Silverstone TJ05-ST
Posted on: 11/11/2004 06:00 AM

The first thing you'll notice when you remove the side panel on your TJ05-ST is an absolute mess of cables and wires. Why so many cables? Well, this is the result of having the integrated thermal monitor and fan controller. Also, the front I/O ports need to be connected to your motherboard somehow. Expect to spend several minutes sifting through wires before you begin the process of installing your motherboard. The easiest thing to do is to actually remove the right panel as well and pull the cables back through a large hole on that side. This will get them all out of the way and let you install the motherboard and pull through the wires that you'll need to hook up your LEDs, power/reset buttons, temperature monitoring and front I/O ports on an individual basis. If you're a neat freak like I am, you can even tape back the wires that you don't intend on using in a small cavity on the right-side of the case. This keeps everything out of the way and prevents a mess.

Now that we've got that mess of cables cleaned up, let's move on to the finer points of discussion inside the TJ05-ST.

On first glance you'll notice what appears to be a small toolkit on the bottom of the chassis. After you remove the cover you'll realize it's just the storage area for the brackets that will hold your hard drives and optical drives in place. These are completely tool-less, which is an added bonus. The brackets for the hard drives are plastic and the brackets for your optical drives are steel. The hard drive brackets are relatively simple to use. They line-up with the holes on your hard drive and click in place relatively securely. Once they're installed on the drive, sliding the hard drive into the bay on the right ends up being a simple enough task.

Moving along to the hard drive bay itself, the first thing you'll notice is its orientation. It's facing the side of the case, which makes for easier access to the drives and cables themselves. There is a thumb screw on the bottom of the bay that holds it in place. Upon removing the thumbscrew and flipping a small switch at the top of the bay, it should slide right out. It does take a certain amount of force to remove it, so don't be surprised if it doesn't budge when you initially try to pull it out. Give it a swift tug, and it should slide out of the case. Behind the bay, you'll notice the bracket for an optional 80mm fan. Silverstone was kind enough to include dust filters on this fan bracket and the intake on the front of the case, and I think that's a valuable addition. Behind this 80mm fan bracket is another small ventilation grill on the right side panel of the case. I would imagine most people would probably use this as an output, drawing the heat of your hard drives immediately out of the case. That being said, I'm sure an argument could be made for the other way too.

One thing that you might want to keep in mind with this particular drive bay orientation is that with SATA drives, the cabling could come dangerously close to the side panel. This wouldn't be an issue if the connectors on SATA drives weren't so... flimsy, but it's important to note. Check the distances before you slam the side panel shut because I'd hate to see someone ruin a drive in this way.

Moving along, I decided to include a shot of the front of the chassis with the door open. I purposely left the case on the carpet so you could all see the lean that occurs when the front door is opened. The notables from the picture on the left are the plethora of wires going into the case from the front switches, LEDs and the fan controller. Also, you get an excellent shot of the filter covering the front 120mm intake fan.

The next point of discussion is the interesting bracket displayed in the middle photo above. This bracket will cover your PCI slots and can do two things: It will take two 80mm fans which you would probably have drawing cool air into the case over your PCI devices OR it can accept two 3.5" hard drives. It's an interesting concept and for those of you filling your systems with storage, these additional two spots for drives may be appreciated.

In the picture to the right, you'll notice the rear 120mm fan which will definitely exhaust a lot of heat from your case while remaining relatively quiet due to its slow rotational speed. How would you like tool-less PCI/AGP device installation? The TJ05-ST gives you that by having plastic sliding clips above each expansion slot. All you do is slide up one of the clips, install your PCI or AGP device and then slide the clip down. For those of you who love tool-less designs and ease of use, this is another great feature. Myself? I'm not a big fan, at least not for installing video cards because after you've installed the video card and you connect your display, when you apply pressure to fully seat your DB15 or DVI connection, I find that the video card can be moved around a little bit in its slot. If it was manually screwed down, that wouldn't be the case.

Let's move on to the next section of the review, where I'll discuss in detail the process through which you install a 5.25" optical drive in the TJ05-ST.

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