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Old October 10, 2008, 01:47 PM
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Default Silverstone Fortress Review:

Silverstone Fortress FT01-SW
-Mid-Tower Case Review



Manufacturer Product Page: SilverStone Technology Co., Ltd - Designing Inspiration
Product Number:
Silver: FT01-S and SW(windowed)
Black: FTO1-B and BW (windowed)
Availability: Now
Warranty: unknown
Price: $200 - $250 CAD.
“More than two years after the introduction of the world’s first uni-body PC chassis, the SilverStone Temjin TJ07, a new product line was created to extend this unique construction further into other applications. The first model for this line is the Fortress FT01, which sports the same super strong uni-body frame as its predecessor but with even more sleeker profile thanks to its smaller size. Comprised of modern touches such as quick release drive cages and dual 180mm fans, this case is easily the top choice for anyone looking to assemble a top of the line mid size system.” – Silverstone


I’ve been hyping this case like a mad man. As anyone. I’ve been counting the seconds untill this beauty landed at my doorstep. As my first real review, I’ve taken upon myself however to put aside my personal preferences and give the most accurate information possible, so that you, my fellow Hardware Canucks members can make the best educated purchase Decision.
In this review, we will go over the basic case information, as well as features and addons as well as airflow and temp differences. So, on to the review.

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Silverstone Fortress FT01-SW Specs:

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Silverstone Fortress FT01-SW
Packaging and Accessories:


The FT01 came with all the important items. From Motherboard Standoffs and mobo screws to hard drive screws for the slot loading system (more on that later) The Case also comes with a hot swap cable included for one drive. An innovative feature found only to the FT01.



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Silverstone Fortress FT01-SW
Exterior Impressions:



The FT01 is beautifully designed. It evokes comparisons to a TJ07 and CM690 Lovechild. However, surprisingly it does very little at first glance to really separate itself from the other cases that can be found on the market now. The entire case is Aluminum and features the same uni body construction as the TJ07. This has been a successful design for Silverstone and has proven profitable. I for one think that this will make up for the segment left by the TJ07. Two of the Four case models feature Window side pannels. This feature was a large part in my purchase decision, and its well executed. The one thing I really do appreciate about this case is the fact that Silverstone opted to not make the case overly flashy.

The rear of the case is rather standard. You can see the PowerSupply is located at the bottom of the case, as well as 7 Areo-Slot Covers for the expansion slots. A well thought of aspect. These Aero-Slots although a small addition to the package, go far to aiding the cooling of pci devices and PCIE Devices.



The Rear also features a 120mm Exhaust fan that actually moves quite a bit of air. A fan Grill is found here, but unless this fan is to act like an intake, its for aesthetics only.



The top of the case features a reset button and recessed usb, firewire and audio ports. These make the overall design of the case seem like it is properly flowing, and seamless. Hiding these isn not new, but a smart idea.



The top of the case also features a monstrous 180mm intake fan, the importance of that will be found in our testing and interior portion of the review.

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Silverstone Fortress FT01-SW
Interior Impressions:
The interior of the FT01 at first glance looks to be well thought out. It seems that cable management could be made quite easily. There are a total of 6 places that cables can be routed to or from behind the motherboard tray. The case also features two sets of hard drive cages. Both which can be removed by 4 screws found a the back of the cages. I have removed one to show you. The Hard drive cages are filled with hot swap enclosures which are insanely solid once the drive is properly mounted and fastened using the proper screws.



There are also tool-less 5.25 Drivebay buttons which are rather well placed and designed. Most look and seem intrusive and out of place. These seem to fit very well with the overall design of the case.
A feature I love is the fact that the interior of the case is powder coated to match the exterior. A fantastic touch to modders who tend to paint the interior anyways to get rid of the bland metallic look. The interior of the Silver version could have benefited with the Black powder coating as well, however the designers decided to stick with the silver coating.
There are 3 fans found within the case. At the front, there is a 180mm intake fan which with the second drive cage pulled, provides more then enough cool air to the hdd’s but as well to whatever Video cards you are running…..Single or SLI/Crossfire. Coupled with the Aero-slots, this “air chamber” is very effective.


The second and third fans are found up top. The very top features another monstrous 180mm intake fan. This is to cool the CPU, NB Ram and other northern motherboard components. The lone northern exhaust is a 120mm fan with a fangaurd for esthetics.


At the back of the case, you can see how cramped it could be for cable management. A good set of cable ties and mounts are needed to do the job properly. However, there is ample room to make it as clean as possible. I just didn’t have the time or the mounts to make it so .



Both Side panels are also covered in sound dampening foam which does a great job. All fans and components are cool, and practically silent.


