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Silverstone Fortress FT05 Case Review: Stack Effect Cooling, Less Wasted Space

By Steve
Oct 6, 2014
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  1. silverstone fortress ft05 mid-tower case review silverstone case fortress ft05 mid-tower case

    Silverstone's "stacked" design might offer unbeatable cooling performance, but as we found out in our review of the Raven RV05, it also wasted a lot of space and resulted in a cramped space for its overall size. While some users were disappointed about certain aspects of the RV05's internal design, others were simply turned off by its largely aggressive aesthetics.

    Silverstone is aware of this and often creates a calmer, classier version of their extreme gaming cases, which is where the Fortress FT05 comes in, though it isn't just a direct clone of the RV05 with a different skin. Whereas the RV05 is a 63.8L behemoth that stands 529mm tall, the FT05 is a more manageable 483mm tall with a 46L capacity, almost 30% smaller.

    Read the complete review.

     
  2. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,155   +1,431

    When it comes to space saving I would expect an article about mini-ITX and bare-bones, not mid-towers.
     
  3. If the only problem with this case is the 3.5" drives impeding big power supplies then, I promise I will never build another computer with a spinning drive. 3.5" drives are for storage in the basement. Especially if you can afford multi-gpu set ups and monitors to match.

    Thanks Silverstone This is the perfect case. Now I will buy some flowers for somebody before she learns I spent $200 on a case.
     
  4. sauri

    sauri TS Member

    Would be interesting to see its performance compared to the yet uncontested king of air cooling, FT02.
     
  5. Seansean

    Seansean TS Rookie

    It is available in the US now. Mine arrives in an hour or so. Purchased through frozen cpu and drop shipped directly from Silverstone out of LA, California.
     
    Julio Franco likes this.
  6. I still think the FT02 is one of the best cases ever, but it's time for an update and the more compact size looks like the perfect compromise these days.
     
    Julio Franco likes this.
  7. sauri

    sauri TS Member

    Just checked Silverstone's site and the max CPU cooler height is 162 mm. It's sad as it rules out using Noctua NH-D15, which is 165 mm tall (the older D14 though is 160mm).
     
  8. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Topic Starter Posts: 2,218   +1,244

    Just checked for you. The Noctua NH-D15 does fit but it touches the window in the case door. So if you don't mind that then it is fine.

    Yeah it is more about space wasting than space saving.

    I don’t really disagree, I have been enjoying NAS for a decade now. But 3.5” hard drives are hardly obsolete yet and all the gamers that I know (even the wealthy ones) like to have a large 3.5” drive for backup (leeching).

    The real issue is you are buying a relatively large computer case and there isn’t a good reason why you can’t have at least one 3.5” drive and a high-end power supply.
     
    TheLastPanda and Julio Franco like this.
  9. sauri

    sauri TS Member

    Nice. Is the window area more recessed on inside than the door's main surface, or it might work with the windowless version too?
     
  10. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Topic Starter Posts: 2,218   +1,244

    The windowless version should have slightly more room so it might not even touch the door. That said there will be more foam but it still should fit.
     
    sauri likes this.
  11. This is going to replace my FT02, it's too big and I love how compact the FT05 is. Well done Silverstone!
     
  12. Why would you need an 850w power supply for SLI? The GTX980 are even more efficient than their predecessors, unless you ran a Titan SLI setup together with a socket 1366 i7 980X you would be hard pressed to need that much power.
    In my experience you can build a setup around the socket 1150 that is easily as powerful in 95% of all applications as a much more expensive socket 2011 solution while using a lot less power and freeing up so much money that you can buy a second graphics card for that. (and I am building around 2-3 high-end machines per month at work).
    Plus a setup like this will run beautifully with a GOOD 650W psu, I recommend the current BeQuiet Dark Power Pro series. Not that bulky, but silent and efficient. We tested it with dual HD7970s and a i7 3770K and it didn't break a sweat.
     
    Kmapes13 likes this.
  13. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Topic Starter Posts: 2,218   +1,244

    Honestly I really don't know, you are telling the story.

    If you are referring to the comments in the review we were talking about high-end 3-way GPU setups. A pair of GTX 980’s can use up to 500 watts when gaming, a third will push that close to 700 watts. This is assuming there is no GPU or CPU overclocking as that will drastically increase consumption.

    If you have three 290X’s then forget a 1000w power supply, you need something with even more capacity.

    Finally what is to say gamers won’t want to invest in the LGA2011v3 platform with three graphics cards? Need an 850w or greater PSU then?
     
  14. Willzzz

    Willzzz TS Rookie

    Looks great to me.

