Temperatures and Noise
Internal Temperatures

Gauging the temperature of a system is a complicated task on its own: where do you take its temp?  (don’t go there…)  How long should a system be in idle/load for the temperature to stabilize, etc?

To start, we’ll look at what the NVIDIA nTune monitoring utility tells us for various temperatures.

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Temperatures – idle

After leaving the system as the desktop for an hour or so, this is where the temperatures settled inside the case.  The CPU is running at a relatively cool 56C whilst the primary and third GPUs run at nearly 80C. 

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Temperatures – CPU load

After putting the CPU into a load we usually use for testing overclocks for stability, the CPU has not budged after an hour or so crunching – 56C and stable.  The GPUs also remained pretty static and only increased their temps a point or so.

When running in gaming mode, where all three GPUs are utilized, the GPU temperatures are definitely going to run up some.  But in my experience the primary GPU didn’t go much above the 80C we saw above though the secondary GPU does get closer to 90C.

Case Temperatures

I also thought it would be a good idea to see how the chassis cooling performed by checking the temperatures at various locations of intake and exhaust. 

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This handy picture shows some seemingly random placed temperatures (in Fahrenheit) on an image of the chassis.  These temperatures came from an idle system sitting for about an hour.  Starting at the top and moving down: 81F is the temperature of the air coming out of top two exhaust fans, 90F is the reading from the rear exhaust fan, 85F is the temperature of the window itself, 144F is the exhaust temperature of the primary GPU, 98F is the reading from the air intake area near the hard drives and finally 117F is the temperature of the PSU exhaust fan.

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This next image shows the same locations’ temperatures after running Call of Juarez for about 30 minutes, pushing the gaming system substantially.  The major changes included GPU exhaust temperature that went from 144F to 156F, the PSU exhaust that went from 117F to 123F and the window itself that moved up to 94F from 85F.  Obviously the heat from the three 8800 Ultra GPUs is pumping is being handled pretty well inside the case and temperatures never got hot enough to raise concern.

Noise Levels

Of course with all these fans working, there was some sound coming from the system under full load and even at idle.  I don’t yet have a sound level (though one is on the way) to properly test these things but as for a subjective answer, I’d give the Digital Storm Twister Extreme a 5 out of 10 on the noise level.  The use of large 120mm fans along the top and high quality fans everywhere keeps the noise level lower.  The 8800 Ultra coolers are probably the noisiest but they are constant enough to easily be droned out and the culmination of the entire system isn’t louder than a typical enthusiast system would be.

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