Our overall impressions of the Silverstone Fortress FT03 Mini are very positive indeed. It is very clear that Silverstone utilise an extremely talented design team as both Fortress FT03 and FT03 Mini are very innovative. While Silverstone are not short of competition in this sector, they do tend to stand out due to the engineering quality of the finished product.
The build quality of the FT03 Mini is stellar. The anodised aluminium panels that make up the outer shell of the case look (and feel) fantastic and should also prove very durable. Our only slight niggle with them is that they can’t be secured into position with screws, meaning they can come off by accident when you’re moving the case.
The CD slot in the front has two flexible strips on the back side presumably to prevent the CD being scratched and to stop dust from entering the case. These provide far to much resistance to the CD, though, and our slot load optical drive couldn’t even muster enough power to eject a CD through them.
In the end we peeled them off as they’re only secured with adhesive but we would like to see Silverstone looking at an alternative for this in future revisions of the case.
Despite the design similarities between the FT03 and FT03 Mini, we imagine that the market for the Mini version will be significantly smaller because of the limitation on the components that you can install within the case.
The FT03 Mini demands a SFX power supply rather than a more conventional ATX design which means you’re limited to a maximum of about 450W of output. While you could build a medium powered gaming system within this power envelope, you could build a much higher performance machine in the full size FT03 with ATX power supply.
Even though you could build a mid-range gaming system in the FT03 Mini, we feel it’s best suited to design conscious users who want to build an extremely stylish HTPC or Small Form Factor PC. Cooling isn’t a strong point of the chassis due to the size limitations but it should be adequate unless you’re looking to build a heavily overclocked system.
The Silverstone Fortress FT03 Mini can be yours for a shade over £100 from OCUK so isn’t going to be an option for those on a tight budget. That said, if you want the finest looking compact system money can buy, we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the FT03 Mini.
- Amazing build quality.
- Sublime aesthetics.
- Reasonable cooling performance.
- Innovative design.
- Quiet fans.
- Limited choice of compatible components.
- Slot prevents CDs from ejecting properly.
KitGuru says: It is a beautiful work of art.