on December 30, 2010
This case is exactly what I was looking for. It is very stylish, and is perfectly sized too. It fits in very well with my other components, being almost exactly the same size as my Yamaha Receiver.
I have been looking for a HTPC case for about a year now, have looked at and read reviews on a plethora. I took a leap with this case, partially because of the reviews, but also because I was tired of looking. Man did I come out on top. It does not have any of the bells and whistles of a lot of the HTPC cases out there, but who actually uses any of those features anyways? Volume knob on a case, lcd display? Most people just end up complaining about them. The case layout was fine for me. I was not building a super high end PC as I will be using it mainly for movies, so i do not have any oversized extravagant components. If you do, you may run into problems with space.
Airflow and noise were a great concern of mine. This was one of the reasons I ended up going for this bad boy. Most of the other "nice", more expensive cases came with a couple 80mm fans, and you know they are going to be way too loud trying to keep you system cool, and you're eventually going to have to mod the case to add larger quiter fans. The GD05 comes stock wth three quiet 120mm fans that do an excellent job of cooling and maximizing airflow. The HTPC is in a smallish enclosure with limited airflow, and so far these fans have done an excellent job.
There is not much info out there about the CD/DVD tray difference between the GD04 and the GD05. I ended up going with the GD05 because my brother has a case with the fold down door, and it has caused him nothing but problems. I wanted to stay away from that, and was fine with the look of the drive mounted and showing on the front of the case. I have a black drive, and it actually looks good.
Some people may complain about the option of only having space for 2 3.5" hard drives, but to be honest who is actually going to install more than that in the case itself. I have 1 drive running the OS, and one as storage. If wanted more I would buy a NAS box. Keep the noise level down, and run the drives in RAID as back up.
If you have been looking at cases for a while, you can't go wrong with this on. I am extremely happy with it and for me, can't think of any cons.
on March 12, 2012
it is a very nice looking, compact case with some minor design flaws. i give it 4 stars. i would give it 5 stars if i use this for HTPC alone, but i always liked powerful yet compact machines and this case was the first step for me to build my dream machine.
so let me get it straight, IF you just building a HTPC, this case offers more than enough. it is the perfect height to adapt full size graphic card (but you wouldn't need one if you go with AMD APU solution).
but i am not just building a HTPC, i am building the most powerful compact machine in existence (as of Feb 2012) here is my spec, you may find it rivals and surpasses many 1000+ dollar gaming tower for any brand name.
CPU: Core i7-2700k Overclocked
GPU: SLI EVGA 560 448 core Ti Overclocked.
HDD: 128G Solid State + 2T regular HDD
PSU: 1000W OCZ ZX full modular
RAM: 16G CORSAIR Vengeance DDR3 2000
MB: Asus P8P67M Pro
cooler: Cooler Master Vortex Plus
ALL in a A/V receiver like, low key case in stead of monstrosity cases that look like your file cabinet.
if you want to build a monster, you can reference my design as i did a lot of research/ trial/error. so let's talk about it.
not too much to say about CPU, 2700 is the fastest air cool cpu available on market at this time. nothing from AMD can touch it.
PSU: it HAS to be modular if you want to put more guts in the system. i know with all the non-modular PSU on sell it is hard to resist, but modular is your only choice due to the EXTREME TIGHT fit of this case. i would day 600W is probability good enough, but i get 1000 W.
RAM: 16G DDR3 2000 should be sufficient for almost anything you do, even with the most memory intensive programs. NOTE: don't be turn off by the high profile heat spreader on those vengeance ram. they won't get in the way (or better yet, you won't be able to put anything on top of those ram, might as well just get a high profile ones for cooling)
MB: ASUS P8P67 is based on Intel P67 (basically intel has P67, Z68 and H67. the H67 is low end and does not support over clock so just forget about it. P67 supports OC, but you need a dedicated graphic card for video out. Z68 board can use graphic core in the Intel CPU while supporting dedicated GPU). Asus P8P67 is the BEST MATX board you can find . it is not cheap but it is the only one that support SLI/C-Fire AND provide x16 speed/X1 speed or x8 speed/x8 speed on its PCI express. not a issues if you gonna go with SLI/X-Fire, but big difference if you only use single card. the product succeed this broad (P8Z68 M) only support X8 speed even if you only need one card, and only support X fire but not SLI.
