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 Post subject: Almost done: Silverstone FT01 build
PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2008 7:11 pm 
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Posts: 91
Location: Southern California
I decided I wanted to try something different when the time came to update my desktop so I bought a Silverstone FT01 to do a build with (Mainly I really like the idea of the dual 18cm fans). My components:

Case: Silverstone FT01
CPU: Intel E8400 E0 step (arriving Friday)
Heatsink: Xigmatek HDT-21283 (w/ bolt thru kit)
MB: MSI P45 Platinum
Mem: 4 Gb OCZ
GPU: EVGA GTX 260 core 216
HD: Samsung HD642JJ (640 Gb) (in Smartdrive copper)
PSU: Enermax Modu82 625W

I haven't received the CPU yet so it's not quite ready to boot, but here are some pics:

Image
Image
Image

Thoughts on the FT01:

Overall, it's a very nice case. I haven't plugged it in yet so I can't say if the giant fans are quiet or not. My current case is modified P180 so most of my comparisons are with that.

Pros:
- The main body of the case is very thick aluminum and feels rock solid.
- Cable routine was much easier than in the P180 because of the ability to put everything in the plane of the motherboard. It's hard to see the depth very well in the pictures (and the lighting stinks) but it's much more organized that the pictures indicate. All of the cables are completely out of the way and generally fairly organized.
- If the positive pressure system that Silverstone advocates really works (2 18cm intake fans), I think cooling should be fantastic. One giant fan blows over the HD and feeds the GPU. The other one blows directly onto the CPU tower and over the NB/SB heat sink.
- No door. OK - this could be more noisy but I hated having to open the door on the P180 to turn the computer on.

Cons:
- The side panels are ridiculously light compared to the P180 (they do have very soft foam linings but no mass at all).
- The PSU mounting was terrible. There is metal hex grill and a dust guard and the PSU wouldn't fit because they were so thick. I removed the dust guard to get my PSU in the space. Even worse, the hole in the bottom of the case doesn't line up w/ the PSU fan so about a 1/4 of the fan is covered. No idea what there were thinking there.
- Cable routing on the front of the MB could be better. Space in front of the MB is a little tight so if there are connectors at 90 deg to the board, they're a little rough to get connected.
- Power switch is a little small and doesn't feel as high a quality as the P180.
- Dust guards aren't accessible w/o opening the case (and the top one isn't accessible at all).
- $200

Unknowns:
- Will the aluminum resonate?
- How loud are the 18cm fans?
- Does positive pressure really work?

If anyone cares, I'll take some more pics after I get my CPU and in the daytime when the lighting is better.


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 Post subject: Re: Almost done: Silverstone FT01 build
PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2008 1:52 am 
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TD22057 wrote:
Even worse, the hole in the bottom of the case doesn't line up w/ the PSU fan so about a 1/4 of the fan is covered. No idea what there were thinking there.

What they were thinking is that you would use a Silverstone PSU which are slightly longer and therefore the fan lines up perfectly with the PSU fan hole on the case. Not really that great an idea as that is a non-standard PSU size but is it possible to do anything about it? Can you cut the hole out where it needs to be?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2008 10:38 pm 
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What's that black box in the bottom of the case?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2008 12:31 am 
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KyonCoraeL wrote:
What's that black box in the bottom of the case?


Ahem...

TD22057 wrote:
HD: Samsung HD642JJ (640 Gb) (in Smartdrive copper)


;)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2008 6:42 am 
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Location: Southern California
I might be able to mod the PSU inlet but its underneath the rubber feet so I'd have to modify that as well - very annoying.

The biggest problem is one of my sticks of RAM is bad (failing memtest) so I've got to return those and it's going to be at least a week before I can really start testing this again.

Overall it's a nice case. Very good cable routing and I like the 18cm fans. However I don't think it's worth the money ($200). I remember getting my first Lian Li and thinking "Wow - this is a quality case - I can see where my money went". I don't get the same feeling with this. It's a good case and it's reasonably made, I just don't think it's worth the premium over a $100 case. Of course, value judgments like this will vary from person to person so your mileage may vary...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2008 10:34 am 
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How effective is the smart drive enclosure on your drive ?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2008 1:05 pm 
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frenchie wrote:
How effective is the smart drive enclosure on your drive ?


