Hands-On With Five Mini-ITX Cases

SilverStone SG05

The SilverStone SG05 looks a lot like a classic small form factor PC from Shuttle, given its dimensions and simple (yet not cheap-looking) design. The outside of the black steel chassis is minimalistic; the large ventilation fan slot on the front is the only thing really attracting any attention. Despite the fact that SilverStone's SG05 is a Mini-ITX enclosure, it swallows standard-sized components quite effortlessly.

Potent Dwarf With A 300 W PSU

With an internal vertical height of 7.8 cm, the case has plenty of space for aftermarket CPU coolers. It even takes dual-slot graphics card with lengths of up to 22.8 cm, such as the Sapphire Radeon HD 5850 we used. This makes it the smallest case in our roundup with support for this sort of high-end graphics solutions, which is appealing to gamers who want to combine the compact dimensions of a Mini-ITX system with a capable GPU. The 300 W PSU and large, front-mounted 120 mm fan are able to cope with the demands of a fast graphics card, too.

Both Desktop And Notebook Hard Drives Accepted

The SilverStone SG05 is flexible when it comes to storage, allowing for the installation of either a 3.5” or a 2.5” hard drive. Oversized 2.5” hard drives with a height of more than 9.5 mm are no problem either. It also has room for a slim-line optical drive.

The motherboard installation was effortless. Help yourself by removing the two screws holding the 3.5" drive frame, and then pull it out. You’ll have full access to install the board. An adapter for connecting parallel ATA slim-line optical drives is included.

Conclusion: The Race Horse

The SilverStone SG05 is the smallest case with support for dual-slot graphics cards that we're testing today, accommodating graphics cards with a length of 22.8 cm, and equipped with a powerful 300 W PSU. Consumers looking for an economical gaming system or snappy Mini-ITX PC cannot go wrong with this case, especially since it can be equipped with standard-size hardware. It looks good, and it's way cheaper than the Luxa2 chassis on the previous page.

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SilverStone SG05
TypeMini-ITX case
Form factorMini-ITX
Dimensions (W x H x D)222 x 176 x 276 mm
MaterialSteel, plastic front panel
Connections2 x USB 2.0, Audio in/out
PSU300 W
Support for expansion cardsYes, maximum length 22.8 cm
Drives1 x 3.5” or 2.5” hard drive, 1 x 5.25” optical drive (Slim-line)
Ventilation1 x 120 mm (front)
Weight3.52 kg
PriceAround $105
  • rohitbaran
    Q08 supports expansion cards of length upto 300mm. It is mentioned on the Lian Li website and prople have built systems with cards like Radeon 5870 in it.
  • doomtomb
    Lian Li PC-Q08 is my pick everytime but why did you guys not look at the SG07?
  • jeraldjunkmail
    I (custom) build an element Q with an H50 water cooler. I had to (custom) move the PSU to the front of the machine under the 5.25" drive bay. This involved drilling out the rivets and reriveting them in order to hammer the pieces into shape. It also can fit a large video card in there (but this is not a gaming rig). There is a 6 2.5" hard drive software raid array in it and it is running Debian 6.0... Smallest water cooled rig in the world? Maybee.... Sorry if double post... Not sure...
  • gti88
    Please, do something with picture gallery.
  • Matask
    Perhaps its worth mentioning that you can get the SG05 with silverstone 450watt SFF psu instead allowing a bit more power. My current setup consists of the same Motherboard as used in this test Zotacs gtx460 AMP edition, an 0verclocked I7 860 at 3,5ghz with the H50 cooler and 4 gigabytes of 1333mhz 8-8-8-21 memory. Runs like a dream. And temps are actually quite good as the gfx card blows the heat directly out the side, and the push-pull airflow works very satifactory. Only thing to beware of is cable clutter as it can really mess up the airflow in these small cases.
  • Sharro
    I've been buying Shuttles for the last 10 years and I feel sad for not seeing any model included in this review.

    They are reliable little boxes :-)

    All the best,

  • gti88
    MataskI7 860 at 3,5ghz with the H50 cooler i5 2500@3.5GHz can be really cool with Big Shuriken@800rpm.
  • I love the Chenbro ES34169. You can find it for under $100 and quality is great. The only thing I would change is the stock fans, which are too loud on full speed.

  • Matask
    gti88i5 2500@3.5GHz can be really cool with Big Shuriken@800rpm.
    Yeah prob would have gone another direction than the H50 should i buy something now since performance pr dollar isnt that high. However the new SB cpu's do overclock better than my 860..so its really no suprise you get good temps at 3,5 ghz with your I5..you prob would with stock cooler as well..at least from what i have read around the interwebs..
  • dogman-x
    The Silverstone SG05 only accepts a slim optical drive, which really limits you for BluRay burners.

    I ended up buying the Shuttle SH55-J2. This is a Mini-ITX case plus an ITX motherboard for an Intel LGA1156 processor. The case accepts a double-slot graphics card and a standard optical drive. And unlike past Shuttle products, you can upgrade the system with any standard ITX motherboard. It's also very quiet, which is a big plus for home theater.