|SilverStone Fortress FT01 Case SST-FT01B-W|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Cases|
|Written by Bruce Normann - Editied by Olin Coles|
|Monday, 24 November 2008|
Page 9 of 9
The SilverStone FT01is in some ways, a carefully tuned product; it's airflow, for instance. In other aspects it's a blank canvas for serious builders. There's no denying its good looks, particularly the version I reviewed, with the large, clear side window and black interior. It really highlights the system components, especially if you add a splash of color with cables and such. Unfortunately, you're going have to work a little harder than normal to make everything look nice and tidy. It's not impossible, but an extra dose of creativity and effort is required to overcome the minimal cable management features. Some will welcome the challenge, others will complain loudly to no one in particular.
The metalwork and finish quality are top notch, and although the effect is subtle, it's obvious to those who know the difference. The unibody construction results in a very light and strong chassis, and this is one feature that won't change or wear out over time. The reduction in number of fasteners pays off in both strength and durability. All the (12) drive sections are removable to improve access during the build process. Once again, for those willing to make an extra effort, the case will reward you.
The airflow will be the most controversial element of this case. For some, it will be too little, in the wrong places, and entering where they want it to exit. Choose your CPU HSF and mounting method carefully, or you could end up with dueling fans, and the case fan will win. There is always the possibility of reversing one of the three supplied fans, although the dust reduction performance will suffer.
NewEgg currently sells the SilverStone FT01B-W Black Aluminum ATX Mid Tower Uni-body Computer Case currently sells for $229.99, while the non-window versions are $10 less. Of course, with the help of our price comparison tool you might find a better deal. This not a budget case, nor is it a $1,000 rocket ship masquerading as a consumer product for enthusiasts. The value proposition has to be on the basis of looks and construction quality, in my opinion. The feature set isn't extraordinary, the airflow design lacks flexibility, and cable management is not up to class-leading standards. If these are minor or non-issues for you, the positive aspects of the design will make it a worthwhile purchase.
In thinking over my experience with this case, it all boiled down to my intended use. If I'm planning on building a really nice system, and leaving it alone for long stretches at a time, this is a great looking case that will reward me every time I walk in the room and admire its sleek design and high quality construction. But, if I'm planning on using it as a platform for continuous component upgrades, I'll probably be unhappy every time I have to remove and reinstall major system components. I won't want to make the extra effort to make it look special, and over time that will grate on me. This is a clear case of "You pays your money, and makes your choices." Hopefully you will have a clear idea of your needs before you make a buying decision. Buy this case for the right reasons and you will be pleased every time you use it. Just don't blame me if you have a chronic case of the upgrade bug and you find it difficult to keep the internal appearance in step with the outside.
+ Classic design principles, executed with precision
- Two of three filters not easily removed and/or cleaned
Final Score: 8.95 out of 10.
Quality Recognition: Benchmark Reviews Silver Tachometer Award.
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