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"
Cooling Front -
Rear -
Top -
Side -
Bottom 1x 140mm intake fan
Expansion Slots 2
I/O Port 2x USB 3.0, 1x Headphone, 1x Mic
Power Supply Size SFX
Clearances HSF 78mm
PSU SFX
GPU 10" / 254mm
Weight 10.3 lbs.
4.7 kg
Dimensions 7.4" x 15.6" x 9.3"
189mm x 397mm x 235mm
Special Features USB 3.0 via internal header
Price MSRP $129

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.

In and Around the SilverStone FT03 Mini
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  • dalenchm0b - Saturday, May 26, 2012 - link

    Newegg has it.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N8...
    Reply
  • terragb - Tuesday, May 29, 2012 - link

    I got mine from Performance-PCs.com

    They are in Florida but mine was drop shipped directly from Silverstone in California.
    Reply
  • 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... http://www.silverstonetek.com/product.php?pid=333

    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.
    Reply
  • 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

    Hey!
    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
    Reply
  • 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?
    Reply
  • 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)
    Reply

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