Getting a silent or even half-quiet PC still seems something of a struggle. In most cases it feels like you should be grateful for a non-beige, lightweight case; noise levels are almost an afterthought by the manufacturer. Generally, if you want to make your PC noise-free you'll have to do the hard work yourself, which is a time-consuming process at best.

A pre-damped case is one option and the latest from QuietPC is the Silentmaxx. It's a substantial chunk of steel that's lined with two layers of acoustic-damping material. It also comes with impressively large feet that reduce vibrations going into the floor or desk.

Inside the case a wide support bar can take a 80mm side mounted fan and while this initially blocks access, it does swing out of the way. Unusually, there are seven 5.25-inch drive bays. The idea is that you buy hard drive enclosures and mount these in the internal bays, eliminating drive noise. The top four bays are quick release.

No fans actually ship with the case, which is disappointing for the price. There's space for a side and rear 80mm fan, while 120mm fans can be installed at the front and, unusually, the base of the case. An illuminated front annoyingly hides not only the drives, but the power button as well.

The absent PSU does put the case into the expensive category - but this case does offers its unique advantage. No one said that making a silent PC would be cheap and the extras on top will mount up, but there's no doubt that this is a good start on that path to aural bliss. Neil Mohr