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Quiet Gaming Cases, Part 3: Lian Li, Nanoxia, And SilverStone

Inside The Fortress 2 USB 3.0

The FT02S-USB3.0 orients motherboards with the rear-panel pointing up, so the foam acoustic pad we might have expected to see on its top panel is instead found on the rear.

The Fortress 2’s aluminum face panel is actually one U-shaped piece of aluminum that wraps around the base and up the rear. Three 180 mm fans draw in air from a gap between the base of the exterior U-shaped panel and the bottom interior panel.

The FT02S-USB3.0’s five hard drive trays are oriented vertically in a single cage. Three-and-a-half-inch drives mount via shoulder screws and grommets, while 2.5” drives mount using screws alone. Handy flip-panels latch or unlatch the drives in four of the case’s five external 5.25” drive bays, with the uppermost bay requiring screws.

The Fortress 2 doesn’t have very much space behind the motherboard tray for cable management. Instead the builder must rely on his or her own creativity to make cables look organized in this peculiarly-arranged chassis.

Designed to house five drive backplanes, the FT02S-USB3.0 ships with just one of its CP05 hard drive connectors. Additional connectors are available online, including a new SAS hot-swap version.

We can’t fault anyone for thinking that the FT02S-USB3.0 looks more like a workstation than a PC chassis. SilverStone clearly had workstation support in mind because the Fortress 2's motherboard tray includes mounts for SSI-CEB form factor server boards.

Accommodating expansion cards any longer than 12.2” requires the removal of at least the middle intake fan.

  • jrayx
    Where to buy the Silencio 650 or the Nanoxia Deep Silence ?
    Reply
  • e56imfg
    10447762 said:
    Where to buy the Silencio 650 or the Nanoxia Deep Silence ?
    Newegg e-mailed me saying that the Nanoxia DS1 ETA is 1/30
    Reply
  • abbadon_34
    I never ceased to amazed by these beastly cases from Silverstone. Before I die I hope to toss down $300 for some monster.
    Reply
  • johnsonjohnson
    e56imfgNewegg e-mailed me saying that the Nanoxia DS1 ETA is 1/30
    Thanks for that; I was wondering when it would arrive.
    Reply
  • My brother has the older FT02B with the red inside and I have the P280. I'm super happy to see how these cases performed
    He is running dual AMD 5850's with axial fans and a Corsair H50 water cooler cooling an AMD 8150, it's very quiet even at full fan.
    In my P280 I have a OC Intel i7-3770k with an Antec 920 water cooler and 2 scythe 2k rpm fans, with the scythe at full power and the 920 on aggressive thermal settings it keeps he 4.7ghz oc under 50 deg c under almost all loads while not being excessively loud.
    Reply
  • Onus
    The Define R4 appears to be lacking a HDD activity LED; baffling. Those who don't like it wouldn't have to use it, but what about those who do?
    It would be interesting to repeat the tests with an axially-cooled graphics card. After all, that style of cooler would be the choice of someone building for low noise. Of particular interest would be the resulting temperature differences, especially of the Silverstone.
    Reply
  • 1369ic
    I ordered an R4 yesterday before finding these articles and was happy to see it get the approved award. Now it wins a recommended buy award and UPS tells me it's on the truck to be delivered today. First time in my life I've had such luck. I am replacing an aging Antec P180, and almost got the 280, but went with the R4 because I liked the look better -- and it's currently $80 with free shipping on Newegg.
    Reply
  • cknobman
    As nice as the Fractal R4 is I still would go with my Antec P280 case especially considering after discounts I picked it up for only $80.

    Toms, thanks for doing this series it was really nice to see the time and in depth detail put into this. I will be bookmarking these for reference on my future builds.
    Reply
  • Au_equus
    1369icI ordered an R4 yesterday before finding these articles and was happy to see it get the approved award. Now it wins a recommended buy award and UPS tells me it's on the truck to be delivered today. First time in my life I've had such luck. I am replacing an aging Antec P180, and almost got the 280, but went with the R4 because I liked the look better -- and it's currently $80 with free shipping on Newegg.Half finished building with it last night. Once you get th R4, you can tell that a lot of thought went into building this case. I'm still a novice when it comes to cable management, but FD makes it real easy. For $80, IMO, you're getting a steal.
    Reply
  • tripkick
    Is there any chance that you could review the NZXT H2 in the future? I was hoping to see it on your review list and how it compares to the R4. I am looking to upgrade my old Antec P180 and wondered how those two cases stack up against the P180 and its newer version P183.
    Reply