my GD04 just arrived. I don't have the components to build into it yet but I have to echo what the reviewers have already said: this is a very well-built case, it really amazes me that they brought it in at $100. My Antec P193 had similar build quality at $200 (albeit about twice the size, but I don't think it really scales like that; the P193 had more plastic, but also had better sound insulation on all of the sides, something the GD04 lacks although the SECC siding is probably better for cooling). Also, you know its small but its always a surprise when you get in there and it really is minimalist!
I'll post build pics, but some initial impressions on the case:
- very well built, everything is flush nothing misaligned, brushed the wrong way, or otherwise cheapened through manufacturing inaccuracy. None of the component feel cheap yet (haven't built yet).
- Very well designed, looking at it you can really see how air will flow and how advantageous it is. There are really two ways things can play out that I see:
1) you have a VGA card, this effectively separates the case into two chambers (there won't be much airflow past the VGA card unless it is very short)
one on the side with 2 intake fans, which will blow onto the components and CPU respectively before being funneled out of the back of the case (the two 80mm spots), and
the second further subdivided: The single intake fan channeling in three directions, one out the back of the PSU, helped a bit by the PSU intake below the case, the other ancillary flow past the HDD out the vent above the PSU (may not be much flow here, no fan to direct it, but given the low heating requirements of HDDs and the PSU supplying much of its own airflow, it shouldn't be too much of an issue, we'll see), and the final one getting pulled into the VGA card (if it has a fan) or otherwise going out the PCI vents naturally. This seems like an excellent situation as if the VGA card has its own fan it will get a solid supply from the single intake which doesn't have to do much contorting depending on how long the card is (a long card with a rear intake might have trouble getting fed, but most of these cards seem to have an intake along the side of the PCB), or if you have a passively cooled card (anyone see the report on passively cooled GPUs at computech? http://www.anandtech.com/show/4429/computex-2011-silent-and-single-slot-gpus
) it looks like you'll be in luck as it should get a healthy supply.
2) you don't have a VGA card, in which case the situation is very similar but most of the intake from the PSU side (single intake) will go out the PCI vents, not too useful although that might help keep that chipset (and HD2000) cool.
I feel good about how the NT01-E will perform in this environment, my biggest concern being that the optical drive will block airflow to it, but I'm hoping that will be compensated for by updraft of air from the CPU heat toward the back of the case, helped by the I/O shielding that may force current up.
Anyway, I'll let you know when I get down and dirty with it but so far I'm impressed with what silverstone's done so far. It's an impressive design that seems hard to improve upon, and in the GD06 I think that they may have sacrificed some cooling performance for the VGA card for the sake of features with the hot-swap bays. With the bays installed, notice how hard it will be to feed a graphics card. I haven't seen quantitative reviews out yet, but I'd bet you'll see a performance drop with those bays in block that crucial intake.