Silverstone Fortress FT03 microATX Tower

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System Configuration:

Measurement and Analysis Tools

System temperatures and noise levels were recorded with SpeedFan and GPU-Z at idle and on load using Prime95 (large FFTs setting) and FurMark, an OpenGL benchmarking and stability testing utility.

Baseline Noise

The top exhaust fan.

The Fortress FT03 ships with three identical 120 mm fans, one at the top as an exhaust, one at the center blowing at an angle over the motherboard and CPU, and one at the bottom acting as an intake. They are Globe fans with the model number S1202512ELN-3M which is rated for 1200 RPM and 0.18A.

The FT03's center fan is much louder the bottom fan.

Given the layout of the case, we were expecting the top fan to be louder than the other two, being fairly exposed at the top, but the center fan turned out to be the biggest villain. The metal frame for the fan is secured to the case on only one side, causing the fan to rattle a bit. Compared to the bottom fan, at 7V, it measured a substantial 4 dB higher and produced multiple tones in the 250~500 Hz range.

Baseline Noise Level
SPL @1m
26~27 dBA
22~23 dBA
17~18 dBA
14 dBA
26~27 dBA
23 dBA
19 dBA
16 dBA
25 dBA
19~20 dBA
15 dBA
12~13 dBA
31 dBA
26 dBA
21 dBA
16~17 dBA
Measuring mic positioned 1m at diagonal angle left/front of case.

Combined, the fans produce a fairly smooth noise character, but at 7V and below, the decreased airflow turbulence noise stops masking the low pitched hum caused primarily the center fan. This hum is clearly audible at one meter distance. The overall noise output can be considered SPCR quiet at 5V and below.

The case measures 16~17 dBA@1m with all fans at 5V.

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