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Silverstone TJ05 PC Case

Silverstone TJ05 PC Case

Supplied by Sundial Micro


The Silverstone TJ05 has got every angle covered; cooling, temperature monitoring and control, tool-less design, front USB, 1394, audio ports, abundant space for components and stylish design. It’s the PC case with all the features most others don’t have but is it too much? Did Silverstone try to put to much into one case?

beauty_shot_02

The stage has been reached where Silverstone Tek is no longer "the new kid on the block." Many retailers, like Sundial Micro, now carry Silverstone product. Silverstone has put great effort into their marketing. They’ve also put great effort into design by delivering a product that is functional and stylish. The Silverstone product now stands beside the likes of Lian Li and Cooler Master and their HTPC cases are a favorite of many including this author.

The TJ05 is a flagship for Silverstone and the list of features is extensive:

  • Stock 120mm. intake/exhaust fans
  • 4 front USB ports
  • 1 1394 front port
  • 1 front audio connection
  • 1 front mic connection
  • Thermal monitoring, control and display unit
  • Tool-less design
  • Front bezel door
  • Stabilizer feet
  • Removable hard drive cage
  • SSI, Extended ATX, ATX, Micro ATX motherboard support

 

Specifications

ws_case

 

Material

Aluminum
front panel/door, 0.8mm SECC body

Color Black
Silver
Motherboard SSI,
Extended ATX, ATX, Micro ATX
Drive
Bay
Exposed
  • 5.25¨ x 4
  • 3.5¨ x 2
Hidden
  • 3.5¨ x 8
Cooling
System
Front

120mm intake
fan, 2200rpm, 21dBA

Rear 120mm exhaust fan,
2200rpm, 21dBA
Left
side
2
x 80mm fan (option)
Right
side
80mm
fan (option)
Expansion
Slot

7

Front
I/O Port
  • USB2.0
    x 4
  • IEEE1394 x 1
  • audio x 1
  • MIC x 1
Power
Supply
Optional
standard PS2 (ATX), Redundant PS2
Net
Weight
13.45
kg
Dimension 213 mm
(W) x 504 mm (H) x 617 mm (D)

The Silverstone TJ05 is not a lightweight. It tips the scales just shy of 30 lbs. but it is a full-featured PC case with plenty of cooling options, a thermal display and control unit, built-in 1394, USB and audio ports and tool-less design.

The grand tour

ws_case

Silverstone threw a curve into the design of the bezel door which also features a push latch mechanism. Ease of access depends on whether the case is placed on the user’s left or right.

door_curve

Four 5.25" and two 3.5" external bays are pretty much standard on PC cases. The entire bezel is aluminum.

ws_case_door_open

Note the continued curved design from the door to the lower portion of the front bezel.

ms_front_bezel

The centerpiece of the TJ05’s design is the integrated thermal control and display.

cu_display

On the right side of the bezel are

usb_ports

Other externally notable features are the 120mm. fan, thumbscrews, side vents and the side panel double latch system.

ws_rear

The TJ05 comes stock with two Everflow 2000 RPM – 21 dBA 120mm. fans.

fan

One of which is mounted as an exhaust and the other as a front intake.

cu_rear_exhaust

There are vents beside the PCI slots that are 2/3 blocked by the internal PCI card quick-latch system. Note one of the 3 side panel thumbscrews.

rear_pci_slots

The side panel has two quick release latches to gain access to the interior once the thumbscrews are removed. The lower is shown in the open position.

locking_handle

The side panel vent holes do serve a purpose. This becomes apparent when the side panel is removed.

side_vents

The interior’s most prominent feature is the fan bracket.

ws_door_off

The "door" can accommodate two 80mm. fans and thus is the reason for the vent holes on the side panel. There are PCI card stabilizers as well. Use caution as any minor downward pressure can cause the door to easily be bent out of its hinge mounts.

door_off_bracket_open

There are a mess of cables inside. There are the two USB leads for the four front bezel USB ports and the 1394 lead.

usb_1394_wires

There are the thermistor leads for the hard drive, system and CPU monitoring.

thermistors

There is the hard drive LED connection.

hdd_led_connections

There is the power LED connection.

power_led

There are three molex connectors to power the two 120mm. fans and the thermal control and display device.

molex

There are also three fan connections (CPU fan shown). The other two are to power the system and hard drive cooling fans.

cpu_connects

The plethora of cables will be an annoyance if not properly stowed. Our advice is to first pull off the side panel behind the motherboard and take up the slack once the cables are connected. If the USB and/or 1394 connections aren’t used then the wires can be stowed as shown. Use cable ties to secure the loose wires.

