Noise Level and Conclusions
Sound Level Readings
I recorded sound level readings for the Cooler Master Cavalier 2 case with all three case fans running on 12 VDC and the power supply loaded to 138 watts. Measurements were taken 3′ in front of the case using an Extech Model 407736 digital sound level meter (accuracy +/- 1.5 dB).
- Ambient background sound pressure level = ~30 dBA
- Cooler Master Cavalier 2 desktop enclosure = 35.1 dBA
During operation the Cavalier 2 sound level was barely noticeable in a quiet listening environment. Of course the end users choice of CPU and video card coolers along with the hard disk drive (rigidly mounted) may add to the overall noise level.
The Cooler Master Cavalier 2 desktop case exhibits excellent build quality and styling. It is packed with useful features and should particularly appeal to those interested in building a Home Theater PC. The big, blue analog sound level meter is pure eye candy and thankfully is not overdone (too bright) even when viewed with the lights turned down low.
One of my favorite features is the ability to mount a full sized ATX motherboard, which goes a long way to adding versatility to any PC or HTPC. The included case fans do a good job of moving air thru the case and keeping all the internal bits cool without creating excessive noise.
The cavalier 2 provides good expansion capabilities with two exposed 5.25′ drive bays and two exposed 3.5′ drive bays, which can be alternately used for mounting additional hard disk drives if desired. A full compliment of I/O ports (USB, Firewire, and audio) are available on the front panel and neatly hidden behind the sleek door when not in use.
The included 300 watt power supply seems capable enough and is quiet even when operating under a moderately heavy load. However it’s non-standard size will preclude an easy swap with another ATX unit.
In the future I would like to see Cooler Master include a printed Installation Guide with the Cavalier 2 enclosure so end users do not have to hunt thru the various pages on the Cooler Master website, especially when connecting the VU meter.
With a typical street price of $100 USD, the Cooler Master Cavalier 2 desktop enclosure offers a lot of value and is a good buy. Check one out at your favorite Cooler Master reseller. And a big thanks to our friends at Cooler Master for sending over the Cavalier 2 to review.