We settled on a benchmark system based on Intel's Core i5-4430 and HIS' Radeon HD 7950 IceQ Turbo that comes slightly overclocked from the factory. This was supposed to challenge, but not overwhelm, a mini-tower’s cooling capacity. Because the graphics card exhausts its waste heat out of the case, it presents a much less demanding load than a lot of the boards with axial fans, which negatively affect ambient temperatures inside the enclosure.
We removed the middle hard drive cage to allow for more air to reach the CPU cooler. The Alpenföhn Brocken 2 offers good performance at low noise levels and fits perfectly.
It goes without saying that we also wanted to take a look at how much we can slow the fans down using Fractal Design's integrated controller. Do the coolers need to be left at 12 V, or can we get ample airflow from 7 or 5 V?
|Benchmark System: Fractal Design Arc Mini R2|
|Processor||Intel Core i5-4430 (Haswell), Quad-core, 3 GHz base, 3.2 GHz maximum Turbo Boost, 6 MB shared L3 cache|
|Processor Cooler||Alpenföhn Brocken 2|
|Motherboard||ASRock B85M Pro4, B85 Express PCH|
|Memory||1 x 4 GB G.Skill DDR3-1333 F3-1333C9S-4GNS|
|Graphics Card||HIS Radeon HD 7950 IceQ Turbo|
|Hard Drive||Samsung HD322GJ (System Drive)|
|Power Supply Unit (PSU)||550 W Enermax Triathlor|
|Operating System||Windows 7 Home Premium|
We applied a load to the system using a combination of Prime95 (Small FFTs) and MSI Kombustor (Furry and Tessy Test), then measured the temperatures after 60 minutes.