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Silverstone Fortress FT01-SW
Installation:


Here are the components which were installed:
CPU:
E8400 With Xigmatek S1238 and Cm led Fan

Motherboard:
ASUS P5Q-E

Memory:
2x2GB Mushkin Accent DDR1 1000Mhz

Graphics Card:
EVGA GTX 280

Hard Drive:
2x Western Digital 320GB, 1x Western Digital 160GB

Power Supply:
Coolermaster RealPower 650W

Installing my components was a dream. “LOOK MA, NO CUTS!” All the sides are filed, bent or covered in U-channel to protect the installer. This made installing the motherboard and components hazard free. However, without removing the top fan, some power supply CPU 4-8pin cables will not reach behind the tray. Mine didn’t.
Installing the DVD drives was simple, Removing the bezel meant pressing down on the tooless button and gentily sliding the bezel out. Sliding the Optical drive in, and pushing back up on the tooless button. Easy as snapping your fingers!
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Silverstone Fortress FT01-SW
Testing:


The Following tests have been conducted on separate occasions, however using the exact same components as well as best attainable cable management. All values at CPU and GPU idle.

This next Graph represents the HDD temps in each case



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Silverstone Fortress FT01-SW
Conclusion:

The Silverston Fortess FT01-SW is incredibly well built, and well thought out. I was very much surprised at the effectiveness of the fans at cooling such a large amount of real estate. However, I do believe that more, smaller fans would have been just as effective because try swapping out a 180mm fan…. You cant find them.
I as well, would have wanted to see a optical Drive Bezel included for those of us who do not have a silver optical drive. This would have saved many the time and effort of ghosting, or spending money elsewhere on a Lian Li alternative, or even the cost of a silver drive or spraypaint.
I think I will really enjoy this case… considering I paid for it, I would hope so. It has thus far been everthing I thought it would and more. This case has most of everything thought out, and besides the few minor hiccups is one I would 100% reconment to all who are looking for a highend, midsize case
So the Tally:
Pros:

- Looks great without being flashy
- Easily-removed side & front panels
- A lot of space for a mid-tower case
- Two silent 180mm and 120mm fans included
- High standard of build quality


Cons:

- Bad Cable design for those with shoter CPU 4/8pin connectors.
- Steep Price

OVERALL 8.5/10
Silverstone Fortess Review Comment Thread
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Last edited by mattlef; October 11, 2008 at 05:45 PM.
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Old October 10, 2008, 01:47 PM
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lol, not needed

UP AND UP!!!
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Last edited by mattlef; October 10, 2008 at 10:49 PM.
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Old October 10, 2008, 02:31 PM
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Need an aluminum bezel for your DVD-RW IMO.

Can't wait for your review though.
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Old October 10, 2008, 10:50 PM
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The Review is up!!!!

Guys, I have a Text-File with everything if you need/want it... just pm me
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Last edited by mattlef; October 10, 2008 at 10:57 PM.
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Old October 11, 2008, 06:12 AM
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Nice review! YOu did a really good job IMO!
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Old October 11, 2008, 09:56 AM
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please fix photos... into one column OR create thumbnails... it hard to read the whole review...
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Old October 11, 2008, 05:01 PM
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Everything fixed open for business again :P
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Old October 11, 2008, 05:31 PM
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Not too shaby at all! It is certainly clear and concise. I'm usually more gabby in my descriptions...but that usually means I have to go back and cut out a 1000 (or 12.5k in one case) words to shorten it. From an editing stand point Skymtl would probably prefer your writing style

Only real comment is Photos make or break your review. Trust me if you are picked this is the one area which will kick your arse for the first few reviews...might as well start now and learn good habits as opposed to having to UNlearn bad ones first.

All in all Good JOB. Looking forward to seeing your next try!
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Old October 11, 2008, 05:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AkG View Post
Not too shaby at all! It is certainly clear and concise. I'm usually more gabby in my descriptions...but that usually means I have to go back and cut out a 1000 (or 12.5k in one case) words to shorten it. From an editing stand point Skymtl would probably prefer your writing style

Only real comment is Photos make or break your review. Trust me if you are picked this is the one area which will kick your arse for the first few reviews...might as well start now and learn good habits as opposed to having to UNlearn bad ones first.

All in all Good JOB. Looking forward to seeing your next try!
Thanks on the great comments!
I do understand that photos will make or break any review. I acually used my Blackberry to take these pics, so a 2.0mp camera obviously wont turn the trick. I'm getting a new camera, just waiting for the right deal to come along.

Looking forward to more comments guys!
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Old October 11, 2008, 08:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattlef View Post
Everything fixed open for business again :P
much easy to read... if you can re-work pictures into same dimension then it should be much better...

good review...
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