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Silverstone PS14-E Case Review: Versatile Budget Contender

An ideal option for anyone looking to upgrade without breaking the bank.

(Image: © Tom's Hardware)

Our Verdict

For those looking for a well-rounded chassis with support for high end components, the Silverstone Precision PS14-E is a solid pick. Though it's a feature-packed case that is easy on the wallet, it does come with some design and performance drawbacks.

For

  • Tempered-glass side panel
  • Low noise
  • Support for high-end components
  • Versatile

Against

  • Single fan included
  • Poor thermal performance
  • Filtration system lacking
  • SSD / fan placement issues

Silverstone has a well-established reputation for feature-rich, high-quality chassis that are surprisingly easy on the budget. We have the company's entry-level model, the Precision PS14-E mid-tower ATX case, on the test bench for a little review action today. When it comes to buying a new case, people usually fall into one of three groups: those that want pure performance, those solely interested in the look of the chassis, or consumers primarily interested in a low price.

Specifications

TypeMid-Tower ATX
Motherboard SupportMini-ITX, Micro-ATX, ATX
Dimensions8.27 x 18.46 x 17.24 inches (210 x 469 x 438 mm)
Space Above Motherboard1.5 inches (38.1mm)
Card Length14.06 inches (357mm)
CPU Cooler Heigh6.97 inches (177mm)
Power Supply FormatATX
Weight12.57 lbs (5.7 kg)
External Bays1 x 5.25 inches
Internal Bays2 x 2.5 inches / 2 x 3.5 inches
Card Slots7x
Ports/Jacks2x USB 3.0, audio/mic jacks
OtherX
Front Fans0 (Up to 3 x 120mm / 2 x 140mm)
Rear Fans1 x 120mm (Up to 3 x 140mm)
Top Fans0 (Up to 2 x 120mm / 2 x 140mm)
Bottom FansX
Side FansX
DampingX
WarrantyOne Year
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(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Measuring 8.27 x 18.46 x 17.24  inches (210 x 469 x 438 mm) and weighing in at 12.57 lbs (5.7 kg), the Silverstone Precision PS14-E is constructed of black steel, plastic, and tempered-glass. This $60 chassis comes with a one-year limited warranty.

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(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Most of the PS14-E's top is covered by a magnetic dust filter. Directly below this filter are mounts for two 120 or 140mm fans.

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(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

The front features angled vents running down both sides. Along the left-hand edge of the plastic front panel you'll find headphone and microphone jacks nestled between two USB 3.0 ports. The power and reset buttons are located in the upper right-hand side of the front face. Two 120 / 140 mm intake fan mounts sit directly behind the front panel.

Designed to mimic the look of brushed aluminum, the removable front panel has a 5.25-inch drive bay for those who still use optical drives.

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(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

The full-coverage tempered-glass side panel is darkly tinted and held in place by rubber-coated locating pins and thumbscrews. The opposite side panel is stamped steel and attaches to the case via metal thumbscrews.

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

In the rear of the chassis you'll find the standard motherboard I/O area, an opening for a bottom-mounted PSU, seven expansion card slots (+2 vertical) with punch-out style covers, and an exhaust fan mounting location that supports both 120mm and 140mm fans. The exhaust fan mounting location features slotted screw holes that let you adjust the position of the fan to fine tune airflow or make room for system components.

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Four large rubber-coated feet keep the case approximately a half inch off the floor. Be aware that this chassis must be turned completely on its side to access the removable power-supply filter for maintenance and cleaning.

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The fan filtration system, while it's nice that it exists ant this low price point, is a bit of a let down. The top filter, attached by magnetic seals around its edge, does a good job preventing dirt and dust particles from entering your system. That said, there is no filter for the fan mounts behind the front panel. And as noted earlier, the slide out filter covering the opening for PSU ventilation measures just 6-inches, but still requires moving your entire system to access.

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  • Dark Lord of Tech
    LOOKS like a workstation case.
    Reply
  • Mr5oh
    Why is it I have to look at budget cases anymore to get an optical drive option? Just needs some mesh on the front.
    Reply
  • kep55
    "the removable front panel has a 5.25-inch drive bay for those who still use optical drives. " So, how do you install software? Downloading from the internet enhances the chances of installing malware and will often kill your data cap.
    Also, what is it with cases coming with tempered glass panels? Tempered glass is NOT as strong as they imply. One good bang and you're stuck with a million pieces of glass to clean up. All steel is much better and also makes for a lighter case.
    Reply
  • Fulgurant
    Wish there were more cases with more than 2 HDD mounts, these days. Seems like everyone in the budget space ditches drive cages to make room for radiators - which is fine, but it seems to me that people in this price segment are more likely to want to reuse HDDs than they are to want watercooling.

