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Written by David Ramsey   
Monday, 29 October 2012
Table of Contents: Page Index
SilverStone SUGO SST-SG09 MicroATX Chassis
Closer Look: Exterior
Closer Look: Interior
Building a System
SilverStone SUGO Pack
Final Thoughts and Conclusion

Building a System

Micro ATX systems haven't been as pigeonholed to the HTPC and SOHO server roles as have mini-ITX systems, but it's still unusual to find them on enthusiasts' desks. Still, micro ATX motherboards are much more common than mini ITX motherboards, and the aspiring system builder has a wide variety of choices in this area. ASUS even has an X79 micro ATX motherboard!

There are several restrictions you'll run into when building in the SG09: for one, you'll need a slim optical drive (if you plan to have an optical drive), and you'll want to choose your power supply carefully. SilverStone has shrunken the interior of the case around its components like a a Vac-U-Form, and the space for cables in this case seems even tighter than it was in the mini-ITX cases I've reviewed. You're really going to want a power supply with modular cabling, and you should probably look hard at Silverstone's own Strider series of power supplies, if only because SilverStone sells an inexpensive "short cable kit" for them.

Motherboard ASUS Maximus V Gene Newegg
Memory Corsair Vengeance (4x4GB) Newegg
CPU Intel Core i5-2500K Newegg
CPU cooler Intel RTS2011LC water cooler (using Asetek LGA1155 mounting) Amazon
Power Supply SilverStone ST85F-G with PP05 short cable kit Newegg
Video Cards 2 x NVIDIA GTX580 --

There's plenty of room for almost any video card or cards you want to use, although third party cards that take up more than two slots will obviously prevent you from using more than one card. If your card's cooling system exhausts all the hot air out the back of the case, great; otherwise, consider mounting an 80mm exhaust fan below the power supply in the mount provided, oriented to blow hot air out the side of the case.

SilverStone says a modular power supply up to 180mm long will fit, but that they "highly recommend" sticking to 160mm if you can. Here's an example of why, with a 180mm SilverStone ST85F-g modular power supply installed. Yeah, there's going to be a little pressure on those cables when the cover's on.

silverstone_sg09_ps_installed.jpg

This problem was unexpected: a standard slim optical drive adapter cable (this particular one is actually supplied by Silverstone with their SOD02 slim optical drive) plugged into a slim optical drive butts right up against the Air Penetrator fan. This puts a lot of pressure on the cable connector, which in turn puts a lot of pressure on the connector in the drive. How much? Well, the first time I powered the system up, something near the connector in the optical drive instantly shorted out, puffing smoke out the rear of the now-dead drive. Now, it's certainly arguable that I should have been more careful as I was aware of the stress on the cable before I powered the system up. Still, as you can see, the only solution to this problem is to carve away part of the fan frame to give the cable more clearance. For folks with Dremels, it's easy, but you shouldn't have to carve on part of your new computer case to get it to accept the components it's advertised as supporting.

Note: SilverStone now offers a new right-angled slim optical drive adapter cable, part number CP10, that doesn't have clearance problems and should be available soon.

silverstone_sg09_clearance.jpg

Here are the drives and all power supply cables installed. Obviously the wiring hasn't been neatened up yet, although there's really not a whole lot more you can do. The area under the power supply is the only place you have to stuff any extra cable length.

silverstone_sg09_assembled_rear.jpg

About that 180mm modular power supply: it's a real tight fit. Amazingly, I was able to move the cables into a position that let me secure the cover correctly, and it's not even bulging...but I don't like to think about the pressure that's being exerted on the cable connectors. I'm definitely going to swap this out for a 160mm supply. Fortunately SilverStone has a broad selection of 160mm power supplies ranging from 500 to 1000 watts in their Strider Plus line. This is a lesson to take to heart when you're building a small form factor system: do your research on component size and clearances up front, before you begin the build!

silverstone_sg09_cable_clearance_1.jpg

Things look better from this side. An Intel RTS2011LC water cooler, unknown in the wild except for Sandy Bridge Extreme reviewers, sucks the heat from the 2500K CPU courtesy of some Asetek mounting components. The excessively long USB 3 header cable is kind of coiled between the back of the power supply and the memory, and as you can see even the case's integrated power cord to the PSU has a good 6" of length that could be snipped out. At least the two NVIDIA GTX580s look cozy. It's not obvious in this shot but there's about 1.5" of space between the tops of the video cards and the side of the case.

silverstone_sg09_assembled_front.jpg

Here's the PSU fan cover with the supplied 120mm Air Penetrator fan. There's plenty of room above the video cards for the fan, even with the power cables coming out of the top of the cards. And the fan is positioned perfectly to blow cool outside air right into the intakes of the 580s. As you can see there are mounting mounts for two additional 80mm or 92mm fans available.

silverstone_sg09_video_fans.jpg

The hardest part about this build was routing the power supply cables. SilverStone's PP05 short cable kit is the only thing that made it possible; I don't see how building a system in this case with a power supply with standard length cables would even be feasible, but if it were, it would be even more of a nightmare than this was.

