Let's get back to where we left off, and likely one of the more decisive factors in a chassis, the noise level. With the fan controllers set in the lowest position on the dial, after a few seconds you can hear the fans drop in noise level to a very manageable 33 dB. However, when we turned those dials to high (oh, and these dials are also marked backwards, or the switch is wired wrong, but anyways), the sound level jumps to a serious cooling level of noise, in the 55 dB area.
There is a serious benefit to that amount of noise though. With all of that noise, comes a massive amount of air flow, so much so that while testing, this case was circling air around the entire room. Good thing there is an easy to remove and clean dust filter, as this will also be working as the house dust filter at this level. The last perk to all of this is that all of the thermal readings of the components were some of the best we have seen in quite a long time.
While the layout is unique, and most things worked out really well with the build and in most of what we need this chassis to do, there were some things that just seemed odd. First off is all the wiring. I get that you can fit a Mini-ITX motherboard in here, but come on man, seriously? Who needs this much wiring for a Mini-ITX build? And what is with white sleeve in an otherwise all back interior? It just did not make much sense to us. With the PSU sharing room with the ODD bays, drive may not be such an issue. However, running tubing to a bay reservoir may become very challenging, and our PSU isn't as big as what you would need to support an overclock, and say three GPUs that this chassis will easily fit.
There is some real genius going on with some of the modular features and support systems, but it seems like this case sort of offers water cooling compatibility, and then you lose the benefits of the AP180mm fans. The last thing that ended up being an issue is the magnet system used on the front. I get that you don't want to go too strong to make us work to open it, but the system in place here allows the heavy door to swing wildly any time you want to move this chassis, so I guess LAN builders are out.
I am a fan of the style, where I can easily see some people not digging on the way it all came together aesthetically, but I would use this chassis if there was a need for it on an upcoming build. The main reason is that you do have the ability to run slow and silent for most of the day to day stuff, and while benching or gaming, throw on a headset and let the fans rip, delivering airflow I have never seen before. The mix of steel and aluminum trim really keeps the weight down from what this chassis could have been if constructed from that thick aluminum, and it works out well with all the creative solutions on the inside of the chassis.
Would I rush out to buy this chassis? I don't think so. I mean when it comes to cases that are near what this chassis offers, we have cases like the Enthoo Primo to ponder over, or something like that new H440 which may be smaller, but offers much more to the water cooling enthusiast in me. For anyone air cooling, or who likes to use AIOs with a single 120mm radiator, there is no other case on the planet that will deliver the mini hurricane of air flow that SilverStone delivers in the Fortress FT04.
PRICING: You can find the SilverStone Fortress FT04 for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing, but can change at any time. Click the link to see the very latest pricing for the best deal.
United States: The SilverStone Fortress FT04 (Black) retails for $229.00 at Amazon, and the SilverStone Fortress FT04 (Silver) retails for $280.98 at Amazon.