Not every PC build needs to be a full size case with 15 fans. Sometimes you are just looking for a simple case that will keep your rig cool enough and most importantly keep the noise to a minimum. At CES this past January we had a chance to take a look at Cooler Master's upcoming silent rig the Sileo 500. The Sileo 500 is finally released and we have the chance to take a closer look at the case. The timing was perfect with the upcoming rebuild of my wifes computer, and considering the focus on keeping everything quite I hope it will balance out some of the noise my computer makes ;).
Product Name: Sileo 500
Review Sample Provided by: Cooler Master
Review by: Wes
Pictures by: Wes
|Dimension||(L)480 x (W)200 x (H)432 mm|
|Weight||17.6lbs; 8 kg|
|M/B Type||Micro-ATX, ATX|
|5.25" Drive Bay||5 Exposed|
|3.5" Drive Bay||1 Exposed; 4 Hidden|
|Cooling System||Front: One 120 x 25 mm silent fan 800 rpm Rear: One 120 x 25 mm silent fan 800 rpm|
|I/O Panel||USB x 2, eSATA x 1, Mic x 1, Audio x 1|
|Power Supply||Standard ATX PS2 (optional)|
Features-Sound-proof design for a quiet computing experience -Subtle ventilation holes located between side and front panels -Easy access front I/O panel with support for e-SATA -5.25" and 3.5" tool-free design for easy installation and upgrade -Aluminum bezel with Elegant design -Detachable anti-vibration HDD pads for noise reduction -Stylish front LED
Cooler Master packed the Sileo in a standard case box. The outside is purple and white matching some of the other items that we have seen from Cooler Master. On the front there is only one large picture of the case along with the name. On the back of the box there are pictures of the Sileo from every angle inside and out. If you're looking for more information on the case you will find the specifications on one of the side panels. Overall, the outside is very simple, but does include everything you need to know to be able to make a decision. Of course, inside the case is wrapped in a plastic bag with foam keeping it safe inside the box.
Cooler Master focused on making the Sileo simple and elegant on the outside. The front of the case has five 5 1/4 drive bays along with one 3 1/2 bay. The entire front is aluminum and plastic with Cooler Masters signature mesh nowhere to be seen. The power button is a plastic strip on the bottom that also doubles as a power indicator glowing blue when the computer is on. Under the power button there is also a matching reset button. For a front I/o panel there are headphone and microphone ports along with two USB and one eSATA. I would have liked to see four USB ports but the eSATA port is good to see included. I said before the front of the case has no mesh, in order to get air into the case there are small vents going up both sides of the front panel. This was a very creative way to get air and keep noise down.
The biggest feature inside of the Sileo of course is the sound deadening. I was surprised to find the material was covering almost every part and panel of the interior including the top and bottom panels. Other notable features include the redesigned drive bay retention devices, this a different design from the normal push button Cooler Master retention design. Too keep hard drives from rattling they have also included a new design using two anti vibration pads. Sticking with the screwless design the PCI slots are screwless also, but they did leave the option to add screws if you need them. As far as cooling goes, there are two 120mm fans, one on the front and the other on the top back to keep air flowing through the case.
Our Test RigAbit IP35 Pro motherboard Intel Q6700 Quad Core CPU 4 Gigs of Mushkin Ram 8800 GTS G92 with Coollink heatsink for video Seagate 320 Gig hard drive Samsung DVD drive Noctua NH-U12P heatsink to keep things cool
Installing everything went without too many hiccups. I did have trouble getting the side panel off for the first time; somehow, one of the tabs had been bent in shipping. Once past that issue it was smooth sailing. Installing a full ATX motherboard into this case did have me somewhat worried at first; the bottom of the motherboard is almost touching the foam padding on the bottom of the case. The new drive bay retention brackets work great, they hold the drives in tighter than the old design hopefully preventing any vibration. Wire management is nonexistent in the Sileo due to the sound deadening on the back panel, but without a window, this is not a huge issue.
After setting everything up and living with the Sileo 500 for a little while It is clear that the sound deadening material wasn't just installed for show. This case is almost dead silent, the only way I was able to hear any noise from the case was to shut everything else down and listen closely. This was a shock to me coming from full on gaming rigs with sometimes ten or more fans running in them. When burning and watching discs the vibration was well contained even without using screws to hold the disc drive in. The new drive retention bracket did an amazing job of keeping everything snug.
So the case is extremely quite but does it have any cooling? The two fans did seem to move enough air to keep any normal rig cool. When I first setup this rig it was running my old highly overclocked setup's bios setup. With the Q6700 running at 3.8 the CPU temperature was running in a normal temperature range for the Noctua heatsink. After my wife jumped into a game of Sacred 2 it wasn't too long before it was apparent that the case doesn't move enough air to keep a highly overclocked motherboard cool without the addition of aftermarket heatsinks. The Northbridge temperatures skyrocketed to 80 degree's Celsius. Once turned back to stock clocks everything ran nice and cool. This is to be expected coming from the Cosmos S with countless fans.
So the Sileo 500 is extremely silent, does a reasonable job of keeping the components cool. The redesigned drive retention brackets are a major improvement over the old design as far as vibration and noise is concerned. The styling of the case is a little bland to me compared to Cooler Master's other product line.