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Fortress FT03 Internal Design

Although getting inside the Fortress FT03 isn't brain surgery, it's different than most cases. You start from the top and work your way down. The first step is to remove the plastic lid at the top of the case which lifts out to expose a 120mm exhaust fan grill along with the motherboards I/O panel and four expansion slots.

Having removed the lid, both side panels also lift out (there's no need to remove any screws). With the side doors removed, it's still difficult to find your way around inside the FT03, so the fašade is also removable, again without the need to unfasten any screws. This panel is secured by four clips and simply pops out.

The motherboard slots into the left side of the case and there is a 120mm fan overhanging the tray at a 45-degree angle. This fan forces cool air over the motherboard and critical components such as the CPU and GPU.

Inside there are three 120mm fans: two bottom-mounted intake fans and one top-mounted 120mm exhaust fan. Like the original FT01, the FT03 also uses positive air pressure for enhanced cooling efficiency.

You can also mount a 92 or 80mm fan above the GPU which will act as an exhaust, forcing more warm air out of the case, while two 80mm fans can be installed in the bottom of the case to improve intake performance. For our testing we'll only use the stock fans.

Below the motherboard tray is the PSU mounting bracket which houses the power supply sideways within the case. This non conventional method means there must be a power cable extension cord pre-installed into the case that connects to the PSU and provides external access from the bottom of the case, just like the RV03.

Directly above the PSU bracket is a small mount for a slot-loading slim optical drive. It's worth mentioning that besides the FT03 itself costing more than competing cases, it requires a slot-loading optical drive which will cost more than your conventional 5.25" optical drive.

By now, you probably noticed that we haven't mentioned where the storage drives are installed and this did stump us for a moment.

Flipping the FT03 around reveals what look like mounts for a pair of 3.5" hard drives. Indeed they are. This design is far from conventional, but it's a great space saver and although it severely limits the number of hard drives the FT03 can support, most users are not looking to install more than two drives in a mATX case anyway.

That said, the FT03 actually supports four drives: three 3.5" and one 2.5". The third 3.5" drive mounts in an external hot-swap bay. Also on the rear of the motherboard tray are four mounts to secure the 2.5" drive adapter. Silverstone supplies a 2.5" bracket that accommodates a single SSD and is fastened to the mounts on the backside of the tray.