|Silverstone SUGO SG08 Mini-ITX Case|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Cases|
|Written by David Ramsey|
|Thursday, 23 August 2012|
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Closer Look: Exterior
The accessories pack includes a multi-lingual manual, an adapter to allow motherboards with only USB 2.0 headers to be connected to the case's front panel, a small bag of screws for mounting drives (it even includes four of the ultra-tiny screws for mounting slim optical drives), two reusable cable ties, and a power cord. You can attach the rectangular vent to the left side panel, sealing its edges with the supplied foam block, to precisely direct cool outside air into your video card's axial fan input.
The front of the SST-SG08 case is a single slab of black anodized aluminum. It's a pretty minimalist facade, with a power button and light, two USB 3.0 ports, microphone and headphone connections, and a slot for a slim optical drive. The "SilverStone" logo is the only decoration. A card reader-- at least for SD cards-- would have been nice. The power indicator to the right of the power button is also the drive activity light: it's on steadily when the computer is turned on, but flickers with drive activity.
When I first examined this case, I was struck by its weight-- it seemed noticeably heavier than you think a case this size would be. And here's why: that brushed aluminum front panel is a full centimeter thick. I'm not sure why SilverStone made this design decision, but it gives the case some...presence.
The left side of the case is a single vented panel, the better for your video card to breathe. SilverStone had full-sized, high performance video cards in mind for this case when they designed it, as we'll see in the following sections.
At the rear of the case are a low/high speed switch (barely visible at the left in this image) for the Air Penetrator fan; the I/O panel cutout; two card slot covers (mini-ITX motherboards only have one slot at most, but again, SilverStone's thinking of double-width video cards), the reset switch, and the power receptacle. Power receptacle? Yes, this case comes with its own power supply...more on that later.
The right side of the case is plain, with more ventilation slots. However, while the ventilation slots on the left side of the case were for intake air for a video card cooler, these slots are for exhaust. This case has two airflow paths: for the video card, it's intake air through the left side of the case and out the rear and bottom; for the rest of the system it's air in through the top of the case via the filtered Air Penetrator fan, and out through the right side of the case.
And here's the intake at the top of the case for the 180mm SilverStone Air Penetrator fan. We'll look at this in more detail in the Interior section.
Things get interesting on the bottom of the case. It almost looks as though SilverStone was thinking about a motherboard backplate cutout here, although that wouldn't make any sense because it would (1) Leave the bottom of the motherboard exposed, and (2) space restrictions inside the case preclude the use of the large coolers that require backplates. The fan intake you see on the left of this image is for the built-in power supply, and the vented area at the lower right is an exhaust area for graphics cards that don't route all their hot air out the back of the case. Note the screw-in plastic blocking ridge that keeps this warm air from being sucked into the power supply intake. Nice touch!
Let's take a look inside this intruiging case in the next section.