Heat, Noise, And Heat Vs. Noise
SilverStone’s FT04 provides the best overall temperature results with its fans set to High but, (spoiler) its noise level is similarly elevated at that setting. Thermal runner-up Rosewill BlackHawk Ultra uses a “fan sandwich” to fill its huge volume with the cool air needed by our graphics card.
The full-speed noise of SilverStone’s fans is so overwhelming that it effectively mutes any noise made by our internal components, as illustrated by the one-decibel difference between full load and idle noise levels.
The same FT04 appears exceptionally quiet at low loads and low fan speed. Full-load noise could be reduced by the windowless model, if it happens to have the same foam on its side panel as this one has on its door, top, and bottom panels.
Because performance is always a compromise of heat and noise, true performance is a comparison of heat and noise. With that in mind, SilverStone’s foam-assisted FT04 is the top performer in today’s comparison.