Fortress FT03 External Design
Apart from its unusual form factor and high price, we think the Fortress FT03 is one of the coolest looking cases we've ever seen. It's hard to pinpoint the case's defining characteristic and that's likely because it's a combination of things -- not least of which is its clean and classy appearance, reminiscent of Lian-Li's designs.
Although there's no shortage of sleek chassis these days, we feel the FT03's unusual shape sets it apart from the crowd. From the front the FT03 looks as though it could be a massive full-tower computer case, measuring 19.17" tall and 9.25" wide. However, its side profile reveals a depth of just 11.18" and weight of only 14.7lbs.
The FT03 is available in either silver or black and you really can't go wrong with either color, in our opinion. The façade is as clean cut as they come with no external 5.25" or 3.5" drive bays or case doors. Instead, it features a small slit for a slot-loading optical drive alongside a tastefully embedded Silverstone logo.
From the top, we find a removable plastic grill which looks nice enough, though we really would have liked to see this made out of aluminum rather than plastic. At the front of the lid there's a small I/O panel that features a pair of USB 3.0 ports, two audio jacks and the power/reset buttons along with the LED activity lights.
Viewing the FT03 from the right hand side gives a very similar look to that of the façade. The right panel is almost entirely bare with the exception of the arching feet at the bottom and the small indentation at the top.
The opposite door is very much the same though it has a large removable plastic grill that we find somewhat tacky. This grill is also very difficult to remove and reattach, so frankly we wish it wasn't there.
Underneath the FT03 are four concealed rubber legs that raise the case 1.18" (30mm) off the ground and this is important because the 90-degree design sees much of the air drawn in from the bottom of the case.
There are two 80mm fan mounts at the bottom of the case that can be populated if you desire. That said, this is probably unnecessary considering directly behind them you'll find a 120mm intake fan. There's also a much larger opening that will be utilized by any power supply with a 120/140mm top mounted fan.
Midway through our review, we discovered that the FT03 comes with a large removable dust filter in the bottom of the case. Unfortunately, our sample unit is missing the filter and it wasn't until viewing images at Silverstone's website that this became apparent, so we apologize for lacking pictures of this component.
Overall we found the FT03's external design to be excellent and also very intriguing in the sense that from the outside, little is revealed about the case's inner workings -- a mystery we intend to solve on the next page.