Inside The Fortress 2 USB 3.0
The FT02S-USB3.0 orients motherboards with the rear-panel pointing up, so the foam acoustic pad we might have expected to see on its top panel is instead found on the rear.
The Fortress 2’s aluminum face panel is actually one U-shaped piece of aluminum that wraps around the base and up the rear. Three 180 mm fans draw in air from a gap between the base of the exterior U-shaped panel and the bottom interior panel.
The FT02S-USB3.0’s five hard drive trays are oriented vertically in a single cage. Three-and-a-half-inch drives mount via shoulder screws and grommets, while 2.5” drives mount using screws alone. Handy flip-panels latch or unlatch the drives in four of the case’s five external 5.25” drive bays, with the uppermost bay requiring screws.
The Fortress 2 doesn’t have very much space behind the motherboard tray for cable management. Instead the builder must rely on his or her own creativity to make cables look organized in this peculiarly-arranged chassis.
Designed to house five drive backplanes, the FT02S-USB3.0 ships with just one of its CP05 hard drive connectors. Additional connectors are available online, including a new SAS hot-swap version.
We can’t fault anyone for thinking that the FT02S-USB3.0 looks more like a workstation than a PC chassis. SilverStone clearly had workstation support in mind because the Fortress 2's motherboard tray includes mounts for SSI-CEB form factor server boards.
Accommodating expansion cards any longer than 12.2” requires the removal of at least the middle intake fan.