|Cooler Master Silencio 550 Computer Case|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Cases|
|Written by Doug Dallam - Edited by Olin Coles|
|Thursday, 23 June 2011|
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Silencio 550 Final Thoughts
Here is the Cooler Master provided image of installed components. The circles show the cable routing. You can see the power supply cabling running out of the bottom cable hole nicely, and that's because you get almost a full inch of cable space on the back side. You can also see that the video card takes up just enough space that you would need to remove the drive cage for it to fit, leaving you with only two lower hard drive or SSD drive slot receivers. You do have, however, plenty of space to simply stack drives on the cage and on each other using any sort of kludge to do so (I cloth taped two SSDs back to back in my current case, with a nylon spacer between them, and then Velcro'ed them down on the bottom of the case, for instance). When I first received this case, I have to tell you, I didn't have high hopes that it would be anything I'd own. I've changed my thinking.
First, I would own this case if I wanted to build a clean, functional, nice looking box not the "Hey, I'm from the Borg collective, resistance is futile" look. At first I was thinking why a Mid-Tower case with the possibility of only three fans for "a high end system." Consider that if I put my 3.8Mhz OC'ed i7 920 Bloomfield in this case along with my GTX295 video card, and only had three fans, I'd probably cook it the first time I fired up "Crysis 2." I was thinking about the insulation too, but Cooler Master ships the Silencio 550 with only two 800 rpm fans. I mean a good 800 rpm fan is a pretty quite fellow in any case, much less one that is sound insulated. So what's the dealio? The dealio is that if I ran my 920 at stock speeds or with mild Ocing, it would have no problem in this case using two 800 rpm fans, and if it did I could either add another or increase fan speeds or both. So it can handle high end parts and keep them cool and quite. It's just a matter of how high end and what you do with them.
Then there's that SD card reader, and to that I say, "Why?" Listen, SSD portable card readers just over the size of the SD card itself cost 9 bucks. So do we really need an SD card reader mounted vertically on the top of a case, ready to catch the fallout from the next volcanic eruption? You choose, but for me it was an easy question to answer. Let me think, "Nope." I'd rather have seen two more USB ports. It's not that big of a deal though.
Finally, the CPU cooler area gives us 154mm, and that's it. I did a search and compared a few coolers and found that some will fit and some will not, so watch for that. It won't be a problem finding a high end cooler that will fit. If you have a favorite CPU cooler that you want to use, however, or already have one, it may be problematic. You may need to be flexible.