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 Post subject: Coolermaster Sileo 500: Quiet ATX Midtower Case
PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2009 9:45 pm 
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http://www.silentpcreview.com/coolermaster_sileo500

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2009 2:59 am 
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Thank you! This is the review I've been waiting for and you didn't let me down. :)

Seems like a very nice case, just as I expected :) Given its price in Poland it is a very attractive competition for Solo.
One note though: could you please try another configuration? The drive cage is screwed to the rest of the case and therefore easily removable (this is what I read in other reviews). Could you perhaps remove the cage, place the HDD on foam or suspend it in a 5.25 bay and see how the intake performs? I think that the removal of the very obstructive HDD cage can actually improve the temps and allow for futher fan speed reduction.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2009 3:47 am 
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KadazanPL wrote:
Could you perhaps remove the cage, place the HDD on foam or suspend it in a 5.25 bay and see how the intake performs?
He did! That's the "on floor" part, with the HDD residing on some foam on the bottom of the case.
Lowered the noise but did little to the temperatures.

Cheers
Olle


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2009 4:05 am 
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So he actually took off the drive cage that is right behind the front fan, or did he place it on the floor next to the motherboard?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2009 4:10 am 
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Quote:
He did! That's the "on floor" part, with the HDD residing on some foam on the bottom of the case.


I'm sorry, I seem to have missed it... Did he remove the HDD cage once the drive was on foam? I can't find this in the text.

EDIT:
Okay, I found it! Sorry for the fuss.


Last edited by KadazanPL on Wed May 27, 2009 6:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2009 5:52 am 
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I own an ANTEC SOLO case and I'm very happy with it.

Nevertheless, I can see a big improvement with this Coolermaster versus the Solo : no need to remove the CPU cooler if you want to change the PSU !

With the Solo, you cannot extract the PSU without removing the CPU cooler :-(
But it's the only bad comment that I can make about the Antec solo.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2009 6:03 am 
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Oh, as a long-time user, I can make several other bad comments on the P150 / Solo. But let's keep this to the Sileo.
Or should we rather say: 534 with side vents blocked and a few other el-cheapo improvements?

For me, this case is interesting for one particular reason: it has 5 x 5.25" bays. I don't know which other mid-tower cases have 5 x 5.25" bays. Which means that it's posible to use a Scythe kama bay (3 bays), a fan controller and one optical drive. The Solo has a similar restrictive front intake but only 4 bays, so using the Kama bay and fan controller doesn't work.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2009 6:29 am 
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Tzupy wrote:
The Solo has a similar restrictive front intake but only 4 bays, so using the Kama bay and fan controller doesn't work.

As a long time Solo user and having examined the Sileo in detail w/ Larry, I have to disagree strongly. The Solo has a much more open front intake & better cooling for the HDDs.

It's also no contest in a real comparison between the two cases -- the Solo has built-in HDD suspension, intake dust filters, much thicker damped panels, great captive spring-loaded thumbscrews for the side cover, and excellent cable management features. The level of quality and detail are in a different class.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2009 6:40 am 
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btw, the hdd cage was removed but its effect on temps/noise was only tested at idle w/ fans at 7V:

Quote:
Removing the hard drive cage and placing the drive on the foam-covered floor resulted in an additional 2~3 dBA improvement.


At full load & 12V, you'd expect greater change in both cooling and noise.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2009 6:59 am 
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Thanks for the review. Any P183 + HD 4870 direct comparison results lurking that can be added to the article?