GPU: the GTX 560 TI 448 core is not the fastest kid on the block. BUT it is the fastest card that is less than 10 inches. <<<<THIS IS THE KEY>>>>. with with case, you need card that doesn't exceed 9.5 inches or it will be nearly impossible to install. the 560 TI 448 core has the same performance as 570 but shorter. it is, after all my research, the most powerful card that can fit in the case. EVDA cards are designed to be SLI. so as of today, the SLI 560 TI 448 core is the fastest solution and should be able fit you need for quite a while.
SSD/HDD. not too much to say about those.
CPU cooler: cooler Master Vortex Plus. VERY IMPORTANT. this is the ONLY after market product that will fit EXTREMELY tightly in this case while giving you the option to have a disk drive. and with powerful setup, you know you need a cooler to replace stock intel cooler (as they are absolutely crap).
one more thing: put the system outside of the case first to test they all run correctly, and then put it back in the case. if you forget a cable (say SATA cable) after you install the M/B you will have to uproot the entire thing just to add that cable.
and here is my design flaw i am talking about:
1. HDD are mount up side down in this case. not a big problem you say? well it is. because none of the 90-degree bent SATA cable can fit. and you cannot fit that end on the MB either since you have no room. silver stone should at very least include some 270 bent SATA cabe.
2. Disk Drive location. IF the disk drive on the left side, you will have TONS of room to install decent low profile cooler (like CM GeminII. forget about hydro 212 as those cooler is taller than the case), However, right now you are limited to super super low profile cooler. BIG MINUS... (and you cannot use water cooler either, see below)
3. power panel: there is a module inside of the case that host the power button, reset switch and etc. the problem is they are unnecessarily close to the fan. they could at least move one inch over to the right. so why is it a problem? because it give you no option to use water cooler. with any internal water cooler, you will have a fan followed by a heat exchanger. so you need some room for it. so forget about water cooler. not gonna happen with this case.
at the end of the day, i have to thank silver stone to make something like this. my machine would otherwise be impossible. i do have to say the choice of the screws for this case is chaotic. it should only use 2 type of screw instead of 6 types. this case would be absolute perfect if the disk drive can move above PSU to allow more room for Air cooler, or leave enough room for a water cooler.
on January 12, 2011
Absolutely love this case. Top-notch quality and craftsmanship. Super quiet, great design for cable management.
My build for those who wonder what will fit:
Mobo: Gigabyte GA-800GMA-UD2H Micro-ATX
CPU: AMD Athlon II X3 3.0 Ghz
Scythe Big Shuriken 120mm low profile heat sink & cooling fan ( Fit easily )
Memory: G-Skill Rip Jaws 2x2gb DDR3 1600Mhz ( Placed in outer two slots )( You could get two more in slots 1 & 2 if you place them in before mounting heat sink and cooling fan. ) ( Nothing any taller than Rip Jaws will fit slots 1 & 2 with the Shuriken)
Hard Drives: Crucial 64 gb SSD ( 6gb/s Sata III ) boot drive, Western Digital 500gb AVP hard drive ( 3gb/s )storage
Power Supply: Seasonic X-Series 560W Modular ( Highly recommend )
Optical Drive: Lite-On Blu-ray drive
TV Tuner Card: Hauppage 2250 Dual TV Tuner Card
OS: Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
on May 11, 2010
Silverstone did an excellent job with this case. It has great airflow, it's roomy for its design, and it looks absolutely gorgeous albeit simplistic. The case comes complete with small rubber feet for your PSU, some ties for cable management and plenty of extra screws.
If you look inside the case, you'll find that they not only provided places to tie down your cables, but they even provided preinstalled grommets for your 3.5 drives in order to dampen sound. Lot's of bang for your buck to be had in this little beauty.
As with any design, there are a few flaws and this case's flaws are in a few oversights in its design. First off, when you are looking at the front of the case with the top open, you'll notice that the PSU attaches on the left hand side directly underneath where the hard drives attach which works well for attaching the SATA connectors to them. The issue is that that puts it quite a distance from the P4 PSU connector on the motherboard which is on the front right on most motherboards. The motherboards are designed like that because in a tower, the right side (looking from front to backplane) is oriented towards the top of the PC where the power supply is. In order to get around this, you have to either have a 19.2" (roughly) P4 cable from your power supply or an extension in order to route it around the board instead of having to stretch it across the board.
The second flaw I found was the fact that there are 2 LED's (power and hard drive) and only one LED hole in order for the light to shine through. I guess that wouldn't be so bad except for the fact that they are the same color (blue) and it's hard to tell when your drive is being accessed.
