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 Post subject: Talk me off the FT02
PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 3:46 pm 
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Hey guys,

My main rig is finally going kaput and it's time to upgrade. I'm salvaging a few parts (a nice Antec 80plus Gold PSU, an 6950 and 2 2tb WD blue drives) but starting fresh on the core components.

I've more or less narrowed down to an i5-3570k, Asus Maximus V Gene mb (mATX) and a Samsung 840 120gb SSD, but the hardest part of all this for me to rationalize is the case.

I wouldn't say I'm into absolute silence, but I do game with open headphones and appreciate quiet cases. I have a friend with the Silverstone FT02 and I've always been a big fan. Coming from an aging P180, I'm completely lusting over this new piece of meat.

In particular, I love the build quality, the idea of the rotated motherboard (conceptually it makes a lot of sense to me for cooling) and the aesthetics of it. It's very muted and doesn't have too many obnoxious lights / patterns on it.

That being said, it's expensive, and because I'm going with a mATX form factor, it's probably overkill. I keep telling myself I'll crossfire in the future but realistically that's not going to happen so I don't really need all that space.

I will be doing some light overclocking, but it will all be air based and I don't intend to mess much with the core voltage.

So, given all that, I've done some reading up on the 550D, Fractal R4 (I couldn't find the R3 at NCIX) and Define Mini and I'm just not as excited about it.

What other options would you guys recommend for cases that are:
$150 or less
Great build quality
Above average sound dampening and thermals
Looks good.

Should I just stop whining and go with the FT02 or is there another dream case for me out there?


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 Post subject: Re: Talk me off the FT02
PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 4:35 pm 
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If I had $200+ to blow on a tower style case, it'd be the FT-02B. If you don't like the other three, and still want a larger case, there's the Antec P183 v3 or even Solo II. I am curious as to why you like the Asus Maximus V Gene? Seems a lot of $'s for little benefit over even the P8Z77 M Pro.

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 Post subject: Re: Talk me off the FT02
PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 6:01 pm 
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The biggest reason was for the added quality components in the audio implementation. I have an old Audigy 2zs PCI sound card which I wanted to retire so I was looking to see if I could get away without another sound card.

I basically started by googling 'Best onboard audio on z77 mobo" and that came up in most discussions (as did the Gigabyte sniper 3 which is almost 100 bucks more). Combined with almost universally stellar reviews and it seemed good enough for me.

I know I'm not getting the best bang for buck but it still fits in my budget...


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 Post subject: Re: Talk me off the FT02
PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 7:46 am 
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Nods. I guess if I were to aim for better analog audio without paying through the nose, I'd go for an Asus Xonar card.

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 Post subject: Re: Talk me off the FT02
PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 9:15 am 
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CA_Steve wrote:
Nods. I guess if I were to aim for better analog audio without paying through the nose, I'd go for an Asus Xonar card.
I just checked the Asus Xonar prices - *phew* - for the £120 you might as well get an external DAC and hook it up via s/pdif.


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 Post subject: Re: Talk me off the FT02
PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 1:48 pm 
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There's more than one model...and a range of performance.

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 Post subject: Re: Talk me off the FT02
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 10:03 pm 
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for $150 or less, Antec performance 1 w/ triple layer material on the casing

For $250, go to NZXT Phantom 820, it supports up to 9 fans, and it's a very silent case as per the Hardocp review


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 Post subject: Re: Talk me off the FT02
PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 1:08 am 
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I personally wouldn't get the FT02 or any case with the rotated orientation because it greatly limits your cooling options. No matter what kind of wick is in them, heatpipes don't function as well when moving heat in the same direction as gravity (ie, when the heat source is higher than the heat-dissipating elements), and this is exactly what happens to many CPU coolers and virtually all non-reference GPU coolers when placed in the FT02. I've heard of instances where GPU load temps went up by 20C.

Granted, if a cooler's heatpipes have a quality, sintered-powder wick, the performance hit may be minimal, even with heatpipes as long as those in something like the Prolimatech Mk.26, but it's impossible to tell if that's what you're getting until you've mounted the cooler and removed any possibility of an RMA. Manufacturers often skimp on their heatpipes, and they also switch them up on occasion, so two different samples of the same cooler may end up performing very differently.

So unless you're fine with limiting yourself to reference cards and standard tower coolers, I'd stay away from the FT02.

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 Post subject: Re: Talk me off the FT02
PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 1:34 am 
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Irrelevant wrote:
No matter what kind of wick is in them, heatpipes don't function as well when moving heat in the same direction as gravity (ie, when the heat source is higher than the heat-dissipating elements), and this is exactly what happens to many CPU coolers and virtually all non-reference GPU coolers when placed in the FT02. I've heard of instances where GPU load temps went up by 20C.

I'm sorry but I don't believe this. This would mean that tower CPU coolers also would not function correctly when turned through 90 degrees in a normal case which is not evident. As for graphics card temps, there are more logical reasons for the instances you have described like the cooler base becoming unbalanced because of the torque exerted by the weight of the cooler. It would not however be universal or else you would have many reports of failing graphics cards.