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 Post subject: Coolermaster owner
PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2009 7:45 am 
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I have one of CoolerMaster's older case designs, the Centurion 5, in a system I built about 4 years ago when I defined silent computing as 'does not sound like an airplane taking off'. Other than adding soundproofing foam, and removing ventilation holes, this case really is not that different from their other cases. My case has the same issue with removing the front bezel, similar drive mounting hardware, although without the rubber rails, and the same brain dead expansion card non-retention clips. And no cable management. Overall, CoolerMaster offers good value for the money, but it is sad to see some of the same old flaws in the newer designs.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2009 8:12 am 
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@MikeC: since I don't own a Sileo or CM534 I couldn't tell if the intake is even more restrictive than the Solo. Or to say anything about build quality.
Your comments tell me that the Sileo is a no-no for me, since I do appreciate the build quality of the P150 / Solo and I wouldn't settle for less.
The Solo front intake is only 50 cm2, IMO restrictive. We discussed this at large a long time ago, when I presented my 'replacement' front intake for the P150, 3x larger than the one in the Solo.
I was an early adopter of the P150 (without PSU, of course). Recently I built a new system in a Solo, because I couldn't find anything better, which infuriates me.
An improved Solo with my intake concept and 5 cm longer would be ideal for me. And I'd gladly pay 50 euros more than for the Solo.
The '5 cm longer Solo' was supported by 50% of the poll submissions, and the Antec Rep said he brought the idea to the bosses, but ... nothing.
To me it seems that the case manufacturers are just not interested to bring truly better products to the market, but just make cosmetic adjustments to old models.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2009 8:46 am 
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An ANTEC Solo with a PSU placed at the bottom of the case would be perfect. It's too bad that the PSU intake airflow has to be hot air.

PS : I consider P18x cases like monsters, way too big for me.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2009 8:54 am 
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Tzupy --

I have to admit I don't recall that discussion, if it's in the forum, send me a link... but imo, the P150/Solo intake is perfectly fine. My 2 HDDs in there are at 38 and 42 deg C right now, and there's only the exhaust fan of the Enermax Modu82+ (~450rpm) and a 120mm exhaust at 680rpm. I can easily feel the air being sucked into the vents all around the edges of the front bezel, esp near the bottom. I personally have no need for more open venting than this -- it keeps an ATI 3850 & Intel E8500/xigmatek tower cooler perfectly cool under all loads. The fans never ramp up.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2009 8:56 am 
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The case concept I currently favor has, besides the changes to the Solo I mentioned above, the PSU at the top, but NOT back.
Instead of the PSU there is a second back fan (NOT top). The PSU is moved 10-12 cm to the front and exhausts through the right panel.
This way it doesn't breath much of the hot air coming from the CPU cooler. And the two exhausts could run at only 500 rpm providing the airflow of one 900 rpm.

Edit: the old discussion link (took some time to find): http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/vi ... ed36cdfcac
The concept was of slats at 45 degrees instead of the current solution of the Solo front intake.

Of course for a 65W card and 50W CPU (measured power draw, not TDP) the Solo is great, but when trying to cool a 100W card and 80W CPU it's starting to show its limits.

PS. If I didn't write my comments politely enough, I'm sorry. But I am beginning to hate the case manufacturers. :wink:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2009 9:20 am 
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Tzupy wrote:
The case concept I currently favor has, besides the changes to the Solo I mentioned above, the PSU at the top, but NOT back.
Instead of the PSU there is a second back fan (NOT top). The PSU is moved 10-12 cm to the front and exhausts through the right panel.
This way it doesn't breath much of the hot air coming from the CPU cooler. And the two exhausts could run at only 500 rpm providing the airflow of one 900 rpm.

I really don't see any real advantages of this unless maybe you're running a really hot system. The Solo/P150 already works just about ideally; why would Antec fix something that isn't broken? Only way you're going to see a case like what you describe is to make it yourself. And you probably won't be happy with whatever marginal gains you'll get for your hard work.

Tzupy wrote:
To me it seems that the case manufacturers are just not interested to bring truly better products to the market, but just make cosmetic adjustments to old models.

It's easy to make sweeping generalizations, but you ignore the fact that over the few years, there has been significant evolution in case design. Companies do business to make $, that's a given, and if the $ can be made more easily by doing certain things, well you know they do it. Still, compared to say 5 years ago...

