High temperatures are a real concern, when designing small cases like this one. SilverStone for one has solved the heat problems by covering a large part of the case with ventilation grills. To cap off, the case is almost divided into two separate segments which have their own airflow. The graphics card draws its own air straight from the outside, through the large ventilation grill on the side of the case.
The second airflow-zone covers the rest of the case. There the front-mounted fan pulls in fresh air from the outside and blows it by the HDDs and towards the CPU-area. In addition to the front-fan, the powersupply has another fan which should be able to pull some air out of the case. This side of the case is also covered with ventilation grills, so the air will flow relatively freely, depending on your setup.
To see how well the case manages with a fairly high-powered system inside I ran Prime95 for the CPU and Furmark on the GPU. The idle temperatures were recorded on the desktop.Used hardware for the test:
- CPU: Q6600 G0 @ Stock speeds
- Motherboard: Zotac Geforce 9300-ITX WiFi
- Graphics: Palit HD4850 Sonic
- HDD: 500GB Seagate Barracuda
The temperatures are really not that bad, considering the size of the case and the fact that the CPU actually used the stock cooler and the GPU stayed cool enough not to crash. Furmark will get the temperatures this high in any case really.
Like we've already mentioned, SilverStone has covered a considerable amount of the case with ventilation grills. While this means that the parts will get fresh air easier, the noise from the fans will also be clearly audible to the outside. As long as the parts in the case remain cool enough for the fans not to speed up, the case itself is nice and quiet.
Now as new, more powerful mini-ITX sized motherboards are released, we may see some more demand for small cases, with powerful powersupplies and enough room for some serious hardware. SilverStone seems to be at the forefront on this section of cases, as they actually have two different variants of this case, in addition to the color variants. However the only difference between the SG05 and SG06 cases seems to be on the front bezel, where the SG06 has an aluminum front bzel that hides the front fan.
SilverStone really has achieved something with this new chassis. The sleek design and decent powersupply actually allows for the users to build a powerful rig into very small space. The open design of the case should also allow the parts to run nice and cool, even if they packed more of a punch.
Ofcourse, no product is perfect. While on the quest to cut down costs, SilverStone has taken some steps which, atleast in my opinion should have been avoided. First of all, the build-quality of the case is not quite up to the standards, for which SilverStone is otherwise know for. The thin sheet-metal which the case is made out of, could easily have been a bit thicker, which would've made the case much more rigid and robust. Another detail that most case manufacturers overlook, is the color of the inner parts of the chassis. Especially with this case, the inner parts are clearly visible through the ventilation grills. The gray parts really shine through the ventilation holes.
The large ventilation holes may also cause the setup to make some more noise than in another case, but there really is no way around the fact that these ventilation grills are needed in order for the case to function properly.
All in all, as the price of the case is fairly low, with prices running from $100 to $130 I really think that this case has enough to give, so the consumer gets their moneys worth. I'd like to see a higher-end model of this case in the near future. Maybe one made out of aluminum?
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