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Silverstone Fortress FT01-W review

Seth Barton
30 Jan 2009
Expert Reviews Best Buy Logo
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
144
inc VAT

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Silverstone's latest PC case is an impressive piece of engineering.

The FT01's top, front and bottom are formed from a single U-shaped piece of aluminium. This makes the case feel incredibly sturdy, and it look great too. The rear of the case is riveted securely to the rest of the body and is also made of aluminium, as are the side panels.

The FT01's pleasingly simple front panel has just a power button on it. Above this are five 5in drive bays: simply slide in an optical drive and press a large button inside to lock it in place. No external 3½in bays are provided, and there's no 3½in adaptor for the 5¼in bays. If you want to fit a memory card reader, you'll have to buy an adaptor - Silverstone's matching FP51 costs around £10. At the bottom is a huge grille for the front fan.

The side panels are securely attached but easy to remove. A metal catch pulls a rod that runs the length of the case, releasing the panel at three separate points. Both panels are lined with foam to help reduce noise. Our review model had a 19in Perspex window, but you can buy a version that doesn't have this if you prefer. Removing the right-hand panel makes it easy to run cables behind the motherboard tray, which helps to keep your PC neat and tidy.

Inside the case at the front is a big 180mm fan. A convenient slide-out dust filter is easy to keep clean. Behind the filter are seven 3½in drive bays, which are cooled by the big fan's airflow.

Each 3½in bay has a removable plastic caddy into which you clip your hard disk. The top bay has built-in data and power SATA connectors. Simply slide in the caddy and the disk plugs in without any need for fiddling around with cables. Additional SATA connector kits for the other drive bays are available for around £6 including VAT (part code: CP05). The upper four drive bays are removable, so you can install large 305mm graphics cards in this case if you wish.

The power supply is positioned at the bottom of the case. The FT01 sits just above the desk on plastic feet, while a grille beneath allows airflow to cool the supply. This intake has a dust filter to stop your supply getting clogged up. On the rear is a standard 120mm fan.

The top of the case houses a second 180mm fan. Between them these two big fans provide plenty of airflow through the case, and as they run quite slowly they make little noise. You can control the speed of both fans directly from your motherboard, or by using a Windows utility such as SpeedFan (see www.almico.com/speedfan.php).

This case looks great, with no cheesy logos or LED lights. Despite its fairly compact dimensions we had no trouble installing our components, and there's plenty of space for upgrades. Its airflow and build quality are also impressive, and only the high price stops it receiving a Best Buy award. However, if you're looking for a stylish case for your PC, the FT01 is a prime candidate.

Details

Price£144
Rating****
AwardUltimate
Casemidi tower

Ports

USB ports2
Total Firewire ports1
Total eSATA ports0
Headphone portyes
Microphone portyes

Physical

Size486x211x495mm
Weight8.7kg
Internal Drive bays 3 1/2in7
5.25in drive bays5
Fan mounts1x 120mm
Fans supplied1x 120mm

PSU

Supplied PSUno
Power supply wattageN/A

Buying Information

Warrantytwo years RTB
Price£144
Supplierhttp://www.overclock.co.uk
Detailswww.silverstonetek.com

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