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 BitFenix Ghost Noise and Thermal Testing, Stock
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  • darkling - Saturday, November 10, 2012 - link

    I sincerely wish that the dimensions were 8.7" x 11.6" x 13.9". Reply
  • Alexvrb - Saturday, November 10, 2012 - link

    That's the second thing I look for in a case. First is motherboard form factor. So when I read ATX, and then saw the claimed dimensions in inches, I was a little peeved. Thankfully it seems the dimensions given in mm are much more believable. Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Saturday, November 10, 2012 - link

    Argh, I knew I forgot to fix something. Fixed. Reply
  • Kepe - Saturday, November 10, 2012 - link

    Thanks for all these great case reviews, Dustin!
    Might I suggest a look into slim HTPC cases? You know, cases one can put right next to their home theater amp in the TV stand, such as the Silverstone Milo ML03. Perhaps an article with many cases being compared to each other. I don't remember ever seeing a review about those cases on Anandtech. Anyways, thanks for all your great articles =)
    Reply
  • sunflowerfly - Saturday, November 10, 2012 - link

    If you know of one, please let me know! If you look at what companies are buying from Dell and HP, they are mostly small or slim computers that don't take up much desk space. But I can't seem to find quality cases to build my own. How are the mainstream markets and the builder markets that much out of step? Reply
  • Death666Angel - Sunday, November 11, 2012 - link

    I can recommend the JCP-MI-102, that is a great, small mITX case with a PSU supplied. They have more very slim, small cases as well. :) Reply
  • sunflowerfly - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    Looks like a nice case, but if asking for help should have added what i'm looking for. I really want a slim MicroATX case that can stand vertical on my desk behind my monitor. Nice enough to handle an i5 and mid range, low-profile graphics card. USB3 and optical drive on the front, internally an SSD, hard drive, and quality power supply. Quite and efficient cooling is a must. Seems simple, yet I can't find one. Reply
  • Howard - Saturday, November 10, 2012 - link

    "As far as assembly goes, the Ghost is all but bulletproof"

    should be rewritten as

    "As far as assembly goes, the Ghost is anything but bulletproof"
    Reply
  • cjb110 - Saturday, November 10, 2012 - link

    Don't think so, Dustin seems to be overall positive about the assembly. So its not quite bulletproof.

    Reading it your way, suggests the assembly was pretty bad, with lots of areas for bullets to get in :)
    Reply
  • geforce912 - Saturday, November 10, 2012 - link

    Dustin, i think you should review the Nanoxia Deep Silence 1, it is an amazing case and you would love it. Reply

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