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The Review Process

2003 Winter Case Review Part 2: The ATX Avalanche
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To review each case, we used an established, standardized process : we built each test case using the same setup, including use of the same cables and same power supply. We believe it is critical to test "real world" functionality of each case using a "real world" standard setup to yield more accurate information as to the performance of each case. Our sample-testing configuration was as follows :

Sample Testing Setup
CPU AMD Athlon 3200 XP - 400 MHz FSB
CPU Heatsink & Fan Vantec Aeroflow - VA4-C7040
Motherboard ABIT NF7-S
RAM Corsair TWINX1024-3200LL - 1 GB
Video ATI Radeon 9800 Pro - 256 MB
Hard Drives 2 Seagate ST3120023AS - 120 GB
Optical Drives Asus 16X DVD DVD-E616 / Asus 52X CDRW - CRW-5224A
Floppy Drive Mitsumi
Power Supply Antec TruePower - 430 Watt - TRUE430
Additional Case Fans Antec 80mm, 92mm and 120mm fans - Used where necessary to add to cases that did not include all fans. All possible fan slots were populated with the largest fans available for testing when the case would accept more than one size.

As mentioned in previous reviews, due to the growing popularity of rounded cabling, we used both rounded floppy and IDE cables during our testing. Each system was pushed for a continuous 4-hour period, running 3DMark 2003 in a loop to make sure that the system and the case were up to proper temperature. All of the cases reviewed passed this test setup. However, we did maximize the number of fans by adding Antec fans to the cases that did not include a sufficient number of fans, or where there were empty fan mounting slots because the manufacturer chose not to include them.

Temperatures for the CPU were within a range of 47°C/116°F to 50°C/119°F. The ambient temperature within the case ranged from 35°C/95°F to 40°C/100°F. All tests were run in an environment with an ambient temperature between 70°F to 75°F. Although we monitored the ambient temperature, since we did not use an isolation chamber for testing these temperature measurements are given only as a general guideline. (Our new temperature testing process is coming soon and might be ready by the next case review, if all goes well !) These measurements are based on the information provided by the hardware monitoring that is built into the ABIT NF7-S motherboard, as well as some additional temperature measurements made with our Raytek, and these temperature ranges were well within acceptable limits. None of these cases failed due to a cooling issue, even when the system was at its hottest. These temperature measurements were taken several times during the 6-hour test period. We chose to increase our testing period to a continuous 6 hours, which better emulates a typical workday.

Just to let you know that we have problems too, we encountered a power supply failure when we were about halfway through this test. We were forced to replace the power supply and re-test all of the cases again to make sure that our results were consistent. (The power supply that failed was not an Antec power supply.) The retesting delayed this article for some time.

Summary
  1. Introduction
  2. Bezel, Bezel... Match My Case!
  3. Bezel, Bezel... Match My Case!, Continued
  4. The Review Process
  5. Antec: Performance One Series P160
  6. Antec: Performance One Series P160, Continued
  7. Antec: Performance One Series P160, Continued
  8. Antec Solution Series: SLK3700-BQE
  9. Antec Solution Series: SLK3700-BQE, Continued
  10. Antec Solution Series: SLK3700-BQE, Continued
  11. AOpen A600 Series: A600B
  12. AOpen A600 Series: A600B, Continued
  13. AOpen A600 Series: A600B, Continued
  14. Aspire: X-Alien
  15. Aspire: X-Alien, Continued
  16. Aspire: X-Alien, Continued
  17. Aspire: X-Dreamer II
  18. Aspire: X-Dreamer II, Continued
  19. Aspire: X-Dreamer II, Continued
  20. Athenatech: 400 Series
  21. Athenatech: 400 Series, Continued
  22. Athenatech: 400 Series, Continued
  23. Athenatech: 7800 Series
  24. Athenatech: 7800 Series, Continued
  25. Athenatech: 7800 Series, Continued
  26. BeanTech: BT85
  27. BeanTech: BT85, Continued
  28. BeanTech: BT85, Continued
  29. BeanTech Igloo Series: IGLOO 12
  30. BeanTech Igloo Series: IGLOO 12, Continued
  31. BeanTech Igloo Series: IGLOO 12, Continued
  32. Casetek LAN PARTY Dreamer: CK1021
  33. Casetek LAN PARTY Dreamer: CK1021, Continued
  34. Casetek LAN PARTY Dreamer: CK1021, Continued
  35. Casetek LAN PARTY Dreamer: CK1021, Continued
  36. Cooler Master: ATC-201B-BXT
  37. Cooler Master: ATC-201B-BXT, Continued
  38. Cooler Master: ATC-201B-BXT, Continued
  39. Cooler Master: ATC-201B-BXT, Continued
  40. Cooler Master Wave Master: TAC-T01-EK
  41. Cooler Master Wave Master: TAC-T01-EK, Continued
  42. Cooler Master Wave Master: TAC-T01-EK, Continued
  43. Cooler Master Wave Master: TAC-T01-EK, Continued
  44. Enermax CS-5171LBFS-B
  45. Enermax CS-5171LBFS-B, Continued
  46. Enermax CS-5171LBFS-B, Continued
  47. Fong Kai FK-333ATX
  48. Fong Kai FK-333ATX, Continued
  49. Fong Kai FK-333ATX, Continued
  50. Inwin IW-S564G-ATX
  51. Inwin IW-S564G-ATX, Continued
  52. Inwin IW-S564G-ATX, Continued
  53. Inwin X Series IW-X710
  54. Inwin X Series IW-X710, Continued
  55. Inwin X Series IW-X710, Continued
  56. Jeantech Butterfly Series 2011
  57. Jeantech Butterfly Series 2011, Continued
  58. Jeantech Butterfly Series 2011, Continued
  59. Jeantech Butterfly Series JN424SB
  60. Jeantech Butterfly Series JN424SB, Continued
  61. Jeantech Butterfly Series JN424SB, Continued
  62. Lian Li PC-6077
  63. Lian Li PC-6077, Continued
  64. Lian Li PC-6077, Continued
  65. SilverStone Technology Lascala Series / SST-LC01
  66. SilverStone Technology Lascala Series / SST-LC01, Continued
  67. SilverStone Technology Lascala Series / SST-LC01, Continued
  68. SilverStone Technology Lascala Series / SST-LC01, Continued
  69. Superpower Superb Series KC2301B
  70. Superpower Superb Series KC2301B, Continued
  71. Superpower Superb Series KC2301B, Continued
  72. Thermaltake Xaser III Lanfire Series: VM2000AD
  73. Thermaltake Xaser III Lanfire Series: VM2000AD, Continued
  74. Thermaltake Xaser III Lanfire Series: VM2000AD, Continued
  75. Thermaltake Xaser III VM3000A: Skull Series
  76. Thermaltake Xaser III VM3000A: Skull Series, Continued
  77. Thermaltake Xaser III VM3000A: Skull Series, Continued
  78. Conclusion: An Extraordinary Number Of High-Scoring Cases Makes Picking The Winners Difficult
  79. Conclusion, Continued
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