|SilverStone SUGO SST-SG09 MicroATX Chassis|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Cases|
|Written by David Ramsey|
|Monday, 29 October 2012|
Page 6 of 6
Micro ATX Case Final Thoughts
SilverStone's reputation for innovative case design is well-earned, and the SG09 shows why. Its unique design is not without drawbacks, but it allowed SilverStone to make the case as small as possible while still fitting all the other components an enthusiast mATX dual-video card setup would need. The SST-SG09B is only about 30% larger than the mini-ITX sized SG08, and much smaller than a standard full tower ATX case:
SilverStone doesn't claim this is the smallest micro ATX case available, and it might not be. But I really don't see where they can trim any more cubic inches. In fact, I kind of wish they'd added a few millimeters here and there: for example, another 5mm front-to-back distance would solve the problem with the cable from the optical drive hitting the 180mm top fan. Another 5mm in width would make cable routing easier, too. However, according to SilverStone, a volume of 23 liters is the maximum size for a case that can be considered a "small form factor" system, and the SG09 as delivered encompasses 22.974 liters. So it's really not possible to make the case any larger and stay within this seemingly arbitrary limit.
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. You're going to want a quiet power supply in this case, since the intake fan is facing straight out the front, but I've found SilverStone's power supplies to be reasonably quiet.
All in all, this is a very impressive case, although the $99.00 price seems a little high. After all, the much larger SilverStone Temjin TJ08 mATX case is only $5 more, and has an aluminum front bezel rather than the plastic front bezel of the SG09. Of course the TJ08 doesn't come with two Air Penetrator fans, so perhaps that makes up some of the difference.
My complaints about this case are few:
The audience for this case is gamers or anyone else looking to build the smallest possible rig that can handle an SLI or CrossFireX setup-- or anyone else that wants a really small system but needs more memory or PCI-E slots than a mini ITX system can provide. If you need more interior space or 5.25" drive bays but still want to stick with the mATX form factor, SilverStone has several other cases for your consideration.
SilverStone SST-SG09B Conclusion
SilverStone set out to make the smallest possible micro-ATX computer case they could that could still serve as the basis of a high-performance system. The SUGO SG09 is it, but as with all things there are tradeoffs. The ability to handle six drives (two 3.5", four 2.5" is unique in this segment as far as I know, although I suspect you'd need to fabricate your own SATA power cables to actually use this many drives.
The SG09 is not as dramatic as the FT03, but is more interesting than the bland TJ08, two other mATX cases SilverStone offers. It looks rather industrial, but the design is inoffensive rather than striking. Frankly it looks more like a UPS than a computer to me!
The case body and frame are mild steel, with a plastic front bezel. I was a little disappointed to see that the front was plastic rather than aluminum, although it's visually indistinguishable from aluminum and it does have a very subtle curve that might have been difficult to reproduce in metal for the same price. The unique cover design, with an asymmetric top/sides piece and a separate GPU fan piece that forms part of the bottom of the case, is an obvious "part optimization" that removes the need for a separate GPU fan bracket. That's good, I suppose, but after working with another case whose slide-on side and top panels always snicked perfectly into place, it was jarring to wrestle with the large, floppy top/side cover. During the course of this review I had that cover off and on a dozen or more times, and it never got any easier. This a consequence of design rather than construction quality, but it still affects the "perceived quality" of the case.
Like most SFF cases, the front I/O panel is very simple: a couple of USB 3.0 ports and audio I/O. I would have liked to see eSATA and at least an SD card reader, but since nobody else is doing it, it's hard to complain. (No, actually, it isn't. I will keep complaining.)
For $99.99 (Newegg / Amazon), this is a moderately expensive mATX case, although you can certainly spend a lot more money on SilverStone's own FT03 or some Lian Li cases if you wish. Given that SilverStone makes larger mATX cases with more aluminum for the same price, I think the SG09 could be a little cheaper.
The SUGO SG09 is an interesting case aimed at a small audience. Does the size differential relative to somewhat larger cases that would be much easier to build in worth it to you? If so, this is your case.
+ Unique design allows high performance components in a very small case
- Replacing the top/side cover is a nail-shredding pain
Final Score: 8.70 out of 10.
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