Four Unique ATX Cases Compared

Luxor Pyramid Test Notes

Included fans were far from quiet, estimated at a combined noise level exceeding 30 decibels - this estimate is based on comparison with fans of known noise value at a distance of one meter. Total system noise using the same estimation method approached 40 decibels.

Noisy fans often provide great airflow, but this also was not the case (pardon the pun). With the E6700 at stock settings and the system using a cool 7900GS for display, temperatures reached 58°C for the CPU and 43°C for the chipset. Opening the case and unplugging the case fans for a "free air" comparison dropped these temperatures to 36°C CPU and 34°C chipset. The Luxor Pyramid actually increased CPU temperatures by 22°C compared to an open platform, even when using a moderately-efficient processor and graphics card with an ultra-efficient power supply.

Examining the case design turned up several reasons for this trapped heat. These included a motherboard mounting plate that nearly blocks any updraft from the intake fans, and a power supply mounting position that causes most of its hot air to travel up the side panels through what little space remains. Curing heat pockets would require either a case re-design with a wider base and relocated fans, or a bunch of ugly holes.

The best option for people who really love this design will be to either use an ultra-efficient processor or run the case with the back panel off. Either of these options should also allow lower fan speeds without increasing temperatures.

Thomas Soderstrom
Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.