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Thermaltake Level 10 And SilverStone Fortress 2: Contemporary Cases?

Thermaltake Level 10 And SilverStone Fortress 2: Contemporary Cases?
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The sad fact of office hierarchy is that the boss usually gets the best stuff, but that’s not so bad when you’re in charge. If you happen to be a boss (either at work or at home) who is tech-savvy enough to read Tom’s Hardware, you’re probably not going to fall for any of the tech support high jinks of Dilbert comic strips, and will instead truly shop for the best gear. Finally, if you’re the head of a technology-based service firm, then you might even need the best stuff, at least when it comes to computing power.

One problem is that while technology isn’t always pretty, you must always project the most positive and professional image to your clients, proving to them that you’re at least as successful at your job as they are at theirs. But where do you start when your clients already have the classiest-available pre-built powerhouses? SilverStone and Thermaltake may have answers.

Don’t let the photos fool you—SilverStone’s seemingly ordinary-looking Fortress 2 is far more imposing and grandiose when viewed in person and words cannot describe the immense proportions of Thermaltake’s Level 10. Both provide artistic flair and are designed to hold oversized components. But appearance is but only one of the many things that separates these high-priced cases from their less-expensive counterparts, or even from each other.

  SilverStone
Fortress 2 (FT02B)
Thermaltake
Level 10
Dimensions
Height19.60"26.22"
Width8.31"12.52"
Depth24.19"24.17"
Space Above
Motherboard
0.82"0.52"
Card Length12.0" w/o Radiator Brackets
11.68" w/Radiator Brackets
12.26" w/Intake Fan
13.26" w/o Intake Fan
Weight34.0 lbs.
48.0 lbs.
Cooling
Front Fans3 x180 mm (on bottom)1 x 140 mm
Rear Fans1 x 120 mm (on top)1 x 120 mm
Top FansNoneNone
Side FansNoneNone
Drive Bays
5.25" ExternalFiveThree
3.5" ExternalNoneNone
3.5" InternalFiveSix (Shared with 2.5")
2.5" Internal1 x AdapterSix (Shared with 3.5")
Price$230 $700


Thermaltake’s specifications resemble those of an ordinary PC, in spite of its dramatic appearance, while SilverStone’s understated look partially hides an extraordinary layout. Why do we call the Fortress 2’s exhaust fan a rear fan even though it’s located on top? Questions like that can only be answered through further examination.

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  • 14 Hide
    burnley14 , April 12, 2010 6:26 AM
    I like the Fortress 2, especially the 90 degree rotation from typical setup. The Level 10, on the other hand, is an ugly monstrosity. Anyone willing to pay $700 for something that ugly needs therapy.
  • 11 Hide
    warmon6 , April 12, 2010 10:27 AM
    while i like the look of the level 10 case, i dont like the high price tag that comes with it.
  • 11 Hide
    HKH , April 12, 2010 10:55 AM
    Am I the only one who finds the Lvl 10 Case pretty decent looking?
Other Comments
  • 14 Hide
    burnley14 , April 12, 2010 6:26 AM
    I like the Fortress 2, especially the 90 degree rotation from typical setup. The Level 10, on the other hand, is an ugly monstrosity. Anyone willing to pay $700 for something that ugly needs therapy.
  • 5 Hide
    philologos , April 12, 2010 6:36 AM
    The Fortress 2 is very likely the case for my first home-build. It's a bit more than I'd like to spend, but it satisfies my need for air-cooling performance and classic styling.
  • 3 Hide
    Crashman , April 12, 2010 7:12 AM
    burnley14I like the Fortress 2, especially the 90 degree rotation from typical setup. The Level 10, on the other hand, is an ugly monstrosity. Anyone willing to pay $700 for something that ugly needs therapy.


    I just saw a girl driving a rusted-out Mazda with a new set of 18" Enkeis, painted rotors on the front, and painted drums on the back. The rocker panels between that fine work...rusted away!

