SilverStone Fortress SST-FT05B-W Full-Tower Chassis Review

SilverStone Fortress SST-FT05B-W Full-Tower Chassis Review

Chad checks in and tells us all about SilverStone's Fortress SST-FT05B-W full-tower computer case. Hint: he has good things to say about it.

@chad_sebring
Published Fri, Apr 24 2015 9:14 AM CDT   |   Updated Thu, Jul 30 2020 4:20 PM CDT
Rating: 94%Manufacturer: SilverStone

Introduction, Specifications and Pricing

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VIEW GALLERY - 38 IMAGES

SilverStone is one of those companies, that when it comes to cases, they like to stick with what they know works. There are many series of cases in their lineup that show this, the Ravens, the Temjin's, the Grandia's, it always seems that SilverStone is finding a new way or new technology to throw into previous designs, allowing them to enhance cases of the past. In our time, we have seen the full evolution of a lot of these cases, and the Fortress series is one of those in which we have followed it for a long time.

With the Fortress cases, they are similar, or have been in the past to what the Raven series offered, just done much cleaner and less aggressively on the outside. As this chassis has grown up, it comes from a more normal looking design with little air flow and the front full of 5.25" bays. While things have gotten more streamlined, and they started to hide bays in the design, we feel this latest evolution of the Fortress chassis is not only an evolution on a solid foundation, but is a chassis that anyone can appreciate.

Keeping the ninety degree motherboard orientation that sets SilverStone apart from a lot of other manufacturers, allows them to have a stack cooling design, where the air works along with convection as the cool air in introduced from the bottom and exits the top of this chassis. Aesthetically, this is almost something from the art deco period of the 20th century, while the whole time also counteracting sounds with absorbent materials used throughout the inside.

If you have always liked the Fortress series of cases, and just have yet to pull the trigger on one, now would be the time to do so. Even if you just crawled out from under a rock and never heard of either SilverStone or the Fortress cases of the past, stop and take notice. Even this early in a review, we can tell that this is a chassis that is well worth a look, as this solid, near silent full-tower chassis offers a look and design you will find nowhere else.

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There are a few versions of the SilverStone FT05. The top of the chart shows that there are a total of four variations. You can get this chassis in a natural silver color, and of course in black like we received it. In both versions there is also an option to have a window on the left side or not, of which our chassis has it. The construction uses very thick aluminum at the front and rear, the bottom section is a bit thinner. For the rest of the chassis, there are bits of black ABS plastic, and the top of the chassis as well as the motherboard tray are made of steel. Speaking of the motherboard tray, in this chassis, you will find room for a Micro-ATX, ATX, or SSI-CEB motherboard.

Externally, the only remnant of a drive bay is a rubber cover in a slot load drive bay at the bottom right side of the front panel. Internally, there is room for a pair of 3.5" drives to slide into a small cage at the rear of this chassis. If you desire the use of 2.5" drives, there is also a pair of drive bays behind the motherboard tray to accommodate those. At the top of the chassis, you not only find room for an optional 120mm fan or AIO, this is also where the rear I/O, seven expansion slots, and PSU mounting location are.

To cool this chassis, they have stuck with the tried and true method of using a pair of 180mm AP fans located in the floor of this design, blowing air straight out the top of the chassis. These fans connect via a 3-pin header to power each fan, but also use a line to go to the front I/O panel. Along with the USB 3.0, HD Audio, power and reset button, there is also a pair of three speed switches that control the fans. This requires the use of a SATA power lead as well, but sets the fans to 600 RPM at low, 900 RPM at medium, and when set on high, they will run at 1200 RPM delivering 34dB(A) maximum noise level.

Since this chassis has been out for a bit now, it is quite easy to find, but don't just dump your cash at the first hit you find. Looking at Amazon as we always do, we see a listing with SilverStone Tek as the seller with the pricing set to $230.83 for the version of the chassis you are about to see. However, if you venture over to Newegg, they have the chassis listed at $184.99, needing only $4 more to ship it. While saving near $45 may not mean a whole lot to some, it is enough for us to want to shop around for the best deal to be had. Considering the materials used, how they need to be manufactured, and what this chassis offers both in what fits and how it looks when the build is complete, we really cannot complain about the pricing.

