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 Post subject: Silverstone Sugo SG05 and SG06: Gaming mini-ITX cases?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2009 1:21 pm 
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Silverstone Sugo SG05 and SG06: Gaming mini-ITX cases?

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2009 2:18 pm 
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Another great article as always.

I'm convinced that putting a large front intake fan in a mini-itx cube is not practical. It prevents you from using a full-size optical drive, and prevents you from using a full-size hard drive as well, unless you block half the fan, defeating the purpose entirely. The requirement of using a slim drive means that the case effectively has a $50-$100 price premium over a case with room for a full-size one, due to the higher cost of slim drives. Silverstone does get kudos for thinking of the itx-gamers and making room for double-slot cards.

Another interesting itx cube case is the Athenatech A1089. It puts the PSU in the lower front, allowing the rear of the case to house a 92mm tower heatsink and an exhaust fan (which could be 92mm with a little cutting). This is a pretty smart layout, as that lower front area is the only unused space in most mini-itx cube cases. At low power loads, it would be interesting to see if that PSU could be run fanless with the cover off, or with a custom perforated cover, resulting in a single-fan system.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2009 5:50 pm 
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This is the first time I think I've actually seen the Gemini put to good use. I love it! Definitely outside the box (and brand)!

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2009 11:56 pm 
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Although this case is a massive improvement thermally on most current mini-itx cases, I'm struggling to see the advantage. As the article suggests a picoPSU seems a must. I might as well stick with my modified Antec Aria. The footprint isn't that much bigger (269 mm x 335 mm x 200 mm versus 222 mm x 276 mm x 176 mm), and I'd be losing the flexibility and cheapness of micro-ATX motherboards, not to mention - as one poster already has - the increased cost of a slim optical drive.

I'd love to go mini-ITX for a full blown system. I tried it with an Intel DG45FC and Intel E3110 in a Hoojum Cubit, which is significantly smaller than the above cases, as it was designed to hold an external power supply. But, it is difficult to keep cool and quiet (although I suspect I would have had more joy with the Zotac S775 board). To me mainstream and affordable mini-ITX cases aren't quite there yet.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2009 11:56 pm 
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It`s nice to see a case that supports gaming on the itx ff, expecially one that works.

As it is, the psu position is the weak link but it should be possible to mount it upside down with it`s intake fan drawing in fresh air. It might be worth trying even though it means giving up on passive cooling of the cpu.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 12:37 am 
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david_f1976 wrote:
Although this case is a massive improvement thermally on most current mini-itx cases, I'm struggling to see the advantage. As the article suggests a picoPSU seems a must. I might as well stick with my modified Antec Aria. The footprint isn't that much bigger (269 mm x 335 mm x 200 mm versus 222 mm x 276 mm x 176 mm), and I'd be losing the flexibility and cheapness of micro-ATX motherboards, not to mention - as one poster already has - the increased cost of a slim optical drive.

I'd love to go mini-ITX for a full blown system. I tried it with an Intel DG45FC and Intel E3110 in a Hoojum Cubit, which is significantly smaller than the above cases, as it was designed to hold an external power supply. But, it is difficult to keep cool and quiet (although I suspect I would have had more joy with the Zotac S775 board). To me mainstream and affordable mini-ITX cases aren't quite there yet.

They're all works in progress, but for many, the SG05/06 will be quiet, small, cheap and flexible enough straight out of the box.

I have an Aria here, too; it was not even compared -- it's really that much bigger, 17 liters vs <11.

I did not suggest that a "picoPSU is a must." That is your interpretation. I merely anticipated what some folks will consider, and how they might best benefit if they went that route -- for the obsessive silencer. Not everyone is, we're probably only 10~20% of computing enthusiasts at best.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 1:54 am 
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I've always wondered, what's the lab photography equipment like?

You get very decent, professional results. Good job :wink:

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 4:02 am 
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I believe you could build a decent mid range gaming PC (think 250 GTS) in this case with a pico PSU and an external power brick like a dell DA-2.

If only silverstone could sell a version of this case without the SFX PSU, and drop the price because of it, then you could build a very quiet and very capable little machine. Without the SFX PSU, it looks like there is also space for a 92mm fan on the back as well.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 6:06 am 
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Hi,

Great job Mike -- two cases in multiple configurations is a lot of permutations to test and evaluate!

