The SilverStone Fortress FT05 Case Reviewby E. Fylladitakis on June 5, 2015 8:00 AM EST
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.