Review of SilverStone Sugo SG04B-H Micro-ATX case

Summary: SilverStone has given me the opportunity to do a detail study of one of their Micro-ATX cases; the Sugo SG04B-H. The special thing about this case is that it supports high end (read BIG) graphics cards and power supplies.


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INTRODUCTION

The SG04B-H which I will be reviewing today, is a new addition to SilverStone’s famous “Sugo” series. You can check out its siblings at the manufacturer’s website.

Let’s start by taking a look at the specifications of the SG04B-H:


SilverStone Sugo SG04B-H

Dimensions

200 x 417 x 347 (mm)

Format

Mini tower

Supported motherboards

Micro-ATX

Materials

Steel SECC and aluminum

Expansion bays

1 x 5.25”
1 x 3.5”
2 x 3.5” internal

Expansion slots

5

Cooling system

Front:  2 x 120mm (1 fan included)
Back: CrossFlow fan (optional)

Front connectivity

USB 2.0 port x2
1394 x 1
Audio x 1
MIC x 1

Weight

5.4 kg

Other characteristics

Compatible with graphics cards with a length up to 26.5 cm.
Compatible ATX PSUs
Handle at the top side for easy transport



The first thing that strikes me about the Sugo SG04B-H is its capability to mount a high end system in very little space. It is even possible to setup a CrossFire or SLI system in this little case.



FIRST IMPRESSIONS

The cardbox box in which the Sugo SG04B-H is delivered is of bigger dimensions than what I had expected for a micro-ATX case. As you can see from the images below, the cardboard box has some images of the case printed on it, together with some of the specifications. A good thing is that the specifications are available in multiple languages.


 


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When I opended the box I found the case protected in white foam plastic as expected. It was also protected by cardboard folded to support the sides of the case. The case itself was enfolded in a plastic bag. All in all the packaging gets an A+ from me.


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The accessories provided by SilverStone are numerous and some of them very practical. All of them are placed in a cardboard box which was located in the bottom of the packaging. The included accessories are; a front cover for a 5.25 inch optical device; plastic bridles for organizing the wiring inside the case; a plastic bag with screws: an extender 12V 4 pin ATX adapter, rails for the installation of the 3.5 inch internal drive and lastly a manual.


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SILVERSTONE SUGO SG04B-H, THE OUTSIDE

My first impression of the case when I took it out of the packaging was that it looked really strange. Mainly because of the handle that has been placed on top of the case. Another thing which I noted is that the outer panels of the box are made in aluminum, which gives in impression of high quality.


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The front has only one 5.25 inch expansion bay. In the images below you can see the hole for it but as I said earlier in the review; the manufacturer have included a front cover which goes well with the overall design of the case. I also noted that there is no reset button in the front, only a power button.


The rest of the front is made up of two covers. The first one can be opened and is located to the left and hides a bit surprisingly a 3.5 inch external expansion bay. It also houses 2 USB 2.0 ports, a FireWire port, an audio input, an audio output and the reset button which I missed in the front. The second front cover is mentioned further down in this review.



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As you can see from the images below, one of the side panels has a window which gives us a fabulous view of whatever equipment we install in the case.



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The backside of the case looks a little peculiar or at least unusual. It’s mainly the placement of the power supply that makes it feel strange.  Another thing I noticed was all the holes in the aluminum back plate of the case. They are of course there to increase the air flow in and out of the case.




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The top side of the case is dominated by the handle which as considerable dimensions. Even though this handle looks a bit strange, it is great to have when bringing your equipment to LAN parties.

 

The bottom of the case has two plates which can be removed to further increase the cooling possibilities of the case.




SILVERSTONE SUGO SG04B-H, THE INTERIOR

In the right side of the case (viewed from front) there is an steel plate which covers the entire side. The left side has a small steel plate located in the lower part. We can also see the mounting bay for the 5.25 inch unit in the upper part of the case.



