Corsair Obsidian 550D Quiet Mid-Tower Case

Cases|Damping
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Test Results: Radeon HD 4870


System Measurements (HD 4870)
System State
Idle
CPU + GPU Load
System Fans
9V
12V
12V (front fan moved to top)
CPU Temp
29°C
47°C
44°C
44°C
SB Temp
46°C
56°C
54°C
52°C
HD Temp
31°C
31°C
32°C
31°C
GPU Temp
78°C
87°C
86°C
86°C
GPU Fan
920 RPM
1970 RPM
1890 RPM
1870 RPM
System Power (AC)
116W
309W
307W
307W
SPL@1m
21 dBA
26~27 dBA
27 dBA
27~28 dBA
CPU fan set to 100% speed.
Ambient temperature: 22°C.

The addition of a HD 4870 (150W TDP) increased the idle Southbridge temperature significantly, but its fan spun at just 920 RPM, leaving the system's noise level unaffected. The system heated up tremendously on load, but not as much as we typically see. Even with the stock fans at just 9V, the CPU temperature did not exceed 50°C. Cranking the fans up to their maximum speeds resulted in a 3°C and 2°C improvement in CPU and Southbridge cooling respectively. The extra airflow allowed the GPU fan to spin down slightly, so there was only a negligible amount of additional noise.

As a last test, we moved one of the front intakes to a top position to act as an exhaust. It didn't make much of a difference. Southbridge cooling improved slightly, the GPU fan speed remained stable, and there was a slight increase in noise. The acoustics of the system at load was similar in all three test states, with the sweet spot being at 12V with the fans in their default configuration.


HD 4870 test system measured 27 dBA@1m on load with system fans at 12V.

The HD 4870 stock cooler produces a noticeable but soft hissing noise that would be considered inoffensive by many, so while the system was 6 dB louder than the integrated graphics configuration, the noise level wasn't too unpleasant.

HD 4870 Configuration Comparison (Load)
Case
Fractal Define R2
Antec P280
Corsair Obsidian 550D
Antec Solo II
System Fans
rear, front, side @12V
top, rear, front @low
rear, front @9V
rear, front @12V*
CPU Temp
48°C
45°C
44°C
45°C
SB Temp
45°C
52°C
54°C
47°C
HD Temp
34°C
28°C
32°C
34°C
GPU Temp
84°C
85°C
86°C
82°C
GPU Fan
Speed
1710 RPM
1950 RPM
1890 RPM
1880 RPM
SPL@1m
26~27 dBA
27 dBA
27 dBA
27~28 dBA
CPU fan set to 100% speed
All temperature results adjusted to 22°C ambient.
*Nexus 120 mm fan added as bottom intake.

Housing our HD 4870 configuration, the Obsidian 550D is competitive with the Antec P280, producing very similar thermal and acoustic results. It's a decent showing for a quiet case, but doesn't quite match to the Antec Solo II or the Fractal Define R2/R3. Both of these cases had cooler GPU and Southbridge temperatures.



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