Another thing to note about this case is that it is steel and plastic with a thin aluminum skin over the plastic. The thing is HEAVY if you are used to aluminum cases.
on April 30, 2012
This case has well thought out placement of components, and is of generally good construction, but the included case fans have no business in a case that promotes itself for a home theater personal computer (HTPC). Silverstone would have done well to remove these fans and charge customers $5-10 less for the case, or put quieter ones in the case and charge $5-10 more. Regardless of the poor choice in case fans, something easily remedied, the good of this case outweighs the bad, and I feel it a worthwhile investment if you can get when discounted as I did in November of 2011.
I moved my HTPC components from a designed for silence P182 case to this case so I could place the computer neatly with the rest of my components when rearranging my system and in doing so found the following positives to the case:
* Vibration isolating mounts for up to two 3.5" hard drives (something sadly lacking on some of their larger HTPC/media cases like the LC13)
* Easy access to install all components with simple removal of the drive trays
* Good fit and finish of all pieces of the case
* A case design that allows for the inclusion of up to three 120mm case fans for cooling as needed
* A good number of cable tie-down points to help with cable management, and adequate space to run cables for all components
* Full height expansion slots for devices such as graphics cards
Assembled with all components in place the case is free of rattles or notable resonance from either of the two 7200 rpm 3.5" drives I have in place, though resonance from my less-than-vibration free 1TB drive may be more noticable once I replace the stock case fans with something quieter. I had hoped because I have a rear-projection HDTV which has the customary lamp cooling fan that makes most rear projection TVs louder than their flat screen counterparts, the case fan loudness others report would be masked by the steady whir of the TV fan, but that is definitely not the case. The included fans are really the biggest flaw in this case. Overall I found the following weaknesses, two of which can be easily and inexpensively addressed if desired, present with this case:
* System fans that are too loud for this type of application (solved with a quieter fan of which I have several in other cases, or something like multiple fan-mate 2 controllers to adjust the fan speeds)
* No sound deadening layer or laminate on inside of case sides or top (easily purchased and added if desired)
* Insufficient clearance between CPU and DVD drive to allow anything but stock CPU fan depending on motherboard layout (you may not find this a factor if you have a low wattage CPU that stays cool without stock CPU cooler ramping up to higher speeds)
The case dimensions themselves can either be a benefit or an inconvenience depending on how you plan to place this case with your other components. Put simply this case is much shallower than say the LC13 by the same company so if you have a layout where you plan to stack components with this one, I suggest you take that into account.
Overall I would recommend this case - it is a soundly constructed case with well thought out touches, just plan on investing in quieter case fans if you want your HTPC to blend in with the rest of your components in terms of operating noise.
on May 2, 2011
It's hard to imagine but of all the parts that went into my new HTPC/Media center the case was the one I spent the most time looking for. I wanted something well made, in micro ATX, that fit in a normal A/V cabinet AND would support full height expansion cards. It needed good airflow and a near silent design. And hopefully come in under $100.00 The GD05B delivers on all of this.
Start with the size. This case is almost identical in size to a normal A/V receiver. The big key is depth. Most micro ATX cases that claim to be designed for HTPC use are still 17"+ deep and this is too deep to fit in your standard entertainment center cabinets. Others are compact but only take low profile cards. The Silverstone comes in under 13" and has room to spare in the rear. It will take 2 3.5" hard drives - one in front of and the other directly above the PSU, and 4 full height expansion cards.
It comes with 3 nearly silent 120mm case fans that do a great job keeping it cool.
Room is tight but the case is so well thought out that it's not really an issue. If you are using a tall CPU cooler you might have an issue with the optical drive but other than that it's great. The stock AMD cooler had plenty of room. Cable management is well done, but again tight. A modular PSU would be a good idea but I had no problems stowing the extra cables from the Antec Earthwatts 380 I went with. The case has tie down points throughout, but being made so tight there is no compartment under the mobo tray or anywhere else specifically designed for stowing extra cables. Just follow the manual and tidy the extras nice and neat below the front HDD.
Build quality is also excellent. Everything fits together great, even the manual is outstanding - and that's saying something for what you normally get with a PC case.
Also note - the GD04B is identical to this one with the only exception being the optical drive bay. The 05 is a standard 5.25" bay opening, while the 04 features a fold down flip for the optical drive. That type has never been my preference but either way if you want to build a low noise, low heat, energy efficient HTPC for your entertainment center you can't go wrong with this case.
on May 25, 2011
Silverstone makes some nice looking cases for the HTPC market but their pricing and compromises in each case can be frustrating when selecting a case. Not so for this case which is perfectly priced and a good value where you dont have to compromise much. Primarily because it comes with the fans. Consider their ML series which they pitch as the entry level case below this. But if you have to put fans in it, then it is more expensive than this one!
