For thermal and acoustic testing, we are using the following software and settings:
|CPU Clock||i9 9900k: 4.6 GHz (46x 100MHz) @ 1.1v|
|GPU Clock||RTX 2070 Super: Stock|
|GPU Driver||Nvidia GeForce 445.87|
|Case & CPU Fan Speeds||100%|
|GPU Fan Speeds||75%|
Because the InWin 216 doesn’t come with any included fans, we cannot include it in our default configuration tests. So, we are jumping straight to our standardized testing.
The standardized test is performed with (up to) three Corsair ML120 and ML140 fans in the biggest size the case supports. This setup usually rewards bigger cases that support 140 mm fans, but again the 216 only supports 120 mm spinners.
For our acoustic tests, we run three scenarios: CPU full load, CPU and GPU full load, and an optimized idle. The CPU full load test runs the CPU and case fans at their maximum speed, or 1200 RPM in the standardized test with Corsair ML fans. For the CPU and GPU full load acoustic test, we add the Nvidia RTX 2070 Super FE at 75% fan speed, because in practice it never runs at 100 percent and is extremely loud when it does.
For the optimized idle, we run the GPU fan speed at 40 percent (the 2070 Super FE GPU does not have a Zero-RPM mode), and run the CPU and case fans at the lowest speed they will spin at.
In the acoustic tests, the InWin 216 puts down numbers that are about what’s expected for a closed-front case. It’s quieter than a mesh case by a couple decibels, and keeps things reasonable until the unreasonably-loud 2070 Super FE gets involved.
For the thermal tests, all case and CPU fan speeds are set to 100 percent. The i9-9900K is pegged at a 4.6GHz clock at 1.1v on all cores to ensure consistent power consumption across test scenarios, and letting the GPU run at 75 percent fan speed enables it to maintain its power target while maintaining one set reasonable fan speed, so that the temperature is the only variable.
As far as thermals go, InWin’s 216 is among the warmer running cases in our recent tests. It isn’t choked for air or overly warm at just a couple degrees warmer than a mesh case, and beats Silverstone’s SETA A1 for CPU temperatures. Unless you’re overclocking hard and need the absolute best performance, thermals are not a reason to avoid the InWin216--provided of course you’re going to bring your own set of quality fans.
All things considered, the InWin 216 is a chassis that’s more balanced towards being practical and easy on the build process. It doesn’t make extra work out of making its internals pretty or refined, although it also complicates the build process by not including guides for board sizes and pre-installed standoffs. Once you’re done building and close off the system though, none of that really matters anymore as the sleek looks and tempered glass hide the mess anyway.
But the InWin 216 chassis does not stand out as a case in any positive way. It isn’t particularly bad, but it’s inefficient in its use of space and makes too many mistakes to be a contender for our best PC cases list.
The case is also a mess internally. It’s simply unforgiveable to not support any 140 mm fans (or even mounting support for them) in a case that’s this big, and the same goes for not being able to mount a top radiator or AIO without running into clearance issues with your motherboard. We would also have expected the 216 to make better use of its space to add additional 3.5-inch hard drive support for data hoarders, but it doesn’t do that either. Instead, the space between the front panel and the motherboard is mostly wasted.
At the end of the day, the 216 is bigger than it needs to be, or not capable enough for its size, whichever way you choose to look at it. Pair that with the fact that no fans come included, there’s no USB Type-C and no RGB, and it becomes very hard to justify the $80 price point, regardless of how nice it looks from the outside. As you’ll have to spend $20 on one or two fans, you might as well jump to a chassis like the be quiet! Pure Base 500DX (provided you don't need E-ATX support), which costs $100, does everything right that the InWin 216 struggles with, and comes with three quality fans instead of none at all.