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In our initial review of the FT03 we mentioned that one really has to take advantage of everything it had to offer to get full value out of the case. This includes the use of a tall, tower heatsink to complement the included stock case fans, something we neglected to do the first time around. Swapping the Noctua NH-C12P with a NH-U12P resulted in moderately lower CPU temperatures, bringing its overall thermal performance closer to that of more traditional high-end microATX cases like the Lian Li PC-V354.
However this change didn't provide any additional cooling to the rest of the system except when all the stock fans were turned off. Using a tower heatsink meant that the CPU fan blew in the same general direction as the included case fans, but it didn't help cool down the other portions of the machine. In addition, there was slight interference between the center fan and the NH-U12P, so anything thicker would require the fan mount to be removed (it's probably best to do so regardless and add a second fan to the heatsink proper, if possible).
Performance aside, our overall impression of the SilverStone Fortress FT03 remains mostly unchanged. We echo the criticisms we noted in our first review, which can be summed up as a lack of attention to detail. The side panels don't quite fit right, there are vibration issues, the optical drive is in an odd place, the hot swap hard drive bay is awkward to use, and the center fan mount does more bad than good. We also give it credit for allowing users to assemble a powerful system while occupying a very small footprint, but note that it is essentially a novelty case if you outfit it with anything less.
Our thanks to SilverStone for the Fortress FT03 case sample.
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this article in the SPCR Forums.
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