Thermaltake Level 10 And SilverStone Fortress 2: Contemporary Cases?

Practical Ostentatiousness?

While most users refuse to shell out hundreds of dollars for electronic bling, there are places where a little showiness can go a long way towards making a positive impression. Unlike artwork, these particular showpieces also serve a practical function, as both are capable of holding powerful hardware and keeping it cool.

The most practical of today’s premium cases is also the least spectacular and expensive. SilverStone’s Fortress 2 provides excellent cooling at an extremely low noise level, with an uncluttered back panel that could make it the perfect choice for stuffing it under a door-facing and open-backed desk. Able to hold all of the high-capacity components that go into most workstation-class PCs, it sells for only around $100 more than the “traditional” high-end cases it usually competes against.

Thermaltake’s approach to artful computing provides even more interior space and its eight-slot rear panel is perfect for holding four double-slot expansion cards. Anyone who wants to put “personal supercomputer” hardware in a housing design that looks far more substantial than any PC case on the market has to also contend with the high price. While it’s not as quiet as SilverStone’s Fortress 2, the Thermaltake Level 10 does a better job of isolating noise than a “typical” desktop case does.

Yet, while both of these cases have the look, feel, and performance of premium products, they also have a significant shortcoming with their configured hard drive support. That’s because while both cases have hot-swap drive capabilities, they also have four missing connectors on the backplane. A bigger problem in the minds of some premium-system builders will be that the included connectors aren’t compatible with SAS drives. Those who aren’t afraid to limit themselves to SATA will find additional SilverStone CP05 backplane cables for around $7 each at a variety of Internet retailers, while Thermaltake Level 10 buyers must contact the manufacturer directly to order these missing parts.

Keeping all of the above pros and cons in mind, one of these cases could be a stylish and functional addition to the “head geek’s” office, depending on his or her individual needs. As evidenced by our long-winded descriptions, we at least find these to be excellent conversation pieces that also serve a practical purpose.

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  • Silmarunya
    That Silverstone case is without a doubt one of the most impressive products on the market...

    No fancy bling bling or blinding LED lights, excellent performance and a very elegant design. It breaks with most case design conventions in a good way. If it wasn't so expensive, I'd get one ASAP.

    But that Thermaltake level 10 is rather crappy imo. The design is so over the top it loses its attraction and its performance is fairly average (certainly lower than its price tag would justify)...
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  • LePhuronn
    I'm so annoyed the FT02 doesn't fit E-ATX boards, although I shouldn't be surprised because internally it's 90% Raven 2 anyway.

    Damn it! What do I build in now? Back to the original Raven I guess...
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  • tulx
    SilmarunyaThat Silverstone case is without a doubt one of the most impressive products on the market...No fancy bling bling or blinding LED lights, excellent performance and a very elegant design. It breaks with most case design conventions in a good way. If it wasn't so expensive, I'd get one ASAP.But that Thermaltake level 10 is rather crappy imo. The design is so over the top it loses its attraction and its performance is fairly average (certainly lower than its price tag would justify)...


    I have a Raven 2 from Silverstone and I will never buy a conventional case again. This is just better. Period.
    If you need a good computer case, go for Silverstone. Raven models are somewhat bigger and aimed more at enthusiasts (due to the size, windows and other features), Fortress is a great case for everyone.
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  • LePhuronn
    tulxRaven models are somewhat bigger and aimed more at enthusiasts (due to the size, windows and other features), Fortress is a great case for everyone.


    Apart from the external styling and tweaks to the drive bays and fan grills the Raven 2 and Fortress 2 are the same case.
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  • tulx
    LePhuronnApart from the external styling and tweaks to the drive bays and fan grills the Raven 2 and Fortress 2 are the same case.


    That's what I meant. Fortress is somewhat more conservative - "No fancy bling bling or blinding LED lights", as Silmarunya said. Raven 2 has one "blinding LED light" and the window could be described as "bling bling". I suppose that's more attractive to a gamer than an office worker. ;-)
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  • Anonymous
    my Cm cosmos pure came with more cool stuff i personally prefer it to wither of these cases and it comes in at a lower price so im happy :D the only thing it doesnt have is hot swap bays but you could fit that after it has plenty of room for everything.
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  • LePhuronn
    tulxThat's what I meant.


    Ah I getcha. Personally though even for an office worker the window on the Fortress 2 is sweet, if you get your cable management right.

    Still sulking that I have to get another case now :( or I could just get a different motherboard. Hmmm

    Rampage III Extreme + Raven RV01
    or
    some ATX board + Fortress FT02
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  • chriscornell
    I wish the Level 10 case wasn't so damn expensive. It is by far the coolest looking computercase ever produced. A bit of a behemoth to bring to a LAN-party, but nonetheless worth it for the e-peen factor :)
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  • mi1ez
    When are we going to finally stop using inches to measure PC cases?

    I thought we were at the cutting edge, not using Victorian measurements!
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  • devilxc
    Quote:
    When are we going to finally stop using inches to measure PC cases?


    When the reviews are no longer made for the USA.
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  • mi1ez
    Anonymous said:
    Quote:
    When are we going to finally stop using inches to measure PC cases?


    When the reviews are no longer made for the USA.

    When will the USA move out of the dark ages?!
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  • plasmastorm
    Quote:
    When will the USA move out of the dark ages?!


    Answers on a postcard care of Obama.
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  • Marcus52
    Silverstone is not the company it once was, and I think the lack of attention to build component capabilities in the Fortress shows it here. It is pretty much old-school case technology in a pretty, big, expensive package.

    The Thermaltake - now, imo that's a reason to buy a case! Sure, it has it's drawbacks too, and I wouldn't blame a person for hating its looks. Me, I love it, and I love that Thrmaltake made something besides the old standard box. And, it out-performs the Silverstone in every way too.

    From personal experience, speaking as a one-time Silverstone fan who owns several of their products, I'd take my chance on the quality of the Thermaltake sight unseen over the Silverstone these days.

    ;)
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  • Marcus52
    mi1ezWhen will the USA move out of the dark ages?!


    The fact is, many measurements are international standards but based in the English measurement system, not the metric. For example, want to mount your camera on a tripod? the mount will come with a 1/4"-20 size connector, not a metric size one.

    There is no reason that a meter is the standard unit of measure. Since the old days, it has been re-defined so that we can measure it very precisely - and the English system has been re-defined based on that, so is ultimately just as accurate.

    ;)
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  • mi1ez
    I want millimetres. This is the tech industry and I'm sorry, but 1/8" won't cut it any more. All their factories will manufacture it in mm, so why not market it that way, and review it that way.
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  • mi1ez
    reported
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