Testing Methodology

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.

Assembling the NZXT Phantom 530 Noise and Thermal Testing
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  • Jumpman23 - Thursday, July 18, 2013 - link

    I had my eye on this case and seems to be everything the 630 is but shrunk. I really like the front door on the 530 over all the other Phantoms. It just doesn't look as flat. My only complaint is that the side fan mount just looks odd there especially without a fan.
  • crimson117 - Thursday, July 18, 2013 - link

    > the fan controller goes a long way towards making things easier. NZXT opts to use a 4-pin molex power connector for it to ensure enough power is available.

    I was more than a little peeved that I need to plug an entire molex cable into my modular power supply /just/ to power the fan controller.
  • crimson117 - Thursday, July 18, 2013 - link

    on my Phantom 630, that it.
  • Dustin Sklavos - Thursday, July 18, 2013 - link

    The problem as I understand it is that the SATA power lead isn't rated for as high a wattage as the molex is, so the molex becomes a necessary evil.
  • Death666Angel - Friday, July 19, 2013 - link

    The SATA power connector has 3 12V pins (and 3 5V and 3 3.3V ones). Each pin is able to deliver 1.5A as per the wikipedia entry and 2 other sites I found via google. That is 54W for the SATA power cable for the 12V rail only (22.5W and 14.85W for the 5V/3.3V rails). Numbers for the Molex/4-pin connector are bit hard to come by. The most common number is 13A maximum (rated by Molex for the connector) and 5A for PC use. So it is between 60W and 156W from the 12V rail (25W/55W for the 5V rail). So, just comparing the 12V rails (which will likely be the only ones used), you have a power delivery advantage of the 4-pin Molex connector of ~6W to 102W. Considering that even the 6 pin PCIe connector is only rated for 75W and that is with more ground and 12V connections, I doubt anything above 5A is save or reasonable. So the actual difference as far as I can tell, is fairly small, with some variation possible. However, apart from some Delta fans, I doubt anything plugged into that control uses more than 5W when fully powered (many fans even use less than 1W if they are 120mm or below). So you can safely run at least 10 average fans off a SATA cable. I'm sure they could have handled it with a SATA connector. Unless they give me a specific reason that would go against it or invalidate my quick calculations. :)
  • JDG1980 - Thursday, July 18, 2013 - link

    Any chance we'll see a Silverstone FT04 review sometime soon? Newegg already sold out of their first batch...
  • kwrzesien - Thursday, July 18, 2013 - link

    The silver is still in stock: $229 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N8...
  • Giffs - Thursday, July 18, 2013 - link

    This case looks awesome, but so does the Nox Hummer Zero usb 3.0

    A review on the Nox would be great.
  • justaviking - Friday, July 19, 2013 - link

    Looks like a Star Wars stormtrooper.
  • xbaronjagerx - Sunday, November 24, 2013 - link

    Funny you say that... I actually own this case and guess what my computer name is... STORMTROOPER!!! Also, I would like to add something to the review. The reason I'm reading this article is because I just broke the front panel audio jack, due to it being mounted on the front, I went to reach behind the pc and broke it... Just want to throw out there that I'm not happy with the usb and audio in/out being on the top of the case... other than that, the case is fantastic.

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