|CM Storm Scout Gaming Case SGC-2000-KKN1-GP|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Cases|
|Written by Bruce Normann - Edited by Olin Coles|
|Thursday, 09 April 2009|
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CM Storm Scout Testing & Results
Testing the cooling performance of a case is not that difficult, but it is time consuming. It takes a long time for component temperatures to reach steady state. They'll get to within a degree or two within 10 minutes, but they continue to climb, almost imperceptibly, for 3-4 times that long. It's not that any one component is getting that much hotter; it's the combined effect of all the components feeding off one another that causes the slow rise to the final maximum temperature.
For the load tests, I used a mix of applications that I've used for benchmarking in the past and I'm familiar with how they stress individual components. No one application gives the maximum load for all components, so the load temps reported here are the maximum each piece of hardware reached during the testing. For comparison, I pressed the SilverStone FT01BW case into service. It's a similar case, with the same basic layout, size, and fan arrangement. The FT01BW is a bit more upscale in its design and materials, and priced accordingly, but they share a similar architecture, if not the same target audience.
Both cases were tested with the same hardware and software configuration. Cable management was optimized for each case, based on the internal layout and features available. Note: I used a different set of hardware the last time I tested the SilverStone FT01BW, so the results are not comparable.
Enclosure Test Products
Neither of the cases tested have fan controllers, the fans were run at 100% speed for all tests. The SilverStone FT01BW did not have the option of adding a side panel fan, the CM Storm Scout did, and I tested it in both configurations. As I mentioned earlier, there was no clearance for a fan in the upper side position on the Scout, but the lower position could be used to feed cool air to the video card(s). All temperatures are reported as measured, in degrees Celsius, and the ambient temperature for all tests was 24C. Let's look at the results:
The idle temps were about 2 degrees higher for the CM Storm Scout, across the board. The load temps tell another story. The CPU cooler worked quite well with the quasi push-pull fan arrangement, using the top fan as an exhaust. The top fan on the SilverStone is an intake, and this didn't work as well, giving up 5 degrees to the Scout.
The GPU and Northbridge temps were within 2 degrees, with the Scout trailing, until the side-mounted 120mm fan was added to the mix. This was clearly what the doctor ordered for the Scout, reducing temps 6 degrees for the GPU and 8 degrees for the NB. These are excellent results and they show that CM Storm made the right decision to offer the option of adding one or two side fans. With CrossFireX and SLI GPUs heating up the typical gaming case, this is the only configuration to consider.
Just for the record, I've had a side-mounted fan installed in my Cooler Master CM690 for forever. Even though I've optimized that highly configurable case for low noise office use, I couldn't pass up the cooling benefits of a side fan.