Fractal Design Core 500 Mini-ITX Chassis

Cases|Damping
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TEST RESULTS

System Measurements: Prime95x2 + FurMark,
85°C Target GPU Temp (at 22°C Ambient)
System
Fan Speed
520 RPM
(50%)
620 RPM
(60%)
Filters
On
Off
GPU Fan Speed*
1040 RPM (min, 40%)
CPU Temp
55°C
52°C
52°C
MB Temp
57°C
52°C
52°C
SSHD Temp
44°C
44°C
44°C
GPU Temp
81°C
81°C
77°C
System Power (AC)
293W
288W
287W
24 dBA (22 dBA from right side)
* set as low as possible to maintain target GPU temperature on load.
CPU fan at 45% (900 RPM).
Ambient temperature: 22°C.

The Core 500 handles our load test with aplomb, besting our 85°C GPU temperature target by 4°C with the GPU fans running at the minimum setting and the single case fan operating at modest speeds. As the GPU cooler is the greatest noise contributor, it's not possible to make the system any quieter than 24 [email protected], though this figure lowers by 2 dB when measured from the right side, with the GPU fan vent positioned away from the microphone.

Removing the dust filters results in a 3°C and 4°C cooling improvement for the CPU and GPU respectively, and these are modest changes compared to typical filters in other cases. The mesh material is quite fine so it doesn't restrict airflow much.

The noise quality is slightly inferior to our baseline tests as the smaller GPU fans give the machine a higher pitch and adds a rougher quality to the overall acoustics but overall, the system still sounds pleasant.

Comparison

Case Comparison: Prime95x2 + FurMark
(85°C Target GPU Temp at 22°C Ambient)
Case
BitFenix Prodigy Black
Fractal Design Core 500
SilverStone FTZ01
Phanteks Evolv ITX
Fractal Design Node 202
CPU Cooler
Mugen Max at 500 RPM
Kotetsu at 900 RPM
NH-L12 at 1000 RPM
Kotetsu at 900 RPM
NH-L9i at 2490 RPM
System Fan Speed
500 RPM
(2 x 60%)
620 RPM
(1 x 60%)
1040 RPM
(2 x 60%)
620 RPM
(1 x 80%)
N/A
GPU Fan Speed
880 RPM
1040 RPM
1260 RPM
1670 RPM
2930 RPM
CPU Temp
55°C
52°C
45°C
57°C
68°C
MB Temp
50°C
52°C
44°C
58°C
56°C
SSHD Temp
N/A
44°C
42°C
34°C
54°C
GPU Temp
85°C
81°C
85°C
85°C
90°C*
20~21 dBA
24 dBA
24~25 dBA
29 dBA
41~42 dBA
Apx. Case Volume
26.4 L
18.6 L
14.1 L
34.1 L
10.2 L
* cooling failure (thermal throttling observed).
Ambient temperature: 22°C.

Relatively speaking, the Core 500 is a solid performer offering low noise and unsurpassed GPU cooling. Since updating our mini-ITX case test configuration, only our Mini-ITX Gaming Build using the BitFenix Prodigy is superior, though it had an additional fan and was capable of a lower GPU fan speed possibly due to an older driver being used at the time. If we could match the GPU temperatures or speeds, the noise difference would likely halve.



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