You know that thing about love at first sight? When you clap eyes on to someone and know, instantly and in that moment, that they are the love of your life? Well, we’re cynical here at Atomic and don’t really believe in it. For people, that is. We believe in it pretty damn seriously when it comes to tech.
And Silverstone’s new TJ-series case is just that. The TJ11 is our one true love... at least until the TJ12!
Silverstone’s been wowing us with what it calls its unibody design for years now, and the TJ11 is no different. Just about the first thing you notice is the single, elegantly curved piece of black, sandblasted aluminium that makes up the main part of the body. What this offers in terms of aesthetic cannot be overestimated – it simply looks a million bucks. On top of that, it makes for a fiendishly sturdy design, too. Which is handy, given that even without parts installed the TJ11 weighs in at over 17kg.
It needs to be sturdy!
Going beyond those killer curves, the first thing you notice is the slightly extruded fascia that wraps around the front and top the case. The front part of the case houses a mighty nine 5.25in drive bays, while the top part of those mounting features the subtly hidden IO ports, including two USB3 ports. These rely on an annoying pass-through cable, but the design of the TJ11 at least offsets this unsightly solution.
The side panels feature slanted mesh inserts for cooling, and two completely clear cut-outs about two-thirds of the way up from the bottom edge. What these are for, and the passthrough solution, become obviously once you remove part of the top fascia – the entire motherboard mount is set 90 degrees from the standard orientation, just like in Silverstone’s Raven series!
This means all the expansion slots and motherboard IO point straight up, but are hidden under a removable panel. This does a couple of things. First, it’s very good for cable management, is all the trailing cables are naturally collected into a single bundle, or, in the case of the USB cables, hidden altogether. The second vitally important roll this presto-change-o trick delivers is far better heat management; as heat rises, it naturally vents out of the top of the case.
And that’s before you even begin to boggle at the excellent cooling setup within...
The TJ11 divides up its internal space into discrete thermal chambers, with discrete cooling sub-assemblies. At the very bottom, you’ve got a roomy spot for a PSU, next to this sideways facing HDD bays. These feature a tool-less caddy mechanism, and all slot into hot-swap arrays for super-convenient drive fiddling. The drive bays face to the case’s left (a user’s right, if you’re looking at it from the front), and have a pair of 140mm fans set behind them to pass over toasty drive platters. The caddies are a touch cheap-feeling, though, and can be tough to insert and remove. Watch these if you do a lot of swapping.
The rest of the case is a separate enclosure, with two large fans blowing air up into the case. This is where those side-panel cut-outs come into play; each one also features a removable plastic mesh cover, which is great for dealing with dust intake. The single fan that acts as the system’s exhaust means that internal air pressure is positive – another great anti-dust measure.