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Fractal Design Define R4 - Cooling Performance

Fractal Design Define R4 - Cooling Performance

Our test kit includes an ATI Radeon HD 5870 2GB Eyefinity 6 graphics card and an Intel Core i7-870 CPU, which has been overclocked from 2.93GHz to 3.4GHz using a vcore of 1.305V and a CPU PLL of 1.9V. This is a modest overclock, but our test kit will spend most of its life under high load, so pushing it too far isn't in anybody's interests. More importantly, some poorer-performing cases push the CPU temperature to above 80°C, so even this overclock will prove to be too much for some cases.

The CPU is cooled by a Gelid Tranquillo CPU cooler with a Noctua NF-S12B ULN 120mm fan. The NF-S12B ULN is a low-airflow fan, so it will highlight cases with poor cooling for the CPU. We also locked the fan speed on the graphics card to 30 per cent to prevent the automatic speed control interfering with the results.

We record the temperature of the CPU using RealTemp, noting the temperature of the hottest core, and used GPU-Z to log the temperature of the graphics card. Having recorded the ambient temperature in front of the main air intake of each case, we're then able to calculate the delta T - the difference between the ambient temperature of our lab and the temperature of the hardware. To load the system, we use a combination of the Canyon Flight benchmark in 3DMark06 and the smallfft test in Prime 95.
  • CPU: Intel Core i7-870 CPU overclocked to 3.4GHz
  • Graphics card: ATI Radeon HD 5870 2GB Eyefinity 6
  • Motherboard: Biostar TPower I55
  • RAM: 2 x 2GB OCZ 1,866MHz DDR3
  • Hard drive: 160GB Seagate Barracuda 7200.9
  • Heatsink: Gelid Tranquillo with a Noctua NF-S12B ULN fan
  • Power supply: Seasonic M12D SS-850EM


Case performance - CPU Delta T

Arranged by CPU Delta T

  • SilverStone Temjin TJ11 (Full speed)
  • SilverStone FT02R-W (Full Speed)
  • Antec Dark Fleet DF-85 (Full Speed)
  • SilverStone Temjin TJ11 (minimum speed)
  • SilverStone FT02R-W (Minimum Speed)
  • SilverStone Raven RV03 (Maximum Speed)
  • Antec Twelve Hundred (Full Speed)
  • Antec Dark Fleet DF-85 (Minimum Speed)
  • Antec One Hundred (Full speed)
  • SilverStone Raven RV02 (High Speed)
  • Antec One
  • Cooler Master HAF X
  • SilverStone Raven RV02 (Low Speed)
  • SilverStone Raven RV03 (Minimum Speed)
  • NZXT Switch 810
  • Cooler Master CM 690 II (Full Speed)
  • Antec Twelve Hundred (Minimum Speed)
  • Xigmatek Utgard (Full Speed)
  • Xigmatek Elysium
  • Corsair Carbide 400R
  • Fractal Design Define R3
  • Antec One Hundred (Minimum speed)
  • Corsair 550D (without panels)
  • Fractal Design Define R4 (Full Speed)
  • Cooler Master HAF 912
  • Antec P280 (Maximum speed)
  • Cooler Master CM 690 II (Minimum Speed)
  • Antec P280 (Minimum speed)
  • Xigmatek Utgard (Minimum Speed)
  • Corsair Graphite 600T (maximum speed)
  • Corsair Graphite 600T (minimum speed)
  • Sharkoon T28
  • Enermax Hoplite (Maximum Speed)
  • Enermax Hoplite (Minimum Speed)
  • CM Storm Enforcer
  • Corsair 550D (with panels)
  • BitFenix Shinobi
  • Fractal Design Define R4 (Minimum Speed)
  • BitFenix Survivor
    • 42
    • 37
    • 42
    • 37
    • 43
    • 38
    • 43
    • 39
    • 44
    • 37
    • 45
    • 42
    • 45
    • 40
    • 45
    • 38
    • 47
    • 40
    • 47
    • 40
    • 47
    • 43
    • 48
    • 36
    • 48
    • 40
    • 48
    • 44
    • 48
    • 44
    • 49
    • 41
    • 49
    • 43
    • 50
    • 40
    • 50
    • 40
    • 51
    • 41
    • 51
    • 42
    • 51
    • 43
    • 51
    • 47
    • 51
    • 49
    • 52
    • 41
    • 52
    • 45
    • 53
    • 44
    • 53
    • 46
    • 54
    • 42
    • 54
    • 46
    • 54
    • 47
    • 55
    • 46
    • 55
    • 46
    • 55
    • 46
    • 56
    • 44
    • 56
    • 49
    • 60
    • 49
    • 60
    • 50
    • 62
    • 47
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
°C, lower is better
  • CPU Delta T
  • GPU Delta T

