The package is more or less standard for this price range and consists only of basic things needed for its functioning. The box contains a large Velcro tape with a few additional plastic bands, provided in order to ease the cabling process. The bundle is rich, encompassing many screws, more than enough to install all devices into the enclosure, and one also gets water cooling radiator and 2.5” device adapters, as well as a molex/3-pin adapter for powering up to three additional fans. This adapter plays a very important role in the overall concept, since all three internal 18 cm fans can be connected to it and the adapter and cables themselves neatly hidden behind the motherboard installation section. All three preinstalled “eighteens” are located at the bottom of the enclosure and serve the purpose of cool air intake, the bottom being a bit elevated from the ground in order to provide sufficient space for such a task and better overall air circulation. Dust filters are also present and very easy to eject and clean, so that they keep doing the otherwise excellent job of keeping dust and dirt away from the inside of the enclosure. The size of the fans itself is enough for efficient and quiet cooling to be ensured even at 1000 RPM. One can even reduce the speed to 700 RPM for absolute silence and only moderately degraded cooling performance. Besides these three fans, there is also a 12 cm exhaust fan at the top of the enclosure, located just above the CPU cooler, where it’s most needed. The thing that was of particular importance to us was the overall ease of taking the side panel off and putting it back on. Everything is so well organised that you’ll never happen to miss the appropriate hole or similar, which is not usually the case in this price range.
Although this may not sound as anything particularly attractive to the ordinary user, the fact remains that SilverStone engineers took good care of users who need to change their components often. Side panels are coated with sponge-like materials, reducing noise and vibrations, which is a definite plus. The upper part of the enclosure carries the front panel with two USB ports and front audio connectors; the front panel has its own cover when not in use, so that dust can’t get into the enclosure. Power and reset buttons, HDD and power LEDs are all present as ever. The inside of the enclosure is coloured black, fitting in perfectly with the outside, which seems to be a trend gaining momentum, and certainly one we find positive.
There is a hole in the tin which carries the motherboard, right under the CPU socket, which makes it possible to mount or unmount heavy CPU coolers and CPUs themselves without actually taking off the motherboard. Other holes of this type exist as well, used for hiding cables efficiently, which means a lot when one side panel is transparent, as is the case here. A rotated motherboard installation as previously described may seem worrying, but fear not, for the position of the PSU is rotated by 90 degrees as well, so if the cable length used to suffice in your old enclosure, it’ll be perfectly adequate for this one as well. Since most PSUs in a similar price range to this enclosure have cables more than comfortable with length, a somewhat greater distance between the PATA/SATA devices and the PSU should be no problem. There is an opening with a removable filter at the back of the enclosure, located where you’d expect to find the PSU fan in other enclosures. As far as device cages are concerned, they are the only one manufactured from steel 0.8 mm thick, while the remainder of the enclosure is made of aluminium and therefore light in general.
There is no rail system for mounting 5.25” devices - one side requires the devices to be screwed in, while the other contains a button system which easily releases/locks the device currently in the slot. This goes for all slots bar the top one, which has screw holes on both sides. If we were really to find a flaw in this enclosure, then this is it, since even much cheaper enclosures have simple and efficient rail systems for mounting devices. However, this flaw really becomes nothing when facing all the advantages we’ve previously covered. The 3.5” HDD cage is made in such a way that hard disks are placed vertically. There is no possibility of taking it out of the enclosure, but devices aren’t screwed in to the cage directly, but rather a plastic part which is very easy to remove and the quality of which is very good, since it neither bends nor strains the material. All of this not only simplifies taking the devices out, but also reduces vibrations. Since additional cards are screwed into the top of the enclosure, it might occur that you won’t be able to close it if using larger adapters; the distance between the enclosure cover and the additional card section is seven centimeters, which isn’t a lot, so users could potentially experience problems with this if using larger adapters.
The quality of this enclosure on the whole is laudable, brilliant in certain regards and better than its direct competition in the belonging price range. A few noise- and vibration-reducing innovations only confirm our attitude, and if you wish but the best and have no problem with paying accordingly, we can only recommend this model. Certain tiny flaws, such as mounting 5.25” devices, seem to plague the otherwise perfect impression we’ve got while working with this enclosure, but that’s not nearly enough to discredit its otherwise fully earned award.
|Size||212 x 497 x 616 mm|
|Motherboard form factors||ATX, mATX|
|5.25” / 3.5” / 2.5” sockets||5 / 5 / 1|
|I/O panel||2 x USB, front audio (mic in, spk out)|