Here are the brief specifications of the tested system cases:
We will first discuss each case’s results and evaluate the cooling of hard disk drives depending on their position.
There are two hard drives in the R3 Corona: HDD1 is the one closest to the power supply.
We don’t think many people will install two such hot drives as our 10,000rpm Raptor X into this system case, but anyway. The HDDs do not feel comfortable. The side vent and the single 80mm fan at the opposite end of the case is not enough for them even though the CPU cooler helps the system fan by driving air in the same direction. Squeezed between HDD1 and the panel, HDD2 is especially unwell. Thus, we’d recommend you to use only one hard disk drive in this system case or choose 5400rpm models (e.g. WD Caviar GP) that dissipate less heat than 7200rpm drives.
The level of noise is average. There is no protection against noise, and the employed fan is not exactly silent, but there are also no parasitic noises typical of many inexpensive compact system cases. In this aspect the case looks like a typical office-oriented model.
The intake 140mm fan and the exhaust 120mm fan cope well with cooling all the components. The time-tested design works well. At 50% speed we could only hear a soft hiss of the air flow from the 140mm fan. When the speed is higher, the fan becomes noisier, and the back-panel fan does not remain near-silent, either. The temperature benefits are small, so you may want to run the fans at slowed-down speed always (a media center is expected to be quiet in the first place). And you can even build an advanced gaming configuration in this system case if you pick up appropriate components.
Finally, let’s see how the system cases perform in different operation modes.
Both cases do well when the system is idle, although the temperature of the HDDs is rather alarming in the R3 Corona.
The R3 Corona finds it hard to cool the HDDs when the latter are being used actively. Note also that the temperature inside the whole case began to grow up – the single system fan is obviously not enough.
The R3 Corona does better at maximum CPU load, but we use an advanced CPU cooler, after all. A boxed CPU cooler would not be that effective. The AVC-K2 performs well under any load.
And finally, when the system is under heavy graphics load, the multimedia case feels just fine, like at any other load while the R3 Corona has a hard time. Judging by the results, the whole case is getting hot in this test.