During the temperature testing all the case fans, as well as the fan on the CPU cooler were set to run at maximum speed. The load temperatures were recorded during gaming and Intel Burntest.Used hardware for the test:
- Processor: Intel C2Q Q9450 (2,66 GHz, 1,26 V, boxed cooler)
- Motherboard: Asus P5Q-VM
- Memories: Team Group 2*2 GB Dark Xtreem
- Graphic card: Sapphire HD4870
- Storage: Samsung Spinpoint F1 1TB
- Power supply: SilverStone ST40NF
- Case: Being tested...
The extremely slow turning 180 mm fans seem to be doing their job well, as the temperature readings turned out very good. Despite the stock cooler, the CPU only heated up to very reasonable sixty degrees. Also despite the rather restrictive HDD cage, the hard drive maxed at 30 degrees.
Stock fan speeds:
- 120 mm fan: 1450 RPM
- 180 mm fan: 700 RPM
Both fans are branded to SilverStone, and the 180 mm fan is specified at 0,15 A (1,8 W) while the smaller 120 mm fan is spec'd at 0,18 A (2,16 W). Oddly enough the top speed of the smaller fan is supposed to be at around 900 RPM, but in our test it ramped up to 1450 RPM.
Despite the fan speed being higher than rated in the box, both the 120 mm and the 180 mm fans were pleasingly quiet in use. I know I used to nag when manufacturers used these non-standard fan sizes, as replacing a broken fan can be nearly impossible some times, but in this case the possible problems are clearly out-weighted by the benefits.
Overall then, the Fortress is a really impressive case. When it comes to the outlooks, it nicely follows the well proven lines of the TJ07. I can't imagine anyone not liking the thick aluminum outer shell with its lines. Surely it may look plain if you're after a gaming case with flashing lights, but when it comes to the minimal, stylish design, it doesn't get much better than this.
As for the internals, here come the flaws. First of all, there's the cable management - or the lack of any. The case isn't actually small, so surely it would have been possible to leave some more room behind the motherboard tray, and make a couple of holes here and there for easier installation. Another flaws inside the case are the lack of hole for the CPU cooler mounting, again this is something that quite simply should have been made. The third problem is the dust filter of the top fan. It can only be removed if the whole fan assembly is first removed, and this just doesn't work in real life. Each of the problems alone isn't really going to ruin the day, but when combined they just leave an impression that these details should have been addressed before putting the case into production.
Then again, when it comes to the performance, the Fortress really shines. The massive slow-turning fans mean nice temperatures all across the board, and do it very quietly. Also the installation, par the cable managing, was easy, so even with its flaws this is overall a really good choice for a new case.
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