|Rosewill Armor EVO E-ATX Computer Case|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Cases|
|Written by Tom Jaskulka|
|Tuesday, 29 January 2013|
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Detailed Interior Features
Before the build, I wanted to show a feature that should be more common. While their use might be limited, I feel the tapped holes behind the drive trays (for mounting two additional 120mm fans) should be on every case possible - why not use this area? It doesn't get in the way, and provides for another option for cooling if desired. A smart use for a space that is underutilized, in my opinion.
So let's get to the build. The following system is probably typical of the type normally installed in these types of high-air-flow enclosures, and is what I'll be installing in both the Thor and Armor-EVO for comparison.
CPU: Intel Core-i5 2500K @ 4.4GHz
The following is the system installed in the Thor v2 chassis, included for comparison.
A spacious enclosure to be sure, and the extra PCI slots allow for a little more airflow around the GPUs relative to the Armor-EVO. With a 230mm fan directing cool air straight to the GPUs, does it even matter? Here is the same system (minus the optical and HDD, for the careful observers...) installed in the Armor-EVO.
The above systems are the two being compared, while the system below swaps out the 6870s for a single Radeon 7970 and two 120mm fans installed on the back of the drive tray using the included mounts. Hopefully this shows even with longer GPUs, there is still more than enough room to install a group of fans for additional airflow.
And for completeness, a picture of the cable managment area when everything is wired up (notice the daisy-chained molex fan connectors):
I ran each chassis through a 3DMark 11 (Extreme Preset) benchmark run and recorded the max temperature reached for each video card and the CPU. I then ran five "tests" of Prime95 and recorded temperatures, following up with max temperatures reached while mining Bitcoins (for those unfamiliar, this is a complex calculation that essentially maxes the compute capabilities of graphics cards - and therefore produces the greatest amount of heat). The two machines were tested in a climate controlled room, where the ambient temperature at the time of testing was approximately 23 degrees Celsius. Since the Armor-EVO does not have a fan controller like the Thor v2, all fans in both cases were tested at their highest settings.
I discovered the Armor-EVO was a worthy opponent to the mighty Thor. All temperatures were essentially equal, with the Armor-EVO keeping CPU and GPU temperatures the same or one degree under the Thor. The only exception was the bottom Radeon 6870 stayed 3 degrees cooler in the Thor - whether this is a product of fan placement or the extra clearance between the PSU and GPU in the Thor chassis, I don't know.
Out of curiousity, I added two 120mm Cooler Master R4 series fans to the back of the drive trays in the Armor-EVO and ran the test again - the fans dropped GPU temperatures for both cards one degree, but the additional noise wasn't really worth the performance gain in my opinion. The choices of fans here might make a bigger difference.