In Win BUC ATX Tower Case

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Test Results: 2 x ATI Radeon HD 4870 (CrossFireX)


2 x HD 4870 CrossFireX test system.


System Measurements (2 x HD 4870)
System State
Idle
CPU + GPU Load
System Fan Speeds
7V
9V
12V
CPU Temp
33°C
48°C
46°C
45°C
SB Temp
55°C
64°C
63°C
62°C
HD Temp
31°C
31°C
30°C
30°C
GPU #1 Temp
77°C
90°C
89°C
89°C
GPU #1 Fan
Speed
890 RPM
2060 RPM
2050 RPM
2110 RPM
GPU #2 Temp
64°C
86°C
85°C
85°C
GPU #2 Speed
1010 RPM
1770 RPM
1780 RPM
1770 RPM
SPL@1m
24 dBA
32~33 dBA
32~33 dBA
33~34 dBA
System Power
186W
508W
508W
507W
CPU fan set to 100% speed.
Ambient temperature: 22°C.

Adding a second HD 4870 produced an extra 1 dB when idle, along with hotter temperatures. Both the southbridge and top GPU were 8°C warmer in this configuration. On load, the overall noise level rose up to a very loud 32~32 dBA@1m. At this point, the GPU fans were drowning out the system fans, so we pushed them to 9V which had hardly any effect. Running them at full speed also did very little for thermal performance and increased the noise level by 1 dB.



Our HD 4870 CrossFireX test system measured 24 dBA@1m when idle and 32~33 dBA@1m on load with the stock fans at 7V.

The acoustics of the CrossFireX system was similar to that of the single HD 4870 configuration, just louder of course. The jump from 27 dBA@1m to 32~33 dBA@1m was huge, but the noise character was about the same, except higher in pitch. We won't go so far as to call it pleasant, but without any noticeably annoying tones, it's as good as 32~33 dBA@1m can sound.

CrossFireX Configuration Comparison (Load)
Case
In Win Maelstrom
Zalman Z9 Plus
In Win BUC
Fans Speeds
top, rear & side @9V
top & rear @9V, front @7V
top, rear, front @9V
SPL@1m
30 dBA
30~31 dBA
32~33 dBA
CPU Temp
43°C
47°C
46°C
SB Temp
51°C
61°C
63°C
HD Temp
35°C
33°C
30°C
GPU #1 Temp
85°C
86°C
89°C
GPU #1 Fan
Speed
1720 RPM
1780 RPM
2050 RPM
GPU #2 Temp
82°C
83°C
85 RPM
GPU #2 Fan
Speed
1620 RPM
1590 RPM
1780 RPM
CPU fan set to 100% speed.
All temperature results adjusted to 22°C ambient.

With a heavier load, the BUC had trouble keeping up with the Maelstrom and Z9 Plus. It seems that the environment surrounding the graphics cards was hotter, requiring their fans to spin at higher speeds, despite the presence of the huge vent on the side panel. Whatever the reason, the BUC had both higher temperatures and noise levels.



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