Manufacturer:Silverstone UK Price (as Reviewed): About £150 (inc. VAT) US Price (as Reviewed): MSRP $229 (ex. Tax), available mid-July
We must give SilverStone kudos for being almost the only case manufacturer designing attractive small form factor cases. We're in the seventh iteration of its Sugo range now, and the SG07 attempts the impossible: provide enough cooling and power for a powerful graphics card and a spot of CPU overclocking for a tiny mini-ITX motherboard. By and large it does exactly that.
The SG07 packs a 600W 80Plus Bronze power supply, an 180mm 'Air Penetrator' fan in the roof (leaving 117mm for a CPU cooler) and can house graphics cards up to 12.2in long. That means that this mini-ITX case can house and power the mighty ATI Radeon HD 5970, which is incredible.
Click to enlarge
With several companies making Intel H55 and AMD 880G/890GX mini-ITX motherboards now - notably Zotac, Gigabyte, Asus and J&W - there's ever more reason to consider going mini-ITX.
The SG07 builds on the SG05's design, but goes one better by making it all black - inside and out - with a pretty hard-wearing finish to it, even if screwing in the case cover still took the paint off. Either way, the finish of the SG07 is certainly better than a drab grey interior.
The case also feels a lot more solid than the SG05, although it's considerably weighty to lug around, which is an unfortunate disadvantage for LAN gamers. Then again, you get what you pay for: aluminium mini-ITX cases with PSUs are much more expensive than the modest £150 or so that SilverStone is asking for the SG07.
Click to enlarge
The front panel has been modified to remove the large ugly fan vent, which has been replaced with the only sliver of aluminium in the whole case. At least the dark, anodised, brushed design and Silverstone logo look nice. The front panel might appear to be missing a reset button, but actually it's been moved to the back instead.
The 'n' shaped outer shell has a considerable amount of ventilation holes; while generally unsightly, these holes are necessary to keep everything inside cool. During our recent visit to SilverStone, the company emphasised how much time had been put into designing the airflow to keep even high end components - particularly graphics cards - cool.
SilverStone has achieved its ambition of keeping even hot graphics cards cool by including a circular cone (complete with dust grille) that screws into any of the holes on the case's side panel. You align this with the fan of your graphics card so that it's pulling in air directly from the outside of the case. And since graphics card cooler manufacturers thought it was clever to design coolers that spit air out of the side, the SG07 has plastic vents to angle this waste air outwards rather than into the case or PSU. It's a nice touch that works well.
Click to enlarge
The downside of all those gaping holes is the inevitability of a dust bunny invasion, but at least every fan has its own filter - even the PSU in the base. The SG07 uses a positive internal air pressure design, with the top fan mounted as an intake, so it could be prone to sucking in dust and debris.
However, it is fitted with a dust filter, as well as an 'Air Penetrator' grille to direct airflow stright down onto the motherboard rather than the usual conical shape of airflow. The 180mm fan is the same model that SilverStone uses on its Raven RV02-E and 03 cases, and so is very quiet. SilverStone has also installed a switch on the back of the case to select between high and low fan speed settings. While we love the addition (although a rheostat would be better), the fans cables aren't detachable, so removing the fan - even for some maintenance, if not to replace it - requires you to unscrew the switch.
Dimensions (mm) 222 x 350 x 190 mm (W x D x H)
Material Steel and aluminium
Front Panel Power and reset switches, 2 x USB 2, Stereo, Mic
Drive Bays 1 x external slim 5.25in drive bay, 1 x internal 3.5in drive bays, 2 x 2.5in drive bays