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SILVERSTONE Black Aluminum / Plastic Grandia GD09B ATX / SSI-CEB Media Center / HTPC Case
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: + Fits right in as a component of a home entertainment station in the living room.
+ Accommodates both ATX or mATX form factor motherboards and full height expansion cards.
+ Outstanding cooling
+ Adequate space for drive installation, accommodating both 3.5" and 2.5" drives.
+ Case fan filters are literally a snap to remove and clean.
+ Solid build overall aided by the reinforcement bracket down the middle.

Cons: - Paint job on the top of the case exhibits fairly significant orange peel. Orange peel is when tiny bumps appear in the finish. This is usually resultant from improper painting technique. It's not good form for Silverstone to allow such a poor level of paint job on a case. I suppose they could claim it's a design choice, whatever.
- Zero wire management what-so-ever. I was forced to use the space above the SDD for front panel and PSU wire storage rendering that fan mount point unusable. At best the air would be mostly blocked by the wires, at worst the wires would interfere with the fan blades.
- The ODD cage is designed to support a HDD mounted under the ODD. That lower bracket portion for a HDD comes very close to the RAM and CPU heatsink. This necessitates lower-profile RAM sticks and a short heat sink for the CPU. Stock heatsinks are fine. Avoid most tower style coolers. The Arctic Alpine 64 Pro I used had maybe 1 mm of clearance between the fan shroud and the ODD/HDD bracket.
- SSD mounted flush to the motherboard tray REQUIRES a SATA power connection that is straight, not at 90 degrees. See other thoughts for more detail.

Other Thoughts: I have yet to find the "perfect" HTPC enclosure. They all have some level of compromise. Silverstone has done a decent job minimizing the negatives of this form factor, especially in a case that allows use of a full ATX motherboard and standard size PSU and ODD.

I used a Corsair CX500M modular PSU which turned out to be irrelevant since I ended up having to use all the wires. This was necessitated in part due to how Silverstone chose to layout some of the components. The SSD being flush mounted to the floor of the case REQUIRES a straight SATA power connection, but the Corsair PSU only has 90 degree SATA power connections. That said, due to how Crucial orients their SSDs, they would probably be the ideal choice. Something to keep in mind! I ended up having to use a molex-SATA adapter. I could have saved one PSU cable if I had chosen the PSU or SSD more carefully.

The positioning of the HDD and ODD make it impossible to share a power line between the two devices. I had to snake a power and data line under the ODD, between the case intake fan and the CPU heatsink, then to the rear of the ODD. It was either that or snake it across the top of the GPU which would pin it against the case support bracket.

If you plan to use a graphics card, I suggest avoiding those with PSU power connections that are perpendicular to the card. Get a card like a GTX 750 that doesn't require additional power or one that has the power connection in parallel with card. I used a PowerColor R9 270 Item#: N82E16814131545 and it worked wonderfully.

I used a 4GB kit of G.Skill Ripjaws X Item#: N82E16820231427 and they just barely cleared the ODD/HDD bracket. However I would suggest something like Mushkin Stealth or Corsair Vengeance LP to ensure full clearance and afford some much needed extra space.

ARCTIC Alpine 64 Pro Rev. 2 CPU Cooler - AMD, Supports Multiple Sockets 92mm PWM Fan at 23dBA
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

5 out of 5 eggs Good alternative for stock coolers 11/24/2014

This review is from: ARCTIC Alpine 64 Pro Rev. 2 CPU Cooler - AMD, Supports Multiple Sockets 92mm PWM Fan at 23dBA

Pros: + Not as large as "tower" style coolers and will not interfere with RAM heat shields regardless of their design or size.
+ Cost: much cheaper than many choices
+ Noise level: MUCH quieter than stock cooler thanks in part to unique fan design. There is precious little housing to cause fan noise and the fan is suspended over the heatsink via rubber, anti-vibration mechanisms. Very trick.
+ Installation is a breeze. One of the easiest coolers to install. Even easier than stock.
+ PWM fan allows motherboard to manage fan speed
+ SIX year warranty!

Cons: - AMD only
- Larger than stock
- Unusual fan design: prohibits simple fan replacement after failure. The fan blades are more exposed so wire management near the heatsink will be key.
- The heatsink and fan shroud are two different bits, and NOT affixed to each other. The fan is held to the heatsink via pressure once installed. This works quite well but keep it in mind when removing it from the package so you don't drop 1/2 the assembly.
- Cools marginally better than stock
- Do not over-tighten the two screws during installation. The screw heads are small and the can easily be tightened to the point where they push through the plastic of the fan shroud rendering the device ineffective.

Other Thoughts: If you are looking for a heatsink which will improve your CPU temps, or if you intend to try overclocking, this is NOT the heastsink/fan for you. If you are looking for an effective device to replace a failed stock device or need a device for a CPU which lacks a stock heatsink, then this is a very solid choice.

I used this on HTPC build in a Silverstone GD09B case Item#: N82E16811163257, a Gigabyte 970A-UD3P motherboard Item#: N82E16813128651, with an Athlon II X3 450 Rana CPU Item#: N82E16819103886. This is a 95W part so it should be representative of most AMD CPUs.

I ran Prime95 In-place FFTs for hours. The CPU never exceeded 45 degrees C. The fan noise level was so quiet as to be inaudible with the case on the table top next to the monitor.

ADATA DashDrive UV100 8GB USB 2.0 Flash Drive (Red) Model AUV100-8G-RRD
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

3 out of 5 eggs Not the best by a long shot 11/23/2014

This review is from: ADATA DashDrive UV100 8GB USB 2.0 Flash Drive (Red) Model AUV100-8G-RRD

Pros: + Great size, thin enough to fit in any USB port, irregardless of what is plugged into adjacent ports.
+ Attractive design, the red plastic looks like a brushed aluminum
+ Capacity is clearly marked on the face of the device, no guessing how big it is when you pick it up
+ Excellent price

Cons: - Plastic housing feels a bit cheap
- The "male a plug" is also plastic. This makes it harder to insert and remove in some USB ports. It feels tight on insertion and removal. Also, a plastic plug is much more fragile than a metal so care must be taken when using this device. If the device is at any angle at all during insertion or removal, or if it get's bumped on the vertical axis and it could easily crack or break.
- Feels S-L-O-W See benchmarks results below.

Other Thoughts: I used USB Flash Benchmark to test this drive because it felt really slow, and the reason for that is... Because it IS slow! It's especially slow during write cycles.

Average read speed is 12 MB/s from 16 MB to 128 KB file size but read speeds really take a nosedive at the 64 KB file size, we're talking 6 MB/s read speeds on average but dropping down to just 2 KB/s at the 1KB file size.

Obviously this is NOT the drive for frequent small file transfers. Large file transfers are livable but still pretty pokey. The saving grace for this drive was it's price. An 8GB thumb drive for under $10 is quite a buy, as long as you're the patient type.


Kelly W.'s Profile

Display Name: Kelly W.

Date Joined: 10/06/01

  • Reviews: 21
  • Helpfulness: 14
  • First Review: 01/31/14
  • Last Review: 11/24/14
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