SilverStone Grandia GD09 & GD10 HTPC Cases

Cases|Damping
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TESTING

System Configuration:


Test system device listing.

Measurement and Analysis Tools

  • Prime95 processor stress software.
  • FurMark stability test to stress the integrated GPU.
  • Asus GPU Tweak to monitor GPU temperatures and adjust fan speeds.
  • SpeedFan to monitor system temperatures and adjust system fan speeds.
  • Extech 380803 AC power analyzer / data logger for measuring AC system power.
  • PC-based spectrum analyzer: SpectraPlus with ACO Pacific mic and M-Audio digital audio interfaces.
  • Anechoic chamber with ambient level of 11 dBA or lower

Testing Procedures

The system is placed on load using Prime95 (large FFTs setting) and FurMark, an OpenGL benchmarking and stability testing utility. This puts more demand on the CPU and GPU than any real life application. Throughout testing, system temperatures, noise levels, and power consumption are recorded. During the load test, the system and GPU fans speeds are adjusted to various levels in an attempt to find an optimal balance between cooling and noise while maintaining a GPU temperature of 80°C (assuming an ambient temperature of 22°C).

BASELINE NOISE

For our baseline noise tests, the system is left idle, the CPU fan is set to minimum speed under PWM control, and the GPU fans are off by default. The system fans are connected to controllable fan headers at a variety of speeds using SpeedFan. This gives us a good idea of what the stock fans sound like at different speeds with minimal interference from other sources.

Baseline Noise Level
(Idle, CPU fan at 400 RPM, GPU fans off)
Fan Speed Setting
Avg. Fan Speed
SPL @1m
0%
N/A
17 dBA
50%
550 RPM
18 dBA
60%
670 RPM
20 dBA
70%
770 RPM
24 dBA
80%
880 RPM
26 dBA
100%
1070 RPM
32~33 dBA
Measuring mic positioned 1m at diagonal angle to the top/front of the case.
Ambient noise level: 10~11 [email protected]

The three fans included with the GD10 exhibit very little variance with a speed difference of 60 RPM. All three exceed 1000 RPM at full speed, well over their 900 RPM rating. This gives them a bit more versatility for users who want greater cooling and don't mind the extra noise. On the other end of the spectrum, they don't really contribute to the measurable noise output until 50% speed, staying quiet up to around 60%.

The stock fans have a pleasant acoustic profile, smooth and inconspicuous up to 60% speed. Somewhere in the 65% and 70% range, it starts to emit a strange strong 350~400 Hz tone that is fairly noticeable and annoying within one meter's distance. At higher speeds, this tone is less pronounced, lower in pitch, and drowned out somewhat by the sound of turbulence, but still present. The front mounted hard drive is secured tightly, limiting the effects of drive vibration, though if the system fans are slow enough or turned off, you can hear a faint echo.



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