GT3-BH CaseFormer staff writer -
So how am I going to test this case? I have to ask myself, what is its intended purpose? Well, that turned out to be the convenience of portability, ease of carrying, acceptance of a full size ATX motherboard, and of course performance. With its size being so small, it is definitely portable, and the built-in handle makes it easy to carry. The fact that I have installed an ATX motherboard into it takes care of the acceptance of ATX part. That pretty much just leaves the question of how it performs.
When your PC is running, it is generating heat, especially if you are running demanding applications. All of this heat has to be released, or you run the risk of having stability issues. Since the case is so small, the components inside are closer together and air flow becomes even more important.
I will test the temperature of the system and CPU as I use the PC to see if the airflow inside this case can handle the job. First, I will load the system to 100% load by running two instances of Prime 95 with a moderate overclock on the CPU and record those temperatures. The overclock itself will generate additional heat, let alone the double instances of Prime95. I will then return the CPU to stock speed and let it idle for at least 30 minutes and record temperatures.
I tried to use Motherboard Monitor to keep an eye on all the values I wanted to, but I was unable to configure it for my board. Likewise for Speedfan, here I had 132,000 RPM fans! So, I resorted to the utility that came with the board, that being EasyTune. With the Hardware Monitor applet from EasyTune, I was also able to watch the voltages of the 12v rail, 3.3v rail and an indication of vdroop on the vcore volts. Vdroop is a situation where the vcore (voltage to your processor) drops as the system is given a full load, thereby stressing the power supply. Windows Task Manager was used to show the CPU load, and CPU-Z was used to show the clock speed of the CPU. The ambient temperature is 25 degrees Celsius.
- Intel Core 2 Duo 6300
- GigaByte GA-965P-S3 v1.0
- Super Talent DDR2-1000 (2 x 1 GB)li>
- BFG Geforce 7600 GTOC PCI-Express
- OCZ GameXtreme 600W
- Seagate 320 GB SATA 2.0
- Pioneer DVR-K06 Slim-DVD/CD Writer (Slot Loading)
- GT3-BH case
- Windows XP Pro/SP2
As you can see in the first screenshot, the CPU is overclocked to a speed of 2.1 GHz, and fully loaded on both cores. Not too shabby for stock vcore and a stock heatsink/fan. In the second screenshot, the CPU is at stock speed and the system is at idle.
A temperature increase of only 2 degrees Celsius from stock at idle to overclocked at full load is great! This in and of itself speaks volumes for the cooling efficiency of the airflow through this case. As you can see, the 12v rail voltage remained constant at all times, with the 3.3v rail only losing .02v at full load on the CPU, and the vcore voltage dropped .01 volts, which is very good as far as vdroop is concerned. A steady supply of volts to the CPU increases your chances for a good overclock.