Well, after spending this much money on a true Cooling Case, I decided to see how well it really worked. The easiest way to test it was to stress out the system so that it would build up an abundance of heat. And what better way to do this than to run the same series of tests that I had been running while testing heatsinks.
The test system consisted of:
- AMD Thunderbird 1000
- Abit KT7 (non-RAID)
- GlobalWin WBK-38 w/ Arctic Silver
- 256MB Crucial PC133 SDRAM
- Creative Annihilator 2 GF2-GTS
Instead of just running the system at 1000MHz and 1100MHz like I did for the HSF tests, I decided to go for the gusto. My test system maxes out right now at 1231MHz due to the older KT133 chipset, so this is what I cranked the speed up to. I wasn't too worried about processor temperatures because the HSF installed is capable of handling these speeds. So I measured internal case temperatures at idle, after a Quake 3 Deathmatch, and after a demo looping of MadOnion's 3dMark2001. I compared them to my Antec SX1030 full tower case with 170-CFM airflow to see how this case would perform.
With airflow nearly the same in both cases, I had really expected the Antec to whip the pants off the Wind Tunnel especially since the Antec has so much more room and the cables don't get in the way nearly as much. I was, however, quite wrong on that account. Even with the ribbon cables that I was using, the Wind Tunnel II Gamer held it's own very nicely. it's almost scary to think what it could do with some rounded cabling on the inside!
For one who is a full tower type of person, this case impressed me. Granted, there wasn't a lot of room to work with on the inside (compared to the big boys), but it was able to contain my entire system with no problems at all. Add to this a very impressive cooling system that is nothing short of awesome, and you're looking at a very solid case that any hardcore gamer or power user would be proud to call their own.
The lack of a removable motherboard tray and not having the peripheral slots already removed with plates installed was a little bit of an annoyance, but nothing that would keep me from recommending this case to someone. If this is all the bad that can be said about this unit, then I'd say that it's doing it's assigned job very nicely keeping your system COOL.
Something that deserves its own recognition in this section is the power supply. It is an outstanding unit and one well worth the extra few bucks to have included in this setup. It handled running all components with no troubles at all, and could have handled a lot more as well. There are connectors in abundance, and the cables are easily long enough to reach even the remotest corners of the case.
Bottom line...If you have been looking into case mods, but are intimidated by the idea of doing it yourself, or if you are just in the market for a case that is one of the coolest around, then look no further than this Wind Tunnel II Gamer case from Cooler Guys. With temperatures inside that are only 1.5 degrees Centigrade warmer than a very well ventilated full tower, you just can't go wrong.
- Very capable cooling
- Outstanding PSU
- Side mounted USB/peripheral connectors
- Laser cut blow-holes
- Plenty of drive bays
- No removable motherboard tray
- Peripheral slot punch-out tabs still intact
- PCI slot cutouts not covered by blanks
Rating - 9 / 10
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