For testing 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-Z77X-UD4H
Graphics Card ASUS GeForce GTX 560 Ti DCII TOP
(tested at stock speed and overclocked to 1GHz/overvolted to 1.13V)

2x NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580 in SLI
(full fat testing only)
Memory 2x2GB Crucial Ballistix Smart Tracer DDR3-1600
Drives Kingston SSDNow V+ 100 64GB SSD

Samsung 5.25" BD-ROM/DVDRW Drive

3x HGST DeskStar 3TB 7200-RPM HDD
CPU Cooler Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo with Cooler Master ThermalFusion 400
Power Supply SilverStone Strider Plus 1000W 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.

For the "full fat" testbed, the GTX 560 Ti is swapped out for a pair of GTX 580s, and three hard disks are added to fill out the case.

Thank You!

Before moving on, we'd like to thank the following vendors for providing us with the hardware used in our testbed.

Building in the Corsair Carbide 330R Noise and Thermal Testing
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  • ShieTar - Monday, August 26, 2013 - link

    I can't really imagine that being the noise floor, my mobile phone gets a noise closer to 20dB. I would assume it is rather that the equipment can not be well calibrated below 30dB, or that measurements below are just not repeatable over time-periods of several years.
    But I'd love to see a more detailed description of where the 30dB come from. Care to educate us, Dustin?
    Reply
  • casteve - Monday, August 26, 2013 - link

    Here's your education :)
    http://www.anandtech.com/show/5709/introducing-our...
    The noise meter has a floor of 30dB.

    Also, unless you've calibrated your mobile app with known good test equipment in someone's anechoic chamber, it's just flailing around. Pretty to look at, possibly useful to compare relative things (hey! the back of my PC is louder than the front!), but not a tool for absolute measurements.
    Reply
  • ShieTar - Monday, September 16, 2013 - link

    Thanks for the link. And as I suspected, it notes "The SL130 is rated to go as low as 30dB". The instrument will realize if it is measuring less than 30dB, the software will just refuse to put a number to those measurements as it can no longer be accurate in this region.

    That the difference to the mobile app, of course if it is showing 20dB it might be 25 dB in reality, but a silent room (no traffic noise nearby, no AC running, etc) will easily be below 30dB. If you can hear another person breathing, its probably closer to 10dB.

    Its understandable and scientifically correct for Dustin to not post results below 30dB then (even if his equipment would make a guess), but in reality there is still a slight difference between a 30dB and a 25 dB installation. It is more relevant for people trying to keep their system running while they read/sleep in the same room, and generally unnoticeable whenever your PC is generating sounds/music.
    Reply
  • briandel - Sunday, August 25, 2013 - link

    The use of 'hail mary' in the article doesn't make sense. A hail mary would be a desperate attempt at something with a low probability of success. 'Slam dunk' would be more appropriate sports analogy. Reply
  • Amoro - Monday, August 26, 2013 - link

    I think they did a worse job than the 300R.

    CPU Stock: 0.4 degrees C lower
    GPU Stock: 6.0 degrees C HIGHER
    Load Noise Levels Stock: 2.2 decibels HIGHER
    Reply
  • Primoz - Sunday, September 15, 2013 - link

    "Meanwhile, the 300R is essentially overwhelmed and the 330R is able to produce better acoustics under stress."

    This is prolly switched around?
    Reply
  • gelatinous_blob - Thursday, October 03, 2013 - link

    "I love the Nanoxia Deep Silence cases and would easily recommend one over the 330R"

    It would be good to elaborate on this. I'm evaluating cases and it would be good to know in what ways the Nanoxia is preferable.
    Reply
  • Max22258 - Friday, October 31, 2014 - link

    I have bought a 330R to replace an Antec case that I had. Right from the start I found my old Antec case with the side panel latch was a much better design then the corsair. I wish they would have panels that latches instead of the old sliding hook that are dated from the beginning of personal computer. I had problem installing the panel on one side when the computer case was upright. Also I do have a corsair power supply, when I installed the motherboard and the video card, the six pin connectors could not reach the motherboard and video card, I had to use an extension. Also when installing SATA cable for a drive, you should use the 90 degree connectors, mine were touching the side panels. At the top if you want to install the 140 mm fans, you cannot have the top panel installed, the clips for the top panel falls right on the mounting screws. They should have design the top panel to enable the mounting of the 140 mm fans. Also there was no manual, as I searched on how did they install theses fans. The foam covering must be removed and only one fan can be mounted.

    All of these points should have make your review, I have look for years at Arnand Tech for advice and reviews. I am quite disappointed with this review.

    Max 22258
    Reply

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