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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  • BoloMKXXVIII - Thursday, August 4, 2011 - link

    Why doesn't the lack of an audio line in port rate as a negative? Does it save that much money or is it pressure from the RIAA?
  • YukaKun - Thursday, August 4, 2011 - link

    CoolerMaster's Elite 335? http://www.coolermaster.com/product.php?product_id...

    That's one hell of a Mini Tower! It's amazing for it's price and it' kinda good looking too. Could you guys do side by side or something with already proven cases when a new one pops? Specially some offerings from CoolerMaster (they're always cheap :P)

  • antef - Thursday, August 4, 2011 - link

    See my post above about the Elite 341 - it has a similar look and is even smaller since it's specifically microATX.
  • YukaKun - Thursday, August 4, 2011 - link

    Actually, I did read your comment, but couldn't find the 341 at CoolerMaster's page.

    Going to look again.

    And I forgot to thank the review! Nice review as usual!

  • Termie - Thursday, August 4, 2011 - link

    Just saw this on Newegg this week and thought it looked awesome. It's great you were able to get it into test so soon after release.

    Pretty sure this is the way I'll go with my next build. Time to update (and downsize) from my Antec 900. I'd been considering the FT03 as well, but that seems like more form over function. It's quite expensive, it really isn't all that compact, and from your testing, it doesn't perform as well as the TJ08.
  • ebolamonkey3 - Thursday, August 4, 2011 - link

    Quick question, do you need an adaptor to use the USB 3.0 headers w/ a USB 2.0 port on the motherboard? Aren't they the same form factor, and you can just plug them in?
  • Dustin Sklavos - Friday, August 5, 2011 - link

    You do need to use an adaptor (the TJ08-E comes with one); the USB 3.0 motherboard header has at least twice as many pins as a USB 2.0 motherboard header.
  • zero2dash - Thursday, August 4, 2011 - link

    You're complaining about cramped size yet you're building a mITX system in a mATX case. Seriously?

    Anyone with common sense knows that building a SFF system has size issues; that's inherent with the design and the size of the form factor. If you're not prepared to cable manage and optimize in some ridiculous ways - don't build a SFF system.
  • fujii13 - Thursday, August 4, 2011 - link

    They might exist but I've never seen a Mini-ITX board with four expansion slots. Seems like a lot of extra unnecessary space for something that could fit into a LIAN LI PC-Q08B (that can hold some 7 drives and has two expansion slots). I can only see this case being useful for Micro-ATX setups.
  • Death666Angel - Thursday, August 4, 2011 - link

    Not sure what exactly you are referring to, but if you mean that this case has enough PCI-slots (those things at the back of the case where you connect your display and network cables) to accommodate 4 different cards, you might also keep in mind that this is a micro ATX compatible case. Micro ATX boards are very much able to have 4 different cards on them. :-)
    As for the case, it looks nice. Although I like cube cases in that space region more. I have a Lian Li V-252-B myself and am interested in the Sugo 02-06 series from Silverstone in the future (depending on how the CPU and GPU sizes and energy consumption goes).

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