In Win Dragon Rider Enthusiast/Gaming Tower

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Test Results: Radeon HD 4870


HD 4870 test system.


System Measurements
System State
Idle
CPU + GPU Load
Top, Rear, Left Fan Speed
5V
7V
9V
12V
CPU Temp
25°C
36°C
36°C
35°C
SB Temp
38°C
46°C
43°C
42°C
HD Temp
30°C
31°C
31°C
30°C
GPU Temp
70°C
85°C
85°C
84°C
GPU Fan Speed
880 RPM
1840 RPM
1790 RPM
1790 RPM
SPL@1m
22 dBA
29 dBA
29 dBA
30 dBA
System Power
117W
309W
308W
308W
CPU fan set to 100% speed.
Front, right side fan set to 5V.
Ambient temperature: 22°C.

At idle the Dragon Rider needed little to no extra airflow to keep things cool in our HD 4870 test system. All the stock fans at 5V was more than enough, stabilizing the CPU temperature at just three degrees above ambient while the GPU core reached 70°C. This configuration was fairly quiet, measuring just 22 dBA@1m with the largest noise contributor, the GPU fan, spinning under 900 RPM.

On load, the GPU fan speed doubled to around 1800 RPM, easily drowning out the stock fans, so we increased their voltage to 7V, 9V, and 12V. 9V proved to be the sweet spot as it added no measurable noise. In this state the CPU and Southbridge heated up by only 9°C and 5°C respectively compared to idle. Running the fans at full speed delivered negligible gains at the cost of an extra 1 dB.

System Measurements
(on load, varying right side fan speed)
Top, Rear, Left Fan Speed
9V
Right Fan Speed
Off
5V
9V
CPU Temp
37°C
36°C
35°C
SB Temp
43°C
43°C
42°C
HD Temp
31°C
31°C
31°C
GPU Temp
85°C
85°C
85°C
GPU Fan Speed
1800 RPM
1790 RPM
1770 RPM
SPL@1m
29 dBA
29 dBA
29 dBA
System Power
309W
308W
308W
CPU fan set to 100% speed.
Front fan set to 5V.
Ambient temperature: 22°C.

As an extra test, we varied the speed of the right side fan which blows air across the back of the CPU socket and mainboard. As it's an uncommon fan placement, we wanted to see how much an impact it made. In our single HD 4870 system, it had only a small effect, lowering CPU temperature by 1°C at 5V. At 9V there was an additional 1°C improvement for the CPU and Southbridge. While it isn't particularly effective, most of the noise it creates is blocked because of our standard microphone position for case noise measurements. (Our acoustics results are most relevant for a user who places the case to his right.)



Our HD 4870 test system measured 22 dBA@1m when idle and 29 dBA@1m on load.

As mentioned previously, the noise level of the case and stock fans was innocuous even when combined with slight turbulence from the GPU, PSU, and CPU fans along with the hum from the hard drive with the system at idle. The broadband acoustics of the reference HD 4870 cooler also meant that on load, the high 29 dBA@1m noise level didn't sound terrible. It generated a relatively benign, soft hissing type noise.

HD 4870 Configuration Comparison (Load)
Case
Zalman Z9 Plus
LanCool PC-K59
In Win BUC
In Win Dragon Rider
System Fan Speeds
top, rear & front @7V
top, rear, front @7V
top, rear, front @7V
top, rear, sides @9V, front @5V
CPU Temp
44°C
45°C
43°C
35°C
SB Temp
50°C
54°C
49°C
42°C
HD Temp
32°C
30°C
32°C
31°C
GPU Temp
85°C
84°C
85°C
85°C
GPU Fan
Speed
1580 RPM
1780 RPM
1770 RPM
1770 RPM
SPL@1m
26~27 dBA
26~27 dBA
29 dBA
29 dBA
CPU fan set to 100% speed
All temperature results adjusted to 22°C ambient.

Compared to our most recently tested ATX cases, the Dragon Rider measures 2~3 dB higher than the LanCool PC-K59 and Zalman Z9 Plus. This is likely due to the enormous left side panel vent which makes it difficult for the case to block the noise generated by the main noise contributor, the GPU fan. It should be noted that the In Win BUC, which also measured 29 dBA@1m, has a rather large grill on the side panel as well. Thermally though, the Dragon Rider is easily the best of the bunch, by a significant margin.



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