The Exterior of the SilverStone Fortress FT05

In terms of design, one could describe the Fortress FT05 as the exact opposite of the Raven RV05. Where the Raven RV05 sported a complex, extravagant external design, the Fortress FT05 is minimalistic, elegant and very serious. The Raven RV05 was also mostly made of plastic, with the metal parts reduced to just the core of the chassis. On the other hand, the Fortress FT05 lives up to its name, being almost entirely made out of metal. All of the external panels of the case are made of solid 3-5mm thick aluminum, which explains both the rigidity and the hefty price tag as well.

With a volume of just 0.0456 cubic meters, the Fortress FT05 takes significantly less space than the Raven RV05 (0.0638m3, 33% greater volume). It is almost the same size as Corsair's Obsidian 350D (0.0416m3, 9.2% less volume), a case that is limited up to micro ATX motherboards. However, the metallic body makes the Fortress FT05 a very heavy case in relation to its proportions. Aluminum is a lightweight material but not at this volume and thickness. The sample tipped our scale at 9.65kg while completely empty. This may not be excessively heavy for a PC case but, comparatively speaking, the Fortress FT05 is outweighing the majority of similarly sized products.

Decorative mirror stripes can be seen across the lower side and front panels of the case. These obviously are acrylic, not real glass. The only issue is that they will require at least occasional cleaning in order to look as intended.

There are no external 5.25" bays on the Fortress FT05. As a solution for those who need an optical drive, SilverStone added an opening for a slot-loading optical drive (not included with the case). These drives are relatively expensive and can greatly diminish the overall value of the FT05 if an optical drive is a requirement. The opening is covered with a silicon strip and there is no eject button either, forcing the user to eject the disc via software commands if an optical drive is installed.

The front I/O ports and standard buttons are all at the top side of the case, near its front. A door hides the I/O ports: two USB 3.0 ports and two 3.5" audio jacks (headphones, microphone). There are also two simple switches acting as fan controllers. They offer only two settings (High/Low) but they can be rather effective at controlling the stock fans or the fans of the liquid cooler, if one is installed. The rectangular power and reset buttons can be seen at either side of the door. Both buttons are of identical size and shape, so we imagine that the occasional mistake of pressing the reset button instead of the power button and vice versa is bound to happen.

  

Although the Fortress FT05 has virtually no feet at all, with its solid bottom flat on the surface of the desk/floor, all of the air intake process takes place from the bottom of the case. The air enters from the sides of the case, from beneath the mirror stripes. A large dust filter rests in the opening, magnetically attaching at the top. It comes out by simply pulling it from either side of the case but grasping it can be a little tricky at first. 

There is only a large mesh opening at the rear of the case, for the intake fan of the PSU. The rectangular opening at the top is for the cables that need to reach the back of the motherboard and the PSU, which are located to the top of the case due to the rotated tray design.

The top cover of the Fortress FT05 is the only cover of the case that is made out of plastic. It can be removed by simply pushing it towards the rear of the case and then lifting it upwards. The removal of the cover reveals the black steel chassis of the FT05 under a spacious area for routing cables. Device cables (USB, monitor, LAN, etc.) and the power cable enter this area from the opening at the rear side of the case. There is also a 120mm fan opening. There is no fan installed there but SilverStone does provide an extra filter with the case. 

  

Introduction, Packaging & Bundle The Interior of the SilverStone Fortress FT05
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  • Kepe - Friday, June 5, 2015 - link