- the concept of controlled, directed airflow in cases has become more widely understood and much better implemented than in the past
- the concept of quiet features in cases is more common than before
- larger fans for lower rpm and higher flow is the norm

This is not to say all cases are much better or even very good. The 80/20 rule applies as usual, probably fewer than 2 of 10 cases on the market are really worth buying for most of us, but I think the best cases are considerably better than they used to be. And the balance silencers are seeking between good airflow/cooling and low noise is impossible for any one product/company to get right for everyone. For a company to get the key elements executed well in a case that has broad enough appeal that it can be sold profitably (and thus continue to be available for some time) is about the best we can realistically hope for.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2009 9:45 am 
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The Coolermaster looks like a good case to me, but the price-difference is marginal. Comparing prices in Germany, the Coolermaster is just about 10-15€ cheaper than a Antec Solo.
The build in suspension and better build quality of the Solo is definitely worth 10 Euros.

They should sell the Sileo for around 50€, like the Centurion 5 that seems to be its cousin, than it would be a great low-price alternative for the premium Antec cases.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2009 10:42 am 
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MikeC: I know we are seeing a lot of improvements. Fact still remains that it wouldn't be hard for Antec, CM or any other case manufacturor to just add the features of those 20% together. Antec might say "Yeah, well suspension is a bit too complicated for most users". Then I say, "You're suspension-solution is the problem, an easily fixable one.".

The really good news is the following. The Antec CPX-thing shows that Antec aren't afraid of change. This means they might also think: "Maybe we can make the case just a bit longer, and a bit thicker, cause that would make the case lower." Cause that is really what I think most of us want.

Sometimes I just want to give MikeC a ton of money to start producing a line of cases. Problem is I dont have any money.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2009 12:16 pm 
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Bakkone wrote:
Sometimes I just want to give MikeC a ton of money to start producing a line of cases. Problem is I dont have any money.

And even if you did, and even if I could get a design that was just right for >80% of SPCR diehards, and cheap enough to produce, there's no guarantee it could be financially self-sustaining to be made beyond the first minimum quantity run.

Personally, I think short of a custom self-built case, modifying an existing case is still option #1 for silent perfectionists.

Or just go w/completely non-moving parts... but passive cooling generally limits you to ~100W unless you use/make a good heatsink case. Now we're talking really big bucks again.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2009 12:34 pm 
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Then I don't have to feel guilty then :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 2:40 am 
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I'm glad to see CM working on quiet more seriously. Seeing a manufacturer that is so well known for the practicality and ease of use of its cases makes me hopeful for a good combination of silence and ease of use. Don't get me wrong, the P182 (and probably P183 as well, but I haven't had the chance to handle that one yet) are pretty nice when it comes to ease of use. But then theres things like the Solo's inability to have the PSU removed without also removing the CPU cooler that just make me rage. I actually broke a pin off an X2 5400+ while doing this, and it was a 65nm specimen too :(

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 10:55 am 
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OH MY GOD... I would so LOVE to have this case with one of the DVD bays filled with the lovely SPCR logo like seen here:
Image

My last Cooler Master was a Cvalier T03 Silver and was not disappointed. I'm looking forward to buy a new Cooler Master and this just might be it.

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 Post subject: Re: Coolermaster owner
PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 11:30 am 
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gsacks wrote:
I have one of CoolerMaster's older case designs, the Centurion 5, in a system I built about 4 years ago when I defined silent computing as 'does not sound like an airplane taking off'. Other than adding soundproofing foam, and removing ventilation holes, this case really is not that different from their other cases. My case has the same issue with removing the front bezel, similar drive mounting hardware, although without the rubber rails, and the same brain dead expansion card non-retention clips. And no cable management. Overall, CoolerMaster offers good value for the money, but it is sad to see some of the same old flaws in the newer designs.

You bring up a good point actually, at its core this case appears to be nothing more than a standard Centurion 5 chassis with a different front bezel, redesigned lower drive cage, and some sound dampening foam. In fact it appears they did almost the exact same things I did when I bought a Centurion 5 and modified it to be quieter (I would link it but I don't have enough posts). Whether or not these additions justify the increased price tag is up to the buyer I guess. I personally like the Centurion 5 bezel more though (even if it is completely open and lets all kinds of noise out).


