The inner light
I'm no stranger to SilverStone's miniature enclosures. A few years ago, I took delivery of a Sugo SG02 Mini-ITX box that still houses my home-theater PC. The Sugo is compact and looks great on the outside, but its internal layout is fraught with unfortunate design compromises. I was understandably apprehensive about what I might find within the TJ08-E.
Peeling away the body panels gives us our first true glimpse of the TJ08-E's topsy-turvy internals. Except for the strange feeling you'll have that something's wrong, the case seems rather normal on first inspection. The power supply lives up top, the drive bays face forward, and the motherboard hangs out at the bottom. It takes a second glance to realize that the motherboard and PSU are actually meant to be mounted upside-down.
Since the dawn of mini-towers, small cases have been notorious for raising the blood pressure of the poor souls tasked to work inside of them. Back in my computer repair days, I was frequently driven to rage as miniature machines sliced-n-diced my tender digits. Luckily, SilverStone recognizes the mini-builder's plight; nearly everything in the TJ08-E is removable for easy access and installation.
With a few turns of a screwdriver, the motherboard tray breaks completely free of the chassis. This feature alone makes life immeasurably easier when installing the motherboard, CPU, and memory. When we attempted an install without removing the tray first, the TR Cuss Jar had to be upgraded to something more voluminous.
The removable theme continues with the four-bay internal hard drive cage. The cage is held in place at its bottom edge by two screws, and it pulls out toward the user. Inside the cage, the walls are lined with a thin layer of foam to reduce vibration noise and to provide a little extra shock absorption during transport. Unfortunately, these bays don't support 2.5" drives without an adapter.
The last removable bit is the top panel of the case itself. Once the screws on the sides and back have been removed, the panel pops off to give builders easy access to the power supply and optical drives. When installing our PSU, we discovered through trial and error that the case's top panel needs to be removed. This handy tip is mentioned in the user manual, but who has time to read that?
Finally, the star of the show. Situated behind the removable hard drive bays is the Temjin's 180-mm intake fan. This is a huge spinner for such a small enclosure. To give you a sense of scale and provide some gratuitous CPU porn, the fan is pictured next to the largest processor I could find in my collection—a Pentium II Xeon—as well as the more contemporary Core i7-2600K. Yeah, I was just looking for an excuse to dust off the old Xeon.