The tests are performed with a closed and assembled system case at a constant ambient temperature of 23° that is maintained by an air conditioner. Most users are likely to prefer quieter PCs, so we set the CPU cooler and the system fans (connected to the mainboard) into the Silence mode. If the system case has its own controller, the fans connected to it are set at minimum speed, too. We did not modify the configuration of airflows.
The following configuration was assembled in the tested system cases:
- ASUS P5E mainboard
- Intel Core 2 Duo E6850 CPU
- Zalman CNPS9500 AT cooler
- Four Western Digital Raptor WD740GD HDDs
- HIS IceQ3 Radeon HD 3870 graphics card
- 2GB DDR2-800 SDRAM (Patriot PDC24G6400LLK)
- Microsoft Windows XP Professional SP2
The CPU temperature was read with the ASUS PC Probe program supplied with the mainboard. The HDD temperature was reported by HDD Thermometer. The graphics card’s temperature was read with its driver.
There were the following test modes:
- IOMeter (IOMeter’s Access Time test runs on every HDD, loading them to the full)
- Prime95 (Prime95 is running in the in-place large FFTs mode that loads both CPU cores fully)
- 3DMark06 (3DMark06 is running at 1280x1024 with the highest graphics quality settings)
Each temperature was read after half an hour of operation in each test mode, i.e. when the temperatures of the components had stabilized.
The level of noise was evaluated subjectively.