Extremely effective if you soft mount it. I have it sitting on 4 pieces of soft foam and it's completely silent. With a some airflow it's very cool as well. My HD is idling at 25C inside the box in this case (though it's right in front of that giant fan which helps). In my P180, my HD idled at 34C inside the box.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Nov 01, 2008 3:45 pm 
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Location: Oregon, United States
I am interested in this case myself, and so if you have got the system up and working, I would like to hear about how you feel about the case, and what the system temperatures are.

Also, please post more pics. I have requests:

The inside of the 5.25" drive bay (I would like to know how suspending would work)
The PSU intake fan cover (Is it just a filter, or is there something cut out of the case like a grill)

Thank you!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Nov 01, 2008 9:08 pm 
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Location: Southern California
Asulc wrote:
I am interested in this case myself, and so if you have got the system up and working, I would like to hear about how you feel about the case, and what the system temperatures are.

Also, please post more pics. I have requests:

The inside of the 5.25" drive bay (I would like to know how suspending would work)
The PSU intake fan cover (Is it just a filter, or is there something cut out of the case like a grill)

Thank you!


System temps are very good. My computer is under my desk and I have all 3 fans (2 18cm case fans and 1 Scythe S-Flex SFF21E) at 100% during gaming and the system is still fairly quiet. I just played Fallout 3 for 2 hours and the CPU was at 40C and GPU was at 65C. The GPU fan ramped up a little bit (it's under automatic control) but very much.

When not gaming, I adjust the fans down to roughly 75% and everything is pretty quiet. CPU idles at 33C, GPU at 45C, HD at 26C.

The PSU area is the worst part of this whole case. It's really badly done and feels like a $25 case, not a $200 one. The PSU intake has a metal grate (just like the front and top) and then a fan filter of fine mesh (also like the front and top). I had to remove the mesh to mount my PSU at all.

Overall, I really like the case layout, cable routing, and 18cm fans. The worst parts of the case are the PSU mounting and dust guards on the fans (cleaning the front requires removing the side panel and the top one can't be removed at all without removing everything).

Noise is very good. The large fans work great and the aluminum sides don't seem to be resonating at all.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Nov 01, 2008 11:19 pm 
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Location: Oregon, United States
Would you mind doing a test for me? I know that the case is designed for positive pressure, with the two 180mm fans intaking and the one 120mm fan as an exhaust. I am wondering how well that setup works compared to negative pressure. Would you mind doing a temperature test with the top 180mm fan set up as an exhaust? BTW, this would also solve the worst of the problems with the filters, as I have read that the top fan filter is the one that is hardest to remove. Thank you for your insight.

TD22057 wrote:
Cons:
- The side panels are ridiculously light compared to the P180 (they do have very soft foam linings but no mass at all).
- The PSU mounting was terrible. There is metal hex grill and a dust guard and the PSU wouldn't fit because they were so thick. I removed the dust guard to get my PSU in the space. Even worse, the hole in the bottom of the case doesn't line up w/ the PSU fan so about a 1/4 of the fan is covered. No idea what there were thinking there.
- Cable routing on the front of the MB could be better. Space in front of the MB is a little tight so if there are connectors at 90 deg to the board, they're a little rough to get connected.
- Power switch is a little small and doesn't feel as high a quality as the P180.
- Dust guards aren't accessible w/o opening the case (and the top one isn't accessible at all).
- $200


Are there any other positives and/or negatives about the case other than what you mentioned above?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 02, 2008 4:38 am 
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Awsome that you compare it to the P180.
You think the top 180 mm fan will be close enough to the CPU cooler to basicly work as a cooler fan to?
Im thinking of either this or the Mini P180 because they got huge fans. I like that alot. :D
The positive pressure thing is weird though...
It would be fun if you could try what Asulc said and reverse the top fan to make it a negative pressure, and suck out the CPU heat out of the case instead of blowing it into the case.

Will it create strange heat readings or increased fan noise when sucking air instead of blowing? Is it easy to mount the fan upside down?

Looks awsome so far, looking forward to some pics of the final results! 8)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 5:28 pm 
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Location: Southern California
BrytaPlanka wrote:
Awsome that you compare it to the P180.
You think the top 180 mm fan will be close enough to the CPU cooler to basicly work as a cooler fan to?
Im thinking of either this or the Mini P180 because they got huge fans. I like that alot. :D
The positive pressure thing is weird though...
It would be fun if you could try what Asulc said and reverse the top fan to make it a negative pressure, and suck out the CPU heat out of the case instead of blowing it into the case.

