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 Post subject: Re: Silverstone Fortress FT03 microATX Tower
PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2011 9:36 am 
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Joined: Sun Jul 13, 2008 7:25 am
Posts: 247
Location: England
The FT03 seems designed from the ground up for a tower cooler, a shame that it could not be tested with one. The rest of the design flaws rule out a purchase in any case, but a future revised version addressing some of the weaknesses would be very interesting.

BTW, the Silverstone link on the last page goes to NZXT when I click it. [Now fixed :) ]


Last edited by maf718 on Mon Apr 11, 2011 4:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Silverstone Fortress FT03 microATX Tower
PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2011 7:30 am 
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Joined: Wed Dec 15, 2010 5:12 am
Posts: 7
Location: Chișinău, Moldova
One of the greatest looking cases I've seen (or maybe the only one good looking) and an example of a newthink too. Kudos to Silverstone for innovation. Of course, it is overpriced, like most premium aftermarket components.

Two things I have not understood from the review is:
  • what is the reason of subpar thermal performance?
  • How come it be cooler in a horizontal position, if the laws of physics - convection - would suggest the opposite?


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 Post subject: Re: Silverstone Fortress FT03 microATX Tower
PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2011 12:26 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2008 3:05 am
Posts: 66
Location: England
dorin_nicolaescu wrote:
  • what is the reason of subpar thermal performance?
  • How come it be cooler in a horizontal position, if the laws of physics - convection - would suggest the opposite?

I don't like to be too critical of the SPCR reviews as the testing is good, and we cannot expect every configuration to be tested. However, in this instance the review is somewhat flawed. While the CPU cooler (NH-C12P) used is consistent with the one used in the alternative µATX system (PC-V354) it puts the FT03 at a distinct disadvantage as the FT03 is intended to benefit from a tower cooler. The top down cooler must disrupt the otherwise clean airflow from bottom to top.

Of course there aren't too many µATX cases that have space for a typical tower cooler, it would be nice to see an updated test using a Thermalright HR-02 or some other tower designed for low airflow, pitting FT03 v. some other µATX v. a cool full size ATX (perhaps one of the other Silverstones) Of course this won't excuse some of the other flaws with the FT03 construction.


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 Post subject: Re: Silverstone Fortress FT03 microATX Tower
PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2011 3:03 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2011 12:33 am
Posts: 1
Would Noctua C12P with 14cm fan fit the case? I am curious as for your selection of 12cm CPU fan rather than 14cm fan that come with the Noctua cooler.


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 Post subject: Re: Silverstone Fortress FT03 microATX Tower
PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2011 9:38 am 
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Joined: Sat Dec 18, 2010 7:58 am
Posts: 16
IanM wrote:
dorin_nicolaescu wrote:
  • what is the reason of subpar thermal performance?
  • How come it be cooler in a horizontal position, if the laws of physics - convection - would suggest the opposite?

I don't like to be too critical of the SPCR reviews as the testing is good, and we cannot expect every configuration to be tested. However, in this instance the review is somewhat flawed. While the CPU cooler (NH-C12P) used is consistent with the one used in the alternative µATX system (PC-V354) it puts the FT03 at a distinct disadvantage as the FT03 is intended to benefit from a tower cooler. The top down cooler must disrupt the otherwise clean airflow from bottom to top.

Of course there aren't too many µATX cases that have space for a typical tower cooler, it would be nice to see an updated test using a Thermalright HR-02 or some other tower designed for low airflow, pitting FT03 v. some other µATX v. a cool full size ATX (perhaps one of the other Silverstones) Of course this won't excuse some of the other flaws with the FT03 construction.


I have an FT03 on the way as well as the Thermalright HR-02 (case fans only). I'm not sure I have the time for a full build review but I will certainly post some thermal numbers when I'm done.


