Chenbro SR30169 Mini-ITX Server Chassis

Cases|Damping
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TESTING

System Configuration:

Measurement and Analysis Tools

System temperatures were recorded with RealTemp, SpeedFan, and GPU-Z at idle and on load using Prime95 (small FFT setting) and FurMark, an OpenGL benchmarking and stability testing utility. Power consumption and noise levels were also measured.

Power Supply Testing

We begin our noise analysis of the case with the stock power supply unit being subjected to a condensed version of our standard power supply testing procedures to get a broad idea of its efficiency and environmental characteristics.

Chenbro AcBel CE2 300 Condensed Test Results
DC Output (W)
AC Input
(W)
Heat loss
(W)
Efficiency %
Power Factor
Exhaust
SPL* (dBA@1m)
21.5
36
14.5
59.6
0.95
24°C
13.5
40.4
58
17.6
69.7
0.98
25°C
13.5
65.5
87
21.5
75.3
0.99
29°C
13.5
89.7
117
27.3
76.7
1.00
32°C
13.5
150.0
192
42.0
78.1
1.00
35°C
13.5
+12V Ripple: <20mV
+5V & +3.3V Ripple: <16mV
AC Power in Standby: 0.6W
AC Power with No Load, PSU power On: 8.6W / 0.42PF
Ambient: 11 dBA, 21°C

The retail units we typically review are 80 Plus certified, often Gold or Platinum, so the relative inefficiency of the stock PSU is glaring, failing to reach 80% efficiency at 150W DC load, which is more than a small mini-ITX server would usually pull. It's not all bad though as the AC ripple was low and at no point did the fan ramp up during testing. The PSU produced a very low 13.5 dBA@1m, easily drowned out by just about any kind of noise source you'd find in a modern PC.

Baseline Noise

Stock Fan Noise Level
(SPCR Mini-ITX test configuration, Idle)
Fan Speed
SPL @1m
Off
18~19 dBA
500 RPM
19 dBA
800 RPM
20~21 dBA
1100 RPM
25 dBA
1400 RPM
31 dBA
CPU fan set to 1500 RPM.
Measuring mic positioned 1m at diagonal angle left/front of case.

Together, with the rest of the noise generating components from our test configuration, a Seagate Barracuda XT 2TB hard drive, and a Noctua 92 mm CPU fan running at a fairly low setting (1500 RPM or about 6V), the system emitted a noise level of 18~19 dBA@1m. The system fan, at its minimum PWM-controllable speed of 500 RPM wasn't audible with this combination, barely contributing to the measured noise level. At full speed though, the fan is perfectly capable of drowning out everything, pushing the overall noise level to 31 dBA@1m.

The fan doesn't have the best acoustic properties but its surroundings help hide its negative qualities. It's buried inside the case, cordoned off from the front vent below it by a duct, and the area above it is blocked off by hard drive trays. At lower speeds it produces a gentle hum that slowly develops into a buzz above ~1000 RPM. At top speed, it generates a high-pitched drone. If the fan is kept below 1000 RPM, it's difficult to detect these flaws unless the other system components are very quiet and/or the side panel is taken off.



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