SilverStone Redline RL08 Mid-Tower Chassis Review

SilverStone Redline RL08 Mid-Tower Chassis Review

SilverStone's Redline RL08 mid-tower computer case gets the spotlight pointed at it as we see what it's all about.

| Jan 29, 2020 at 2:11 pm CST
Rating: 92%Manufacturer: SilverStoneModel: SST-RL08BR-RGB

Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing

VIEW GALLERY - 34 IMAGES

SilverStone has been around our reviews for quite some time, actually for as long as we remember. This specific chassis, however, may bear a special memory as it is very similar tooling to the LD01; we looked at just a short while back. The chassis was solid overall with some specific concerns with the overall layout depending upon how you outfitted the chassis. The RL08 from the Redline series, which we are checking out today, has several changes that may help make this a more friendly chassis to our analysis.

The RL08 is made for mATX users who want a small and sleek package that offers refined airflow along with a tempered glass main panel. The inclusion of front RGB fans will likely help with performance along with aesthetic. I could see enthusiasts users looking fondly upon the styling and airflow potential for the unique inverted layout of this chassis style.

The key features for the RL08 as displayed on SilverStone's webpage for the chassis are as follows:

  • Modern and classy design with a blend of tempered glass and metal
  • Support up to two 240mm or 280mm liquid cooling radiators
  • Includes full coverage filters for effective positive pressure and dust prevention
  • Includes graphics card supporter helps to prevent card sagging
  • PSU and drive cover for clean internal aesthetics
  • Unique motherboard tray layout for connecting SATA cables from behind, free of interference from graphics cards
  • Adjustable hard drive cage for flexible PSU or radiator/fan fitment

The feature set looks about similar to the LD01, which is not necessarily a bad thing, but I do not like that SilverStone calls out dual 240/280mm radiator installation. The reason I take issue with this is that with a GPU installed, it will be very close to the GPU, mainly depending upon your motherboard layout. We will look at that a bit more as we tear into the RL08 and build within it.

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The RL08 comes with the part number of SST-RL08BW-RGB; the BW portion denotes the white trim, which is what we received. There is also a BR suffix, which is the red-trimmed version of the RL08. The RL08 measures in at 391mm in height, 433mm depth, and 217mm wide.

Motherboard fitment for the RL08 is Mini-ITX up to mATX, as this is an mATX chassis. Drive fitment we see up to three 3.5" drives, and two 2.5" drives. If you do not have 3.5" drives, the cage can be used for up to three more 2.5" drives for a total of five. There is a 5.25" bay for optical drives, fan controllers, or similar items. PSU length, like the LD01, will be limited as the HDD cage is not removable. PSU length ranges from 160 - 220mm; however, keep in mind that the front fan/radiator space is shared with the HDD cage, so you will want a 140mm PSU if at all possible, here.

Cooling fitment is impressive as the RL08 while the same base chassis does come with two front-mounted RGB fans in place and a single standard black case fan on the rear outlet. The front fans are 120mm 3-pin DC controlled fans with 4-pin non-addressable RGB, so keep that in mind when planning your system build. Fan fitment is up to dual 120 or 140mm in the front and top. The rear is limited to a single 120mm. Radiator fitment mirrors this, but SilverStone does note that they recommend 280mm radiators should be no thicker than 30mm total. CPU cooler height is limited to 168mm, which means most any reasonable air cooler should fit without issue.

The RL08, we found for $119.99 at the time of writing, and this places it against a few strong competitors, including the Corsair Crystal 280x, and the Enthoo Evolv, just to name a few. While the original LD01 did reasonably well in our testing, I do think that the more airflow focused design of the RL08, may fare a bit better in testing. Let's dig in and see if the RL08 can give us an experience that would merit a recommendation.

Shannon's Chassis Test System Specifications

Packaging

SilverStone Redline RL08 Mid-Tower Chassis Review 01 | TweakTown.com

The front of the box shows a head-on shot of the RL08. Along with the naming, the series, and a QR code leading to the product page.

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Spinning the box around ninety degrees gives us a breakdown of a few key feature bullet points in ten languages. There are also warning and compliance labels at the bottom right of this edge of the box.

