FT01 is a high-quality all-aluminum mid-tower case from SilverStone, targeted to the very exigent user. Its superior quality is achieved by using a “unibody” chassis, i.e., the top, front and bottom panels of the case are made by a single aluminum sheet (very thick, by the way) that was bent using automotive-level press machines, a concept that was introduced by the Tejmin TJ07 case from the same manufacturer. Let’s explore all the features from this case.
Fortress FT01 is available in two colors, black or silver, and with or without a transparent side window. We reviewed the black version with a transparent side window.
In Figure 3, you can see its front panel – this case has no door. It has five 5.25” external bays and this case does not come with any 3.5” adapter, so you can’t install directly floppy disk drives or memory card readers to this case (SilverStone sells this adapter separately, called FP51).
This case has three fans, one of them (180 mm with 170-mm blades, 700 rpm) located on the front panel, cooling down the hard disk drive bays. This fan has a washable dust filter, accessible from inside the case (we will talk more about this component later). Fortress FT01 doesn’t come with a speed controller for its fans, but all fans use three-pin power plugs, allowing you to install them on your motherboard and thus monitor their speed.
The small panel containing the audio and USB connectors is located on the top of the case. This case comes with one FireWire port and two USB ports. The two USB ports are far away from each other, allowing you to install two “fat” USB devices at the same time. A case with this construction quality deserved one eSATA port.
The rear panel from FT01 can be seen in Figure 5. The power supply must be installed on the lower section of the case. This case has seven expansion slots, one 120 mm fan on the rear (900 rpm) and two holes for the hoses of an external water cooling solution, which use rubber covers to protect them, so you won’t need to drill or break anything on this case if you want to have such solution.
Fortress FT01 has some interesting details on its rear panel: it uses meshed slot covers, which improves the airflow inside the case; it has a special place (a special hole between the rear fan and the mesh on top of the expansion slots) for installing SilverStone SST-CLEARCMOS product, which is a button for clearing the CMOS memory – usually this product needs to be installed on an empty slot, so you save one slot here –; and two hooks for you to install padlocks to avoid unauthorized people from opening your case or for installing a warranty seal. These hooks also act as levers to remove the side panels.
The side panels are fastened to the case using thumbscrews, which is always nice.
Now let’s take a look inside Fortress FT01.