Noise and Thermal Testing, Overclocked

At first glance, the BitFenix Merc Alpha isn't really an overclocker's case, but try to remember where the roots of overclocking lie: maximizing the value of your dollar. It used to be you bought a cheap chip and then made it perform like its more expensive cousins. Likewise, someone looking to build a monster on a dime might want be interested in seeing how the Merc Alpha handles the increased thermal load of our overclocked testing suite.

Eh, it could be a little more graceful. Part of the problem is that there just don't seem to be enough fans really circulating air for the Merc Alpha to perform better. Adding quiet intakes to the front and to the side panel might make a big difference. That said, it's not completely cooking our test hardware either, keeping temperatures livable across the board.

Idle noise continues to be a strong suit of the Merc Alpha and its included 120mm fan, while load noise isn't the worst we've seen. BitFenix's enclosure continues to be a fairly balanced design that doesn't skew hard towards thermal performance or acoustics.

Noise and Thermal Testing, Stock Conclusion: Great for the Money


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  • ckryan - Wednesday, October 05, 2011 - link

    BitFenix is company I'd never heard of before recently, but it looks like they're going for the mainstream case segment jugular. If nothing else, it's nice to have an inexpensive case with competence standard and not optional. Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Wednesday, October 05, 2011 - link

    They really are. I'm fond of saying they're young and hungry, but it's true. Their stuff is stellar. Reply
  • SunLord - Wednesday, October 05, 2011 - link

    Not to mention the lack of gaudy and cheesy over the top "gamer" case bling on the outside and lack of fail on the inside like alot of other cases. I can't stand all the BS most new cases come with. I got a FT2 for a reason though my old case is a Thermaltake Armor+ Reply
  • MonkeyPaw - Wednesday, October 05, 2011 - link

    I just bought a Diablotek EVO case for $45, and I must say I was surprised at how nice it was. It has a few minor design flaws, but quality was pretty good (solid feeling) at the price point. In fact, it has a lot in common with this model on the inside, and it doesn't look like a nerd warrior case on the outside. Reply
  • venomblade - Wednesday, October 05, 2011 - link

    Bitfenix is awesome! The White Shinobi Window is such a sexy case. Reply
  • futurepastnow - Thursday, October 06, 2011 - link

    Yeah, same here.

    This is really a nice looking case (although I prefer a solid, rather than vented or windowed, side panel). None of the gaudy, flashy bits that usually mar inexpensive cases.

    I've never had a truly tool-free case, so maybe I don't know what I'm missing, but I don't mind having to break out the screwdriver to replace a drive.
  • StealthX32 - Wednesday, October 05, 2011 - link

    Party like it's 1999!

    Glad to see someone is interested in serving the budget segment (again).
  • StealthX32 - Wednesday, October 05, 2011 - link

    Although come to think of it, $39 used to get you a power supply with the case... Reply
  • dertechie - Wednesday, October 05, 2011 - link

    Mind, those PSUs would likely explode if you actually tried to pull anything close to their rated power. Reply
  • MarkLuvsCS - Wednesday, October 05, 2011 - link

    ++1 Reply

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