This has enough capacity for a HTPC or even a powerful desktop. The rubber grommet for mounting drives are great and essential in any case. They do wonders for keeping the noise level down from the drives and less vibration is transfered to rest of the chassis. A modular power supply will help a lot to reduce wiring sphagetti. Plenty of thoughtful places in this case to tie wires down help.
The fans provided are quite good with no mechanical sounds I can hear except for a slight hum when your ears are next to them, not a problem for regular use. However, the air flow from these large fans is turbulent enough to make wind noise audible when not drowned out by audio in use. A problem is that most motherboards used in this kind of a case do not provide connectors for all three fans to control speed based on temperature. Typically, there is just one for a case fan. The case thoughtfully includes a molex to fan connector adapters so that fans can be connected to the power supply directly. But that means two of the fans are always at full speed with the wind noise. Most of the time, the typical use of a case like this does not require all 3 fans and you can leave then unconnected. The temperature increased by 2 degrees when I did that. But then there may be a few times you really need them so it is a pain. You can buy a fan controller but most arent cheap and come with too many bells and whistles you dont need and most provide a manual control. I wish the industry would fix this problem. Case manufacturers could fIx this by providing an active connector to the single case fan header on the MB and combine it with power from PSU so that they take the power from PSU and speed signals from the MB.
How you fit in 3 drives is not obvious. At least one of them has to be a 2.5" drive as stated in the specification. The left front section has space for a 2.5" drive and a 3.5" drive (or a 2.5" with an adapter) stacked one above the other. The back section can take a 2.5" or a 3.5" without an adapter.
The only negative for me is the lack of a hole for an IR remote. HTPC cases with no remote make very little sense. Support for IR doesnt necessarily mean coming with their own receiver, electronics and a remote, especially for a lower priced case like this. All they have to do is cut a small hole in the front face and fit it with a plastic piece that lets IR through so people can mount their own IR receivers without having to drill their own hole. It would have been 5 starts with something like this.
The only problem I had was that one of the wires from the front usb/audio panel to the sound connector was left unconnected and so connecting it would create a loud hum in audio from any audio out in the back or front. This is not something you can fix without the right crimp tool. But an email exchange with their support address quickly resulted in a new harness as well as the front usb/audio connectors (it is a single part) arriving promptly in the mail. Fantastic customer support.
I highly recommend this case and the company.
on December 9, 2011
Pros: superb build quality, very sturdy, good size that will fit in a cabinet, great open space to work with, rubber rings for the HDD mounts to absorb noise
Cons: fans are noisy, 5.25" bay placement blocks CPU, 3.5" drive slots could be better
There's no questions about it. From the moment I laid my hands on this case, it screams superb build quality. Even the feet are supersize that are screwed on, unlike the usual cheap tiny stick on ones.
You have unscrew 8 screws to remove the drive slots to get access to install the components. Very easy to do. Once you remove the slots, you basically get 100% open space access to the whole case to install the components. After everything is installed, it's also very easy to install the drive slots back.
If you use a full size ATX PSU, things could get a bit tight there if you have a lot of extra cables to deal with. I have a PSU that's slightly shorter but got some extra cables, but I was able to tie them up and tuck them in there nicely.
One note is that my motherboard's 8 pin power connector is all the way at the right side while the PSU is all the way at the left. An old PSU I had the cable was barely long enough to reach the motherboard connector.
So far everything about this case is a solid 5 stars. Now the things that keep it from perfections are its fans and the drive bay designs.
They included a molex connector that splits into 3 separate 3-pin connectors for the fans. If you connect the fans to the PSU with that, the fans will generate some good air flow, but that also mean they are noisy. For HTPC, it's unacceptable. My motherboard has three 3-pin connectors for fans, but only two of them can be controlled. However, they should've included something to reduce the fan speed and noise. Of course this is easy enough to remedy, but it's annoying.
What they didn't put enough thought into is the placement of the 5.25" bay and the 3.25" HDD slots. Clearly they could have two 3.25" slots right behind the PSU instead of put one on top of the PSU, or have three 3.25" slots total.
