Cooler Master Silencio 550 Quiet ATX Tower

Cases|Damping
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Test Results: Radeon HD 4870


HD 4870 test system.


System Measurements
System State
Idle
CPU + GPU Load
CPU Temp
35°C
57°C
SB Temp
48°C
56°C
HD Temp
32°C
31°C
GPU Temp
79°C
89°C
GPU Fan Speed
940 RPM
2330 RPM
SPL@1m
20 dBA
27~28 dBA
System Power
118W
316W
CPU fan set to 12V.
Stock fans set to 12V.
Ambient temperature: 22°C.

Adding an HD 4870 created a bigger challenge for the Silencio 550. While relatively cool and quiet when idle, full load brought the CPU and Southbridge temperatures north of 55°C and the GPU fan had to spin at 2330 RPM to keep the graphics card under 90°C. These results are higher than we're used to see as most cases aren't equipped with only a pair of low speed fans.



Our HD 4870 test system measured 20 dBA@1m when idle and 27~28 dBA@1m on load.

While the internals ran a little hot, the acoustics were fairly good with the solid side panels keeping the generated noise at a reasonable level. At idle the HD 4870 barely made a dent in the measured SPL. On load the HD 4870 stock cooler had to spin quite fast, but its soft broadband acoustics made it more bearable than the 27~28 dBA noise level suggests.

HD 4870 Configuration Comparison (Load)
Case
Fractal Define R2
CM Silencio 550
NZXT H2
System Fan Speeds
rear, front & side @12V
rear, front @12V
rear, fronts @med
CPU Temp
48°C
57°C
53°C
SB Temp
45°C
56°C
52°C
HD Temp
34°C
31°C
33°C
GPU Temp
84°C
89°C
87°C
GPU Fan
Speed
1710 RPM
2330 RPM
2110 RPM
SPL@1m
26~27 dBA
27~28 dBA
28 dBA
CPU fan set to 100% speed
All temperature results adjusted to 22°C ambient.

Thermally, the Silencio falls to the NZXT H2 by a 3~4°C in both CPU and Southbridge temperature. Though the Silencio has better ventilation, the H2 has an additional intake fan, explaining most of the difference. The hotter environment inside also forced the HD 4870 fan to spin faster by ~200 RPM but the Silencio was quieter overall. Neither compared favorably to the Fractal R2/R3 with a 14 cm side fan installed however.



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