We loved the creative and fetching designs of each of these cases, and all three featured rock-solid construction and engineering that make it enjoyable to build a system inside them. As far as cooling goes, although the Silverstone
Fortress FT02 looked strong at idle, it lost its edge under load and fell behind the Lian-Li PC-X2000FN. The Lian-Li
’s PC-X2000FN cooling prowess came at the expense of fan noise though, at least compared to the impressively quiet Silverstone fans.
Of course, the In Win
H-Frame was much quieter by dint of not having
any fans at all, save for the ones on the CPU cooler, but it could have
done better on the cooling side with that one exhaust fan running;
it's odd that In Win didn't include it in the case's stock
It should come as no surprise that we love innovative hardware around here, not to mention some flashy designs. To that end, it’s easy to fall in love with the In Win H-Frame
($399.99); from the color scheme to the incredible profile to the “one giant heat sink” design, it’s a heartbreaker. However, if you’re planning to use this chassis for anything other than typical computing, you’re going to want at least one case fan working with your CPU cooler fans (or load it up with a liquid cooler.)
In Win H-Frame
The Silverstone Fortress FT02 ($259.99)
has a cool silver look
and an unconventional design, and although it's the only case of the
three with any plastic parts, the overall build quality is definitely
solid and the paint job is exquisite, making it impossible to tell which
elements of the case are plastic and which are metal.
Silverstone Fortress FT02
performance slides a bit under load, but not badly, and the chassis
keeps the fan noise ratcheted down to almost nothing. It’s also by far
the least expensive case in the group, so even though you may be
planning to drop a massive wad of cash on a high-end case, you can get a
brilliant one for a lot less than you perhaps expected.
At the end of the day, though, we have to give the crown to the Lian-Li PC-X2000FN ($449.99-$499)
. If you prefer a more subdued yet powerful and dashing look in a case, the Lian-Li is a study in near perfection.
In addition to posting the best overall cooling performance of the
group, the company packed it full of creative, thoughtful elements, such
as a variety of options for installing drives, segregated component
compartments, and terrific accessories such as rubber mounts for fans
and drives alike. The Lian-Li PC-X2000FN is as solid and classy a case
as there is.
Somewhat noisy case fans