Testing Methodology

For testing Micro-ATX and full ATX cases, we use the following standardized testbed in stock and overclocked configurations to get a feel for how well the case handles heat and noise.

ATX Test Configuration
CPU Intel Core i7-2700K
(95W TDP, tested at stock speed and overclocked to 4.3GHz @ 1.38V)
Motherboard Gigabyte GA-Z68MX-UD2H-B3
Graphics Card ASUS GeForce GTX 560 Ti DCII TOP
(tested at stock speed and overclocked to 1GHz/overvolted to 1.13V)
Memory 2x2GB Crucial Ballistix Smart Tracer DDR3-1600
Drives Kingston SSDNow V+ 100 64GB SSD
Samsung 5.25" BD-ROM/DVDRW Drive
Accessories Corsair Link
CPU Cooler Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo with Cooler Master ThermalFusion 400
Power Supply SilverStone Strider Plus 750W 80 Plus Silver

Each case is tested in a stock configuration and an overclocked configuration that generates substantially more heat (and thus may produce more noise). The system is powered on and left idle for fifteen minutes, the thermal and acoustic results recorded, and then stressed by running seven threads in Prime95 (in-place large FFTs) on the CPU and OC Scanner (maximum load) on the GPU. At the end of fiteen minutes, thermal and acoustic results are recorded. This is done for the stock settings and for the overclock, and if the enclosure has a fan controller, these tests are repeated for each setting. Ambient temperature is also measured after the fifteen idle minutes but before the stress test and used to calculate the final reported results.

Thank You!

Before moving on, we'd like to thank the following vendors for providing us with the hardware used in our testbed.

Assembling the In-Win GRone Noise and Thermal Testing, Stock
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  • colinstu - Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - link

    Happy with my Antec P280.

    Good cases do exist out there, just gotta look at the right companies (cheapies like In-Win isn't one of them).

    Corsair 650D was looking like a nice option too, but the side window was a turnoff (I'm not into them these days) and it cost more money so I ultimately went with the Antec.

    The Fractal Design Core 3000 I'd go with if I wanted to cheapen it up some more, and the NZXT Source 210 if I wanted to really cheapen it up. I used this NZXT in a friend's build recently too and I was quite happy with it (and so is he).

    There's dozens more nice cases out there... but these 4 are my top easy picks (4 different price points) with getting a well featured case that doesn't look fugly.
    Reply
  • peterfares - Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - link

    I too have an Antec P280 which I bought for the same reasons. When I was 14 I loved cases like this one with windows and lights. My next build really toned it down and my latest case finally did away with all the useless and annoying lights and windows. I can't stand any lights or noise now, I even put electrical tape over the bright blue power and HDD LEDs on the case. I may just unplug them next time I open it up. Reply
  • Belard - Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - link

    I've built a system with a P280... great case.

    I would LOVE to see a mini-version... designed to hold a single 5.25 drive, 4x 3.5/2.5 drives...

    I'm still on my Antec P120, which is a smaller and doorless version of the P180. The P280 blows away the P180. Its not as ENGINEERED as the P180 with its air-chambers, drive cages, etc.
    But its (A) Lighter (B) Cheaper (C) Easier to work on (D) USB 3.0.

    My son has lights in his case (blue and red), also lets me know easily that his PC is on. I do like a little blue to glow from real air-vents, but nothing that lights up the room.
    Reply
  • colinstu - Wednesday, September 19, 2012 - link

    Hey, on the topic of "mini" P280s... would a "Fractal Design Define Mini" be up your alley?

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N8...

    Looks like an awesome option.
    Reply
  • ssj4Gogeta - Wednesday, September 19, 2012 - link

    "I can't stand any lights or noise now, I even put electrical tape over the bright blue power and HDD LEDs on the case. I may just unplug them next time I open it up."

    Haha, for some reason I pictured you as a robot running around saying "Kill all lights... kill all lights".
    Reply
  • ypsylon - Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - link

    That people still are interested in cases like this one. Steel and plastic. Brrrr... I know that aluminum is usually more expensive, but easily you can find good alu case around same kind of money. Try alu once and you will never go back. Simple as that. Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - link

    What, like Lian Li or Cubitek?

    Aluminum is HIGHLY overrated.
    Reply
  • Flying Goat - Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - link

    Who in their right mind calls a case "GRone"? Did anyone even try to read that phonetically? Reply
  • randinspace - Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - link

    Larry the cable guy came to mind. Reply
  • sesante2000 - Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - link

    I could understand if this case had something unique or special to offer, But no, It's just ugly.
    Finding a good case that suites ones style and function is just as hard as finding the right motherboard to match.
    Cases like these perpetuate the nonsense that "gamer" cases have become.

    If I walked into someones house and saw this I would think they just didn't know any better.
    But they should, as they are building their own PC.

    But who am I to judge?
    I mean, This is the lowest common denominator in custom PC cases.
    Reply

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