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Temperature, Noise, And Acoustic Efficiency

Five Gaming Cases Between $80 And $120, Reviewed

The two most closely-matched case designs take first and second place in our thermal tests, with the case that has the most factory-installed fans topping the chart.

While this editor finds drive doors inconvenient, they do occasionally help reduce the overall noise profile of a case. Thicker material also dampens noise, while vent size and location have a profound effect on how much noise escapes.

Similarities in internal design are not proven in noise dampening, as NZXT and Xigmatek take opposite ends of the chart. Corsair’s 300R is the quietest of the three thin cases, and it is also the coolest of those three.

For our cooling to noise comparison, the word relative refers to how each case compares to the average of cases in this review.

Because lower temperatures produce better results, an inverse scale of thermal performance is needed to give better-cooling cases a higher score. The average temperature of all cases is divided by the average temperature of an individual case to calculate its relative cooling.

The bottom number in a division problem is already inverted (a larger denominator produces a smaller fraction), so the average noise level of each case is divided by the average noise level of all cases to produce a direct result for relative noise reduction.

Taking first place in both cooling and noise, NZXT’s Phantom 410 has the most favorable cooling-to-noise ratio. Corsair continues its dominance as the best of the cheaper models, while Xigmatek’s poor noise control drops it to the middle of the pack.

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