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Lian Li PC-C50A HTPC Case Review

For testing today we are going to use an Intel Core i5 750 based system with a CoolIT ECO A.L.C CPU Cooler.  We combined this with 4GB of Kingston HyperX memory and an HIS Radeon HD 5830 Turbo graphics card.

Test System:

Chassis: Lian Li PC-C50A
Processor: Intel Core i5 750
Motherboard: Zotac H55-ITX Wifi
Cooler: CoolIT ECO A.L.C.
Memory: 4GB (2x 2GB) Kingston HyperX (2133MHz)
Storage: Seagate Momentus 500GB (7200RPM)
Graphics: HIS Radeon HD 5830 Turbo
Power Supply: Antec TruePower 550W

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit
Everest Ultimate

Thermal Performance

We were quite impressed by these results considering the compact nature of this case.  Sure, the graphics card did get quite toasty but this is because it doesn’t really receive any active airflow.  This could be easily rectified by installing another 120mm fan into the left side of the chassis.

Acoustic Performance

We take the issue of noise very seriously at KitGuru and this is why we have built a special home brew system as a reference point when we test noise levels of various components. Why do this? Well this means we can eliminate secondary noise pollution in the test room and concentrate on components we are testing. It also brings us slightly closer to industry standards, such as DIN 45635.

Today to test the chassis we have taken it into our acoustics room environment and have set our Digital Sound Level Meter SL-824 one meter away from the case

As this can be a little confusing for people, here are various dBa ratings in with real world situations to help describe the various levels.

KitGuru noise guide
10dBA – Normal Breathing/Rustling Leaves
20-25dBA – Whisper
30dBA – High Quality Computer fan
40dBA – A Bubbling Brook, or a Refridgerator
50dBA – Normal Conversation
60dBA – Laughter
70dBA – Vacuum Cleaner or Hairdryer
80dBA – City Traffic or a Garbage Disposal
90dBA – Motorcycle or Lawnmower
100dBA – MP3 player at maximum output
110dBA – Orchestra
120dBA – Front row rock concert/Jet Engine
130dBA – Threshold of Pain
140dBA – Military Jet takeoff/Gunshot (close range)
160dBA – Instant Perforation of eardrum

These results really aren’t as impressive as we were hoping considering this is an HTPC case.  We believe that an HTPC case should be relatively inaudible and 38.5 dBA is just too high.  We would recommend replacing the stock fans with some quieter ones from the likes of Noctua.

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