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SilverStone Fortress FTZ01 Mini-ITX Case Review

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SilverStone Fortress FTZ01 Detailed Features

The internal layout – while the same as the Raven RVZ01 – still takes a little getting used to.

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In the photo above, the bracket in the lower left corner holds the PSU (and an optional 3.5″ hard drive). Just above that is the space for a slim, slot-load optical drive, with two 2.5″ drive mount locations sharing the same plastic bracket that spans the “top” (which is the support for the graphics card). A portion of the PCI-Ex16 riser card can be seen in the middle, with the motherboard tray positioned in the lower right corner.

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It’s a bit busy inside initially; thankfully it’s pretty straightforward once everything is removed. The GPU/HDD/ODD bracket removes as essentially one piece with the PSU/3.5″ HDD bracket easily removed as well. SilverStone includes quite a few accessories with the Fortress FTZ01 – vertical stands, a fan splitter, GPU support bracket and fine mesh magnetic filters (don’t forget the rubber feet and various screws) complete the package.

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The power and activity LEDs are combined into a single blue bar with a hint of a “KITT” look (no scanning, unfortunately!). It’s pretty subtle in use and fits the chassis well. The power and reset buttons flank the LED, and each have a precise, tactile action to them.

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Two 120mm slim fans (positioned over the CPU and GPU ventilation) feed cool air directly to the hottest components in the Fortress.

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The included magnetic fan filters fit nicely over the fan mounts. It may not be the most integrated/hidden solution (although you could always mount them in between the panel and fan internally), but it certainly makes it simple to swap them out for cleaning.

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I thought it would be interesting to show a comparison to the first mini-ITX Fortress, even though the two chassis take two entirely different approaches to design. They’re very similar in total volume with the FT03 Mini occupying 17.6L vs the 14L of the FTZ01; however, each have quite different footprints (especially depending on the orientation of the FTZ01). The FT03 Mini will occupy a 9″ x 7.5″ (~230mm x 190mm) due to it’s mostly square base and vertical-only orientation.

The FTZ01, if used vertically, is quite a bit narrower at 107mm, but you’ll need 350mm of space to fit the depth of the chassis. Horizontally, that’s a 351 x 376mm area that you’ll need to free up on your desk (about the size of an XL mouse pad).

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They both offer similar part compatibility with the FTZ01 accommodating slightly larger GPUs. The FT03 Mini uses only a single 140mm fan to provide cooling for the entire chassis – “stack effect” orientation or not, I’m willing to bet the Fortress FTZ01 has a greater potential for cooling overall, even if it may not be as efficient. Each component in the FT03 Mini shares the same compartment, where the FTZ01 is separated quite neatly into compartments containing the hottest components (CPU, GPU, PSU). They both have very solid aluminum exteriors, with the typical SilverStone quality permeating throughout. Overall, they’re two different chassis for two different tastes – I’m not sure if it would be fair to say one is better than the other, but the FTZ01 seems like an appropriately advanced version of the previous Fortress cases.


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3 comments

  1. James

    Excellent and informative! I’ll have this article close by for my first build!
    Silly question (pc building newbie here) – When using the NT06-Pro cooler, does this mean due to cooler clearance that the supplied case fan gets removed in that area?

    1. Tom Jaskulka

      Hey James, glad you found the article helpful! Yes, you’ll have to remove that case fan in order to fit the NT06-Pro cooler (82mm “tall”), as the FTZ01 only has about 83mm from the top of the CPU to the side panel. Relocating that fan to the GPU area should keep everything flowing nicely! If you want to double-check all clearances before starting, SilverStone usually does a really good job of putting all of that information in their manuals (start at page 16 for CPU coolers). Have fun with your build!

  2. James

    Thanks again! I did have a look at the manual in your link. The picture showed that the clearance was covering the fan, but it just didn’t have it in words about the fan! I had to make sure. It will be good for a second gpu fan.
    🙂

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