Last year at CES 2009, Silverstone wowed us with the uniquely shaped Raven and the aluminum unibody Fortress, two high end gaming cases. Both cases are aimed at the high-level enthusiast market. This year, however, Silverstone recognized the economic stress the world’s having, and turned out some chasses in a lower price range. Additionally, it released updated versions of its HTPC, Mini-ITX, and gaming chassis lines, weighed in on USB3, and unified its power supply line under a single name.
Most Silverstone cases are north of $100. Recognizing the economic troubles of late, Silverstone decided to produce a new case which sacrifices some aluminum for a lower cost. The same general airflow layout as other Silverstone chassis is present, but the case material and bezel are a mix of aluminum and plastic. The target price range is near $50-$60 when the chasses are shipped.
An observant fan of Silverstone chasses might realize that no Silverstone chassis has eSATA ports. This was a conscious decision, reports Tony Ou of Silverstone. The company decided to throw its weight behind the then-upcoming USB 3 standard since the logistics of eSATA — that it is unpowered and an external enclosure would also need to be connected to a power source — make it inefficient for front panel usage. Silverstone does plan on implementing USB 3 ports on its cases once the front panel layout specification is finalized later this year.
Silverstone’s support for USB 3 is even more evidenced by its selling of USB 3 PCI-Express and ExpressCard solutions. A 2.5″ enclosure is also on the go, with prices similar to the USB 2 enclosures available currently.
Silverstone’s stylish GDxx series of HTPC cases have always been eye-catching and functional. This year, Silverstone adds to the lineup with the GD04 and GD05. The biggest difference between these and the older models is that the new ones shave 75mm from the depth of the case. Yes, the sacrifices ATX compatibility, but micro ATX and mini ITX motherboards still fit perfectly. The short depth enables users to place the unit more comfortably in a home theater cabinet, many of which are wide but not deep.
Notably, the new HTPC chasses are capable of fitting two 11 inch graphics cards (enough for most cards), and a 220 mm deep power supply unit.
Colin Dean has been a writer for ThinkComputers since 2006.
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