Silverstone Sugo SG05 and SG06: Gaming mini-ITX cases?

Cases|Damping
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Silverstone SG05 and SG06

August 19, 2009 by Mike Chin

Product
Sugo SG05 / SG06
Mini-ITX/DTX Desktop Case
Manufacturer
Market Price
US$90~100 / US$110~120

Silverstone is best known for large, stylish enthusiast cases most often made of aluminum or at least with aluminum bezels. The recently reviewed Fortress FT01, the unusual Raven, and the earlier TJ-07 are typical. Silverstone has also offered a wide range of home theater PC cases, both large and small. Finally, a number of small form factor models have been offered as well. We reviewed the mini-ITX LC12 some 2.5 years ago; its size and shape is similar to the Antec ISK 300-65 reviewed quite recently. There are SFF case models from Silverstone dating back earlier, but the SG05 has been available for a few months, before the release of the aformentioned Antec.

We expressed our interest in reviewing the Sugo SG05 back in February during a visit to the company's Taipei headquarters, but our marketing contact at Silverstone was hesitant about whether the then-new case would fare well under SPCR's intense scrutiny. Eventually, Tony decided it would fare well enough, but by the time a sample was shipped, the SG06 had also become available. Hence this combined SG05/06 review.

Examining both of these models in the same article is not just a matter of expedience; the two cases have many shared characteristics. To be precise, only significant difference between the two is the front panel. The chassis is identical in every other way, as is the included power supply. A key feature in both cases is a large 120x25mm fan on the front panel, a feature that we've never seen before in such a small case. The big fan occupies roughly half of the available space on the front panel, and it should make for very good airflow and cooling of components.

Antec's ISK 300-65 is probably the first mini-ITX case we've seen that sports a good, logical airflow design but optimized for a low power system, as evinced by its 65W power adapter. The Silverstone SG05 and SG06 are much more ambitious, and aim to house mini-ITX systems capable of mid-level gaming. That means enough room, power and cooling capability for a mid-level graphics card. Here's Silverstone's somewhat breathless promotional blurb:

"Designed for use with Mini-DTX and Mini-ITX motherboards, the SG05 is the smallest Sugo yet. Compared with previous iterations at around 23 liters in volume, the SG05 at 10.8 liters is less than half the size! However, in keeping with the spirit of its Sugo name, the case is capable of swallowing many standard components while keeping everything cooled. For the first time in a case of this size class, the SG05 is equipped with a low speed 120mm fan that is mounted to create positive air pressure, ensuring good balance of cooling and quietness. Other notable features include the ability to accept 9 inch long graphics card, room for thicker 2.5 inch hard drives such as Western Digital’s VelociRaptor™, full-height for retail boxed CPU coolers, and an 80 PLUS certified SFX 300W power supply. For building a fast PC in the smallest possible form factor, the SG05 is without peers."

The appearance of the Silverstone SG05 and SG06 at the same time as the Antec ISK 300-65 suggest like-minded awareness of the growing market for mini-ITX. We've been writing for some time now about the resurgence of SFF, the accelerating miniaturization of computing devices, and industry giant Intel's notable mass marketing of Atom processor embedded boards as well as socket 775 mini-ITX boards.

It's high time that more capable case makers embrace mini-ITX. Retail cases for mini-ITX boards have been few in number, and for the quiet seeker, most have been downright poor, with illogical airflow design and small fans that must run at high speed to accomplish any real cooling. Even for noise-unaware users, the poor cooling characterstics of most small cases have been frustrating, in that despite low overall power envelope of systems assembled by most DIY computer users, cooling has often been a challenge in mini-ITX cases thus far.


The SG05 looks akin to breadbox-style SFF systems popularized by Shuttle. A large mesh intake vent with a 120mm fan behind it dominates the front panel. Note large vents on top and side, identical on the SG06 below.


SG06 is a clone of the SG05 with a different facia. The other difference is that it's available in silver or black while the SG05 is only available in black.


Silverstone SG05/06: Key Features
(From the product web pages)
Feature & Brief Our Comment
Ample space for CPU cooling (78mm in height) Hard to call 78mm ample in this era of 160mm tower heatsinks
Elevated standoff for motherboard back side components
The significance of this is unclear.
Unprecedented 120mm fan in mini casing for positive pressure cooling
OK.
Support 2.5” and 3.5” hard drives
Good.
Mini-DTX / Mini-ITX motherboard & SFX PSU compatible Mini-DTX is 200mm wide instead of 170mm for two slots instead of just one. Main advantage: Allows use of 2-slot video cards.
80 Plus certified SFX 300W power supply (made by Fortron Source Power)
Much cheaper than a DC/DC board + external 300W power brick. Let's hope the FSP fan stays under control.
Standard-length expansion cards support (9 inches) Which is the size of some mid-level video cards.
Graphic card length reference:

ATI Radeon HD 4850/4830 - 9”
nVIDIA GeForce 9800GT - 9"
nVIDIA GeForce 9600GT/GSO - 9"
nVIDIA GeForce 8800GS/GT/GTS - 9"
nVIDIA GeForce GTS 250 - 9"
Ostensibly, this information is provided as a guide, but implies without actually coming out and stating it, that the case and PSU will support a system using one of these boards.

Specifications
Model Number
SST-SG05B
SST-SG06B or S
Material
Plastic front panel, SECC body
Aluminum front panel, SECC body
Motherboard
Mini-DTX, Mini-ITX
Drive Bay
external: Slim optical x1
internal: 3.5”x1, 2.5”x1
Cooling System
1 x 120mm intake fan with golf blades, 1200rpm 19dBA
Oversized top and side vents
*CPU cooler cannot exceed 78mm in height
Expansion slot
2
Expansion card
Standard size long cards capable (9”)
Front I/O Port
USB2.0 port x 2, Audio x 1, MIC x 1
Power Supply
SFX 300W with 80 PLUS certification:
Fortron-Source Power FSP300-60GHS
Net weight
n/a
3.72 kg
Dimensions
222(w) x 176(h) x 276(d)mm
220(w) x 177(h) x 286(d) mm


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