First let’s see the results of each case individually and check out the cooling of HDDs depending on their position.
IKONIK Taran A20, °C
The HDDs are numbered from top to bottom.
The HDD positioned at the bottom, apart from the others, feels more comfortable, but there is no reason to worry. The classic design with an intake fan in front of HDDs nearly always works well. There are no problems in the other parts of the case, either.
The Ikonik Taran is also good in terms of noisiness. Its fans are not exactly silent but comparable to the HDDs in idle mode (when working, the HDDs are far louder than everything else). You cannot hear the sound created by the fans from a distance of 1 meter or more.
IKONIK Zaria A20 at min fan speed, °C
The HDDs are numbered from top to bottom once again.
The system case copes with cooling our system at any load even when its fans are working at the minimum speed. The HDDs have almost the same temperature except that the top HDD is somewhat warmer than the others.
The fans proved to be somewhat louder than expected. The front 140mm and the back 120mm fans produce the hissing sound of airflow whereas the 80mm fans on the side panel also rattle with their motors. This rattling sound is not as loud as the HDDs’ heads or graphics cards’ coolers, but quite distinct anyway.
IKONIK Zaria A20 at min fan speed without side fans, °C
Interestingly, you can just turn those fans off completely. The mainboard will only be a couple of degrees hotter while the CPU will even become cooler! So, we guess the side fans are not necessary at all.
IKONIK Zaria A20 at max fan speed, °C
If the fans are working at their maximum speed, the components are cooled better. However, the noise becomes far more audible. Each fan has a particular voice: the 140mm fan is producing a characteristic low-frequency hum, the 120mm fan is hissing at the back panel, and the 80mm pair is chattering at a high frequency. The combined noise is almost as loud as the heads of our HDDs (and the four WD Raptors are far from quiet themselves). It is quite uncomfortable to be near such a loud computer.
Finally, let’s compare the system cases with each other and with an open testbed.
The Ikonik Zaria is more appealing than the Taran when idle: the components are hotter in the Taran than on the open testbed. The Zaria, on the contrary, is close to the open testbed in terms of cooling efficiency.
The Taran looks better when the HDDs are under load. It cools the HDDs better than the open testbed which has no active cooling. The fastening system with plastic rails seems to be an obstacle to good cooling of the HDDs in the Zaria. The Zaria is only comparable to the open testbed at the min speed of the fans. We guess it is an indication of low efficiency, especially as there is a 140mm fan in front of the HDD cage. Of course, you can solve the problem by increasing the fan’s speed, but this means increasing its noise, too.
The Zaria shows its best under maximum CPU load. This case is comparable to the open testbed in terms of CPU temperature. Interestingly, the increased fan speeds do not affect the CPU but improve the cooling of the mainboard somewhat (the HDDs are a different story as they are very responsive to higher fan speeds in this system case). The Taran is worse in terms of CPU cooling but gives no cause to worry. You should just use a good cooler if you install a top-performance CPU into it.
There is nothing new under gaming load. The Taran is still better at cooling HDDs, but inferior from the other aspects.