Antec Sonata Elite ATX Mid-Tower Case

Cases|Damping
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Test Results - Configuration #2 (HD 4870)


Case with test system installed (HD 4870). There is about 3 cm of clearance between the graphics card and drive cage.

System Measurements (HD 4870)
State
Idle
Load
Idle
Load
Rear / Side
Fan Speed
Low / N/A
Low / Low
Low / Med
Noise
21 dBA
25~26 dBA
22 dBA
26 dBA
28~29 dBA
CPU Temp
35°C
58°C
35°C
59°C
59°C
SB Temp
56°C
56°C
50°C
55°C
54°C
HD Temp
35°C
35°C
33°C
34°C
33°C
GPU Temp
79°C
91°C
80°C
90°C
90°C
GPU Fan
Speed
1050 RPM
1980 RPM
1050 RPM
1930 RPM
1940 RPM
CPU fan speed set to 100%.
Ambient temperature: 25°C.

The addition of a HD 4870 made a significant impact, increasing the idle CPU temperature slightly (even though we ran the CPU at full speed rather than 70% because it did not add any perceivable noise) and sending the Southbridge temperature skyrocketing by 15-20°C. The graphics card effectively cuts off most of the airflow around the southbridge, and the GPU itself is fairly hot, so this was not surprising. Fortunately, the HD 4870's cooler is one of the better stock units and it only added a small amount of noise to the test system — about 1 dB when idle and 4 dB on load.

The advantage of having the side fan seemed to vanish once the system was stressed. When the graphics card was idle, the addition of the side fan on Low cooled the Southbridge by an extra 6°C. When placed under stress, the heat coming off the GPU had a greater effect, and the side fan's influence all but vanished. Setting the side fan to Medium did not result in any meaningful improvement. It is likely the fan's placement perpendicular to the GPU is the reason for its lack of effectiveness with this system configuration.

Comparisons

HD 4870 Configuration Comparison (Load)
State
Sileo 500
Sonata Elite
Fan Speed
(Rear / Front
or Side)
100% / 100%
Low / NA
Low / Low
Noise Level
25 dBA
25~26 dBA
26 dBA
CPU Temp
56°C
55°C
56°C
SB Temp
53°C
53°C
52°C
HD Temp
34°C
32°C
31°C
GPU Temp
87°C
88°C
87°C
CPU fan set to 100% speed.
Ambient temperature: 22°C.
(Temperatures adjusted to match ambient).

In the HD 4870 configuration, the Elite again performed very similarly to the Sileo 500 recording similar CPU, Southbridge and GPU temperatures, with only a minor improvement in hard drive temperature. The Elite also measured slightly louder in our anechoic chamber, though the difference is close to our margin of measurement error.



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