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Silverstone Grandia GD03 Review

SilverStone Grandia GD03

Manufacturer: SilverStone
UK Price (as reviewed): £144.22 (inc VAT)
US Price (as reviewed): $169.99(ex tax)

Grandia is the name SilverStone gives its ‘mainstream’ media PC cases, as opposed to the slim cases which fall under the Milo brand. The Grandia cases are also a newer range of models than the old Lascala cases, and less expensive than the Crown series, which all feature large LCD displays. Having four fairly ranges of media PC case hints of overkill but we can’t knock SilverStone for effort. The Grandia GD03 is latest in this capacious line-up.

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The front fascia of the SilverStone is the sort of elegant brushed aluminium goodness that we've come to expect from the German PC chassis forgers. The body of the case is made from painted steel, making the case heavy, sturdy and not as expensive as if SilverStone has used aluminium throughout.

There are two large vanity panels on the left and right portion of the front. The panel on the right hides the slightly mundane features of an external 5.25in and external 3.5in bay. The latter is a welcome touch though, as a 3.5in memory card reader can be a handy addition to a media PC. The vanity panel on the left-hand side is more interesting for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it works on a clockwork mechanism so once you've initiated the opening sequence, the panel slides slowly down like the gang plank of an alien space craft.

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This is a slick touch, but the door moves down so damned slowly that it’s a pain to actually use. A measure of irony is thrown into the mix as you realise that the two chrome-accented 3.5in bays behind the lowering door are in fact for hot-swappable hard disks bays. The time you've saved by not having to open up your case to remove these storage devices is seriously eaten into by the slow-release mechanism of the vanity panel. All too often we found ourselves yanking the door down, displaying all the patience of a London commuter with a deadline to meet.

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But what other wonders are hidden behind this clockwork vanity panel, you might wonder? The answer is a removable dust filter, behind which can be found a pair of 80mm fan mounts - ideal for getting some decent airflow in your media PC. Behind the fan mounts you'll find space for no less than four 3.5in hard disks - ideal for storing a serious amount of media for your viewing pleasure. Including the pair of hot-swappable bays, you could clock up an impressive 12TB of digital storage. That’s if you could handle the rattle of six 2TB hard disks clattering away under your telly, that is. Externals suitably discussed, let's get building...