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Thermaltake Mozart VC4000 HTPC Case
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by Rory Buszka on July 9, 2007 in HTPC/mATX

The “Mozart” name implies style and grace, and the Mozart home theater PC case certainly offers elegant styling. But is its beauty only skin deep? Here’s an in-depth look at this popular home theater PC case from Thermaltake.

Thermal Performance and Noise


Thermal testing followed a simple format. Thermal testing was performed with the motherboard’s thermal CPU fan control deactivated, but with AMD Cool n’ Quiet active. First, a run of 3DMark2006 with default settings was performed on the system, heating up the processor to a lower temperature than its eventual load temperature.

Then the machine was allowed to sit with only the operating system running for 30 minutes while the temperatures stabilized, and the idle temperature was recorded. Next, another run of 3DMark2006 was performed, with the peak CPU and IGP/Northbridge temperatures being recorded as ‘load’ temperatures. Here are the results of that test.

Temperatures
Idle
Load
CPU 26 C 42 C
Northbridge 29 C 31 C

The Thermaltake Mozart case had no trouble keeping the AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ EE processor nice and cool, with its low 65W power output. The motherboard’s AMD 690G northbridge also stayed relatively cool, though its tiny passive heatsink felt warmer to the touch. The dual 60mm fans at the rear of the Mozart case move enough air to keep a higher-performance processor cool, so I’d have no problems with running a Core 2 Duo E6600 in this case, thermally speaking.

Though one may wonder why a home theater PC would need that kind of processing horsepower, even to keep Vista Home Premium happy. The X2 4200+ represents the type of processor that enthusiasts are more likely to use in this case.

Noise

Unfortunately, things aren’t so rosy when it comes to the noise level produced by this case. The 60mm rear fans incur a hefty noise penalty at their relatively higher speed, though the worst noise offender in this case is the front 80mm case fan. The Etasis ET750W power supply used in testing is hardly silent, though I stopped its fan for about a minute while listening to the noise made by the Mozart’s fans.

The Mozart isn’t silent by any means, and I personally wouldn’t want it sitting in my equipment rack with all the noise that it makes. It might be acceptable if it is placed in a nearby closet, or in a remotely-located rack for a whole-house audio/video system, but it certainly makes its presence known in smaller rooms. This will be a serious disappointment for anyone who (like myself) thinks that PCs should be seen and not heard.