SilverStone sent along a..."case accessory"...with the review unit I received. Let's check it out in the next section.



 

Comments 

 
# How well does it workJeff 2012-10-30 07:45
Just wondering if you actually started up the system, ran some tests. I am very interested in how your setup worked in terms of cooling.
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# RE: How well does it workDavid Ramsey 2012-10-30 07:56
Jeff, as I mentioned in the review:

"After hours of gaming the temps and fan speeds on the GTX580s were only slightly higher than they were in a giant ultra tower case I'd been using previously, and there the full ATX motherboard allowed me to separate the video cards for better airflow. But the 120mm Air Penetrator blowing right onto the cards almost made up the difference."
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# RE: RE: How well does it workJeff 2012-10-30 13:10
Sorry I was more referring to how well the water cooler on the cpu worked in this box. Trying to decide whether to go air or water for a build in this box. I imagine that using water left the air from the 180mm unblocked by a tower cooler and keeps the entire box pretty cool.
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# RE: RE: RE: How well does it workDavid Ramsey 2012-10-30 13:19
That's how it seems to work. The water cooler gets a shot of cool air from the outside, and if I switch the fan to "High", the temps on the upper graphics card drop by 3 degrees C under load.
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# RE: SilverStone SUGO SST-SG09 MicroATX ChassisSSR 2012-11-15 18:09
Like man SFF aficionados, I've been waiting for a Micro ATX case like this for a long time. In addition to the "cons" listed in the article, I'd also like to point out (1) The "Air Penetrator" fan is voltage controlled rather than PWM, and (2) sadly the front of the case is major-league fugly. I'm hoping Silverstone releases an SG10 that fixes some of these issues sooner rather than later!
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# RE: SilverStone SUGO SST-SG09 MicroATX ChassisPaul Blakeley 2012-11-24 15:38
Looking to build a new SFF system(daughter broke a couple USB ports and my
power button is defunct on my Thermaltake LanBox, I will miss the handle,
but the bag SilverStone makes looks nice) and was trying to find a new
case/chassis to use. Came across your SST-SG09 review and really like the
design here. Also thanks for the thorough review! Very helpful.

If you were building this today would you use the same parts?
I am only planning on using 1 video card for now.

I also have never used water cooling before. Am I using thermal paste as I
would with a standard CPU fan? Also the link listed to Amazon does not
include the Asestek mounting parts you described, correct? Will this be
difficult/not able to install with out these? If so where can I get them, or
am I better off using a standard CPU fan or different wc system?
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# RE: RE: SilverStone SUGO SST-SG09 MicroATX ChassisDavid Ramsey 2012-11-24 22:44
If you are not planning to overclock and only need one video card, you could easily get by with a mini ITX case like the SG08 or Cooler Master Elite 120, both of which I've reviewed here. The closed loop water coolers are very easy to use and install, and any one you buy new today will come with the mounting components you need, so that won't be a problem. All the water coolers come with pre applied thermal paste.

I like water coolers for these small cases since ventilation is frequently constrained.
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# RE RE REPaul B 2012-11-25 14:04
Thanks for the reply David,

I am currently not planning to OC and am just using one two slot GPU, but like the idea that I can upgrade whenever I want to something more powerful.

Do you currently recommend the same closed loop cooler? The link to the one currently on this review has no stock images on the Amazon website, so I just wanted to make sure it is current.
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# RE: SilverStone SUGO SST-SG09 MicroATX ChassisDavid Ramsey 2012-12-06 21:46
Sorry, Paul, I somehow missed your follow up question.

The Intel cooler was simply what I had laying around at the time I did the review. Its performance is not that great compared to some of the current closed loop coolers available now; I'd recommend one of the Corsair coolers if you're going to buy one.
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# Thank you for a splendid reviewJohan Sundberg 2012-12-29 06:45
This is one of the best reviews and pictures I have seen.

Thank you and happy new year.

Sincerely
Johan Sundberg
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# RE: Thank you for a splendid reviewDavid Ramsey 2012-12-29 06:55
You're welcome, Johan!
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