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Spinning another ninety degrees, and we see a mirror of the first side. However, this side has a white inventory label likely from the factory where the chassis is built.

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Spinning the final ninety degrees and we find the English version of the four bullet points we saw translated on the opposing edge. There is also a simplified spec table on this side. The bottom has a SilverStone inventory control label with applicable barcodes and the like. The same compliance and safety icons are found at the lower edge, just like the opposing side as well.

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Removing the RL08 from the box, we find it wrapped in a plastic bag. This bag helps with abrasion or rubbing damage during transport. The enclosure is capped at the top and bottom with hard Styrofoam end caps, which help avoid shock or jounce as the package is in transit. The RL08 is adequately packaged and should see no significant issues unless something awful happens, which could crush the package entirely.

SilverStone Redline RL08 Mid-Tower Chassis

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The front of the RL08 shows a mesh front covering about 80% of the front real estate with a solid white-colored portion to the left, which serves as an accent tie-in piece along with holding the power switch and I/O. Behind the mesh of the front, we can see the 120mm front intake RGB fans. The bottom middle has the SilverStone snowflake logo in place, while I usually don't like large badges on the front of a chassis, this one is not too bad.

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The top of the RL08 is painted black steel and is mostly taken over by ventilation, which we see here covered by its magnetic filter stuck on top.

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Unlike the LD01, the RL08 has the I/O running vertically on the front of the chassis. The I/O arrangement is as follows:

  • Power button with integrated power LED
  • HDD LED
  • 2x USB 3.2 gen 1 Type-A ports
  • headphone and microphone 3.5mm jacks

The I/O is a little scanter than the LD01 as it is sans the Type-C port, which I did criticize the last go-around due to it using a gen 1 internal connector. I do hope SilverStone jumps on the Gen 2 USB spec soon as it adds some defined advantages, along with being less wasteful than using a gen1 internal connector.

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Typically we would flip the chassis around to the main chamber on the opposing side, but as the RL08 is inverted motherboard mounting, this side is the main chamber. Here we see the heavily tinted glass panel which fastens at the rear of the chassis like a standard steel panel. We can also see here the ventilation inlet grille running up the side of the front panel on this side. This helps the front fans to breathe effectively.

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The rear of the RL08 is the same as the LD01 with an inverted motherboard mounting. Here we see the five expansion slots at the top, and this gives you an idea of how close a radiator up there would be. We do see the rear fan mounting is slotted, which helps to place it precisely where you may need based on your configuration.

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Here we have the cable management side of the RL08 and its solid steel panel. There is not much to see here as the panel joints up against the front solid body color piece, so it's a blank slate on this side. There is also no ventilation here for the front panel like the other side, so we will look at how it gets air as we dig into it.

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The bottom of the RL08 is black, like the internal steel chassis. Here we see that the PSU has its removable filter for air ingestion. Toward the front of the chassis, we see the four screws holding the HDD cage in place and the two ancillary locations where it can be moved for more PSU room. I would like to see this slotted to allow precise adjustment to meet needs versus presets, which can eliminate front cooling mounting. The bottom of the front panel has a grab handle opening, which also lets air into the front area for extra breathing room.

Inside the RL08

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The front panel comes off easily as it is retained with plastic pegs, which are a friction fit. Once inside, we see the dual fan mounting, which is covered by a removable filter unit.

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Here, we removed the front filter to show the slotted mounting for front cooling fans or radiators. Here we can now more clearly see the semi-opaque fans, which are RGB lit when plugged in. Up top we see the large opening for the 5.25" fitment, this is something I have not seen on a case for a while and am a bit surprised to see it here. However, I do know some users need optical media or even another device that fits into a 5.25" bay, but those days are quickly fading.

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With the panel removed, you could almost mistake the RL08 for the LD01 as it is structurally the same chassis. The inverted aspect is kind of cool as it flips the entire system component 180 from where you would generally see it. The CPU cutout is massive.

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Looking inside of the front area and we can see the two RGB 120mm preinstalled fans. Adjacent to this, we see near the top that the GPU support bracket is there as well, offering a surface for a GPU to sit ion preventing sag. Here we can also see the rather sizeable grommets for the cable passthrough, which are more than enough for what an mATX build would need.

