The past Friday (September 24th), I reviewed the SilverStone Lascala LC-02 case
. The following weekend, I received an email from SilverStone complimenting me on the review but wondering why I didn't completely explore the cooling options of the LC-02. Here at TechFreaks we believe that all products deserve a second chance of redemption, not to mention the version of the LC-02 we received was SilverStone's third effort to combat the case's cooling problem.
The third revision of the LC-02 features two optional 60mm fan slots for improved case cooling. The 60mm fans I will be installing are SUNON 60x60x20mm fans rated at 3600RPM producing 18.5CFM at 28dBA, the fan on the left of the case will be intake and the fan on the right: exhaust. Unfortunately, neither SUNON nor SilverStone included case screws. Lucky for me; I have more than enough screws to support ~50 case fans of my choosing.
|60mm Fans (SCSI Product = ?)|| ||Fans Installed.|
Installing the left fan was painless; move some wires, screw-in the fan and everything is set. With the right fan, I encountered another problem. Due to a presence of a PCI card in the bottom riser slot, the fan could not fit where it was meant to go. From here, there are two options: remove the PCI card so the fan fits or let the fan sit on the PCI card. I chose the latter as most users will probably occupy both slots. Time to see if my previous statement of "2x60mm fans can not cool any system" holds true.
| ||Without Fan||With Fan|
For any wondering, the machine crashed under load both with the fans installed and uninstalled. The CPU load values are the last temperatures I recorded before the machine froze or reset. The 60mm fans really do not help at all with the cooling problem: the temperature difference is negligible and there could be many possible factors contributing to the 1 or 2°C difference. My only complaint with the LC-02 was the instability under load and the 60mm fans did little to nothing to help the cause.
Other cooling solutions are limited due to the size restrictions of the case. You can not purchase a taller HSF because the top would not be able to close the top of the case. You can not purchase a wider HSF because it would interfere with the tray that holds the CD-Rom drive and hard-drive. An easy solution to the cooling problem would be more fans. Not such an easy thing to accomplish with such a small case, there is really only one place where another fan would fit and that space wouldn't accommodate a fan any larger than 70mm. The only solution I can possibly see is cutting a honey-comb design along the entire left side of the case; this would introduce a huge air source and present users with an opportunity to install a barrage of 60mm intake fans. Another possible solution is to remove the top all-together; doing so lowered my temps by almost 5°C and allowed StressPrime 2004 to run almost eight minutes longer. Either that, or continue with the honey-comb design and make the entire top of the case one huge fan grill
Normal end users would not be willing to take a dremel to their newly purchased $130 HTPC bundle-of-joy and may, in turn, suffer similar cooling problems. Most HTPCs will not be running stressful applications and thus cooling should not be as big of a problem. However HTPC's are meant to be quiet; relying on two 60mm fans that each introduce 30dBA is definitely not a desired way to go. I'm typing up this follow-up review on the computer housed by the LC-02 (the CPU is running at a toasty 52°C) so it's not as if this case will have your CPU melted to your socket in no-time, the LC-02 just needs improvement. I stick by my original rating of 7 and for future purchasers, I'd recommend going with a smaller motherboard standard, such as a mATX or VIA Mini-ITX based board.
- 1 Fan Slot Inaccessible
- 2x 60mm fans won't cool any system
- Fan Placement Leaves Something to be Desired.
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