SilverStone Fortress FT03-MINI Review

👤by David Mitchelson Comments 📅20-06-12

All of the panels on FT03-Mini are solid and have no significant features except for the front panel. These panels are 2.5mm thick and are removed with a firm pull – no screws are used. Unlike the original FT03 there is no plastic side vent - so the entire case retains a sleek, premium appearance.

The sides of FT03-Mini are solid

The top of the chassis is chiefly made up of a plastic grid, a key design element mirrored in the original FT03. This grid is vented to allow heat to exhaust from the rear I/O and dissipate up and out.

The top of FT03-Mini with removable ventilation cover

Accessing the front panel controls doesn't require the removal of this ventilation panel; it does however allow us to gain a better overview of design tweaks made to accommodate the rear I/O, PSU and PCI-e slots. The front panel controls sit on a raised platform and feature the following:

• Power/Reset buttons with activity LEDs
• 2x USB 3.0 ports (via motherboard header)
• Headphone/Microphone jacks

Due to the orientation of FT03-Mini and the motherboard tray being rotated, the rear IO ports will appear at the top of the case and as a result at the top there are 2x PCI expansion slot covers with ventilation gaps and even more ventilation just beyond this section. On one side of the front panel connectivity is an area for the rear IO ports of the motherboard and on the other an opening for the PSU which incidentally needs to adhere to SFX form factor.Having the PSU mounted at the top of the case means that the power cable will need to route up to this spot.

Rear IO ports are found at the top of FT03-Mini

Taking a look at the underside of FT03-Mini there are 4x rubber feet positioned in the corners to prevent the case from slipping on smooth surfaces. In the very centre SilverStone have included a 1 x 140mm Air Penetrator fan rated at 1500 RPM. This fan is attached as an intake with the aim of driving airflow up and out through the top of the case.

The Air Penetrator has a plastic cover that is detachable by simply unclipping it from the housing. This cover contains a removable air filter, a critical inclusion as the build-up of dust through intake fans would be inevitable otherwise.

The underside of FT03-Mini with air filter cover

Air Penetrator 140mm fan (1200RPM) drives airflow

With a visual inspection of the external aspects now covered let’s move inside for a look at what features are found within.

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