With Mini-ITX form factor becoming more popular as a mainstream option, the engineers at SilverStone saw a perfect opportunity to create a new generation of SFF case. The SG05/SG06 was designed under this premise, which was to maximize performance in the smallest size possible. The following guide will explain the component choices that were made for this exciting form factor:
- Utilization of slim optical drive
| Opitcal drive
|| Physical size in volume
| Slim optical drive
| Standard optical drive (5.25”)
An optical drive has the least effect on overall performance, its usage are increasingly limited to operating system and program installations on a PC. In a small form factor case, the size and weight of a regular 5.25” optical drive can be significant and unnecessary. The decision to use slim optical drive enables the design of SG05/SG06 to be much smaller and lighter than it otherwise will be.
The downside to the use of slim optical drives has been their availability so SilverStone Technology released its own slim optical drive models SOD01
(slot loading DVD drive) and TOB02
(tray loading Blu-ray drive) in conjunction with SG05/SG06 to ensure that all users can easily obtain the needed components for system assembly.
- Utilization of SFX power supply
|| Physical size in volume
| SFX 300W in SG05/SG06
| Standard ATX
In an effort to reduce SG05/SG06’s size to half of the previous Sugo series cases, the use of a SFX form factor power supply was used. Coincidently, a SFX power supply is also half the size of a regular ATX power supply. Besides the issue of physical size, the numbers and length of cables on a typical ATX power supply is also too much for Mini-ITX cases.
After carefully calculating the power consumption numbers from a high-end 10” graphics card, a slim optical drive, one 2.5” hard drive, one 3.5” hard drive, and a quad core CPU, a 300W SFX model was selected as the basis to power the SG05/SG06. By working closely with the supplier of the 300W SFX power supply, this 80 PLUS certified unit was tuned to be very quiet but also high performing at the same time. It is capable of 300W continuous output even at rigorous 50°C condition with one of the two +12V rails providing a strong 16A output dedicated to PCI-E 6pin connector for high-end graphics cards.
Other than the standard ATX (sometimes referred to as PS2) form factor, the SFX is one of the most popular form factors for power supplies at the OEM levels. With Mini-ITX becoming more popular, the number of available aftermarket SFX should increase over time as well.
- Simultaneous accommodation for 2.5” and 3.5” hard drives
| 2.5” hard drive advantages
|| 3.5” hard drive advantages
| Extremely fast (solid-state disk)
|| Very fast
| Low or no noise (solid-state disk)
|| Large capacity
| Low power
| Weigh about 90g
|| Weigh about 700g
Due to their low power consumption and low noise characteristics, 2.5” hard drives are becoming popular for desktop systems. This trend will continue with the proliferation of solid-state disks, which are made primarily in 2.5” sizes.
However, 3.5” hard drives continue to hold major advantages over 2.5” hard drives in capacity and cost so the inclusion of both 2.5” and 3.5” hard drive brackets allow users to choose whichever storage solution that best suit their needs.
- Forward-compatible with Mini-DTX motherboards
The size difference between Mini-DTX (6.7” x 8”) and Mini-ITX (6.7” x 6.7”) is minimal. The Mini-DTX is larger due to having space for one more expansion slot.
Even though Mini-ITX motherboard has only one expansion slot, the extra slot provided by the SG05/SG06 allows for installation of extra connectors such as fan controllers, additional I/O ports included with the motherboard, or even liquid cooling pass-through plates. The extra slot also makes it possible for installation of dual slot graphics cards, which is a popular format for high-end 10” graphics cards. Even if the graphics card used is originally a single slot design, a user has the option to upgrade to aftermarket dual slot cooling solution.
Example: SG05/SG06 supports NVIDIA™ GeForce™ GTX 680 graphics card (10” long)
- Unparalleled thermal capability
SG05/SG06 is equipped with a 120mm front fan with a layout designed for positive air pressure cooling. Due to the naturally short depth of the case, the air can travel in and out of the case quickly, providing excellent thermal performance to the internal components. A front fan filter is fitted and together with the positive air pressure design, ensures dust accumulation will be kept to a minimum for even extended system operation.
- Abundant space for CPU cooler selection
Another major benefit of utilizing SFX power supply and slim optical drive in the SG05/SG06 is the space freed up for the CPU area. With up to 78mm high, a user no longer needs to purchase slim CPU coolers as standard retail boxed CPU cooler will fit easily. One can even purchase slightly larger aftermarket coolers for more silence or mild overclocking!
- Longer motherboard standoffs to support motherboard underside components
Mini-ITX motherboards, more than any other motherboard form factors, often are designed with more components on the underside such as extra SO-DIMM slot, CF card slot or Mini-PCIe slot, etc… SG05/SG06’s 10mm tall motherboard standoffs will make possible to accommodating more of these special Mini-ITX motherboards.
The design goal for the SG05/SG06 was to make it possible for users to create a lighter and more efficient system without sacrifices to features and performance. We believe after careful planning, anyone can build a portable multimedia, gaming, or workstation system with the SG05/SG06.