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These recordings were made with a high resolution, lab quality, digital recording
system inside SPCR's own 11 dBA ambient anechoic chamber, then converted to
LAME 128kbps encoded MP3s. We've listened long and hard to ensure there is no
audible degradation from the original WAV files to these MP3s. They represent
a quick snapshot of what we heard during the review.
Each recording starts with ambient noise, then 10 second segments of product
at various states. For the most realistic results,
set the volume so that the starting ambient level is just barely audible, then
don't change the volume setting again while comparing all the sound files.
How much Silverstone's touted uni-body construction and
positive pressure cooling affected the case's performance is difficult to assess. Regardless, the Fortress is substantially better than their
last uni-body effort. Dampened panels, soft(er) mounted drives, and bigger,
quieter fans all helped make this a worthy flagship for Silverstone.
Thermally and acoustically our two biggest criteria the Fortress
gave us little to complain about and lots to like. We were able to build a cool,
near-silent system in the case doing little more than undervolting the fans.
As in the recently reviewed Raven, the large intake fans are quite good, and undervolt well enough that we don't
need to recommend replacing them in most cases.
One of the biggest strengths of the case is the excellent cooling for the
graphics card. This is arguably the hardest part of a system to cool. Most cases
are designed for excellent CPU cooling, but many have trouble keeping the
graphics card as well cooled. It seems likely that Silverstone's positive
pressure system has helped in this regard.
This strength is offset by slightly poorer CPU and southbridge cooling, but
the cooling was good enough even with our hot 125W processor and
it is easier to find a good aftermarket CPU cooler than a good GPU cooler. At
it's pricey, but not out of line for the features and performance offered. All
in all, the Fortress has much to recommend it.
Silverstone Fortress FT01
* Good airflow design
* Excellent HDD mounting system
* Smooth, quiet 180mm fans
* Low baseline noise
* Elegantly understated aesthetics
* Very sturdy construction/design
* Only one SATA backplane provided
* Top fan filter not accessible
Our thanks to Silverstone
for the Fortress FT01 sample.
The Silverstone Fortress FT01 is Recommended by SPCR
* * *
Articles of Related Interest
Cases: Basics & Recommendations
Coolermaster Sileo 500: Quiet
ATX Midtower Case
Antec P183: The P182 Gets More Air
Silverstone Raven EATX Tower Case
Computex 2008: Antec's Skeleton,
P183 & Sonata Elite cases
Antec Mini P180: A micro-ATX
* * *
this article in the SPCR Forums.
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