SilverStone At Computex 2013
This year is SilverStone's tenth anniversary, and the company had a variety of new products to display at Computex. We'll start with the ARM22SC LCD monitor mounts, available for about $220 (Ed.: This actually just landed in our SoCal lab). The display arm allows for lots of vertical and horizontal movement, as well as 90 degrees of rotation for monitors up to 24" in size. It shouldn't be difficult to find just the right position for your desk.
The next stop on our tour is good news for audio enthusiasts: SilverStone's EB01-E digital-to-analog converter and EB03 Amplifier. Both should be available within the next quarter around $200.
We also saw a prototype graphics card enclosure that relies on Thunderbolt connectivity. Equipped with a 450 W power supply, we'd say this product has potential given our experiences with external graphics solutions already.
SilverStone is updating its flexible SATA power bridge with the new CP06-E4 (sporting four connectors) and -E2 (a two-connector model). Like the previous version, it contains capacitors to stabilize power for hot-swapping, though this improved version is much more flexible and longer, putting less stress on the connectors. It should be available in July.
The NB04 is a one-piece notebook cooler with a large 160 mm fan under its vented surface. The solid aluminum structure accommodates up to 15" laptops.
The new Tundra-series liquid cooling system employs an all-metal waterblock with no screws on the nickel-plated copper base, which is soldered for better thermal performance. Even the mounting bracket is aluminum. SilverStone's radiator design is incredibly robust, and we found it impossible to bend the fins with our fingertips. In addition, the radiator is designed with pipes traversing the fins to increase surface contact area for more efficient heat transfer. The single-fan TD03 is $80, while the TD02 and its double-sized radiator is $110.
SilverStone's representative showed us a prototype liquid cooler than uses heat from the CPU to act as a pump. It employs a slim water block and liquid with a low evaporation point, requiring only that the radiator is mounted higher than the CPU. While this design removes the pump as a failure point, it does rely on relatively high temperatures to work, so the company is assessing its viability.
Starting with SilverStone's NUC-based enclosures, the PT14, PT15, PT16, and PT17 are pictured above. The first two are pretty standard, but the PT16 can pop up its top to accept an extra 2.5" drive for storage. The PT17 is an AMD-based design, built around the promise of a NUC-sized motherboard that Sapphire pledged to produce this year. We expect all of these cases to cost around $40 when they hit retail.
The DS380 is a mini-ITX case that's a little larger than most. It offers eight hot-swappable 2.5" drive bays with a SATA/SAS-compatible backplane, three 120 mm fans, and room for a full-sized graphics card. Company reps say this case will be available by August for about $150.
SilverStone's slim HTPC-oriented cases make an appearance in the shot above. On the left is its ML04, almost the same as the popular microATX ML03, but with different front panel. The ML05 are next, both essentially shrunken mini-ITX versions of the ML03 employing SFX power supplies. The ML05 has an acrylic panel, while the ML06 features aluminum up front.
Here's a prototype of SilverStone's Raven case, which is particularly exciting to us. Clearly designed as an alternative to game consoles and some of the boutique enclosures out there, it includes a riser card to support full-sized graphics cards. The name and design aren't final. However, we might see something that looks a lot like this by the end of 2013.
The last new case that SilverStone's team showed us was the MM01, code-named the mammoth. That nickname doesn't refer to the enclosure's formidable dimensions, but rather its ability to survive harsh conditions. We're told it's the only case able to cope with the restrictiveness of a HEPA filter, ensuring that dust stays out and air leaving the case is cleaner than the air coming in. It also sports angled vents to ensure that any spills flow away from the parts inside. Expect to see the MM01 in late 2013 selling for somewhere around $300.
We also looked at a number of power supplies, beginning with the SFX form factor. In addition to the company's ST45SF-G 450 W modular offering (boasting a 37 A +12 V rail), the new ST30SF 300 W with a 22 A rail features a silent mode where the fan disengages under less than 40% load, or less than 55 degress Celsius. Expect that one to show up in August for $50.
Next up was the 1200 W Zeus with digital controls. SilverStone's software lets you pick between one or multiple rails (similar to the unit we just previewed from Rosewill), alter voltages, and even adjust the fan curve. This fully modular unit should be available in the next quarter.
Finally, the Strider family is updated with modular 750, 850, and 1500 W flavors that include soft cables for easy installation, including the 24-pin ATX connector.