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Written by Doug Dallam - Edited by Olin Coles   
Thursday, 23 June 2011
Table of Contents: Page Index
Cooler Master Silencio 550 Computer Case
Closer Look: Exterior
Detailed Exterior Features
Closer Look: Interior
Detailed Interior Features
Silencio 550 Final Thoughts
Silencio 550 Conclusion

Closer Look: Exterior

One aesthetic of this case is that the front panel comes with a black mirror finish, and by "mirror" Cooler Master means it. I purposely left some of my equipment situated so that you could see the mirror like finish, because this type of finish doesn't appeal to all: (1) is an umbrella I was using to photograph the unit. (2) The actual photo bench I was working on with white background paper underneath. Last (3) is an orange backdrop I hung in the background. Now that's mirror to the bone. Oh yes folks, it's a finger print magnet. But whatever. It looks pretty neat. You know, I'm beginning to think that the person this case speaks to is a computer hobbyist in his (or her) 40s, upper middle class, and wanting something to match his condo in Manhattan, something to go along with his black lacquer baby grand piano. So, is it truly all looks and no function?


The back panel. Nothing interesting here. This is your basic back end of a computer case, and that's all. (1) back fan; (2) water cooling ports; (3) expansion slots x7; (4) the bottom of the case and the power supply hole.


So here is something on the outside of the case that is a little more interesting. The bottom of the case looking into the power supply section: (1) This is an easily removable screen that simply pulls off backwards. I like it. It's simple, effective, and easy to clean without having to turn your case upside down. (2) This is just the power supply perforated intake.


This should actually go in the next section because it's less of a "external closer look" and more of a "detailed external look," but the case has nothing more externally interesting and we need something more too look at in this section. It doesn't have any holes, plexiglass, artwork, nothing on the exterior except a very nicely painted black matte finish, and you can see that in the introductory image. So, let me introduce the Front I/O Panel.

You might have noticed only two USB ports. One is USB 3.0 (You'll need to run it out of the back of your case) and the other is the 20th century USB 2.0. So you have your basic stuff here, such as the headphone and mic jacks. You'll also notice that you get an SD card reader. I would have liked to seen two more USB ports, but okay, I can go with it. After all, you can plug your USB hardware into the back also. Last we have a hard drive light, a reset button, and the power switch. Everything is nicely laid out here, except that the vertically mounted SD slot will collect more dust and dirt than a horizontally mounted unit.


That's pretty much all their is on the outside of the case. This thing is externally spartan, but in a good way. The black matte finish is quality and hides finger prints, while the front is mirror like and is, thus, a finger print magnet. So on with the show. Can the Cooler Master Silencio live up to the "Three Noble Necessities" of case engineering: Price, Function, and Quality?



# Dat speakerLinus 2011-06-23 22:41
The speaker is for BIOS beep codes and is a damn handy thing to have when something's malfunctioning, not some daft joke by CM's engineers.
Learn your #, reviewer.
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# RE: Dat speakerWhyNotV2 2011-06-24 03:51
You beat me to it Linus!!! One would think that a reviewer of computers/accessories would know what the speaker was for. You would also hope that the editor would also have picked up on it and informed the reviewer so that the reviewer could atleast add a parenthetical "I kid!!!" or something witty to the statement so that we, the reader, could put some stock in their reveiw. Instead, we get a statement of computer building ignorance causing us to question the accuracy of the review.
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# RE: RE: Dat speakerOlin Coles 2011-06-24 07:50
I try not to change what the reviewer's write in their articles, and the small matter of pointing out the included piezo motherboard speaker as a listening device doesn't detract from 'the accuracy of the review'. An inch is an inch, and cable clearance is cable clearance.
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# A Small Matter?RMC 2011-07-05 00:05
It's a small matter the reviewer does not know what a mother board POST code speaker is? That is Mother Board 101 material. Every PC case I've purchased in the last two years (five) came with that "speaker". My ASUS P67 mother board has a connection for that speaker, as do all my mother boards. The point about this is it brings the credibility of the reviewer into question. Frankly, I'm shocked he didn't know what it's purpose is.

