Antec Nine Hundred Two Gaming Case

Cases|Damping
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TEST CONFIG #3 (CrossFireX)


Case with test system installed (2 x HD 4870 in CrossFireX).

System Measurements (CrossFireX)
State
Idle
Load
Load
Top & Rear / Front Fans Speed
Low / Off
Medium / Minimum
Noise
23~24 dBA
38 dBA
38~39 dBA
CPU Temp
37°C
59°C
56°C
SB Temp
60°C
70°C
68°C
HD Temp
37°C
37°C
36°C
GPU #1 Temp
80°C
99°C
98°C
GPU #1 Fan
Speed
1100 RPM
2910 RPM
2880 RPM
GPU #2 Temp
75°C
91°C
89°C
GPU #2 Fan
Speed
1020 RPM
2440 RPM
2330 RPM
CPU fan speed set to 100%.
Ambient temperature: 28°C.

The addition of a second HD 4870 made only a small acoustic impact on our test system when idle. On load however, the effect was easily noticed. Not only was the noise level higher by 10 dBA, the CPU temperature increased by 4°C, the Southbridge ran 14°C warmer, and the temperature of the GPU in the top position almost reached 100°C, about 12°C higher. The top GPU fan spun at 2910 RPM (a 600 RPM increase) while the bottom GPU fan ran at 2440 RPM. The combination of the two are responsible for most of the extra noise.

With the noise level reaching 38 dBA, the top and rear fans were drowned out — increasing them to medium speed made a less than 1 dB impact so we also turned on both of the front intakes. With the system so loud there wasn't any reason to keep the system fan speeds low. The additional airflow provided had only a slight affect on thermal performance, delivering temperatures 1-3°C lower and allowing the GPU fans to spin slightly slower.

Comparisons

CrossFireX Configuration Comparison (Load)
Case
P183*
Nine Hundred Two
Fan Speeds
(Rear / Front
or Side)
Low / Low
Low / Low
Noise Level
35 dBA
38 dBA
CPU Temp
58°C
53°C
SB Temp
69°C
64°C
HD Temp
39°C
31°C
GPU #1 Temp
99°C
93°C
GPU #1 Fan
Speed
3030 RPM
2910 RPM
GPU #2 Temp
89°C
85°C
GPU #2 Fan
Speed
2400 RPM
2440 RPM
CPU fan set to 100% speed.
Ambient temperature: 22°C (results adjusted accordingly)
*P183 tested with Antec CP-850 power supply

Once the Nine Hundred Two's temperatures were adjusted for the higher ambient temperature during testing, its thermal advantage over the P183 is clear. CPU and Southbridge temperatures were 5°C lower and the hard drive ran 8°C cooler, even without a front fan. GPU temperatures showed a 4-6°C improvement. The only victory for the P183 was the measured noise level — 3 dBA lower than the Nine Hundred Two. However, as we remarked before, the higher ambient temperature can easily explain the difference is SPL.

The baseline noise for the P183 was 17 dBA compared to 20 dBA for the Nine Hundred Two. However with system noise exceeding 30 dBA, the affect the system fans in either case shouldn't be noticeable. One of the GPU fans was also spinning slower, so the only possible culprit is the power supply. It should also be noted that the P183 was tested with Antec's CP-850 power supply, which may be superior acoustically to the Coolermaster Silent Pro we have been using for most of the recent case tests. Of course, with two HD 4870 stock coolers blowing at full blast, both systems in either case are unreasonably loud.



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