Articles: Cases/PSU
 

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Performance

Now let’s see how good our computer cases are in terms of cooling. We’ll analyze their results in alphabetic order.

The Antec ISK 310-150 can run its fan in three speed modes, so we checked out each of them.

Antec ISK 310-150 (low)

At the low speed of the fan the HDD is cooled poorly, reaching 40°C even when idle. This temperature isn’t critical but makes one think about improving something.

The temperature of the other components is normal and the fans are not audible at all.

Antec ISK 310-150 (medium)

At the medium speed of the fan the HDD feels much better, reaching 40°C only during a long high-load test. The CPU and GPU are cooler by a few degrees, too.

The chipset is, on the contrary, hotter because it is cooled by the CPU cooler’s fan. So, when the CPU gets colder, its cooler slows down, provoking an increase in the chipset’s temperature. And Intel’s 6 series chipsets are known to be very hot things.

In this mode the fan can only be heard from a short distance. The computer is almost as quiet as at the minimum speed of the system fan.

Antec ISK 310-150 (high)

At the maximum speed of the fan the components get colder by a few degrees more, excepting the mainboard’s chipset (which is hotter due to the weaker air flow from the CPU cooler) but the exhaust system fan becomes audible. That’s why this mode cannot be recommended for continuous use.

Thus, the medium speed seems to be optimal in terms of noisiness and cooling. And if you want to improve ventilation further in this mode, you can install a second fan.

Foxconn RS-338(L)

The Foxconn RS-338(L) cools the components very well (except the expectedly hot mainboard’s chipset) at a rather low level of noise. Although noisier than the ISK 310-150 at the medium fan speed, the Foxconn RS-338(L) is quieter than Antec’s maximum speed mode.

The GPU is cooled especially well thanks to the graphics card’s position right next to the PSU fan.

The downsides of this model are its thin metallic panels and the availability of only one HDD bay.

InWin IW-BM643

The InWin IW-BM643 isn’t good in terms of ventilation. Its results are close to those of the smaller Antec whereas the GPU temperature is the worst among the four products.

In terms of acoustic comfort, this model is somewhat worse than the Foxconn due to its high-speed exhaust fan.

InWin IW-BP659

The InWin IW-BP659 is similar to the Foxconn RS-338(L) with its component layout and dimensions as well as with its ventilation. However, it is somewhat inferior to the Foxconn: better in CPU temperature but worse in the temperature of the other components.

The InWin IW-BP659 is the noisiest computer case in this review, mostly due to the high-speed exhaust fan. But you won’t be able to make it really quiet even by replacing that fan because the high speed of the slim 80mm PSU fan can only make the InWin IW-BP659 comparable to the Foxconn RS-338(L).

Finally, let’s compare the results of each computer case with the open testbed:

 

 
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