Then we have a review about a PC case that is intended to be quieter than the average case. Yet not even a subjective comparison or comment about the noise level from the case? How useful is that to someone looking for a quiet case for a build? Sorry, but I am underwhelmed with this review.
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# RE: A Small Matter?Doug Dallam 2011-07-05 01:27
Who said I didn't or don't know what a post code is? Wow, you?re getting pretty out there based on available information. Also, all the cases I?ve bought in the last 11 years have not had a post speaker in them. So, what?s your point?

Also, how would you test for sound? What real good would it do for me to say, "Yep, it's more quite than my current case with the same two 800rpm fans in it." I'm not going to waste the reader?s time with silly little subjective results. I think most of our readers can extrapolate that if a similar case does not have insulation, it will be noisier. More to the point, this wasn?t a ?silent case shootout review? the same way it wasn?t about how much cfm or noise fans make, or I would have tested the fans that came with it too.

If you found the review underwhelming, that's okay. But if it was underwhelming because of my play on the speaker or the lack of valid sound testing, then I think your critique of the review is quite underwhelming as well, since everything else you need to know about a case is in the review. To each his own.
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# RE: RE: A Small Matter?RMC 2011-07-05 11:29
Who said I didn't or don't know what a post code is? Wow, you?re getting pretty out there based on available information.

I sure didn't say you didn't know what a POST code is, check my first post. I clearly wrote "... POST code speaker...". So sorry, but I'm not biting on that spin/deflection. The first comment on this review was about the POST code speaker, and I have another question. What type of mother board audio connector (HD, Azallia, etc) would you connect that speaker to?

Also, how would you test for sound? What real good would it do for me to say, "Yep, it's more quite than my current case with the same two 800rpm fans in it.

As they say, if you need to ask.... The good that would come from that would be at least some indication that a case meant to be extra quiet actually accomplished that. How would that be wasting the readers time with a subjective result, when the review itself is for the most part, subjective, given no direct comparison with another case? You test by moving your hardware from a case you are familiar with to the case being tested. That is what reviewers do, go the extra mile, or hopefully they do. SPL meters are available, and although noise testing is difficult and exact numbers are dependent on many variables, a relative change in SPL between the same hardware in two cases would indicate any success in the design of the case being tested.

I'm sorry you did not like my comments, but I stand by them.
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# RE: RE: RE: A Small Matter?Doug Dallam 2011-07-14 01:55
I made judgment calls on what to test and what not to test. I stand behind my decisions, as you do with yours, but since I don?t buy your objections, I give them no credence.

If you think you can do a better job with reviews, I?m sure Olin would love having someone, like you, who is so attention and detail oriented as a reviewer for Benchmark Reviews. You should consider filling out an application.
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# RE: RE: RE: RE: A Small Matter?RMC 2011-07-14 10:10
I don't know if you've reviewed PC hardware in the past, or if you are just starting doing that, but you should try to understand the following. Comments on your reviews will not always be positive and in agreement with your findings and opinions. Also, any mistakes will likely be pointed out regardless of how small or insignificant they are. IMO, when errors are made, if the reviewer replies with a statement like, "... oops, how did I miss that, sorry...", that will be the end of it. I imagine that Mr. Coles would tell you something similar to this. Attempting to defend mistakes simply draws more attention to them and throws more fuel on the fire. If you think that my comments are unreasonable and I am being a jerk and a troll, you ain't seen nothing yet.

I understand writing reviews is not easy, and is quite a bit of work. I have considered submitting an application, and I would like to write reviews. The question is, is the time and effort necessary to perform the job worth what is offered as payment?
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# RE: RE: Dat speakerDoug Dallam 2011-06-26 00:07
You should always question reviews for invalid testing procedures when you find something in the test that could invalidate the results.

