Cooler Master Silencio 450: Silence on a Budget?

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Like the side panels, the interior of the 450 is noticeably weaker compared to its predecessor. The hard drive cages are the only portions of the chassis that feel really solid. This is not a surprise given that the 550 is about 7 lb heavier. We also found the side panels too clangy due to their thinness and lack of structural support.

The Silencio 450's features a bottom mounted power supply, a removable hard drive cage, holes cut on the motherboard tray for CPU heatsink backplates and routing thick cables. Cooling is provided by a pair of 120 mm fans, one at the rear and one at the front blowing over the hard drive bays. Tool-less mounting is offered on one 5.25" bay and two 3.5" bays.

Cooler Master also cut corners by not including proper expansion slot covers (only two are provided in the accessory bag). The two fans included are plain black 3-pin models with 4-pin molex adapters included.

Four very thin pads lift the power supply up over the vent on the case floor. Next to it on the case floor are mounting holes for another drive, either 2.5" or 3.5".

The bottom hard drive compartment is affixed to the chassis and holds two drives using a tool-less locking mechanism, but we found these mounts to be very loose. The upper chamber is more secure, being held by four screws, and providing a home for three drives. There are 140 mm mounting holes if you feel the 120 mm fan is insufficient.

The front bezel is removed by simply tugging at the hole on the bottom. This is necessary for installing drives in the external bays and servicing the front fan which thankfully has a proper removable filter. Note that the front USB 3.0 port is attached to an external USB cable that has to be routed outside the case.

Though cable management features are present, it's rather deceiving because there is only approximately 7 mm of space behind the motherboard tray when you take into account the thickness of the foam on the side panel. Though there are holes large enough for a 20/24-pin ATX cable through, if you thread it through the back, it's impossible to get the side panel on.

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