Articles: Cases/PSU

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Test Results

The following table shows the temperatures of components.

There is nothing extraordinary here. The system case copes with cooling under any load.

Noise is quite a different thing, though. The fan of the included cooler is rotating at 2800rpm, providing good cooling but producing too much noise as the mainboard with a 4-pin fan connector cannot reduce its speed. Compared to it, the boxed cooler from Intel is much quieter at 1800rpm. Moreover, its speed lowered to 1000rpm under low CPU loads, making it virtually silent.

These are but trifles, however, compared with the noise produced by the power supply. Its two 60mm fans were doing their best to cope it and were producing a loud and irritating buzz. They were louder than the heads of the HDD during active seek! Such noise is unacceptable for an HTPC. Perhaps it won’t be disturbing when you are watching an action movie, but you can hardly relax to some soft music as the high-frequency buzz will distract you.

Now let’s compare the case with the open testbed.

When the system is idle, the components are cooled but slightly better on the open testbed. Take note of the difference in the CPU temperature between the two coolers. The included cooler is almost as good as the bulky Zalman CNPS9500 AT whereas Intel’s boxed cooler is considerably worse.

The hard disk drive feels good enough even under load. It is cooled by the air that flows into the power supply. The air flow is strong due to the quickly rotating fans.

The included cooler copes with high CPU load whereas Intel’s aluminum cooler fails. The included cooler is made from copper and has a ribbed heatsink. The noisy fan is its only downside, but the PSU is even louder.

Running 3DMark on this system may seem ludicrous, but this benchmark can be viewed as a typical average CPU load. Intel’s cooler accelerates to its maximum speed and catches up with the opponent, proving its worth.

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