SilverStone Sugo SG09: SFF microATX Case

Cases|Damping
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AUDIO RECORDINGS

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.

FINAL THOUGHTS

With the Sugo SG09, SilverStone mixed elements of the SG07 and Fortress FT03 in its design, resulting in one of the most interesting case we've examined all year. Producing a 23 liter microATX tower while maintaining support for most enthusiast components (tall CPU heatsinks, long graphics cards) is an impressive feat, and in classic SilverStone fashion, they took advantage of every square inch available to them. Performance was also fairly good considering the size of the chassis, though there is plenty of room for improvement.

The biggest mistake was positioning the big 180 mm fan at the top as an intake but thankfully it's an easy fix. Having a significant amount of air blowing down is seriously detrimental to video card cooling, preventing hot air wafting up from the GPU from dissipating through the rear exhaust. Keeping dust out with positive pressure is nice but we gladly traded that luxury for improved cooling and lower fan speeds. There are other details that could use some work. The hard drive mounting system does little to dampen vibration though it isn't passed onto the side panels, etc. The power supply mount could be sturdier and cable management are needed.

On a more superficial level, the case is surprisingly ugly. The exterior is very busy, flying in the face of the usual sleek SilverStone aesthetic. The front grill looks cheap and the external dust filters protrude noticeably from the rest of the case. Having three fan placements on the side also seems excessive. The split cover design provides some convenience but adds a screw and an unattractive long line running across the left side of the case.

Despite its deficiencies, the SG09 deserves consideration if you're in the market for a SFF gaming case with a bit more versatility than your typical mini-ITX fare. This larger chassis has several advantages, including more expansions slots (and even the possibility of dual graphics cards though we wouldn't recommend it in such a small case), a big CPU cooler, and more storage.

Our thanks to SilverStone for the Sugo SG09 case sample.

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