Test Results And Conclusion
We continue to use our reference PC with its reference overclock for case testing, apart from replacing the X99S XPower AC with the X99S Gaming 7. That replacement has allowed us to compare tighter "Standard ATX" cases, since the XPower motherboard is oversize.
Noise is measured .5m from the case's front corner, on the side that opens. The numbers are corrected to the 1m industry standard -- used by many loudspeaker and fan manufacturers -- by subtracting six decibels.
Drivers And Settings
|Chipset||Intel INF 22.214.171.1249|
|CPU||4.2GHz (42x 100MHz) @ 1.2V Core|
|Motherboard||Firmware 17.8 (02/10/2015)|
|RAM||XMP CAS 16 Defaults (1.2V)|
|Graphics||Maximum Fan for Thermal Tests | Nvidia GeForce 347.52|
Corsair's Carbide 600C and NZXT's Noctis 450 set the performance mark for Riotoro's Prism CR1280 to beat.
Even after warming up for many hours, the Ritoro CR1280 was able to produce good thermal results at full fan speed and mediocre temperatures at low fan speed. Perhaps the fans spun a little harder?
Noise levels tell the rest of the story, as the Riotoro CR1280 had a tough time containing the noise of our graphics and CPU cooler, and even added noticeably to all that racket with its own fans.
Using the average of all three systems as the baseline, the Riotoro Prism CR1280 was always a little cooler and always much noisier compared to the high-end Corsair and upper-mainstream NZXT comparison models. The result is a net loss in temperature-to-noise ratio at both settings.
The Prism CR1280 costs much more than the Noctis 450, but that difference in cost is probably about what some buyers would pay to upgrade to RGB lighting, with its controller.
Overall, the Noctis 450 really is the Prism CR1280's closest competitor in size, design features and build quality. The Prism CR1280 has a fully translucent side panel, but the Noctis 450's side window has far better clarity. And while the Prism CR1280 has space for a 13"-deep EATX motherboard, both cases can hold an enthusiast level 10.6"-deep oversized motherboard that's been creatively labeled EATX.
The Noctis 450 has a little more space for a triple-fan radiator on the top panel, but it also has only seven slots. That's a big issue if you'd like to put a graphics card in the motherboard's bottom slot, even if the only reason you're putting it there is for something other than graphics (such as data mining). Thus, the Noctis 450's drawbacks could become fatal flaws for some buyers, while the Prism CR1280's cloudy plastic and extra noise become lesser inconveniences. If you really want the RGB lighting, the value is probably on par.