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  • EnzoFX - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    I am all for the shift to smaller form factors. ATX is just so unnecessary for 99% of people. mATX still has it's merits of course, but ITX is a solid option for anyone but those seeking to be on the bleeding edge.

    I too like this case. I like the standing look, as opposed to the typical, more horizontal stuff hah. I think it makes a lot of sense, cases use up less space when standing up right? I mean there's a reason we don't use those server rack cases for desktops =P.
  • EnzoFX - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    I agree completely with the conclusion. You already know if you want it or not. I do, even though the exhaust area doesn't make complete sense to me. It looks as if it can be reduced greatly, the space between the exterior and the rear of the frame/psu/etc. Maybe the air can be exhausted towards the sides more to accomplish this. Or.. the alternative is to use that space more wisely, allowing for longer graphics cards ;-). Reply
  • Conficio - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    Why not move the buttons next to the slot loading drive and the USB cables as well.

    Then put on top a subwoofer and add some wireless speakers for the stereo. That would peak my interest. I could imagine some good co-branding going with speaker manufacturers.
  • seanleeforever - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    is it too much to ask for to have a case similar to G4 Cube? this knock off is a start but damn is it ugly.
    i don't normally care about Apple product, but their aesthetic is light years ahead of any PC case manufacture.
  • RandomUsername3245 - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    Troll much?

    Are you complaining about the lack of an apple logo, the Silverstone's aluminum construction vs. the G4 Cube's plastic, or perhaps the rectangular vs. square sides?

    If you look at the assembly pictures, it would be pretty hard to shrink the longer dimension to make the case a cube shape and still fit all the hardware. Perhaps you should go look at Shuttle barebones systems -- they're probably more your style.
  • HernanTech - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    I fully support what "the troll" said. It seems that no one across the Pacific ever gets it right stealing from Apple G4 Cube design. How hard can it be? Just make it look semi-decent and small for Christ's sakes.

    You go down to an ITX board because of the diminutive advantage, not because you want a Tim "The Tool Man" Taylor special. And Silverstone, being Taiwanese, should understand that Asians have a penchant for shrinking everything down rather than to blow everything up.

    This is why I couldn't bring myself to look at their SG05 and SG06. Because they're just too huge and too awkward looking. In the end I settled for something else, Apex's MI-800. That happened last year. If I were any smarter, (or should I say, psychic) I'd have waited a few months for Apple to release their 2011 Mac Mini, which came with all the firepower I needed, even for gaming. Incidentally, that thing is even smaller than a PS2 console! Talk about midget. It's like those guys up in Cupertino want to turn into Japanese, or something.

    What's wrong with you, Apple? You should make your ITX class computer big and unwieldy, if for nothing else, then to preserve your big, fat, hulking American image.
  • Spunjji - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    Your racial profiling aside, you seem to be arguing on an enthusiast site reviewing an enthusiast case that the manufacturer should make it more like an OEM computer. I'd like to see someone try to fit GTX 680 class hardware into the perpetually-overheating G4 Cube case, let alone a Mac Mini sized machine.

    The point I'm getting at here is while I agree with the sentiment that this is not as nice looking as Apple hardware, your criticisms regarding the form factor are misguided.
  • GotThumbs - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    Point well taken.

    There is a HUGE difference between an OEM lowcost/proprietary built system and what we have seen in this review. The whole reason for this site we (maybe not all...HernanTech?) come here. We are a group of individuals who are NOT easily content with what OEM's slap together for the unaware masses.

    If you are a fan of Apple Cube...then get one. I couldn't care less about a system that has zero ability to be tweaked and upgraded to MY specific needs/requirements.

