Lian Li PC-A58 Casehardnrg -
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Well, the Hiper Type-R 580W (pictured in the review so far) refused to boot the motherboard. I think it may be faulty, quite possibly a capacitor being the cause of failure. So I used an Antec Neopower 480W PSU in place of the Hiper PSU.
For comparison of cooling performance, I used another aluminum case, the Thermaltake Tsunami. This case is a fairly roomy mid-tower with the stock Thermaltake 120x120x25mm fan at the front, a Panaflo 120x120x38mm M1A at the rear, and a Panaflo 92x92x25mm M1A at the side. All fans were set to their full speed. The case fans on the Lian Li PC-A58 were all set to full speed via the motherboard bios.
An AeroCool GateWatch front bay device was used for temperature monitoring in both cases. A temperature probe was placed at the rough centre of the case to measure case temperatures.
CPU temperature monitoring and stress testing was accomplished using Intel Thermal Analyis Tool. This was chosen as it gives on-die temperatures rather than a single temperature of the side of the IHS if I chose to use a temperature probe. The average of the two core temperatures is used to represent the overall CPU temperatures as the readings only differ +/- 2°C at most.
The CPU fan was set to use the motherboard's PWM speed controller to set the speed from 50% at 35°C up to 100% at 50°C.
- Intel Core2 Duo E6600
- EVGA nForce 680i SLI 775 (T1 Version)
- 2x 1GB OCZ DDR2 PC2-9200 Flex XLC Edition
- Sapphire ATI Radeon X1950 Pro 512MB
- Antec Neopower 480W PSU
- Lian Li PC-A58 Case
- Thermaltake Tsunami Case
- AeroCool GateWatch Fan Controller / Temperature Monitor
- Hitachi T7k250 SATA2 250GB Hard-Drive
- LG GDR-8164B DVD-ROM
- Microsoft Windows XP Professional with Service Pack 2
With the upper fan oriented blowing downwards, the idle temps rose in excess of 65°C, so I pushed the plastic pins out, flipped the fan the other way round, put the mesh on the intake side of the fan, and remounted the fan with the plastic pins.
This was slightly better, but the temperatures were still so bad, I thought maybe the CPU IHS was concave and preventing full contact with the heatsink, so I lapped the CPU IHS to 1200 grit and remounted the heatsink.
All temperatures are in degrees Centigrade (°C)
The first test was a measure of the temperatures of the CPU cores and internal case temperature after being powered on and sitting at the desktop idle for 30 minutes.
Pretty disappointing temperatures at idle then. I don't think this case was designed for high performance processors. Even at stock voltage and speed, doing almost nothing at all, the E6600 is running very warm.
The second test was a measure of the temperatures of the CPU cores and internal case temperature after 30 minutes of dual-core full load using Intel Thermal Analyis Tool.
I almost didn't want to carry out the load test because the temperatures topped 70°C within a minute of dual-core full-load stress-testing. For the purposes of the review, I continued anyway whilst gritting my teeth. I can't believe how bad the temperatures were. The CPU is not overclocked or overvolted in any way.
After these appalling temperature results, I decided to do a further test by flipping the PSU over so that the Antec Neopower's 120mm fan would possibly aid the cooling of the upper case area.
I was skeptical at first, as the PSU fan and CPU fan were in close proximity, and blowing in opposite directions. This is what was achieved with the PSU flipped over with the fan sucking away from the CPU (with the previous Thermaltake Tsunami data used as a comparison).
Ok, so not as bad this time, the air coming out of the PSU was very, very hot though, and I was worried about subjecting a PSU to this level of heat in the long term.