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 Post subject: Re: Talk me off the FT02
PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 7:26 am 
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http://hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1429251 has a 176 page thread on the FT02.

There was a long discussion there of overheating issues with the vertical orientation of the GPU card in the FT02, but don't know if it was in that thread.

When I researched this a while ago, it didn't seem that there was a definitive consensus one way or the other about the vertical orientation leading to overheating. Some people were reporting problems yes, but others were reporting no problems with even the same coolers.

It did seem that there is a slightly heightened probability of having a graphics card overheat in a vertical orientation, although what that probability is I have no idea. Undoubtedly most manufacturers test their cards in a horizontal orientation, not vertical.

I passed on the FT02 because it was adding an overheating risk, and perhaps limit choices for a GPU cooler, that could easily be avoided by getting a standard case layout.


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 Post subject: Re: Talk me off the FT02
PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 7:39 am 
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DeltaForce wrote:
It did seem that there is a slightly heightened probability of having a graphics card overheat in a vertical orientation, although what that probability is I have no idea.

If the base of the heatsink is unstable in a vertical configuration, you're going to have trouble. The actual performance of the cooler itself in that orientation would make no real difference at all.

These anecdotal reports of problems from some users and not others even with the same hardware all add up to point to contact issues.

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 Post subject: Re: Talk me off the FT02
PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 7:56 am 
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Irrelevant wrote:
heatpipes don't function as well when moving heat in the same direction as gravity (ie, when the heat source is higher than the heat-dissipating elements)

Erm, that is the situation in STANDARD ATX cases. In a regular horizontal layout, the cooler of the graphics card hangs below the card/GPU, this the heat source is higher than the heat-dissipating elements.

Quote:
and this is exactly what happens to many CPU coolers and virtually all non-reference GPU coolers when placed in the FT02.

How? You only rotate the cooler by 90°, you don't change the direction of flow for the heatpipes at all. It's basically the difference between AMD and Intel sockets.

Your post sounds like you'd believe in Voodoo as well. There were a couple of early heapipe coolers years ago who were a bit picky about their installation orientation, but those days are long gone.
The FT-02 is heralded as one of the best air-cooling towers out there. If it would have a detrimental effect on cooling, it would have never earned its pedigree.

Anybody can test the effect of the FT-02 layout by just turning a regular ATX-case on it's "face". You must leave a few inches of space for the front - now bottom - air intake of course.


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 Post subject: Re: Talk me off the FT02
PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 9:00 am 
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Whatever the problem is, this isn't voodoo or a non-issue. While it may not be a huge problem, this is a known issue with the FT02. Indeed Silverstone themselves have a Q&A here http://www.silverstonetek.com/product.php?pid=242, where they list the "bad orientation" of VGA cooler designs for the FT02, with heatpipes below the contact point. Frankly I don't know what the cause is, but Silverstone wouldn't have a Q&A without reported problems.

How many users of the FT02 really checked their GPU temps anyway, to even know if they had higher temps than normal?

edh may well be right about the cause, about point of contact. Some users had overheating even with custom coolers where one would think the contact was okay, but overall it was hard to find a definitive consensus.

Again, it may not in the end be a huge problem, but I wouldn't call it a non-issue. Undoubtedly manufacturers test their VGA cards in a horizontal orientation, where even a contact issue, etc, in vertical orientation might be missed.

regards


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 Post subject: Re: Talk me off the FT02
PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 9:07 am 
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fyi. The blog is focused on horizontal vs vertical airflow in a case...but embedded in there is an FT-02 and you can see the GPU temps don't change on orientation.

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1080p Gaming build: i5-4670K, Mugen 4, MSI Z87-G45, MSI GTX 760 2GB Gaming, 8GB 1866 RAM, Samsung Evo 250GB, WD Red 2TB, Samsung DVD burner, Fractal Define R4, Antec True Quiet 140 (2 front + rear) case fans, Seasonic X-560. 35-40W idle, 45-55W video streaming, 170-200W WoW, 200-230W Rift, 318W stress test (Prime95 + Furmark)


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 Post subject: Re: Talk me off the FT02
PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 9:26 am 
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Not trying to get into a debate on this, or be disagreeable :)

But that article doesn't really focus on the video card issue itself, by say testing many cards in vertical orientation. The FT02 obviously has good overall cooling. Here is an article claiming card orientation does matter: http://en.expreview.com/2010/11/15/90%C2%B0-rotationhow-to-install-heatpipe-cooler/11843.html

Frankly I don't know what to believe, or even if the article I linked is right, but I do know that there were user reports of overheating graphics cards with the FT02. That 170 page thread on the Harforum thread has more information.

regards


Last edited by DeltaForce on Thu Feb 21, 2013 9:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Talk me off the FT02
PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 9:38 am 
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DeltaForce wrote:
Not trying to get into a debate on this, but here is an article claiming that orientation does matter: [url]http://en.expreview.com/2010/11/15/90%C2%B0-rotationhow-to-install-heatpipe-cooler/11843.html

Those are all very big heavy coolers with the heatpipes running along the cooler and the fins running across. It is totally possible that with that kind of weight acting across the base in a way that it is not designed to do, contact is not correctly made. The only way to test this would be to put temperature sensors across the cooler to measure different parts of the heatpipes and you would then see if they were conducting well or not.