    Well, a ~$200 case is not exactly meant for the budget crowd, so having to pay $60 extra for a slot-loading DVD/Blu-ray drive (compared to a regular 5.25" drive) isn't going to be a huge issue.. But for me, the interior space is just a little too cramped. I have a Silverstone Raven 03 and it has a lot of room for all the stuff one might need. Of course it's also a lot bigger with tons of 3½" HDD bays, which I don't use at all. I hope Silverstone could find a better compromise between a huge case like the Raven RV03 and the cramped Raven RV05 and Fortress FT05.. They should also think about possibilities with water cooling, as none of these cases have proper space for (bigger than 120mm) radiators without removing the bottom fans which defeats the entire purpose of these cases. On the RV03 for example, the entire rear panel of the case is just blank with one 120mm fan opening, and nothing attached to the panel inside the case. This would be a perfect place for a 280mm radiator, although it is a bit far from the CPU socket and AIO coolers probably don't have long enough hoses to mount the rad there.
    Anyways, the bottom-to-top airflow of these cases is absolutely awesome keeping everything nice and cool and quiet. I have my fans connected to the MB instead of the fan controller, and the MB controls the fans according to CPU thermals.
    Reply
  • Flunk - Friday, June 5, 2015 - link

    Or pick up a USB optical drive for $30 and never have to buy another one. Reply
  • cjs150 - Friday, June 5, 2015 - link

    "the installation of liquid cooling radiators requires the removal of the 180mm Penetrator fans "

    There are radiators designed for 180mm fans. Might be an interesting modding exercise to fit a 2x180mm radiator into this, I think you would need to loose the HDD cage (no big loss) and probably cut the back of the case to allow radiator and barbs to stick out back, then route tubing back through case (maybe have a custom reservoir at case back as well). Looks like it could be done and with right colour scheme would be stunning.

    Now all I need to do is build my modding cave to start!
    Reply
  • DanNeely - Friday, June 5, 2015 - link

    It'd need to be a compact design to fit in the case though. A standard radiator layout with only fins/channels in the path of the fan and an inch or two of overhang on both sides to connect the water channels and hoses wouldn't fit because there's almost no clearance on either side of the fans. It doesn't look like you'd have much space for overhang on the long sides either; but from the pictures I can't tell if it'd be tight enough to be a potential problem. Honestly, I think a bracket to put a 280 rad on top of the existing fans would probably be the best option. Reply
  • DanNeely - Friday, June 5, 2015 - link

    Whoops, I intended this as a reply to Kepe (above) who wasn't thinking in terms of cutting the case up to make things fit. Reply
  • cjs150 - Friday, June 5, 2015 - link

    DanNeely: I think you are right about the width which makes things a bit awkward, keeping the fans where they are and a custom shroud between fan and radiator is a nice idea - there is definitely the option of a stunning liquid cooled build with this case.

    I have never had a problem with pump vibration using proper isolation material solves the problem.

    Cutting up case is half the fun of modding !
    Reply
  • Primum - Friday, June 5, 2015 - link

    While you'd probably not fit the EK dual 180 in (400x180x35) without some difficulty, I can't see any reason you wouldn't fit the Alphacool one in easily enough. With the fans at the bottom in push it's fairly straight forward. At a stretch a custom shroud would work, but you run the risk of making your cable management job even harder than it already is. Reply
  • Boffinboy - Friday, June 5, 2015 - link

    This is a fairly common mod for the FT-02. I did so with mine, but used a 3x180mm and a 120mm at the top. Requires removing the built in fan filter (I replaced mine with a DEMCIflex magnet filter externally) and some cutting depending on the loop you build. The 2x180mm requires no dremeling, particularly if you get a thin version.

    My loop got infected and I ended up deciding to go back to a large air cooler for the CPU and not bothering to put my graphics cards under water. In all honesty the performance under air is fine, and just as quiet - I had a bay res and the pump vibration was noticeable. An expensive experiment that was!

    I'd be very tempted by this FT-05, but it's so costly, and I'm not sure anyone would buy my hacked-up FT-02...
    Reply
  • alaricljs - Friday, June 5, 2015 - link

    I've been occasionally working on a design like this for 3-4 years now... I don't think it's very good yet but this one isn't as good as what I've come up with imho... Reply
  • DanNeely - Friday, June 5, 2015 - link

    "Breakthrough 5.25 inch bay-free design for unprecedented power to size ratio"

    *rolls eyes* Because no one has sold a case without 5.25" bays before.
    Reply

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