PRICING: You can find the SilverStone Fortress SST-FT05B-W Full-Tower Chassis 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 SST-FT05B-W Full-Tower Chassis retails for $232.77 at Amazon.

Australia: Find other tech and computer products like this over at PLE Computer's website.

Packaging

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Under the QR Code to the left, there is also a list of nine features found in this design, and of course the address to go look for more information.

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On this thinner side of the box, we find it starts with a short story of what was involved in bringing forth the FT05. Below the carry handle, there are QR Codes and features lists offered in nine other languages.

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Around to the back, we see the top of the panel is much like the front, but the image has changed. Here, we now get a look inside of the chassis. With a list of descriptions to the left side and numbers arranged around the image, it is easy to see what you have going on.

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If you were to see this in the store, this should be a view of the specifications chart that SilverStone took the time to offer customers. Instead, we see the shipping company made sure to make that difficult to see.

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Inside of the box, we found the FT05B-W is wrapped in a cloth bag for an added bit of protection as well as offering a better looking idea for a dust cover or travel cover. To protect this chassis further, SilverStone used Styrofoam caps, but places them on the front and back of the chassis; all of which worked wonders and allows our chassis to arrive in perfect condition for this review.

SilverStone Fortress SST-FT05B-W Full-Tower Chassis

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If not for the reflective strip at the bottom that has yet to reveal its hidden secret, this black tower would look very plain. We like the stepped back sides, and to us it looks very modern and clean, yet still a fair bit art deco in essence.

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Right where the top of the chassis and the front panel meet, there is a plastic cover that flips open, exposing the front I/O connectivity and the fan control switches. To either side, you find the power button to the left, and the reset button to the right of the flip open panel.

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With the panel closed now, and stepping back just a bit to take it all in, the top of the FT05 is very open and should not impose much on the air flow at all. Of course, to access all of the cables, the center section is removable by sliding it back slightly and lifting the whole thing up, and is also how you gain access to remove the doors.

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The left side of the chassis carries on the flat expanse of black, but in this version, it is broken up with the window placed low and to the right of the panel. We also see more of that mirrored striping that runs the length of the chassis, right above the air intake at the bottom.

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As we looked a bit closer at the floor of this chassis, we noticed that it has been completely covered with this open celled sound absorbing material. With the 180mm fans just above this, it should keep a fair amount of the noise from making it to the owner's ears.

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The back of the chassis offers a large area at the top to allow future cabling to run through it when the build is finished, and we also see a large ventilated area below that. This is to allow the PSU a fresh intake of air. Outside of that, it almost looks the same going forwards or backwards otherwise.

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The right side of the chassis, without the window, is a lot more steel to look at. While they could have made it all plain and closed off back here, they keep the mirrored trim, and we see that the ventilation at the bottom is open for more airflow here too.

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Since this is not the bottom where the fans are placed, SilverStone decided to use a solid slab of aluminium here as well. There are screws at the front and back of the chassis alluding to the fact that this can come apart, and we also see rubber pads at the corners to sure up the footing.

Inside the Fortress SST-FT05B-W

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After sliding the top to the back and lifting it away, we find a pair of plastic handles surrounding a large box of hardware. This is mostly open otherwise, as it is technically the rear of the chassis, only with a ninety degree twist.

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Nearer to the front handle, inside of the top rail, you will find a release latch. This is for the right side of the chassis, but pressing the lump under and to the left of the R releases the lock and allows the side panel to lift straight up and off the frame.

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Since there is a window in the left panel, it does not get any sound absorbing material. The right side that we are seeing here does in fact get a large section of material added to both keep the panel from rattling, and of course absorbing noises from inside the chassis.

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Without the sides and the top in place, the chassis opens right up. Things appear to be very cramped at first glance, but once we get all of the gear installed later, you will see there is ample room for most builds.

