SilverStone is a well-known manufacturer, distinguished for their atypical, strange case designs. The company offers numerous enclosures that partially or completely neglect the ATX design guide. The ML04 and ML05 that we reviewed several months ago are but a pair of examples of their HTPC solutions, while the Raven RV05 with its rotated motherboard tray was a prominent specimen of their unique tower designs. Today we are having a look at the Fortress FT05, a case very similar to the Raven RV05, although not quite the same.

The latest Fortress series case also has a rotated motherboard tray, a design that is inherited from the Raven RV01, but retains the compact dimensions of the Raven RV05. SilverStone boasts that the compact Fortress FT05 offers exceptional thermal performance and easy maintenance despite its compact proportions. However, that was the case with the Raven RV05 as well and our review revealed that this design is far from perfect. The Fortress FT05 retails at double the price tag of the Raven RV05 as well, making it a rather expensive small tower case, and a bit of an uphill battle for SilverStone.

SilverStone Fortress FT05 Specifications
Motherboard Form Factor ATX, Micro-ATX, Mini-ITX
Drive Bays External 1 x Slim Slot Loading
Internal 2 x 3.5" (rear drive cage) 2 x 2.5" (rear of motherboard tray)
Cooling Front -
Rear -
Top 1 x 120 mm (optional)
Left Side -
Bottom 2 x 180 mm (included) 3 x 120 mm or 2 x 140 mm fans can replace the stock fans
Radiator Support Front -
Rear -
Top -
Side -
Bottom 240 mm / 280 mm
I/O Port 2x USB 3.0, 1x Headphone, 1x Mic
Power Supply Size ATX
Clearances HSF 160 mm
PSU 170 mm
GPU 310 mm
Dimensions 483 mm × 221 mm × 427 mm (H×W×D) 19 in × 8.7 in × 16.8 in (H×W×D)
Prominent Features Aluminum wrap-around exterior with classic SilverStone Fortress styling

Revolutionary 90 degree motherboard mounting from RAVEN RV01

Breakthrough 5.25 inch bay-free design for unprecedented power to size ratio

Two Air Penetrator fans included for great performance and quietness

Positive air pressure design for excellent cooling/quietness and dust-prevention

Foam padded interior for advanced noise absorption

Quick-release latch for fast side panel removal

Exterior access to main filter for easy maintenance

Support for various liquid cooling radiator sizes
Price $180 Including Shipping (No Window)
$206.6 Including Shipping (With Window)

Packaging & Bundle

SilverStone supplies the Fortress FT05 in a large, dark cardboard box. There is little artwork to talk about, as the company limited it to a dark picture of the case itself. Thick Styrofoam slabs and a black nylon bag protect the case during shipping.

SilverStone supplies virtually only the hardware essential for the installation of the components, a few simple cable ties and a 120mm fan filter. There also is a very well written manual, but no extras such as cable straps or decorative stickers. 

The Exterior of the SilverStone Fortress FT05
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  • Kepe - Friday, June 5, 2015 - link

    Well, a ~$200 case is not exactly meant for the budget crowd, so having to pay $60 extra for a slot-loading DVD/Blu-ray drive (compared to a regular 5.25" drive) isn't going to be a huge issue.. But for me, the interior space is just a little too cramped. I have a Silverstone Raven 03 and it has a lot of room for all the stuff one might need. Of course it's also a lot bigger with tons of 3½" HDD bays, which I don't use at all. I hope Silverstone could find a better compromise between a huge case like the Raven RV03 and the cramped Raven RV05 and Fortress FT05.. They should also think about possibilities with water cooling, as none of these cases have proper space for (bigger than 120mm) radiators without removing the bottom fans which defeats the entire purpose of these cases. On the RV03 for example, the entire rear panel of the case is just blank with one 120mm fan opening, and nothing attached to the panel inside the case. This would be a perfect place for a 280mm radiator, although it is a bit far from the CPU socket and AIO coolers probably don't have long enough hoses to mount the rad there.
    Anyways, the bottom-to-top airflow of these cases is absolutely awesome keeping everything nice and cool and quiet. I have my fans connected to the MB instead of the fan controller, and the MB controls the fans according to CPU thermals.
    Reply
  • Flunk - Friday, June 5, 2015 - link

    Or pick up a USB optical drive for $30 and never have to buy another one. Reply
  • cjs150 - Friday, June 5, 2015 - link

    "the installation of liquid cooling radiators requires the removal of the 180mm Penetrator fans "

    There are radiators designed for 180mm fans. Might be an interesting modding exercise to fit a 2x180mm radiator into this, I think you would need to loose the HDD cage (no big loss) and probably cut the back of the case to allow radiator and barbs to stick out back, then route tubing back through case (maybe have a custom reservoir at case back as well). Looks like it could be done and with right colour scheme would be stunning.

    Now all I need to do is build my modding cave to start!
    Reply
  • DanNeely - Friday, June 5, 2015 - link

    It'd need to be a compact design to fit in the case though. A standard radiator layout with only fins/channels in the path of the fan and an inch or two of overhang on both sides to connect the water channels and hoses wouldn't fit because there's almost no clearance on either side of the fans. It doesn't look like you'd have much space for overhang on the long sides either; but from the pictures I can't tell if it'd be tight enough to be a potential problem. Honestly, I think a bracket to put a 280 rad on top of the existing fans would probably be the best option. Reply
  • DanNeely - Friday, June 5, 2015 - link

    Whoops, I intended this as a reply to Kepe (above) who wasn't thinking in terms of cutting the case up to make things fit. Reply
  • cjs150 - Friday, June 5, 2015 - link

    DanNeely: I think you are right about the width which makes things a bit awkward, keeping the fans where they are and a custom shroud between fan and radiator is a nice idea - there is definitely the option of a stunning liquid cooled build with this case.

    I have never had a problem with pump vibration using proper isolation material solves the problem.

    Cutting up case is half the fun of modding !
    Reply
  • Primum - Friday, June 5, 2015 - link

    While you'd probably not fit the EK dual 180 in (400x180x35) without some difficulty, I can't see any reason you wouldn't fit the Alphacool one in easily enough. With the fans at the bottom in push it's fairly straight forward. At a stretch a custom shroud would work, but you run the risk of making your cable management job even harder than it already is. Reply
  • Boffinboy - Friday, June 5, 2015 - link

    This is a fairly common mod for the FT-02. I did so with mine, but used a 3x180mm and a 120mm at the top. Requires removing the built in fan filter (I replaced mine with a DEMCIflex magnet filter externally) and some cutting depending on the loop you build. The 2x180mm requires no dremeling, particularly if you get a thin version.

    My loop got infected and I ended up deciding to go back to a large air cooler for the CPU and not bothering to put my graphics cards under water. In all honesty the performance under air is fine, and just as quiet - I had a bay res and the pump vibration was noticeable. An expensive experiment that was!

    I'd be very tempted by this FT-05, but it's so costly, and I'm not sure anyone would buy my hacked-up FT-02...
    Reply
  • alaricljs - Friday, June 5, 2015 - link

    I've been occasionally working on a design like this for 3-4 years now... I don't think it's very good yet but this one isn't as good as what I've come up with imho... Reply
  • DanNeely - Friday, June 5, 2015 - link

    "Breakthrough 5.25 inch bay-free design for unprecedented power to size ratio"

    *rolls eyes* Because no one has sold a case without 5.25" bays before.
    Reply

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