Silverstone Fortress FT04 Review
Published: 3rd February 2014 | Source: Silverstone | Price: £174 |
Let's start by saying that the pair of 180mm AP182 fans that come fitted into the front of the FT04 are some of the best large diameter fans on the market. At low speeds (500rpm) they still shift a significant amount of air and will do a great job of keeping the internals cool with the bare minimum of sonic disturbance.
If you're keeping the front fans then odds are you're going to be air cooling. If that's the case then the 165mm of head room afforded to you opens up a wide selection of coolers. For continuity we've shown the FT04 with our trusty Havik 120. You'll also notice that we haven't fitted the GPU support bracket. This is because as we were repacking the accessories box it accidently fell in the bin, which is a shame, as now we've no way of making the inside of our case look ugly.
At least we still have the scissor jack style CPU cooler support to help pitch the aesthetics of the case internals into a nose dive. Thankfully, like most of the other internal components it can be removed.
Below we've removed the front fans and fitted the six brackets that Silverstone supply to adapt the 180mm apertures down to 120mm. If you're thinking of doing this in order to fit 120mm fans instead of the 180mm units supplied then walk away now, the only, and we mean only reason you'd take out the AP182s and fit these adapters is if you were planning to water cool the case. It's a neat idea, but we can't help thinking that adding holes for 140mm fans would have been nice also.
Tom has already shown in his review of the RV04 how tight it is to get a 360mm rad in here, but it is possible, with the caveat that you may need to get the dremel out if your end tanks are as large as the RX360s. We also know it's possible to mount fans internally as well as externally to the adapter brackets and still have them fit under the filter, upping the max rad thickness to 95mm before you encroach on the management holes. If your ambitions are a little more modest we've shown below that it is possible to get a 240mm AIO in here. We've had to mount the rad high in the case with the barbs at the bottom (not a problem with a sealed AIO as there is no need to bleed). Mounting the rad in any other position made the distance to the CPU too large for the tubing to reach.
We did however find one small problem when fitting the AIO and fans in that the small lip around the interior of the fan aperture made it impossible for the fans to sit neatly. Appreciating that you could mount the fans outside the case on the other side of the brackets you'd still have the shroud of the radiator fouling the lip.
As the lip is only an issue a the very top and bottom of the case it can be easily solved by using slightly longer rad bolts, or by the use of shims to bring the rest of the rad or fans away from the body by the same amount necessitated by the lip. As you can see, the AIO goes in fine, but does sit at a slight angle (and yes we know the fan cable is pointing the wrong way)