With the FT03 out, it’s clear why the packaging was such an interesting shape. This design is a world apart from the first two Fortress models. The FT03 has a very small footprint but the height that you would expect to see from a normal mid tower case. The case shares the same smooth black styling that we love about the Fortress line as well as the rounded corners. All of the side panels are finished in brushed aluminum. There is very little branding other than a Silverstone logo machined into the front of the case. There is a small slot on the front of the case that when paired up with a proper slot loading disc drive is very slick.
On one side there is a plastic panel with ventilation that gives a little ventilation for the case, specifically for the power supply to vent its hot air out.
Up under the case there is a double fan filter that filters the intake from the power supply and the intake just to the side of it. The filter itself is removable and held in place only by magnets. This makes cleaning it extremely easy; something that someone like me with cats will especially appreciate. For feet the FT03 has four inch plus height feet that give the two intakes plenty of room to breathe. The side panels also come down to cover the extra height of the feet while leaving gaps in between the feet to bring in air. There is also a small hole on the bottom that houses the power supply plug, not only is it a little hard to get to being on the bottom, but being up in the hole makes it an interesting choice to say the least.
The top of the FT03 is especially interesting. As I’m sure you have already noticed, there wasn’t a back panel to be found. Silverstone packed both the rear I/O panel and front I/O panel all up on the top of the FT03. With the case together there is a ventilated plastic top panel that doesn’t affect air flow but keeps the FT03 looking clean, even when you have your cables hooked up. You also have the front panel with a power and reset button, hard drive and power LED’s, headphone and microphone ports, and two USB 3.0 ports.
Although it borderlines on covering the interior, with the top plastic panel taken off you can finally see that this is actually a computer case. We have four PCI slot covers with vents cut out of them. They are silver in color, I’m not sure why they didn’t color these black to go with the rest of the case though. Above/next to the rear I/O panel we have an exhaust fan blowing directly up. Much like the PCI slot covers, they went with chrome for a finish on the fan guard rather than a color that would blend into the black case, I can only assume they did this because it is covered by the plastic top panel that I mentioned before. Also packed into this area is a spring loaded hot swappable hard drive bay just below the I/O Panel cutout. Flipping the switch will swing the bay open so you can slide your 3.5 inch hard drive in and out quickly, without having to take your whole case apart.