Thermaltake Level 10 And SilverStone Fortress 2: Contemporary Cases?

Test System Configuration

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Test System Configuration
CPUIntel Core i7-920 (2.66 GHz, 8MB Cache) O/C to 3.80 GHz (19 x 200 MHz), 1.416V
MotherboardAsus P6T, X58 Express IOH BIOS 0801 (09/30/2009)
RAMKingston KHX16000D3ULT1K3/6GX (6GB) DDR3-2000 at DDR3-1600 CAS 8-8-8-24
GraphicsDiamond Radeon HD 5870 1GB 850 MHz GPU, GDDR5-4800
Hard DriveWestern Digital Velociraptor WD3000HLFS, 300GB 10,000 RPM, SATA 3 Gb/s, 16MB cache
SoundIntegrated HD Audio
NetworkIntegrated Gigabit Networking
PowerOCZ-Z1000 1,000W Modular ATX12V v2.2, EPS12V, 80 PLUS Gold
OSMicrosoft Windows 7 Ultimate x64
GraphicsAMD Catalyst 10.2
ChipsetIntel INF

An older C0-stepping Core i7-920 processor produces a great amount of heat when overclocked, which is perfect for testing the ventilation of today’s cases.

Asus’ P6T keeps the processor stable at high temperatures and current loads.

Still on loan for our previous CrossFire scaling article, Diamond’s Radeon HD 5870 is the largest card in this particular lab for checking case fit and card ventilation.

Rosewill’s Fort 120 air cooler is large enough to expose any potential mounting-space issues, noisy enough at full speed to reveal a case’s noise-isolation capability, and powerful enough to keep our overclocked CPU well below its thermal limits.

An 80 PLUS Gold rating and modular design make OCZ’s Z1000, the most efficient 1,000W power supply we could find, the perfect unit for high-end case reviews.

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Benchmark Configuration
Prime 95 v25.864-bit executable, Small FFTs, seven threads
FurMark 1.6.5Windowed Mode, 1280x1024, 8X AA, Stability Test Minimum and maximum temperature
RealTemp 3.40Highest-core reading at full CPU load (60 minutes) Highest core reading at 30 minutes idle
Galaxy CM-140 SPL MeterTested at 1/4m, corrected to 1m (-12db), dBA weighting

In order to create the maximum possible thermal load from our hardware, we dedicated a single CPU thread to FurMark and the remaining seven threads to Prime95 simultaneously, measuring the component temperatures after warming the system for one hour.

Galaxy’s low-cost CM-140 SPL meter takes care of our audio-testing needs, though its 32dB minimum rating forces us to check audio levels at a .25m reduced distance. All readings were taken at an industry-standard 1m distance (-12dB).

Thomas Soderstrom
Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.
  • burnley14
    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.
  • philologos
    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.
  • Crashman
    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.
  • 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!
  • mados123
    The Level 10 deserves to be in MOMA next to the G4 cube for its innovation in design.
  • micr0be
    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 .....
  • huron
    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...
  • warmon6
    while i like the look of the level 10 case, i dont like the high price tag that comes with it.
  • HKH
    Am I the only one who finds the Lvl 10 Case pretty decent looking?
  • acadia11
    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.