Thermal performance is judged on four factors overall; the idle temperature at stock and overclocked speeds, as well as the temperatures at stock and overclocked under full load using Prime95. The system is then tested for a duration of five minutes before any readings are taken, with the average temperature across all four cores then noted down and used for the end results. All room temperatures are recorded beforehand as well as during the test to ensure that the Delta temperature is as accurate as possible.
Ok, I’ll hold my hands up now, the Intel Stock cooler isn’t the most ideal CPU cooler when testing CPU thermals. Whilst at idle the 25C Delta won’t cause any problems at all, but once the i5 4690K is under load we find the average core temperature Delta jump up to a rather toasty 73C. Although another TD (Top-Down) styled CPU cooler may offer better performance, the Intel Stock cooler itself is not entirely to blame. The Lian Li PC-Q21A is one of the most compact cases currently on the market and because of its design we find a few attributing factors to this. Once installed the PSU sits incredibly closely to the CPU cooler, whilst the left panel venting is inappropriately placed causing the PSU fan to exhaust hot air back inside the case itself. It lacks fans to pull in or expel air in order to help keep your components cool, which could of course be alleviated by the use of a 120mm fan in the base of the case, but by doing so you’ll also lose any room for your GPU. Given a case of this minute size there are understandably going to be one or two negative points.