1394_wires

1394_wires_coiled

Another feature is the 80mm. hard drive cooling fan with removable filter. There is also the same removable filter on the front 120mm. intake fan.

cu_drive_exhaust

This fan box unclips to install the 80mm. fan and it is advisable the fan be set to exhaust. The motherboard side panel also features vent holes to accommodate this as seen in the following image.

ms_usb_vent

The TJ05 features tool-less drive mounting and the brackets are located on the floor of the case’s interior under a slide-off cover.

drive_bracket_cover_on

drive_bracket_cover_off

Forward of the drive bracket storage is the side mounted hard drive cage that can accommodate 5 drives.

drive_cage_in

The cage is secured in place by a lower-edge thumbscrew and an upper-edge clip. The clip is the white tab in the following image of the hard drive cage.

drive_cage

The drive cage bay interior reveals a bit cooling redundancy. First the 120mm. intake fan draws air through the front bezel and pushes it into the hard drive cage or around it to the remaining interior space. Remember that the cage is side mounted and the sides aren’t extremely conducive to airflow. The 80mm. fan provides the exhaust (or intake) flow across the drives.

drive_cage_out

The four 5.25" bays and two 3.5" bays also feature tool-less mounting.

inside_optical_drive_bay

inside_floppy_bay

The PCI slot covers are snap on and feature a tool-less mechanism to secure PCI cards in place.

ws_pci_slots

Simply pop out the PCI cover of choice, insert card and snap the sliding tab closed to secure the card. It works quite well.

pci_slot_open

pci_slot_closed

Screws on either side of the case chassis must be removed in order to remove the 5.25" bay covers. These are seen on the forward part of the drive slots. This means pulling both side panels off.

drive_door_screws

The bezel door has a side key lock which allows the entire bezel to swing open. This too must be done in order to gain access to the 3.5" bay covers which are also held in place by screws.

cu_inside_bezel

Finally the TJO5 has swing-out stabilizers.

feet_retracted

feet_open

Installation, hits and misses

The TJO5 is a larger mid-tower case and that has its advantages. The first of which is space; space for drives, cables and other components. The TJ05’s support rail (seen in the right side of the following image) can be used as a cable tray to hide wires coming from the power supply to the optical drives.

inside_optical_drive_bay

The TJO5 has strengths. The 120mm. intake and exhaust fans are extremely quite and move a greater volume of air at a lesser noise level than 80 or 90mm. counterparts. There is the thermal display and control unit which will be further explained in the next section.

The hard drive cage was a hit and a miss depending on perspective. The drives mount perpendicular to the chassis. The connection ports of the hard drive face the inside of the side door panel. The inside fan door sits right beside the cage. Single or double hard drives will not present a problem to route SATA or PATA hard drive cables but those with 4 or more drives may find the cage orientation awkward.

Another "hit" or "miss" are the USB, audio and 1394 ports. They are a hit for an included option. They are a hit if the case sits to the user’s left. They are a miss if the case sits to the user’s right and the fact they are low on the case bezel is a questionable design move. Ideally these ports should be located on the center of the bezel either on the top horizontal or vertical face for easier access since the TJ05 will most likely sit on the floor.

ms_usb_vent

The TJ05 comes with a "mess-o-cables" for the thermal display, USB, audio and 1394 options. These cables can be like long hair constantly getting in the way. It’s best to tape them out of the way while installing the PC components until such time they are to be plugged in. "Hit" or "miss" depends on the user’s mood during installation. In reality the included connections are a hit but cables are cables and a "mess-o-cables" can be annoying if not properly stashed and secured.

A miss on the review unit was the bezel lock mechanism. The latch didn’t, well, latch properly. A small amount of subtle influence bent the chassis the required "smidge" to allow the latch to hook the chassis properly.

The TJ05 wasn’t perfect. It’s a top-heavy case and was far more prone to tipping than similar cases such as the Chenming SX series (AMK Computers, ANTEC, Thermaltake styles). The feet should be left in the open position for stability. While the hard drive tool-less mounting rails worked well the optical drive rails, which were metal, did not. The 5.25" CDRW proved quite difficult to remove due to the rails catching on the chassis.

