High End Case Roundup: In Win, Lian-Li, & SilverStone

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Performance Summary and Conclusion

Performance Summary: 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 configuration.

           



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



 

 

  • Absolutely stunning design
  • Sturdy, all-metal build
  • Consistent cooling performance
  • Silent

  • Limited cooling capabilities
  • Expensive



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



 

 

  • Innovative design concept
  • Incredibly quiet case fans
  • Inexpensive

  • Mix of metal and plastic
  • Temp performance dips under load


The cooling 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.


Lian-Li PC-X2000FN

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.



  • Superb, all-metal build quality
  • Best cooling performance
  • Excellent design features

  • Somewhat noisy case fans
  • Expensive



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