Articles: Cases/PSU

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Thermal Performance

I tested the system case as it was, i.e. without changing the default speed of the preinstalled system fans. The tests were performed on a closed and fully assembled case and at a constant ambient temperature maintained by an air conditioner. I also took care to lay out the cables and wires in such a way that they didn’t hinder free circulation of air.

The following system was assembled in the tested PC case:

  • ASUS P5WDG2-WS mainboard
  • Intel Pentium Extreme Edition 955 (3.46GHz; Presler core, Hyper-Threading off)
  • Thermaltake Big Typhoon cooler (1200rpm)
  • 512MB DDR2 SDRAM
  • ATI Radeon X800 XL 256MB graphics card
  • Seagate Barracuda 7200.8 200GB hard disk drive
  • Seasonic SS-401HT power supply

This system is far ahead of any regular user configuration as well as of a lot of overclocked ones in terms of CPU heat dissipation. This should suffice for testing CPU coolers as well as system cases.

There were four test modes:

  • Idle
  • CPU Burn: two copies of the CPU Burn utility running
  • VGA Burn: Unreal Tournament 2004 is running with the maximum graphics quality settings
  • HDD Burn: two file sets (a 7GB folder with many small files and a 40GB folder with movies) are being copied simultaneously from one partition to another

The temperatures of the CPU and mainboard were read with ASUS PC Probe which was supplied with the mainboard. The GPU and graphics card temperatures were read with RivaTuner. The HDD temperature was reported by HDD Thermometer. The temperatures were read only after they had fully stabilized. The ambient temperature remained constant at 23°C throughout the tests.

The system case shipping without a power supply, there was nothing else in it to produce noise.

The manufacturer’s specification of the Lian Li PC-777 system case:

  • Number of bays: 6 x 5.25”, 6 x 3.5” internal, 5.25” → 3.5” converter with a FDD bezel, 1 x CD-ROM bezel
  • Preinstalled fans: two 12cm ball-bearing fans
  • Supported mainboards: ATX (max size: 12”x9.6”); optional back-plate of the mainboard tray for BTX mainboards
  • Interface connectors: 2x USB 2.0, 1x IEEE1394, 1x MIC, 1x EAR
  • Dimensions: 246 x 645 x 574mm (W x H x D)
  • Expansion slots: 7x PCI slots

The results are quite predictable:

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