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Lately, Silverstone's high-end cases seem to be falling short because of questionable design decisions. Last year's Fortress FT04 delivered some of the best GPU cooling we've seen but its CPU thermals were average due to the placement of its 3.5" drive cage, which is mounted long ways rather than sideways, making it difficult to install 3.5" drives in addition to wasting a lot of space. Had Silverstone not made that mistake, the FT04 would have likely been our favorite case of 2013.
Unfortunately, the company hadn't come up with a more sensible solution in time for the Raven RV05, which sticks its 3.5" drive cage directly under the power supply bracket causing huge compatibility problems that forced us to remove all 3.5" drive support so we could fit a 175mm long PSU. This will be a problem for anyone with a power supply that stretches 160mm or longer and that probably includes more models than you'd hope, though Silverstone itself offers some compatible solutions.
The good news is that the Fortress FT05 delivers the same unbeatable performance as the Raven RV05 and it can handle all the same hardware despite being 30% smaller, which turns out to be one of the FT05's biggest improvements over the RV05. For such a large case, the RV05 has limited hardware support allowing for two 3.5" drives (and only if you used a small enough PSU) along with two 2.5" drives. Silverstone has addressed the RV05's wasted space with the more efficient FT05.
Motherboard support as well as maximum GPU length, PSU length and CPU cooler height all remain exactly the same in the FT05 while its more compact design makes it better suited for many gamers as it's more portable regardless of being heavier. Although we feel that the FT05 is a better case than the RV05, it's still difficult to work with because of its cramped design, while pricing becomes a consideration as the former is around 50% more expensive than the latter at $200.
For what it's worth, the extra money does buy a more elegant case that is nearly void of plastic whereas the RV05 uses a ton. There's also the realization that even if $200 is a significant premium over the Raven, it isn't an outrageous price for a high-performance enclosure that offered some of our best cooling results (albeit with less hardware installed than most cases). If you're after a sleek, compact, quiet enthusiast chassis, there are certainly worse choices than the Fortress FT05.
Pros: The Fortress FT05 has enough going for it to justify its premium over the Raven RV05 if you're after a similar design with calmer aesthetics, a more space-efficient layout and fantastic cooling.
Cons: The FT05 is more awkward to work with than most similarly priced enclosures, offers weaker support for storage drives and power supplies, and costs ~50% more than the comparable RV05.