    HermanTech: Do all of us a favor and just please drink the cool-aid.
  • xenol - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    The G4 cube had horrible ventilation. Yes, today's parts aren't as hot, but ventilation is still a good thing. Reply
  • HernanTech - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    I guess you never had a G4 Cube. There is great ventilation, just not for the graphics card. Then again they never thought anyone would upgrade their Rage 128 to an ATI Radeon, or 3Dfx Voodoo 3, or hell, even Geforce 5500 PCI. (The last 2 are PC cards with BIOS flashed into Mac.) G4 Cube had a mother of a heatsink, and is fucking efficient (emphasize "fucking") in dissipating heat, as any Cube owner would attest. As such you don't need a fan.

    But should you upgrade that 450Mhz Power PC G4 processor to 1GHz, *then and only then* it's advisable to install a fan under the heatsink. Can imagine a CPU heatsink without a fan on a PC clone back in the day? It would get so hot...! You'd just go, DAMN. It's hot! But evidently not so on the G4 Cube.
  • Spunjji - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    Given that the power/cooling requirements of a Voodoo 3 barely register on the current graphics-card radar, I'm afraid I have to back up the "horrible ventilation" comment. Reply
  • GotThumbs - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    I'm sure Jobs would want you to take it as is...and be happy with it. Your such a good Ifanboy. Good boy.

    Oh...and "You're holding it wrong!". Words from a man who thinks everyone but him is an idiot. Maybe some are...but NOT the ones who can think for themselves.

    Best wishes,
  • jonyah - Tuesday, June 05, 2012 - link

    Ya, cause the Cube was such a big success. Ugh. Thank god we can build quality machines with parts off of shelf. Reply
  • mmagnum77 - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    95% sure that's a SG05BB with nice fancy aluminum panels slapped on each side.

    Either way... I'm not complainin'. I've been prepping a i7 3770S + AMD 7970 ITX build on Newegg, gonna be hard to pass this case up.
  • ViperV990 - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    As an SG05BB owner, yepp, the FT03-mini pretty much that.

    I hope the review will be amended with tests done with the GTX 670/680. I have a hard time figuring out just how much air the bottom intake can supply a 680.

    Another interesting tidbit about this case is that apparently you can fit a closed-loop water cooler in it easily.

    Personally, I'd probably prefer a version without the optical drive opening.
  • slacr - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    In this video: the Silverstone rep states this exactly, so it's not something they're hiding.

    I would also prefer one without the optical drive bay, i'm in the process of modifying my mATX FT03 by removing the drive bay and relocating the PSU to allow better air inlet.
  • mmagnum77 - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    Just kidding about the 7970. Apparently I glossed over the 10" GPU clearance spec, sigh... back to the Lian Li PC-Q08B Reply
  • r3loaded - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    Why not the GTX 670/680? Both are quicker than the 7970 and use less power. The 670 is very short and costs less too. Reply
  • mepenete - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    This looks like an incredibly sexy (with the thermals/acoustics to back it up) case for an HTPC. I've been becoming more and more interested in Silverstone's case designs and this looks really promising. Simple lines yet still classy and not too understated. This would look excellent in a home theater cabinet.

    Great review as always.
  • Samus - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    put a Geforce 670 in there and you'd have something ridiculous. Reply
  • Flunk - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    Ridiculously hot and noisy. I have an SG03 and while it's a great case and good fun the thermals are annoying. Reply
  • Synomenon - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    Did you guys get to test it with a liquid cooling kit such as the Antec Kuhler 620 or Corsair H60? It would be great if you could update this review later on with a build utilizing one of these liquid cooling kits AND a GTX 670 / 680. Reply
  • jigglywiggly - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    why are you guys reviewing a fridge Reply
  • gonks - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    I thought it was a trash can Reply
  • nikotttin - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    Hi there,

    How is the cabling going with this case? I see that the electric plug is facing upward. Same goes for the GPU ports.

    Does this mean that the plug and HDMI cables are going out through the top of the case? If so, this is not very elegant in a living room.

