The dust filter situation got even worse when we discovered the roof mounted fan’s filter is simply irremovable. It’s the same fan and mounting used in the front of the case where the filter slides out the side of the fan mount, but to remove it you’re going to need to totally remove the fan housing from the case which is going to be a major hassle requiring the removal of the motherboard.
This is just a baffling design oversight, and we’re really surprised Silverstone shipped the FT01 with such an obvious flaw. We lamented the lack of dust filters in the Cooler Master HAF 932 review, but if they cause more problems than they solve, as is the case here, then we’d rather have a dusty case!
However, things do improve a little when we look at the drive bays, with provisions for seven 3.5” hard disk drives via a decent plastic tray based mounting system that’s split into two tiers of three and four drive cages and there’s also nice little extra in the form of one of Silverstone’s CP05 hot swap SATA drive connectors to make the build process that little bit easier.
Click to enlarge - the dust filter is easy to remove on the front fan, but impossible to remove on the top intake fan
The top drive cage can be completely removed to allow extra space to fit extra large commercial grade GPUs in , although we doubt any home user would need to remove the cage as even the very large Radeon 4870 X2 comfortably fits into the FT01 with all the hard drive cages fitted. However, you might want to remove the top cage to improve ventilation, as we’re a little concerned that the two hard drive cages seem to significantly block the airflow from the front 180mm intake fan when all the drive trays are fitted.
The plastic trays inside the cages feel a little ropey and while easy enough to fit, with rubber screw mounts to cut down on hard disk noise, they just don’t seem entirely secure in their mounts, rattling around even when fully fitted – they’re certainly not a patch on similar drive tray mounting systems like those used in Antec’s P-series or Cooler Master’s high end cases.
Click to enlarge
Sadly there’s no removable motherboard tray, an inclusion that could have proved invaluable to the FT01 considering how cramped it feels inside thanks to the large amount of space dedicated to drive bays and hard drive storage. The choice to reduce the overall size of the case and include plenty of drive mounts has also meant that there’s no room for e-ATX motherboards or any water cooling radiator mounts either, and while there are some limited cable routing options available, thicker cables like the 24-pin motherboard power connector won’t fit behind the motherboard tray without badly bulging the side panel out.
The whole interior has been somewhat of a let down really, especially after the impeccably stylish exterior had us hooked. Now let’s see if the FT01’s positive pressure cooling can deliver where it counts – on the bit-tech