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Operation In A Closed Case

Gigabyte Radeon HD 7970 Super Overclock: Now With Windforce 5X
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We use a mid-sized Chieftec LF-01B chassis for our closed-case temperature benchmarks. We wanted a smaller enclosure, which should amplify potential heat problems caused by Gigabyte's card. We benchmarked with and without the case fan, but always left the CPU fan running.

Gigabyte Radeon HD 7970 Super Overclock
Processor
Core i7-2600K (Sandy Bridge), 32 nm, 8 MB Shared L3 Cache, Overclocked to 4.5 GHz
Cooler
Deepcool Gammax 400
Memory
2 x 4 GB Kingston Value DDR3-1333
Mother Board
Gigabyte Z68X-UD5-B3
Case
Chieftec LF-01B
Power Supply
Chieftec Nitro 2 550 Watt
Front Case Fan
800 RPM (Low-Voltage)
Top Case Fan
Not Active
Back Case Fan
800 RPM (Low-Voltage)
Optional Side Case Fan
1. Measured without Fan
2. Measured with Fan
Operating System and Driver   
Windows 7 Ultimate x64
Catalyst 12.6 WHQL
Test Software
FurMark, OCCT


First, we benchmarked without case's side fan in place. We didn’t see any impact on CPU temperature, though temperatures inside the chassis increased very slowly. Within the first 30 minutes, the side of the case (with its two small 120 mm openings) got quite warm.

We applied 7 V to a small, quiet case fan, and that was enough to keep the side of the chassis cooler (it sat at 35 degrees Celsius after 30 minutes). The interior case temperature increased by six degrees Celsius from our 22 degrees Celsius room temperature to 28 degrees.

Not only is this acceptable, but it's comparable to coolers employing direct heat exhaust. The only caveat is that, of course, you need a chassis with ventilation on the side. Something like Enermax's Fulmo GT, with its huge side opening, would be ideal, even without a side fan.

Once again, the video shows Gigabyte's Radeon HD 7970 Super Overclock under the full load of FurMark. The noise level is a little lower in the closed case, side opening or not.

Gigabyte 7970 SOC Windforce 5X

The case doesn’t manage to reduce the noise level by much, but at least it changes its tone a bit to sound deeper. The cooling implementation works really well at these noise levels, making overclocking a breeze.

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