Arctic Cooling Silentium T2

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February 1, 2005 by Devon Cooke and Mike Chin

Silentium T2 Mid-Tower Case w/ custom 350W Seasonic power supply
Arctic Cooling

One of the most interesting recent trends in the PC case market is the shift away from the traditional ATX standard as manufacturers try to find new ways of improving airflow and cooling. Arctic Cooling's Silentium series represents one of the most dramatic adaptations of the ATX case standard we have seen so far. With the power supply mounted vertically at the front of the case and the main air intake through the back and bottom, the Silentium T2's airflow is nothing if not innovative. Also of interest to SPCR readers is the first known implementation of hard drive suspension in a commercially available case.

Of course, just because airflow layout has changed doesn't necessarily mean it's better for cooling or silencing. Furthermore, the Silentium boasts no less than four 80mm fans: Two exhaust fans and two in the power supply. Much of the acoustic signature of this case will depend on these fans. There is reason to be optimistic because of how Arctic Cooling fans have performed in the past and because they are rated for a maximum of 1900 RPM. However, the unusual features of this case make it difficult to predict; the true test will be how it performs under testing with a real system.

Arctic Cooling advertises the horizontal orientation of the box as being beneficial for shipping prebuilt systems.

No air intakes are visible even when the front door is open.

No intakes here either... unless you look down.

Those two 80mm fans are exhausts, but the rest of the grilled vents on the back are for intake.

Also included are rails for screwless installation of drives, zap straps for cable management, risers and screws for motherboard installation, and four replacement rubber bands for the suspension system.

SPECIFICATIONS: Arctic Cooling Silentium T2
Full ATX, Micro ATX
18 cm (W) x 43.5 cm (H) x 46 cm (D)
11.5 kg, 13.8 kg with PSU
Drive Bays
2 x 5.25" (open)
2 x 3.5" (open)
1 x 3.5" (internal)
1 x 3.5" (damped HDD cover)
4 x ARCTIC Fan 3, 1000-1900 RPM
ARCTIC Ceramic, MTBF @ 70°C: 163,000 h
Steel Quality
0.8mm SECC
2 years

FEATURE HIGHLIGHTS: Arctic Cooling Silentium T2
Thermodynamics: Non-ATX airflow layout
More on this in a moment.
Noise Reduction: No front openings
Eliminates a direct noise path. Should prove helpful.
I/O Front Connectors: Headphones, Microphone, 2 x USB 2.0
Kind of skimpy. Firewire is optional.
HDD Muffler: Built-in hard drive suspension
If it works as advertised, this will be a very strong selling point.
Power Supply: Seasonic SS-350ATC
Active PFC (99%), and advertised efficiency of 75-80%. These numbers are in line with previous reviews of Seasonic PSUs.
Torsionproof Chassis
Will not twist during shipping. Not much of an issue for end-users.
Screwless Design
PCI and drive installation are screwless. Side panel uses thumb screws, and motherboard installation still requires screws.
Long Service Life: Ceramic bearing fans
Fans are rated for 137,000 hours @ 40°C. That's 15 years continuous use.
Packaging: Horizontal shipping position and extra foam included in the box
Again, less of an issue for end-users who can return damaged goods.

The T2 just barely qualifies as a mid-tower case. Its interior dimensions give the Sonata a run for the money as one of the smallest cases that can fit a full ATX motherboard. Its depth is such that Arctic Cooling warns on its web site that the case is incompatible with certain ASUS motherboards whose floppy connector hangs off the side of the board. Also, like the Sonata, only the left panel of the case is removable; there is no access to the area behind the motherboard.

The exterior is a smooth, silvery, sedate finish that should blend in well whatever its surroundings. It's nothing flashy, but it's pleasant to look at and the exterior buttons and ports are easily accessible.

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