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 9:05 pm 
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I think they've gone backwards in one way from the Centurion 5 by having the lower drive cage facing sideways.

Down here, the Sileo is about A$50 less than the price of the Antec Solo which will go most of the way to buying a good CPU cooler.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2009 4:06 am 
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Sileo 500's internal design is the same as 534. In fact, the real improvments over 534 are soundproofing foam, blocked vents on side panel, and slower 900RPM stock fans compared to 534's 1200RPM 120mm fans. But 534's fans are really decent if you lower it enough like 700RPM. So if you are on a tight budget, get a 534 and block the vents anyway.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2009 9:39 am 
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If one had a lot of machine tools... could one actually increase intake airflow in this without change the looks of it at all? I am doubting this?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2009 10:01 am 
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~El~Jefe~ wrote:
If one had a lot of machine tools... could one actually increase intake airflow in this without change the looks of it at all? I am doubting this?

You don't even need machine tools. Just clip off the pieces of plastic that run down the center of the vents on the sides of the bezel. Something like a very small sharp pair of cutting pliers would work -- maybe even a sharp file, etc. The bottom two on both sides.

Image

Also, rip out the stupid HDD tray and just suspend your drives there. Or if you don't move your PC much, just place them on the bottom foam. Maybe upside down so the electronics can get some cooling flow.

Image

Finally, if you really want to maximize airflow intake, get rid of the center post which holds the front panel LEDs.

Image

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2009 10:13 am 
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A good review. Thanks Mike.

One thing I would have loved to see is a direct noise level comparison to SOLO and not P183. This is a case that is sort of a SOLO takeoff so it seems a no brainer :)

I have allready ordered one of these for a non gaming client. he is happy with noise level and the price here is about half of that of the SOLO.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2009 10:38 am 
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ame wrote:
A good review. Thanks Mike.

One thing I would have loved to see is a direct noise level comparison to SOLO and not P183. This is a case that is sort of a SOLO takeoff so it seems a no brainer :)

Actually, even tho a noise comparison would seem obvious, it's not easy to do. The Solo was reviewed years ago, and we don't just keep cases hanging around -- the place is already bursting at the seams with gear, no way we can keep all the cases. Plus the time & effort to build up 2 systems... naw, not happening. Also, the measured difference between the Sileo and Solo would be small - it's the subjective differences, the overall quality, attn to detail, etc. that make up more of the difference. To me, it's more about what you're happier starting from.

The simple fact is that almost any case can be made silent -- just depends what you put in it and how you *optimize* it -- or mod it, as some would say.

Finally, I'd say the Sileo is no takeoff of the Solo; that would imply it's gone from where Solo ended, and that's not at all the case. In fact, I'd classify the Sileo as a more or less generic case with two "silencing" features -- the foam, which isn't great but better than nothing, and the less exposed vents, which cause the intake vent impedance problem. The sheetmetal, quality of construction, the front bezel removal, etc, is not great, just one step above generic, imo -- even tho it works well enough.

That's compared to the Solo, whose main issue, for me were weak plastic extensions on the bezel to the power and reset buttons mounted on the metal chassis front panel: They broke. But I think they fixed that problem. Aside from that, it's better in almost every way -- tho some have issues with the front-to-back bar which makes getting to the PSU a pain, it isn't an issue for me -- a case is rarely taken apart/rebuilt routinely by most users.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2009 5:00 pm 
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Frankly I think this is a good alternative to the Solo if accessibility is an issue. As I tinker with my system on a regular basis, I had to ditch my Solo because it was just too difficult to work in. The space between the hard drive cage and mobo tray was too small and I couldn't take out the power supply without removing the motherboard due to that ridiculous support beam. The Sileo with its quiet fans and foam damping is already halfway there, and you can set up a suspension system inside easily enough.

I have a CM 590 now and it is just as quiet once I plugged up the excessive fan mount holes.


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