Testbed and Methods
The assembled system case is tested at a constant ambient temperature of 23°C maintained by an air conditioner. As we assume that most users prefer low-noise system cases, we set the speed of the CPU and system fans (those connected to the mainboard’s 3-pin connector) into Silent mode (the quietest mode on ASUS mainboards). The fans connected to the system case’s own controller are set at minimum noise, too. We do not change the default configuration of airflows determined by system case design.
The following components are installed into the system case:
- ASUS P5E mainboard
- Core 2 Duo E6850 processor
- Zalman CNPS9500 AT cooler
- Four hard disk drives Western Digital Raptor WD740GD
- HIS IceQ3 Radeon HD 3870 graphics card
- 2GB DDR2-800 SDRAM Patriot PDC24G6400LLK
- Microsoft Windows XP Professional SP2
- Enermax MODU82+ EMD625AWT power supply (625W)
The CPU temperature is read with ASUS PC Probe included with the mainboard. The temperature of the HDDs is measured with HDD Thermometer. The graphics card’s temperature is reported by its control panel. The speed of the fans is measured with an optical tachometer Velleman DTO2234. There are the following test modes:
- IOMeter (IOMeter’s Access Time test running on all the HDDs to load them fully)
- Prime95 (Prime95 running in In-Place Large FFTs mode to load both CPU cores fully)
- 3DMark06 (3DMark06 running at 1280x1024 with maximum graphics quality settings)
Every temperature is read after the system has worked for half an hour in the current test mode.
The following table shows the temperatures of the components if the system is assembled without an enclosure (“open testbed”).
The noise level is evaluated subjectively.