ASUS DIGIMatrix Inside: Cooling
The cooling solution used in ASUS DIGIMatrix is quite compact on the one hand, and highly efficient on the other, which distinguishes it from all other analogues. This is not surprising, actually, because there is not too much room inside DIGIMatrix case, just like in notebooks, for instance, however, the system is built with desktop components, which dissipate quite a bit of heat. Nevertheless, ASUS DIGIMatrix is cooled down by two fans 60mm and 70mm big with pretty low rotation speed.
The CPU in ASUS DIGIMatrix is equipped with two solid copper heatsinks with thin ribs about 1.5cm high. Both heatsinks are connected with one another via a heatpipe, which is very god at transferring the heat from the heatsink pressed to the CPU surface to the “free” heatsink. The fans installed onto these heatsinks suck the air into the case through the holed in the cover. The warm air is blow outside the case through the slits in the sides of the system. This way the system is constantly cooled down by the cold air coming from outside.
All in all, this cooling system is pretty efficient and copes well with its primary task: CPU cooling. We tried using ASUS DIGIMatrix even with a Pentium 4 2.53GHz processor and it was absolutely stable throughout the entire test session. However, at the same time we are concerned about the HDD health. The air circulation in the HDD area is very weak and the drive is cooled down by the air, which has already gone through the CPU heatsink and hence warmed up. As a result, it would be not the best idea to use especially “hot” hard disk drives with high rpm rate in ASUS DIGIMatrix.
Moreover, you should also keep in mind that nothing should be put on top of DIGIMatrix system. If the holes in the upper part of the case get covered by some object, this will block the air circulation and the system will get overheated with all the resulting consequences.
In order to illustrate the thermal status of ASUS DIGIMatrix platform we decided to take the temperature of different system components in the idle mode and under the maximum CPU workload, which we carried out with the help of CPUBurn utility. We installed Intel Pentium 4 2.53GHz CPU, 512MB of DDR333 SDRAM and Western Digital Wd400JB HDD into our ASUS DIGIMatrix system.
CPU temperature, oC
System temperature, oC
HDD temperature, oC
First fan rotation speed, RPM
Second fan rotation speed, RPM
As we see, the thermal situation in this system (if we disregard high HDD temperature) is quite acceptable. Moreover, since ASUS DIGIMatrix supports Pentium 4/Celeron processors with their own effective anti-overheating technologies, there is no need to worry about the reliability of this system.
As for the noise produced by ASUS DIGIMatrix system, I have to stress that it is very low compared with the level of noise generated by regular desktops or “cubic” mini-systems. Even when the fans rotate at their maximum, the noise level never goes beyond 30dB. For your information: the regular desktop systems generate about 50dB of noise.