Silverstone Fortress FT03S and Zotac Z68-ITX-WiFi Review – Compact Powerhouse
Silverstone Fortress FT03S
Silverstone package their Fortress Series in a box which clearly shows an image of the case in both black and silver. In addition to this we have a list of specifications which tell us about the key features of the case. Inside we find the case suspended in foam and protected by a plastic bag.
Also in the box is a manual, selection of screws, cable ties, fan wire converter and SSD bracket.
For this review we have gone with the silver edition of the Fortress FT03 and first impressions are that it is a lovely case. The four 2.5mm thick, sand blasted and anodized aluminium sides are the highlight. At the top of the case we find a grill which covers the case wiring as well as our buttons, LEDs and connectors. The FT03 has power and reset buttons, power and drive LEDs, 2x USB 2.0 and 3.5mm audio connectors.
The FT03 measures 235x284x487mm (WxDxH) and weighs 6.7kg.
On the front surface of the case we find a Silverstone logo and a section for a slot loading optical drive. The left side features an exhaust grill which is removable and the back and right sides are plain aluminium sheets.
By removing the top grill we can see that the FT03 uses a rotated design similar to some of Silverstone’s other cases where the components are rotated 90 degrees from normal to promote airflow upwards, based on the theory that heat rises. Silverstone call this stack effect cooling and the result is our "back panel" connectivity is all found on the top of the case. Here we have a 12cm exhaust fan, four add-in card slots, the IO shield location and a hot swap drive bay.
Turning the case upside down we see that there are four rubber feet on the base and two vents with a removable dust filter which is attached via magnet.
By removing the left, right and front panels of the case (tool-free) we can see the main construction of the FT03 which is steel, painted white. There are three fans installed at the factory, all are 120mm models with 1200rpm/22dBA ratings and each uses a 3pin connector for power. Two optional 80mm fans can be added at the base with a further 92/80mm model placed in the empty bracket at the top.
Silverstone have designed the case to support micro-ATX, mini-DTX and mini-ITX boards with 13.77" graphics cards also supported. CPU coolers can be up to 16.7cm in height and standard ATX power supplies are supported, up to 180mm deep.
In terms of other design features we have an area to the front of the case where we install a slim line optical drive. A hot swap 3.5" bay is located at the top, flipping open to allow insertion of the drive and two further 3.5" bays are found behind the motherboard tray. In addition to that there is a location where we can attach the 2.5" drive bracket taking our storage drives total to 4. Finally some unique layout changes mean that Silverstone have moved the power socket to the base of the case, providing wiring which passes the power through the case to the new PSU location.
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