Inwin Maelstrom: An Affordable Gaming Case

Cases|Damping
Viewing page 5 of 7 pages. Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Next

Test Results - Configuration #1 (HD 4870)


Case with test system installed (HD 4870).

System Measurements (HD 4870)
System State
Idle
CPU + GPU Load
Active System Fans
none
none
top, rear, side @9V
side @12V
top, rear @12V
SPL@1m
22 dBA
25 dBA
26 dBA
27 dBA
27 dBA
CPU Temp
32°C
51°C
45°C
46°C
47°C
SB Temp
47°C
58°C
47°C
46°C
52°C
HD Temp
38°C
38°C
37°C
37°C
38°C
GPU Temp
73°C
85°C
82°C
81°C
83°C
GPU Fan
Speed
870 RPM
1420 RPM
1340 RPM
1340 RPM
1360 RPM
CPU fan set to 100% speed.
Ambient temperature: 24°C.

First we tested the system both at idle and on full load with none of the system fans on. On load there was increase in CPU temperature of about 20°C and a rise in the Southbridge and GPU temperature of more than 10°C. The graphics card fan also sped up by 550 RPM, resulting in a 3 dBA increase in noise.

Then we tested with top and rear fans at full speed, followed by the side fan only at full speed. Both configurations added 2 dBA to system noise, improved the CPU temperature by a moderate amount and caused a reduction in GPU fan speed. However the side fan generated a far lower Southbridge temperature as it actively cooling the area around the video card, while the top and rear fans simply helped exhaust. Running all three fans at 9V seemed to be the best compromise, as it was slightly quieter yet delivered almost identical thermal results to the system with only the side fan operating at full speed.


The system measured 26 dBA@1m with the HD 4870 configuration.

The overall acoustics of all the configurations tested with active system fans could be described as loud, but with a smooth character. The noise was mostly broadband, lacking tonality, whining, and vibration-induced effects. It was fairly impressive for a gaming machine.

Comparisons

HD 4870 Configuration Comparison (Load)
Case
Raven 2*
Antec 1200*
SS Fortress
Inwin Maelstrom
Active System Fans
bottoms @low, top @9V
top, rears @low
top, rear, front @6V
top, rear, side @9V
SPL@1m
23 dBA
25~26 dBA
25~26 dBA
26 dBA
CPU Temp
47°C
46°C
54°C
43°C
SB Temp
43°C
49°C
60°C
45°C
HD Temp
31°C
31°C
35°C
GPU Temp
80°C
85°C
82°C
80°C
GPU Fan
Speed
1170 RPM
1760 RPM
1340 RPM
CPU fan set to 100% speed, 9V for Raven 2, Fortress.
All temperature results adjusted to 22°C ambient.
*Antec 1200 tested with Antec CP-850, Raven 2 tested with Seasonic X650, others with Cooler Master Silent Pro M700W.
All temperature results adjusted to 22°C ambient.

Compared to other large cases housing the same test configuration (except for the power supply in some cases), the Maelstrom performs very well, posting the lowest CPU temperature and the second lowest Southbridge temperature while maintaining a moderate noise level. Though the sight of a large fan on a side panel punched full of holes may scream 'loud,' on a high-end system with a hot graphics card, sealing the entire panel off does very little for noise and would undoubtedly result in poorer cooling.

To get significantly better results, you really need to ditch the conventional tower design. The Raven 2, with its rotated motherboard tray and large 18cm fans is easily the coolest and quietest of the bunch.



Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Next

Cases|Damping - Article Index
Help support this site, buy the In Win Maelstrom DESTINY-Extreme Series Black Full Tower from one of our affiliate retailers!