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Reviewed by: Carl Nelson [02.12.07]
Manufactured by: Silverstone

 

The Chassis

Although it's never been a huge deal, I have never been a big fan of the fact that Silverstone always uses steel in even their most high-end chassis. The reasoning makes sense, as it keeps costs down, which outweighs the benefit of using all aluminum. This allowed Silverstone to get their name out there, making well designed cases that you don't have to drop a lot of money on to afford. They always made the nicest front fascias out of thick aluminum; since that's the part you actually SEE the most, I guess it can be excused.

However, the SG01 is their first full-aluminum chassis, and it shows. This thing is very light, weighing in at 3 kg (that's 6.61 lbs). Compare that to the full ATX TJ06 (which we reviewed here), a steel chassis that weighs 11 kg (24 lbs).

I've said it before in previous SFF reviews; I really prefer a case with a cover of some sort over an open concept like this one. This is especially the case with SFF systems that will find themselves potentially sitting next to some sexy home theatre components and shiny video game consoles.

It looks fine when there is nothing installed, but once the system is built, you will have a potentially ugly grey or black optical drive, and open USB, FireWire, and audio ports. Silverstone has made some of the most beautiful PC cases we've seen; unfortunately the Sugo SG01 is not one of them.

At the rear of the chassis, you can see that the full ATX power supply support and cooling vents don't leave for much metal left over ;). The exhaust fan actually sits over the PCI cards, which helps pull the hot air from that section. The 2 fans that are included with the SG01 are quite loud however, so you may consider replacing them. By using as many integrated components as possible, you may be able to get away with just using the power supply as an exhaust fan (this is where finding a good mATX board can be so important).

Speaking of power supplies, let's introduce the first component Silverstone has released that can be a great boon to SFF builders. It's the ST50EF-Plus Short Cable Edition.

Remember when you built your first SFF system, and the power supply cables were just WAY too long, and cluttered things up miserably? Modular power supplies have made things a bit easier, but even those can be quite cluttered if the cables are too long. Due to their experience with building thousands of systems with Falcon Northwest, Silverstone was able to design a sort of custom PSU for use with their SFF case, and also release it to the retail market. As you can see above, the cables are the perfect length for a SFF system such as this. It can also be used for other cases; just make sure that 11.8" is enough.

The ST50EF-Plus SC will support today's high end motherboards, since it includes a 24 pin ATX cable and an 8 pin EPS connector. There are even 2 PCI-E 6 pin adapters, for people with the balls to build an Small Form Factor SLI rig ;)

As with every other Silverstone power supply, this one will be very high quality (our tests have shown Silverstone to be at or near the top regularly).

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