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The top with the filter removed gives us a full view of the slotted mounting for cooling up top. This is enough for top-mounted fans or even AIO/radiators, just measure carefully to ensure you have clearance with your GPU.

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The PSU shroud is solid steel and well built. The shroud has a SilverStone logo embossed on the side visible outwardly. The top of the PSU shroud has one passthrough, which is not grommeted and a larger one further outboard with a large grommet.

Inside the RL08 Continued

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Here we look at the rear area from the inside. The first thing you will notice is the airflow style fan in place for the rear exhaust, which comes included in the chassis. The large quantity of thinner blades means this fan will be ideal for a case fan, which will move air in/out of the chassis as needed, while more aggressively angled larger blades would provide static pressure required to push through a radiator. This is not the end-all tell-all design though, as some SP fans have high blade count models, but for the most part, that is the case.

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Here we have the cable management section side of the RL08. On the rear of the motherboard tray at the top edge, we have the two SSD trays directly above the CPU cutout. To the right, we have the bulk of the cable management where SilverStone has included Velcro straps, which are always welcome. There are several cable tie locations throughout the chassis, though, so do not dismay if you plan on different cable routing designs. While the system itself is inverted, the PSU is still kept at the bottom along with the HDD cage.

SilverStone Redline RL08 Mid-Tower Chassis Review 21 | TweakTown.com

The drive cage is a three-tray enabled design that can support up to three 3.5" or 2.5" drives in the plastic trays. The trays themselves are toolless; however, if using for a 2.5" drive, you will need to secure them to the tray. The cage cannot be removed as the bottom lip the panel latches into omits this as an option. The HDD cage has three preset locations where it can be placed, and it's a balance between PSU space and front cooling.

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The PSU area is pretty tight if you are using a 160mm+ length PSU, but since our chassis test PSU is a SilverStone model, they have a 1000W model, which is 140mm and helps make this area make more sense. The PSU area has foam rubber pads that the PSU rests upon and keeps it from vibration along with avoiding scratches.

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The front I/O cables are quite simple and are as follows:

  • USB 3.2 Gen 1 20-pin connector
  • HD Audio connector
  • Power, Power LED, and HDD LED connectors

This is simple, and precisely what is needed to outfit the front I/O.

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The front fan connectors we are checking out now as I felt like we needed to show this. The fan itself is a standard 3-pin DC control.; however, the RGB is a bit different. The fans RGB is a standard 5050 4-pin connector, and there is another what looks like a proprietary connector of sorts next to it.

Both feed the RGB, so to not need two motherboard headers, I connected one of the fans into the motherboard while the other fan, I plugged the 4-pin header's pins into the proprietary connector as it lined up and allowed both to have RGB without using multiple headers. I cannot be sure if that's what SilverStone intended, but it works.

Hardware & Documentation

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Here are all of the fasteners in the accessory kit:

  • 12x screws for PSU and motherboard mounting
  • 8x screws
  • 5x screws for SSD mounting
  • Motherboard standoff
  • standoff tool

The accessory kit has everything you would expect for installation, however one thing I would like to see is a better listing in the manual as one of the screw models is not even listed in the digital manual.

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The only paper included with the RL08 is the warranty sheet, which is a single folded half page-sized sheet. The manual is only offered digitally, so either a mobile device is needed or a laptop/PC to view it.

Case Build & Finished Product

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The front of the RL08, like many cases, does not change much when everything is built. The front fans are still visible, but due to its overall opaque nature, it's hard to discern what or if anything is inside.

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We attempted to place our H100i up top here, and it would not fit with the GPU comfortably, so we opted to install the H60 to cool the CPU. We could have mounted the AIO in the front, but then we would have omitted the RGB fans, which is one of the chassis features, so we would prefer to keep that active. The placement of the primary x16 slot on the Maximus XI Gene does mean that the GPU is one slot closer to the top and accounts for some of the blame of the AIO not fitting up top.

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The rear of the RL08 fills in as you would expect except for expansion slot usage. As you can see, there's one slot that is unused as the Gene's x16 placement is moved up by one.

