JNav89GT's AMD Test Setup
|CPU ||AMD Athlon64 3500+ Winchester 0.09u Socket 939|
|Mainboard ||MSI K8N Neo2 Platinum|
|Memory || Corsair TwinX 1024-4400C25|
|Video ||PNY Geforce 6800GT oc'd to 405/1050|
|Cooling ||Alpha Pal 8150T with 40CFM 80mm Fan|
|Power Supply ||Fortron 350W ATX |
|Operating System ||Windows XP SP2|
Initially I had planned to only review case with the Athlon64 hardware as described in Test System #1. However, as fate would have it, I needed a quick LAN box and wanted to show off this case to some friends. I had blew up or sold most my Athlon64 motherboards (which is a long story), so my only spare board was a Chaintech V915P board that I'm in the process of reviewing for a comparison article to come. After running the system for the better part of a night while gaming, events unfolded I thought our readers would be interested in, so I decided to include this data as well.
Ambient temperatures in my room were similar during all testing and I feel will not contribute to aberrant data. Temperatures were measured via Motherboard monitor 5. Load temps were taken after 30 minutes of Prime95 small FTT torture test. Results: Is the Samurai an honourable warrior, or a rogue Ronin?
First off I'd like to say the Samurai performed well with the Athlon64 0.09u Socket 939 setup with the CPU set at 2.75GHz and 1.612V, which was the previous max stable on air-cooling for this CPU/motherboard combo. Temps were a bit higher than with the Antec Soho reference case, however nothing that impacted performance while using the Alpha PAL8150 HSF. Furthermore, the temps reported by the MSI board are highly inaccurate in my opinion, so I choose to use them as reference only, and go by "overclockability" of the system as a better gauge of how temps are controlled. I could attain the same overclock with the Samurai so everything was fine with me while using the A64 setup.
However, when moving to an Intel Pentium4 Prescott LGA 775 system, things got "interesting". I have run this motherboard and CPU in a Silverstone TJ06
at 255fsb or 3.825GHz stable. When moved over to the Samurai, case temps elevated rapidly, and consequently the CPU temps followed. Where I previously had CPU load temps in the high 50's to low 60's °C, I was now broiling at a lofty 74°C with the identical hardware placed in the Samurai case, and the CPU was no longer stable at even 3.75GHz 24/7 in Prime95.
I tried 2 other heatsinks with similar results, trying to rule out some sort of quasi-airflow-incompatibility with this case and the heatsinks used. For the purposes of this review all Intel P4 temps are done at 3.825GHz though (with added voltage and coaxing), to provide a "max" heating experience. Also, please note that motherboard used in Silverstone review was MSI sample, and this Chaintech board reads temps on average 6-8C higher than the MSI board.
The Silverstone is also in a totally different market segment in comparison to the Samurai, so I would be remiss not to mention there is a great difference in price between these two cases.
The end result of my personal testing was the need to down clock the CPU to 3.6GHz@1.365v for 24/7 stable operation. Temps were still higher than I would have liked (56C@load), but this is in part due to the "nature of the beast" with Prescott, as the CPU is still going through some growing pains in relation to heat output. I am told the EO stepping should fix a majority of the heat problems with this CPU, we shall see I suppose!