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Written by David Ramsey   
Thursday, 05 August 2010
Table of Contents: Page Index
SilverStone Fortress FT02 Computer Case
Closer Look: Exterior
Detailed Exterior Features
Closer Look: Interior
Detailed Interior Features
Building a System
Cooling Performance Tests
Final Thoughts and Conclusion

SilverStone Fortress FT02 Computer Case

Enthusiasts today struggle with cooling high-performance systems whose processors and graphics cards can suck down 600 watts or more of power under load. Every watt consumed eventually ends up as heat, and getting all that heat out of a computer case can be a real challenge, especially with air cooling. An overclocked and overvolted processor combined with one or more high-performance graphics cards produces an immense amount of heat, which will limit the performance available to overclockers as well as potentially shortening component life. SilverStone's latest attempt to design the ultimate air-cooled enthusiast case is the SilverStone Fortress FT02, an aluminum and steel enclosure whose unique design brings both benefits and drawbacks.

silverstone_sst-ft02s-w_left_front_34.jpg

It's all about thermal management, and various manufacturers have stepped up with a variety of solutions. There's the "big case with a lot of fans" design, typified by the Cooler Master HAF series and the new NZXT Phantom, as well as the "isolated thermal zones" school of thought, embraced by the Corsair Obsidian 800D and taken to its ultimate expression by the Thermaltake Level 10. All-in-one liquid cooling systems like the Corsair H50 and CoolIt Systems ECO ALC represent the next step, although these solutions bring their own problems, and users must be aware of potentially limited airflow over processor VRMs and system memory.

Although SilverStone builds power supplies and cooling systems and storage solutions, most enthusiasts know them for their cases. Their "Temjin" line of high end all aluminum cases were among the first to inrtroduce such features as dedicated GPU cooling (in the TJ10) and separate thermal zones (in the TJ07); they're also one of the few companies that ever produced an ESA (Enthusiast System Architecture) compliant case. According to SilverStone, the Fortress FT02 is "For professionals and enthusiasts looking to build a silent workstation or gaming machine with maximum performance."

Manufacturer: SilverStone Technology Corporation
Product Name: Fortress FT02
Model Number: SST FT02S-W
Price As Tested: $239.99

Full disclosure: The product used in this review was supplied by SilverStone Technology Coporation.

Fortress FT02 Features

  • Revolutionary 90 degree motherboard mounting from RAVEN RV01
  • Innovative 4.5mm aluminum unibody frame from Temjin TJ07
  • Three 180mm fans for unprecedented positive pressure and stack effect cooling
  • Supports liquid cooling radiator mounting
  • Motherboard back plate opening behind CPU area for quick cooler assembly
  • Supports 11" wide ATX motherboard
  • Foam padded interior for advanced noise absorption

Fortress FT02 Specifications

Model No.

SST-FT02B (black)
SST-FT02S (silver)
SST-FT02B-W (black + window)
SST-FT02S-W (silver + window)

Material

4.5mm aluminum unibody frame, 0.8mm steel body

Motherboard

SSI CEB, ATX (maximum 12” x 11”), Micro ATX

Multimedia

--

Drive Bay

External 5.25" x 5
--
Internal 3.5" x 5 , 2.5” x1

Cooling System

Front --
Rear --
Side --
Top 1 x 120mm exhaust, 1200rpm, 19dBA
Bottom 3 x 180mm intake fan 700/1000rpm, 18/27dBA
Internal --

Expansion Slot

7

Front I/O Port

USB2.0 x 2
Audio x 1
MIC x 1

Power Supply

1 x Optional standard PS2 (ATX)

Operating system support

--

Expansion Card

Support 12” or 12.2” (with fan grille removed)

Limitation of CPU cooler

165mm

Limitation of PSU

Unlimited

Net Weight

15kg

Dimension

212mm (W) x 497mm (H) x 616mm (D)

Extra

--

Features and specifications provided by SilverStone Technology Corporation

Let's unbox this case and see if it lives up to the claims...



 

Comments 

 
# Feet...??BruceBruce 2010-08-05 13:15
Any feet included on this case, or does it sit directly on the flat bottom surface?
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# RE: Feet...??David Ramsey 2010-08-05 14:19
There are no feet as such; just a couple of very thin horizontal rubber strips at the front and back.
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# That's good....BruceBruce 2010-08-05 18:59
...just need something to keep it from sliding around and getting scratched up if it's on a hard floor surface.
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# RE: SilverStone Fortress FT02 Computer CaseSteven Iglesias-Hearst 2010-08-05 13:30
That symbol by the fan controls means that the case is recyclable (do not throw in the bin) :D
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# Yeah, but.....BruceBruce 2010-08-05 13:34
My Recycling Bin looks just like that!
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# RE: RE: SilverStone Fortress FT02 Computer CaseDavid Ramsey 2010-08-05 14:23
So everyone is telling me! What happened to the good 'ol triple arrows? The whole point behind an icon is to be simple and, well, iconic: you know, like the old Mac trash can icon which was INSTANTLY RECOGNIZABLE as a trash can everywhere in the world...a wheeled trash can with a lid is needlessly complex and fools old people like me.
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# RE: SilverStone Fortress FT02 Computer CaseRobert17 2010-08-06 15:25
Although from your review this appears to be a respectably nice case, aluminum with foam noise dampeners and all, comparing it to the review of the upcoming Phantom case, then comparing MSRPs, it would seem to have limited draw. I'd like to get these two case designers in a room and not let them out till they agree on one really neat clone.
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# RE: RE: SilverStone Fortress FT02 Computer CaseSteven Iglesias-Hearst 2010-08-07 00:01
Yeah that phantom is super sexy inside and has a nice design on the outside too. Anyone seen the red one yet? You should go have a look.
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# RE: RE: SilverStone Fortress FT02 Computer CaseDavid Ramsey 2010-08-07 07:10
The Phantom does appear to be a really nice case at a great price point. However, I doubt it will be able to match the cooling/noise of the FT02. Wait until you see what I did with the case with SilverStone's optional fans!
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# RE: SilverStone Fortress FT02 Computer CaseVito Cassisi 2010-08-06 22:00
I have the Silverstone Raven RV01 and RV02, which I really like. This looks like another good case. Too bad it's a tad pricey.
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# Nice Reviewm3kw 2011-08-16 18:42
I've read many reviews of this case, this one is the most detailed on the case design, very good review!!!
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# RE: SilverStone Fortress FT02 Computer Casem3kw 2011-08-16 18:53
You did nikpick quite a bit.
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# RE: RE: SilverStone Fortress FT02 Computer CaseDavid Ramsey 2011-08-16 19:01
You know, Silverstone griped about that, too. Sorry, but if I can't fit my optical drive in your $250 case, you're gonna get dinged for it.

Still, it's a spectacular case overall, so keep that in mind.
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# Thanks!G 2011-08-25 14:29
Very detailed review, well written and clearly not biased.

Thank you for adressing the flaws, as it seems like most reviewers are afraid of stepping on toes.

I agree on the optical drive issue, but the performance and and graceful design on this case leaves me with little choice.

Would perhaps mounting the optical drive in the fifth drive bay slot give more space? I guess it depends on the card...

Thanks again Mr. Ramsey, keep up the great work!
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# RE: SilverStone Fortress FT02 Computer CaseEric Monteiro 2014-01-27 00:24
I have been custom assembling my own desktops for quite a few years. Obviously, that included going through various leading brand cases. I am now running the Silverstone SST-FT02S-W, along side two other top brand models. The Silverstone is undisputedly, so far, the quietest and most cooling efficient mid-tower I have ever come across (period).
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