Silverstone Fortress FT01: Positive Pressure Case

Cases|Damping
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AUDIO RECORDINGS

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.

FINAL THOUGHTS

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 $230~$260, 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
PROS

* Good airflow design
* Excellent HDD mounting system
* Smooth, quiet 180mm fans
* Roomy
* Low baseline noise
* Elegantly understated aesthetics
* Very sturdy construction/design
CONS

* Large
* 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

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