For testing Mini-ITX and Micro-ATX cases, we use the following standardized testbed in a stock configuration as well as with add-on graphics cards to get a feel for how well the case handles heat and noise. As we've retired our Micro-ATX board from the testbed, Micro-ATX enclosures will be using the Mini-ITX testbed.

Mini-ITX Test Configuration
CPU Intel Core i3-2120
(65W TDP)
Motherboard Zotac Z68ITX-A-E
Graphics Card Intel HD 2000 IGP

Zotac GeForce GTS 450 Eco

Memory 2x2GB Crucial Ballistix Smart Tracer DDR3-1600
Drives Kingston SSDNow V+ 100 64GB SSD
CPU Cooler SilverStone NT07-1156 with Cooler Master ThermalFusion 400
Power Supply SilverStone Strider Plus 1000W 80 Plus Silver

Each case is tested with just the Core i3's integrated graphics as well as with a discrete graphics card. The system is powered on and left idle for fifteen minutes, the thermal and acoustic results recorded, and then stressed by running four threads in Prime95 (in-place large FFTs) on the CPU, and OC Scanner (maximum load) is run when the dedicated GPU is installed. At the end of fiteen minutes, thermal and acoustic results are recorded. 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.

We try to maintain an ambient testing temperature of between 22C and 24C. Non-thermal test results aren't going to be directly comparable to the finest decimal point, but should be roughly comparable and give a broader idea of how the enclosure performs.

Thank You!

Before moving on, we'd like to thank the following vendors for providing us with the hardware used in our testbed.

Re-Introduction Noise and Thermal Testing
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  • just4U - Saturday, September 21, 2013 - link

    What about the Cooler Master N200?
  • antef - Saturday, September 21, 2013 - link

    The N200 looks okay but still a bit unnecessarily deep.

    PS07: 8.27 " W x 14.73" H x 15.75" D
    Line-M: 7.29" W x 14.37" H x 15.74" D
    N200: 7.95" W x 14.9" H x 17.52" D

    The Line-M has the best dimensions here. The PS07 is slightly wider and taller but maintains the same short depth. The N200 is nearly 2" deeper. What's so nice about the Line-M/PS07 dimensions is that they keep it extremely compact but still have the space for a large video card and modest tower cooler if you want it.
  • HisDivineOrder - Saturday, September 21, 2013 - link

    CLC is a fad that will die out just as soon as people realize it's ridiculous to put a water cooler on chips that increasingly cannot overclock reliably for reasons that are NOT at all about heat production and/or not about heat being reliably transferred by the heatspreader.

    At this point, CLC is the new "in-thing," but eventually there'll be a move back to standard heatsinks and fans. This reminds me of how "everyone" was making aluminum cases, then the market contracted down to only a couple of players. Because it was the fad for a while.
  • just4U - Saturday, September 21, 2013 - link

    I've found that the Temjin (and I assume the PS07 since their very similar) both work well with modular Power Supplies that use cables that are ribboned rather than sleeved. That makes cable management so much easier.
  • bobbozzo - Sunday, September 22, 2013 - link

    Please also re-review the Antec P18x (p183 v3 is current, afaict) and p280 cases.

  • bobbozzo - Sunday, September 22, 2013 - link
    It looks like there might be a filter on the intake, but it's hard to tell for sure

    Please state in all reviews if there are dust filters, and if they're removable.

  • tonyou - Sunday, September 22, 2013 - link

    Yeah, that pictures shows the front removable filter for the PS07. There is also another removable filter on the top of the case for PSU intake.
  • Hrel - Monday, September 23, 2013 - link

    I looked and didn't find one; but you guys REALLY need a sound meter that goes below 30db. I'm not sure where to find it, but it's gotta exist somewhere.
  • lwatcdr - Monday, September 23, 2013 - link

    You would probably not only have to find a meter that goes below 30db but also a special room to measure in. Even wind outside or the ac turning on could swamp a sub 30db signal.

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