Gives you a great compact PC in the end, but routing cables and reinstalling fans is a chore
The Silverstone Fortress FT03 isn’t the smallest microATX case around, but its upright tower-like design is very distinctive, while its solid metal sides help keep the noise down.
All ports and connectors are at the top of the case, with a pair of USB3 ports and the usual mic and headphone connectors. A flap at the top covers a 3 1/2in hot-swap bay, which has a cable to plug into one of the SATA ports on your motherboard. The other two 3 1/2in bays are behind the case’s right-hand-side panel. The only 5 1/4in bay in the system is a non-standard space for a slim slot-loading optical drive, so you’ll need to buy the right drive for the case and won’t be able to re-use a standard optical drive from another PC.
The right, left and front side panels are all removable and clip into place without screws, but you’ll need to get your screwdriver out once you start installing components, as the clever cooling configuration relies on angled fans that have to be taken off before you can fit a motherboard. A full set of motherboard standoffs is already in place so, once you’ve removed a couple of fan brackets, it’s easy to fit your board. The case comes with two fans and has space for one more.
There was enough room for our 275mm-long Radeon R9 290 graphics card and you should be able to comfortably go up to around 300mm, but anything longer will be blocked by or right up against the angled GPU fan at the bottom of the case. Your power supply also sits at the bottom of the case, with an extension lead to connect it to the power socket at the top. Routing PSU cables is a very tight fit, so you should use a modular supply with detachable cables and plan your cabling before you build.
Although the end result is an attractive, compact case that produces little sound and has good airflow, getting everything into position in the Fortress FT03is more of a chore than with other compact cases such as the BitFenix Prodigy M.
|Total Firewire ports||0|
|Total eSATA ports||0|
|Internal Drive bays 3 1/2in||3|
|5.25in drive bays||1|
|Fan mounts||2x 80mm, 1x 92mm, 3x 120mm|
|Fans supplied||2x 120mm|
|Power supply wattage||N/A|
|Warranty||one year RTB|