SilverStone Fortress FT04 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 CPUBurn (K7 setting) and FurMark, an OpenGL benchmarking and stability testing utility.

Baseline Noise

The main noise source within the FT04 are its two high speed 3-pin 18 cm fans. They're rated for 2,000 RPM which is really fast for any size fan, let alone 18 cm monsters. Thankfully, each fan is connected to its own dedicated fan controller.

Stock Fan Noise Level
(2 x HD 4870 Configuration, Idle)
Fan Speed
SPL @1m
22 dBA
500 RPM
23~24 dBA
800 RPM
29~30 dBA
1000 RPM
35 dBA
1400 RPM
43 dBA
1850 RPM
55 dBA
CPU fan set to 100% speed.
Ambient temperature: 22°C.

Our CrossFireX HD 4870 configuration assembled and running idle measured just 22 dBA@1m with the system fans disabled. Turning the system fans on to the lowest controllable speed of 500 RPM added only 1~2 dB on top of that. A typical 12 cm fan running at this speed would be inaudible but a larger model spinning at the same rate is much noisier. At 800 RPM, the noise level almost hit 30 dBA@1m which is pretty loud by our standards. Anything about 1200 RPM seems like overkill for almost any kind of system. The high top speed is unwarranted given the size of the fan and the tremendous airflow they can generate.

While it doesn't take a lot of speed to make the fans noisy, they sound far superior to the 18 cm Air Penetrators in previous iterations of the Raven and Fortress series, which had a very clicky character. We noticed the same difference with the Temjin TJ08-E's intake fan so it is quite possible that vertical rather than horizontal orientation is better for the fans' acoustics. At 800 RPM, they didn't add much, if any, tonality to the overall noise profile.

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