SFF Gaming System
CASE: Silverstone Sugo SG07
Of the current crop of mini-ITX cases on the market, the Silverstone Sugo SG07 seems to be the most capable for a gaming system. This Shuttle-style enclosure is big for a case of its class, but all the space inside is used well and the extra room coupled with heavy ventilation gives it the ability to house a relatively high performance system while maintaining reasonable temperature and noise thresholds. It has ample room for long graphics cards, has good CPU heatsink clearance, and there's a big 18 cm fan blowing downward over the entire motherboard. At US$210, it isn't exactly a bargain basement case, but it's not bad considering a substantial and pretty quiet 600W power supply is included.
We recently discovered that Silverstone has been shipping updated versions of the older Sugo SG05/06 cases with beefier 450W power supplies (300W units were included initially) making them possible alternatives to the SG07. However the SG07 can fit a taller CPU heatsink, has better overall cooling, and uses a standard ATX power supply that can be easily swapped for a myriad of quiet units if the stock PSU ever falters. The SG05 and SG06 require SFX power supplies, which are nowhere near as widely available and typically less powerful. We also aren't sure how noisy these new units get under heavy loads. The original PSUs in the SG05/06 were nowhere as good as the 600W model in the SG07.
The Lian Li PC-Q08 which was used in our SFF Home Server could be considered as well, as its size gives it plenty of component clearance. However we don't feel it is an optimal choice as it is rather bulky compared to the Sugo, and its main strength, its six hard drive bays, would be wasted. For a dedicated gaming box, you really only need two drives at most, with one of them preferably being an SSD. In addition, considerable heat would radiate off the back of the graphics card and rise upward, adding to the heat around the CPU in the Lian Li case. In the SG07, the motherboard is situated on the case floor, making this almost a non-issue.
POWER SUPPLY: Silverstone SST-ST60F-SG (included with case)
The 600W ATX power supply included with the Sugo SG07 is 80 PLUS Bronze certified and was relatively quiet during our initial case testing. With 46 amps on a single +12V rail, it can deliver more than enough power for most setups and the way it is embedded in the front portion of the case is one of the reasons there is enough space for a sizable CPU cooler and a large fan above it. It's a customized unit with short cables which helps keep the case interior tidy, something that can definitely be a problem in mini-ITX cases.
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