    Thanks for the clarification.
  • piroroadkill - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    It has a cover, and a slot at the top rear of the case, so they'll come out the back, but at the top. Well, they actually come out of the top, but the cover.. covers them up. Reply
  • marvdmartian - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    The biggest problem I saw, is that the PSU is on one side of the top divider (which contains the power & reset buttons, and the USB ports), and the slot for all the cords is on the other side of it. Which means you're going to lose 6-8 inches of power cord, just routing it around that obstruction.

    IMHO, it would have been a better idea to either shorten that divider (so the power cord could be routed in a shorter direction), or a second slot provided. The second choice would be a fairly easy modification, though, if one were so inclined to do so.
  • Bobsy - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    I have the same concern. Are there any pictures of this case with cables plugged in, so that we can see what it looks like for real? Cables coming out the top seem to be a show-stopper for me - I say "seems" because Dustin does not mind, so surely he found a way to set it up properly. I would like to know how this can be done.

    Thank you.
  • nikotttin - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - link

  • jabber - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    ...I have no idea of the orientation or what way goes where etc. Reply
  • harshw - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    Given the way onboard GPUs are headed, wouldn't it be better for a HTPC to have a Thin Mini-ITX, SO-DIMM, mSATA and HD4000 graphics ? I built a HTPC using the EMC-800b Habey case, with the DH61AG motherboard, a 120GB mSATA SSD and a slim 1U heatsink. The case is incredibly neat, has excellent thermals and very little noise. I keep seeing all these supposedly 'bleeding edge' cases and in 22 years of building computers, have yet to see vendors do anything remotely constructive about cables and power supplies.

    I think Silverstone should come up with more cases for the Thin Mini-ITX standard and be more creative about cables and power supplies.

    Especially now that there's Thunderbolt, I dont think system vendors can use 'expandability' as an excuse for much longer. External video card ? Use Thunderbolt. External link to high speed storage ? Use Thunderbolt.
  • Spunjji - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - link

    In that case, this isn't for you. :)

    For me, I'd look at this as a design challenge - to see how much hardware I could fit into so small of a case with as little noise output as possible. An experiment in passive cooling for the CPU, GPU and PSU, relying on the 140mm fan to provide airflow. Something like that.

    Also, WRT Thunderbolt, it's not great for external graphics and you then have to deal with the issue of powering and finding space for multiple boxes. Add in the issues of matching the devices aesthetically and it's not necessarily a superior option.

    So, while I see what you say, I'm still glad to see Silverstone taking care of this end of the market.
  • cjs150 - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - link

    Based on the Anandtech reviews (what else would we read!) the HD4000 is a massive advance on earlier Intel designs (correct frame rate is a good start which AMD had for ages). Latest AMD chips are very good but Intel beats them on media encoding so a case of pay more but get more power, pay less (AMD) and get a great HTPC but maybe a little slow on ripping all your Blu-rays (legally of course).

    For a HTPC a slim line 1U case is fine, for me an i7-3770T plus Mini ITX board. So this case is a complete waste for an HTPC

    This Silverstone case is really for a decent but lightweight desktop - not top of the line in power but still powerful enough for most. Personally I prefer the Lian li designs or even the SG05, but then again I would watercool the CPU and GPU and reduce noise down to minimum
  • MonkeyPaw - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    Apple Cube anyone?
  • Wardrop - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    I've always thought designing cases would be a really enjoyable job. Sometimes though it seems a lot of these cases suffer from design by committee, where a lot of people put in their ideas and requirements which always seems to produce an awkward case that doesn't perfectly fit anyone's needs. Not directing this at the FT03 at all, but rather just a general observation.