Case performance - GPU Delta T

Arranged by GPU Delta T

  • Cooler Master HAF X
  • SilverStone FT02R-W (Full Speed)
  • SilverStone FT02R-W (Minimum Speed)
  • SilverStone Temjin TJ11 (Full speed)
  • Antec Dark Fleet DF-85 (Full Speed)
  • Antec Dark Fleet DF-85 (Minimum Speed)
  • SilverStone Temjin TJ11 (minimum speed)
  • Antec One Hundred (Full speed)
  • SilverStone Raven RV02 (Full Speed)
  • Antec Twelve Hundred (Full Speed)
  • SilverStone Raven RV02 (Minimum Speed)
  • Xigmatek Elysium
  • Xigmatek Utgard (Full Speed)
  • Corsair Carbide 400R
  • Cooler Master HAF 912
  • Cooler Master CM 690 II (Full Speed)
  • SilverStone Raven RV03 (Maximum Speed)
  • Fractal Design Define R3
  • Xigmatek Utgard (Minimum Speed)
  • Antec One
  • Antec Twelve Hundred (Minimum Speed)
  • Antec One Hundred (Minimum speed)
  • Cooler Master CM 690 II (Minimum Speed)
  • CM Storm Enforcer
  • SilverStone Raven RV03 (Minimum Speed)
  • NZXT Switch 810
  • Antec P280 (Maximum speed)
  • Enermax Hoplite (Maximum Speed)
  • Corsair Graphite 600T (Full speed)
  • Sharkoon T28
  • Enermax Hoplite (Minimum Speed)
  • Antec P280 (Minimum speed)
  • Corsair 550D (without panels)
  • Corsair Graphite 600T (Minimum speed)
  • BitFenix Survivor
  • Fractal Design Define R4 (Full Speed)
  • Corsair 550D (with panels)
  • BitFenix Shinobi
  • Fractal Design Define R4 (Minimum Speed)
    • 48
    • 36
    • 42
    • 37
    • 44
    • 37
    • 42
    • 37
    • 43
    • 38
    • 45
    • 38
    • 43
    • 39
    • 47
    • 40
    • 47
    • 40
    • 45
    • 40
    • 48
    • 40
    • 50
    • 40
    • 50
    • 40
    • 51
    • 41
    • 52
    • 41
    • 49
    • 41
    • 45
    • 42
    • 51
    • 42
    • 54
    • 42
    • 47
    • 43
    • 49
    • 43
    • 51
    • 43
    • 53
    • 44
    • 56
    • 44
    • 48
    • 44
    • 48
    • 44
    • 52
    • 45
    • 55
    • 46
    • 54
    • 46
    • 55
    • 46
    • 55
    • 46
    • 53
    • 46
    • 51
    • 47
    • 54
    • 47
    • 62
    • 47
    • 51
    • 49
    • 56
    • 49
    • 60
    • 49
    • 60
    • 50
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
°C, lower is better
  • CPU Delta T
  • GPU Delta T

Case performance - Additional Testing

Arranged by CPU Delta T

  • Fractal Design Define R4 (12V, no HDD cage)
  • Fractal Design Define R4 (12V, open vents)
  • Fractal Design Define R4 (12V)
  • Fractal Design Define R4 (7V)
  • Fractal Design Define R4 (5V)
    • 51
    • 47
    • 51
    • 47
    • 51
    • 49
    • 55
    • 49
    • 60
    • 50
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
°C, lower is better
  • CPU Delta T
  • GPU Delta T

Read our performance analysis.