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SilverStone SST-GD06B HTPC Chassis Enclosure E-mail
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Written by Dan Ferguson   
Wednesday, 11 January 2012
Table of Contents: Page Index
SilverStone SST-GD06B HTPC Chassis Enclosure
Closer Look: Exterior
Detailed Exterior Features
Closer Look: Interior
Detailed Interior Features
Final Thoughts and Conclusion

HTPC Chassis Final Thoughts

I did say I wanted the kitchen sink on my HTPC right? But to get a case that's affordable, not everything will fit. On the GD06 SilverStone managed to fit a framework for performance. To me that seems to be the main theme for our readers. Performance and cost, though I know for some the cost is less of a factor and performance is more important. That's why the GD06 is a good fit at Benchmark Reviews. But in keeping costs down you'll miss out on some of the finer aspects of HTPCs like digital displays, external controls, IR and the like.

One interesting note on HTPC cases, they are difficult to find with shallow depths. Actually, that's true for all cases. In order to fit everything in you always have to stack two components. You may not think about it often, but it always works that way. Standard ATX cases stack the motherboard behind the hard drive cages. Alot of the innovation we've seen in the last couple of years has been by modifying the hard drive cages to better utilize the space. If you think top to bottom in a standard case, the PSU is on top or below the motherboard. But things don't have to be stacked that way. It's just a shape that's fairly regular shape. Not a perfect cube, not a long skinny box, just normal. But HTPC's fall under a different rule. The depth dimension is often the critical dimension when I help people build an HTPC. This is one area that SilverStone has done well versus others. They stack the hard drives in front of the PSU as their depth dimension. They could get another couple inches if they stood the PSU up on end.

SilverStone GD06 HTPC Chassis

SilverStone GD06 Conclusion

When it comes to performance, it's somewhat difficult to give a rating for the GD06. On the one hand it held lots of stuff really well, but on the other hand it was a real pain to build. But compared to other HTPC cases the build could have gone much worse. Still, everything requires a screwdriver, the screws are different sizes and threads, and there were a ton of screws. It made me wish even just for thumb screws on the top panel at least. Despite the inconvenience, everything fit together nicely. There just wasn't anything else to complain about.

The appearance of the GD06 is a step above past cases from the Grandia series. The GD06 is very similar to the GD05 but hides the front ports behind a nice-looking front panel. In most ways this improves the look. But the front of the case is now so plain that it can make it look like some kind of mystery device on the entertainment center. It's missing all of the classic signs of an HTPC or other media device typically found in living rooms which may leave guests wondering, "what is that thing?" Underneath the front panel the finish is drab and boring, so you'll want to leave the door shut by default.

It's a really solid, sturdy case. The steel construction makes the case heavy for its size. But it's the kind of case that I wouldn't mind leaving within reach of clumsy hands. The kids can put in a DVD and I'm not worried about them breaking anything. There's a lock on the front and on the back (Kensington style) so the case is actually a great fit for leaving out in the open, say for a store display. Rubber feet on the bottom provide added traction. There are filters on every fan so the interior will be kept cleaner. Tolerances and screw fittings on the case were all well-designed.

The GD06 can hold up to five hard drives, two of which can be hot-swappable. It can also hold up to five full-size expansion cards, with a video card up to 11" long. The front I/O has two USB 3.0 ports in anticipation of the future. Three 120 mm input fans run silently and provide fresh air to critical areas in the case. With the ODD tray mounted above the CPU there are options for installing a short DVD drive and larger CPU cooler. Aside from these fundamentals there's not alot of flashy or advanced features common to HTPCs.

As of January 2012, you can find the GD06 for $129.99 at NewEgg or $122.00 at Amazon. This puts it into the upper-middle range for price. In this range you don't typically see any of the advanced or fancy features like digital displays and support for IR. The style of cases in this range is fairly standard, so layout and component compatibility are left to set the cases apart. The GD06 does very well at holding alot of standard hardware, but a couple other cases provide good competition like Lian Li's PC-C50B. Many of SilverStone's other cases fall into this same range like the standard ATX Lascala series. Bump down in price and you get some cheaper cases that hold fewer parts with cheaper construction. Bump up in price and you can get fancier features. But for quality build, lots of standard parts in a small form factor there are really only a few choices, and most of them are SilverStone. There's not a ton about the GD06 to make it stand out above the GD05 except USB 3.0, hot-swap drive bays and an extra hard drive.

