SilverStone Primera PM01 ATX Mid-Tower Chassis Review

SilverStone Primera PM01 ATX Mid-Tower Chassis Review

The PM01 ATX mid-tower case is SilverStone's first Primera Series chassis which offers plenty considering the reasonable asking price.

@chad_sebring
Published Tue, Aug 2 2016 8:11 AM CDT   |   Updated Thu, Jul 30 2020 4:20 PM CDT
Rating: 98%Manufacturer: SilverStone

Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing

SilverStone Primera PM01 ATX Mid-Tower Chassis Review 99 | TweakTown.com
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When it comes to cases, SilverStone is a company that is definitely in the top ten, and if you have disposable income to spend, in the instance of the TJ11, five years after reviewing it, it is still the mainstay in our office. Not only was the Temjin series a huge hit for SilverStone, but they also offer the Kublai, Grandia, Precision, and most notable of the bunch is the Raven series, just to name a few. No matter if you are looking for an HTPC chassis, an SFF offering, or top tier cases in general, SilverStone has something to fit your needs.

While we would love to say we have a new Temjin or Raven chassis, SilverStone has evolved chassis design to a whole new series. SilverStone has chosen to call it the Primera Series, stemming from the Spanish word for first or first class; just the name alone raises the excitement. While there are some traits we see being derived from other cases in their lineup, this Primera chassis is a whole new take on cases for SilverStone. Using steel, aggressive styling, and an aesthetic not exactly like many successful cases to be already on the market, but can stand alone in the sea of mid-tower case options.

The Primera PM01 chassis that SilverStone sent over is a departure from all previous designs, yet there is still a lot about the design that just screams SilverStone. As a few cases before it have done, this chassis aims to take on just about anything on the inside, and the outside, wow. Something along the lines of a Phantom, yet still different, reminiscent of the Raven cases, but not too much, this Primera PM01 is a chassis well worth your attention. There is a ton to cover with this new layout and brand new series of cases, so stick with it as we see just what SilverStone is up to now.

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From the chart provided by SilverStone, we see the Primera PM01 is available in three flavors. There is the SST-PM01 BR-W, which is a black chassis with red LEDs and has a side panel window. There is the SST-PM01 CR-W, which is much like the first version, but it painted in a matte black finish. Then there is the version we were sent, the SST-PM01 WA-W, a white chassis sporting blue LEDs and also offers the window in the side panel. These are all mid-tower cases, made of steel and ABS plastic, capable of housing either a Micro-ATX or ATX motherboard.

As far as drive bays are concerned, there are no external 5.25" bays in this chassis, but there is room for up to four 3.5" drives and up to five 2.5" drives. At the back of the chassis, the PM01 offers up seven expansion slots to house multiple cards with ease. As for the cooling, there is a lot offered. The front of the chassis is housing a trio of 140mm blue LED fans but is also machined to accept 120mm fans as well. The rear of the PM-1 has a single 140mm fan without LEDs and is also capable of allowing a 120mm fan there instead. The top of the chassis also provides room for either three 120mm or two 140mm fans, but none are supplied here. As to the water cooling support, SilverStone has you covered here as well. Room for a 360mm, 280mm or 240mm radiator is not a problem, and the same is offered at the top. You can also house a radiator at the back of the chassis in the 120mm or 140mm sizes.

As for the rest of the chart, it covers the contents of the front I/O panel. Here there is a pair of USB 2.0 ports, a pair of USB 3.0 ports, and HD Audio jacks. The Primera PM01 houses a standard PS2 power supply and has restrictions on the GPU length and width at 16.5 inches and 6.88 inches, respectively. There is an 180mm limitation for CPU air coolers and a limit of 240mm for the PSU to consider as well. Then, at the bottom, we see this chassis is 9kg empty, and it is 220mm wide, 5711mm tall, and 560mm deep, for a total of 70.3 liters of space.

