SilverStone Sugo SG09: SFF microATX Case

Cases|Damping
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TEST RESULTS: AMD Radeon HD 5450

Our first test configuration features a low power passively cooled graphics card, a Radeon HD 5450 so it's representative of a non-gaming PC with a reasonably powerful CPU. A discrete card also gives us an extra temperature data point from an additional location within the case.

System Measurements (Radeon HD 5450)
System State
Idle
CPU + GPU Load
System Fan Speeds
off
5V
5V (top fan flipped)
CPU Temp
32°C
76°C
69°C
65°C
HD Temp
33°C
36°C
35°C
30°C
GPU Temp
41°C
69°C
71°C
54°C
SPL@1m
18 dBA
18 dBA
21 dBA
22 dBA
System Power
45W
154W
155W
151W
CPU fan set to 9V.
Ambient temperature: 22°C.

We began testing with the case fans turned off to create a baseline. The system was fairly quiet in this configuration, measuring 18 dBA@1m. We could feel the hard drive vibrations on the right side of the case but it wasn't transmitted elsewhere and was only audible at close proximity; otherwise the machine sounded smooth. The CPU got quite toasty without any assistance, hitting 76°C while the GPU stabilized at 69°C.

Turning on the system fans with just 5V had an interesting thermal effect. As one would expect, the noise level increased and CPU temperature lowered by a sizable amount, but the GPU temperature actually increased by 2°C. Flipping the top fan to act as an exhaust resulted in a dramatic improvement in overall temperatures, verifying our intuition that using the top fan as an intake interferes with GPU cooling. This reversed fan orientation was also slightly louder but well worth the massive 17°C improvement in GPU cooling.



Radeon HD 5450 Configuration: Comparison (Load)
Case
Lian Li
PC-V354*
SilverStone TJ08-E
Fractal Define Mini
SilverStone PS07
SilverStone SG09
System Fans
3 x 6V
low/9V
2 x 7V
2 x 7V
3 x 5V
CPU
56°C
60°C
59°C
72°C
65°C
HD
28°C
25°C
32°C
34°C
30°C
GPU
65°C
56°C
59°C
68°C
54°C
SPL@1m
18 dBA
19 dBA
19 dBA
19~20 dBA
22 dBA
*PC-V354 tested with Noctua NH-C12P heatsink rather than the NH-U12P due to incompatibility.
CPU fan set to 9V.
Ambient temperature: 22°C.

Even with the top fan flip, the SG09 performance fell well behind larger microATX cases. The thermal and acoustic results we generated using our HD 5450 test configuration were poor, bettered by several previously tested microATX cases. It was only really competitive with the SilverStone Precision PS07. The more popular SilverStone Temjin TJ08-E, Fractal Define Mini, and Lian Li PC-V354 were all superior.

TEST RESULTS: ASUS EAH6850 DirectCU

To simulate a more demanding gaming system, our second test configuration uses an HD 6850 graphics card from ASUS. The 6850 uses about 100W more than the 5450, creating a hotter, more stressful environment.

System Measurements (ASUS EAH6850 DirectCU)
System State
Idle
CPU + GPU Load
System Fan
Speeds
(Top/Rear/Side)
5V
7V / 5V / 5V
5V / 9V / 5V
GPU Fan
Speed
1680 RPM (auto)
1690 RPM*
1460 RPM*
1680 RPM*
CPU Temp
27°C
72°C
70°C
69°C
HD Temp
31°C
34°C
32°C
34°C
GPU Temp
38°C
90°C
90°C
90°C
GPU VRM Temp
47°C
91°C
85°C
86°C
SPL@1m
23 dBA
23 dBA
27 dBA
24 dBA
System Power
57W
277W
276W
275W
*set as low as possible to maintain a GPU temperature of ~90°C on load.
Top fan flipped to exhaust.
CPU fan set to 9V.
Ambient temperature: 22°C.

Swapping out the HD 5450 for a HD 6850 had only a minor effect on acoustics, increasing the noise level by 1 dB and giving it a slightly rougher sound. On load, a stable 90°C GPU temperature was established with the system fans at 5V and the GPU fan manually set to the same speed as the automatic setting when idle. Increasing the speed of the top fan to 7V gave us better cooling across the board, allowing us to slow the GPU fan to 1460 RPM; the noise level was a steep 4 dB higher however. Speeding up the rear fan to 9V instead was only marginally better, but it had a more bearable acoustic cost of just 1 dB.



ASUS EAH6850 DirectCU Configuration: Comparison (Load)
Case
Fractal Define Mini
Silverstone Sugo SG09
Silverstone Temjin TJ08-E
Silverstone Precision PS07
Lian Li
PC-V354*
System Fans
2 x 9V
top, side @5V, rear @9V
low/10V
2 x 9V
3 x 9V (2 x exhausts)
GPU Fan
1670 RPM
1680 RPM
2330 RPM
2300 RPM
1740 RPM
CPU
65°C
69°C
59°C
71°C
60°C
HD
31°C
34°C
25°C
30°C
26°C
GPU
89°C
90°C
89°C
90°C
89°C
GPU VRM
90°C
86°C
87°C
88°C
76°C
SPL@1m
22~23 dBA
24 dBA
24~25 dBA
25 dBA
26 dBA
*PC-V354 tested with Noctua NH-C12P heatsink rather than the NH-U12P due to incompatibility.
CPU fan set to 9V.
Ambient temperature: 22°C.

The SG09 fared much better with a HD 6850, surpassing the Precision PS07 in both CPU temperature and noise level. It still had a sizable deficit in CPU cooling compared to most of the other cases compared however.



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