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 Corsair Carbide 300R Noise and Thermal Testing, Stock


View All Comments

  • ahamling27 - Friday, June 29, 2012 - link

    It might be a great performing case at a decent price, but in my opinion, that is one fugly case. Those grill holes in the side for some extra fans don't do it justice. That being said, the ease of putting a computer together inside it does give it some merit. Reply
  • stratosrally - Friday, June 29, 2012 - link

    I realize that it adds to the cost and possibly takes the case to a price level where you'd have more competition, but Corsair sells the solid panel from the other side of the case for $9.99. They are switchable, so you could have a mild custom that suits your preferences for a bit more. In fact, one of my favorite things about Corsair is how they sell almost every single part to every case seperately for very reasonable prices. You can modify many of their models by exchanging parts...

    Link to panel here:


    (disclaimer: I do not work for them!)
  • ahamling27 - Friday, June 29, 2012 - link

    That's pretty awesome. I know CoolerMaster kinda does that, but I don't think they have every part, some need to be special ordered. Thanks for the info! Reply
  • jeffkro - Tuesday, July 03, 2012 - link

    It kind of looks like a copy of the antec 300, only the uglied it up a little. Reply
  • Olaf van der Spek - Friday, June 29, 2012 - link

    Why exactly is the Antec 1100 so much better noise-wise in the overclocked configuration?
    The cases seem quite similar.
  • baloor - Friday, June 29, 2012 - link

    One thing of note when I purchased one of these recently. The lack of a USB 2.0 to USB 3.0 adapter cable for the front USB ports.
    The motherboard for my son's system only has USB 2.0 headers on the motherboard and finding an adapter cable that doesn't ship with a case isn't an easy task I have discovered.
  • stratosrally - Friday, June 29, 2012 - link

    Corsair sells a kit that contains just what you're looking for:


    $4.99 direct
  • piroroadkill - Friday, June 29, 2012 - link

    I still think the Fractal Design Define R3 is better, maybe I'm biased because I have one, but it looks way nicer, and has blanked off fan holes when you don't need them.

    Infact, if you have need of a full ATX board, a ton of drives, and have a graphics card that's short enough to fit, then I still can't think of a better case for value/performance/everything than the Define R3.
  • colonelclaw - Friday, June 29, 2012 - link

    I don't think too many people would argue with you that the R3 is a better case, it's basically fantastic. It's also $30 more expensive, which is getting on for 40% more. Definitely a different market. Reply
  • dave1_nyc - Friday, June 29, 2012 - link

    I bought an R3 on sale for $80 (total) because that made it almost $40 cheaper than the Arc Midi I wanted at the time, but couldn't justify the price difference. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I like the R3 (despite the laughably badly glued on rubber grommets).

    I finally got an Arc Midi for something else and while it's a more capable case for cooling (and I like the use of 140mm fans), I'm surprised that in terms of "just liking" I still prefer the R3.

    Even the door (which I was prepared to hate) is nice.

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