Tem­pered class

Tem­pered glass pan­els, RGB light­ing, water-cool­ing sup­port and pre­mium features are all found in Antony Leather’s lat­est high-end ATX case test

Custom PC - - LABS TEST -

How we test

Our case test­ing method is sim­ple – use real, over­clocked hard­ware in a stan­dard sys­tem to see how cases per­form in terms of cool­ing. Our trusty test gear in­cludes an In­tel Core i7-870 over­clocked to 3.4GHz us­ing a 1.305V vcore and 1.9V CPU PLL, plus an AMD Radeon HD 5870 1GB. This gear is in­stalled into a Biostar TPower I55 mother­board with 4GB of PNY DDR3 mem­ory, a Cor­sair Force GT SSD and An­tec Signature SG-650. While this setup might seem old by cur­rent stan­dards, it’s ideal for ther­mal case test­ing where the speed of com­po­nents is unim­por­tant.

The CPU cooler is a mod­est Gelid Tran­quillo, and we’ve re­placed the fan with a slow-spin­ning Noc­tua NF-S12B ULN, to re­ally high­light the poor­est and best­per­form­ing cases. Like­wise, we lock the fan speed at 30 per cent on the graphics card to pre­vent au­to­matic fan con­trol from in­ter­fer­ing with the re­sults. We leave each case for 15 min­utes, us­ing Prime95 v26.6’s smallfft test ( www.mersen­nefo­rum.org) to load the CPU and Unig­ine’s Heaven bench­mark ( https://unig­ine.com/ prod­ucts/heaven) to load the GPU. Re­sults are taken from CoreTemp ( www. al­cpu.com/CoreTemp) and GPU-Z ( www. tech­powerup.com/gpuz) and we sub­tract the am­bi­ent tem­per­a­ture from the re­sults to give a delta T read­ing, which en­ables us to test in nor­mal con­di­tions across sev­eral days and vary­ing tem­per­a­tures. We also use a sound me­ter to gauge the noise each case makes, so we can com­ment ob­jec­tively in the re­views.

We test cases in their stan­dard con­fig­u­ra­tion with the in­cluded fans; ad­ding more fans will im­prove airflow, but will cost you more money. This month, as one case doesn’t in­clude any fans, with the man­u­fac­turer as­sum­ing you’ll want to add your own fans or use a liq­uid-cool­ing sys­tem, we also test such cases with two 120mm fans to get an idea of how they would per­form, and ad­just the cool­ing score ac­cord­ingly. How­ever, we still award more points for good out-of-the-box per­for­mance. We then score each case us­ing weighted cal­cu­la­tions for their cool­ing, de­sign, features and value to give an over­all score.

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