Testbed and Methods
Our testbed included the following hardware parts:
- Intel i955X mainboard
- Intel Pentium Extreme Edition 3.2GHz CPU (on Smithfield core)
- Thermaltake Big Typhoon cooler
- 2x512MB Kingston KHX5400D2/512 DDR2 SDRAM
- ATI RADEON X850 XT Platinum Edition 256MB graphics card
- Western Digital WD1600JB hard disk drive
- NEC ND-3540A optical drive
- Zippy HP2-6460P power supply
I want to apologize for a mistake I made in my previous tests on the same testbed. The real frequency of the processor is 3.2GHz rather than 2.8GHz as I wrote earlier. Probably because this processor is a rare product, the mainboard and various informational utilities reported its frequency incorrectly. The correct frequency became known to me only after I updated the mainboard’s BIOS with a new version.
The Thermaltake Big Typhoon cooler and the identical testbed configuration will allow me to compare the 3D Aurora with a similar product from Thermaltake – the Shark model.
I tested the system cases in the following modes:
- CPU Burn (two copies of CPU Burn running)
- HDD Burn (two sets of files are being copied simultaneously – a 7GB folder with small files and a 40GB folder with large video files)
- VGA Burn (Unreal Tournament 2004 is running at the maximum graphics quality settings)
The temperatures of the CPU and mainboard were read through Motherboard Monitor 188.8.131.52; the temperatures of the graphics processor and the graphics card’s PCB were read with RivaTuner.
I didn’t measure the temperature of the memory modules as it didn’t depend on the case design (I explained this in my review of Thermaltake system cases).
The temperature of the hard disk drive was read with HDD Thermometer.
The room temperature was 20°C at the time of the tests and remained constant throughout them.
The temperatures of the system components were read only after they had fully stabilized.