Zalman Z9 Plus ATX Tower Case

Cases|Damping
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TEST RESULTS

Test Results: ATI Radeon HD 4870


HD 4870 test system.


System Measurements (HD 4870)
System State
Idle
CPU + GPU Load
Fan Speeds (top & rear / front)
none
7V / 7V
9V / 7V
SPL@1m
20~21 dBA
22 dBA
26~27 dBA
27 dBA
CPU Temp
30°C
29°C
44°C
43°C
SB Temp
45°C
42°C
50°C
50°C
HD Temp
37°C
32°C
32°C
32°C
GPU Temp
68°C
68°C
85°C
85°C
GPU Fan
Speed
890 RPM
880 RPM
1580 RPM
1550 RPM
CPU fan set to 100% speed.
Ambient temperature: 22°C.

At idle with no fans on, our system measured 20~21 dBA@1m which is relatively quiet. Thankfully our reference Radeon HD 4870 stock cooler does not make much noise. Adding the three system fans at 7V resulted in a less than 1 dB increase in SPL, and a 3°C and 5°C reduction in Southbridge and hard drive temperature respectively.

On load, the system was much noisier, of course, with SPL rising to 26~27 dBA, expected with the GPU fan almost doubling in speed to nearly 1600 RPM. The quality of noise was fairly good, mostly broadband in nature. The CPU and Southbridge heated by an additional 15°C and 8°C respectively while the GPU core ran 17°C hotter. Raising the exhaust fans to 9V did not provide better cooling.


Our HD 4870 test system measured 26~27 dBA@1m on full load.


HD 4870 Configuration Comparison (Load)
Case
Antec 1200*
InWin Maelstrom
Zalman Z9 Plus
Fractal Define R2
Fan Speeds
top, rears @low
top, rear, side @9V
top, rear & front @7V
rear, front & side @12V
SPL@1m
25~26 dBA
26 dBA
26~27 dBA
26~27 dBA
CPU Temp
46°C
43°C
44°C
48°C
SB Temp
49°C
45°C
50°C
45°C
HD Temp
31°C
35°C
32°C
34°C
GPU Temp
85°C
80°C
85°C
84°C
GPU Fan
Speed
1760 RPM
1340 RPM
1580 RPM
1710 RPM
CPU fan set to 100% speed
All temperature results adjusted to 22°C ambient.
*Antec 1200 tested with Antec CP-850.

Compared to cases we've tested in the past, the Z9 Plus is middle of the pack. The noise level was comparable to the same setup in the Fractal Define R2, but the Z9 Plus managed to do a better job of cooling the CPU and hard drive. The R2, with its side fan boasted a better Southbridge temperature. As budget gaming cases go, the InWin Maelstrom seems to have the best strategy with its massive yet quiet side fan blowing over the case innards.



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