Conclusion: More Reliable Comparisons

The ultimate goal of the revised testing hardware and methods is to prune the excess data that wasn't particularly useful before while substantially improving the reliability of the results produced during the testing process. Our Sandy Bridge testing platform may not be state of the art for too much longer, and NVIDIA is no doubt cooking up a suitable replacement for the GeForce GTX 560 Ti—outside of pricing, we could even argue that GTX 680 is that replacement—but these components should remain representative of the kinds of thermal and acoustic loads end users will be building their desktops off of for some time to come.

As always, we welcome any comments or suggestions on what you'd like to see from our case reviews. Keep in mind that our general goal is to review the cases as they ship from the manufacturer, so replacing all of the case fans with, for example, $20 Sanyo Denki fans isn't our intention—particularly when you're reviewing sub-$100 cases, adding $60 or more in fans is a bit extreme. If a manufacturer wants to market a case as being quiet or silent, then the onus is on them to provide acceptable fans for that goal.

In the meantime, I'm personally looking forward to accumulating fresh data sets using these new methods. With a year of testing from the previous platform, we have a better understanding of some of the weaknesses of our previous testbeds. While our earlier results are still useful in a broad sense, future case reviews (starting with the Corsair Obsidian 550D) should allow for better comparisons in a finer, more granular sense.

Testing Methodology, Revised
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  • Gnarr - Sunday, April 01, 2012 - link

    This is not a revised methodology, but a revised method. Methodology is the study of a method. Reply
  • shin0bi272 - Monday, April 02, 2012 - link

    I would still keep furmark since its designed for stressing the cards...

    "What is FurMark?

    FurMark is a very intensive OpenGL benchmark that uses fur rendering algorithms to measure the performance of the graphics card. Fur rendering is especially adapted to overheat the GPU and that's why FurMark is also a perfect stability and stress test tool (also called GPU burner) for the graphics card."
    Reply
  • sticks435 - Tuesday, April 03, 2012 - link

    Furmark doesn't come anywhere close to reality as far as temps are concerned. It's like the Linpack of GPU's. Plus like Dustin Mentioned, Nvidia and AMD have specially coded the drivers/power circuitry to step down when Furmark is detected, so it doesn't give accurate results. I actually think some of the newer work units from F@H are the best test of heat and noise as far as GPU's are concerned. Reply
  • shin0bi272 - Tuesday, April 03, 2012 - link

    true. I was just posting whats on their site. Their stated mission is to test who can get the highest fps at the lowest temp which makes it a good candidate for a benchmark. If you go over to lanoc and read their test of the 7970 and 680 in furmark you'll see how whacked out the program's scoring is. the 680 scores higher in fps and lower in temp so you'd think it should score higher in the burn-in score point system. It doesnt. Ive never seen a benchmark of f@h come near the stress levels that furmark puts on the cards but I guess if your only looking for real world programs to test its a good one. Reply
  • shin0bi272 - Tuesday, April 03, 2012 - link

    oh and according to legit reviews running f@h is getting harder and hard to do on the gpu.

    http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1881/15/
    Reply
  • sticks435 - Tuesday, April 03, 2012 - link

    Fair enough. I don't think that it's getting harder, it's that Standford is probably swamped and hasn't had time to write new cores for the new arch. Either that or the current drivers are so terrible it causes f@h not to work. My 570 with the current work units sits at 94c with the fan speed at 75% with an ambient of 24c @850mhz. That's more stressful than any game as far as work/temp is concerned. Reply
  • sticks435 - Tuesday, April 03, 2012 - link

    that should have been 26c ambient. Reply
  • Knifeshade - Tuesday, April 03, 2012 - link

    I think there needs to be a 'with stock heatsink' result, and one with the Hyper 212 in your testing methodology.

    You're ultimately testing a case's capability. Having a custom cooler is misleading. "Oh those CPU temperatures look pretty good". "Wrong, it's mostly because of the custom cooler".

    Not everybody uses aftermarket cooling in their build, you know.
    Reply

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