Everything I have had the pleasure of using and reviewing from SilverStone up to now has offered everything the specifications and features listed, and more. Even though I have a good idea of what is arriving before it gets here, I am always surprised when I see these products in real life. Not only do they look good, but cases like the Ravens offered a full list of features and unique designs, and because of that they have had the honor of my personal use. For me that is saying a lot. I get quite a bit of hardware, and for my personal use I lack the desire to "work" on my own PC. So, for a product to make it into my personal usage, it had to be impressive to say the least.
Due to every component I have received from them being of top notch quality and performance, you may notice that I always try to get the 1000W SilverStone power supply into these reviewed cases. Reasoning is that the power supply is not only getting a workout in connectivity all the time, as it can go into as many as eight cases a month, so I have come to rely on it, as it has never failed to power up a case yet. The major thing that makes most buyers shy away from SilverStone when browsing for new components is the pricing. SilverStone builds quality parts, and with that, they do typically demand more than their competition. In their defense, they are worth every penny, and have yet to give me reason to start either a support ticket, or a need to RMA anything.
Today things are a little different. We are going to be looking at the SST-PS05 Precision Series mid tower, and this case offers what we have come to love in SilverStone. A feature rich design that offers almost a complete tool-less installation, great air flow potential, and the attention to detail we are used to seeing. The real surprise in this well appointed mid tower is the wallet friendly pricing. That in mind, let's dig in and see what this more budget oriented, SST-PS05B has to offer.
Specifications, Availability and Pricing
The SST-PS05B mid tower chassis is constructed mainly from steel that has been painted inside and out. The front of the chassis is made from black plastic and offers mesh near the bottom to allow for a front intake. Inside the chassis you can house either an m-ATX or ATX motherboard, and with up to any, seven expansion cards, as long as they are less than eleven inches in length. At the front, there is room for four external 5.25" devices, and also room for two 3.5" devices to poke through the bezel. Below that there is a rack that can support up to four 3.5" drives, and this assembly is turned 90 from the top half. In the top of the chassis, near the front, you will find the two USB 2.0 and front panel audio connections.
Cooling, out of the box, is accomplished with only one 120mm fan placed in the rear of the PS05B working as an exhaust. There is room for up to four more fans to be installed, but aside from the aforementioned fan, it is up to you to get those. One can go in the front behind the mesh, one can go in the floor and with the use of a removable top panel there is room for two more 120mm fans that can go in the top without the need for hardware to mount them. Speaking of tool-less assembly, this chassis offers both a device to lock in the expansion cards without screws, all of the bays use tool-less features as well. One last thing worth mentioning, and I don't see this measurement often enough. SilverStone did the math for us and says that any cooler at or less than 160mm should fit inside the PS05B.
The SST-PS05B is already starting to stock shelves, but even so, I was only able to locate it via two e-tailers. While the lack of supply will hurt the final number, with some time, I can see a case like this stocking more shelves very soon. With everything mentioned above included or not included, in the case of the four fans, I did find the SST-PS05B at Newegg for $39.99. Currently the deal can be even sweeter. Newegg is not only offering free shipping at the moment, but there is also a $10 mail in rebate offer going, making the total after a bit of a wait, just under $40. A great price for any ordinary mid tower, but with the specs and features I see listed; it makes this an amazing price.
The SST-PS05B arrives in a plain brown box with black as the main accent to display the naming and the image of the case. The "Designing Inspiration" in red is a nice touch to make it pop against the more subdued background.
On the specifications chart you can find almost all of the needed information. I would have liked for the cooler height and card length to have been shown. That would make any questions easier to solve when filling your cart at the store.
The back is a mirror copy of the front. Keeping the same screen for the front and back saves them money, so they can offer us this chassis at a better value.
Here we have a multi-lingual listing of the special features included in the SST-PS05B. Sorry for the lack of visible information, but the transit company strikes again, and covered the information with stickers that aren't easily removable.
Just like 90% of the cases I see, the SST-PS05B is shipped with a plastic bag surrounding the case and uses Styrofoam to center and protect the chassis during shipment.
The SilverStone SST-PS05B Mid Tower Case
The front of the PS05B is made from black plastic. With the sides striped pattern flanking the drive bay covers and the mesh panel, even if plastic looking it is an attractive design.
The stripped pattern that flanked the sides also carries over into the top panel. The door is plain, with no window or room to place any fans.
The rear of the PS05B has a couple of "tricks" to cover. At the very top, in the middle, you can just see a tab that allows the removal of the mesh panel to insert a couple of 120mm fans. Under the 120mm exhaust fan, you will notice two, large, removable pieces for water cooling. Just below that, there is the rounded plastic cover for the expansion slots. This is released from the outside, but acts as the mounting for the expansion cards as well.
The right side is plain as was the left. Keeping things simple on the outside saves money, and also offers the opportunity to employ more "tricks" on the inside.
The top almost takes on some of the features of a Raven. The plastic top gets molded to allow for the front I/O and power and reset buttons. It also added the ability to make the removable mesh panel you see at the back.
Simply pressing a tab will release this panel. With the positioning of the motherboard, which you will see in a minute, there isn't room on the inside to hang 120mm fans. SilverStone came up with this solution that uses pins and tab locks to hold two 120mm fans here.
