2003 Winter Case Review Part 2: The ATX Avalanche

SilverStone Technology Lascala Series / SST-LC01, Continued

The case is very solid, with only minor bend and no twist to the case at all. The case features a strut that runs down the center of the case, which adds exceptional strength to the case for the possibility of stacking other home theatre/audio video components on top of the SST-LC01. The quality of the rest of the interior case is good, with no sharp edges that we could find.

The cooling of the case is handled by a single 80mm fan in the rear of the case, as well as holes in both sides of the case for venting. These holes are designed in such a way that the user could add 80mm fans on either side of the case, to serve as intake on one side and exhaust on the other side. While SilverStone does not suggest this, depending on your setup, this may or may not be a good option. For example, if the case were placed in a A/V rack with enclosure on both sides of the case, the side fans may not provide enough space to create an airflow that makes it worth adding these fans. On our test bench, however, we experimented with added fans to both sides of the case with good results, and found a drastic decrease in temperature. Thus, if the case is not placed in an enclosed rack, we can suggest this as a possible option.

The optional SST-ST400 power supply includes a 120mm fan built into the bottom of the power supply, which really helped remove heat from the case. When we used our Antec TruePower 430 we not only increased the noise within the case, but at the same time we reduced the cooling potential performance of the case. While the case did pass our testing and didn’t overheat, the buyer will want to carefully select the power supply, placement of the case and side panel fan possibilities in order to achieve the best cooling results with the least amount of noise.

One of the reasons that we are so overly concerned with the cooling in the SST-LC01 is that this case features four internal 3-½" hard drive bays between the two removable device racks inside the SST-LC01. This makes the SST-LC01 a very ideal case for those mega storage DVR applications. Since the majority of the largest drives are available in only in a 7200 RPM configuration, these drives generate more heat ; and you must be able to vent this heat out of the inside of the case. Since our testing configuration only featured two hard drives, this was not an issue, but with four drives installed, temperatures are surely to rise. Still, the ability to build a four drive RAID for DVR applications would be appealing to many consumers.

With both doors open you get a better idea of the bay configuration as well as the placement of the front mounted ports. With this design the lower door has to be open to access the front mounted mounts. This might not be the best design, but it is workable.