SilverStone Fortress FT04
As is usually the case for SilverStone cases -- especially with their ATX/EATX towers -- assembling a system inside the Fortress FT04 was simple and straightforward. It's painless dealing with the Fortress FT04. The build I did in the system to begin with was an ECS ATX motherboard, 8GB of RAM, Intel SSD, Intel Core i7 3770K CPU, and a Cooler Master CPU. I also ended up testing and swapping out many high-end graphics cards -- including but not limited to the Radeon R9 290, GeForce GTX TITAN, etc. All the graphics cards used during the Ultra HD 4K Linux graphics testing were done with the system assembled inside the FT04.
When running the system, the two Air Penetrator fans at their full speed was obnoxiously noisy even with all of the foam padding inside the chassis. However, when turning the dual 180mm fans down to their lowest levels, the airflow was still sufficient and quiet. The system was a pleasure to run at the low fan speeds; the built system looked great and noise wasn't an issue with the lowest fan speeds while the Ivy Bridge CPU and tested graphics cards ran into no thermal issues.
The SilverStone Fortress FT04 is built incredibly well and with an immense amount of features from 180mm fans for maximum cooling to improved fan filters to foam padding throughout. It was great working with the FT04 -- aside from when running the fans maxed out to an obnoxious noisy level -- but I don't know if I would call it my favorite SilverStone case. The build quality is great, the layout is great, and I didn't really encounter any significant problems with the build. However, over other recent SilverStone enclosures I didn't really encounter anything phenomenal to take it to the next level per se. But, I do thoroughly enjoy the case, its advanced feature-set, and it will continue to be used as one of the enclosed test systems at Phoronix. SilverStone products continue to be very dependable, elegant, and will work great for several years to come.
The price of the Fortress FT04 is about $210 USD, which may be a bit steep for some, but if that's the case there's still plenty of other lower-cost but great SilverStone enclosures out there like the mini Sugo SG09, Temjin TJ04, and their Precision case line-up.
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