I'm happy you took the time to "question the accuracy of the review" when you found out the code speaker wasn't there to play "Taste the Bass" through. That was a good catch.
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# CMSSC FounderEnigma8750 2011-06-23 22:54
I really like the idea of a padded case and a sound proof computer. The door is still clumsey to me but I can see the reason for it. It has to be there to Isolate the inside from the outside but does it also I Isolate the fresh air from entering into the front of the Case. It looks like a great case for a Good Modder to go to work on. The insides are very well thought out and the Press on Plug in drive guides are the greatest. Great Case Coolermaster.. Where is my Storm Scout II.. I ordered it like 4 months ago and I got was some ugly Enforcer. Come on....!
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# RE: CMSSC FounderDoug Dallam 2011-06-26 00:13
Yeah the door. A one way only door. That's so, so 1995. Like someone else said, it might not be a bad case to mod also. I was thinking about some red LEDs in the door itself, or something to illuminate the CM emblem. But then again, no.
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# Dat Speaker et alRobert17 2011-06-24 05:36
Dat speaker !! Yeah, but remember that there are a lot of younger folks as well as some older ones that don't have a clue as to the beep codes, even when they are listed on the 48th page of the MB manual. Probably cause they don't occur much anymore. But yes, Coolermaster is one of the few case mfrs. that still include the speaker & that's a pretty professional approach.

So, okey dokey, Doug, was it silent? Did you measure for that?
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# RE: Dat Speaker et alAdam 2011-06-24 13:17
Oddly enough my Xigmatek Utgard came with an internal speaker (to my surprise), although I'd not give them many points for 'professional approach' considering how poorly made the fan controller/USB front panel was..

Cant complain too much though, always good to have one of them hanging about for emergencies.
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# RE: RE: Dat Speaker et alDoug Dallam 2011-06-25 23:40
Never seen a speaker come with a case in the last several years. But then again, I don't buy cases every year myself. However, all of my MBs have come with a built in speaker for codes and or lights plus LED.
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# RE: Dat Speaker et alDoug Dallam 2011-06-25 23:38
I don't see how I could have tested it unless I ripped the insulation off to test without it. All cases have their own harmonics, as do fans, so testing the same fans, even, in another case wound have been useless.

I did think for a while about how I could test it though.
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# NomaddNomadd 2011-06-24 11:09
This case has already been discountinued. Hence why you can't find in stock anywhere. Spoke to Coolermaster yesterday and they say a revised model is on the way. Wouldn't give a timescale, but looks like 1-2 months. Updated version will have: more cutouts for better cable management; "flat" sound-deadening material on the left-hand side, so getting the panel on once you've routed your cables will be easier; and more holes for folks with water-cooling rigs. I asked about the other areas: putting sound deadening on the "roof"; putting a cover of the hot-swap drive bay, but the Coolermaster guy said they weren't planning to make those changes,
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# RE: NomaddOlin Coles 2011-06-24 11:32
I presume you read this review? This is the new Silencio 550, which we received a week ago from Cooler Master and is not available in stores until next week. It has the features you just listed, and was never previously released. You must be thinking of the Cooler Master Sileo 500, which is a different case.
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# RE: RE: NomaddOlin Coles 2011-06-24 11:51
Also, Cooler Master just informed me that the EU version is slightly different than the US version because of "regional tweaks".
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# USB 3.0 Header converterPaul N. 2011-06-24 14:10
great review on the case; I appreciate the subtle jokes that you throw in here and there. I ran into this while perusing Lian Li's website. It's a USB 3.0 header converter which will allow you to connect the front panel USB 3.0 cables to the mobo internally as opposed to routing it through to the back.
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# RE: USB 3.0 Header converterDoug Dallam 2011-06-25 23:43
Awesome man! Thanks for posting. So there you go folks!
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# RE: Cooler Master Silencio 550 Computer Case Paul N. 2011-06-24 14:12
Oops. bad linky. Here you go
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# RE: Cooler Master Silencio 550 Computer Case Maurivilas 2011-06-25 07:35
When is that coming to Brazil stores?
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# A build with Silentio 550Bikkeltje 2011-06-25 13:54
I've just finished a build using this case.
Can't see any difference between my EU version and this one.
As there were very few holes in the motherbord-tray, I found cable management challenging.

