|SilverStone SST-GD06B HTPC Chassis Enclosure|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Cases|
|Written by Dan Ferguson|
|Thursday, 12 January 2012|
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Detailed Exterior Features
Now lets take a little better look at the outside of the GD06. After looking at the main outside of a new case I like to look at the goodies kit to see what's included. SilverStone threw in a basic screws kit, keys to the front door, a manual, and some reusable tie-downs. As usual, the screws come in several different varieties of pitch and shape. They are all Phillips, so we won't be getting any tool-less love from the GD06. As for the reusable tie-downs, I love them. These are my favorite kind. They are strong, flexible, and REUSABLE. I don't have to have a bunch of extra tie-downs sitting around to replace every time I cut an old one off.
Now for the manual. These days, case manuals are a joke. More often than not they tell you how to do obvious things in a hundred different languages. Some manufacturers do a good job by just using pictures, so you don't have to search through a hundred pages to fin your own language. Well, SilverStone included a beefy 36-page manual in ten different languages with pictures and text. It's not perfect, but it's good. The GD06 chassis is complex enough that I found many times where I had to refer to the manual. They crammed so many things in such a tight space that I had to read-up on how to install all the hard drives. Also, they included lots of critical dimensions for cramming parts into the case. Like what is the space between the bottom and the top, the bottom and the ODD bracket, and even the amount of space inside the front door. All useful and necessary information. It's available online, and I suggest looking through it before buying all your components so you can choose a fit the meets your needs.
Now on to the front door. It's made of aluminum and feels fairly strong, but the hinges are at least partially plastic, so it won't take tons of abuse. Since the door is somewhat weighty it feels like the hinges are spring supported so the door doesn't slam open. The lock on the front is metal and can be locked using the keys provided. Inside the front door you have access to two USB 3.0 ports, standard audio ports, the power button and two hard drive bays. You'll have to open the front door every time you need to swap a disc, but with the number of drives you can mount, you may as well rip all your discs to the hard drives. Sadly, the front door opens too stiffly to be pushed open by the force of an ejecting ODD tray.
The hard drive doors are spring loaded and unlatched by a quick slide of the switch. The bays are big enough to admit a standard 3.5" SATA hard drive. Anything larger won't fit, and anything smaller will take too much fussing to be worth the effort. SilverStone says these are hot-swap drive bays. That's true from an accessibility standpoint, but it's only as true as your motherboard allows. I'm slightly disappointed by the doors here. The blank installed on the ODD has a nice brushed appearance that matches the GD06's exterior. But this is the one part that nearly everyone is going to remove. And then the drive doors are just plain, boring, black plastic. It looks worse than the rest of the front which is just a nice matte. At least they could have given it the brush finish like the ODD blank or a glossy plastic like the bezel. Oh well, the front door will be mostly closed anyways.
Here's a quick look at the filter that covers the PSU intake. It's an ABS plastic cover that removes with four screws, and it holds a fine-quality mesh filter. Again, it would be nice if the HTPC cases could follow suit with gaming and build cases and go too-less. Would be easier to push a tab and slide this thing out than to get out the screw-driver.
It's interesting that the hot-swap drives have LEDs on their covers. The LEDs turn on whenever power is supplied to the case regardless of whether the bay contains a drive or not. Plus, the door will be closed most of the time, so it's not like they add a ton of styling. There is also an LED on the reset switch. It seems odd to me that the power switch is inside the front cover while the reset switch is on the outside. I use the power switch far more often. I suppose that if I want them switched I can just swap the pins around, but...that means getting out the screw-driver. Read on to see exactly what that entails.