Will it create strange heat readings or increased fan noise when sucking air instead of blowing? Is it easy to mount the fan upside down?

Looks awsome so far, looking forward to some pics of the final results! 8)


I've got no fan at all on the CPU and it works great. I decided to try the positive pressure thing and it seems to work fine. My temps while playing Fallout 3 for several hours are perfectly fine and everything idles at a reasonable temperature.

Changing the fan direction isn't difficult but isn't easy either. The fan is so big that it spans the whole case so the screws by the motherboard are a little hard to get to. I'm not interested enough in improving my temps to actually do the work of swapping things around.

My Samsung HD died (like so many other Samsungs have...) yesterday. I'm replacing it w/ a WD so I'll take so more pics tomorrow or Monday when the new drive gets here.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 1:59 pm 
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Anymore news on your Fotress FT01 build? How are you liking the case now after spending a few weeks with it?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2008 1:36 am 
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Compddd wrote:
Anymore news on your Fotress FT01 build? How are you liking the case now after spending a few weeks with it?


I am also very interested in this case, debating either this or Lian Li pcx-500 as an upgrade from my antec p180


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2008 8:42 am 
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Sorry - forgot about this thread for a little while...

Here are some more pics of the finished interior:

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2008 8:55 am 
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Location: Southern California
Overall I still like the case - I don't think my feelings have changed much. The large fans work great and the cable routing was fantastic. I don't think I've ever had a case where all of the cables ended up completely out of any airflow like this one. But, I don't think it's worth the money they're charging for it. The PSU intake not matching up and the dust filters that can't be removed are ridiculous and the over all feel of the case just isn't as nice as the Lian Li's I've had in the past (of course maybe their quality has slipped some too - I haven't bought one of those in awhile).

Would I buy it again? I'm really not sure about that. I really like the design of the two huge intake fan and there really isn't any other mid-tower size case w/ those features right now. I just wish they had done a little better job w/ the details. Once everything is together, it looks great and works just fine so maybe those details don't really matter that much...

As a quiet computer, I'd say it works well. I might be able to get a little better performance by ducting the upper fan to the CPU but I don't really need it so why bother. I don't usually try to build ultra-quiet machines, I'm just looking for good performance and reasonably quiet. I'm currently running the fans at 100% (except for the GPU) and it's a fairly quiet, low wush sound. It's definitely not silent, but not loud either. I haven't decided whether to implement a speed fan profile to quiet things down or to use the T-Balancer from my old machine. IMO, the T-Balancer is the greatest fan controller ever, but it is a pain to get all the sensor and controller wires run.

Hope that helps...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2008 8:56 am 
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how's that heatsink working out for you like that? The tight fin spacing would lead me to believe running it passive isn't such a hot idea, and the fact that you have it mounted horizontally not vertically is another matter. Does it not fit the other way? even with the 220mm(?) fan up top, i don't think it would make enough pressure to cool things from so far away.

on a side note, i noticed you have a wide open grill next to the PCI slots...any thoughts on covering that to improve airflow? there's also some foam, maybe as a filter? in the 5.25" bays, but no filter down by the 120mm intake at the bottom? my case isn't very similar, but same principals, and i let all the air just come in through the front, i taped off side vents to prevent air from seeping in that way ruining front to back airflow...at first temps shot up (because i did it when the computer was on) but if you do it in the morning before turning your rig on, it'll just be cooler.

other than that it's certainly an impressive build. i noticed from the start that you put the motherboard and all in before the CPU arrived, and i saw the mention of bolt-thru for the heatsink and i thought that must be a real bummer, having to take it all out.

oh, and what's your opinion on the angled SATA connectors on the motherboard? i keep seeing that so many people want to rip them off because they get in the way of other things.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2008 9:07 am 
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very neat and tidy! :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2009 8:13 pm 
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anandtech reversed the the top fan and tested.

temps went up 10 degrees across the board. something to do with the gpu not being adequately cooled when the fan was reversed.

either way positive pressure seems to work.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2009 1:26 am 
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Lovely build, but I've a couple of suggestions. How about turning the PSU upside down, so it only receives filtered air from the case and adding a Scythe Kama bay? That would further increase the amount of air being forced into the case, and with a ~800rpm fan shouldn't increase the base amount of noise.

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