    On a slightly unrelated topic, I think Lian Li's discontinuation of the A17 was very surprising. Lian Li have put quite a lot of effort in building up their portfolio of case accessories that integrate into their product range, like optical drive bezels, hot-swap drive cages, etc, and the A17 combined with these accessories was really an enthusiasts dream. I may never understand why they canned it. I'm typing this with an A17 sitting right next to me actually - probably bought the last one in Australia a year or two ago. I've got two Lian Li hot-swap drive cages in it, and have 2 of the other 3 5.25" slots populated with optical drives using Lian Li's bezels. The quality of the case and accessories make this machine look as well designed as an Apple, but with difference being complete configuration flexibility. I'm sure that's got to appeal to more than just myself. It's unlikely a case will have the exact number of internal 3.5" bays, external 3.5" bays and external 5.25" bays that you desire, and the A17 combined with Lian Li's accessories just seems like such a perfect solution.
  • lemonadesoda - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    The front should have a power switch, a usb slot, and a card reader. Optical drives are so yesterday. If you really want one for legacy reasons, put it on the back or at the side. Everyday we use a SD card or USB device. Once a month we might use optical media. Reply
  • Spunjji - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - link

    "We"? ;) Reply
  • teakwood54 - Thursday, January 30, 2014 - link

    They're at the top. As for the optical drive, just turn the system around. Reply
  • ectoplasmosis - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    "I wish we'd had a GeForce GTX 670 or 680 on hand to really give the SilverStone FT03 Mini a proper thrashing"...

    So why not wait until you did before rushing a cobbled-together review out?

    Honestly, the last few articles on Anandtech have been very sloppy. Definite decline towards just another toy hardware site.
  • Mumrik - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    I find that it's a good idea to check who the author is right away. Anand himself is by far the best reviewer here. The other guys may or may not be to your liking. Reply
  • robl - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    I liked the review, and I'm quite interested in the case. I also caught the comment and about a GTX 670, as that's what I'd use, and would love a follow-up article.

    It's impossible to review cases in all configurations that anyone would like (HTPC, PC for mom, gaming PC, workstation, etc.) However, with that said, I like the idea of perhaps 2 primary configs for testing cases. (a) sweet & simple, and (b) enthusiast/gamer.

    I'd love to see how this performs as a gaming machine. (and am concerned that if it is desk mounted, that a high end GTX whine/blower out the top may be really unworkable - hair dryer anyone?)
  • Mumrik - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    I like this thing. It's relatively attractive, efficient and quiet. I'd have liked it more though, if they had dropped that 5.25 bay and focused on making more room for 3½ drives. This is not a small ITX case, so I'd sort of expect it to have more (storage) server potential. Reply
  • rm19 - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    I was interested in this case the moment it came out and I found out that Maingear makes one called the Potenza that comes in black and looks much less watercoolish. They offer a GTX 680 option with 450w power supply so it seems capable of being a compact beast. Reply
  • chaoticlusts - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - link

    Just had a look at that out of curiousity...that's *hideously* overpriced, though boutique pc's tend to be >_<

    A high end CPU+GTX 680 seems like asking for trouble with a 450w PSU, Nvidia recommends a 550W PSU minimum with the 680, add a high consumption CPU onto it and your asking for trouble with the strain that poor little PSU would be under, hopefully someone will release a higher than 450 watt SFX PSU soonish. Technically all those components consume below 450w under load but spike usage+accessories plugged in etc etc..your not leaving yourself much safe room. Granted I might be wrong, would be great to see some real tests ^_^
  • ikjadoon - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - link

    Well, here's somewhat of a real test, but there is a bit of vested interest here, too, haha:

