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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  • superccs - Thursday, August 4, 2011 - link

    mATX is a vastly more popular board size, one that I have been using for years.

    One thing I like to see is well thought out airflow, something that is very rare in most case designs.
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, August 4, 2011 - link

    We decided on two test beds for our case reviews; for ATX-compatible and larger, we use a Sandy Bridge ATX motherboard and test with overclocking. For micro-ATX and ITX, we use a mini-ITX motherboard and, where possible, test with the GTX 580 installed. We figured two set configurations was better than three or four different options. The only thing mATX would potentially add is more performance and more heat, so by that token testing ITX in a uATX case is actually putting less strain on the cooling.
  • JasonInofuentes - Thursday, August 4, 2011 - link

  • bobbozzo - Thursday, August 4, 2011 - link

    FAKE youtube link above!
  • GeorgeH - Thursday, August 4, 2011 - link

    Using modular PSUs in small cases like this is often a bad idea and far from required. The problem with modular PSUs is that the modular bits tend to add significant length and stiffness that makes cable routing harder (often significantly.) Non-modular supplies might have an extra SATA cable or two to tuck away, but that's generally easy to do. Problems can come up with PSUs that are much too powerful and therefore come with tons of extra cables, but that's just operator error. :)
  • Knifeshade - Thursday, August 4, 2011 - link

    Wouldn't it be fairer to use stock coolers rather than custom CPU coolers? The CPU temp is rather impressive, at just 6-30 degrees Celsius above room temperature. But I can't help but think most of the kudos goes to the custom cooler rather than the cooling prowess of the case.
  • Hrel - Thursday, August 4, 2011 - link

    I like this case a lot, but how would one go about improving the acoustics? I mean, I could go out and buy sound dampening foam and put it in... but that stuff is really over-priced everywhere I've looked and that seems like kind of a pain.
  • Dustin Sklavos - Friday, August 5, 2011 - link

    The Zalman cooler we use for testing is honestly a bit loud and the Zotac board doesn't really have much in the way of fan control; just putting a quieter cooler (think the Cooler Master Hyper 212+) in would go a LONG way towards quieting down the Temjin.
  • bobbozzo - Thursday, August 4, 2011 - link

    This isn't the first article with this problem, but the white on yellow text in the graphs is near impossible to read on both my Dell LCD and my Samsung 2343BW.

    Also, you mention that the Antec Mini is bigger, but I would have liked to see more details & comparison.

  • MadMan007 - Friday, August 5, 2011 - link

    This thing is begging to be used with a PICO-style PSU and just integrated graphics for those who don't need a discrete GPU.

    Or for those that do and aren't going to go with a high-end card and madly overclocked CPU, an SFX12V PSU like, oh, I don't know...Silverstone's very own ST45SF.

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