At full speed, the SilverStone FT05 is audibly loud, but far from offensively so, and there's absolutely no denying its outstanding cooling credentials – it claims the seconds best CPU and GPU temperatures, missing out on the top spot by a maximum of 2°C.
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The noise is much more pleasant at the lower speeds, with the foam lining inside evidently helping to suppress it slightly. Performance remains excellent at medium speed, where noise levels from the fans are no more than just above average, and we see delta T results of 45°C for both components, which is still very near the top of the charts. Finally, even at minimum speed, the case manages results which are on par with the what the majority of cases achieve at full speed and with their HDD cages removed. The 180mm Air Penetrators always perform well, and here is no exception. In fact, given the performance, we would only use the medium or high speed settings during a gaming session on an overclocked multi-GPU build – any half decent headset would block out most of the fan noise anyway. Otherwise, low speed is more than sufficient.
The Fortress FT05 is a sleek, attractive and very well made case with fantastic air cooling potential. The last two iterations of the series haven't quite lived up to the precedent set by the fantastic FT02, but the FT05 goes a long way to rectifying that. It doesn't quite recapture the awesomeness, especially of the limited edition FT02R-W with its painted red interior, but the modernised design, smaller desk footprint and £50 reduced price tag are definite steps forward for the range. The size reduction in particular makes perfect sense for a chassis designed for air cooling, as a lower space requirement is one advantage of air over water.
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Feature-wise, the FT05 is lacking a little, especially given the price bracket it occupies, but this is mostly a result of its smaller size – key things like USB 3 and easily removable dust filters are present, and the independent fan control is much appreciated too. The low level of internal storage support and lack of flexibility for water-coolers will also put some people off, but the FT05 doesn't aim to please everyone. Our biggest criticism is the cable routing – even just a few millimetres more behind the motherboard would have helped – but even then with some time and forethought you can still construct a tidy system. We also would've been thrilled to see an aluminium roof cover instead of the plastic one.
The FT05 is not a chassis for novice users. However, for the enthusiast looking to match a premium ATX build with a suitably premium air-cooled chassis, we can think of little better.