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


View All Comments

  • randinspace - Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - link

    It IS big. Reply
  • cjs150 - Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - link

    Lets start with the obvious, the front is ugly. They have taken the original Centurion Stacker and then made it a bit bigger and ugly.

    Sure it takes EATX motherboards which is useful for those that need that level of power and flexibilty. But other than that what does it actually do better than cases designed 5 or 6 years ago.

    There has been no thought applied to this case. Lets take some obvious ideas for improvement:

    1. If a case is designed for that many hard drives why is there no hot swappable ability?

    2. Similarly for that many hard drives it would be nice to see some thought applied to cable management and power distribution to the hard drives

    3. If the cases is intended for air cooling then cable management is vital - where is it?

    Antec 280 may not be my favourite case, but they thought about what market to go for and designed a case to meet that market. Fractal Design produces nice cases, with features thought through for a particular market (esp water cooling). Heck I even like Lian li for trying different things, even if they do not come off. And, despite some doubtful quality control issues, I own a Silverstone TJ07 and am about to buy the TJ08E.
  • Skidmarks - Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - link

    Although I haven't seen it in the plastic & steel yet, judging it by the pics it looks like a dreadful mess to me. Reply
  • rickon66 - Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - link

    As an Antec fan, 1100 still overall best buy. Reply
  • angrypat - Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - link

    It does seem to be in fashion for cases to be overdone and scifi comic book like, I would rather have understated looks and form following function. And no damn doors or hinged covers, if I want to open an optical drive or access a usb port I don't want to open a door first. The question I never see asked is why so few cases have an SD card reader, much more useful than a front ESATA port; storage for laptops, tablets, phones and cameras. Rear expansion slot mounted fan controls suck, very inconvenient, and they are tossed in with many cases. As for myself, I build a pc, then may tweak occasionally but I am not constantly working in it, after 40 plus builds no case has really annoyed me to work in whether it was $20 or $100. The delivery people beating the crap out of them on the way to my door is another matter of course! Outside of a media center case I don't see any reason to spend more than $100 unless you want to show off. Cooling fans can always be added or changed, run off the mobo or a fan controller. The most important thing is to know what you are building; gamer, media center, office, everyday web surfer or a serious number cruncher etc. Reply
  • Grok42 - Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - link

    The reason door and covers are used is they provide a clean look for the front of the case. Because case manufactures insist on putting 3 to 9 external 5.25" bays in the case they have to cover them up so the case doesn't look like crap. I agree, get rid of the door as they just require more case depth. Instead, just don't have any external bays and it's a win/win.

    They don't put a SD card reader in the case because it's like putting a VHS deck or DVD drive in a TV. Remember those? Why build a piece of dead tech into the case itself? I still have a 10 year old Lian-Li case as my main workstation. I'm sure glad they didn't build a zip drive in it. The days of sneaker netting data from phones, cameras, tablets, etc are long gone. If you still have a few devices you must do it with, that is what $5 USB card readers are for.
  • bwcbwc - Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - link

    I take it this should be pronounced "groan"?

    Unfortunately I fall into the hate it camp at least based on the front panel aesthetic - it looks like a prop from the original Battlestar Galactica. Other design choices are less "groan" worthy, but as you say there are other companies in this price range with alternatives I find more appealing.
  • Solidstate89 - Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - link

    The GRone case? Are you kidding me right now? Who in marketing thought that would make a great name? Reply
  • MeanBruce - Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - link

    Buy a man's chassis, the Corsair 650D was $161.99 a couple days ago on Amazon free shipping no tax. Stand Up Boy! Reply
  • Bonesdad - Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - link

    If you like the way this case looks, there is something wrong with you. Reply

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