Aptly named, the SilverStone Fortress FT02 actually does resemble some kind of stronghold when you step back and look at it; the chassis is long, boxy, and entirely silver, and other than the mesh grill on top, one on the rear, and the huge clear pane in the side panel, there are no openings to indicate any penetrable weakness--even the topside ports are hidden by a little door.
The Fortress FT02 is built this way for a reason, actually, and that reason is to keep sound from escaping. The two large side panels are lined with sound-dampening foam that help keep any fan noise to a minimum.
The finish has a sparkle to it that you’re more accustomed to seeing on a car paint job than a computer case, which is impressive because parts of the case are metal while others are plastic, and you really can’t tell them apart without touching them. The look is finished off by subtle curves at the bottom of the front and rear panels as well as at the top of the sides.
The front of the case is host to five 5.25-inch drive bay covers, a SilverStone logo, and nothing else. The rear has a metal mesh grill that is covered by another removable and washable pane of mesh, and it also sports a carrying handle at the top.
There are power and reset buttons (with LEDs) on the top of the case, as well as two USB 3.0 ports and headphone and mic jacks. You’d think the top of the chassis, with its large mesh grill, would lift off to reveal a few fan mounts, but you’d be wrong. Those fans are actually mounted on the bottom of the Fortress FT02--three large 180mm fans, to be exact--and they’re the primary intake fans. There’s an inch or so of clearance between the case’s “foot” and the bottom of the chassis, which is where the fans pull in air.
They blow air across all the components and exhaust at the top of the case, because, well, heat rises. This design works even better because the whole motherboard sits at a 90-degree angle from where you’d normally expect it to be. Thus, the I/O ports, expansion slots, built-in fan controls (switches between high and low for the three large fans), and PSU input are all accessible from the top instead of the rear of the Fortress FT02. There’s also another 120mm exhaust up top to aid in expelling hot air from inside the chassis.