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 NZXT Phantom 630 Noise and Thermal Testing, Stock
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  • sna1970 - Sunday, January 20, 2013 - link

    I wonder why people cant design REAL good looking cases ...

    if the Japanese can ...

    hey Anand ... take a look at Abee PC cases for a change ...

  • awg1031 - Sunday, January 20, 2013 - link

    wow, i hope anand can hold of abee's product..

    even look at the i-phone case..nice~
  • meefer - Sunday, January 20, 2013 - link

    They look like clean designs but they aren't terribly interesting- all crisp but cold right angles. I'd like to find a nice balance between the old beige box look (like Abee Smart) and the ridiculous 1990s Mega Bass boombox look (like the CoolerMaster HAF).

    It doesn't look like Abee have distributors in the US, too bad. Their phone and tablet cases look awesome.
  • 3ogdy - Sunday, January 20, 2013 - link

    The right angle design and sharp edge design is back for some - they think that if they add a nice shiny painting they can pretend to be the latest craze and well, "simple, yet awesome design" -which they're not. Those look like those second hand PC cases people throw away for $30. But hey, I was against Alienware's case redesign (their cases were by far some of the best looking one on the market), yet they went on and came up with something that looks a lot worse than their previous design...it seems taking steps backwards is the new fashion now.
  • meefer - Sunday, January 20, 2013 - link

    Good point. For what it's worth, I think the bland right-angle design works much better in the small form factor cases from Abee. Example:

  • 3ogdy - Sunday, January 20, 2013 - link

    I really don't get it:
    Do you really mean those UGLY cases from the link you posted look better than the NZXT design?
    I understand it's a matter of taste but hey, the Abee cases have absolutely no design at all - they're simply a bunch of unpolished Pentium 3-style cases.
    So why did you use them as an example against the NZXT Phantom, which OBVIOUSLY and DEFINITELY looks a ton better. Even if the NZXT Phantom cost twice as much as those cases, I'd still get the Phantom. It looks better and it is functional-enough.
  • Bob Todd - Sunday, January 20, 2013 - link

    I bet you thought the MSI GT660 looked better than a MacBook Pro too...
  • kyuu - Sunday, January 20, 2013 - link

    30gdy is right. How exactly are *those* cases good-looking? They look like the towers from the P4 era and back. If you really loved your old beige-box, great. But I think most people agree those are far from aesthetically pleasing.

    I'm not a huge fan of NZXT's aesthetic design either, but at least it *has* a design.
  • kyuu - Sunday, January 20, 2013 - link

    Their iPad/iPhone cases on the other hand, now *those* look nice.
  • JPForums - Tuesday, January 22, 2013 - link

    I understand it's a matter of taste but hey, the Abee cases have absolutely no design at all - they're simply a bunch of unpolished Pentium 3-style cases.

    These are most certainly not unpolished Pentium 3-style cases. Take a look at the list Ugly posted below for a valid point of comparison. The looks are definitely understated, but the combination of brushed aluminum exterior and what appears to be a well constructed and modern internal design (looking at the X3) counts as polish in my book. There is a market for designs such as these, especially in a business oriented setting.

    That said, the understated look isn't for everyone. I'd expect cases like these to appeal more to fans of the classic Lian Li enclosures than fans of Coolermaster's HAF series or NZXT chassis in general. I probably wouldn't use one of these for my gaming build, but I could see myself building a workhorse for the office in one of these if the performance keeps up. I'd like to see Dustin review one of these if he gets the chance.

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