Articles: Cases/PSU

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Testbed and Methods

The tests were performed on closed and fully assembled system case and at a constant ambient temperature maintained by an air conditioner. The fan speeds were left at their defaults.

The following configuration was assembled in the tested PC case:

  • Intel D945GTP mainboard
  • Intel Pentium D 920 (2.8GHz; Presler core)
  • Zalman CNPS8000 (1400rpm) cooler
  • 512MB DDR2 SDRAM
  • ATI Radeon X1800 256MB graphics card
  • Seagate Barracuda 7200.8 200GB hard disk drive
  • Seasonic SS-401HT power supply

This CPU dissipates more heat than any Core 2 Duo processor in default operation mode whereas top CPU models do not match this system case in terms of price and functionality. For expensive HTPC systems more functional and roomy cases are offered.

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 chipset were read with Intel Desktop Utilities supplied with the mainboard. The temperatures of the GPU and graphics card 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 noisiness of the preinstalled system fans is discussed below. The system case coming without a power supply, the latter’s noise is not counted in.

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