Testbed and Methods
We assembled the system trying to keep an optimal balance between cooling quality and noise level. The fans at the back panel were connected to 5V (1600rpm) via the included adapter; we also set the CPU fan speed at 2000rpm. We performed our tests in a closed and fully assembled case and at a constant ambient temperature, maintained by an air conditioner. We also took care to lay out the cables and wires in such a way that they didn’t hinder free circulation of air inside the case.
The following system was assembled in the Zalman HD160 case:
- Intel i945PLM mainboard
- Intel Pentium 4 560 3.6GHz CPU
- 2 x 512MB Samsung DDR2 SDRAM
- ATI Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition 256MB graphics card
- Seagate Barracuda 7200.8 200GB hard disk drive
- DVD/CD-RW drive from LG
There were four test modes:
- CPU Burn : two copies of the CPU Burn utility running
- 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
- VGA Burn : Unreal Tournament 2004 is running with the maximum graphics quality settings
The temperatures of the CPU and mainboard were read with Intel Desktop Utilities version 2.1 which are 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 20°C throughout our tests.