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Review: Antec SOLO II

by Parm Mann on 8 November 2011, 08:30 3.0

Tags: Antec

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qa7w5

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Benchmarks

Thermal performance

A high-end X58 rig probably isn't indicative of an average SOLO II build, but it provides a good look at the chassis' thermal capabilities.

Looking first at CPU cooling performance, the chassis does a decent enough job of keeping a Core i7-980X processor cool under extreme load.

But is decent enough acceptable? It all depends on the end-user's requirements, but if cooling is of the utmost important, then the Corsair Carbide 500R, NZXT Tempest Elite 410, Corsair Carbide 400R and Fractal Design Core 3000 all offer superior cooling - and often at a lower price point.

With no front intakes installed as standard, the SOLO II's GPU cooling capabilities are best described as limited. Running the chassis' single exhaust at low or high speed makes little difference, and the temperature of our high-end GPU moves quickly past the 90┬║C mark after a short stint of Furmark.

We appreciate that the SOLO II provides room for high-end graphics configurations, but if you are planning to put hot-running GPUs in this chassis, we'd strongly recommend adding a front 120mm intake or two.

Noise

To find out how loud the chassis can get we're using a PCE-318 noise meter placed at the front of each chassis to take decibel readings with the system idling in two modes; low fan speed and high fan speed.

Here's the trade off. We mentioned that a wide range of chassis offer greater cooling performance than the SOLO II, but it's also worth noting that all of those options are louder in use.

In contrast, the SOLO II is one of the quietest enclosures we've ever tested. With its fans running at low speed, our X58 system is barely audible, making for a noticeably refined experience.

Keeping a high-end build cool under extreme load isn't the SOLO II's forte, but keeping a mid-range system whisper quiet certainly is.