Articles: Cases/PSU

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Testbed and Methods

I assembled the following computer in the reviewed system case:

  • ASUS P4C800-E rev.2.0 mainboard (BIOS 1016)
  • Intel Pentium 4 3.4GHz CPU
  • Intel’s box cooler
  • 2x512MB Corsair CMX512-3200XL
  • Sapphire Radeon X800 Pro 256MB graphics card
  • Maxtor MaXLine Plus II 250GB hard disk drive
  • 3.5” NEC FD1231H floppy drive
  • LG GCR-8523B CD-ROM

The cables inside the case were neatly tied together and fastened to the side panels where possible. This way they didn’t become an obstacle on the way of the airflows. The case was tested at a constant ambient air temperature of 23°C. We controlled this temperature using an electronic thermometer FLUKE 54II. There were two test modes: Idle (the OS is booted up; the computer’s in the idle mode) and Burn (a Far Cry demo is running in a loop in 1024x768 resolution and at the maximum graphics quality settings).

We have learned experimentally that the temperatures of all the system components stabilize after 40 minutes of being in a particular test mode, so after these 40 minutes are over we read the temperature data from the following sensors:

  • Mainboard’s integrated thermode
  • CPU’s inbuilt thermode
  • HDD (through S.M.A.R.T.)
  • GPU’s inbuilt thermode
  • Graphics card’s integrated thermode

Having tested the system case with its standard ventilation, we install additional fans at the spots intended for them and rerun our tests. Unfortunately, we couldn’t install a cross-flow fan on the mainboard’s plate since such a cooler was not included with our sample of the system case and we couldn’t find a similar one because of the original design.

We used the following software during our tests:

  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional SP2
  • Crytek Far Cry
  • Motherboard Monitor
  • RivaTuner 2.0 RC15.2
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