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

Cases|Damping
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THE INTERIOR

The cover is a U-shaped piece that fits over the bottom piece, also U-shaped. The edges are folded to hide sharp edges. The cover doesn't feel exactly substantial, but it's not super flimsy either .


The front intake fan is 120x25mm
in size, with seven blades that have "golf ball pockmarks", ostensibly to reduce noise. The dust filter can be seen above. Getting access to it requires removal of the front bezel, which attaches to the chassis via six plastic tabs. These tabs are not convenient to use, requiring a small thin flat pladed tool of some kind. A periodic vaccuum cleaner swipe from the outside is all we would do, but that's possible only with the SG05. The SG06's filter really needs the bezel removed altogether... which is unfortunate.

The

One internal view...


...and another. This view shows where a standard 3.5" drive can be mounted, under the tray for the slim optical drive on top, and a 2.5" drive bay between the two.


This view shows the 3-tier drive tray again, as well as the 80mm fan of the SFX power supply, which sits directly over the CPU area. Note how the drive bay partly blocks the top portion of the front fan.


The PSU is attached not only with four screws on the back panel (though six holes are provided), but also a back cross brace. Given the low mass of the PSU, this seems unnecessary, but perhaps there are other reasons. At least the brace does not occupy a lot of space.

AIRFLOW DESIGN

The airflow design of the case is apparent even before the cover is removed. The front 120mm fan is responsible for fresh air intake. The air flows through the case and out any/all of the three big vents in the cover, and the power supply, whose fan is drawing in from over the motherboard and exhausting out the perforated back. On the left side, the big vent ensures that at least some of the air drawn in by the front fan will flow right again without going across any of the hot components in the case except many the hard drive. That's assuming no video card is used in the slot. So blocking up some of that vent is useful, as it forces the air from the 120mm fan to at least get to the back half of the case before it slips out, doing some cooling in the process.


Two thirds of the left side vent was blocked up using a piece of trasparent plastic and some tape to prevent air from exiting the case before blowing across some hot components.

When a video card is used, however, the left side vent may be essential. In such a small case, airflow is critical for hot components to be cooled adequately. These days, the 65W TDP of a typical CPU is barely middling for a GPU; high performance video cards have become the hottest PC components in recent years. A mid-level video card is big enough to cover much of the left vent. If the card occupies two slots, then the heatsink/fan will be jammed right up against the vent, which ensures good access to cooler outside air and blocks the vent so the airflow from the front fan does not escape uselessly. The ideal airflow (for the rest of the case) with a video card installed is for the front fan to blow air mainly across the HDD, motherboard and CPU, and for the heated air to exhaust through the top and right side vents.


The side vent is almost entirely taken up by a mid-range video card.

The power supply is also a part of the overall airflow mix. Positioned directly over the back end of the motherboard, its fan is exposed to the heat of components on the board. There are two basic questions about the PSU:

  • Will its fan help cool the CPU?
  • Will the heat from the board cause the thermal sensor in the PSU to speed up its fan and cause additional noise?


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