In and Around the SilverStone Sugo SG05

The great thing about reviewing these Mini-ITX cases is that oftentimes there just isn't a whole lot to them, and that's true of the SilverStone Sugo SG05. This is the smallest case I've reviewed yet (at least until the impending review of the Antec ISK 110), and SilverStone makes smart use of the entire space. You can get most of the information you need just by looking at the case, and in fact when I went to assemble it I found myself checking the manual just to make sure it really was this simple.

The front is a clean black plastic bezel with sharp lines. On the right are the pair of USB 3.0 ports, the indicator LEDs, and two very small power and reset buttons, while the top of the fascia features the slimline optical drive bay. Of course the star of the show is the beefy 120mm intake fan at the center, and this 120mm fan represents the bulk of the cooling system. It isn't the most attractive thing in the world, but it's very functional as you'll see later on.

When you look at the top and sides of the SG05, you see how SilverStone is managing the rest of the case's thermals: copious, copious ventilation. This type of design choice winds up being a bit of a double-edged sword; there's nothing keeping the internal fan noise internal, but it also allows enough cool outside air to reach the components that the fans don't have to work as hard in the process. In my experience, smart airflow design can oftentimes be more conducive to keeping noise down than any kind of sound dampening material. Where I do think SilverStone misses the boat a little bit is the back. There's the expected extrusion to cover the expansion slots, but I feel like they could have and should have ventilated the space between the downward-facing PSU and the I/O cluster.

Popping open the SG05 reveals a very straightforward internal design. Given the fact that none of the case's dimensions exceed a foot, there just isn't space inside for any kind of chicanery; every inch must be accounted for. With that in mind, there's a removable support bar for the PSU (not strictly necessary but a nice touch) and the 3.5" drive cage and optical drive/2.5" drive cage are removable. That's it. There's the 120mm intake fan in the front, the cluster of headers for the case's I/O, and motherboard standoffs built into the bottom, but that's the extent of it.

Finally, SilverStone includes a very robust power supply with the SG05. The 450-watt unit is 80 Plus Bronze certified, and has a healthy 36 amps on the single 12V rail. This should be adequate for just about any video card you can actually fit inside the enclosure; NVIDIA's recent GeForce GTX 660 Ti may very well be an ideal candidate.

For how simple the SG05's design is, though, I feel like there's a bit of wasted potential here. The optical drive cage probably could've supported a pair of 2.5" drives side-by-side on the underside without interfering with the expansion slots, or alternatively could've included some means of mounting a 2.5" drive to the optical drive area. Interestingly, SilverStone opts not to include one of their 120mm Air Penetrator AP121 fans in the front, sticking with a more conventional fan. The AP121 can get a little noisy, though, and they may have just elected to err on the side of silence.

Introducing the SilverStone Sugo SG05 Assembling the SilverStone Sugo SG05
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  • Dustin Sklavos - Sunday, August 19, 2012 - link

    You do, but the power connector for slimline optical drives is weird to begin with and unique to them. The one I tested with (provided by SilverStone) actually included the adapter. Reply
  • Zap - Monday, August 20, 2012 - link

    Slimline optical drives use a slimline power connector:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serial_ATA#Slimline_c...

    In the past Silverstone did NOT provide these, and it cost around $10+shipping to buy one from Newegg.

    Dustin, can you verify with your Silverstone contact that these new versions DO come with the required connector or adapter?

    It would be best if the connector was actually built into the PSU wiring harness, something which Antec was able to do with their ISK 300 and ISK 310 series cases. I don't see why Silverstone has been unable to do that, since they should be able to tell the PSU manufacturer (FSP) to include the required connector.
    Reply
  • Zap - Wednesday, September 26, 2012 - link

    UPDATE:

    I purchased the latest SG05-450-USB3 (exact one as in the review) and it did NOT come with the power connector/adapter for the slim optical drive.

    Silverstone, you have FAILED again. Antec was able to include one in their ISK 300/310 series which use slim optical drives. Why can't you guys?
    Reply
  • AgeOfPanic - Sunday, August 19, 2012 - link

    I have owned this particular case in the 300 watt variety. I found the included PSU way too loud for a case like this. To me the cool thing about mini ITX is having a nice small case with enough horse power for most tasks. I now own a Lian Li case that fits a full ATX PSU and is only slightly larger. It is completely inaudible though. No room for extra video card. My advice would be to choose a case that fits your needs, but definitely a full ATX power supply. Reply
  • randinspace - Sunday, August 19, 2012 - link

    Which Lian Li case? Reply
  • londiste - Monday, August 20, 2012 - link

    try pc-q08b Reply
  • AgeOfPanic - Monday, August 20, 2012 - link

    I own the Lian Li PC-Q07B. It's higher, but not as deep as the Silverstone. It also misses the front audio connectors and no USB 3.0, but these were not deal breakers for me. The case is really quiet though. Reply
  • spcarr - Sunday, August 19, 2012 - link

    I own this and its bigger brother, the SG07. They are both great cases and love them both.

    The problem I have is that, in the end, they are still 'too big' to just sit on top of the desk next to your monitor (like the mac mini). So they sit on the ground like other cases (where they look silly) or you buy yourself a small drawer for them to sit on top of. I did the latter, so I at least have a bunch of storage for the small things. But they still take up just as much floor space as a tower, imho.

    What do other people do? Where do you place your beautiful sugo cases?
    Reply
  • UpSpin - Sunday, August 19, 2012 - link

    I have a large desk which also goes around a corner. Because the desk is in front of a window and I don't want that the 24" monitor obscures the light from the window on the desk I placed the monitor in this corner, so I have more and brighter space for work and the monitor with keyboard don't waste that much space.
    Diagonal behind the monitor I placed the Sugo case. It fits perfectly there, looks great and the cabels don't have a long way, so they are almost invisible, too.
    Reply
  • Jackattak - Sunday, August 19, 2012 - link

    So based on your earlier post (above) it must be audible if/when you're working alone? Just curious. Reply

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