Spire Pininfarina SP-ATX-PALU/S ATX Case Review

Cases & PSU/Cases by piotke @ 2006-08-18

Pininfarina is responsible for the design of some of the world?s most exclusive sports cars including Ferrari. Spire has hired their gifted design team to come up with a computer case which they hope will give them the edge in the heated race between case manufacturers. We take the Pininfarina SP-ATX-PALU/S for a test drive around our noise,temperature and performance track.

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Testing: performance and noise

Testing: performance and noise

Test Setup
CPU AMD Sempron 3000+ AM2 @ 2.3 Ghz
Mainboard Asrock AM2NF4
Video cards Powercoler X1900GT
Memory 2 * 1024 Mb DDR2 PC7200 EPP OCZ
  • Nec 2050 DVD writer
  • Seagate 120 gig
  • 2x Seagate 200Gb SATA
  • Silverstone Zeus 750 Watt PSU

  • Noise level was recorded with SmartSensor SL4001A. The sensor was placed ~65cm away from the front of the case. The lowest dBA reading in the test room was ~37,8 dBA.

    First I measured the Ambient noise level. Secondly I booted the computer without any fans running, except the power supply fan (and the hard disks spinning up). But as you can see this wasn?t very loud. Then I tested every fan separately and finally all the fans together.

    Madshrimps (c)
    As you can see the rear fan adds no extra noise.

    Now that we know what the noisiest fans are, it?s surely interesting to find out if they are needed to keep the system cool. Just as the noise evaluation, I?ve tested the case with different fan settings.

  • Without any case cooling.
  • With only the side (HDD) 80mm fan
  • With only the rear 80mm fan
  • With only the front 120mm fan
  • All three fans powered on.

    I had 6 temperature sensors I could monitor:

  • Processor
  • Chipset - nVidia GeForce 6100 chipset ? passive cooled
  • X1900GT vga card core.
  • HDD1 ? Seagate 120 gig ? installed in floppy drive cage
  • HDD2 ? Seagate 200 gig ? installed in HDD cage, top position
  • HDD3 ? Seagate 200 gig ? installed in HDD cage, bottom position

    First I did some idle testing.

    Madshrimps (c)
    You can see that the loudest fan (the front 120 mm intake) has the most influence on all the temperatures.

    Madshrimps (c)

    Under stressed conditions the outcome is pretty much the same except for the VGA card which seems to profit a lot from the fresh air coming in from the Side panel 80mm fan.

    Let's wrap things up ->
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