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SilverStone Fortress SST-FT03B Mini Chassis Review - The Build and Finished Product

SilverStone saw the success of the original FT03 last year and decided to reduce the chassis size by half with the release of the FT03 Mini.

| Other Cases in Cases, Cooling & PSU | Posted: Jul 14, 2012 3:56 am
TweakTown Rating: 92%Manufacturer: SilverStone

The Build and Finished Product

 

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Due to the very compact nature of the FT03 Mini, I had to take these images in stages so you can actually see what happened by the time I finished the build. To start off I installed my Zotac Mini-ITX motherboard and my GTX 460. No issues to speak of in this part.

 

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At this point I have the front I/O wiring all connected and tidy to try to leave as much air flow undisturbed as possible. This is also a good time to install the SATA cables, as you may not have easy access to it later in the build.

 

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Here I went ahead and installed the SFX PSU. Even though I am not using all of the leads, there is a Molex plug lead, a SATA plug lead, a VGA lead with a 6+2-pin and an additional 6-pin, a 20+4-pin and the 8-pin EPS leads to contend with.

 

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The last thing to do is to reinstall the drive bays, I would have added my slim optical drive, the SOD01, but on closer examination, it didn't fit. If you are going to buy this chassis make sure you pick up the SOD02 from SilverStone or one exactly like it, as the spacing is limited for the standard style slim drives.

 

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Looking back through the front of the FT03 Mini you can see my video card fills this chassis pretty well. While they do state that you can fit a 10 inch card in here, you need to have one with the power plugs on the side of the card and not at the end for it to fit.

 

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The top of the chassis fills right up with the rear I/O dust shield and the rear I/O of the board sticking through. The dual slot card takes up the expansion slots while the PSU sits all lonely by itself on the other side of the front I/O panel.

 

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Looking in from what is the back of the chassis you see mostly wires, but I want you to look closer. With all of that wiring and the PSU just above the CPU, not much more than a stock cooler or a super low profile solution will fit into the FT03 Mini. Going with a 50% reduction in size brings its issues, but this is the only one I ran across during the entire build and overview of this design.

 

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At this point we close up shop by replacing all of the snap on panels. We just need to add some power and get to the testing so I can get you my thoughts on the FT03 Mini as a whole.

 

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It is tough to see and that is a good thing in my opinion, but when the chassis has power there is a blue LED at the top denoting power. To indicate the hard drive activity, there is a red LED that will flicker. Both lights aren't that bright and even though they are at the top and out of the line of sight, these aren't going to send light all the way to the ceiling either.

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