SilentiumPC Aquarius M60W Pure Black: a mainstream tank

Measurement

The nominal fan speed is about 1200 RPM for high-speed controller setting, and 650 RPM for low speed. At 38.8 dBA ambient noise, at full speed the fans are very loud at 45.3 dBA so it makes no sense whatsoever to use them at such setting. At low speed they are still noticeable by ear (39.3 dBA) so for ultra-low noise configuration, you need to replace them with better ones, I suspect imbalanced rotors. With the usual ball-bearing SCSI hard drive installed in, the noise is 40.7 dBA with fans off, 41.0 dBA with low speed and 46.3 dBA at high speed (where HDD itself in the anechoic chamber produces 39.9 dBA). And indeed I must admit even by ear the case really dampens the HDD noise and vibrations much better than the Zalman Z9 Neo thanks to thicker steel and firm mounting positions. The test equipment is the usual as for power supplies.

Conclusion

My overall impression of the SilentiumPC Aquarius M60W is very much better than of the Zalman Z9 Neo on the very first look inside. Although Zalman provides five 12cm fans and few velcro ties, the M60W has three 14cm fans instead which is pretty much the same. In both cases the fans are not really of great quality, but for the price of the cases you cannot expect any manufacturer to install quality dead-silent fans. That is up to the user. But in every other aspect the M60W is far superior.

The steel is thicker and both the steel processing and painting is much better. Almost too much better I would say, many of the thumbscrews need to wear out so you can actually use your thumb to operate them. All the mechanisms are thought through and working fine with better quality once again, starting with the HDD caddies and ending with the front fan filters and access to the fan mounting itself. And the top fan filter mesh is just genial.

So my usual rant goes towards the fact there is only single version with a window. The appearance of the case is quite conservative so it can even find a place in office, or some other low-end system with Micro-ATX board (I prefer some working space, so usually bigger cases). But office case with a window? What for, to look at the dust? Do so many people really want cases with windows or is it just manufacturers want us to think that? I know it is named Aquarius, but maybe aquarium with live fish will be better… but anyway, I still like it enough for bronze award! BTW, for those who really like to have aquarium, SPC has a drawing of fully glass side panel on their site which you can make.

Pros + 5.25″ positions
+ support for long graphics cards
+ three 140mm fans pre-installed
+ easy to remove fan filters
+ thumbscrews provided for side panels
+ 0.8mm steel, firm construction & quality paint
+ tool-less installation of 5.25″ drives and expansion cards
+ good price
+ fan speed regulator
+ easy to access front fan positions
Cons molex for fan regulator of poor quality
vacant top fan positions
hard to turn thumbscrews
no sound dampening material
Be aware of… /?\ window

Thanks

I thank the SilentiumPC company for providing the SilentiumPC AquariusM60W.

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