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 Post subject: Re: Silverstone Fortress FT02 ATX Case
PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2011 7:56 am 
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flemeister wrote:
sync00 wrote:
I just got this case.

I don't understand the purpose of an exhaust fan in a positive pressure case.

Good chance to do some testing with and without the exhaust fan, and find out. :)

If I were to work up the courage for such a test, what would I actually test?

flemeister wrote:
I'd guess that while there is a crapload of air coming into the case, it's a good idea to focus exhausting some of that air where it's needed, instead of just letting all the air seep out of every little hole in the case.

I agree with that but it seems to me it could be accomplished with a fanless exhaust vent.


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 Post subject: Re: Silverstone Fortress FT02 ATX Case
PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2011 8:21 am 
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sync00 wrote:
If I were to work up the courage for such a test, what would I actually test?

CPU load temps, and noise levels.

sync00 wrote:
I agree with that but it seems to me it could be accomplished with a fanless exhaust vent.

Of course, but if it means that you'd have to put up with a significant increase in temps, then it may not be worth it. Testing it with and without the fan will settle the question, at least for your particular setup.


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 Post subject: Re: Silverstone Fortress FT02 ATX Case
PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 4:36 am 
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sync00 wrote:
Then it would be a negative pressure case.

My point exactly. Add a GPU exhaust or two, and you can turn it into a negative pressure setup. You don't have to, but you get the capability.

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 Post subject: Re: Silverstone Fortress FT02 ATX Case
PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2011 2:15 pm 
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The specs on the first page of the review list the following fan speeds:
Top: 1200rpm
Bottom: 700/1000rpm

According to the monitoring software for my Asus motherboard, I am getting these fan speeds:
Top: 800rpm
Bottom rear: 640/970rpm
Bottom front & middle: 240/670rpm

Should I be concerned that the bottom front and middle fans are so slow?


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 Post subject: My disks are too loud!
PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2014 6:49 am 
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Location: Malden, MA 02148 USA
TL;DR: How do I quiet the noisy damn disks?

Back story: I had been happily using an Antec Solo for many years, and I was only moderately happy with the noise level (twin front 92mm Nexus fans were a modest annoyance). Then the power button fell off. Then the power supply crapped out. And with the Solo, if you need to replace a power supply, you have to pull the motherboard and that means a major rebuild, so I figured I would look for a quieter case. The FT02 was rated the best of the big cases and an Editor's Choice.

Fast forward: Rebuilt using the FT02 with a Seasonic SS-460FL2 fanless power supply. I turned off the top exhaust fan and so am using only the 3x 180mm positive pressure fans. I use a Core i5-3570 and a fanless GPU, and as far as the noise attributable to cooling goes, I am very happy with my build. (CPU temp at idle is 27-30C and with all four cores maxed it tops out at around 50C.)

But I have two huge caveats:
  • The case is so big that the modular cables on the Seasonic are not long enough. For example, I can't put my SSD in the place reserved for SSD because the power cable won't reach. I have to mount my optical drive at the bottom, not the top, but otherwise the power cable won't reach. And so on.
  • The real problem: hard-drive noise is awful.

I can't emphasize that last point enough. The hard drive noise is so bad that I have all my hard drives spin down after 30 seconds idle. (The system includes a small SSD.) I'm told it's not good for the hard drive to be spinning up and down continually, but I can't stand the noise. And these are the exact same hard drives I had running suspended in my Antec Solo, but both the level and the quality of the noise is much worse in the FT02. I'm not quite sure what I missed in the review, but I'm shocked that a case with this problem could earn Editor's Choice from SPCR.

If anybody has figured out how to suspend hard drives or otherwise quiet them down in this case, I would like to know!

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 Post subject: Re: Silverstone Fortress FT02 ATX Case
PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2014 7:23 am 
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norman-ramsey --

It's no surprise that you'd find your HDD's noisy in the FT02 after using them for years in the Solo. That is a huge leap, in terms of case style, purpose & size: The Solo was made specifically for silent computing, with virtually no features for cooling a VGA card. In contrast, the FT02 is primary a big gaming case designed to cool very hot CPUs & multiple VGA cards. Our EC award is in the context of its intended purpose.

Presumably you had the drives suspended in the Solo, and presumably, your drives are some years old, meaning they're noisier than current quiet drives. How many do you have and what are they?

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 Post subject: Re: Silverstone Fortress FT02 ATX Case
PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2014 9:07 am 
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also by eliminating a number of fans from your last build, you can now hear the drives more clearly.

