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Measured Test Results

Three Gaming Cases, With Power, Under $100
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We checked the CPU, GPU, and chipset temperatures following at least 40 minutes at full load, using eight threads of Prime95 to generate maximum CPU temperature and one instance of FurMark at 1280x1024, 8x AA to reach full GPU temperature. Results are sorted by CPU temperature first.

In Win’s low temperatures are deceiving because the case would not close over our 120 mm tower cooler. That cooler was specifically chosen for the performance gaming market In Win hopes to win over with its Griffin chassis, hence the chart is labeled only for the power supply. The true cooling winner is Thermaltake’s M9, a statistic we attribute partly to the case’s dual fans.

Cooler Master’s USP 100 is doubly beset by its lack of exhaust fan and an intake fan that doesn’t flow well, itself doubly hindered by a sideways hard drive cage and a restrictive fan grille. A second fan of similar specification can be added within this comparison’s $100 limit, and doing this dropped our CPU temperature by 4° Celsius.

Global power consumption is a completely different matter. In Win’s Power Man units have always worked extremely well in our low-spec systems, but this is the first time we’ve tried to power anything as mighty as the GeForce GTX 285 with one. An 80 PLUS Bronze rating is testament to this unit’s efficiency.

On the other hand, the highest-rated power supply is also the only model that didn’t require a dual 4-pin to single PCIe power adapter simply to run our graphics card. Cooler Master’s eXtreme Power 550W costs over $50 on its own, trumps competitors on 12V current capacity, and converts the greatest amount of input energy into heat.

We again find an irrelevant number in In Win’s “full-system” noise output, since the case couldn’t be closed over our CPU cooler—or any cooler over 4.5” with its side fan installed. Thermaltake’s M9 does the best job of containing our CPU fan’s excessive noise, while the USP 100’s single fan allows the empty case to be quieter.

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