Test Results And Analysis
Worried about the impact of those side exhausts fans of the Zalman Z11 Neo? The intake fan flows much more air, as indicated by the moderate GPU temperature. Note that the GPU fans were set to full speed in each of these full-load tests.
CPU temperature, on the other hand, favored the Gaming S5’s pair of intake fans. It probably makes sense that the spread-out airflow would benefit the CPU and GPU separately, though the Gaming S5’s side vent also allowed some of the graphics card waste heat to escape out the side rather than traveling up to the CPU.
Be Quite got reduced noise by using thin acoustic foam, but Zalman achieved similar results by stiffening up the side panels with plastic ductwork.
Zalman’s higher acoustic efficiency score is due entirely to its reduced GPU heat, compared to the Silent Base 800. The other cases didn’t produce bad GPU temperatures though, and the Z11 Neo did have higher CPU temperature than the Silent Base 800, dropping its overall lead down to 1 percent.
Good acoustic performance combines with a low price to give the Z11 Neo a huge value lead over the Silent Base 800. The price difference is larger than even the performance number.
The Zalman Z11 Neo offers a great combination of overall quality and price, and much of that quality comes from stiffer panels that weigh more than most other cases in the sub-$100 class. It also offers better radiator support than most cases in its class, so what’s the downside?