Pros:

+ Small Form Factor
+ Compatible with standard parts
+ Large video card support
+ Front door hides I/O ports
+ Sturdy construction
+ Three 120 mm fans included
+ Hot-swappable, front-access HDDs
+ Space provided for cables

Cons:

- Multiple tools required
- Too many screws
- Different sizes of screws
- No IR support
- Ambiguous appearance

Ratings:

  • Performance: 7.50
  • Appearance: 7.50
  • Construction: 9.00
  • Functionality: 8.25
  • Value: 8.00

Final Score: 8.05 out of 10.

Benchmark Reviews invites you to leave constructive feedback below, or ask questions in our Discussion Forum.


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Comments 

 
# RE: SilverStone SST-GD06B HTPC Chassis Enclosurebarry 2012-01-24 12:34
not a bad case, but a few things wrong with it. The 2 front hotswap bays don't operate easily. Had a problem with a Joel @ silverstone as both my hotswap bays were defective. He asked that I send him a copy of my invoice as well as the s/n from the case. That was done last October. After numerous emails to him, he said that they sent out 2 different parcels via post to my house. I never received any of them, making me suspect that he sent anything at all. I've received post mail from Hong Kong with better results, so they've lost my business. Won't be buying anything with the Silverstone name on it in the furure!
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# Recent SST-GD06B BuildBrad 2012-01-24 13:28
I recently built a HTPC using this case and Silverstone's recommended PSU for this case. Only problem was, I couldn't fit the PSU with the fan facing down because the hot swappable bays prevented it. I had to flip the PSU upside down but now the fan blows up instead of down creating heat within the case. Emailed Silverstone and no response. I'm curious as to the PSU that was used by the author as I thought a modular PSU would be the way to go. Not so.

Besides all that, the case is very quiet and love the hot swappable bays. Plus, I like the clean look of the front. It has a very high WAF.
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# RE: Recent SST-GD06B BuildDaniel Ferguson 2012-01-25 22:24
I installed a Rosewill RD400-2SB. It's flipped so the intake fan pulls air in from the bottom of the case and spits it out the back. The PSU enclosure is sealed well enough that the air flow doesn't mix with the case.
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# Have this caseH 2012-01-24 13:36
I bought this case for my current HTPC build. For the price I consider it a ok buy. Couple of things that detracted from the case:

1. If you buy the modular 500w Strider PC that Silverstone sells you HAVE to mount the PSU fan up. Checking at the install pics the reviewer was able to put his PSU fan down where there is a vent. With the modular Strider the location of the power cables made that impossible.

2. Screws. Little screws. No thumbscrews for case. Just screws. Totally agree with reviewer on this.

3. Mount for hard drive/SSD is lame. I ended up sticking my main drive into one of the two hot-swap bays.

4. I actually did not install a DVD drive as I rarely use one and have a stand-alone Blu-Ray player on my entertainment center. This allows you to install up to 120mm height cooler. Not enough for a Hyper212+ or the other tower-style heatsinks, but a Gemini 2 fits fine. I have an external DVD drive if I ever need to use one.
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# Looks OKMergatroid 2012-01-24 16:21
I see a lot of HTPC builds at overclock.net. Many of them use full sized HD6950 or 6970 cards. It's amazing what you can squeeze into some of these things. I've even seen tiny little cases with an H50 or H60 installed along with a video card.

I always find it funny when I see a case that uses the same cheap $2.59 filters I used on some of my 120mm fans in my current builds. I only used those filters because there was nothing else handy, I wonder what SilverStone's excuse is?
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# RE: SilverStone SST-GD06B HTPC Chassis EnclosureFelix 2012-05-09 19:46
This case is a no-go. Too many problems. In addition to what reviewer and other commenter said, my take:

1) No place to put a card reader. Surely, a card reader is essential for HTPC.
2) The front door is unnecessary and a liability. Better to have easy access like AV receivers. A big problem is door blocks the USB ports, where one port will most likely be used to plug in a wireless keyboard/mouse transceiver. Such a transceiver must face the front in order to have adequate range. So why have a door block it?
3) Why a need to have hot-swap trays for HD? Who asked for such a thing in a HTPC? It is better to have 2 5" openings for 2 optical drives.
4) One must be able to install a standard size PS of any design.

I have seen better HTPC case design of the same size.
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