With ostensibly positive pressure, would cutting (or otherwise modifying) the PSU for better exhaust flow improve things at all, do you think?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 8:09 am 
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NeilBlanchard wrote:
Hi,

Great job Mike -- two cases in multiple configurations is a lot of permutations to test and evaluate!

With ostensibly positive pressure, would cutting (or otherwise modifying) the PSU for better exhaust flow improve things at all, do you think?

Yeah, these cases were actively in the lab for weeks, and it was hard in the end to keep track of all the data!

The idea ntavlas mentioned about putting it in upside down is not bad. It might keep the PSU fan from ramping up as much, and if it could positioned partly or wholly behind the monitor, it could be pretty darn quiet. Too bad I didn't think of it before...

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 8:42 am 
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Hi Mike,

Yeah, armchair quarterbacking is too easy! If it was my system, I would try either adding an exhaust fan (on the side?), or I would reverse the front fan to be an exhaust. This would pull cool (ambient temp) air in through all the openings more efficiently than trying to push air out (as it is in the stock set up).

I have my doubts about whether flipping the PSU would help noticeably -- the hottest air will be at the top of the case. If the heat is not taken out through the PSU in it's stock position, then the heated air would just rise up to the top of the case -- and be exhausted out through the PSU anyway.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 9:04 am 
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It's the grammar police again! On page 4, you the line:

Mike Chin wrote:
Tony, or PR contact at Silverstone, was generous in providing a number of additional products for the SG05 and SG06 review:


Did you possibly mean "our contact at Silverstone"?

Amazingly thorough review with all the different builds included. The requirement of a slim optical drive is definitely puzzling though. I'm not that familiar with the size difference between slim and standard optical drives, but it looks like they could have fit a standard one in if they made the case a hair taller and lowered the intake fan.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 9:35 am 
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First: Very nice cases, and very nice review!

But...
MikeC wrote:
Yeah, these cases were actively in the lab for weeks, and it was hard in the end to keep track of all the data!

Like the HD4770? Because on page 4 you say you installed a 4770 ("Video Cards tried"), however there is no data to be found. Or am I missing something?


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 9:58 am 
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K.Murx wrote:
First: Very nice cases, and very nice review!

But...
MikeC wrote:
Yeah, these cases were actively in the lab for weeks, and it was hard in the end to keep track of all the data!

Like the HD4770? Because on page 4 you say you installed a 4770 ("Video Cards tried"), however there is no data to be found. Or am I missing something?

It was installed and used briefly, but the power profile was so much lower that it didn''t push the system at all. It was quieter too. I ran some tests on it but those notes melded into the chaos of the lab. In short, yeah, you're right, but the data would not have been that useful: The PSU works fine w/ it, the video card is perfectly well cooled by its own fan, and the rest of the components can be cooled fine with the front fan on 9V.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 2:34 pm 
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Great article!

Add me to the list of people who would be interested in seeing temp/sound results for the SG05 with the front fan reversed to exhaust air out the front instead of drawing it in. :)


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 2:36 pm 
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Nice review and cases! :D

This pic gave me ideas for different layouts, either for you or Silverstone . . :wink:
Image
1 - Maybe one fan can be mounted to that heatsink, if the HDD is placed somewhere else.

2 - The PSU should be placed where the front fan is (not with that heatsink though), with the fan facing the front, and the exhaust on the side that's facing away from the camera in this pic.

A simple low profile angled power cable from the back of the PSU to the back of the case could be used if the PSU isn't modded.

Maybe there's even room for an ATX PSU in the front, after some modding. Be prepared to move all drives for that.

Suddently you've got 63 mm more above the CPU, which gives a total of 141 mm. Other pics show more room above the PSU (why?), so the total height is probably more.
If you want a tower cooler you put the intake fan in the back (since it's harder to fit a fan on one side), and exhaust (no fan) on the same side as the PSU exhaust.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 7:06 pm 
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I don't usually post stuff after reading articles but I just wanted to give special props for this review. You correctly identified a trend for desktop CPU's to be getting smaller (SSD market may factor into this trend as well). Your work helps us consumers judge what our best options are in this developing market - keep it up and we'll keep reading

-Rewdoalb


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 11:13 pm 
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MikeC wrote:
david_f1976 wrote:
Although this case is a massive improvement thermally on most current mini-itx cases, I'm struggling to see the advantage. As the article suggests a picoPSU seems a must. I might as well stick with my modified Antec Aria. The footprint isn't that much bigger (269 mm x 335 mm x 200 mm versus 222 mm x 276 mm x 176 mm), and I'd be losing the flexibility and cheapness of micro-ATX motherboards, not to mention - as one poster already has - the increased cost of a slim optical drive.

