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Old 28th Sep 2012, 10:48   #1
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SilverStone Fortress FT03-Mini review

http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/cas...-mini-review/1
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Old 28th Sep 2012, 10:54   #2
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That last picture looks like a small can of spaghetti!!!
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Old 28th Sep 2012, 11:00   #3
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Cheers Anthony. Could you do me a favor and take a photo of it plugged in on your desk. I want to see how it looks once the wires are plugged in. I can't seem to find anyone with that pic.

Also would you say that in a LAN this would cook with the high external temperatures?

Cheers.
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Old 28th Sep 2012, 11:27   #4
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Thanks for the review, I'm looking at mini-itx for my next build so this and the other reviews you have had on here are great. Don't think this one is for me, the BitFenix Prodigy is a favourite of mine so far but this may be good for HTPC builds for friends & family.

Poss a typo..

"SilverStone is an ardent supported of the mini-ITX form factor..."
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Old 28th Sep 2012, 11:33   #5
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Cheers Anthony. Could you do me a favor and take a photo of it plugged in on your desk. I want to see how it looks once the wires are plugged in. I can't seem to find anyone with that pic.

Also would you say that in a LAN this would cook with the high external temperatures?

Cheers.
Hi Lance. I'll see what I can do - it's dismantled now but I'll try to get that pic for you - might be worth googling for a similar pic of the larger FT03 - it's pretty much identical in terms of layout, just larger.

As far as a LAN goes, with the hardware we used it should be okay. The GPU is the main concern but we locked ours at 70 per cent speed for testing reasons. If I get time, and if SilverStone don't want the case back, I may cut a vent next to the GPU fan in the side panel and see what difference it makes!
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Is the res loud, like, constantly making you need a piss loud?
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Old 28th Sep 2012, 12:02   #6
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I'm enjoying these ITX chassis reviews, but I've yet to see one that beats the Prodigy.

This one does look lovely externally, but the snakes nest interior puts me off; not to mention the price. The FT03 was a revelation, but I think they've hamstrung themselves a little with the mini.
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Old 28th Sep 2012, 12:10   #7
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Lian Li Q02 next please?
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Old 28th Sep 2012, 12:26   #8
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Most ITX boxes are flawed in some way. The Q02 doesn't have a PCI slot for a discreet graphics card, and the Q03 has a single slot - ruling out pretty much every mainstream card on the market.
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Old 28th Sep 2012, 14:10   #9
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If I had the dollar, I'd buy one of these in a heartbeat.
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Old 28th Sep 2012, 14:15   #10
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Most ITX boxes are flawed in some way. The Q02 doesn't have a PCI slot for a discreet graphics card, and the Q03 has a single slot - ruling out pretty much every mainstream card on the market.
perfect for trinity though!
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Old 28th Sep 2012, 14:29   #11
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perfect for trinity though!
Fair point - I keep forgetting about AMD's APUs.
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Old 28th Sep 2012, 15:02   #12
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Full disclosure: I used to be a huge fan of the CoolerMaster ATCS cases, and as a bunch of their ex-employees went on to form SilverStone, I'm a huge fan of theirs too. So I definitely have a bit of a bias towards them.

With that out of the way, I absolutely love the FT-03 line. Yes, they are definitely products with compromises, and in this case (pun intended), form is put ahead of function. But that form is so attractive that I just don't care - visually the FT-03 Mini is, I think, the best looking case I've seen since the Mac G4 Cube (which is still my favorite case ever).

It's also interesting that you wish for vents on the side panels for better GPU cooling - those vents on the mATX FT-03 is the only thing I dislike about it, and the reason why I think the Mini is a better looking case. I understand the desire for better cooling, but I don't really care about using a discrete GPU in a mini-ITX case, so I'm very happy that SilverStone went this route.

I'm actually planning on replacing my current desktop (housed in a SilverStone FT-01, which I love but is unfortunately quite outdated in terms of I/O options and missing modern features like cable management and CPU cut-out hole) with an mATX system in a FT-03, and then building a FT-03 mini-ITX Hackintosh as soon as I can find a good option for the motherboard. I just love the look of these cases that much.
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Old 28th Sep 2012, 15:03   #13
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That psu/cpu fan issue is the reason why I can't have my components inside of my Silverstone SG02. I don't understand why they couldn't just make the panel next to the PSU perforated so you could just flip it.

At least I had a spare fusion board to put in it so it wasn't a total waste.
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Old 28th Sep 2012, 15:36   #14
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Love the mini-ITX coverage. Coupon of questions, if I may.

1) The GPU gets fairly toasty, are it's fans muffled at all by those thick aluminum side panels?

2) Did you get a feeling for what all in ones would fit, and how they would fit?
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Old 28th Sep 2012, 16:08   #15
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Love the mini-ITX coverage. Coupon of questions, if I may.

1) The GPU gets fairly toasty, are it's fans muffled at all by those thick aluminum side panels?

2) Did you get a feeling for what all in ones would fit, and how they would fit?
Unfortunately not - the side panels are fairly porous at the edges as they're only clipped in place. They probably have no more of a sound-deadening affect than any other case.

I know that Scan has fitted a Corsair H60 with not too much trouble - I believe the H80's rad is too thick. I've updated the review to be more specific.
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Is the res loud, like, constantly making you need a piss loud?
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Old 28th Sep 2012, 16:18   #16
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Would putting a radiator over the fan not block its air flow? Also would you not struggle to clean it?
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Old 28th Sep 2012, 16:25   #17
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Would putting a radiator over the fan not block its air flow? Also would you not struggle to clean it?
It's going to reduce it yes, but not by much as the radiator on an H60 is fairly small. When I reviewed their FT03-Mini system last month for Custom PC it certainly didn't seem to impact on temps too much.

If you check out the image of the fan on the second page at the top, cleaning it shouldn't be an issue as you have direct access to the fan and filter from the bottom.
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Is the res loud, like, constantly making you need a piss loud?
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Old 28th Sep 2012, 16:31   #18
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Love the mini-ITX coverage. Coupon of questions, if I may.

1) The GPU gets fairly toasty, are it's fans muffled at all by those thick aluminum side panels?

2) Did you get a feeling for what all in ones would fit, and how they would fit?
Unfortunately not - the side panels are fairly porous at the edges as they're only clipped in place. They probably have no more of a sound-deadening affect than any other case.

I know that Scan has fitted a Corsair H60 with not too much trouble - I believe the H80's rad is too thick. I've updated the review to be more specific.
Cheers, that's a real shame. I liked this case, but I much prefer a quite system.
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Old 28th Sep 2012, 16:37   #19
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The price is what I struggle with here.

If you were to build a gaming rig, the Prodigy is cheaper at 65 and has better cooling than the FT03 Mini.

If you were to build a non-gaming rig, the Lian Li PC-Q07B is smaller and costs only 45 new.

Both take standard ATX PSU's which provides more choice and potentially saves money. Whilst the FT03 Mini is flexible enough to fulfill both functions, the price goes against it in my mind.
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Old 28th Sep 2012, 16:56   #20
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true, silverstone do tend to price themselves out of the market sometimes. If they included an SFX PSU for that price I’d be much more inclined but it does seem like a lot of money for a power-itx case that doesn’t even cool that well
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