Testing Participants Specification
Below is a summary table that lists the basic specs of each reviewed system case:
And now we can proceed to the tests.
The tests were performed on closed and fully assembled system cases and at a constant ambient temperature maintained by an air conditioner. The fan speeds were left at their defaults and we didn’t change the configurations of airflows (with the exception of the Cooler Master case for which we removed the strut for expansion cards). The Gigabyte cases were tested with the vent grids in the side panels; we didn’t install the plastic windows.
The following configuration was assembled in the tested PC cases:
- ASUS P5WD2 mainboard
- Intel Pentium Extreme Edition 955 (3.46GHz; Presler core, Hyper-Threading off)
- Thermaltake Big Typhoon cooler (1200rpm)
- 512MB DDR2 SDRAM
- MSI X1900XT 256MB graphics card
- Seagate Barracuda 7200.8 200GB hard disk drive
- Seasonic SS-401HT power supply
There were four test modes:
- 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 temperatures of the GPU, VRM transistors and chipset were read with the Scythe KamaMeter device. The HDD temperature was reported by HDD Thermometer. The temperatures were read only after they had fully stabilized. The ambient temperature remained constant at 25°C throughout the tests.
The noisiness of the preinstalled system fans is discussed below. We disabled the PSU and the coolers of the CPU and graphics card when evaluating the noise of the system fans.