Testing Method and Results
To really test the cooling capabilities of the Antec P183, I ran a series of simulated load tests on the Intel Core i7 920 setup in my existing Silverstone TJ07 case and then transferred the full setup into the Antec P183.
• Intel Core i7 920
• Asus P6T OC Deluxe Palm
• 6gb of Corsair Dominator Ram
• BFG 295GTX
• Creative X-FI Titanium
• Western Digital RE3 250gb Sata HDD
• BeQuiet 1200w psu
• Nexus XiR-3500 Cpu cooler
• Arctic Cooling MX-2 TIM
As some of you may be aware, my usual setup in my TJ07 has my Intel Core i7 920 in a water cooled loop: this was removed for the period of the testing and my Silverstone TJ07 was re-fitted with its stock cooling fan compliment. I used the Nexus XiR-3500 heat sink from a previous review, as my heat sink of choice.
The following applications were used to simulate load on the systems, temperatures were recorded and the average calculated:
• Everest v5.02 – Overall system temp monitor
• Core temp 0.99.5.20 Beta – To measure cpu temps
• HD Tach – To Simulate Random Reads on the hdd
• ATI Tool
I settled on the following testing methods: Prime95 was used in blend test mode to simulate overall load on the CPU/Memory and motherboard. HD Tach was then ran a total of 6 times concurrently on the random read test to simulate hdd activity and finally Artifact Scan in ATI Tool was used to load the GPU.
As the Antec P183 features speed selectable fans, the test series were ran a total of 3 times on each fan setting to see how the results were affected. Please note, that both cases were tested with their stock compliment of fans, as the Antec P183 now only ships with 2 tri-cool fans, which is a shame as the P182 shipped with 3 as standard.
So let's take a look at the idle results. As you can see from the graph above when the system is at idle the Silverstone TJ07 has the edge in most tests. That is until you crank up the fan speed on the Antec P183, at this point the motherboard benefits from the 2 exhaust fans mounted near the CPU socket, the motherboard temperatures drop by 4° from 43° to 39°. Switching to medium or high on the fan speed also saw a healthy drop in the CPU temperatures down from 44° to 42° on both settings. I feel that they would have been reduced further had Antec included at least 1 intake fan as stock with the case, Antec missed a trick here.
Looking at the load tests reveals a bit of a surprise, well I certainly was. The Antec P183 (with only 2 fans!) holds its own and in some tests even exceeds the performance of the TJ07. In fact, the only test in which the Antec P183 fails to better the temperatures of the Silverstone TJ07, is in the Graphics Card test. Again this is easily rectifiable by including an intake fan in the middle chamber. This only shows some of the potential that this case has. With additional fans added to the equation things could only get better.