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SilverStone Fortress FT03-Mini - Internals

SilverStone Fortress FT03-Mini - Internals


With such tiny dimensions, it's not surprising that CPU and graphics card clearances are very modest - just 78mm for the CPU, limiting you low-profile coolers or a half-height radiator all-in-one liquid cooler such as Corsair's H60, and a maximum graphics card length of 254mm. It's also not the case for you if you plan on using more than a single hard disk and a couple of SSDs.

SilverStone Fortress FT03-Mini review SilverStone Fortress FT03-Mini - InternalsSilverStone Fortress FT03-Mini review SilverStone Fortress FT03-Mini - Internals
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Graphics cards will sit pretty closely to the side panel - a shame then that SilverStone didn't decide to include a small vent here. Yes it would impact on the external loveliness, but a neat little section of mesh sitting flush with the panel would almost certainly improve the situation for reference-design graphics card coolers. The motherboard is mounted with the I/O panel facing upwards - much like the FT02 and Raven RV02 cases, with the PSU resting directly across from the CPU socket.

This has the disadvantage of the PSU fan and CPU cooler competing for airflow - not ideal but we can't really see an alternative location. You're also limited to two expansion slots - certainly not a deal-breaker as you'll be limited to a single expansion card in any event but triple-slot coolers are probably a no-no. The 2.5in and 3.5in drive bays are tilted on their side at the front of the case behind the slimline drive mount.

SilverStone Fortress FT03-Mini review SilverStone Fortress FT03-Mini - InternalsSilverStone Fortress FT03-Mini review SilverStone Fortress FT03-Mini - Internals
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As with most tiny cases, you'll need to plan your cable routing prior to building the PC - there's little if any room to allow you to connect power and data cables when the hardware is installed. Much of this will have to be done before you install it. Other than a lack of work room, it's otherwise fairly easy and trouble-free to install a typical system into the FT03-Mini.

SilverStone Fortress FT03-Mini review SilverStone Fortress FT03-Mini - InternalsSilverStone Fortress FT03-Mini review SilverStone Fortress FT03-Mini - Internals
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While we'd always recommend spending a little time tidying your cables, this is an essential task with SilverStones new mini-ITX case. The single 140mm Air Penetrator fan does have some grunt, but the PSU cables especially are very prone to clogging up the lower section, hindering airflow through to the top of the case. If you're considering one of SilverStone's SFX PSUs, the modular option will probably save you time here.