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Thermal Performance

Here are the results:

Now let’s sort all this out.

In the Idle mode all the components feel all right and there are only three points to be emphasized. First, the MOSFETs are hot in the AeroCool Zero due to its upside-down layout. In the other cases they were cooled, although a little, by the air the PSU fan was sucking in. Second, the South Bridge is very hot on the open testbed because there’s almost no air flow around it in such a situation. Third, the CPU temperature is high in the AeroEngine JR. It is because the case had only one intake fan whereas the exhaust PSU fan doesn’t help much. The fan of the Seasonic SS-401HT is rather slow; it is quiet, but cannot replace a good exhaust fan.

One thing can be noted in the CPU Burn mode: the CPU temperature in the AeroCool AeroEngine JR and on the open testbed differs too much from the others. This has been explained above: hot air is not taken off from the CPU cooler normally, which is crucial for low-speed coolers like Thermaltake Big Typhoon. Such coolers perform much better when in a draft as is exemplified in the AeroCool Zero and ExtremEngine 3T whose big side fans ensure good ventilation of the case even at a low speed. The side fans also have a positive effect on the temperature of other components such as the graphics card and the chipset.

It is the graphics card temperature that is important in the Game mode and the AeroCool Zero and ExtremEngine 3T are beyond competition: their 25cm fans are a perfect match to the passive heatsink of the MSI RX1650XT card. On the other hand, these fans are going to be of little use if you’ve got a graphics card with its own fan.

There’s only one system case performing poorly in the HDD Burn mode. It is the AeroCool Zero. If you want your hard disk drive to be cool, you should install it behind the front-panel intake fan. It involves performing some manipulations with your screwdriver, but it’s worth the trouble.

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