SilverStone Fortress FTZ01 Mini-ITX Case Review
By Tom Jaskulka
Full Disclosure: The product sample used in this article has been provided bySilverStone Tek Co., Ltd.
There’s an interesting relationship between the Raven and Fortress series of cases from SilverStone. The Raven series is the experimental, anything goes arm of the engineering labs at SilverStone. Known for the sometimes (okay, usually) outlandish designs like the original RV-01, they also pioneer new techniques like 90-degree rotated motherboard trays and the use of exotic materials in chassis design. The Raven series gave us some of the most interesting approaches to computer cases in recent memory; each one has contained a design or feature that catches the attention of the current market. With the RV01, it was the 90-degree motherboard orientation. The RV02 upped the ante with 3x180mm AP fans, positioned directly in front of – well, everything. The resulting Fortress version (the FT02) is still widely regarded as an excellent air-cooled premium chassis. There have been five versions of the ATX Ravens, but the ITX form factor remained unaddressed until early 2015.
Generally, a few months after the Raven version is released, a premium Fortress version – sporting clean lines and a few tweaks here and there – will follow. This was the case with the RV01/FT01, RV02/FT02…well, you get the idea. When SilverStone released their first ITX Raven case – the RVZ01 – it was only a matter of time before the Fortress variant emerged. The RVZ01 was a unique chassis even by Raven standards; how would the FTZ01 manage to maintain that premium Fortress look and feel? Well, wrap it in a unibody aluminum exterior for starters. Follow along with Benchmark Reviews as we see what else has changed in the SilverStone Fortress FTZ01.
As usual, we’ll building a mini-ITX system in the FTZ01 and noting any peculiarities along the way. With a chassis this small, there’s bound to be some interesting decisions made inside. At the end, some experimental thermal testing is in order – can this Fortress take the heat? Read on to find out!
In early 2014, a revolutionary slim form factor case called the RVZ01 was created by SilverStone’s RAVEN team that exceeded and redefined what a slim HTPC or console-styled PC case could do. As a follow up, SilverStone created another new line called the Fortress Z to cater to enthusiasts with affinity for all metal design in slim form factor cases, thus the FTZ01 was born. Similar to RVZ01, the FTZ01 utilizes a PCI-E riser and custom designed fans to accommodate the biggest consumer graphics card on the market with superb air cooling performance and the ability to support liquid cooling*. Designed for use in either vertical or horizontal orientation, it can be placed comfortably in any space-constrained environment that requires a powerful PC. For those looking to build a premium, all-metal slim form factor PC, there is no better choice than the FTZ01.
-Source: FTZ01 Manual, SilverStone Tek Co., Ltd.
Features & Specifications
|Model No.||SST-FTZ01B (black)|
|Material||Aluminum unibody frame, steel chassis|
|Drive Bay||External||Slim slot-loading optical x 1|
|Internal||3.5” x 1, 2.5” x 3|
|Top||1 x 120mm fan, 1500rpm 18dBA|
|Bottom||1 x 120mm fan, 1500rpm 18dBA
1 x 120mm fan slot
|Front I/O Port||USB 3.0 x 2
audio x 1
MIC x 1
|Power Supply||SFX, SFX-L|
|Operating system support||—|
|Expansion Card||Support graphics card up to 13”, width restriction – 5.88”|
|Limitation of CPU cooler||83mm|
|Limitation of PSU||—|
|Dimension||376mm (W) x 107mm (H) x 351mm (D), 14 liters|
|Extra||Support Kensington locks|
|Support VESA Mount||—|