Locating these cases was relatively easy, but stock seems to be very limited at this point. What we are finding with a bit of Google searching is that both Amazon and Newegg have some variation of this chassis. As of this moment, Newegg only offers the white chassis with the blue LEDs brand new in the box for $119.99. They do have a black version, but it is an open box sale with no stock of new ones. Amazon is running a slightly better deal, where we found the white and the black versions selling for $114.99 with free shipping. There were no signs of the matte black version, but with a bit of time, we are sure it will turn up. While this is slightly above the magic $100 price point that a good mid-tower chassis full of appointments should cost, we feel that as you read along, you will realize that this is not your average mid-tower, and is handily worth its asking price.

Chad's Chassis Test System Specifications

Packaging

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One of the larger panels offers red trim on a white box, showing the PM01 in black, trailed with red flames. We are told this is a Primera Series chassis, which it is a "pioneering computer case with exceptional style and functionality, as well as being offered the site address along the bottom.

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Company information and an angled look at the back of the chassis, near the top starts off this side panel. Below that, there are charts of the special features in ten languages other than English.

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On the second larger panel, we see exactly what was offered on the opposing panel, just that this time, there is a white chassis, and the accents are blue this time. This allows SilverStone to use the same packaging for all three versions, keeping the cost in the chassis, not the box.

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The last panel on the side of the packaging starts off with a look at the case's cooling at the top. There is then an introductory statement about the Primera Series and why you should want one. If that doesn't sway you, the features are listed below that, and the specifications chart shows just what is possible with the PM01.

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Unlike with standard mid-tower packaging, the Styrofoam is on the front and the back of the PM01. This allows them to better protect the front bezel and the plastic top panel in transit. Both sides of the window are covered in plastic, and a bag wraps the entire chassis to keep the paint in good shape. As for this Primera PM01, it showed up at our door safe and sound, and ready to be put on display.

SilverStone Primera PM01 Mid-Tower Chassis

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The front of the Primera PM01 is stunning to look at fresh out of the box. Angles at the top and bottom the peak in the middle, white plastic all around the edge, and a vast expanse of steel mesh in the middle angled to match the aesthetic. No name, no logo, nothing to detract from its style.

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Moving to the top of the chassis, we see that SilverStone split the front I/O so that it is on both sides. On the left of the chassis, just behind the bezel, there is the power button and HDD activity LED, both of which light up with blue LEDs.

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Over on the right side of the PM01 is where we find the connectivity. In a groove that drops down into the top panel, there are the HD Audio jacks, USB 2.0 ports, followed by the USB 3.0 ports. Next to the body line, much closer to the edge, there is a switch to enable to deactivate the chassis LEDs, in the fans, along the rails, and on the outside of the chassis.

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The rest of the top of the PM01 is solid, made of plastic, and ridged in the center as it slowly increases in height towards the back. There are some body lines on either side that look like venting, but SilverStone has another trick hidden here instead.

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The body lines are tight, but the plastic is slightly different than the white paint on the steel parts. We like that SilverStone got creative with the feet to add some style as we find at the top, and while the window is not our favorite, there is no view of bays or HDD cages.

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In the back, there is a lot to cover. All of the airflow comes out the venting at the top if you use fans on the roof of the chassis. The doors are held on with thumbscrews, the exhaust fan and rear I/O are at the top, seven expansion slots in the middle, and room for a PSU at the bottom.

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The right side of the PM01 gets similar treatment to what we found on the left side. There is the intake looking top panel, the panels are all nice and tight, and curving feet used along the bottom.

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Under the chassis, we located the dust filter at the back and room for a hard drive to screw into the floor in front of it. As for the chunky plastic feet, they offer rectangular pads at the lowest spots to be sure this chassis stays in place.

Inside the SST-PM01 WA-W

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The front of the chassis is screwed on for transit, but after removing the screws, the bezel pulls right off. Behind the steel mesh is a removable dust filter that covers the intake fans, of which, SilverStone ships it with three 140mm blue LED fans here.

