How We Test Our Four Elite Cases
|Test System Configuration|
|CPU||Intel 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 Cooler||Coolink Corator DS 120 mm Tower|
|Motherboard||Asus P9X79 Pro: LGA 2011, Intel X79 Express, Firmware 3501 (03/14/2013) O/C at 125 MHz BCLK|
|RAM||G.Skill F3-17600CL9Q-16GBXLD 16 GB (4 x 4 GB) DDR3-2200 Benchmarked at DDR3-1666 CAS 9 defaults|
|Graphics||Nvidia GeForce GTX 580: 772 MHz GPU, GDDR5-4008 Maximum Fan for Thermal Tests, SLI|
|Hard Drives||Samsung 840 Series MZ-7PD256, 256 GB SSD|
|Sound||Integrated HD Audio|
|Network||Integrated Gigabit Networking|
|Power||Seasonic X760 SS-760KM ATX12V v2.3, EPS12V, 80 PLUS Gold|
|OS||Microsoft Windows 8 Pro x64|
|Graphics||Nvidia GeForce 314.22|
|Chipset||Intel INF 22.214.171.1240|
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.
|Prime95 v25.8||64-bit executable, Small FFTs, 11 threads|
|3DMark 11||Version: 126.96.36.199, Extreme Preset: Graphics Test 1, Looped|
|Real Temp 3.40||Average of maximum core readings at full CPU load|
|Galaxy CM-140 SPL Meter||Tested at 1/2 m, corrected to 1 m (-6 dB), dB(A) weighting|