SilverStone has a habit of disregarding the established rules of case design; its FT02 and RV02 cases rotated the motherboard by 90 degrees to deliver exceptional cooling, for example. With the SilverStone TJ08-E, the conventions of case layout have again been seemingly tossed aside before the design process has even started, with a bizarre inverted micro-ATX layout that had us scratching our heads at first.
Unlike normal micro-ATX and ATX cases, which mount the motherboard with the CPU area at the top, the TJ08-E places the motherboard upside down. It has to be mounted on the left-hand side of the case in order for the rear I/O ports to be at the back of the case. Quite why SilverStone has done this isn’t clear, as the cooling setup remains front to back. A conventional micro-ATX layout would have been perfectly feasible.
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Nevertheless, it gives the TJ08-E a novelty factor, although you’d never know from the outside. The brushed aluminium fascia and smooth, grille-free steel side panels are understated and stylish. Meanwhile, the front of the case has a pair of USB 3 ports (with internal connector) plus the usual headset, power and reset buttons, as well as the two status lights.
However, the TJ08-E’s fascia is dominated by the mesh for the case’s single fan, a front-mounted, two-speed, 180mm Air Penetrator model. These fans have unusually cyclonic airflow, which means that air is forced through more directly than with other fans. The result is a stronger cylinder of airflow, rather than the weak cone created by most fans. We’ve seen Air Penetrators work to excellent effect in SilverStone’s other cases, so this bodes well. There’s no fan in the 120mm fan mount at the rear of the case, though – something that’s usually vital to excellent cooling.
The 180mm mount also benefits from an excellent slot-loading dust filter that covers the entire front of the case, and this can be removed from either side. There’s also a 120mm air vent in the roof of the case specifically to cool the roof-mounted PSU. Brilliantly, this vent also has a dust filter, which is attached by small magnets, making it easy to remove.
Removing the right-hand side panel reveals the surprisingly small interior of the TJ08-E. It’s neither cramped nor tricky to build in, thanks to the removable roof panel; fitting the PSU (limited to 180mm in length) and 5.25in drives was simple. There’s room for two 5.25in drives – a removable drive cage offers four 3.5in drive mounts, and there’s a fifth 3.5in internal/external mount in the floor of the case. This is a healthy array of storage for such a small case.
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Due to the inverted ATX layout, the graphics card fits above the 3.5in drive cage, allowing 335mm (13.25in) of clearance. That’s enough for even the longest cards. Meanwhile, a similarly generous CPU cooler clearance of 165mm also means that, despite the TJ08-E’s diminutive size, there are few limitations on your hardware choices beyond the micro-ATX motherboard.
There are plenty of cable-routeing options too, with holes cut just where you want them all around the motherboard and next to the PSU. With enough room behind the motherboard tray to accommodate the 24-pin ATX power cable, it’s easy to keep the cables out of sight. There’s even the option to remove the motherboard tray completely, although we only removed the 3.5in drive cage very briefly during our build.
Dimensions (mm): 210 x 385 x 374 (W x D x H)
Material: Steel, aluminium
Available Colours: Black
Front panel: Power and Reset switches, 4 x USB 3, stereo, mic
Drive bays: 2 x external 5.25in drive bays, 4 x internal 3.5in drive bays, 1 x external 2.5in bay
Form factor(s): Micro-ATX, mini-ITX
Cooling: 180mm front intake mounts (1 x fan supplied), 120mm rear mount (fan not supplied)