will not be forcing the tests too much, but only work with the stock frequencies of the CPU.
|Behind motherboard tray||Frontal shot|
Here is a summary of the tests:
|DS230 @ Idle||DS230 @ Load|
After I’ve spent several hours disassembling, assembling, reviewing and later testing the case, I believe it is time to express my thoughts on the product.
AeroCool Dead Silence DS230 CONCLUSIONS
1. AeroCool DS230 performance – Coming out with only one fan right off the bat doesn’t mean too much performance but does the job properly enough. As I mentioned earlier this is by no means a high performance case. If you want better cooling you’d definitely have to buy some fans or go for the more expensive water cooling solutions. There is plenty of opportunities in DS230 to water cool your hardware and water cool them good.
Build quality is great, love the paint and the finish. I also love the rigidity of the chassis when fully installed. Personally I would have liked to see thicker steel used in order to be even more secure. However compromises must the made for the sake of pricing – and that’s not a bad thing. That way this lovely case will end up in more houses. We all got to save money, right?
Dual chamber design helps a little bit with the temperatures, it’s non removable so it might make some of you impatient if you need to fully pack this case with radiators due to working space being limited somewhat. Plenty of cable management space and zip tie mounts.
2. AeroCool DS230 appearance – This is where DS230 shows its stellar performance and please have a look at the photos below. Equipped with RGB LED strips and manual control you can make this such a pleasant part of your desk and ambient light that you’ll want to take selfies with this case (I did).
Couple of effects are available – Breathing and Solid. Seven colors available in total with very, very good coverage on the LED strips. Don’t let the photos fool you. All buttons are illuminated as well, with the power button serving the purpose of HDD activity light as well. Quite good indeed.
3. AeroCool DS230 noise level – Considering the operating revolutions of both fans (CPU cooler and the pre-installed one from AeroCool the case is dead silent at standard RPMs (when Idle). At maximum RPM and at maximum load you can easily hear the fan noise, however it’s more the air that can be heard, rather than any whining noises. The used noise dampening material is definitely doing the purpose it stands for. Just for the test while the PC was under maximum load I removed both side panels and the top cover – it was very noisy. Putting them back in resulted in that nice insulation and isolation of a more ambient and tolerable noise overall. Excellent job!
Great case to have and admire upon, AeroCool!
I believe AeroCool DS230 deserves the following reward:
Official price (MSRP) for AeroCool Dead Silence DS230: 89.90 euro
Warranty: 2 years
Special thanks to AeroCool for providing us with a test sample.