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The initial look inside shows that SilverStone is moving towards the masses with a chassis we find pleasing. The top section is completely open to take on just about anything you can dream of. The bottom section is closed off with a PSU cover that runs the entire length of the PM01.

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There are inset rails that support the front fans, and on these rails are holes for both 120mm and 140mm fans. We also mentioned that water cooling is possible here, but is currently not fully open along the entire face.

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For those wanting to use 280mm or 360mm radiators in the front, the top of the PSU cover offers a sliding panel at the front. This way you can get a large fat radiator hanging in the front as well.

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The main cover is removed by pulling it upwards, and it exposes access to the top fan locations via the large center hole. The white plastic support ring is also removable, but requires screws, and has some wiring to deal with.

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That wiring you will have connected is to power the large blue LEDs on either side of the top frame. If you recall the vent looking things at the top of the chassis, well that void is backlit with these.

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The main compartment offers a large access hole, 16 places to tie up wiring, seven wire management holes, and off to the right, you can hang 2.5" drives right on the motherboard tray.

Inside the SST-PM01 WA-W Continued

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Aside from the sliding door at the front to allow radiators in the front, the PSU cover runs from the front to the back without interruption. There are two holes along the motherboard tray, and another near the left side for GPU wiring and SilverStone also paints their name along the side of it. At the bottom, as well as along the top, the six small white boxes at the bottom are blue LEDs to help flood the chassis with light.

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Inside of the back panel of the PM01, we find a black 140mm fan used as the exhaust, and it is minus any LED lighting. The seven expansion slots are well ventilated, and use flathead Phillips screws to secure them.

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Behind the motherboard tray, SilverStone offers hook and loop straps down the left side to contain the wiring. We also see that the manual and hardware are in a plastic bag found where the PSU is to be installed.

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The PM01 also comes with a 12V fan hub capable of powering up to ten fans. Along with the trio of locations on the front of the motherboard tray, you could also use this pair of trays to mount them behind the tray.

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Near the front of the chassis, way down at the bottom, we found an HDD cage capable of housing a trio of drives. These along with the holes in the floor will allow for four total 3.5" drives to be installed, PSU allowing.

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The last section of the chassis is dedicated to the PSU, but can be used on the left for the HDD. There are raised sections of steel with rubber pads to support the PSU, along with a rail at the back to align it to be screwed into place.

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In the wiring, we found two Molex connections, one for the fan hub, and the second to power all the blue LEDs via the switch. We also have the USB 2.0, native USB 3.0, HD Audio, and the button and LED wiring from the front panel, all of which is done in black.

Hardware & Documentation

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As for screws and hardware to be used, SilverStone is sure you have enough. Standoffs for the motherboard tray, and one extra, and a handful of HDD mounting screws to use with the plastic trays. A bunch of 6/32 screws for the motherboard and the PSU, two small screws, and a bunch of M3 screws for the 2.5" drive mounting.

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Of course, you will plan to connect other fans to the fan hub, and if the fans you choose do not reach, SilverStone has you covered here as well. They sent a pair of 3-pin female to 3-pin male fan leads, extension cables to easy your pain.

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The manual for the PM01 is top notch. A full parts list, and where they are to be used, instructions of how the chassis comes apart and where to find the dust filters, and a step-by-step tutorial on parts installation. There is nothing left to question with the renderings and information provided within.

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Just in case we somehow confused you on the cooling possibilities, the manual goes over it in fine detail. It specifies which size goes where when it comes to radiators at the top, and even shows off the thicknesses that can be used without conflicting with other components housed in the PM01.

Case Build & Finished Product

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Since the PM01 comes with no optical bays, nothing detracts from all of that sleek mesh and the thick white frame around it. This also means that the inside of the chassis is at maximum potential to be filled with cooler ambient air.