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I removed the lower steel plate and found a lot of cables; some strange structures at the bottom of the case; the 120 mm fan and the PCB for the external front ports.



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The two structures at the bottom of the case are made of steel and are intended to hold two 3.5 inch hard drives. It is not a bad utilization of the space.


In the upper part of the backside you can see the holes destined for the power supply. You can also see the open space intended for the back panel of the motherboard. A ventilation grid have been placed between those two in order to increase the air flow.



In the lower part, there are four expansion slots for PCI or PCI-Express cards. Notice that the plates in front of the expansion slots are full of holes to further increase the ventilation of the case, a nice detail. There’s even an extra ventilation grid below these four expansion slots.



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In the front panel of the box I found a plastic structure with a dust filter in which SilverStone has installed a 120 mm fan. It is also possible to install an extra 120 mm fan. One of the possible weak points is the great amount of wiring that I found in this zone. Of course this is normal since the manufacturer has installed numerous ports in the front panel, in addition to the power and reset buttons and the corresponding LEDs.


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‘The second and larger front cover holds the cooling system and which is removable as you can see from the images below.



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Perhaps you think that everything is super duper with this case by what I have written so far. One thing I have to put on the negative side though is that I had to resort to the manual several times when I disassembled the case. Of course one could argue that is more a problem of mine that of the construction of the case.




SILVERSTONE SUGO SG04B-H, INSTALLING HARDWARE

To install all the components in the Sugo SG04B-H I had to almost completely disassemble it, which is also the reason why it took longer than usual to get the components mounted in this case. Once I had the case disassembled it was a piece of cake to install the components though. An example is the installation of the hard disks in the trays at the bottom of the case, I didn’t even need any tools to do it.


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If you choose to install the cover for the 5.25 unit, you will have to concentrate to get it right. It’s a bit tricky but if you have steady hands, it shouldn’t be a problem.


The installation of the rest of the hardware didn’t raise any kind of problems to me and when I already had the experience of disassembling the case, it was easier to put it together again.



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Once I had installed all the components, there were no problems adding a big graphics card like the Sapphire HD 2900 XT which I used in this review (the longest one I have in my arsenal). The cabling really came together pretty good in the end, in contrast to my previous worries.




CONCLUSIONS

SilverStone has managed to create a real jewel for the Micro-ATX format. The Sugo SG04B-H is not only an attractive case but it is also full of smart innovations. I am also impressed by the high quality of materials chosen by SilverStone. Especially happy am I to see that they have chosen aluminum for the outside chassi.



SilverStone’s Sugo SG04B-H is a case both for HTPC builders looking for a case of great diversity yet with small dimensions and for gamers looking for a case in which they can assemble a powerful system which is also portable for LAN events.


The main limitation is without a doubt the maximum allowed height of the CPU cooler. Thankfully, nowadays there are a multitude of manufacturers offering high performance low profile CPU coolers.


All in all, I cannot do much else but congratulate the engineers and designers at SilverStone. They have done a great job constructing this case.


The price level is a bit above what I feel it should be at around $150 (120€ approximately). However one must take in account all the extras that this case offers.


Pros:

  • Construction and finish of great quality
  • Inner distribution
  • Expansion possibilities
  • Handle facilitates transport
  • Small size yet possible to mount powerful system



Cons:

  • Price




SILVERSTONE Sugo SG04B-H

Packaging

0,5/0,5

Accessories

1/1

Quality and finish

1,5/1,5

Special characteristics

1/1

Space

1,75/2

Noise level

2/2

Price

1,5/2

Total

9,25/10



The final score is 95 out of 100 owls, and we give the “SilverStone Sugo SG04B-H” our Editor’s Choice Award.



TestSeek Labs Editor's Choice 2009 Award


 

 

Thanks goes out to SilverStone for letting me review this case.



Author: Manuel González Fernández

Translator: Vince Emiloz Sanderson


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