    So, I'm sure someone will spend $700 for the Thermaltake Level 10. In fact, I know someone who would.
  • 7 Hide
    Anonymous , April 12, 2010 7:16 AM
    I recently bought à fortress case for my most recent build (i930 + hd5970) and this is by far THE best case i've ever had the pleasure of building a pc from/in. Yeah it's pricy and wether it's worth it, but personally, i really, really like it! It cools very wel, and the very large 5970 actually fits :) 

    and irl it's quite a handsome case!
  • 7 Hide
    mados123 , April 12, 2010 7:16 AM
    The Level 10 deserves to be in MOMA next to the G4 cube for its innovation in design.
  • 10 Hide
    micr0be , April 12, 2010 8:37 AM
    i think level 10 is a amazing .... just replace some side windows with glass and uv got a rig that looks as good as crysis .....
  • 1 Hide
    huron , April 12, 2010 10:12 AM
    As amazing as it is, I'm sure there will be some people shelling out that kind of $$$ on a case - probably the same people who post in the forums that they have a budget upwards of $3500 and want someone to build it for them...
  • 11 Hide
    warmon6 , April 12, 2010 10:27 AM
    while i like the look of the level 10 case, i dont like the high price tag that comes with it.
  • 11 Hide
    HKH , April 12, 2010 10:55 AM
    Am I the only one who finds the Lvl 10 Case pretty decent looking?
  • -2 Hide
    acadia11 , April 12, 2010 11:06 AM
    The cost savings made no sense, to me, in the Level 10, keeping it under $1000 is stupid, to someone spending $799 on a case, makes no difference if it cost $999 for a more quality product. In fact, people, who are willing to spend money like this care more about quality than cost. I decided not to get the case, because, in my mind $800 on a case alone better buy me perfection, and they tried to get cheap with it to save a couple of hundred bucks, as though the difference between $800 and $1000 really mattered that much to my wallet, Imean it's not like cases normally hover anywhere in this price range. With an expensive uber product you set themarket, period. And they dropped the ball on knowing the demographics here.
  • 9 Hide
    tim851 , April 12, 2010 11:49 AM
    I like the Thermaltake very much. Am I willing to pay $700 for it? Nope.
  • 0 Hide
    Reynod , April 12, 2010 11:59 AM
    I like the level 10 but the comments you made regarding the fans needs to be addressed ... good pickup there crashman.

  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , April 12, 2010 12:02 PM
    The Level 10 case has been out for a while now and is completely modular and was designed primarily for the LAN party enthusiast.

    I'm just surprised that it has taken this long for Tom's to take notice of this particular case which first came out something like a year ago.
  • 2 Hide
    oblivionlord , April 12, 2010 1:21 PM
    It would be nice if they came out with a full tower version of the FT02 for those that like to do SLI/Xfire. Using 1 single 5970 requires you do take off the center fan grill and even a single 5870 is too cramped in this case. Using 2 of those would be crazy. Also I don't like it when things are that cramped considering there is more condensed heat as opposed to a more spacious case where heat isn't as concentrated in central areas. It can at least spread itself around without affecting the other components as much as a smaller case.

    Make the FT02 a full tower and you got my vote!
  • 1 Hide
    Ryun , April 12, 2010 1:37 PM
    The Fortress 2 looks awesome, but come on... that I/O front panel is severely lacking. They should have definitely added FireWire/eSATA (not like the case doesn't have room for it).
  • -3 Hide
    kelemvor4 , April 12, 2010 2:00 PM
    Renegade_WarriorThe Level 10 case has been out for a while now and is completely modular and was designed primarily for the LAN party enthusiast.I'm just surprised that it has taken this long for Tom's to take notice of this particular case which first came out something like a year ago.

    I thought that was pretty humorous as well. There must be no apple products for steve's hardware to write about this morning, so an aging case design was just the recipe needed.

    IMO there's far better choices for cases when you get into this price range (such as mountain mods). Lots of places will make custom cases for $700.

    As for the level 10; personally it looks to me like they didn't give ANY consideration to aesthetics. It may cool well, but it's fuuuu gly.
  • 4 Hide
    Anonymous , April 12, 2010 2:08 PM
    Honestly, I love the look of the Level 10. It's nice to see something different just the normal rectangular case. The problem though is the price, I don't know anyone in their right mind who would pay $700 for a PC case. If it were more in the $260 range, then I might consider buying it.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , April 12, 2010 2:09 PM
    The Level 10 case wasn't designed with Aesthetics in mind.

    It was designed to be portable hence the large handle at the top, yet at the same time allow you to have a powerful computer system in the case to take with you to LAN parties.

    One of the biggest problems users are faced with LAN parties is taking their systems with them and carrying everything.

    The Level 10 just simplifies this.
  • 1 Hide
    JohnnyLucky , April 12, 2010 2:15 PM
    The Silverstone Fortress works for me. The Thermaltake Level 10 is too radical.
  • -2 Hide
    itadakimasu , April 12, 2010 2:21 PM
    bragging rights.

    "DUDE>... This case cost me $1000 5 years ago!" I can't bring myself to spend more than around 80-100 on a case.
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