SilverStone FT03 Mini Review: We'll Make You Fun Sizeby Dustin Sklavos on May 22, 2012 1:05 AM EST
Introducing the SilverStone FT03 Mini
One of the first cases we reviewed back when we initially established our case testing methodology last year was SilverStone's FT03, a very unique Micro-ATX design guaranteed to be both an eye catcher and a solid performer. It lived up to both of those claims. DigitalStorm even proved the FT03 was capable of handling a tremendous amount of power when they outfitted one with an overclocked i7-2600K and a pair of GeForce GTX 580s. The FT03 was successful enough that it was only a matter of time until SilverStone experimented with it a bit.
Today we have the results of that experiment. The FT03 Mini is the FT03 condensed further still, swapping out Micro-ATX for Mini-ITX and requiring an SFX form factor power supply in the process. Users who didn't care for the look of the FT03 aren't going to find anything new here, but people who dug on the FT03 are bound to find a lot to like.
That SilverStone took the FT03 and shrunk it further borders on being downright adorable, but in the process they've made a few changes to the internal design based on both feedback on the FT03 and the practical concerns with shrinking the design down to Mini-ITX. The result is an enclosure that looks functionally quite similar to its predecessor, but features a radically redesigned interior that in many ways encompasses lessons learned from the FT03 but also from the FT03's surprise competition, the TJ08-E.
|SilverStone FT03 Mini Specifications|
|Motherboard Form Factor||Mini-ITX|
|Drive Bays||External||1x 5.25" (slim-line, slot-loading optical drive required)|
|Internal||1x 3.5", 2x 2.5"|
|Bottom||1x 140mm intake fan|
|I/O Port||2x USB 3.0, 1x Headphone, 1x Mic|
|Power Supply Size||SFX|
|GPU||10" / 254mm|
7.4" x 15.6" x 9.3"
189mm x 397mm x 235mm
|Special Features||USB 3.0 via internal header|
Like its predecessor, the FT03 Mini also comes in either black or silver, depending on what you're into. If you didn't like the whole icebox aesthetic before, the FT03 Mini isn't liable to change your mind, but SilverStone's design at least makes a good case (no pun intended) for aluminum as a construction material as the side panels are very thick and remarkably sturdy compared to the cases we've tested from Cubitek and to a lesser extent Lian Li. Let's get to the meat of the review now and see how it all comes together.