If you’ve ever put together a SFF system, you know that the install is usually a lot more complicated than using a full tower. In order to maximize compatibility and minimize size, a lot of effort is put into engineering these cases. Therefore, more steps are required to fit everything in. Usually, the simpler the design, the bigger/less compatible the case. However, we still appreciate it when steps are taken to make the installation process as easy as possible. Things like screwless fasteners and clip-on components can make things a lot easier. Even using the same size screws as much as possible is an advantage.
We’ll put together a system using an mATX motherboard with stock CPU cooler (the SG04 cannot accommodate coolers that are taller than 82 mm by the way, so keep that in mind), a single video card (unfortunately not one of the huge 10.5″ cards that are out there), a pair of hard drives, and a single optical drive. The power supply we used is SilverStone’s own ST50EF, which is a good 500W unit specifically designed for SFF cases (with shorter cable lengths). Unfortunately that led to some problems (the PSU only has 2 SATA connectors, which was fine a couple years ago. Even though most SFF cases only support two hard drives, most people are using SATA optical drives these days). We can’t hold that to the SG04 though.
The first thing you do is remove the two side panels and the custom bracket that is used to install the external 3.5″ device. This requires the removal of 7 screws so far.
Next, you must open the front door, which has two sides. The smaller left side is held close by a magnet, and offers accessibility to the reset button, external USB ports, and audio ports. The right side of the door requires two more screws to be removed, which gives you access to the front fan bracket:
The included 120mm fan can be adjusted to flow air over wherever you wish, or you can add a second fan if you like. To finish the installation though, you must remove the fan bracket from the case, which is as easy as unclipping and pulling it straight out (no screws!).
Next comes the coolest part of this case: After removing 4 more screws, the bottom of the case drops right out, and that is where you install the hard drives (using screwless drive rails).
Once this is done, you remove another screw (this one is somewhat hard to get to) to install the optical drive. We’ve seen various solutions to stealthing optical drives on these beautiful aluminum cases. Everything from custom faceplates to swiveling devices that sit in front of the drives. SilverStone’s solution was simple: A matching piece of plastic and aluminum that you tape to the front of the drive. It sounds rudimentary, but it actually works quite well! The optical bay does not come with screwless rails unfortunately.
Installation continues on the next page: