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 Post subject: Re: Silverstone Fortress FT02 ATX Case
PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2011 7:56 am 
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Posts: 29
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? EDIT: Mike got me sorted out with a WD Red. Also, using two more of the hot-swap disk plugins that are screwed to the case also made a difference. I am now much, much happer with this case.

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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http://www.cs.tufts.edu/~nr


Last edited by norman-ramsey on Fri May 23, 2014 1:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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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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Support SPCR by buying your gear through these links: NCIX, Amazon and Newegg


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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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 Post subject: Re: Silverstone Fortress FT02 ATX Case
PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2014 10:47 pm 
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The love story of a man and his case.

First off, let me make clear that I am in no way connected to Silverstone :)
My search for my ultimate silent pc case started back in the day when I got a noisy pc in a coolermaster centurion 532 with lots of noisy parts in it.
I don’t even remember how I ended up here, but it surely was an eye-opener. My next rig was by the books: the P182, arctic accelero S1 rev2 with scythe slipstreams,…
In short: the whole shebang.
This case was a bit like the first big high-school love: a great memory, a tremendous experience, but somewhere deep down, you know this wasn’t meant to last forever.

Next on the list was my FT-02, which was a lot cooler than the (too hot) P182 case. I loved that case, even though it also had it’s flaws (more on that later)
Then I got to the gargantuan Cosmos II (my company paid for the pc :)). Surely a great case: spacious enough for me to work in (My hands are too big to easily work in small cases), cool enough and you could get it to be quiet (with some modifications and clever parts choice). But the thing just was too prominent. I mean you could put Oprah, Arnold Schwartzenegger, The lion King, Mila Kunis & Darth Vader in a room with that case and all the attention still would go to the Cosmos.
So for the bigger part of 1 year, I’ve been looking for a replacement. I think I looked at literally all cases, and never found what I was looking for, but someday I noticed something: without knowing it, I compared all those cases to my old FT-02 (which was commandeered by the missus)…

But even though that’s a great case, it was flawed, was it not ? Yes it was, mrc112. But maybe we could fix those flaws ? Could we,mrc112 ? Maybe, let’s find out together (NO golem remarks on this part, please)
Let’s list up those flaws first before diving into possible solutions:
1. Too many 5”25 drive bays
2. Not enough front usb ports
3. Not enough SSD mounting capabilities
4. Rather noisy HD cage
5. 180mm fans aren’t quiet enough on the “low” setting of the fan-controller
6. Could use a bit more space on the back for cable management

The size & the “special” power supply mount don’t bother me. I like my cases big and the power supply mount never failed me in the old one.

Now, could those problems be tackled ? Let’s cover the list, starting at the bottom:
Point 6 is just something you have to live with. No changing that one. Too bad 
Point 5: To solve this, I called in the help of another of my old favourites: the seemingly last Scythe kaze server that was available in Europe. Searched all big Pc-sites, amazon, ebay,…: only managed to found 1 ! Yessss, I has teh last one, my preciouuuuuus. *insert maniacal laughter*
Anyway: great fancontroller (manual, semi-automatic & automatic fan control) that can spin those 180mm fans at about 300-400 RPM range (or shut them down completely), making them virtual inaudible. Problem: SOLVED
Point 4: Benji-fun !!!! The HD cage has enough spaces in it to allow several HD’s to be soft-mounted. Extra plus: you can still use the hot-swap bays on those HD’s. I took out the plastic, installed the benji-cord et voila: problem: SOLVED
And now for the reason I started this list at the bottom: points 3, 2 and 1 could all be fixed with 1 solution: bring forth the Silverstone FP56
This procuct, brought to you by Silverstone, features an SD card reader, 4 USB-3 ports (including 1 charge port), mounting space for 2 SSD’s AND it will walk your dog and clean your car
Ok, maybe I lied a bit here, but still: Wow, what a feature set :o
Since I also need a dvd-drive (yes, I’m old-skool sometimes): I now use 3 of those 5”25 bays, making it less of a waste to have 5.
Problems 3 & 2: SOLVED, problem 1: well, kinda solved :wink:

And there she is: the perfect case for me: a beauty to look at, one of the coolest cases on the market and yet: she can get whisper quiet.
Is she perfect now ? No, she still has a few flaws, but don’t we all ? I’ve looked long and hard for the perfect case and as in all relationships, you need to make compromises. There are some minor flaws you’ll need to accept, but if you work on it, you’ll have something special. So please, give here a try, there surely is a LOT more than meets the eye.

I’m sure: this one is a keeper !


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 Post subject: Re: Silverstone Fortress FT02 ATX Case
PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2014 9:19 am 
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sync00 wrote:
I still don't understand why you need an exhaust fan in a positive pressure case.

It's a way of "guiding" the exhaust out where you want it to go out. Otherwise it will just seep out every orifice -- not ideal. As long as the exhaust fan is less powerful (generates less airflow) than the intake fans, you get the positive pressure, which is amazing for almost completely eliminating dust (as long as you have filters and you keep them clean).


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 Post subject: Re: Silverstone Fortress FT02 ATX Case
PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2014 1:16 pm 
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Quote:
Otherwise it will just seep out every orifice -- not ideal.
unless you want to eliminate dust in those orifices....

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 Post subject: Re: Silverstone Fortress FT02 ATX Case
PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2014 1:25 pm 
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Location: Malden, MA 02148 USA
MikeC wrote:
... 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.
Mike,

I wanted to follow up about your suggestion with the WD Red. I made two changes at the same time:
  • Replace old Seagate Barracuda with new WD Red 2TB
  • Buy two more of the mounting thingies that enable hot-swapping of SATA drives
Not being an experimentalist, I opened the case once and made all changes at once.

These changes have made a huge difference. The Red is a nice, quiet drive. But with the new mounting, the remaining Velociraptor is also much quieter. So I conjector that when the disk drive is plugged into the mounting thingie, which in turn is firmly screwed to the case, the disk (or its mounting cage) is somehow less able to vibrate.

Anyway, many thank-yous for steering me to the Red, and for all the fine work at SPCR over the years. I am now infinitely happier with my FT02 case.

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