Articles: Cases/PSU

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Now let’s compare the system cases. To remind you, the CPU works at a lower clock rate in the NSK3480 and NSK1380. A weaker CPU cooler is employed in the NSK1380. The temperature of the hottest HDD is shown in the diagram.

The Nine Hundred is the leader in Idle mode. Then comes it younger brother, Three Hundred, far ahead the rest of the gang. However, it evidently lacks at least one fan for air intake right opposite to the hard disk drives. The NSK3480 should be noted, too, for excellent CPU cooling. The reduced CPU clock rate leads to a lower temperature, which indicates good cooling. Once again, the HDDs in the top cage of the P182 are not cooled well.

The Nine Hundred is on top, again. Well, this system case is nearly an open testbed considering the number and size of its system fans. As for the Three Hundred, even without the fans at the HDDs they get better cooling than in cases with traditional internal structure thanks to the airflow created by two fans in the upper corner and meshed front panel. The P182 and NSK3480 have problems cooling some of the HDDs.

The Zalman CNPS9500 AT will cool the CPU all right if it is given enough air. Every system case passes the test normally except that the CPU is hot in the NSK1380 just as expected – I wrote about that above.

This is the most important test which is close to real-life conditions. After all, games are the most demanding application for today’s PCs. Other applications require weaker hardware components with lower heat dissipation. The coolers of modern graphics cards exhaust the hot air right out of the system case, so the case ventilation should just not heat the card up too much. Every system case copes with this job. The NSK3480 is somewhat worse than the others because the graphics card and the HDD are too close to each other in it. As I noted above, for such a configuration you should use a mainboard on which the PCI Express x16 slot is the first rather than second one. I would like to mention once again that Nine Hundred and Three Hundred cases demonstrated remarkable cooling: both of them showed 6°C better mainboard temperature than their rivals in the today’s test session. Even Three Hundred coped better than the others with HDD cooling, and Nine Hundred equipped with two fans for air intake demonstrated 8ºC better HDD temperature than its younger brother and 11°C better temperature than the remaining cases.

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