SilverStone Fortress FT03-MINI Review

👤by David Mitchelson Comments 📅20-06-12

We recently had the pleasure of taking a look at the Fortress FT03, a now infamous computer case with a unique design built for mATX systems. Today we have been taking a look at the sibling to FT03 – some would even call it “the baby” of the Fortress Series. We were very impressed by the original FT03 so how does the Mini version shape up?

We have to give credence for the build quality; this is indeed one of the highlights of this case. Inside and outside FT03-Mini has certainly been given the special treatment. The materials used are high in quality and design has been executed with precision -this is one area that SilverStone are experts at.

The unique design continues with the Mini. Outside the case has a portrait resemblance, oozing style whilst inside the motherboard tray has been rotated to retain that distinctive design that the Fortress series is well known for. Space is tight inside but then the intention is fundamentally aimed at compact system builders wanting to base their system around Mini-ITX. I was surprised to discover that FT03-Mini can accommodate graphics cards with a maximum length of 10” which includes the new NVIDIA GTX 680. In turn, this means that high-end kit can be assembled inside this chassis – combine a graphics card like the GTX 680 with a Mini-ITX Z68 motherboard and SSD and you have yourself a mini-powerhouse capable of delivering raw power.

Even if a chassis is labelled 'Mini-ITX', it does not necessarily follow that the chassis is actually small. The external dimensions of the FT03-Mini are genuinely small, with a footprint only a little larger than a 140mm fan; other Mini-ITX chassis are more akin in size to full tower cases when it comes to the space they take on your desk. Rather than add expansive cooling capacity and unlimited graphics card space, SilverStone have used a 'small is beautiful approach' with associated limitations.

FT03-Mini is currently listed at £100inc. VAT, representing a premium price for small form factor chassis. Taking craftsmanship and the thickness of the aluminium panels into consideration, we can understand this case being slightly higher in price. Furthermore, innovation in design never comes cheap; retaining build quality and overall ethos of the Fortress within these restrictions and hitting the price point they have is an achievement

SilverStone have done it again, the FT03-Mini ticks all the boxes for those wanting to down-size. On offer is build quality on another level and a sleek design that will look great whether next to the TV or desk. FT03-Mini comes highly recommended by Vortez and attains our prestigious gold award.


+ Exceptional build quality and construction
+ Unique design sets it apart
+ Choice of black/white
+ Panels are easily removed
+ Houses high-end kit (long graphics cards, SSDs)

- Cost
- Fan controller would have been useful

Click here for an explanation of our awards at

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