In and Around the SilverStone Sugo SG05

The great thing about reviewing these Mini-ITX cases is that oftentimes there just isn't a whole lot to them, and that's true of the SilverStone Sugo SG05. This is the smallest case I've reviewed yet (at least until the impending review of the Antec ISK 110), and SilverStone makes smart use of the entire space. You can get most of the information you need just by looking at the case, and in fact when I went to assemble it I found myself checking the manual just to make sure it really was this simple.

The front is a clean black plastic bezel with sharp lines. On the right are the pair of USB 3.0 ports, the indicator LEDs, and two very small power and reset buttons, while the top of the fascia features the slimline optical drive bay. Of course the star of the show is the beefy 120mm intake fan at the center, and this 120mm fan represents the bulk of the cooling system. It isn't the most attractive thing in the world, but it's very functional as you'll see later on.

When you look at the top and sides of the SG05, you see how SilverStone is managing the rest of the case's thermals: copious, copious ventilation. This type of design choice winds up being a bit of a double-edged sword; there's nothing keeping the internal fan noise internal, but it also allows enough cool outside air to reach the components that the fans don't have to work as hard in the process. In my experience, smart airflow design can oftentimes be more conducive to keeping noise down than any kind of sound dampening material. Where I do think SilverStone misses the boat a little bit is the back. There's the expected extrusion to cover the expansion slots, but I feel like they could have and should have ventilated the space between the downward-facing PSU and the I/O cluster.

Popping open the SG05 reveals a very straightforward internal design. Given the fact that none of the case's dimensions exceed a foot, there just isn't space inside for any kind of chicanery; every inch must be accounted for. With that in mind, there's a removable support bar for the PSU (not strictly necessary but a nice touch) and the 3.5" drive cage and optical drive/2.5" drive cage are removable. That's it. There's the 120mm intake fan in the front, the cluster of headers for the case's I/O, and motherboard standoffs built into the bottom, but that's the extent of it.

Finally, SilverStone includes a very robust power supply with the SG05. The 450-watt unit is 80 Plus Bronze certified, and has a healthy 36 amps on the single 12V rail. This should be adequate for just about any video card you can actually fit inside the enclosure; NVIDIA's recent GeForce GTX 660 Ti may very well be an ideal candidate.

For how simple the SG05's design is, though, I feel like there's a bit of wasted potential here. The optical drive cage probably could've supported a pair of 2.5" drives side-by-side on the underside without interfering with the expansion slots, or alternatively could've included some means of mounting a 2.5" drive to the optical drive area. Interestingly, SilverStone opts not to include one of their 120mm Air Penetrator AP121 fans in the front, sticking with a more conventional fan. The AP121 can get a little noisy, though, and they may have just elected to err on the side of silence.

Introducing the SilverStone Sugo SG05 Assembling the SilverStone Sugo SG05
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  • doctormonroe - Sunday, August 19, 2012 - link

    Silverstone have already released a SFF PSU that is 80 Plus Gold certified:
  • Jackattak - Sunday, August 19, 2012 - link

    By the gods that's one hot little number, and modular to boot! I looked it up on Newegg and they're selling it for $99USD right meow!
  • fr500 - Sunday, August 19, 2012 - link

    The 450w power supply does get noisy. It's a very interesting case, my build is a few years old now and still going strong but it's been considerably modified over the years.

    I bought the original with the 300w PSU, had an i5 760 and a GTS250 back then. When I wanted to upgrade GPU the ST450-SF wasn't out so I went for a modular ATX PSU. A corsair H50 and a GTX570HD

    Still going strong, cool and quiet behind my TV (CPU idles at 27c and gets to 50 under load)
  • fr500 - Sunday, August 19, 2012 - link

    Had to give up the 3.5" bay for the H50 and the optical & 2.5" bay for the PSU, then I fitted 500GB laptop HDD and a 60GB SSD to the botton on the case and problem solved.
  • DanNeely - Monday, August 20, 2012 - link

    Silverstone has several other variants of the Sugo case with 600W PSUs. Using one of them should kill the PSU noise since anything smaller than a dual GPU card is unlikely to put enough load on it to ramp the fans above idle.
  • fr500 - Monday, August 20, 2012 - link

    Mine is not noisy :) it has an ATX PSU as you can see in the pictures
  • ImSpartacus - Sunday, August 19, 2012 - link

    "The great thing about reviewing these Mini-ITX cases is that oftentimes there just isn't a whole lot to them,"

    Lol! I love hearing little reviewer-centric quips like that. I guess this means you have time to do even MORE reviews, eh?
  • philipma1957 - Sunday, August 19, 2012 - link

    The coolermaster has some good points, but it needed endless mods. I pull the cheesy face plate off it and mounted an aluminum grill, It added air but the case needs custom cables to allow for proper airflow. So if you want a nice machine with the cooker master be prepared to break out a lot of tools. I am still playing with it.

    When I am done It will have an;

    i7 3770k

    a 256gb msata ssd

    a full size samsung blu ray

    a full size seasonic psu

    a geforce gtx 670

    all noctua fans .

    It will be nice when I am done but it is not worth the effort.

    My guess is this silverstone is better by far in terms of ease of assembly
  • owned66 - Sunday, August 19, 2012 - link

    i built one a while ago
  • Daniel Egger - Sunday, August 19, 2012 - link

    Actually there's a *very* good reason to go with what you consider an unworthy 300W PSU: Better power efficiency at low power usage. Since it is almost impossible to cram equipment for 300W max consumption into such a case and even that is much more likely to run at <20% power utilisation rather than 80% it simply does not make any sense to have >300W PSU in a mini-ITX case.

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