Under the chassis we find it is supported with large rubber feet attached to the floor of the chassis. To the left, there is the more obvious power supply area. If your power supply is short enough, the area more forward can be used to house another 120mm fan.
Inside The SilverStone SST-PS05B Mid Tower Case
Inside the PS05B you will find most things arranged as they should be in a mid tower. The paperwork was found in the box when I opened it, but the hardware is all in the baggie strapped to the drive bays. I know that bag is small, but with all the features inside the chassis you are about to see, there isn't much hardware needed to complete the build.
The top four bays use a self locking tab, just slide the drive in and it locks, to unlock it, you just pull the tab at the front. The two 3.5" bays use a slide style lock with a release button. At the bottom, the four 3.5" trays use little tool-less locks to hold the hard drives securely in place.
Inside of the PS05B there is plenty of room for both an ATX, and an m-ATX motherboard. As I mentioned the motherboard is placed high in the chassis as the placement of the CPU access hole shows. The right side of the tray is open, and will allow for the wiring to be routed there.
In the back the top and bottom expansion slot cover are removable, and replaceable. The middle five are part of the case steel, and once removed can't be locked back into place. It is tough to see with all the black inside, but speaking of locking the covers into place, you can see there are no screws on the end. That is due to the tool-less assembly I mentioned on the outside view.
The case wiring is long enough to even be routed cleanly before it is connected. Included are the power LED and HDD LED connections on the left. In the middle there are the connections for the HD and AC'97 audio. To the right there is the power switch and reset switch connections to complete the front I/O wiring.
Removing the front bezel was simple, just a slight tug and the four metal and two plastic tabs let loose. In the front of the case there are steel covers that need removed to allow access for the drives, and if you remove the fan cover, you can place the fan on it for an intake. None of the wiring is attached to the bezel making removal even nicer. The bay covers in this bezel will simple slide out through the front after you release a tab on each side of the cover.
Accessories and Documentation
The hardware included is pretty simple. You get a bag with two extra risers, used in an m-ATX installation. Then of course there are the motherboard mounting screws, power supply mounting screws, and a few drive mounting screws, just in case you find the tool-less mechanisms not secure enough to travel. For day to day use on a desktop, they are plenty secure. The angled bit of black metal and two screws are used to additionally secure the power supply inside the chassis.
The manual or book rather, has a lot of information included. The manual is multi-lingual, but still offers great explanations to go along with the illustrations.
The hard drive racks work simply, but with a design I haven't seen yet. Most times you have to "stretch" these trays around the drives. SilverStone has added a new thought here. The long oval bit in the side of the tray removes. You just simply slide the drive in and push in the bit of plastic that house pins to secure the drive in place.
I wanted to show just how the top panel can be used. All I had to do was slide in the fans and lock it under two of the four tabs in the middle. The choice of flow is up to you. While SilverStone shows the fans should blow in on their site, I see no reason they can't blow out as well.
The Build and Finished Product
Nothing much changes in the front with just one drive installed. It still has the same sleek, clean design it started with.
While a modular PSU would be a much better choice in this build. I was able to find a couple not so hidden, hiding spots. I was able to squeeze in my GTS 250 and have just a bit of room to spare, and with a m-ATX board installed there is plenty of room to get around in here. While most of the wiring was either tied to the right edge of the motherboard tray, hidden under the board, or put into the drive bays, there is some room behind the bays, but very limited room behind the motherboard tray.
Everything looked pretty good in the back, except for one thing. While the expansion card lock felt secure, moving the case around for images allowed the card to move. If you look closely you can see the right side of the card has dropped slightly. Once the chassis was set into position for the last time, I reset the card and it stayed just fine.
Behind the motherboard tray, as I said, there isn't room, nor is there an 8-pin hole to go to, so there wasn't a real need to wire back here anyways. Full of drives this chassis could easily get les spacious for the extra wiring, the hard drives for instance, almost tough the door when installed.
Powering up the Ps05B I am left with near silent operation. I do also remember hooking up a power LED and HDD LED lead, but under power, I saw no lighting other than the green flash of my DVD drive.
We have seen quite a few budget minded chassis designs over the last few reviews, and to be honest, I think this would be the choice I make to build a HTPC or traveling computer. The compact design might not be for some, but for a Crossfire or SLI setup on an m-ATX motherboard, even with my 1KW power supply I had room to do anything I needed. The tool-less drive bays made installation quick and painless. While there was a bit of movement to the card, the expansion slots being tool-less to lock is a handy feature. Usually I am not a huge fan of cases with larger plastic tops, but the ingenuity taken to make easy access and room for two 120mm fans in there makes it have more purpose other than strictly for looks.
To me, for building a rig I am going to sit in a shelf for an HTPC, or a box for LAN events, that is bound to take a dent or two, I don't really want an expensive, flashy chassis, I want something more user friendly, and this SST-PS05B is definitely that. Looking around at comparably priced cases, you are lucky to get fans anymore, and tool-less features are very simple in budget cases, or made with lesser materials. In the SST-PS05B you get a quality built steel chassis that is a book you shouldn't judge from its cover. Once you get the full perspective, you realize SilverStone offers quite the full package.
While supplies are a bit limited, pricing is good. The deal at Newegg for $39.99 after MIR, and with free shipping makes this a truly amazing offering for the price. All things considered, this is definitely one of the better choices when looking to assemble your next build and realize you are a little short of funds and still want a well appointed chassis.
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