Noise Level And Heat Measurements, Continued
We were surprised by how quiet the updated AOpen Cube was during our tests. It only rarely got louder than 45 decibels, which was a far cry from the noise the original version produced: it passed the 65 decibel mark a mere two minutes after we started our tests! We can conclude that the new HSF does its job very well, since it stays very quiet even after several hours of operation.
For reference: The results of the original XC Cube
The EX915-T gets much warmer, but also runs much more quietly.
The difference in heat between the two EX915 models.
The larger CPU fan also has a positive effect on the overall temperature inside the case. Only the RAM got very warm, at 145°F. The second hottest component was the passively cooled chipset.
Like the original model, it is essential that the XC Cube be positioned so that it has "breathing space." We conducted an experiment to see just how important airflow is. We sealed off all openings in the case using duct tape, and then repeated our stress test. Our goal was to see when the fan would reach the 50 decibel mark. We were surprised to see that this was already the case after three minutes, and the temperature in the SFF case quickly reached 140°F. Once we removed the duct tape, it took several minutes until the PC "calmed down" again to the previous levels. The lesson to take away from this experiment is: Don't use your XC Cube as a bookend!
With the sides sealed off, the Cube gets not just warmer but also much louder.