Cooler Master Silencio 550 Quiet ATX Tower

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Assembling a system in the Silencio 550 is a straight forward affair. Drive mounting is tool-less, but the power supply, motherboard, and expansion cards require traditional screws. Our test system consists of an Asus 790GX motherboard, a ZEROtherm FZ120 heatsink with a Nexus 120 mm fan, a WD Caviar Black 1TB hard drive and a Cooler Master 700W modular power supply.

Hard drive mounting is facilitated by plastic rails loosely slapped onto to either side of the drive and slipped into the drive cage.

The larger drive cage can be removed via four screws on the right side, but this isn't necessary unless you need to make room for a long graphics card. Video card clearance is 27.8 cm (10.9") with the cage in place.

Clearance behind the motherboard tray is an ample 24 mm, but as we mentioned earlier, there is 7~14 mm of foam on the interior of the side panel. Bundling up thick sets of cables must be avoided.

With a modular power supply, we managed to keep things fairly tidy. One tip is to try to isolate the 24-pin ATX cable. Laying thicker cables like the USB connector over or under it made it difficult to close up the case.

Our HD 4870 system, fully installed. We were able to fit our 156 mm CPU cooler even though Cooler Master lists the maximum clearance as 154 mm. The foam compacted just enough to allow it. With the side panel off, there was a gap of 5 mm above the heatsink and the edge of the chassis frame so if you excise the foam over the heatsink, clearance becomes 161 mm.

The hard drive docking bay is fairly secure and works as intended but as the drive extends only a small amount beyond the bezel, it is hard to pull out (you have to hold onto the corners to get enough of a grip). An ejection mechanism would've been nice.

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