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Even thought our AIO is a thick radiator version, it would go in the top, and even reached to the front, but we opted for the back since the stock fan adds no light. The video card has plenty of room to the right of it and ton of room for a tube reservoir and more radiators.

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The dust filter snapped right in, and the 120mm fan on the H80i GT fits in the center fan mounting grooves. The card lines right up and the screw holes are in place for it, and the same is said for the PSU, as it slides right into alignment.

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With so many tie points and no bump in the right side panel, we wired things in smaller groups. The hook and loop holds the PSU lead; the front panel wiring streams down the middle, and there is room at the bottom for excess wiring like the SATA and Molex leads. There is near 15mm of room here, and as we have it wired, there was no issue replacing the side panel.

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Ready for power, we stopped to discuss just how stunning this SilverStone chassis is. Odd shaped, yet attractive, a full mesh front, and a great view of everything from the CPU cooler to the SilverStone name on the PSU cover. The sad part is we haven't even lit this chassis up yet.

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Once powered up, and the LED switch in the front I/O port is turned on, the SST-PM01 WA-A comes to life. The power button and the HDD activity lights are blue and stay on all the time when the chassis is powered. The switch on top covers the front fans, the side rail lighting just inside the door at the top and bottom, and also illuminates the side lights in the top. The black version does this with red LEDs, but either way; this is one sexy looking chassis.

Final Thoughts

The Primera PM01 is a whole new idea for SilverStone. While they have always been leaders and innovators, usually their cases came with such a premium price involved. It tended to keep a lot of their best cases out of the hands of the average buyer. The Raven Series of cases tried to do this before, but may have been too radical, and still carried a hefty price too. This is the first that we can recall that SilverStone has gone all in with a chassis for the masses. We can see previous designs from SilverStone hidden in some of the body lines, and we feel that it something that many will fall in love with right away.

Being a mid-tower tends to put restrictions on a lot of companies to compete, but SilverStone takes it to the edge and carries on with what they were doing anyways. Not only is there a PSU cover to clean things up inside, but there is also plenty of room for multiple radiators and the full water cooling accouterment. Hidden drive bays, excellent wire management, all the things you are looking for, and we didn't even mention the aggressive styling, nor did we bring up all the LED lighting that this PM01 has delivered. We ran into not one issue throughout the build process, and while running, we enjoyed the cool blue LED light display and 36 dB of noise from the chassis. Everything was in its place, they happen to be well thought out places and ways of dealing with potential issues, and with a large side panel window, you get to kick back and admire your handy work in full view.

For a chassis that is built this solid, is as feature rich as this is, and when it brings an individual style and appeal, those are the cases we tend to go for. The Primera PM01, whether you go for the black chassis and red LEDs, or if you opt for this one, white with blue LEDs, you are getting one hell of a case. SilverStone moves from top tier pricing, but still delivers top level craftsmanship and everything we have some to expect from them in this design. While it is something entirely new, providing a very affordable, feature rich, mid-tower chassis, SilverStone came out swinging and knocked this one clean out of the park.

Chad's Chassis Test System Specifications

TweakTown award
Performance98%
Quality including Design and Build99%
General Features99%
Bundle and Packaging98%
Value for Money98%
Overall98%

The Bottom Line: SilverStone and the Primera PM01 are set to take on the mid-tower market and reign supreme! This stylish, slightly aggressive looking chassis brings new styling, a full set of features, and all at a price just about anyone will appreciate.

PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.

USUnited States: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.com

UKUnited Kingdom: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.co.uk

AUAustralia: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.com.au

CACanada: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.ca

DEDeutschland: Finde andere Technik- und Computerprodukte wie dieses auf Amazon.de

After a year of gaming, Chad caught the OC bug. With overclocking comes the need for better cooling, and Chad has had many air and water setups. With a few years of abusing computer parts, he decided to take his chances and try to get a review job. As an avid overclocker, Chad is always looking for the next leg up in RAM, cooling, as well as peripherals.

We openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here. Please contact us if you wish to respond.

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