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SilverStone Fortress FT04

Michael Larabel

Published on 9 December 2013
Written by Michael Larabel
Page 2 of 3 - 6 Comments

Examination:

Besides looking elegant, the other trait that immediately jumps out about the Fortress FTO4 -- as with other SilverStone cases -- is the build quality. The FT04 is built very well with having a steel body and aluminum door and top panel. The door is curved, looks very nice, and worked well without any problems -- but there could be potential issues if routinely opening the door while the case is sitting on carpeting.

On the right hand side of the aluminum front door are two USB 3.0 ports and audio output/microphone jacks. When opening the door there are two external 5.25-inch drive bays. Also visible are the Air Penetrator fans covered by a fan filter. These fan filters are what SilverStone describes as having "HiFlow Technology" that besides being easy to clean also allow for greater airflow over older fan filters. On the inside of the door is also the start of the foam padding for the fans to reduce their noise. Each AP182 fan has a noise level between 17 to 42 dBA but fortunately their fan speeds can be easily adjusted by individual knobs located on the inside of the FT04 door.

The side-panel window for the Fortress FT04 is located on the right side of the case since the ATX motherboard layout is rotated 180 degrees compared to its usual orientation, which has become increasingly common on SilverStone cases and other high-performance enclosures. Both side panels have additional foam padding for silencing the fans and other system noises. Located on the left hand side of the enclosure are the power and reset switches.

At the rear of the FT04 chassis towards the bottom is the 120mm fan exhaust slot and the I/O panel. There are eight expansion slots on the FT04 chassis and plenty of cutouts on the back of the system and the expansion slot covers them for additional ventilation of heat from the system. At the top of the chassis is the ATX power supply mount.

Moving to the inside of the system, there's a 3.5-inch hard drive cage at the front of the system for accommodating up to five drives. At the bottom of the system there's also dual hard drive bays with hot-swap capabilities (but as noted earlier only one hot-swappable adapter is included with the purchase of the case). Up to four 2.5-inch solid-state drives can also be mounted at the bottom of the chassis. The FT04 also builds in an adjustable CPU cooler support too, should your CPU cooler be quite heavy. Likewise, for long, heavy graphics cards there are also a support.

The motherboard tray on the FT04 is removable and there's a large cutout on the tray for dealing with CPU cooler backplates. At the top of the case there's also a fan filter for the power supply cooling intake. The top panel of the chassis can also be easily removed to expedite the system building process.

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