Conclusion: One thing's for sure, Silverstone has created something completely new with the Fortress FT03 . They managed to pack a big gaming rig into a small footprint, perfect for anyone who wants to run their PC on their desk without it taking up half of the desk, or for a LAN environment. Having said that, there are small issues here and there that you have to keep in mind if you plan on getting one.
Conclusion: All that said, you'd be hard-pressed to find a better conversation-piece SFF chassis than this one for the price. Experienced PC builders looking to try their hands at an SFF PC-build project will find this chassis a polished and intelligently engineered one, so long as they are willing to work with Mini-ITX and the unique expansion-card limitations that this space-saving form factor poses.
Pros: Classy, compact design looks pricier than it is, All-aluminum sides, Accepts huge video cards for an SFF case, Includes USB 3.0-to-2.0 header adapter
Cons: Supports Mini-ITX motherboards only, Requires costly slot-loading optical drive, SFX power supply, Front and back panels tend to pop off if case is pulled
Summary: Silverstone has taken the unique design of the Fortress FT03 and reduced the overall size of the chassis to create the FT03 Mini. Even so, the case manages to impress in terms of quality, with its thick aluminum panels and solid internal construction. Even with its small size, you will still find room for up to three hard drives, and space for a 10 inch graphics card.
Pros: Unique design, Extremely compact, Two expansion slots, Can hold 10 inch long graphics card, 2x 2.5 inch and 1x 3.5 inch bays, Slot loading ODD in front, Thick aluminum plates all around, 140 mm FDB Air Penetrator fan on the underside, 2x USB 3.0, USB 3.0 to 2.0 adapter included, Dust filter on fan, Goes perfectly with the 450W SFX PSU from Silverstone, Mini-ITX or Mini-DTX compatibility, Available in black or silver
Cons: No eject Button for ODD, Air penetrator fan is quite loud, 10 inch GPU a tight fit, Forced to use low-profile or OEM heatsink, Basic I/O
Summary: We were really impressed by the SilverStone Fortress FT-03-MINI. Its look and feel is top notch, and you will be able to build a small yet powerful computer using it. The only negative is its price, but we have to take into consideration that it uses thick aluminum panels, which are expensive.
SilverStone FT03 Mini Review: We'll Make You Fun Size
22 May 2012
Conclusion: Honestly, you probably already knew whether or not you were interested in the SilverStone FT03 Mini from the moment you looked at it. There are plenty of Mini-ITX cases out there, but none of them look like this one, so what the review is really about is answering questions and determining whether or not it has personality to go along with its looks. I'm happy to report that it does.
Excerpt: By now we are all familiar with the name Silverstone, and they have sent us another case from their Fortress Series. This is the FT03 Micro ATX mid tower case. The FT03 is made with 2.5mm thick, sandblasted and anodized aluminum, with a steel reinforced body. It also features their revolutionary 90-degree motherboard layout, which we have seen in their Raven Series, for more effective heat dissipation.
Conclusion: The Fortress FT03's impeccable thermal dissipation is also a rarity among microATX cases. Its cooling capacity far exceeds that of our much-loved Lian-Li Mini Q PC-V354 . In terms of acoustics, the FT03 is not completely silent but it’s very quiet, similar to the Lian-Li case which we find more than adequate. Besides having a leg up in terms of sheer functionality and performance, the FT03's aesthetics have a mass appeal.
Conclusion: The Fortress FT03 is unique, clever and innovative. SilverStone has laid the foundations of a strong mATX concept, and it's only a few tweaks away from realising the full potential of this space-saving tower.
Summary: Aside from the
Mountain Mods U2-UFO Duality chassis
, the SilverStone Fortress FT03 is probably the most unique case I have ever worked with. If you are the type that likes to deviate from the norm, there is a lot for you to like here.
Starting with the exterior, SilverStone has gone to great lengths to keep everything looking as clean and featureless as possible.
Summary: In our initial review of the FT03 we mentioned that one really has to take advantage of everything it had to offer to get full value out of the case. This includes the use of a tall, tower heatsink to complement the included stock case fans, something we neglected to do the first time around.