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Advice for i7 build with Silverstone SST-SG03 Case

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October 10, 2009 8:59:26 PM

Hey, I'm building an i7 system, and need some advice about the case I'm interested in using. I really like the size and looks of the Silverstone SG03. My concern is cooling though. It is a pretty small case which is what I like, but the i7 runs pretty hot right?
The system will have the following:

i7 920
Intel DX58SO
G-Skill 6GB DDR3 1600
eVga gtx 275
Corsair TX750 PS
WD 1TB HD

I was either going with the cool master V8 (this cooler looks pretty tall) or Silverstone NT06 cooler. I was planning on overclocking it to maybe 3-3.5GHz, nothing crazy.

How's all this going to fit in the Silverstone case? Are there going to be cooling issues?

Thanks for any help
October 11, 2009 3:24:24 AM

It would not be a good idea to use this case for a high performance i7 system.

First, the DX58SO is a full ATX mobo and your case only supports microATX. Even if you switch to a microATX motherboard, there are other issues.
Silverstone's website notes that the maximum length for expansion cards in this case is 10.5"-which is the length of the GTX 275. It'll probably fit, but it will take some doing.
The V8 (almost 160mm tall) is another no-go: The Silverstone site says that "CPU cooler cannot exceed 82mm in height." The other Silverstone cooler you selected is also too big.

As for cooling, the case only comes with one 120mm fan and has a mount for one more on the back.I'd wouldn't be comfortable with only 2 fans in a powerful gaming system

It doesn't look like that case is a good fit for your system, sorry. :( 
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October 11, 2009 3:39:25 AM

You can indeed put an i7 system in the case you mentioned or one like it--you're just limited in cooling options and you have to be very careful about fitting graphics cards in. Sometimes you can fit in a card longer than the rated space by moving your hard drive to a different spot in the drive cage.
You can find out a lot more about i7 in smaller cases by reading the May System Builder Marathon articles:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/core-i7-sff,2312-4....
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/micro-atx-sff,2311-...

These links are to the pages discussing case choice for two of the May builds. You can read the entire articles for more information about these cases and building in them.

I might be wrong about fitting the long graphics card in the SG03, but a full ATX mobo and the larger coolers will definitely not fit.
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October 11, 2009 10:13:32 PM

Grab an Antec 300 if you want a small case as most Micro ATX cases don't have enough airflow to handle an i7, at least from what I've seen anyway.
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October 12, 2009 4:03:10 AM

I built one SG03 system, but with a "cool" E7500. Here's my thoughts

The main problem with SG03 is that there is a fair amount of air going in, but not much going out. The side grill is almost completely obstructed with the PSU, which mount right above the CPU and greatly limit the height of the cooling solution.

The NT06 will fit in this case, and it is the recommended cooler from Silverstone. It isn't comparable in efficiency to tower-style cooler though. My suggestion would be to look at the H50 from Corsair, with the radiator mounted in front of the case. You'd get a fair cooling that isn't as much dependant of the airflow as other solutions. I haven't tried it myself though, so you might want to do some research about that specific combinaison first.

For the PSU, the TX is nice, but you will have a lot of unused cable, which is a problem with such a case. Instead, I suggest the newly available HX650, which is modular and kinda small in length. It have a strong single 12V rail, and it is powerfull enough for your rig, even if you overclock it. The way the fan is mounted will also help a bit with the airflow (it will suck the hot air of the CPU into the PSU, which will make the fan spin a bit faster).

The motherboard won't fit as already pointed out, only matx board will. The GENE series from Asus are good picks.

Conclusion is that SG03 is a nice case, but it has it's flaws. The form factor is awesome if you can find a matx motherboard that suit your needs, but the overclocking of a i7 will be greatly limited by the airflow. I'd be confident you could hit 3.5GHz if you can fit the H50 in there though.
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October 18, 2009 12:16:29 AM

Thanks for all the input guys. I decided to go with the cool master sniper case. I would have liked something a little smaller, but decided not to chance it going with a smaller, more limited case. I have to say, I'm pretty impressed with the cool master case. I had no idea the cool master v8 was so huge! I'm glad I decided on a larger case. The system is built and now I'm going to try my hand at overclocking. Wish me luck! Thanks again.
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November 15, 2010 8:04:22 AM

I know this is an older post but I used it as reference on a recent build and wanted to make a few comments after my experience. I purchased an SG03-F. Other specs on the system are listed below.

You can fit a full graphics card in this case quite easily. Just need to install it through the front of the case as recommended by the manual. It's been my experience that there is a lot of air in and out of this case making it a very stable environment even for an i7. The SG03-F comes with two 120mm fans in the front so there is quite a bit in and the vents in the back allow for a lot of air to move out as well. There are even SilverStone fans that can be used to pull air through these vents (FX121). It's true the recommended cooler is the NT06. I paired that with a SilverStone Modular PSU. The PSU has a 135mm fan that will pull air from the fan-less CPU cooler. They basically sit right on top of each other making it a nice way to get rid of the heat off the CPU cooler even without a CPU fan. Temps aren't stellar but they are nice and stable at stock speeds. The main issue you will have is just space for cabling. I'd advise you to try to plan out having appropriately sized SATA cables and a modular PSU so you don't have a lot of excess laying around.

Hope this helps instill some confidence in a potential buyer of this case. If you need a case that is small, this is a good choice.

Specs:
i7 950 3.06 Ghz
Asus Rampage III Gene mobo
Corsair 6 GB RAM
EVGA Nvidia 470
OCZ 40 GB SSD
2 WD Raptors 600 GB in Raid 0
Silverstone Strider PLUS ST85F-P 850W Modular Power Supply
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