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Inside of the front of the chassis, we find it is completely lined with sound absorbing material, and is where all of the front I/O wiring is left to hang from the top of the chassis. Also, just off to the left, we see the slot-load optical bay drive if you have a need for an optical drive of whatever flavor.

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Since we already had all of the wiring in view, we may as well cover them now as well. There is the power and reset leads to the left, the HD Audio, USB 3.0 and SATA power lead in the middle, leaving the long lead to connect for the HDD LED. Since it may have to be very visible, we do appreciate that everything is black and easily hidden in plain sight.

Inside the Fortress SST-FT05B-W Continued

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The motherboard tray is a two-part deal, with the ODD tray hanging between them. To the right, there is access for CPU coolers, and even a small hole for the 8-pin lead. The left offers some management options for smaller motherboards, but for ATX, and SSI-CEB you are left using the indent at the left side of the motherboard tray.

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On the left side of the floor, there is this two bay rack for 3.5" drives. This rack is screwed into the motherboard tray and chassis frame, can be removed entirely, or just removed to make drive installation and wiring around it a bit easier.

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With the drive cage out of the way, we can see fully this pair of AP 180mm fans to send air through the chassis. The two pin clips at the back edge is for the fan controller switch leads, and for power, these offer really long 3-pin leads.

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Where the venting for the PSU at the back of the chassis stops, we see that SilverStone filled the blank section of the panel with more of that absorbent material. Also, don't worry about dust for the PSU, SilverStone has that covered, and we will show the solution in the hardware section.

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Looking out the top of the chassis, we find the exhaust fan location is empty and ready to be filled by a fan or AIO of your choosing. The screws to the expansions slots are actually above the rest of the panel, and offer an anti-tamper cover to slow down a would-be thief. That leaves the hole to the left to mount the PSU hanging from the top.

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While it may not look like much behind the motherboard tray, there is a decent offset to allow for wiring to cross from left to right and connect. Also, in the larger section of the motherboard tray, we find that we can install a pair of 2.5" drives here and not use the HDD cage if we don't wish to.

Accessories and Documentation

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Remember how large that hardware box was when we took the top off the chassis? Well, here is what's inside it. There are standoffs, a socket for them, thumbscrews to lock in 3.5" drives to the cage, and tiny screws for the slot-load ODD tray. We also get four screws for 2.5" drive mounting, a set of screws for the PSU and motherboard, and four zip ties to help contain the wiring.

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When you first open the box, you will find a thick plastic envelope. This contains the manual that you see here, and also is where you will locate the magnetic dust filter to use outside the chassis, in the back, for the PSU. As for the manual, it is very thorough as far as the build in concerned, and starts with a few basics of the chassis and gets right into the proper way of removing the panels so you don't damage it.

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Just like the HDD cage, the slot-load ODD tray is removable from the chassis. You also have to remove a rubber plug that blocks the slot from the factory, but this coming out of the chassis will make the drives mounting so much easier.

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The HDD cage, as we mentioned, is completely removable as well. This does make placing the drives and locking them in with a screw is easier now, but it is still doable with the drive cage in the chassis.

Case Build and Finished Product

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We chose the ATX motherboard, a decent sized PSU, and a full-tower air cooler and had no issues at all with our choices, even the longer video card fit with ease. A short cable kit for the PSU will come in very handy for those wires that really have no need to be behind the motherboard tray.

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Normally, we would show the back of the chassis here, so we oriented the top of the chassis into a familiar layout here. The dust shield slides in without much force, and the video card and PSU fit as we would have expected, without issue.

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The amount of what can be contained back here when to came to the wiring, is slim, but everything needed to run there will fit there. It does take a bit of thinking if you want to use a 2.5" drive back here like we did, but we were still able to do it without any issues with the side panels placement.

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In case you were not putting it all together why the window was located so low and to the right, it was done to show off the gear. With full views of the CPU cooler, motherboard and video card, and nothing we don't need to see, we feel this placement and size is perfect for this chassis.

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What we really like about more and more cases coming out now is that when the build is completed, the chassis looks near identical to how it does out of the box. Aside from the view currently offered in the window, without power, there is nothing externally that has to change.