More of a problem though is that the 5.25" slot is directly above the CPU so your CPU fan/heatsink choices are quite limited. Luckily, one of the best CPU heatsink manufacturers Scythe makes a few great low profile ones, such as the SCBSK-1000 or SCBSK-2000. What they could've done on the case though, is to put the 5.25" bay with a 3.25" slot underneath right behind the PSU, and a vertical 3.25" slot on front panel where the 5.25" bay is. Granted, this will limit you to one full size GPU and a half size card only, but for HTPC that would be my preference. I don't want to run two GPUs. It would also be much tighter if you use a full size PSU, but there are more great compact PSUs than there are low profile CPU coolers. Ideally if they could make this configurable so you could put the DVD either on the left or the right side, then it would be absolute perfection.
Even though the build quality is superb, I am giving 4 star because I just don't feel they've put enough thought and attention into the design, and left out the minor but crucial detail on the fan noise while they thought of the rubber rings for the HDD mounts.
After wasted a lot of time researching fans and playing with the fans on this case, I found that the noise is due to the case design, not the fan. I took the fans out, removed the grill cover, ran it at full power w/o any thing in its path of air flow, and found that it's actually near silent! So some experiment with grill on/off, in the case and out. I found that the grill intro some noise, and seriously blocks the air flow, but the major noise maker is the grid opening for the fan on the case. I held the fan in my hand so any vibration is absorbed and slowly moved it toward the grid opening, as soon as I am about 1/4 inch away, the air flow through the grid started to make a loud humming sound. They need to find a better pattern or a different approach for the fan openings on the case.
They definitely have some improvements to work on.
on December 19, 2010
To repeat a comment of a previous reviewer, there is NO hole drilled in the case to see the HDD light, so I drilled one. In the process, I fixed the problem with the sticking POWER and RESET buttons. When I replaced the button unit after drilling the hole for the HDD light, I didn't screw it in as tightly as it was originally which prevented the buttons from sticking to the case. Bad engineering. It would have been nice to include an RF sensor on the front panel, but that's a gripe, not a comment on the construction of this unit. My biggest complaints are with the sound produce by the BD/DVD unit and the fans. The fans are 3-prong and cannot be controlled without adding a seperate unit. That means that they run full speed (1200rpm) all the time and are not the quietest. I solved this by replacing them with Silvestone SCOOL121 units that have a temperature sensor that can be placed wherever needed and controls the speed of the fan. My 3 fans now run around 180-360rpm and cannot be heard at all (I put the sensors by the Southbrige, Memory and CPU). I have NO heat issues at all. Now the BD/DVD noise is a different ballgame. The BD/DVD unit is SOLIDLY screwed to the chassis. The front feet on the chassis might as well be steel because they don't isolate the chasis at all. When I play a BD or DVD the hum sounds like I'm on the bridge of the Starship Enterprise. I put one of those shipping airbags under the front of the chassis and stole the rubber grommets they have for a 2nd HDD and used them to isolate the BD/DVD player. It's OK, but looks stupid! So close to being a great unit, just not quite there yet.
on September 29, 2011
I've attached five photos of the case and installed components. Hope this helps...
-- Same size, color and texture as my Onkyo receiver (see my photo).
-- No sharp edges to cut yourself on when building your system.
-- Very sturdy, wouldn't change the design at all.
-- Inside the box they cut a metal area out for a front LCD display.
-- The three 120mm fans are very quiet.
-- Hard drive mount for two 3.5 or 2.5 hard drives (see my photo)
-- Lots of room for a mini case - very easy to work with.
-- Takes full size PCI-x cards and full size power supply.
-- Room for front facing SATA ports (if MB is designed that way)
Con's: Working hard to come up with some. )
-- No SD card slot by front USB / audio plugs
-- Front USB ports can only be USB 2.0 not USB 3.0 (uses inside USB 2.0 circuit)
-- Plastic front (not metal). Don't scratch it...
My system build (works great)(Photo's included)
-- SilverStone Aluminum/Steel Micro ATX HTPC Computer Case GD05B (Black)
-- Gigabyte AMD GA-A75M-UD2H (rev 1.0) Mother board
-- AMD A8-3850 APU with AMD Radeon 6550 HD Graphics 2.9GHz Socket FM1 100W Quad-Core
-- Kingston Technology HyperX 8 GB (2x4 GB Modules) 1600 MHz DDR3 Dual Channel Kit (PC3 12800)
-- OCZ Agility 2 OCZSSD2-2AGTE60G 2.5" 60GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive
-- Western Digital Caviar Green 2 TB SATA III Hard Drive - WD20EARX
-- Pioneer Internal 12x Blu-ray Disc/DVD/CD Writer BDR-206DBK
-- AmuletDevices remote control and IR Receiver
-- Antec (Neo HE650)(NeoPower 650) 650 Watt Power Supply
-- IOGEAR Multimedia Keyboard with Laser Trackball