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Taking a closer look inside

There isn't much room to breathe inside a fully loaded SG07, making the holes that riddle the sides, top, and even bottom of the casing vital to ventilation. The left side (right in the picture above) essentially serves as a giant grill to provide as much airflow as possible to graphics cards that sit just beyond the perforated metal.

Even the PCI back plates have been stamped out to make the SG07 breezier, although their utility is questionable for a case that's very obviously been designed to run a dual-slot graphics card with its own back plate. I wonder if the money saved by switching to standard back plates would've been enough to spring for some thumbscrews. That's right, you'll have to bust out a screwdriver just to crack the case open.

As a testosterone-infused man, I like tools. I own several screwdrivers, including one in my office just a few feet away. But I don't want to have to reach for it just to open a case that's ostensibly been designed for the sort of folks who swap and add internal components with some frequency. Considering the SG07's $200 asking price and enthusiast aspirations, a few thumbscrews should have been included.

You'd still need a screwdriver to really get at the guts of the case, though. A further three screws secure the 180-mm turbine that sits directly above the motherboard area. This monstrous fan is actually larger than the Mini-ITX form factor, which measures only 170 mm square. Users can toggle between 700- and 1,200-RPM rotational speeds via a switch at the rear of the case, and a three-pin header is included to allow the fan to be governed by the motherboard. You don't need much spin to make this fan move a lot of air, and Silverstone claims it blows hard enough to cool 95W CPUs sitting under its NT06-E passive heatsink.

As illustrated in the picture above, a plastic filter slides neatly into the fan bracket to prevent dust and other particulate from infiltrating the system. Unlike typical mid- and full-tower enclosures, the top fan acts as an air intake rather than an exhaust. A second filtered intake can be found just below the PSU fan on the chassis' underbelly. That particular filter is screwed on, so it's not as easily removed for cleaning.

Filter number three comes in the box and is intended to be used with blower-style graphics coolers. The grid of holes that dot the case's left side provide plenty of anchoring points for the filter, which also comes with a foam shroud to help better direct airflow.

The SG07's second and final active cooling element is a 120-mm bottom-facing fan that sits inside the case's 600W power supply. Although this particular model is a custom job for the SG07, the chassis can accommodate standard ATX PSUs up to 6.7" (170 mm) long. If you want to run a decent-sized graphics card, the PSU can be no longer than 5.5" (140 mm).

Good luck coming up with a Mini-ITX build that requires more power than the SG07's stock PSU can dish out; the power supply has a single 12V rail capable of carrying well over 500W all on its own. There are plenty of connectors, too: everything you need to hook up a motherboard, plus dual 6/8-pin PCIe connectors, three SATA plugs, and a couple of four-pin Molex connectors. With 80 Plus Bronze certification, the PSU should be plenty efficient, too.

Just above the power supply lies a pair of drive cages that house the SG07's storage capacity. The case's optical bay is of the slim variety, so you won't be able to drop in a standard 5.25" optical drive. That's a disappointment given the higher price tags usually associated with slim optical drives, but Silverstone would have had to make the SG07 both taller and deeper to squeeze in full-size optical bay. I wouldn't mind trading an inch or two here and there to gain the flexibility of a 5.25" drive bay, and I expect many enthusiasts would share that sentiment.

The cage to the left houses the case's single 3.5" and twin 2.5" bays. Personally, I'd prefer dual 3.5" bays and a single 2.5" mount to run a pair of low-power hard drives in a mirrored RAID 1 array behind a single SSD. However, for gamers, the prospect of a pair of low-capacity SSDs in a striped RAID 0 array with a single 3.5" drive acting as mass storage is probably far more enticing—and faster.

A lack of vibration damping for the 2.5" bays suggests that Silverstone very much had solid-state disks on its mind when designing the SG07. At least the screws that hold 3.5" drives in place sit inside rubber bushings that should effectively isolate vibrations.

Now that we've stripped the SG07 bare, it's time to turn our attention to this build's Mini-ITX motherboard.