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 Post subject: Re: Silverstone Fortress FT02 ATX Case
PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2014 11:11 am 
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Location: Malden, MA 02148 USA
Mike,

I guess I didn't read the review very intelligently. I have a relatively cool CPU and VGA card, so I seem to have purchased exactly the wrong case for my needs.

The drives I have include
  • Two 150GB Velociraptors, model WD1500HLFS
  • One Seagate Barracuda 1TB, 7200RPM
I have several newer, slower, quieter, larger disks, but they are in other computers. And until I got the SSD, I was relying on the performance from the Velociraptors.

If anybody has any ideas how to suspend hard drives in this case, I would welcome them. (I have thought about trying to find some soft silicone grommets, but I'm not sure they will fit. Space is very tight.)

BTW, I have another machine running in an Antec Solo and another running in a P180, which (as Mike knows) is a very similar design. Even when the disks are screwed into their trays (with the soft silicone grommets), they are much, much quieter than the FT02. But maybe that's the disks, not the cases...

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 Post subject: Re: Silverstone Fortress FT02 ATX Case
PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2014 11:32 am 
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Norman,

The Zelociraptors can be removed from their "icepack" heatsinks & suspended in an 3.5" bay with thin bungee cords or similar. Tons of DIY examples here -- viewtopic.php?t=19147 -- tho many of the images are missing as it's a 9 yr old thread(!). That will make them a whole lot quieter -- mounted normally in their heatsink brackets, they're quite noisy (as noted in our review here: http://www.silentpcreview.com/article844-page3.html )

Not much you can do about the 'cuda... tho perhaps it'd be easiest to just upgrade to a 1-4gb WD Red, which is super quiet & probably as fast (if not faster) in actual usage. A 1GB WD Red is only ~$70, and 2TB is ~$100.

In fact, I'd suggest leaving the VR drives & moving on to a couple of 120gb SSDs (if you need 2 in RAID or some other reason) or perhaps one 240~300GB SSD. Prices of SSDs have really come down. Good 120gb models start at under $100; one of these -- http://www.silentpcreview.com/Samsung_840_Pro -- is just $210.

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 Post subject: Re: Silverstone Fortress FT02 ATX Case
PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2014 12:42 pm 
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Thanks, Mike. I hadn't thought about popping out the Velociraptors (I have two each for different operating systems).

Perhaps I will combine suggestions and look for a quiet, capacious 2.5-inch drive and suspend it!

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 Post subject: Re: Silverstone Fortress FT02 ATX Case
PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2014 12:50 pm 
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norman-ramsey wrote:
Thanks, Mike. I hadn't thought about popping out the Velociraptors (I have two each for different operating systems).
Ah -- 2 OS, OK.

norman-ramsey wrote:
Perhaps I will combine suggestions and look for a quiet, capacious 2.5-inch drive and suspend it!
That would surely work... but you'd be surprised just how quiet the WD Red 3.5" drives are; I think they are quieter than most 2.5" drives. And their high areal density makes them very fast, faster definitely than most 2.5" drives.

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 Post subject: Re: Silverstone Fortress FT02 ATX Case
PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2014 1:14 pm 
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The thread at http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=65849 suggests that the Reds for sale now are not as quiet as they once were. I never know what to do with information like this---would you be concerned? Or is there some FUD going on?

The measurements from Lawrence Lee's review are very impressive. (But I confess I'm baffled that the measured noise at 11~13 dB is so much lower than the manufacturers 21/24 dB rating. What's up with that?)

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 Post subject: Re: Silverstone Fortress FT02 ATX Case
PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2014 1:45 pm 
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norman-ramsey wrote:
The thread at http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=65849 suggests that the Reds for sale now are not as quiet as they once were. I never know what to do with information like this---would you be concerned? Or is there some FUD going on?

The measurements from Lawrence Lee's review are very impressive. (But I confess I'm baffled that the measured noise at 11~13 dB is so much lower than the manufacturers 21/24 dB rating. What's up with that?)

You're right, that's a bit alarming, I hadn't noticed before. Well, go with Seagate NAS drives, then -- they're about as quiet. Even WD Greens. Or go with your 2.5" suspension idea -- that would be very quiet, for sure, tho I think you're limited to a max capacity of 1.5GB still. WD makes a 2.5" version of the Red -- up to 1TB.

As for the difference between WD's and our measurements, I really don't know. There are different measurement techniques, and WD doesn't say how they test. We know how we test: in a 10-11 dBA hemi-anechoic room at 1m distance from the drive (which is set on soft foam atop a table), with A-weighting engaged.

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