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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)

We tested the Silverstone PS14-E with our Intel Core i9-7900X test platform. For comparison, we brought in the Bitfenix Enso Mesh, the NZXT H500i, Corsair's Carbide 275R, and the Cooler Master MasterBox Q500L to give you an idea of where this case stacks up against competitors of similar size and feature sets.

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

The PS14-E's poor thermal performance can easily be remedied with the addition of an intake fan or two. That said, our CPU hit 67 degrees Celsius over ambient temperature under load, which is higher than we expected, even from a chassis equipped with only a single 120mm exhaust fan. The lack of airflow in this chassis as shipped directly affected its ability to remove the heat generated by our system components. As a result, GPU temps were high as well.

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

We recorded sound pressure levels with two off-the-shelf dB meters from two different angles. Obviously, with only a single 120mm exhaust fan for cooling, the PS14-E is near silent at idle. Under load, sound output increased to 30.4dBA. The acoustic performance of the Precision PS14-E was on par with the majority of cases tested against.

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Cooling efficiency and noise levels are both ways to measure performance. Determining acoustic efficiency, also referred to as cooling-to-noise ratio, is a matter of averaging all of our tests to determine a base value. This chassis is exceptionally quiet due to a lack of fans, unfortunately that is also the reason for the poor thermal results. 

Bottom Line

The Silverstone PS14-E is a budget-friendly PC case that has all the benefits and drawbacks you'd expect to find in a case at this price. But if price is a deciding factor, this chassis is a good choice. The low cost also leaves room in your budget for an intake fan (or fans) and aftermarket filter as well. Those running a 240mm AIO cooler with fans included, or who have leftover fans from a previous build, will find even more value.

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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