External Design

The SG01 definitely takes a more sophisticated approach to its styling, with no case windows and a relatively clean looking front bezel. In this shot, we've already placed a black CD burner from MSI into one of the two 5¼" drive bays to give you an idea of what one potential system could look like.


Focusing more on just the front, we can see the nice SilverStone logo in the upper left-hand corner, and the chrome trim around the 5¼" bays. Unfortunately, the SG01 is not able to hold an external 3½" drive.


Click to enlarge.

Taking an even closer look head-on at the SG01, we can really appreciate the attention to detail that SilverStone has taken with this case, especially the mirror-finished trim around the port cluster (which has four USB 2.0 outlets instead of the usual two) and nicely labeled buttons and LEDs.


Click to enlarge.

Also notice how nice the brushed aluminum itself looks - the horizontal texture really adds to the overall appeal of the finish and should help minimize the negative effects of oily fingerprints.

Index External Design (cont’d)
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  • justbrowzing - Saturday, October 29, 2005 - link

    They've got a good idea; I was tempted here, I've got an sff box and the proprietary mobos are a big problem, so I thought of this case for my next build, more flexibility. But the noise and price make it a tough buy. Really too bad.

    It's a great size because its a small footprint if you can't go the htpc route or don't have the space for a big box. And frankly big boxes are just too large; this should become a new form factor. Hope some other case manufacturers start producing m-atx boxes--soon.
    Reply
  • Busithoth - Sunday, October 30, 2005 - link

    like I'm a headcase, I've got a Shuttle, and have loved it to death, until I installed the King Kong demo with Starforce. Even after running the removal program, the system will occasionally shut down without warning. Fans spin up and down at random, and I'm backing up data, preparing for a reinstall of the OS.

    My fear is the PSU is going, and I've already bought a replacement, ATX power supply to run it, in case that's the problem.

    I've had the Shuttle SB51G, the Abit DigiDice, the Monarch Hornet Pro (still in closet) and the Aria before this shuttle. I love the Micro-ATX form factor and expansion options, and this SG01 case is the nicest looking I've seen (the Aria was nice, but the plastic front felt cheap and the lack of intake screens led to nasty build-up).

    I'd most like to keep my SN95G5 Shuttle, but if the power supply is going, I'm not going to keep the case open and power it externally, as it would be a bigger footprint than the Hornet or this case.

    If my troubleshooting of the Shuttle fails to solve the problem, I'm going to try and configure this SG01 in a quieter setup. Very excited by the potential, however.
    Reply
  • ccgaudette - Thursday, October 27, 2005 - link

    I'd like to thank JB and AnandTech for reviewing this case.

    As an independent in-home service tech, I've had the opportunity to build four Antec Aria boxes since January 2005. I'm about to build my fifth Antec Aria box later this week.

    The machines I've put together can be summarized as the Aria case, a MSI RS480M2-IL mATX main logic board, an AMD Athlon64 3000+, and a Zalman 7000Cu CPU fan. MSI's board supports AMD's Cool'n'Quite and includes fan controls in the BIOS.

    Under day-to-day, non-gaminig, load the CPU temperature readings (in the BIOS) are not breaking 50 degrees Celsius. The 120mm fan in the Antec's PFC power supply unit quietly exhausts the system's warm air.

    As noted in the article $150.00 is too high a price for the Silverstone. As I write these comments, Buy.com is offering the Aria for $89.00, and free shipping, and minus a $10.00 rebate.

    I think that there are only two things that the Aria could gain from the example set forth by the Silverstone. One is the use of the tougher brushed (and anodized?) finish. I wish I had donned white gloves every time I handle the "frosted" bare aluminum of the Aria case. The second thing is to loose the silly blue LEDs from the front panel -- I always remove them from the build.

    For those of you looking for AnandTech to review the Aria, I find that they snuck in a mention of a FutureLooks review back in June 2005. The FutureLooks review is found here, http://www.futurelooks.com/?m=show&id=147">http://www.futurelooks.com/?m=show&id=147 .
    Reply
  • jimbo the mighty - Wednesday, October 26, 2005 - link

    The case is very similar to my Falcon Northwest Fragbox case which I use for my HTPC. I have it set up where it is very silent. It just depends on how you configure it.