    Or maybe it's just that the cases that get reviewed have a bias against HDD cages. All I know is that when I went to make a new rig last month, after spending a few hours sifting through reviews for cheap-ish cases - only to find that most of the candidates either had too few HDD mounts or bad dust filtration - I ended up grabbing a second Fractal Define R5. Not ideal, both because it's an aging chassis now, and because the price has actually gone up since the last time I bought one, but at least it's a known quantity to me.

    And yeah, to echo kep55, the tempered glass craze seems a bit overwrought at this price point too. In my recent case-review binge, I came across more than a few complaints that this-or-that cheap case had its glass shatter.

    Don't get me wrong; this is a nice looking case, and Silverstone tends to make good solid products. I appreciate the review. It just seems like the enthusiast case market is overcome with vaguely impractical fads every few years. Back in the day, it was millions of 80mm fan mounts making your PC sound like a jet engine, or overpriced all-aluminum cases that rattled (on top of sounding like a jet engine). Then we moved into the weird-plastic-shapes-and-tasteless-bling-everywhere phase, as if everyone who builds PCs is a 12 year old boy. Now the fad appears to be, "everyone watercools, even if they can only afford a case that costs half of what they'll pay for their AIO," and "everyone wants a transparent side panel."

    I guess those two attitudes are related, given that AIOs do tend to look nice. But in terms of temps and noise, water cooling isn't even all that much better than air, unless you use a custom loop.
    Reply
  • dmorisette
    Mr5oh said:
    Why is it I have to look at budget cases anymore to get an optical drive option? Just needs some mesh on the front.
    Look at the beQuiet Pure Base 600. It has TWO optical drive bays. I just purchased a customized build from Ibuypower using this case, love it. However, they couldn't provide the built-in optical drive, lol. All of the sites I checked, except for CLX had NO built-in drives available. This case has the added benefit of having sound damping material all over the place inside, everywhere except the (ahem) glass side. And yes it is a very quiet case. It only comes with 1 rear 120 mm fan and 1 front 140 mm PWM fan. I added another front 140mm and went with the high flow version, still quiet up until it hits above 1000 rpm.
    External optical drives seem to be available everywhere nowadays, it seems they are far from dead, lol.
    So, what is with this screen on top of the case? They think I'm going to put intake fans there right next to the stock exhaust fan blowing out of the back? I don't think so, left to its' own devices, heat rises, why should I try to fight that? You'll get much better airflow trying to aid the natural flow, not fight it.
    You'll all love this one- When I received this computer Ibuypower had REMOVED the front case fan and installed the Corsair H100i Pro cooler in the front of the case blowing out! It had the two cooler fans and the stock rear fan all blowing out with no intake fans! You should have heard the 3 fans on the 2070 Super rev up when I started up the most recent CoD, roflmao. Poor thing was gasping for breath. Yep, moved it up top blowing out along with two 140s blowing in the front, fixed er right up.
    Reply
  • JohnMD1022
    kep55 said:
    "the removable front panel has a 5.25-inch drive bay for those who still use optical drives. " So, how do you install software? Downloading from the internet enhances the chances of installing malware and will often kill your data cap.
    Also, what is it with cases coming with tempered glass panels? Tempered glass is NOT as strong as they imply. One good bang and you're stuck with a million pieces of glass to clean up. All steel is much better and also makes for a lighter case.

    Tempered glass weighs a ton.

    I'm now 76 and recently got a pacemaker.

    I'm not into slinging heavy cases around.
    Reply
  • NightHawkRMX
    Why go through the hassle of making a case have tempered glass only to give it an ugly optical bay and ugly front panel.

    Reminds me of the looks of a $30 Rosewill case TBH
    Reply
  • kep55
    NightHawkRMX said:
    Why go through the hassle of making a case have tempered glass only to give it an ugly optical bay and ugly front panel.

    Reminds me of the looks of a $30 Rosewill case TBH
    I have a 10 year old Rosewill case that to me looks a lot better than most of the cases out there today. And it was one of recommended cases by Tom's when I bought it.
    Reply
  • NightHawkRMX
    Not saying there is anything wrong with Rosewill cases, but they have many inexpensive cases, so i used them as a point to show that this case looks like a very cheap one.
    Reply
  • Jake Hall
    Why not just use acrylic? No usb 3.0? I personally wish 3 vertical slots were more common, since I have a giant card
    Reply