Silverstone cases cover monsters to midgets


— 11:48 AM on June 3, 2011

Computex — PC enclosures come in a multitude of of sizes these days, and Silverstone seems to have them all covered. The most striking of the new models perched on the Computex showroom floor is easily the Temjin TJ12, whose massive proportions dwarf everything we've seen at the show this week.

For a sense of scale, note that there are no fewer than six double-wide graphics cards stuffed into the case. The TJ12 uses a similar layout to Silverstone's Raven enclosures, which rotate the motherboard 90 degrees and put all the expansion ports up top. For a case designed to support so many expansion cards, the rotated layout makes a lot of sense. The TJ12 would be extremely tall otherwise, and this configuration allows the case to sit high off the ground to ensure plenty of airflow to the bottom-mounted intake fans. Hot air rises, so you might as well bias airflow in that direction.

If you'd prefer a standard tower, the new TJ04-E combines a steel body with one of two different front panels. The plastic one pictured above is my favorite of the two, if only because nothing about the aluminum alternative is particularly distinctive. At least, I can picture the plastic piece on the set of Blade Runner.

The TJ04-E comes with a trio of 120-mm fans and mounting brackets for three more. Silverstone has also taken care to ensure that users won't have to sacrifice internal drive bays to accommodate the longest desktop graphics cards around.

One step down from the TJ04-E is the TJ08-E. Like its mid-tower cousin, this shorter model will available with your choice of bezels. A 180-mm intake fan sits behind the front panel, and you can add your own 120-mm exhaust fan at the rear.

Despite being designed for microATX motherboards, the TJ08-E can still swallow a pair of lengthy graphics cards thanks to a novel internal layout that puts the PSU up top and the motherboard upside down. To keep the ports at the rear, the motherboard hangs off the left side of the case, moving the main access panel to the right. Silverstone has also included a little support bracket on the bottom of the case to bear some of the weight of larger CPU coolers.

We're big fans of Silverstone's Mini-ITX enclosures, so it's nice to see an update to the SG07. Dubbed the SG08, this new model retains the original's internal layout but adds a blacked-out front panel with USB 3.0 connectivity. Despite our pleading for a full-sized 5.25" bay, it looks like slim optical drives are here to stay. Silverstone is considering offering a beefier power supply than the 600W unit included with the SG07, though.

Speaking of PSUs, Silverstone has finally followed up on the passively cooled ST30NF 300W we reviewd way back in 2004. The new ST50NF offers 500W of output capacity with nary a fan in sight. Silverstone claims 82-88% efficiency for the unit, which can push up to 480W on its single 12V rail. Even though the casing is made up largely of aluminum, the thing feels like a lead weight—always a good sign for a PSU.

Want more wattage? Try the Zeus ZM1350, which offers 1350W of power and a nifty switch that lets you toggle the 12V line between one massive rail and six individual ones. This fully modular design has an extremely tight AC ripple tolerance of +/- 1%. There's even a set of screws at the rear that let users fine tune the 3.3, 5, and 12V lines like OCZ's old PowerStream PSUs.

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