Articles: Cases/PSU

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The 3.5” devices are fastened with screws into two baskets which resemble the ones of the DX-01 model except they have sides made up almost entirely of vent holes. On the bottom panel of the case there’s fastening for yet another basket and you can move one of the standard baskets there, but 1) you have to remove the fan cell to do that and 2) it’s not very handy to insert this basket as there are no side guides at the bottom.

There are seven slits for the expansion cards in the rear panel, and they are covered with brackets. These brackets as well as the brackets of the expansion cards you install instead are fastened with an L-shaped lock similar to the one employed in the CX-01 model.

This system case comes with a 360W Chieftec HPC-360-202 power supply. The PSU rear panel carries a power connector and a power-on button. Six power cables for hard disk drives or optical drives and two power connectors for floppy drives are available here. There’s also a signal cable for monitoring the rotational speed of the PSU fan. The lack of power cables for SATA drives is compensated with a Molex – SATA power adapter enclosed with the case. By the way, I couldn’t assemble the testbed with the available connectors and had to use power splitters.

The case has seats for 80mm fans: two at the rear panel, one at the front panel, and one in the bottom HDD basket. Besides that, there’s a seat for a 90mm fan on the right panel opposite to the top 3.5” basket. There’s a vent hole in the left panel, below the level of the installed graphics card – you can put one more 90mm fan there if necessary. There’re vent holes in the rear panel, too. There are plastic cells for the fans at the rear and front panels; the fan on the right panel is screwed up to the mainboard mounting plate, so you’ll have to remove the right panel to do that. There are no special holes for a fan in the left panel, so you can only fasten one through a hole in the grid.

First I performed my tests with the case’s default ventilation system, i.e. with its PSU fan alone. After that I added two 80mm fans (3000rpm speed) on the front panel and one 90mm fan (2500rpm) on the right panel and repeated the tests. Then, I tested the case with two 80mm fans on its rear panel. And at last I repeated the tests with two fans on the rear panels, two fans on the front panel and one fan on the right panel.

As the table shows, without additional fans the temperature of the hard disk drives is terribly high in this case even in the Idle mode. The fans bring the temperature down somewhat, yet it remains high. I should acknowledge that thanks to the vent holes in the HDD baskets and the fan on the side panel of the case, the temperature of the drives in the top basket was considerably lower than with the DX-01 case of the same design. On the other hand, the temperature of the drives in the bottom basket was much higher than with the DX-01, probable due to a different layout of airflows due to the same added fan on the side panel and the vent holes in the baskets.

If additional fans are installed at the front and rear panels of the case, the temperature of the hard disk drives is acceptable for everyday work, but not for applications that actively use the disk subsystem of the computer.

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