    I've got a Nexus PSU with 120mm bottom fan. It covers most of the Thermalright XP-120 heatsink, so I don't need to put a fan on it. My CPU is an Athlon 64 3200+. I've got a Panaflo 80mm for the HD with a fanmate attached. That's it all the fans I have on. Forget about using the 60mm fans as they will add noise and probably won't make too much of a difference.

    I am using the onboard video but it is good enough for my purposes (ATI X200 chipset equivalent to a Radeon 9600). I have thought about putting in a silent Nvidia 6600. My case will get hotter, but not dangerously so.

    A lot of times, I can't tell that it is on because it is really quiet. This is without modifications. I'm sure the modders out there can make it even better.
    Reply
  • xbdestroya - Wednesday, October 26, 2005 - link

    If ANandtech's taken to reviewing these small mATX system cases, how can it be that we don't have an Aria review yet? I mean I already own it so it's certainly not for research, but I consider it the SFF self-build benchmark more or less. Reply
  • stupid - Wednesday, October 26, 2005 - link

    I too have an Aria that I built 2 years ago. While it is a good case, it is definitely not silent. In a quiet room you can still hear it, but once I start using it to watch a movie or listen to music then I don't hear it.

    I have an Atlon XP 2500+ in mine with a quiet HSF (can't remember which one, no it's not a Zalman). Due to the limited space in any SFF case heat is an issue. To help reduce heat I undervolt my CPU while keeping the stock speed. Undervolting a CPU takes a bit of experimentation, and after a while I found that my system runs completely stable at 1.375v. Thus reducing the heat.

    One big plus the Aria has over the SilverStone is the 120mm fan, it moves a good deal of air while still remaining relatively quite. The major drawback is the fact that the Aria's PSU is proprietary so if it fails, then you're looking at getting a new case, or getting a replacement PSU from Antec (which may cost almost as much as a new case) and it's only 300W (which may be a concern for some people).

    One thing that I like about the SilverStone is that it doesn't come with a PSU so that I can drop in a near silent solution. But $150 is kinda steep especially after adding a good quality PSU. However, when the Aria was first released it was selling for as high as $115.

    While an aluminum SFF case is nice to have, I personally would not buy the SilverStone because of the noise factor, and even if I do purchase it, I would want to replace those 60mm and 80mm fans with quieter ones, thus adding to the cost of the case.
    Reply
  • LoneWolf15 - Wednesday, October 26, 2005 - link

    I'm assuming like many SFF PC setups, people would want this case for an HTPC setup. This makes noise a bigger problem than heat.

    How many people are going to overclock their HTPC? Not many, as the ultimate goal is stability in a quiet system. Heat is okay if it does not cause instability. I think Anandtech hits the mark on noise being an issue, but forgets that for an HTPC user, some heat is an acceptable trade-off.

    As for Silverstone, I really think they should be shooting for ultra-quiet fans in this case, and that's where it misses the mark. The design seems decent, but I'd guess fans were chosen by what could be gotten easily in quantity, not low noise. For $150, I expect top-quality quiet fans, and in this case, perhaps some sound dampening material (and maybe even vibration-dampening mounts for the drives, my less expensive Antec P-160 has that) as well. It's a great looking case, and mostly well designed, but it's not worth the price it's listed at.
    Reply
  • yacoub - Wednesday, October 26, 2005 - link

    +You can use ATX PSUs in it? That's excellent and one of the few key features Shuttle XPCs are missing.

    -Wow it's pretty loud, and runs a bit on the hot side. =/
    Reply
  • OrSin - Wednesday, October 26, 2005 - link

    I was going to get this case over the xpack and chemning. Not sure any more.
    Cost is about $200 when you get the power supply. And would need to replace the fans for another $25. The xpack go for about $100 with pwoer supply. The case is alot better looking but for more than twice the money I might have to pass. Then again I hate an ugly case since my computer sits on my desk. I might just get a shuttle again.
    I got a few months to decide.
    Reply
  • mongoosesRawesome - Wednesday, October 26, 2005 - link

    quote:

    Regrettably, we can only recommend the SG01 to people who are eager to build a Micro-ATX system, absolutely love the styling and are either willing to put enough effort into the system to quiet the fans or simply ignore the noise (perhaps by using the small size to put the computer in a very out-of-sight place).


    If you are going to put the case somewhere out-of-sight then why would you care about the styling?
    Reply

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