Luxa2 LM100 Mini: "Exquisite & Desirable" m-ITX HTPC Case

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With Coolermaster Geminii S CPU heatsink

As cooling the Northbridge was a point of contention, we opted to augment our test setup with a better top-down cooler, the Coolermaster Geminii S.

The Coolermaster Geminii S, is a preferable alternative to the Alpine 7 Pro. It weighs 500 grams, but its 88 mm height is only a bit more than the Alpine. The bigger fan should provide better airflow to the Northbridge.

The Geminii S fits perfectly, almost touching the case side and with 1.3 cm of clearance above it. Unfortunately, it too precludes the use of an optical drive.

System Measurements (CPU + GPU Load): Geminii S
CPU Fan Speed
Case Fan Voltage
SPL @1m
SPL @0.6m
CPU Temp
GPU Temp
1200 RPM
21~22 dBA
25 dBA
23~24 dBA
28 dBA
Ambient temperature: 24°C
Ambient noise level: 11 dBA

We ran the fan on the Geminii S at 7V (1200 RPM) which on its own, generated about 17 dBA@1m in our anechoic chamber. Its fan was surprisingly smooth, subdued at 9V and below, although whiny at full speed. With the case fans off, the system started out at 17 dBA@1m but as the system heated up, the power supply fan ramped up and the noise level peaked at 21~22 dBA@1m. Still it was much quieter than any of the stable states we attained using the Alpine 7.

With the CPU fan spinning at 1200 RPM, the CPU temperature was about 5-8°C worse than the Alpine 7 at 1600 RPM. However, the GPU temperature showed marked improvement, staying stable at 83°C without the help of the case fans. Turning the case fans to 9V resulted in a small increase in noise, but a significant improvement in CPU and GPU cooling — the temperatures were finally at comfortable levels. The improvements were still not enough to catch up to the Silverstone SG05/06 though. The Silverstones' thermal and acoustic results were better even using the Alpine 7 running at only 1200 RPM.

Spectral Analysis: Geminii S at 7V, case fans at 9V (pink, 23~23 dBA) vs. ambient (blue, 11 dBA).

Spectral analysis showed a few small peaks and valleys, but for the most part the acoustic profile of the system with the Geminii S was devoid of any significant tonality.

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