Nofan CS-70 Fanless Computer Case
This unique PC chassis is intended to form the basis of a fanless PC. It is primarily made of aluminium for thermal conductivity, with generous ventilation which promotes natural convection cooling.
The CS-70 case offers a new dimension in fanless computing and takes the idea to the next stage with its stunning design and expandability. The CS-70 is the latest offering from Nofan and it offers a beautifully finished, 2.5mm thick, finely sand-blasted and anodised aluminium outer shell.
- Highly specified aluminium case intended for fanless PC applications
- Generous ventilation promotes natural vertical convection cooling
- Offers dual external USB 3.0 connectivity and hot swap internal drive bays
- Large internal space can accommodate VGA cards up to 300mm long
- Able to house high-end hardware
- Smaller footprint than a traditional tower case
The interior of the chassis utilises a convection effect cooling layout so that a MicroATX motherboard can be mounted vertically as in a traditional tower case, enabling the Nofan CR-95C CPU cooler to take advantage of natural convection to vent warm air out of the top of the case. This design also enables the CS-70 to support graphics cards that are as long as 300mm without the chassis taking up similar room depth-wise. In addition, the chassis also supports three 3.5" hard drives with one capable of hot-swapping function and one 2.5" drive bay for excellent storage flexibility.
For a chassis that may define a new design direction for fanless PCs, the Nofan CS-70 is perfect for anyone looking to build a striking yet fully functional and quiet system and may be of special interest to professionals such as musicians, graphic designers, university scientists and programmers where a quiet working environment is essential.
The CS-70 also offers room behind the motherboard tray for mounting two 3.5" drives and one 2.5" drive or SSD. With the use of an appropriate 2.5" to 3.5" adapter like the Scythe Twin Mounter additional SSDs can be mounted two at a time in each of the 3.5" drive bays (excluding the hot-swap drive bay), massively increasing the storage options.
When drives are installed behind the motherboard, they are so close to the aluminium side panel that passive heat conduction does occur to help reduce drive temperature. For a hard drive installed in the hot-swappable bay, an aluminium block pre-attached to the side panel will also help to conduct heat away from the drive.
The top panel on the CS-70 is very well ventilated so regardless of the cooling system in use within the case, the warm air can always rise and quickly exit the case vertically. This is particularly important if you are building a fanless system into the case.
Also featured just below the top panel is an additional 3.5 hot-swap drive bay which is ideal for performing a quick data backup and then easy removal of the drive for storage in a safe place away from the main system.
Like any modern case, the CS-70 sports two high speed USB 3.0 ports on the front panel, (internal motherboard cable supplied), along with audio jacks, power and reset buttons. Long PCI Express expansion cards are also supported up to 300mm in length.
The front loading optical drive slot offers a perfect way to install an optical drive into the case without the need for an unsightly 5.25" drive to spoil the sleek, elegant front of the case.
If you are looking for more than just a quiet PC, the CS-70 provides beautiful yet elegant design and style that won't look out of place anywhere from a living room to design studio.
|Case model||Nofan CS-70|
|Finish||Finely sand-blasted black anodised aluminium|
|Materials||Aluminium outer shell, steel body|
|CPU compatibility||Intel only (not AMD)|
|Motherboard compatibility||Micro ATX|
|Front ports||2 x USB 3.0 (USB 2 compatible) and HD Audio|
|Maximum CPU cooler height||165 mm|
|Drive bays||2.5" x 1 / 3.5" x 3|
|Optical drive||Space for a slimline, slot loading drive|
|Dimensions||235 x 284 x 487 mm (W x D x H)|
|Maximum PCI card length (PCB only)||300 mm|
Very nice case
I built a system using this case along with the Nofan P-400A Silent 400W Fanless Power Supply Unit and Nofan CR-95C Pearl Black IcePipe 95W Fanless CPU Cooler. I considered using another PSU, hoping for even higher efficiency, but the NoFan PSU takes air in at the bottom and exhausts it from the sides and the case is designed for this: the PSU fits flush beneath a metal plate at the top so PSUs with different airflow might not work.
I used a ASUS P8B75-M (Ivy Bridge socket 1155) motherboard which is not listed as compatible but has the CPU in what looks like a normal position and everything fits fine. I also used Corsair XMS3 memory which has heat spreaders and this fit easily underneath the heat sink. The CPU is a i7 3770T and I use the on built-in graphics. Running Linux, at idle the system uses 29W and sits at 31C. Watching video with XBMC the CPU temperature rises to 36C. I have not done full load testing yet.
I was impressed that the front and sides of the case come off with no tools. There is a dust filter that fits magnetically at the bottom. Cable routing for this build was straightforward, however NoFan dropped the ball with the IEC connector on the PSU which goes to an internal cable that routes power to the connector on the bottom of the case. Either it is upside down or the right angle connector on the cable turns the wrong way because there is some metal cable channelling in the case for this cable but it cannot be used because the cable exits the PSU in the wrong direction! No big problem but not as tidy as it could have been, and it seems like a silly mistake.
The motherboard fitting was one of the easier ones I have done; everything lined up perfectly. The hard disks fit nicely; I use a 2.5" SSD and 2x 3.5" HDDs and I can use the three power connectors from one lead from the PSU. For the HDDs there are rubber grommets and special screws which dampen vibration noise. However there is still a hum from the HDDs in this otherwise silent system, so I configure them to spin down as much as possible. The hot swap SATA bay is genius for backup and using HDDs as if they were big memory sticks. Just turn on AHCI on your motherboard to use it.
The only other negative point is that the top cover and buttons look a bit cheap and plasticky. But overall it is a very nice looking case and is nice to work with. It sits in plain view in the lounge making no noise and my wife is happy. Buy one.
Impressive and Handsome Silent Case
I was lucky enough to receive a pre-production CS-70 thanks to QuietPC.com and am very impressed at the case. I've built a few systems with HFX and other components and the CS-70 was a breeze and the silence is fantastic after the noisy Dell 435MT it replaces.
The P-400A power supply slides in very easily and is secured quickly - a nice touch is that the female socket for the mains lead is hidden from the outside and means the cable is less likely to be pulled out.
The only slightly awkward part is that you add the CPU and memory to the motherboard and then put it in the case >before< installing the CR-95C CPU cooler as the cooler obscures several of the motherboard mounting screws. This is explained on the Nofan site and a very cute little bottle of thermal paste with brush is supplied which makes this very easy. You have to be a bit careful with the height of your RAM as very large heat sinks will foul the cooler, too.
I used the recommended Gigabyte GA-Z68MX-UD2H-B3 and an i7-2700K which is sitting at 44C on all cores with a VM running and several other applications.