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Cable management with the Velcro straps is quite easy, and depending on your needs; you can almost get everything in that main channel at the leading edge. Our GPU cable was slightly short for this run as we did not like the look of it coming through the PSU shroud in this build. Overall the cable management was quick, and the number of zip ties was minimal, which means things can be adjusted later with less chance of having to cut and replace a zip tie.

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The RL08 does have the distinct advantage of a darkly tinted window panel. The reason I say the advantage is that the opaque nature of the glass allows your internals to be hidden mostly until you have internal lighting in the chassis via LED strips or RGB lighting of components. In theory, if you like the sleek aesthetic but prefer your system not to be visible, you can select components properly and run a stealth rig looking like what you see here.

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Once powered on, however, if you have LEDs in place and you hookup the RGB fans, things start to become visible. If you wanted your rig to pop through the glass, then a white or colored LED strip may be in your future, but otherwise, you can make out some of the components without the chassis turning into a fishbowl. The front RGB fans are not addressable and, therefore, will show a single color according to what the RGB controller on your motherboard or other RGB feed tells it to be.

Final Thoughts

When I first heard about the RL08 and saw that it was based on the same chassis as the LD01, I was admittedly apprehensive. However, with the mesh front, I feel more comfortable with this chassis even if it is still limited in HDD cage movement and component fitment. Overall the RL08 proved itself to be a good option if not a well suited one. Albeit with an optical bay.

During testing, the RL08 did quite well. The observed ambient during testing was 22.9C, with an RH of 44%. The RL08 showed an average delta over ambient for the CPU of 44.5C. The GPU came in at a delta of 40.3C. This is quite good as it is a little over 3C cooler than the LD01 with a smaller AIO, and also, the GPU temps saw a drop of 3C as well. This is likely caused by the included fans in which the LD01 arrived devoid of fans.

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What we like

I do like that SilverStone is finally coming around to the RGB trend, albeit slowly. I am not the aptest fan of RGB, but it has its place in the aesthetics of a build, and I can respect that. The RL08 and its included fans do a great job keeping the components cool and rather quiet during testing. The front mesh seems to flow quite a bit better than the glass on the LD01, although I'm not surprised, it is an entirely different aesthetic. The deeply smoked glass helps to hide cable management or lack thereof if you don't want it shown.

What do we think could be better?

I still feel that the RL08 could be better from several aspects. The HDD cage should be on slotted tracks and removable for users who do not want or need it. The ODD bay, while I understand some users may want it, is unsightly to most users, and I hope as this case moves out of its life cycle and is replaced, we see some of these changes such as the omission of the ODD bay. The RGB connection of the fans is weird as it's a direct 4-pin plugin, and I do wish there was a more intuitive way to connect them for novice users. Also, the manual really could use some love as well, since many aspects will be hard to grasp for novice builders, and while the manual has illustrations, it's not always as helpful as we would expect. Lastly, in regards to the manual, please list every fastener included in the accessories; otherwise, even a seasoned reviewer may be left scratching their head at times.

The $119.99 price point that SilverStone has the RL08 listed for is not horrible. To be frank, this is a relatively reasonable value for what you are getting, although the RGB implementation of the fans could be better. The cooling due to the triple included fans opens up the possibilities of serious cooling of hardware right out of the box.

SilverStone did a good job of updating the existing LD01 chassis and making it something I can recommend for the right type of build.

Shannon's Chassis Test System Specifications

Last updated: Jan 30, 2020 at 06:11 am CST

Buy at Amazon

Performance

94%

Quality

95%

Features

88%

Value

92%

Overall Rating

92%

The Bottom Line

SilverStone made the RL08 into an inverted mATX chassis that has style and features that will impress many users. While the chassis is not perfect, it's a defined improvement over its predecessor.

TweakTown award
92%

SilverStone Redline RL08 Mid-Tower Chassis

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR -

Shannon started his PC journey around the age of six in 1989. Now till present day, he has established himself in the overclocking world, spending many years pushing the limits of hardware on LN2. Shannon has worked with design and R&D on various components, including PC systems and chassis, to optimize the layout and performance for enthusiasts.

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