SilverStone FT03 Performance Analysis
To test the FT03, we strapped our micro-ATX thermal test system
into the case. This kit provides a reliably stern test for micro-ATX cases as it’s built around a pair of thermally demanding components - an overclocked and overvolted Intel Core i7-875K
and an AMD Radeon HD 5870 Eyefinity 6 2GB
Consequently, we were impressed when the FT03 cooled our CPU to a delta T of 47o
C. This result was only one degree behind the 46o
C that we saw from the Antec P180 Mini that’s been a favourite in the bit-tech
offices for a while now. What’s doubly impressive is that the FT03 managed its result without sounding like a box full of angry bees, unlike the P180 Mini with its fans on full speed. The P180 Mini gets comparably hot when dialled down to quiet mode, with the CPU temperature rising by 8o
Click to enlarge
Part of the reason why the FT03 is quieter than the P180 Mini is its solid, almost barren aluminium panels. They're a sharp contrast to the vented mesh-heavy walls of the Antec case. The fans of the FT03 also benefit from being inside the case, leading to a muffling effect. The FT03 might not be silent, but the low, constant thrum emitted from the case isn’t intrusive either.
The FT03 also proved adept at cooling our graphics card. Its Delta T of 43o
C was 1o
C lower than that achieved by the P180 Mini with its fans spinning at full speed. This result is largely due to the fact that the FT03 has a 120mm intake fan pointed directly at the graphics card.
The second internal hard disk bay is under all those cables
The SilverStone Fortress FT03 is a beautifully made and capable case for micro-ATX motherboards. It cooled our test components competently and quietly and, once the initial shock of the internal layout had abated, it was easy to build a system inside the case. It’s also unique, both in terms of its external appearance and its internal design.
Whether the originality of its design is a pro or a con is up to you - not everyone wants to break the mould after all - but we’re rather smitten with the brooding monolithic looks of the FT03 and the quirky internal layout. If you’re planning a micro-ATX build and want to make your PC stand out, then no case will do a better job than the FT03.
SilverStone Fortress FT03