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Powering the chassis, we had the fan switches set to low, and at this distance it is unheard. With the fans on high, we were only able to get a 31dB rating on the meter, anywhere around the chassis. There is one thing that changes on the exterior though, but you need to look down. As we alluded to, the front mirrored section held a surprise. When powered, the SilverStone logo illuminates with white LEDs, and if you ask us, is pretty trick and done very well.

Final Thoughts

Not too many companies have their act together when it comes to sleek, simplistic designs that look elegant, yet are ready to take on anything you can throw at them. There are thankfully a select few, like SilverStone in what they have shown us in the Fortress SST-FT05B-W they sent us to look at. Dimensionally, this is a full-tower chassis, but it feels smaller, almost mid-tower in size, even externally, things seem more compact without much going on to trick the eyes in its design. Simple touches like the satin finish that is neither glossy or matte; it's just right, then trimming the bottom with mirrored strips... classy. Hiding the logo unless the chassis is powered is really cool, too.

Internally, there is just enough room to get any gamer on their way. If you had the need to store a bunch of drives, this is not the chassis for you. While room for two each 3.5 and 2.5" drives, it covers the basics in a chassis with little room for fooling around. While not the typical offering, for those that just cannot go without an optical drive, using the slot-load drive on its side saves room and solves that issue for some. Upon initial inspection of the FT05, we did not have high hopes for the wire management, and overall room for the gear we chose, but we finished the build pleasantly surprised that we were able to get in what we did. Also, even though the wiring isn't "hidden" by design, they are all long enough to hide well enough to be out of view, and were easily tended to and managed behind the tray.

We liked the controllable fans, and even at low, the airflow is impressive and the fans are near silent. These same fans were used in cases like the TJ11, where sound dampening is not addressed in this manner, and that chassis is fairly loud. In the FT05, even with the fans allowed to spin at 1200 RPM, not only does airflow increase to very impressive levels for this chassis, with all of the sound absorbing materials in play, the chassis is just audible a foot away.

When it comes to a full-tower chassis, you can enter the market for around $100 for a fairly appointed chassis. While this SST-FT05B-W will cost almost double that at $184, those $100 solutions start to falter in comparison. You will be hard pressed to find a chassis made of extruded aluminum bits, thick ones at that. One that when gutted, as we did to this chassis, is still rock solid, and does not flex. This chassis shows that SilverStone is taking the Fortress series to a new level of sophistication on the outside, while still being able to offer a super smooth looking design that will indeed fit everything you need.

Oh, and for those thinking of what to take to the next LAN, remove the top and you can lug this chassis around with easy as the thick plastic handles are more than capable of the weight one can put into this chassis. So, while slightly high in pricing, for those looking to dress up the office or living room with a full on gaming or editing machine, SilverStone has a very slick offering with this retro looking SST-FT05B-W.

PRICING: You can find the SilverStone Fortress SST-FT05B-W Full-Tower Chassis 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 SST-FT05B-W Full-Tower Chassis retails for $232.77 at Amazon.

Australia: Find other tech and computer products like this over at PLE Computer's website.

TweakTown award
Performance94%
Quality including Design and Build97%
General Features96%
Bundle and Packaging94%
Value for Money90%
Overall94%

The Bottom Line: Great airflow without a ton of noise, sleek looking and will add style to any room, sort of retro with technology mixed in, and is solid as a rock. All of which is what the SST-FT05B-W offers and more, and is a chassis you should try for yourself.

PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.

USUnited States: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.com

UKUnited Kingdom: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.co.uk

AUAustralia: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.com.au

CACanada: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.ca

DEDeutschland: Finde andere Technik- und Computerprodukte wie dieses auf Amazon.de

After a year of gaming, Chad caught the OC bug. With overclocking comes the need for better cooling, and Chad has had many air and water setups. With a few years of abusing computer parts, he decided to take his chances and try to get a review job. As an avid overclocker, Chad is always looking for the next leg up in RAM, cooling, as well as peripherals.

We openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here. Please contact us if you wish to respond.

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