I'd love to go mini-ITX for a full blown system. I tried it with an Intel DG45FC and Intel E3110 in a Hoojum Cubit, which is significantly smaller than the above cases, as it was designed to hold an external power supply. But, it is difficult to keep cool and quiet (although I suspect I would have had more joy with the Zotac S775 board). To me mainstream and affordable mini-ITX cases aren't quite there yet.

They're all works in progress, but for many, the SG05/06 will be quiet, small, cheap and flexible enough straight out of the box.

I have an Aria here, too; it was not even compared -- it's really that much bigger, 17 liters vs <11.

I did not suggest that a "picoPSU is a must." That is your interpretation. I merely anticipated what some folks will consider, and how they might best benefit if they went that route -- for the obsessive silencer. Not everyone is, we're probably only 10~20% of computing enthusiasts at best.


Maybe I shouldn't write so early in the morning. Just thought I'd clarify. As I said at the end, for me it's not quite there yet. I appreciate that the Aria has a much larger volume, but it still takes up a similar footprint on my shelving. If I was starting from scratch these Sugos would probably be my case of choice. What would make me move now would be a case that is designed not to house a PSU, thereby giving the potential to have the case that much smaller. However, there are then the obvious thermal implications when running relatively powerful machines. Someday soon though (at an affordable price)...


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 11:30 pm 
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Typo: Page 6, third picture: "hetaisnk" - best typo lately;)

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2009 2:27 pm 
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I got this case, it needs some work but it got great potentilas if u like to mod.

things ive done:

crappy stock fan is chaged for a 14cm yate-loon 1000rpm

cpu cooler and what i think is the best choice. The AXP-140

http://www.thermalright.com/new_a_page/ ... xp140.html

the artic cooling S1 fits by a hair :) and airflow lets me run HD4870 passive, temps are ok 70 for gpu and 90 vrm.

ATX psu fits, had an gigabyte 800W in there with no problems. this actually allows u to run any nvidia card, even the gtx 295 vill fit, but u nees to do some Work on the case with a dremmel. all high end Nvidia cards are same lenght (267 mm). but it cant be done with a 14cm fan.


the dvd,hdd rack allso needs a round with the dremel.


all in all it has great potential to be really silent


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2009 2:52 pm 
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Impressive article. Finding a hardware site that even acknowledges the existence of mITX seems to be hard, much less one that dares to install a discreet graphics card in one. Is SFF a direction SPCR is moving in the future?

By the way, does anyone know of any other sites that work with mITX size gaming PCs? I was looking for some time last summer, and could only find a handful of manufacturers dealing in industrial PCs.

[Edit]I missed leifeinar's post. Do you have any pictures of your modding? It sounds perfect with the ATX PSU and 14cm fan!


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2009 8:28 pm 
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leifeinar wrote:
the artic cooling S1 fits by a hair :) and airflow lets me run HD4870 passive, temps are ok 70 for gpu and 90 vrm.


What did you use to stress your 4870? I have a Scythe Musashi and with the fans at max speed my 4870 vrm temps still went to 100°C+ and that's where I stopped stressing just to be safe. I'm using Furmark to stress by the way.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 2009 1:50 am 
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Think i have a powercolor "pcs" that has an ok CU sink on the vrm. and my mod with the 14cm fan gives me ok airflow over the VRMs. I ran cannyon loops for 3dm 2006, and monitored with rivatuner.

pics here

http://www.diskusjon.no/index.php?showt ... ardware.no


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 4:58 am 
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Great article about two very interesting caes, but I'm left wondering if it's possible to get a quiet PC in there with a mid-range graphics card. The article says the graphics fan howls like a banshee, so no further tests are done -- but you can turn down the fan on the graphics card way down when not taxing the card, it should not be loud enough to drown out the system fan, right? I don't really care about noise for the 5% of the time when I'm gaming as long as it's silent the remaining 95%.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 6:52 am 
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Hey! that's my setup, I used the same post for inspiration and have some threads about it on HardForum

It's a great review, some people have used the GeminII S with a slim fan too with good results.

