Silverstone Grandia GD05: A Versatile HTPC Case

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Our test system this time around was fitted with an Intel Q8200S, a low power (65W TDP) quad core processor, cooled by a Scythe Big Shuriken, a formidable slim heatsink. The motherboard is a G45 model with GMA X4500HD integrated graphics and the hard drive is a WD Caviar Green, famous for excellent acoustics and low vibration. We also used a Nexus NX-5000 power supply which is very quiet, particularly when handling loads under 200W. At full load our modest test configuration draws just above 110W from the wall and is representative of a typical HTPC.

System Measurements: CPU + GPU Load
System Fans
left (1) + right (1)
left (1) + right (2)
16~17 dBA
17~18 dBA
18 dBA
CPU Temp
SB Temp
HD Temp
System Power
CPU fan set to 8V, system fans set to 7V.
Ambient temperature: 22°C.
Ambient noise level: 11 dBA.

With no help from the case fans, the system measured only 16~17 [email protected] with the CPU cooler running at 8V being the main source of noise. The CPU temperature was acceptable, slightly over 50°C, but the Southbridge and hard drive temperatures were noticeably high.

Activating a pair of the system's fans (the one on the left side near the hard drive and the one on the right side next to the CPU cooler) and setting them to a low 7V improved the thermal situation greatly. The CPU cooled down by 12°C, the Southbridge by 9°C, and the hard drive by 8°C. As we mentioned earlier, the stock fans are very quiet and the noise level only increased by 1 dB. Turning on the third intake fan was perhaps an unnecessary step, though it did have a big impact on the Southbridge temperature, it was already at acceptable levels. It also brought the CPU temperature down by a small margin.

The system measured 18 [email protected] with all three system fans @7V.


These recordings were made with a high resolution, lab quality, digital recording system inside SPCR's own 11 dBA ambient anechoic chamber, then converted to LAME 128kbps encoded MP3s. We've listened long and hard to ensure there is no audible degradation from the original WAV files to these MP3s. They represent a quick snapshot of what we heard during the review.

Each recording starts with ambient noise, then 10 second segments of product at various states. For the most realistic results, set the volume so that the starting ambient level is just barely audible, then don't change the volume setting again while comparing all the sound files.

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