How We Test Cases
The system we used in this article only deviates from our official 2015 Reference article in motherboard. We had to swap out the reference system's 10.5"-deep MSI X99S XPower AC for a standard ATX (9.6") model: the X99S Gaming 7.
Obviously, our Lian-Li PC-T80 open bench chassis sits this one out.
Test System Components
|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|
|Graphics||Nvidia GeForce 347.52|
|Chipset||Intel INF 184.108.40.2069|
To facilitate identical cooling on differently-sized motherboards, we're downsizing from Noctua’s huge NH-D15 to its NH-U12S. Though the smaller dimensions could solve fitment issues with some hardware combinations, cooling our overclocked Core i7-5930K is more challenging for its single-tower sink and one fan.
We’ve also transitioned from a noisy blower-style graphics cooler to an axial fan model from Gigabyte. The GV-N970G1 Gaming-4GD keeps its GPU exceptionally cool at reduced noise, while dumping its heat directly into the case.
Power comes from the 80 PLUS Platinum-rated Dark Power Pro 10 850W by be quiet!
Designed by committee, our new test platform runs hot and quiet, negating the dramatic performance differences its predecessor was designed to produce.
|Prime95 v27.9||64-bit executable, Small FFTs, 11 threads|
|3DMark 11||Version: 220.127.116.11, 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), dBA weighting|
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.