Test Setup

Test Configuration
CPU Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6850
(Quad-core 3.0GHz, 2x6MB L2, 1333FSB)
Motherboard Asus P5N-T Deluxe
Graphics Cards Triple-SLI NVIDIA GeForce 8800 Ultra
Memory 4GB OCZ DDR2 PC2-8500 Platinum Series
HDD Western Digital WD4001ABYS (Fully equipped)
CPU Cooler Zalman CNPS7700
Power Supply PC Power & Cooling Turbo Cool 860W
(AnandTech Edition)

For the temperature results we decided to attached temperature diodes to the CPU cooler, the GPU cooler (first GPU), the hard drives, and the inside of the chassis. This configuration may or may not end up being similar to what you run, but since we will use the same hardware in our case reviews we will be able to build a collection of results. The first graphics card in an SLI or triple-SLI setup always runs hotter than the others, which is why we will take measurements from this card.

For the time being, we installed the maximum supported number of hard drives (seven in this case). However, the temperature diode will also be connected to the first hard drive of our RAID setup. The fourth diode is in the middle of the case at the height of the DIMMs. This diode will allow us to measure ambient case temperature, and we will test optional configurations as necessary -- i.e., if a case offers a special air duct we will test both with and without this air duct.

Note: You will notice that we are testing with a very high-end setup for now, which is not representative of many computer systems. We will add a second more reasonable configuration in the future that will focus on reducing noise levels. For now, the temperature and noise readings should be considered something of a worst-case scenario; we will retest this case and others once we have additional hardware selected.

Installation Temperatures and Acoustics


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