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Thermaltake Level 10 And SilverStone Fortress 2: Contemporary Cases?

Test System Configuration

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.

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.