Assembling the SilverStone Sugo SG05

For how smitten I was with Cooler Master's inexpensive Elite 120 Advanced, it had a couple of kinks that made it less enjoyable to assemble than SilverStone's Sugo SG05 is. Having to provide space for an ATX power supply and a full 5.25" optical drive bay meant cutting into some of the case's internal space, and the drive cage wound up actually being detrimental to the design in some ways. The SG05 is a remarkably clean design and was very easy to assemble, especially for a case of its diminutive size.

Installing the motherboard was for the most part very easy; standoffs come built into the tray, although it's nigh impossible to screw the board in on one corner without removing the power supply. You'll have to remove the bracing bar from the PSU along with the drive caddies, but you would've needed to remove at least the caddies anyways. Call me lazy, but I actually just left the corner of the board floating and still found it plenty secure. More responsible users may be inclined to remove the PSU to completely mount the board. There's a healthy amount of space around the board to connect power cables and headers, as well.

Honestly, the worst part of assembling our system in the SG05 was the optical drive and 2.5" drive caddy. Getting the screws into the 2.5" drive required a bit of dexterity, while the slimline optical drive's tiny, tiny screws made installing it a nightmare. I'm not a particularly steady person in the first place, and these are the kinds of screws a housecat will swallow without a second thought. Part of that is just the nature of the screws used to mount slimline drives and I'm not sure how much SilverStone could've done to make this process easier. As for the 3.5" drive bay, I actually eschewed that entirely. That cage is removable, and I found that when assembling the SG05 the copious amount of cabling stemming from the PSU made it exceedingly difficult to install.

The drive bays seem to be where SilverStone decided to make their sacrifices in the name of getting the SG05 as small as it is. If you're determined enough you can jimmy the 3.5" drive cage in, but as you can see in the image above, the cable spaghetti nature of building in a small enclosure makes it pretty difficult. You'll also have to remove the front fascia (there are six plastic snaps you can bend up) to pop out the bay shield.

When you install an expansion card in the SG05, you're also going to be deciding just how far you're willing to push the limits of the enclosure. The ASUS GeForce GTX 560 Ti we use for testing our bigger cases did indeed fit in the SG05 (and we had to test with it, naturally), but that card is 10.2" long and it was really as big as you can get away with; I had to angle and tilt to fit it inside. Keep in mind that certain shorter card designs may have the PCIe power leads facing the back of the card instead of the top, too, so you'll want to account for that when calculating clearance.

Mushing all the cabling down and getting the shell back on the SG05 wasn't too difficult, but the tremendous amount of ventilation means that any lights inside the case are probably going to be visible. The memory kit we use for testing has LEDs on it and those LEDs are very easy to see while the system is running, along with the LEDs on the motherboard itself. Enterprising builders will have no trouble making the SG05 glow.

In and Around the SilverStone Sugo SG05 Testing Methodology
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  • UpSpin - Sunday, August 19, 2012 - link

    If you don't change the PSU fan and use it as it is, it will get audible and noisy if you tax the PC.

    However, I changed the PSU fan to a 120mm one and build a new case for the PSU which guides the air, speed regulated every fan, dampened the noise of the HDDs and bought the EVGA GTX560Ti, which is based on the NVidia reference design, which uses a very quite fan. And unlike more silent looking GTX560Ti cards, the stock NVidia design also cools the VRM, thus the fan speed can get reduced further without issues and doesn't ramp up as fast as the more silent looking designs. I also modded the GPU Bios to run the fan at lower speeds and undervolt the GPU.

    But you're right, I can hear it if I'm working alone, because of the GPU fan and the open design of the Sugo case. Not because of the air flow but because of the GPU fan's bearing, which is still very very quiet. I haven't found the time to replace this fan with a higher quality one. It's not annoying, because it's really silent and at a low frequency, but yeah, still audible if the environment is silent.
  • Jackattak - Sunday, August 19, 2012 - link

    I would go with the drawer idea personally. PCs sitting on desks suck. It doesn't matter how quiet you get it, you will notice the noise while sitting at the desk alone in the room. And anyone who is in IT or Development or any other mentally demanding job will tell you, even normally mild or even nearly unnoticeable noises can cause you great frustration.

    I like the idea of putting this in a sliding drawer. That way when you needed to work on the machine's innards you could just slide it out and pop the cover and work right at your desk. And when you're actually using the PC within, you could slide it back to the end of the desk, and if you mounted the drawer underneath the desk, you'd never notice it.

    Great review as always, Dustin. I have built about a dozen PCs (for myself, that is) but I haven't done it since 2003! I've been buying Dell XPS systems since then, as it was worth it to me to purchase fully assembled products with generally nice cases, believe it or not, rather than going through the rigamarole of purchasing all the separate parts and praying to the gods that everything works well with everything else. The manufacturer mashups can be pretty frightening. At any rate, your review here makes me want to buy one of these as I've had increasing interest in mini-ITX systems as of late. Might just have to workout a project plan! :-)
  • doctormonroe - Sunday, August 19, 2012 - link

    What happened to the photo galleries?
  • Dustin Sklavos - Sunday, August 19, 2012 - link

    We had a bug in the system with them; adding galleries now.
  • Conficio - Sunday, August 19, 2012 - link

    "the general industry tend towards smaller"
  • Meaker10 - Sunday, August 19, 2012 - link

    An OCed 680M stays along side a stock clocked GTX670 :D
  • Grok42 - Sunday, August 19, 2012 - link

    I am so glad to see more reviews of mITX cases. I believe as the reviewer does that these cases are the future of enclosures. I also believe that optical drives are legacy drives as well. All the reviews of mITX cases come to the same conclusion that the external bays seriously compromise the overall design of the case. Small cases are always going to be a set of trade offs but it seems obvious the trade off should be to remove the external bays but not a single case does. It seems so obvious that improved thermal and acoustic performance is more important than the ability to have an optical drive that is used once or twice in the life of the system.

    If your taking requests for future reviews I would nominate the Lian Li PC-Q16A. I'm worried it doesn't support a discrete GPU at which point I would retract my request. I can't find any information or reviews about it of any depth so I can't be sure if it does or not.
  • JoanSpark - Monday, August 20, 2012 - link


    there is not a single mITX/mATX case out there without an external (optical) drive bay.
    Not a single case maker is producing a box where you can put in a mb, a gpu, some 2.5/3.5 drive(s) and call it a day.

    You get countless towers, med towers, mini towers etc with numerous external bays in all kinds of styles and colours.. but not a single case without an external drive bay.

  • Zap - Monday, August 20, 2012 - link

    Check out the Lian Li PC-Q25 series. It is like the PC-Q08, except supporting more 3.5" drives and no external drive bay. And yes, gigantic graphics cards are supported.

    Alternately, for those who don't need discrete GPUs there are plenty of mITX cases which don't have external drive bays.
  • JoanSpark - Saturday, August 25, 2012 - link

    I stand corrected.

    Thx for the pointer, very interesting.

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