    Who needs a 1000w PSU now that Maxwell is out?
    Modern PCs shouldn't require much power, shouldn't need 5.25" bays or 3.5" really, so I'm pretty happy with the choices Silverstone have made.
     
  15. Kmapes13

    Kmapes13 TS Rookie

    "It seems strange that a computer case with support for three full-length graphics cards alongside massive air-coolers is so unexpectedly limited when it comes to the power supply."

    Cmon man, thats part of the reason for this case-maximizing the space& keeping it slim and efficient. It's not meant to be a roomy behemoth. We have plenty of those and while SFF cases are all the rage now this is a nice hybrid where you can use a full size ATX without having to get a new desk.

    Furthermore, all these neophytes think 1200W & 1500W PSUs are needed. Even with SLI, if you get a good 660w or 750W with the more important specs that are beyond the scope of this comment, you're good to go. This "my PSU wang is bigger & better" mentality only gives you and inflated sense of your PSUs endowments, enriches the PSU OEMs and your electric company.
     
  16. Kmapes13

    Kmapes13 TS Rookie

    This is a gorgeous case. Thanks for the review and overall,well done.
     
  17. GhostRyder

    GhostRyder This guy again... Posts: 2,191   +590

    Good looking case, I personally love to see basic sleek cases for myself even though I rave when I see some really off the wall interesting and awesome designed cases. Its nice to see something clean cut and to the point because it offers something nice to look at all the time.

    I have to say though for the price, I would say this case feels like a huge disappointment. I feel like some of the choices that were made on this case feel very weird. I love the different orientation of the motherboard and components as it seems to work, however like stated with the PSU size issue that could prove problematic for quite a few people especially when considering the price of the case you have to think that someone is probably going big on the system. That being said I bet they could fit 3 980's on that 850 watt PSU and a high end i7 so I would not be that worried. Also I am not sure completely after reading but the cable locations in response to the window looked a bit like it lacked a very decent cable management system which to me might hinder the good overall looks of said case.

    I think for the price you should get just a little bit more out of the case but that's just me and my opinion (Though I kinda bought and wasted a bunch of money on my 800D).

    Excellent review @Steve, cannot wait to see more case reviews! I would love to see you do a nice MITX and MATX case next :p
     
    Steve likes this.
  18. Capaill

    Capaill TS Addict Posts: 291   +93

    I'm fairly sure that Silverstone's chimney stack effect and the "hot air rises" theory has been proven to be no more efficient at dispelling heat than standard cases. What really makes these cases work is the large fans blowing straight through the case and directly over all major components. Whereas most standard cases require the air to change direction to get up over the CPU.

    I see you use Windforce coolers on the GPU cards -- with those 180mm fans, anyone buying this case should give serious thought to blower coolers, such as the Titan coolers on higher end Nvidia cards.

    The hard drive cage definitely needs to be removed. Putting an almost solid wall of metal so close to a high powered fan will create noise. Silverstone could add some width to the case and allow drives to be added flat, like the SSDs are. HDDs don't need to be kept cold, they last longer if their temp is around 30 to 35 C. I prefer not to add HDDs at all, as they add weight and noise, but I do have a NAS.
     
  19. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Topic Starter Posts: 2,218   +1,244

    For testing we use the Inno3D GeForce GTX 580 OC which does use a blower type cooler.
     
  20. PC nerd

    PC nerd TS Booster Posts: 317   +41

    What's with the massive empty cavity at the top? At first I assumed the PSU went along the top horizontally, but looking at the build pictures, I don't see the space at the top being used for anything.
     
  21. Capaill

    Capaill TS Addict Posts: 291   +93

    That space is needed to plug the cables in.
    The area over the 120mm exhaust fan is empty but the other spaces will be full of plugs and cables, routed out the top-back of the case.
     
  22. Because0789

    Because0789 TS Rookie

    I don't know why you would get a compact mid-tower and ever be talking about 3-way SLI/Crossfire it simply isn't the use case for this case. At that point if you need a 1500watt power supply and 3-4 GPUs you aren't looking at this case.
     
  23. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Topic Starter Posts: 2,218   +1,244

    At a guess I would say you would do it because this is one of the best performing cases regardless of size. Why wouldn't you install 3 GPU's into a case that can support them and provides amazing thermal performance?
     
  24. andyrit

    andyrit TS Rookie

    Does anyone know if the Heligon HE01 fits in this case? Looks to be 164mm tall, so should do.
     
  25. Unfortunately, I just got burned by buying this case for a 3-way SLI setup using an ASRock X99X. With the PCI-E X16 layout of that board, the slots don't line up for 3-way. As a result, I have a spare GTX 970 for the time being until I can find another case with similar characteristics but that has a proper slot configuration for this board. :-(
     

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