Published on 4th November, 2016
I’ve had the opportunity to get my hands on some different components to test inside the LZ7, here is the specification of the test system:
– LZ7 v0.1 Prototype Case
– Gigabyte Z170N WiFi
– Intel i7-6700
– Noctua NH-L9i
– EVGA GTX 1070 SC 6Gb ITX
– 16Gb DDR4 2400MHz Corsair Vengeance LPX
– Samsung PM961 M.2 PCIe 256Gb SSD
– SF450 Corsair SFX PSU
– Silverstone 150x140x13mm System Fan
There are a few differences with this setup compared to previous tests, most notably the CPU and GPU. The system tested today uses a higher powered Intel Core i7-6700 compared to the previous i5-6500, but a lower powered NVidia GTX 1060 graphics card compared the previously tested GTX 1070.
For cooling a low profile Noctua NH-L9i has been used for the CPU in contrast to the Scythe Big Shuriken 2 used with the lower powered i5 previously, so it will be interesting to see how the smaller Noctua holds up with this more potent processor.
For system cooling a Silverstone FW141 150mm x 140mm slim fan was used (with 120mm mounting holes), it pushed a really good amount of air through the system, you could feel a nice cool breeze coming out the vents while the computer was idling even with a fan speed of less than 500rpm. This fan wasn’t the quietest I’ve tested, but it has done a great job of keeping the system temps low by moving allot of air. The high airflow meant the fan could run at lower RPMs throughout stress testing with standard fan curves and therefore keeping reasonably quiet.
To test the overall system performance Prime95 was used across all 8 of the i7-6700 threads, this was left for half an hour and the results were recorded, Unigine Valley was then started running side by side with Prime95 set to max graphics at 1080p for a further half hour and the results recorded again. An overclock was then applied to the GPU under the same Prime95 and Unigine test conditions for a further half hour. The final test was then to run Unigine Valley only with the GPU at its default settings.
My main focus is being able to run a powerful system quietly, so my preference is usually lower fan speeds at the expense of an extra few degrees component temps.
Closeup of Silverstone FW141 slim 140mm system fan inside the LZ7 SFF Case
Here are the results from the testing:
At idle the system ran very quiet with just a faint hum from the Silverstone system fan and temperatures were down in the 20s (Celcius) for both the CPU and System, just a couple of degrees above ambient of 21C.
During full CPU load the Noctua cooler was the loudest component in the case as you would expect but not obtrusively loud topping out at 2,370 rpm and keeping the i7-6700 under a respectable 68C throughout the whole stress test. This fan speed could probably be lowered slightly to reduce noise if you don’t mind an extra few degrees CPU temp. It is worth noting that Prime95 is a worst case scenario and not representative of real world application usage such as gaming where you will likely see lower temps.
Starting the GPU stress test did not have much affect on the CPU temps, which shows the 360 degree GPU ventilation does its intended job well venting most of the GPU exhaust heat straight out the case. System temps rose by 3C during the GPU stressing, but overall the system temps still managed to stay under 40C.
In terms of GPU performance the EVGA GTX 1060 SC 6Gb is truly an excellent card, it maintained a very reasonable temp of around 75C above full boost without breaking a sweat.
The GPU fan maxed out at 1093 RPM under default settings, at this fan speed the GPU is barely audible. This is a great achievement in itself, but if you take into account the automatic (default) overclock this card is running at you can see it’s even more impressive.
Previous generation GTX 960 compared to current generation GTX 1060
The EVGA GTX 1060 maintained a boost clock speed of 1923 Mhz throughout the duration of testing under default settings, this is well above its default base clock of 1607 Mhz and 88 Mhz above its advertised Boost clock.
In the second part of the GPU stress testing an overclock of 122 Mhz was applied to the base clock which resulted in a stable boost clock of 2037 Mhz. The extra heat from the overclock pushed the GPU temp up by 1C and the fan speed rose to 1175 RPM to compensate (45% fan speed), again the GPU is still barely audible at these fan speeds.
The 2037 Mhz overclock was reached without adjusting any voltages or power limits, so an OC above 122 Mhz may be achievable if you wanted to experiment properly.
Screenshot of Temperatures and Fan RPM’s, click to enlarge
Using a CPU with a TDP up to 65W can be cooled with relative ease inside the LZ7 when using an appropriate CPU cooler and system fan.
Specifically with the Noctua NH-L9i, an Intel Core i7-6700 (65W TDP) is probably the limit of what this CPU cooler can sensibly handle, upgrading to something like the Cryorig C7 cooler will likely give lower noise and temps.
It is not yet known how well an unlocked (K) processor will perform with their higher TDPs, although previous testing has shown that larger coolers with 120mm fans such as the Scythe Big Shuriken 2 performs very well, capable of keeping an i5-6500 under 52C silently. The Shuriken 2 will likely give you the best chance of running these types of high TDP unlocked CPUs.
GPU wise the LZ7 can comfortably cool a GTX 1060 with room for overclocking. I whole heartedly recommend the EVGA GTX 1060 SC 6Gb, the cooling in this card is outstanding resulting in very quiet operation even at full load, an excellent match for the LZ7.
Rear View of LZ7 with Silverstone FW141 Fan