If instead you were to take an Accelero S1 Plus and put this in such a test, I would expect it to perform better as it is lighter and importantly has the heatpipes running across the cooler and the fins running along the cooler. Hence it works better in this vertical configuration.

These are not inherent reasons for the FT02 to be bad, it's more that those coolers as tested aren't designed to be dangled like that.

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 Post subject: Re: Talk me off the FT02
PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 10:38 am 
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I don't think the FT02 is a bad case by any means, but I do think to the layperson buying it, it has a slight probability of having GPU overheating because of the vertical card orientation. What that probability is I have no idea.

For a quiet PC build, it seems to be creating potential issues about heatsink design, contact point, custom heatsinks that will work in vertical, etc, that can be completely avoided by getting a case with a standard layout. The overwhelming majority of graphics cards and graphics card coolers are designed for and tested for horizontal orientation. This makes future upgrading easier as well with a normal case orientation, if for no other reason, that the products were tested that way.

Silverstone would not have a Q&A on this issue if there were not user reports like this http://www.overclock.net/t/762539/kraken-build-log-viperware-systems/20

For me, the graphics card is such a crucial part of the silencing challenge, that I wanted as many options available as possible with coolers, which a normal case design has, as again, that is how GPU coolers are predominantly designed and tested. Not saying it won't work with a FT02.

Anyway, each to their own. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Talk me off the FT02
PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 11:04 am 
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Go over to hadforum.com, they have a long thread on the FT-02 (and for that matter, threads on the FT-03/mini) with many users and overclocked setups. No problems. If a couple of guy somewhere on the web have cards that shoot up 30c on orientation change, the problem is somewhere in their environment.

The upside-town ineffectiveness of heatpipes has also been disproven (or better: shown to be negligible) too.

For SPCR, the FT-02 isn't a good choice anyway. There are no quiet 180mm fans. Two of those in the FT-02 are wasted anyway, as I wouldn't expect SPCR users to have enough hot hard disk to warrant dedicated cooling by a 180mm fan and the rear fan seems to be blowing most of it's air towards the power supply (which is vented from outside).


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 Post subject: Re: Talk me off the FT02
PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 12:21 pm 
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If only a couple guys on the web were having this issue, Silverstone wouldn't have a section on their website dedicated to this problem, which they do.

Maybe heat pipe orientation doesn't matter, or maybe it does, as the article linked earlier in this thread explains, maybe non-blower designs don't work well in the FT02, or is this complaint really heatpipe related http://hardforum.com/showpost.php?p=1036416177&postcount=1948.

Either way the vast majority of performance cards and coolers have been designed and tested for horizontal operation, which is worth noting in choosing a case.


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 Post subject: Re: Talk me off the FT02
PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 1:07 pm 
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tim851 wrote:
For SPCR, the FT-02 isn't a good choice anyway. There are no quiet 180mm fans. Two of those in the FT-02 are wasted anyway, as I wouldn't expect SPCR users to have enough hot hard disk to warrant dedicated cooling by a 180mm fan and the rear fan seems to be blowing most of it's air towards the power supply (which is vented from outside).

Very true points. I would also add that except for very over the top configurations which are unlikely to be quiet anyway, it is far too big. Almost no one needs a computer that big.

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 Post subject: Re: Talk me off the FT02
PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 4:42 pm 
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Also for the big size, it doesn't seem well space optimized. Long graphics cards barely fit in it without removing a fan grill, and yet there is a lot of empty space under the PSU. If a user didn't need many HD's, one would think they could have compressed the case lengthwise, putting the PSU and drives on the same zone, and perhaps heightened the case a speck to fit all graphics cards easily.

Also if the user has it on the floor, the noise comes out of the top grills.

The FT02 has a nice minimalist visual design, and they deserve credit for trying something new. If the vertical configuration was such a success though, one would think there would be more cases like it.


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 Post subject: Re: Talk me off the FT02
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 1:09 am 
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DeltaForce wrote:

When I researched this a while ago, it didn't seem that there was a definitive consensus one way or the other about the vertical orientation leading to overheating. Some people were reporting problems yes, but others were reporting no problems with even the same coolers.


I just want to clarify, when you said vertical orientation, you are referring to their "Revolutionary 90 degree motherboard mounting"


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 Post subject: Re: Talk me off the FT02
PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2013 12:48 am 
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I had the FT02 (well, I still have it but it's almot sold by now).

It's huge case, but still quite small inside. I had GTX580 SLI setup and I had to remove my optical drive because cables were didn't fit between drive and the second GTX 580 (which had Accelero Xtreme). Those cards also almost hit the case fans.

I was getting 98C temperatures for the first card in Far Cry 3 (even with all 3 air penetrators in FULL), so I "upgraded" to single GTX 680 DC II. That helped little, since temperatures dropped to 80C. So the next step was to change case. I chose Lian Li PC-A71F because it is huge. Regarding noise, it's a massive downgrade but I think it's nothing that a few new fans, mass and sound dampening can't fix :)

I think FT02 is a great case, you just have to choose components carefully.


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