Inwin Maelstrom: An Affordable Gaming Case

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Test Results - Configuration #2 (CrossFireX)


Case with test system installed (2 x HD 4870 in CrossFireX).

System Measurements (2 x HD 4870s in CrossFireX)
System State
Idle
CPU + GPU Load
Active System Fans
none
none
top, rear side @9V
top, rear, side @12V
SPL@1m
22 dBA
35~36 dBA
30 dBA
31~32 dBA
CPU Temp
33°C
55°C
44°C
43-23°C
SB Temp
58°C
69°C
52°C
47°C
HD Temp
36°C
36°C
36°C
36°C
GPU #1 Temp
79°C
91°C
86°C
85°C
GPU #1 Fan
Speed
950 RPM
2320 RPM
1720 RPM
1700 RPM
GPU #2 Temp
70°C
86°C
83°C
83°C
GPU #2 Fan
Speed
1020 RPM
1930 RPM
1620 RPM
1610 RPM
CPU fan set to 100% speed.
Ambient temperature: 23°C.

With no system fans active, adding a second HD 4870 in CrossFireX increased the CPU and GPU temperature by about 5°C, while the Southbridge, trapped between two 130W+ graphics cards, heated up by an extra 10°C. The noise level was also a tremendous 10~11 dBA higher. This time, turning on the system fans resulted in a decrease in noise as the side fan helped to cool the GPUs and areas surrounding them, so their fans didn't have to work as hard. With all the fans running at 9V, the CPU temperature dropped by 11°C and the Southbridge temperature was 17°C lower. The two graphics cards ran moderately cooler as well, resulting in a decrease in fan speed and an overall system noise reduction. Increasing the fan speed to 12V made the system 1~2 dBA louder with very little thermal improvement except for the Southbridge.


The system measured 30 dBA@1m with the CrossFireX configuration.

Like the single GPU setup, the overall acoustics of all the configurations tested had a smooth character, but was very loud.

Comparisons

CrossFireX Configuration Comparison (Load)
Case
Raven 2*
Inwin Maelstrom
Antec 1200*
Antec P183*
Active System Fans
bottoms @low, top @9V
top, rear & side @9V
top, rears, front, side @low
rear, front @low
SPL@1m
26~27 dBA
30 dBA
31~32 dBA
35 dBA
CPU Temp
48°C
43°C
46°C
58°C
SB Temp
65°C
51°C
61°C
69°C
HD Temp
32°C
35°C
29°C
39°C
GPU #1 Temp
87°C
85°C
87°C
99°C
GPU #1 Fan
Speed
1930 RPM
1720 RPM
2110 RPM
3030 RPM
GPU #2 Temp
83°C
82°C
84°C
89°C
GPU #2 Fan
Speed
1670 RPM
1620 RPM
1910 RPM
2400 RPM
CPU fan set to 100% speed, 9V for Raven 2.
All temperature results adjusted to 22°C ambient.
*Antec 1200 & P183 tested with Antec CP-850, Raven 2 tested with Seasonic X650, Maelstrom with Cooler Master Silent Pro M700.

The advantage of having a large side fan blowing on the video cards became evident when we tested the case using a CrossFireX configuration. The Maelstrom runs cooler than the Antec 1200 in all respects except for the hard drive as we did not turn on the front fan. It was also 1~2 dBA quieter due to lower GPU fan speeds. Neither come close to the Raven 2 though, which remains tops for the moment.



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