Temps, Noise, and Final Thoughts
|Processor||Intel Pentium G3258 "Anniversary Edition"|
|Motherboard||Gigabyte H81N Mini-ITX|
|Memory||Samsung 4GB 1600MHz DDR3 (OEM)|
|Graphics Card||ASUS AMD Radeon R7 260X|
|Storage||OCZ Vertex 460 120GB SSD|
|Cooling||Noctua NH-U9B SE2|
|Power Supply||SilverStone Strider Gold ST55F-G 550W|
|OS||Windows 8.1 64-bit|
I tested in-case temperatures of the CPU and GPU using RealTemp and GPU-Z software. Ambient temperature was 18.3°C.
Thermals were very good, airflow seemed effective inside the case with the default front intake fan providing positive airflow. I specifically selected a graphics card for thermal testing with an aftermarket cooler that pushed warm air into the case, and the maximum temperature of 57.4°C over ambient (73°C load as measured, room temperature 18.3°C) was very good considering the video card has a fan profile tuned for low noise.
The CPU cooler used was a Noctua NH-U9B SE2, with the low-noise adapters on both fans. Measurements were taken using a digital sound pressure meter in a room with a 34.7dB noise floor.
Even with such a quiet CPU cooler I was unable to record any sound pressure level increase with the GPU at full load. The noise remained constant at a measured 3.8dB over ambient (38.5dB total, 34.7dB ambient). There was an audible difference in the character of the sound with the GPU fans increasing slightly under full load, but this was below the level of the CPU and case fans (this dual-fan ASUS R7 260X is a very quiet card!). This enclosure is made from thin steel, and would provide no significant reduction in noise if louder components were used.
The Fractal Design Core 1100 Micro-ATX case is a basic, no-frills enclosure. While it might not excite comment it is a good value when it can be found for $40 or so considering the overall quality of the case and the included silent 120mm fan. It offers no real cable routing, but then again the case is not offered with a side window so proper airflow can be achieved by simply bundling cables out of the way.
Overall the Core 1100 is simple to build in and has room for just about any smaller mATX or mITX build while retaining a very small footprint. I would recommend the case if it can be found at or below $40, as $50 is too expensive given the basic design and heavy competition at this price point.
- Well made, good level of fit/finish
- Sufficient room for an easy build
- Added value from included silent fan
- No cutout behind motherboard tray
- No cable routing openings
- Hard drive bracket can be inconvenient