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Best Of The Best, Part 2: Who Makes The Most Elite PC Case?

How We Tested The Elite ATX Cases

Test System Configuration
CPUIntel Core i7-3960X (Sandy Bridge-E): 3.30 GHz, Six Cores O/C to 4.25 GHz (34 x 125 MHz) at 1.35 V Core
CPU CoolerCoolink Corator DS 120 mm Tower
MotherboardAsus P9X79 Pro: LGA 2011, Intel X79 Express, Firmware 3501 (03/14/2013) O/C at 125 MHz BCLK
RAMG.Skill F3-17600CL9Q-16GBXLD 16 GB (4 x 4 GB) DDR3-2200 Benchmarked at DDR3-1666 CAS 9 defaults
GraphicsNvidia GeForce GTX 580: 772 MHz GPU, GDDR5-4008 Maximum Fan for Thermal Tests, SLI
Hard DrivesSamsung 840 Series MZ-7PD256, 256 GB SSD
SoundIntegrated HD Audio
NetworkIntegrated Gigabit Networking
PowerSeasonic X760 SS-760KM ATX12V v2.3, EPS12V, 80 PLUS Gold
Software
OSMicrosoft Windows 8 Pro x64
GraphicsNvidia GeForce 314.22
ChipsetIntel INF 9.2.3.1020

We’ve retained the same hardware through several generations of case testing, allowing you to compare the thermal results from several round-ups. Case technology doesn’t change much, and neither does the heating capabilities of an overclocked Sandy Bridge-E processor.

We’re counting on that overclocked hexa-core CPU to flood each case with heat, and Coolink’s Corator DS is being used to similarly saturate the enclosures with noise as it transfers thermal energy away from the processor.

Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 580 is a great noise maker in its own right, its blower-style cooler spinning at a few thousand RPM at full speed. This reference card idles down to 40%, and we use full and idle speed settings for our load and idle tests.

Benchmark Configuration
Prime95 v25.864-bit executable, Small FFTs, 11 threads
3DMark 11Version: 1.0.3.0, Extreme Preset: Graphics Test 1, Looped
Real Temp 3.40Average of maximum core readings at full CPU load
Galaxy CM-140 SPL MeterTested at 1/2 m, corrected to 1 m (-6 dB), dB(A) weighting
  • blackmagnum
    Answer (YMMV): Thermaltake Level 10 GT.
    Reply
  • Crashman
    13773314 said:
    Answer (YMMV): Thermaltake Level 10 GT.
    You know the original Level 10 was probably "more elite"

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/level-10-fortress-2,2594-5.html
    Reply
  • vertexx
    Hope the Phanteks Enthoo Primo is part of the final - will we have to wait another 2 months for that?
    Reply
  • ykki
    I wish that they would use the new powercolor devil 13 290x (their version of the 295X2) for their tests
    Reply
  • amk-aka-Phantom
    Who makes the most elite cases? Corsair and NZXT, no need for investigation :) Still, a nice roundup.
    Reply
  • Drejeck
    There are some cases CNC made, you should talk about this indipendent manufacturers. On SweClockers I saw the best mini ITX computer ever made, with 2 ssds, 2 fans, a picopsu and a discrete graphic card with riser card.
    Reply
  • Drejeck
    Anyway my guess was Lian-Li and Silverstone
    Reply
  • eklipz330
    isn't this a purely subjective article? how can this be quantified?
    Reply
  • Neve12ende12
    I don't know much about cases, but I have an Azza Hurrican 2000 and I think it is pretty badass
    Reply
  • firefoxx04
    Phanteks Primo plz
    Reply