Silverstone Fortress FT01Manufacturer: Silverstone
UK Price (as reviewed): £152.69 (inc. VAT)
With windowed side panel
US Price (as reviewed): $199.98 (exc. Tax)
Silverstone, and its TJ07 premium aluminium chassis especially, has achieved something of a cult status within our community over the last few years thanks to the TJ07’s elegant design and excellent build quality. It used a unique uni-body construction where the majority of the case's chassis is made from a single piece of curved aluminium.
It’s also proved itself a hit among those with watercooling set ups, with excellent provisioning for multiple radiator set ups, a high end feature that we’ve since seen creep into many other manufacturers’ designs.
However, Silverstone’s cases aren’t exactly known for being affordable, which is where this new model, the FT01 comes in. Built using the same uni-body construction as the TJ07, but in a smaller size and with some of the higher end features cut to keep the price down, could Silverstone have another massive hit on its hands? Let’s find out.
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The uni-body construction method is immediately obvious when you look at the FT01 – the front, roof and base of the case are all part of the same 6mm thick piece of aluminium, which has been perfectly machined to give the FT01 a similar external appearance to the TJ07, with curved edges and a gorgeously styled front fascia.
This construction method, while by no means cheap, brings a wonderful feeling of toughness to the FT01 and the case is absolutely rock solid thanks to it. The feel of the aluminium also exudes class – it just draws your hands to it and is wonderfully smooth.
And who wouldn’t want to put their hands on something so utterly gorgeous? The FT01, has inherited its big sister's looks and is just as stunning as the TJ07. Those smooth clean lines and the wonderfully uncluttered exterior really do make the FT01 one of the best looking cases we’ve ever reviewed.
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However, the FT01 isn’t just about looking good and Silverstone has cut three 180mm grilled fan mounts into the uni-body aluminium chassis to make it as cool as it is stylish, with one in the roof, one in the front fascia , and another in the base for cooling the CPU, hard disks and PSU respectively. Again the build quality here is impeccable and the mesh used to cover the blow holes is very sturdy and looks very much in line with the rest of the design.
Drive bay wise, the FT01 has five 5.25” drive bays, all of which come with matt aluminium blanking plates removed by undoing two screws inside the case. However, because they’ve only been secured by one screw on either side, they can be a little bit wonky, and you’ll need to adjust them to get the gaps between them uniform.
The gaps between the blanking plates are roughly 1mm high and while Silverstone claims they allow for improved airflow, we suspect it’s more a by product of the manufacturing process than a design decision to improve cooling – the amount of airflow through such small gaps is going to be pretty minimal.