SilverStone Temjin TJ08-E: MicroATX Evolved

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TEST RESULTS: Asus EAH6850 DirectCU (Upside down)

As the TJ08-E places the motherboard upside down compared to most case layouts, we thought it would be interesting to what would happen if we flipped the case upside down (propped up slightly to give the power supply fan some clearance).

System Measurements: Load
(Asus EAH6850 DirectCU)
Upside down
2380 RPM
2260 RPM
CPU Temp
HD Temp
GPU Temp
24~25 dBA
25 dBA
(24 dBA reversed)
*set as low as possible to maintain a GPU temperature of ~90°C.
CPU fan set to 9V, stock fan set to low/9V.
Ambient temperature: 22°C.

Given that hot air rises, it was no surprise that the CPU, placed in a higher position, would do worse. With the stock fan set to low/9V, the CPU warmed up by an additional 7°C. The GPU, being in a lower, cooler location did better, allowing us to lower the fan speed by ~120 RPM.

Despite the reduction in fan speed, flipping the case around also increased the noise level by a small amount. This was due to the fact that the side with the motherboard tray, which was facing the mic in the standard orientation, was blocking some of the noise generated by the components. Flipped around, the more open side was facing the mic, thus the noise increase. When we measured from the right side, the SPL was slightly lower. So for lowest perceived noise, place the case to your left.


These recordings were made with a high resolution, lab quality, digital recording system inside SPCR's own 11 dBA ambient anechoic chamber, then converted to LAME 128kbps encoded MP3s. We've listened long and hard to ensure there is no audible degradation from the original WAV files to these MP3s. They represent a quick snapshot of what we heard during the review.

Each recording starts with ambient noise, then 10 second segments of product at various states. For the most realistic results, set the volume so that the starting ambient level is just barely audible, then don't change the volume setting again while comparing all the sound files.


Despite its modest size, the SilverStone Temjin TJ08-E is a surprisingly strong performing microATX case. The key to its success is the massive 18 cm Air Penetrator intake fan that draws in cool air from the exterior and blows it over the hard drive cage and most of the motherboard. Even at low speed, this monster helped the TJ08-E to a small, but decisive victory over both the Fortress FT03 and Lian Li PC-V354. There's also an optional 12 cm exhaust fan placement which would give it an additional edge. Its motherboard orientation is unusual but we don't believe it contributes much to its overall success. SilverStone essentially made a tradeoff, opting for a cooler CPU near the case floor and a warmer GPU in the upper section of the case. Gamers with high-end video cards would actually benefit if they turned it back the "right" way.

The interior looks cramped but the modular design makes assembly almost carefree. The hard drive cage pops off via two screws, the motherboard tray with three. The top cover is secured with six screws, but only needs to be removed to service the power supply and optical drive bays. There's ample room behind the motherboard tray and there are multiple holes for typing up and routing cables. Any other case with these dimensions would likely be a nightmare to work with, but the TJ08-E makes it almost effortless while also providing support for a long graphics card and a good-sized CPU cooler.

The case measures a modest 15.2" from front to back, but we wouldn't mind a little extra room for bigger CPU heatsinks. We had to flip the fan position of our Noctua NH-U12P heatsink to avoid the hard drive which sat right above our board's memory slots. RAM with tall heatspreaders are out of the question and there is also a combined size limitation for the optical drive and power supply. Thankfully the latter won't be an issue unless you want to use a long, high wattage power supply. Those are typically reserved for multi-GPU configurations which shouldn't be attempted in a microATX case, particularly one with an upside down motherboard tray.

Our main complaint is one we seldom have regarding SilverStone cases: the structural integrity of the interior is poor. The metal surrounding the power supply and optical drive bays is very thin and has nothing to brace it. The hard drive cage is also poorly supported, secured on only one side with two screws, making hard drive vibration a problem. Rather than reserving the space above the cage for a graphics card, a second removable drive cage would have helped tremendously and would make the TJ08-E a suitable enclosure for a file server, adding to its versatility. Our only other quibble is the fan speed switch which needs an additional setting as "low" is simply not low enough for our liking.

While it has a few issues, SilverStone Temjin TJ08-E is our favorite microATX case to date. Not only does it offer excellent thermal/acoustic performance, it's quite functional as well. The design is incredibly well-thought out, maximizing both compatibility and convenience in the compact space. It doesn't have the build quality of a classic SilverStone case, but its thinner steel construction helps keep the price US$40~$50 less compared to the FT03/PC-V354, making it a much better value.

Our thanks to SilverStone for the Temjin TJ08-E case sample.

Silverstone Temjin TJ08-E receives the SPCR Editor's Choice Award

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