Inwin Maelstrom: An Affordable Gaming Case

Cases|Damping
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TESTING

System Configuration:

Measurement and Analysis Tools

  • CPUBurn processor stress software.
  • FurMark stability test to stress the integrated GPU.
  • GPU-Z to monitor GPU temperatures and fan speed.
  • SpeedFan to monitor system temperatures and fan speeds.
  • Seasonic Power Angel AC power meter, used to measure the power consumption of the system.

System temperatures and noise levels were recorded with SpeedFan and GPU-Z at idle and on load using 4 instances of CPUBurn to stress the CPU and FurMark with the Xtreme Burn option to stress the GPU.


The Maelstrom with our test system installed inside.

Stock Fan Measurements

Noise and speed measurements were made of one of the three 12cm fans in our foam harness as per our standard fan testing methodology. The 22cm intake, due to its rather unique design, was left mounted on the side panel of the case. Its diameter is 22cm, but its corners measure 18.4cm across while the mounting holes are separated by 17cm.


The 12cm fan is a fairly standard looking 7 blade fan with ceramic bearings.

The 22cm intake fan has 11 straight blades and sleeve bearings.

Fan Measurements
Fan Voltage
12cm CeraDyna FD1212-A3133E
22cm Inwin DFS223012H (mounted on side panel)
Fan Speed
SPL@1m
Fan Speed
SPL@1m
12V
1170 RPM
16~17 dBA
640 RPM
24 dBA
9V
920 RPM
13 dBA
560 RPM
20 dBA
7V
720 RPM
11 dBA
390 RPM
16 dBA
Measuring mic positioned 1m at diagonal angle left/rear of fan
Fan Measurements (mounted in system)
Fan Voltage
top
exhaust (12cm)
rear exhaust (12cm)
front intake (12cm)
side intake (22cm)
12V
17~18 dBA
20 dBA
31 dBA
24 dBA
9V
14 dBA
14 dBA
25 dBA
20 dBA
7V
12 dBA
11~12 dBA
20 dBA
16 dBA
Measuring mic positioned 1m at diagonal angle left/front of case side panel

The 12cm fans are fairly quiet, buzzy at 12V, mostly smooth and benign at 9V, and inaudible at 7V from one meter away in our foam harness. They are slightly louder when mounted in the rear/top positions even though they are further away from the mic as we measure the distance from the center of the left side panel. The front intake is considerably louder as it is both closer to the mic and impeded by an air filter. The 22cm fan sounds very smooth and has surprisingly very little bearing chatter which is usually a problem for extremely large models.

Baseline Noise

Noise measurements were made of the case with the rear, top and side fans supplied at various voltages in various configurations. The air cavity resonances inside a case amplify fan noise, as do any vibrations transferred from the fans into the case, so these measurements can be regarded as the baseline SPL levels for the Maelstrom and stock fans. The intake fan was not used in our baseline tests as the case has plenty of ventilation and a large side fan. It is unlikely the front fan would make much a difference in cooling the system (except perhaps the hard drive) and given its location, it would be the loudest yet least beneficial of the stock fans.

Baseline Noise Level
Fan Voltage
SPL@1m
top & rear
exhaust (12cm)
side intake (22cm)
off
7V
16 dBA
9V
20 dBA
12V
24 dBA
7V
off
14 dBA
9V
17 dBA
12V
23 dBA
7V
7V
17~18 dBA
9V
20 dBA
12V
24 dBA
9V
7V
20 dBA
9V
21 dBA
12V
25 dBA
12V
7V
24 dBA
9V
25 dBA
12V
26 dBA
Measuring mic positioned 1m at diagonal angle left/front of case.

As the large intake fan is arguably the case's most interesting feature, we will be pitting it against the 12cm fans on the top and rear together during thermal testing to see which is more beneficial. In terms of noise, the pair of 12cm fans are quieter than the 22cm on the side panel.


The case measured 21 dBA@1m with the top, rear, and side fans @9V.



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