Testing & Results
Having freshly reviewed the FTZ01 I thought it would be interesting to quickly compare the two cases. Keep in mind, the Milo and Fortress series are designed for very different purposes; they may have the same internals but they feel quite different to build in and use.
I was surprised to find the ML08 was taller than the FTZ01 (even without the handle). It’s no doubt a slimmer case, but the FTZ01 is much closer to the ML08 in size than I expected.
The overall dimensions are similar. The ML08 is much lighter and generally feels more portable (especially with the handle attached, as would be expected). Being able to access both sides of the ML08 is a nice advantage as well, but it doesn’t lend to as sturdy of a chassis as the “one-sided” FTZ01 (of course, not much compares to that unibody aluminum wrap-around in the sturdiness department). Both have a very console feel to their sizes.
The ML08 feels purpose built to be more portable. It’s simpler, it has less moving parts (well – it doesn’t have any moving parts, unless you count the front sliding panel), and it’s just more tidy in general. I can’t help but wonder what the impact of forgoing any active cooling is though. Component choice is going to be extremely important…or is it?
Let’s do a bit of a thought experiment here. I’m not sure if CPU cooling is going to be the issue – there isn’t enough room for much of an aftermarket cooler anyway, so even the best C-type coolers will potentially limit any overclocking. Let’s be fair – this isn’t an overclocking chassis anyway, it’s more suited to HTPC type builds with low TDP CPUs. The most thermally “expensive” CPU you’re likely to see in such a small case is a 100W APU from AMD (there aren’t any ITX AM3+ boards, so FX CPUs aren’t even an option). These types of cases are much more naturally suited to the Intel i3 and i5 processors, and since overclocking is a limited option due to space, that leaves us with 3.5-3.9 GHz Intel CPUs…averaging around 60W.
How about that GPU though? Those could potentially draw 200W or more. As with any space-constrained chassis, a blower-style cooler keeps the responsibility of cooling to the card (not the case) – ideal for the ML08. While I don’t have time to test every arrangement possible, the pictured system from the previous build page should do nicely – an i3 on the stock cooler and a blower-style GTX 660. Let’s place that system in both cases and do a few 3DMark runs to see how high the temperatures get.
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-B85N-Phoenix WIFI
System Memory: 2x4GB Crucial Ballistix Tactical Tracer DDR3 1600/CAS 8
Processor: Intel Core i3-4170 w/stock cooler
Audio: On-board (Realtek® ALC898)
Video: EVGA GTX 660
Disk Drive 1: Samsung 840 250GB SSD
Enclosure: SilverStone FTZ01 vs. ML08
PSU: SilverStone SFX-L 500W Modular
Monitor: Acer GN246HL 144Hz LCD 1920×1080
Operating System: Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
After a warm-up period, a single run of 3DMark’s Firestrike (including the demo) was run. The temperatures in the below table were the maximum temperatures reached, actual temperatures would fluctuate below the max.
|Case||Ambient Temp||Max CPU Temp Reached||Max GPU Temp Reached|
|FTZ01 (no fans)||~20C||69C||80C|
Color me surprised – the ML08 keeps up with the FTZ01, and actually outperforms it in GPU temps (both chassis were tested in a vertical orientation with the GPU on top). The CPU temps in the Fortress were much better, although there were many more options for cooling in the Fortress than the ML08. More testing might have uncovered a unique fan arrangement in the FTZ01 that would have resulted in better temperatures across the board (perhaps it could use an exhausting fan instead of the stock “intake only” configuration as the heat from the GPU seemed to build up over time), but for now the ML08 does a remarkable job of keeping heat manageable with the above setup – without any chassis cooling fans.