    So, an i7-3770K @ 4.6GHz + GTX 680 pull 350W from the wall.
  • Penti - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    Reminds me of the PowerMac G4 Cube, it's basically the same form factor of course the only major difference is the optical drive placement. Plus less cubey. Which of course it self is a throwback to NeXTcube and other odd form factor workstations. Fun to see ideas being developed. They seem to do a pretty good job, for something I have otherwise lost much of my faith in when it comes to often poorly thought out custom cases and self builds. This with a discrete add on graphics-card would be pretty sweet together with a 2.5" SSD for OS/Software and a 2.5" 7200 rpm drive for additional storage. Certainly pretty good where Mini-ITX is concerned and should have the power to drive a half decent mid-end GPU. SFX PSU should be able to drive a decent machine, most mid and low end cpus are enough for almost all work now days, if you don't need dual or quad socket workstations that is. Would love a low voltage/power version for use in builds and space confined machines like this though. Certainly something more possible then the included ATI Rage 16MB that the Mac cube used :) Reply
  • ggathagan - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    Just finished building a system for a friend with this case, the AsusS P8H77-I, an i7-3770S, a Corsair H60, a Samsung SSD, a Sony BD combo drive, a 2TB 3.5" hard drive and an EVGA GTX670.
    It all fits, but I ended up putting the SSD in the same tray as the optical drive with double-stick tape.

    Haven't had a chance to stress the system, but after playing 30 minutes or so of Diablo III, the Asus monitoring software indicated a CPU temp of 39c and the system remained quiet.

    I had hoped to put a 120mm fan on top of the H60's radiator, but the drive tray wouldn't allow for it

    The ST45SF PSU works, but it's ill-suited for the MINI; too many SATA and Molex power connections, cabling is too long and the orientation of the SATA connectors make for difficult connections.
    This is what triggered putting the SSD with the optical drive

    I'll be interested to see what Silverstone does with their modular PSU.
    If they're wise, they'll offer a MINI-specific cabling kit, in addition to cabling for a more traditional case.
  • chaoticlusts - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - link

    Out of curiosity have you tested how much power that system is drawing under load? I was considering if I got enough money later this year building a transportable system and this case looked appealing, a 670/similar power consuming GPU's would be great (top ends seem unrealistic) but I'm really curious if the wee little 450w PSU struggles trying to drive all that? With the cost of all those components I'd be worried about the PSU dying from being strained too hard

    Very happy to hear the noise/temp results though that's really promising :) (slightly cooler than my 2500K in a full sized tower with a coolermaster hyper 212+!.. Although it's OC'd a little)

    Really hoping the modular PSU the article mentions that's coming, arrives in 500-600w options just that little bit extra would provide some nice peace of mind :)
  • ggathagan - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - link

    I never paid attention to the draw, as several website reviews showed the GTX670 drawing around 310-330w under load.
    The user has no interest in overclocking, so between those wattage figures and knowledge regarding the power consumption of the chipset and CPU, I wasn't concerned about the capacity of the PSU.

    If there's a free way of checking power consumption, I'm willing do it.

    I guess it depends on how you define "transportable", but this case would not be my 1st choice if you're thinking of a grab-and-carry case to take to LAN parties.
    If you're simply referring to a case that is easy to pack for someone who moves a lot, then you'd be fine.

    It's a solid case, all the internal parts are well anchored and the top latches solidly, but the four side panels are easily removed, so you'd want to wrap the outside with a couple of turns of painter's tape to keep it all together in transport.
  • HardwareDufus - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - link

    Do you have any photos with all of the cabling installed? Would like to see how it appears in a typical home installation... Reply
  • ikjadoon - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - link

    This might help...but it's just one shot. :(
  • terragb - Thursday, May 24, 2012 - link

    They are using a CPU water cooler in that shot which makes it look like there is much more space than there is with an air cooler. Reply
  • terragb - Thursday, May 24, 2012 - link

    Hey friends,

    So I know I'm a bit late to the party but I'm actually using the FT03-Mini right now with an i7-3770 and a GTX 680.

    For the record, assembly with a 680 becomes a completely different situation. Yes, there is physically enough room inside the case for the 680 but actually getting it in place is very difficult. I had to follow a completely different assembly order than recommended and actually had to unscrew the front grill/port cover/mounting bracket from the GPU to squeeze it in and then screw the front grill back in place with it lodged inside the case.

