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Author: Jason Kohrs
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Page: 6 of 7 [ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 ] M300 Mini-ITX Enclosure
January 09, 2007


Testing will consist of seeing how well everything works, how much noise is created, and how cool the components stay. Well, the first part is easy... Everything worked together just fine. The main consideration to be taken during installation revolves around using a PCI device with the riser card. The graphics card chosen has a cooling fan on it, and it is right up against the bottom of the cover. Not only does it not get the best air flow for cooling, it makes a good deal of noise due to vibration. A second issue with the use of a PCI card is that you will not be able to use two 2.5" or two 3.5" drives, and will most likely be limited to one 2.5" drive.

When using the system with just one case fan, and the case fan on the processor, the noise is noticeable but quite tolerable. Reducing the case fan speed would make things even better and cooling should still be respectable. Adding the second case fan increases the noise, and if this system was to be used in a quiet environment it would not be a welcome addition. The biggest issue with noise comes from the video card fan. Do your best to source a card that is passively cooled, or be prepared to disconnect the fan for acceptable noise production (and thermal performance).

Thermal testing consisted of monitoring the temperatures of the processor, hard drive, and video card while the system was used as normal; web browsing, playing MP3s, streaming XM radio, running GPS. The processor and hard drive temperatures were monitored using Speed Fan software, while the video card temperature was monitored using the nVidia control panel software.

The results above are all with two case fans installed and the video card fan active. You can see the temperatures are all relatively low and there is definitely room for the reduced air flow that would accompany using just one case fan. The case provides decent air flow with those two little fans, and I believe the metal cover helps to draw heat away from the hard drive and perhaps even the video card.

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