Silverstone Fortress FT03 microATX Case Review

By on August 15, 2011, 3:21 AM

We've had our hands on various Silverstone cases in recent times, with the Raven RV03 being one of our favorites. As the latest member of the elite Raven family, the RV03 continued the tradition of using the "stack effect" which mounts the internal components at a 90 degree angle, pointing the "rear" I/O panel upward.

Although much of the enthusiast community's attention has been focused on the Raven cases, Silverstone offers a vast array of enclosures that rank favorably among system builders. The company's Fortress series is one such example, comprised of a very diverse range of mid-sized high-end cases that are constructed from a thick aluminum body to create a light yet durable chassis.

The new Fortress FT03 that we're reviewing today is unlike anything we've seen from the series before. Unlike its predecessors, this latest iteration is not a mid-tower ATX case, but rather utilizes its own unique design to take the form of a compact microATX case.

Read the complete review.




User Comments: 18

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Leeky Leeky said:

I'm really not sold on the front design I'm afraid to say, but kudos to the flexibility of the internals to hold full height CPU coolers and high end GPU's.

Excellent review as always though, thanks!

Guest said:

Interesting concept but meant for controlled ambiance (aka air-conditioned) environments. Using one of these boxes in the tropics (where ACs are used only during the 4-5 summer months) will mean a lot of dust clogging up the insides. Where you can't really put CPU boxes on the floor as all they become are dust/dirt magnets. Even when kept on tabletops I need to hose out my boxes once a fortnight!

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

Interesting concept but meant for controlled ambiance (aka air-conditioned) environments. Using one of these boxes in the tropics (where ACs are used only during the 4-5 summer months) will mean a lot of dust clogging up the insides. Where you can't really put CPU boxes on the floor as all they become are dust/dirt magnets. Even when kept on tabletops I need to hose out my boxes once a fortnight!

I am curious why you would think that the cooling capacity of this case would not scale to higher ambient temps? If you are in the market for a mini, this would seem to be ideal with its aluminum construction turning the entire case into a heat-sink of sorts. if you have that big of a problem with dust, you will have the same problem with any case you choose.

1977TA said:

Awesome case, unattractive price though. Would love to have one!

Guest said:

No noise evaluation? Aside from temperature, noise is one of the things that concern me the most when evaluating these kind of cases.

spydercanopus spydercanopus said:

That side panel sure is ugly. Would have liked to see it when it's all plugged in. I bet it's stupid looking then.

Guest said:

You call that clean cable management??

I built this box a few months ago and blogged it here on my facebook, you can check it out there.

Shoved in two 6870's in crossfirex, h70 watercooling, ssd raid, etc.

http://shylock.net/sandybridge

spydercanopus spydercanopus said:

Guest said:

I built this box a few months ago, ad blogged it here on my facebook. you can check it out there.

http://shylock.net/sandybridge

Very nice job. I enjoyed the album.

Staff
Julio Franco Julio Franco, TechSpot Editor, said:

Thanks for the reminder about noise impressions, we just added the following to the conclusion:

In terms of acoustics, the FT03 is not completely silent but it's very quiet, similar to the Lian-Li case (Mini Q PC-V354) which we find more than adequate.

Staff
Steve Steve said:

You call that clean cable management??

I built this box a few months ago and blogged it here on my facebook, you can check it out there.

Shoved in two 6870's in crossfirex, h70 watercooling, ssd raid, etc.

http://shylock.net/sandybridge

I'm confused I said the case allows for a clean install, which I believe it does. Then you link to a bunch of pictures of exactly the same case?

I guess you are trying to say my build was messy and at the same time took the opportunity to show how good yours is. In any case it is worth mentioning that we only build a system into the case purely for the purpose to review/test it, once the review is complete we strip it back down in preparation for the next case we review. Therefore it makes little sense to waste time cable tying away every last loose end.

To reiterate the FT03 provides excellent cable management.

That side panel sure is ugly. Would have liked to see it when it's all plugged in. I bet it's stupid looking then.

Not at all, you cannot see any of the cables really and that's kinda the point.

Guest said:

Hi,

I bought this case here is great and my setup:

->1x CPU Intel I7980x/12Go DDR3/Corsair H80 (push pull) / Samsung 2x480 GTX SLI/4X1To 2 "5/1XSSD VERTEX 3/1X1000W Coolermaster/1XAsus RAMPAGE GENEIII

Not easy to make everything fit, but everything is functional with good temperatures

Cable management and patience....

I have some pictures for anyone want see a robuste FT03

Guest said:

Hi,

thanks for the test, I intend to build a new pc from scratch and want to use a micro atx sized case. I originally thought to another silverstone case the temjin 08-E, but I'm not so sure anymore.

The difference in cost is real, but the look is so much better, tanks again for putting doubt in my mind :D

ps: sorry for my limited english, I'm just a french reader ^^

Guest said:

Just a note with installing the motherboard, it can be installed with the CPU cooler already attached if you remove the central case fan (the one above the PSU), and this is in fact how the manual instructs you to do it. ITs designed to be "dropped in" from the side of the case, rather than slid in from the front

Staff
Steve Steve said:

Just a note with installing the motherboard, it can be installed with the CPU cooler already attached if you remove the central case fan (the one above the PSU), and this is in fact how the manual instructs you to do it. ITs designed to be "dropped in" from the side of the case, rather than slid in from the front

You did not understand the problem then. The tower CPU heatsink was too tall and would not physically fit in the case when sliding in sideways as it hit the chassis.

Guest said:

You forgot the most important thing, the POINT of the article and getting a nice looking case: A picture of it all plugged in with keyboard, mouse, monitor, etc!!!

This entire review is worthless without this, as who knows what it will look like?

Staff
Steve Steve said:

"This entire review is worthless without this, as who knows what it will look like?" Really? Okay...

[link]

There you go, its all plugged in.

Guest said:

How can the DVD from the slimline drive be ejected? There seems to be no button to achieve that... Thanks in advance for enlightening me!

Staff
Steve Steve said:

How can the DVD from the slimline drive be ejected? There seems to be no button to achieve that... Thanks in advance for enlightening me!

Its done via software, pretty much every player has an eject button and if not right click on the drive in explorer and hit eject.

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