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 Post subject: Re: Silverstone Fortress FT03 microATX Tower
PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2011 9:17 am 
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Joined: Sat Dec 18, 2010 7:58 am
Posts: 16
I finally got my FT03. The case was damaged so I had to send it back but I took a few hours and built the system to test the mechanics of it. The item that became obvious right away was that with the HR-02 the middle fan in the case had to be removed.

In my build this will not be a problem as I was intending to remove it anyway, or at least leave it off. If you are overclocking this may mean you need to attach a fan to the HR-02 (depending on how far you are pushing it). My gut tells me that the top case fan provides enough flow that you will be ok going fanless.

After I go the system put together I ran Prime95 for about 30 minutes. With everything setup stock (i5-2500, 8GB 1833Mhz RAM running at 1600Mhz) my CPU peaked at 61c. This was with an ambient temp of ~26c, 3 of the 4 case panels removed, and very little cable optimization. While this is in no way extensive or ideal testing it should give you a baseline as to what the HR-02 and the FT03 will look like together.

I've decided to do a full build review when my replacement case comes. Stay tuned.


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 Post subject: Re: Silverstone Fortress FT03 microATX Tower
PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2011 8:42 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 10, 2006 11:25 am
Posts: 5
Location: Sweden
Was about to post this the first time it got reviewed but never did...

I didn't bother doing something nice to this case but as it is now I'm pretty satisfied with it. Have 2x 120mm intake and a single fan blowing out air at 5V(I have to give it a small push to make it start spinning).
Image

A homemade cardboard shroud and some ugly brown tape on a couple places air can escape through to get the most out of the fans.

Got a single 3.5" 1TB drive for storage and system and a 120GB 2.5" for backup. i5 760 ~3GHz and a stock 460GTX.


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 Post subject: Re: Silverstone Fortress FT03 microATX Tower
PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2011 5:47 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2007 10:35 pm
Posts: 488
Location: Israel
When I read the title "Silverstone Fortress FT03 mATX Tower: Redux " I thought what could this be ? then quickly figured it was probably with a tower cooler (and I was right).

For the record I'll say good job mike for correcting this...BUT.... lets not forget the U12P even on a test bench has about the same temp advantage over the C12P as shown inside the FT03. Yes this setup is more adequate for this case but it is still the same case. SS can do a lot to improve it.

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 Post subject: Re: Silverstone Fortress FT03 microATX Tower
PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2011 8:46 am 
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Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2007 11:06 am
Posts: 115
Location: Sweden
ame wrote:
SS can do a lot to improve it

Well, you could start with improving the configuration. I can see four fans all aimed towards the CPU and none for the GPU.
I would have tried something like this:

1. Throw out that center fan, does it really add anything but noise?

2. Replace the bottom fan with one or two 80mm fans blowing straight up towards VGA-card.

3. If possible, follow Silverstones recommendations for VGA-card:
When choosing a graphics card, we recommend models that have fan blowing exhaust air to the rear slot,
this will ensure smooth and efficient airflow within the FT03 for maximum cooling performance.


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 Post subject: Re: Silverstone Fortress FT03 microATX Tower
PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2011 6:28 am 
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Joined: Tue May 17, 2011 6:16 am
Posts: 1
It's such a shame that this case has these flaws.
I just love the concept here. And alltough some of the looks could be better, this direction is defenitely what I was wanting in a PC case. Something different, a fresh take on how a case can look.

If Silverstone improves this case, enhance the looks a little more (make it look less like a trash bin), improve the plastic grills, the paintwork on the inside and just improves on the finishing touches and the flaws mentioned in the review.... then they have a total winner. This is truly something new, and it fills a gap in the current market for pc cases.

Most ATX tower cases are just too large and...well ugly if you ask me. Not subtle at all.
But most small cases are meant for HTPC purpose or are very small.

This case, the size, the rotated motherboard, the chimney design, it all makes sense.
Please Silverstone, continue this series in this direction. It would be very interesting.

I'am not going to buy the FT03. Too bad, I really regret that. :?