A Scythe Mugen 2 didn't fit so i installed a Corsair H60 water-cooling set
I also made a hole for the usb 3.0 cable to go through the backpanel.

If you would like to see foto's:

All in all its a nice case silent and good value for your money.
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# RE: A build with Silentio 550Doug Dallam 2011-06-25 23:47
Thanks a lot for posting. I never thought this case would be popular. What sort of parts did you install? How many fans are you using? I see you are using an i5. What vid card? Also, I'm interested in why you chose this case?
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# RE: RE: A build with Silentio 550Bikkeltje 2011-06-26 04:35
I'm not a gamer myself so there is no separate graphics card. I'm using the internal HD Graphics 3000.
The Corsair H60 watercooling block came with a 140mm fan. This fan and the radiator is installed replacing the 800rpm coolermaster exhaust fan.
The (coolermaster supplied) exhaust fan has found a new occupancy as a intake fan alongside the other intake fan.
So there are now in my case 2 coolermaster 800rpm intake fans and one corsair exhaust fan.
The extra drive cage is removed for a better airflow.

Slightly overclocked (2500K @ 4.2Ghz) and 100% stressed it keeps my cpu below 62 degrees Celsius (idle 32 degrees Celsius).
Case temperatures stay in their twenties (24-26).

The main reason i chose this case were (in oder):
Front USB 3.0
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# RE: Cooler Master Silencio 550 Computer Case Computer Hardware System 2011-06-29 01:50
Nice post! I just read through the entire article of yours and it was quite good. This is a great article. Thanks for sharing this informative information. I will visit your blog regularly for some latest post about computer hardware
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# RE: Cooler Master Silencio 550 Computer Case Doug Dallam 2011-06-29 01:53
Thank you. Please do come back.
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# RE: Cooler Master Silencio 550 Computer Case current news 2011-08-04 16:45
We need a large number of computers to collect information about current news. That case looks like it would solve a problem we now have with cooling all of them.
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# RE: Cooler Master Silencio 550 Computer Case Xanan 2011-12-25 22:52
A good written 'review' but I'm sorry to say, it doesn't really give out most of the useful info. I mean, all right, its a silent case, but then how silent is it? Without a comparison, for all I know, it could be just a marketing gimmick. At the very least, it could have been compared to some other CM case in the same price range.

What about the temps? All that insulation would be useless, if another case was found to be more silent, and ran cooler, which unfortunately, would be known had a case been compared in the first place.

Its difficult to write a review, and its more difficult to write a review that caters to everybody, but I honestly did not find any reason to put my money into this one at the very least.
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# RE: RE: Cooler Master Silencio 550 Computer Case Olin Coles 2011-12-25 23:33
Keep in mind that our writers may not have the resources available to them that you request, which in this case extends to multiple cases available for comparison. That comparison, by the way, would need to be measured at the same listening points to be relative. Additionally, the same internal hardware measured at the same ambient temperature would be necessary to make direct comparisons. But that's the problem: you want one particular case compared while everyone else wants another. You can see where this becomes extremely difficult, and why these reviews are more subjective than quantitative.
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# RE: RE: Cooler Master Silencio 550 Computer Case Doug Dallam 2011-12-26 00:21
Not to mention the time it would take.

Xanan, using your own logic, 99% of case reviews would not be worth reading, since your objection can apply to any case, not just the Silencio. For instance, What if I compared the the Silencio and the Cooler Master HAF 922M (that comes with three 120mm fans) using an Intel Celeron with a TDP of 35wts in both cases? What's that going to tell you?

Like Olin said: I hope you can see the problem with your request.
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