Spec and appearance wise, the Cyclone 5000 looks promising.
But, looks and specs aren't everything. This case was designed with the
overclocker in mind. As such, it has to be able to do its job superbly to
justify its $150 premium. We decided to put this case to the test and see how it
performed under pressure.
So, we picked some of the hottest components we
could think of and stuck them in the case and we let it rip. But, before we go
into the actual numbers, I would like to clarify a few points. I've seen many
case reviews circulating around the hardware community for the past few months,
and I have to say I've been extremely disappointed with their testing
methodology. Before explaining what I mean by that, let's take a look at the
purpose of an overclocker's case.
Besides the obvious housing requirements, it also has to be able to remove all or at least most of the heat from inside your computer to the outside. In other words, the case has to be able to sustain the inside temperature as close as possible as the outside temperature or otherwise known as the ambient temperature. So, our outside temperature becomes our comparison standard. Unfortunately, the reviews that I've seen have completely neglected to mention what the outside temperature was. How can you possibly measure the performance of the case if you don't have a standard to compare it with? I'm going to get off the soap box for right now, and show you the numbers.
Test System Configuration Processor Athlon 600 @ 750 MHz Memory 128 Megs PC-133 SDRAM Hard Disk Drive Western Digital Expert 18.1 Gig 7,200 RPM Drive Video Card 3dfx Voodoo 3 3000 Overclocked Motherboard ABIT KA7 (KX-133) Operating System Windows 98 Second Edition
We conducted two sets of tests. One set leaving all of the Cyclone's fans off besides the power supply and CPU fans, and another set with all the fans on. We recorded outside temperature, inside case temperature, CPU temperature and video card temperature using our thermistor probes. All temperatures were recorded while the system was at full load utilizing endless loops of Winstone Content Creation 2000. On all our tests, outside ambient temperature was 66 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you look at the results on the above graph, you will see that the Cyclone 5000 was able to keep inside temperature at the same level as outside temperature while the system was running at full load and all the fans were engaged. In other words, it removed all the heat from the inside to the outside. CPU temperature dropped by almost 20 degrees, and the video card temperature dropped by an amazing 36 degrees!! Can your case do that?
Generally speaking we were thoroughly impressed and
satisfied by the Cyclone's ability to keep our system cool. The capabilities of
this case would be even more pronounced with people who are using thermoelectric
devices such as peltiers to cool their CPUs.
This case should have absolutely no problem removing the extra heat generated by the peltiers. The case certainly generates its own share of noise, but that's to be expected when you consider the amount of air this baby pushes. The longer you leave it on, the more it blends with the background noise in the room, and you don't notice it as much. But, if this type of thing really bothers you, then you probably shouldn't even consider buying a toy like this. The good people over at CoolerGuys have a winner in their hands with the Cyclone 5000. Performance and price wise, this product is superior to anything else out in the market right now. We give this product our stamp of approval.