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 Post subject: Re: Silverstone Fortress FT03 microATX Tower
PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2011 4:51 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 17, 2011 4:45 pm
Posts: 2
This case actually has serious cooling potential. Digital Storm makes a boutique build with two 580 GTX, plus an i7-2600K overclocked to 4.7GHz, and packs it into the case. They're using liquid cooling for the CPU to help with the packaging challenge and to deal with the very high overclock.

Review here: http://www.anandtech.com/show/4305/digi ... ving-space

Noise results aren't mentioned, but I'm sure it's not pure silence :)

The point is that truly excellent thermals can be had from this case, with many hundreds of watts of heat managed. It takes a careful build though, with some expensive components. It's like racing... speed costs money. How fast do you want to go?


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 Post subject: Re: Silverstone Fortress FT03 microATX Tower
PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2012 12:18 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 28, 2005 9:30 am
Posts: 43
Location: Finland
They should have fit a 18cm air penetrator on bottom. Optical drive on top/mounted sideways, PSU sideways for smaller footprint. Now it feels a bit kludgy...

In fact they should have dumped the whole optical drive and let people use whatever drive they need once in a few years to install Windows.


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 Post subject: Re: Silverstone Fortress FT03 microATX Tower
PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2012 5:14 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 07, 2004 11:03 am
Posts: 1131
Location: Europe
There's a Air Penetrator fan (14cm version though) in the bottom, a sideways mounted ODD (but not in the top) and PSU in the Mini-ITX version of this case.


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 Post subject: Re: Silverstone Fortress FT03 microATX Tower
PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 3:10 pm 
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Joined: Sat Dec 31, 2011 10:05 pm
Posts: 11
I have this case and have good thermals.

The case DOES have flaws, but it if you pick your components properly.

Basics: 2500k, Crossfire Gigabyte Silentcell 6770s (they have no fans and work well vertically)

CPU cooling is a Thermalright HR02 with one of their 140mm in 120mm form fans BLOWING DOWN.

GPU cooling is 2x 80mm Noctua BLOWING UP

I don't have an optical drive, or any of the other nonsense. I swapped the sides, so there is no vent where it's supposed to be (which would be terrible with the fans on the bottom).

If I turn my fans on full, I can keep 59-61C on my main GPU playing Skyrim. CPU heat is negligible.

I bought the Corsair Link to manage GPU temps, it's a great product, but the software needs some work.

The case would have benefited from being taller and having the PSU turned 90 degrees so you could get a proper sized fan in the bottom. That being said, it can work.

I predict that more cases will be available with this layout in the future. The chimney design is a classic case of "why didn't someone think of this sooner?".

Aside from the rest of it, it would be nice if there was a way to route your external cables down a column to get them out the bottom as that would be neater.


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 Post subject: Re: Silverstone Fortress FT03 microATX Tower
PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 4:43 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 06, 2003 5:41 pm
Posts: 368
Location: Melbourne, Australia
I just did a build in the FT03 yesterday.

I removed all of the fans in the case except for the top exhaust (which I will replace with a quieter fan on the weekend).

I am running a Noctua NH-U9B SE2 on a Intel 3770 CPU.
I am not using either of the Noctua fans.

And I have an ATI Radeon 6900, 2 Hard drives and an SSD.

I haven't started optimising anything yet, as I just want to run it for a week but I am not experiencing any rattling, and the only noise I can hear is the Video card, which I'll attack shortly.

On a full Handbrake encode after 30 minutes I am topping the CPU out at mid 40s, I will tray and get this down a bit through some under-volting.

On a Kombustor test the video card is topping out at 55c.

So I think this case with all the fans removed except the top exhaust is a really interesting option.


I've taken about 50 photo's so I'll do some posting shortly.

EDIT Here is the post :
http://bluecouch.com.au/?p=232

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Silverstone FT03
Asus P8Z77-M Pro with I7-3770 (Noctua NH-U9B SE2)
ASUS Radeon 6950
23" Samsung LED
http://bluecouch.com.au


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