The world of PC component manufacturing is one filled with thousands of different players, each intertwining into each other so much that it can be hard to pick them from a crowd - but SilverStone has never had that problem. Founded in 2003, their enthusiast case series 'Temjin' began and grasped the imagination of hardcore builders, something that they haven't let go of since.
We've seen many cases from SilverStone such as the unique Raven RV02, miniature SG04 and hulking behemoth TJ07, but we had a few questions for them. We worked with our forum community to create five questions, sent them to SilverStone, and the answers we got back are enlightening - so check them out below from Tony Ou at SilverStone.
Atomic: While there are some radically different case designs out there, such as Thermaltake's Level 10, are there any plans for SilverStone to create their own 'signature' case?
Tony Ou: I believe we already have several "signature" cases released over the years such as Crown CW03 HTPC case (with integrated 1080P capable 7" touchscreen), Temjin TJ07 (the first PC case with unibody construction), and recently the RAVEN RV01 (first case to have 90 degrees motherboard mounting for stack effect cooling). We are always looking for different ways to make products that are interesting and useful for our customers, so yes, we will be making more. I don't know if we will ever use the word "signature" in our product name though.
Atomic: The design of the mATX cases are mostly well thought-out, but why are they supplied with full-length front I/O cables when the case is physically smaller?
Tony Ou: We have been working with small form factor cases for several years now. Long cables are sometimes needed if an user wants to route the cable around the motherboard or underneath it. This is very important actually, because we can't predict the positions of the I/O connectors on the variety of motherboards that users will be using in our cases. Even our recently released Mini-ITX case models SG05 and SG06 have longer cables than what appears to be necessary at first glance.
Atomic: To what extent can case manufacturers influence new motherboard layout standards?
Tony Ou: The main layout for standard ATX motherboard is something we can't influence. But we do have some influence over smaller things such as heatpipe orientation, heatsink placement, and connector placement. Unfortunately most of the time, we need to account for motherboards on these details when designing our cases as opposed to asking the motherboard vendors to do certain things for us. Also, different motherboard companies have different attitudes in regards to working with case manufacturers such as ourselves so I can't give you a clear answer to what extent we can influence them as a whole.
Atomic: Is watercooling inside a case a good idea, or are there more effective and affordable ways of cooling?
Tony Ou: Watercooling can be useful for those looking to add extra cooling performance and prestige so for those that need it, it is useful. However, there is still quite a lot we can do to improve aircooling so more people can have the ability to run high end components in reasonable quietness. As you may have noticed recently, we are going to bigger fans in newer case designs so this is one of the good ways to improve cooling. Stack effect and positive air pressure are other two ways we have been implementing to increase cooling performance with minimal noise as well. However, we will continue to include features that cater to users of watercooling equipments in our enthusiasts case product lines.
Atomic: Will positive air pressure be used in all future case designs? If so, why?
Tony Ou: Positive air pressure will continue to be used by nearly all of our future case designs because we have seen from many of our own test results that this achieves the best balance between cooling performance and quietness. Negative pressure designs generally require lots of inactive vents to work well, which increases noise leak from the components inside the case. Another major benefit of positive air pressure design is the ability to control dust intake. With filters on intake fans, we can be sure that all air going into the case will have to pass through the fan filters. In a negative pressure case, even if you have filters on all intake fans, dust can still enter the case through gaps or cracks all over the case. I think it's not difficult to see why we want to continue designing our cases using positive air pressure as the basis, when designed properly, the case can be cool, quiet and clean.
Atomic: Thanks for your time, Tony.