Testing Methodology

For testing Micro-ATX and Mini-ITX cases, we use the following standardized testbed in its stock configuration and a Zotac GeForce GTX 580 in cases that support it to get a feel for how the case handles heat and noise. Due to the power supply clearance constraints of the TJ08-E, SilverStone provided us with a slightly different PSU for testing.

Mini-ITX/Micro-ATX Test Configuration
CPU Intel Core i3-530 (73W TDP)
Motherboard Zotac H55ITX-WiFi
Graphics Card Intel HD Graphics (IGP)
Memory 2x2GB Crucial Ballistix Smart Tracer DDR3-1600
Drives Samsung 5.25" BD-ROM/DVDRW Drive
Kingston SSDNow V+ 100 64GB SSD
Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB SATA 6Gbps
CPU Cooler Zalman CNPS8000A with Cooler Master ThermalFusion 400
Power Supply SilverStone Strider Plus 750W 80 Plus Silver

A refresher on how we test:

Acoustic testing is standardized on a foot from the front of the case, using the Extech SL10 with an ambient noise floor of ~32dB. For reference, that's what my silent apartment measures with nothing running, testing acoustics in the dead of night (usually between 1am and 3am). A lot of us sit about a foot away from our computers, so this should be a fairly accurate representation of the kind of noise the case generates, and it's close enough to get noise levels that should register above ambient.

Thermal testing is run with the computer having idled at the desktop for fifteen minutes, and again with the computer running both Furmark (where applicable) and Prime95 (less one thread when a GPU is being used) for fifteen minutes. I've found that leaving one thread open in Prime95 allows the processor to heat up enough while making sure Furmark isn't CPU-limited. We're using the thermal diodes included with the hardware to keep everything standardized, and ambient testing temperature is always between 71F and 74F. Processor temperatures reported are the average of the CPU cores.

For more details on how we arrived at this testbed, you can check out our introductory passage in the review for the SilverStone FT03.

Last but not least, we'd also like to thank the vendors who made our testbed possible:

Thank You!

We have some thanks in order before we press on:

Assembling the SilverStone Temjin TJ08-E Noise and Thermal Testing, IGP
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  • slagcoin - Thursday, August 4, 2011 - link

    You say the case will not work well with dual graphics cards, but you did not even test it. You should test it.

    I concur with the 160mm modular power supply. Should also find an optical drive about 170mm in length.

    I recommend avoiding both CPU air cooling and 3.5" hard drives in the hard drive cage. Put 3.5" hard drives in the bottom and/or media bays. The length of the hard drive cage is perfect for 2.5" hard drives with adapters. Consider SSDs and/or notebook hard drives for the hard drive cage.
  • Andrew Rockefeller - Thursday, August 4, 2011 - link

    I've often wondered if a left hand mounted mobo would be better for passive graphics cards.. heat sink on top seems rational to me. That said, im no master of thermal and fluid dynamics, any benefit may be negligable to none. I see an experiment in my near future.
  • Rick83 - Thursday, August 4, 2011 - link

    Well, I"m not sure, because the fans are usually sucking air into the card - in this case they will get the air from the warmer, upper section of the board, whereas normally, the y get it from the bottom, where cooler air is supposed to be.
    If you"re running passive or with custom fans though, it may be beneficial. Still you have a heat source below the card, with all the VRM and CPU, so it may not be ideal.
  • Andrew Rockefeller - Thursday, August 4, 2011 - link

    I have a passive graphics card. Ran my experiment. It would appear that thermal conductivity has a far greater impact than orientation. 'Negligable to none' confirmed.
  • IMPL0DE - Thursday, August 4, 2011 - link

    are barely visible, because you used a white font on bright yellow.
  • PorscheMaD911 - Thursday, August 4, 2011 - link

    Thanks for the review, I was seriously thinking about buying this case for my build (parts just arrived today). In the end I went with the Antec Three Hundred instead, and looks like I'll be glad in terms of ease of assembly. This is a really nice looking enclosure though!
  • 7Enigma - Thursday, August 4, 2011 - link

    Last system I built for my dad's gaming/video rig used the 300. Very spacious and easy to build with. Some sharp corners if I remember correctly, but other than that no complaints and the huge fan on the top on the low setting (fan has low/medium/high) is virtually inaudible and moves a LOT of hot air out.

    Only long-term issue I can think of is dust issues inside but that's what the air compressor is for once or twice a year.

    Good choice.
  • PorscheMaD911 - Thursday, August 4, 2011 - link

    Awesome, thanks for sharing your experience. I'll watch the sharp corners and keep an eye on the dust level!
  • marvdmartian - Thursday, August 4, 2011 - link

    1. When photographing a black case with a black interior, illuminate it with a LOT of external light (try to minimize shadows), BEFORE pointing the camera at it. Trust me. Your photographs shows a lot of black on black, with minimal illumination, which showed much less detail than it should have, for this type of review. Remember, some of us aren't kids with sharp eyes anymore.

    2. Remember to take some angled pictures of the interior of the case. Some of the best details of any case can only be discerned while looking at it from an angle OTHER than straight on. Close ups are also lacking, especially in the drive areas.

    3. When reviewing a micro-atx case, doing so with a mini-itx motherboard just seems like cheating to me. You're complaining about crowding, but you really don't have a problem fitting a motherboard that small in the case. Seeing a micro-atx motherboard in there would tell a much better story, especially if you're complaining about space (or lack of).

    Nice case, but not really worth that price point, IMHO.
  • antef - Thursday, August 4, 2011 - link


    Thanks for this review. I'll be doing a new build in the near future and am very interested in microATX or maybe even mini-ITX because I don't need that many components (no optical drive, only one HDD, SSD, and video card). The TJ08-E looks nice but the difficulty in installation kind of bothers me for something that costs that much and I'd prefer to keep my PC P&C Silencer 610W if I was using a microATX case. Can you comment on something much cheaper such as the Cooler Master Elite 341? I know the materials and maybe thermals won't be the same, but I like the size, layout, and price.

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