Lian Li PC-Q08 Mini-ITX Mini Tower Case

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Test Results: Radeon HD 4870


HD 4870 test system (lower drive cage replaced with spacer). There was 15 mm of clearance underneath the graphics card.


HD 4870 System Measurements (Load)
CPU Fan Speed
8V (idle)
8V
10V
System Fan Speeds
7V
9V
7V
9V
12V
SPL@1m
21 dBA
29 dBA
31 dBA
31~32 dBA
32~33 dBA
System Power
110W
270W
268W
268W
264W
CPU Temp
33°C
56°C
53°C
52°C
49°C
GPU Temp
77°C
86°C
86°C
86°C
85°C
GPU Fan Speed
860 RPM
1790 RPM
1800 RPM
1780 RPM
1710 RPM
Ambient temperature: 23°C.
Ambient noise level: 11 dBA.
Dark gray boxes indicate testing failure.

The acoustics of the system at idle after adding a Radeon HD 4870 was very similar to the system without it, increasing the SPL by only 1 dBA@1m; it would be difficult for us to tell the difference in a blind test. On load we ran into a snag as the system shut itself down once the CPU temperature exceeded about 55°C, which is unusually low. We had to increase the CPU fan speed to 10V to get it stable with a small amount of breathing room (increasing the system fan speeds didn't cut it). This problem may be specific to our test processor, which appears to run fairly hot.

On load, the noise difference was quite high, measuring 31 dBA@1m with the stock fans at 7V. The quality of noise was fairly smooth and broadband — it was only the volume that we had issue with. Similar hardware in a typical ATX tower would run 3~4 dBA lower. Increasing the speed of the system fans had almost no effect on the GPU temperature — it hovered in the mid-80's throughout load testing. Given the design of the case interior, the graphics card is on its own, thermally speaking..



With the exception of some low frequency tonality at about 300 KHz, the addition of a HD 4870 did little to alter the overall broadband acoustic profile of our test system.


HD 4870 System Measurements:
Lian Li PC-Q08 vs. Silverstone Sugo SG07
Case
PC-Q08
Sugo SG07*
System State
Idle
Load
Idle
Load
CPU / SYS Fan Speed
8V / 7V
10V / 7V
8V / 7V
8V / 7V
SPL@1m
21 dBA
31 dBA
21~22 dBA
35 dBA
System Power
110W
268W
115W
270W
CPU Temp
34°C
54°C
37°C
40°C
GPU Temp
78°C
87°C
77°C
87°C
GPU Fan Speed
860 RPM
1800 RPM
960 RPM
2080 RPM
Ambient temperature: 24°C.
Ambient noise level: 11 dBA.
Dark gray boxes indicate testing failure.
*Equipped with SST-ST60F-SG power supply.

On load with a HD 4870 installed, the CPU fan speed had to be increased to keep the system stable unlike in the Sugo SG07. Despite this, the overall noise level of the PC-Q08 in this state was much lower. The Sugo's large intake fan keeps the CPU area very cool, but having a side mounted video card in a smaller enclosure means poorer GPU cooling, resulting in a higher GPU fan speed and an increased noise level. However, we don't think the GPU fan running an higher by 200~300 RPM is completely responsible for the 4 dBA difference; the Sugo's stock power supply might take some of the blame. The Cooler Master Silent Pro M700 is a tested, proven quiet power supply while the ST60F-SG included with the Sugo is an unknown quantity.

The 4870 is more comfortable in the Lian Li case, but the heat coming off the back of the card rises toward the CPU. This coupled with the power supply sitting directly over the CPU cooler makes for a more thermally challenging situation for the processor.



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