Thermaltake Level 10 And SilverStone Fortress 2: Contemporary Cases?

It's Good To Be The Boss

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.

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Header Cell - Column 0 SilverStone Fortress 2 (FT02B)Thermaltake Level 10
Space Above Motherboard0.82"0.52"
Card Length12.0" w/o Radiator Brackets 11.68" w/Radiator Brackets12.26" w/Intake Fan 13.26" w/o Intake Fan
Weight34.0 lbs.48.0 lbs.
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")

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.

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.