For testing full ATX cases, we use the following standardized testbed in stock and overclocked configurations to get a feel for how well the case handles heat and noise.

ATX Test Configuration
CPU Intel Core i7-2700K
(95W TDP, tested at stock speed and overclocked to 4.3GHz @ 1.38V)
Motherboard Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD4H
Graphics Card ASUS GeForce GTX 560 Ti DCII TOP
(tested at stock speed and overclocked to 1GHz/overvolted to 1.13V)

2x NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580 in SLI
(full fat testing only)
Memory 2x2GB Crucial Ballistix Smart Tracer DDR3-1600
Drives Kingston SSDNow V+ 100 64GB SSD

Samsung 5.25" BD-ROM/DVDRW Drive

3x HGST DeskStar 3TB 7200-RPM HDD
CPU Cooler Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo with Cooler Master ThermalFusion 400
Power Supply SilverStone Strider Plus 1000W 80 Plus Silver

Each case is tested in a stock configuration and an overclocked configuration that generates substantially more heat (and thus may produce more noise). The system is powered on and left idle for fifteen minutes, the thermal and acoustic results recorded, and then stressed by running seven threads in Prime95 (in-place large FFTs) on the CPU and OC Scanner (maximum load) on the GPU. At the end of fiteen minutes, thermal and acoustic results are recorded. This is done for the stock settings and for the overclock, and 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.

For the "full fat" testbed, the GTX 560 Ti is swapped out for a pair of GTX 580s, and three hard disks are added to fill out the case.

Thank You!

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

Building in the NZXT H230 Noise and Thermal Testing
Comments Locked


View All Comments

  • flemeister - Monday, September 16, 2013 - link

    New Audio Test Gear 2008 [SPCR] --
    An Anechoic Chamber for SPCR --
  • rpg1966 - Saturday, September 14, 2013 - link

    Can you please produce charts that show both temperature and noise on the same chart, one on X axis and the other on Y-axis, so that we can more easily interpret the results and compare cases? It would be trivially simple to do.
  • jasonnovak - Saturday, September 14, 2013 - link

    I bought an H2 when they first came out, I'm interesting in some more info on the factory tweaks you mention they made to improve airflow. I did a mod I came across somewhere cutting some material away from the bottom of the door.
  • Building Wealth - Saturday, September 14, 2013 - link

    When's the pink version out?

    I like the design of this case. The front door looks good in my opinion. Those drive trays are annoying, though.

    Building wealth
  • Silma - Monday, September 16, 2013 - link

    I have a loud pc with 6 7200 rpm harddrives in raid 6, 2 ssds, 1 gtx680, and an Intel i920.
    Would a silent enclosure work or is it wishful thinking? If yes which enclosure?
    ON my Alienware laptop I have a silent mode which switch from gpu to processor gpu - the laptop basically goes silent, the difference is very noticeable. Is there nowadays a similar technology for desktop pcs?
  • TGressus - Thursday, September 19, 2013 - link

    Near silence can be done in your situation with oversized or multiple radiators used with water blocks and mid-speed/dampened water pump(s) for the the cpu and gpu. This will eliminate the loudest fans and allow you to tune the fans around the case and at the radiator to a lower speed. Fluid-dynamic bearing fans seem to be the best balance of silence/longevity.

    Without water cooling you best bet is a huge aluminum case that allows for convection and radiation through the case itself. Again most of the noise is going to be a result of your cpu/gpu heat sink efficiency and how their fans react to your workloads, plus the tuning of the case fans.
  • dehemke - Monday, September 16, 2013 - link

    Antec P180 retread again? Was the 180/2 the one true silent case that everything since has just been a refactor of? Where's the new innovation?
  • quas - Saturday, September 21, 2013 - link

    How did you test? Did you open the front panel door to allow more air in?
  • xoham - Friday, February 14, 2014 - link

    If the front door was a rectangle instead of that cut, and if they took off the brand name, this would be a perfect looking case for me. I don't get why they are putting on brand names. It is not like I take this computer around and people get to see what brand it is and then go buy one.

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now