Überclok Ion: Midrange Overclocking, with a Warrantyby Matt Campbell on February 12, 2008 4:10 AM EST
- Posted in
We measure power consumption using a Kill-A-Watt device at the wall outlet. Idle indicates a measurement taken in Windows with no applications running. Max indicates the maximum power draw with the system fully loaded (running Prime95 Blend, Cinebench x-CPU render, and 3DMark06 simultaneously).
Clearly, the 650W power supply still has a large amount of overhead. Estimating at 80% efficiency, at full load the Ion is still only using around 200W. This is good news for both stability and expansion.
We measure noise with a sound level meter, in this case at a distance of 24". In the Ion, all of the case fans are manually set to Low by switches inside the case. The Tuniq's CPU fan can be individually controlled by a knob on the back panel. Speeds range from 1200 RPM at the "Low" or 0% setting up to 2100 RPM from ~45% - 100%. The owner's binder recommends setting this at just under halfway (45%); however, since the fan maxes out at 2100 RPM at this point, anywhere from halfway to maximum is the same.
These noise levels are quite low, the advantage of having 120mm case fans. With the CPU fan at 1200 RPM, the system is very quiet.
As this system uses an NVIDIA motherboard, nTune can read information not only from the GPU, but also from the CPU and case temperature as well. For the maximum CPU temperature, we ran Prime95 and the UT3 Shangri-La benchmark continuously for 1 hour prior to measurement, and the ambient temperature was approximately 20C. However, the maximum GPU temp recorded during this interval (69C) was lower than that observed during the Crysis GPU benchmark, which is a more grueling test for the GPU.
Even overclocked and running at the lowest possible fan setting, the CPU never climbs above 50 degrees. This shows plenty of headroom for a processor upgrade in the future, which is no surprise considering the use of the Tuniq 120.