Aerocool ExtremEngine 3T Case Review

Cases & PSU/Cases by easypanic @ 2006-04-14

The ExtremEngine 3T features a massive 250mm side panel fan, and tops it of with a 140mm in-take turbine like design. Promising massive airflow to cool down your hot running components we pit it against other enclosures at the same price point.

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Testing and conclusion

Performance testing

With 2 large in-take fans in place it will be interesting to see what kind of thermal performance this case has, for comparison purpose I’ve installed the same P4 setup inside the Sunbeamtech Silent Storm and Coolermaster AMMO, both previously reviewed at the site.

  • Room temperatures during testing was 20°C
  • The CPU was stressed with 2*Prime 95 / VGA stressed with Real-Time HDR and the Hard Drive through Sisoft Sandra’s HDD Burn-in test.
  • Speedfan logged the temperatures during 30 minutes stress test

    The first test the cases are configured without running case fans:

    Madshrimps (c)

    CPU and HDD temperatures are quite even between the different enclosures, but the VGA temperatures did catch my attention; the AMMO has two large vertical cutouts in the side panel, the Silent Storm has several small holes near the VGA area, these openings in the side panel seem to benefit VGA cooling quite a bit, the 3T only has it’s huge fan, but when powered off it also blocks airflow completely.

    Let’s power on the Engines, the next test I add 1x120mm fan as in-take for the AMMO and Silent Storm and using the Fan controller I set the In-take and side panel fan on the 3T to “low”

    Madshrimps (c)

    8°C temperature drop on the VGA, it’s not enough to take the lead as the other 2 cases also display a 4-7°C temperature drop. The large 250mm fan sits a bit too high to effectively cool the VGA area on the motherboard, but this means the CPU area is better cooled, as there is a 2°C drop.

    Next up I’ve installed an additional 120mm fan in the rear of the AMMO & Silent Storm and on the 3T the fan controller is set to “High”

    Madshrimps (c)

    Another 2-3°C temperature drop overall with all enclosures, but is the increased airflow worth the added noise, soon to find out.

    A last performance tests was done with a slightly different system:

    EasyPanic A64 Test Setup
    CPU AMD Athlon 64 3700+ (San Diego core) @ 2580Mhz
    Cooling Thermalright XP-90 with 92mm Yate Loon @ 12v
    Mainboard DFI NF4 SLI-DR
    Memory 2 * 512Mb PC3200 Mushkin LVLII V2
  • nVidia 7800GTX with stock cooling

  • The purpose of this last test is to determine the usefulness of the side panel fan, as some airflow paths can be disturbed by an incorrect configuration, making the addition of certain fans actually decrease performance.

    I configured the system as follows:
  • Without any casefans
  • With side/front fan running at High and a 120mm fan in the rear
  • With front fan running at High and a 120mm in the rear, the side panel fan is blocked, ghetto style:

    Madshrimps (c)

    The results do show that the side panel fan when active decreases temperatures a tiny bit:

    Madshrimps (c)

    Noise test

    Using an Intelli-Systems AR824 digital sound level meter at 60cm from the front of the case I measured ambient room level at 38dBA. The case is running with only an ATX PSU inside which is shorted to power on the fans; there is no system inside the case. An optional 120mm fan is not installed in this test:

    Madshrimps (c)

    Running this case with the case fans at low speed is ideal; it's the perfect mix of low noise and good cooling!


    The ExtremEngine 3T delivers an excellent airflow/noise ratio, only 2dBA over ambient with its fan at low it will keep your components inside running cool. However getting your components installed does require a lot of screwdriver twisting.

    Once set up though the included fan controller is practical addition and does increase value, speaking of which, priced below $/€100 it’s quite a good deal when you sum up the included features and extra’s. The design of the case is far from bad and should please those looking for something different than a boring grey case.

    The packaging left something to be desired though, Aerocool is not alone though, Coolermaster packaged their AMMO case the same way, as did Sunbeamtech; However it would not be a bad idea to add a few extra pieces of Styrofoam to prevent damage from transport.

    Excellent Airflow
    Quiet with fans at “Low” speed
    Integrated fan controller

    Very few tool less features
    USB/Firewire front connectors cumbersome to hook up

    I like to thank ITC Multimedia, Benelux’ exclusive distributor of this enclosure, for sending us the product for evaluation.

    Madshrimps (c)

    Questions/Comments: forum thread
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