My system itself houses an e8400 with a GeminII overclocked @ 3.5Ghz, and evga GTS250 1Gb and 4 GB of RAM. I hanged the front fan with a Cooler Master 1400rpm fan I had lying around.

I used a 2.5" HDD and the sugested DVD-R (SOD01). It's silent enough for me at 4m (distance I use it at while watching movies) and still silent at 2m that is where I sit while gaming. Of course it gets noisy when gaming but the game music and sound by itself makes it inaudible. Just after exiting the games the noise is noticeable, but gets quiet again after a while.

Removing the 3.5" bay helps a good deal with airflow. Also there is a 350w version of the PSU that people are using to run GTX260 cards. (some people are using that card with the stock PSU too but would be pushing it).

The only problem I have so far (I don't care for wake from S3 with USB) is that I don't know how to hook up my video card with this mobo to get audio over HDMI so I don't have to use analog or SPDIF.

It's a killer lan box, fits on my smallish nike backpack with two XBOX360 controllers, all the wires and a dinovo mini.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 3:08 am 
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moritz wrote:
Great article about two very interesting caes, but I'm left wondering if it's possible to get a quiet PC in there with a mid-range graphics card. The article says the graphics fan howls like a banshee, so no further tests are done -- but you can turn down the fan on the graphics card way down when not taxing the card, it should not be loud enough to drown out the system fan, right? I don't really care about noise for the 5% of the time when I'm gaming as long as it's silent the remaining 95%.


Well the other option is to have parts cooking at 80+ degrees Celcius. No thanks. I don't care what the thermal envelop is, that's simply too hot. I'd rather keep my parts cool AND have a quiet case, so I guess I'm stuck with a larger enclosure for the time being. At least this review reconfirmed that suspicion.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 11:58 am 
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yacoub wrote:
moritz wrote:
Great article about two very interesting caes, but I'm left wondering if it's possible to get a quiet PC in there with a mid-range graphics card. The article says the graphics fan howls like a banshee, so no further tests are done -- but you can turn down the fan on the graphics card way down when not taxing the card, it should not be loud enough to drown out the system fan, right? I don't really care about noise for the 5% of the time when I'm gaming as long as it's silent the remaining 95%.


Well the other option is to have parts cooking at 80+ degrees Celcius. No thanks. I don't care what the thermal envelop is, that's simply too hot. I'd rather keep my parts cool AND have a quiet case, so I guess I'm stuck with a larger enclosure for the time being. At least this review reconfirmed that suspicion.


Ihave a GTS250 and I don't find it that noisy, that ASUS is a non reference design. Also I don't have temp issues with mine.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 5:01 pm 
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Looking at the geminiII size, the number of ventilation holes in this cabinet and the almost negligible temperature differences on the CPU between 7 and 12 volt (and a bit larger difference for the GPU).

I cannot help thinking that this thing might actually run successfully completely passive...

Did you try?


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2009 6:47 am 
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No, I like to play safe, and anyway the front fan is quieter than the PSU so wouldn't make much difference


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2009 4:42 pm 
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I tried running it with a J&W Minix, and the front fan disconnected. I was running it off of a pico, with a single nexus 120 blowing down on the CPU and NB. It had a 2.5 and a 3.5 HDDs. This was the problem. Without the front fan, the front of the case gets absolutely no ventilation. In particular, the 2.5 OS HDD would overheat until the machine crashed after an hour or so.

As a word of warning, the front panel's paint job is extremely fragile. Whatever you do, don't allow it to come in contact with isopropyl. It will quickly and thoroughly ruin the finish. And should that happen, don't bother contacting Silverstone - that will quickly ruin your day.

Terje wrote:
Looking at the geminiII size, the number of ventilation holes in this cabinet and the almost negligible temperature differences on the CPU between 7 and 12 volt (and a bit larger difference for the GPU).

I cannot help thinking that this thing might actually run successfully completely passive...

Did you try?


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