The thermal display and control unit

beauty_shot_02

The Silverstone TJ05 incorporates a thermal control and display unit into the front bezel. There are three sets of thermistors that can be used for detecting temperatures suggested by Silverstone to be the CPU, system, and hard drive (CPU, SYS, and HDD) areas.

thermistors

The LCD screen can display temperature range from 0 to 100 degrees Celsius or 32 to 212 degrees Fahrenheit. The thermal control unit can also adjust fan speed based on these temperatures. The leads require a 3-pin molex female connection on the fan.

Temperature
Fan Speed Level
Output Power
LCD shows
0~13 Celsius
0
0 Volts
No fan movement
14~19 Celsius
1
6 Volts
Very slow
20~25 Celsius
2
7.5 Volts
Slow
26~31 Celsius
3
9 Volts
Medium
32~37 Celsius
4
10 Volts
Fast
38~43 Celsius
5
11 Volts
Very fast
44~50 Celsius
6
12 Volts
Maximum

The 120mm. fans are not connected to the fan control unit. It would be more applicable to place the HDD thermistor on or near the hard drives and purchase an 80mm. fan to install for additional venting of heat. The SYSTEM fan could power one or two 80mm. fans in the side panel area but there is some hesitation to hand over the CPU fan control to the TJO5 thermal control unit. This is based on two reasons. The first is fan failure. The motherboard fan monitoring must be disabled in BIOS to allow the PC to operate. In case of fan failure the PC will not automatically shut down to prevent overheating and processor damage. This may be a concern for some even though this author’s personal dual processor PC has been happily chugging along with the CPU fans attached to a manual rheostat fan control unit for a year without incident.

The display is unreadable from any angle but dead-on. Every read out shows from above.

display_above

From dead on the display is normal.

display_lit

From below there is very little to nothing.

display_below

The display has battery backup, date, time, power, hard drive activity and, of course, temperature display. Each sensor can be programmed to sound an alarm at a user set level (default is 65 degrees Celsius).

Final words

beauty_shot_01

The Silverstone TJO5 is available from Sundial Micro for $145 USD. It is competitively priced against Cooler Master and well below similar Lian Li cases. The TJ05 excels in some areas and fall short in others though the shortfalls are minor in comparison. Silverstone continue to impress with their PC cases and the TJ05 is a flagship rivaled only by the release of the TJ06. Silverstone attempted to do too much with this PC case. One or two features could have been dropped from the manufacturing process in favor of giving more attention to other areas. This is a larger mid-tower case that should be high on the list for those with cooling power as a priority.

ws_case_door_open

 

Our thanks to Sundial Micro for
their support of this and many other sites.

Highs

  • Cooling
  • Tool-less
  • Options

Lows

  • Tips easily
  • A few minor design flaws

Scores Breakdown
Attribute Score Comments
Bonus items & software 9.5 Everything is included.
Design & layout 8 The hard drive cage is better mounted in line with the chassis and the optical drive rails aren’t 100% smooth action. The front connections would be better suited directly on top or top front of the bezel instead of low on the side of the bezel.
Documentation 8.5 The included manuals explain all the features of the case but are not 100% clear on connecting the thermal control unit.
Features & options 9.5 The list goes on and on.
Fine-tuning features 8.5 This is a case targeted directly towards cooling enthusiasts.
Modding possibilities 8.5 There’s room to add a top fan but a side window kit may be inhibited by the inside door that holds the side cooling fans. The door can be easily removed.
Overclocking features 9 Plenty of cooling potential. The only component that could be blamed for excessive heat is a poor heatsink.
Performance & stability 7.5 Stability, in this case, pertains to how stable the case is. It is top-heavy and it is recommended to always have the feet in the open position.
Presentation 8.5 Stylish up front but a steel box in back.
Price / value 8.5 Competitively priced in its class but this level may be more expensive for some buyers.
Total score 86/100 86%

Comments

  1. Unregistered
    Unregistered I recently purchased this case and love it's looks (Black Version) but was highly disappointed by some of the finish.
    For one, the door lock does not work for love nor money & looks very cheap.
    The door hinges also are less than perfect, when I recieved mine the door was scraping which ok was easily remedied but none the less is below standard imo.
    Although feature rich internaly I also found the feeling of the construction cheap with some sharp edges.
    Overall a lot of thought has gone into the look of this case but at this price it should be a lot better quality.
    Half the price then I'd recommend it straight away.

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