    I have pictures of the build that I need to find time to upload but I'll try and answer questions if anyone has any.
  • mcbowler - Friday, May 25, 2012 - link

    So how do you like the set up? This seams ideal to me. Reply
  • terragb - Tuesday, May 29, 2012 - link

    I'm really happy with it. I really like the unique vertical orientation of the case. I'm still seeing how hot the video card runs since its definitely a little airflow starved given the GPU intake fan is only a few millimeters from the side panel of the case. Reply
  • ggathagan - Saturday, May 26, 2012 - link

    That's odd.
    Is the 680 a reference-based design or does it have a custom cooler like the MSI Twin Frozr?

    I used an EVGA GTX670, which is the same size as their 680 as both are reference design. I didn't have to do anything to the GPU.

    Yes, it's tight, but you can get the GPU in after everything else is installed and running.
    I did some testing with the built-in graphics before installing the 670.
    When I installed the card, I didn't have to do any more than take off the panel with the optical drive slot.
    And it didn't take any kind of forcing.
    That GPU size struck me as almost being made for the case.
  • terragb - Tuesday, May 29, 2012 - link

    Its an allegedly reference Galaxy GTX 680. Honestly if it were only a few millimeters shorter it would have fit in without all the effort. Reply
  • Salem - Friday, June 15, 2012 - link

    I'm about to order everything, but when it comes to CPU cooler, I just realized there doesn't appear to be any room for the radiator from the Corsair H60 on the bottom while having a 10" video card like the GTX680 or 670. Does this sound right to you? How are you cooling your CPU?

    I have a spare Noctua C14, but there's no way that'll work in this thing.
  • methudman6 - Friday, May 25, 2012 - link

    Where the heck can I buy this in the US? I can find only one Canadian retailer online called Sundial Micro. Reply
  • ggathagan - Saturday, May 26, 2012 - link

    Sundial is where my friend bought his.
    They're in California, not Canada.
    CA as domain name is Canada. As an address, it's California
    Got it quick, and the whole process was trouble-free.
  • dalenchm0b - Saturday, May 26, 2012 - link

    Newegg has it.
  • terragb - Tuesday, May 29, 2012 - link

    I got mine from

    They are in Florida but mine was drop shipped directly from Silverstone in California.
  • mcbowler - Friday, May 25, 2012 - link

    I always wanted someone to build a case around the graphics card... check out the perfect fit on silverstone web site...

    I wish more companies did things like this. 1 HD and 2 SSD is all I need. A 450w power supply should be good enough for an Nvidia 680 and a stock voltage 3770. If not, I will be melting something.
  • terragb - Tuesday, May 29, 2012 - link

    Yup. Mine runs fine on the SilverStone 450w PSU. Reference GTX 680 and stock voltage 3770. Reply
  • Death666Angel - Thursday, May 31, 2012 - link

    You write:
    "There are five points to screw in the PSU, but there were only enough screws available to do the four corners."
    All PSU I have laying around and the few I looked at online only have 4 screw holes, however, most cases I owned had 5 holes. In those cases this was so that the PSUs could be installed with either the fan up or down. Not sure if this is the case here, but it might be. :-)
    Interesting case, for sure. :D
  • caycep - Saturday, June 09, 2012 - link

    1) How have the FT03-mini's been in terms of rattling? SilentPCReview didn't like the full size FT03 at all, but the mini seems to be substantially revamped. Is the build quality better?

    2) How does this compare w/ the lian li PC-Q11A?

    3) will a 350 or 450W sfx psu be enough to run a nvidia gtx 670 class gnu?
  • s7r83dg3 - Sunday, October 28, 2012 - link

    1) Please move the buttons 180° so all the cables can be shorter and in the right position just
    above those pins !

    2) Make all cables sleeved & short & soft !!!

    3) Make the legs 2 cm shorter and the case 2 cm taller so my gfx card will fit.

    4) Use a standard FOUR PIN fan so it can be replaced, which is currently not possible.

    5) Change your company logo =)

    6) Make silent sfx PSU with good modular cables (like superflower psu)

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