SilverStone Precision PS06 PC Case ReviewFri, Aug 12, 2011 - 12:00 AM
External Thoughts On The PS06B-W
Taking a look at the business end of the SST-PS06B-W, we are immediately greeted with aggressive lines and a distinctive angular design, reminiscent of Silverstone’s own Raven series enclosures. This new design represents a tremendous departure from the somewhat sterile-looking Precision Series lineup; we haven’t seen lines like this since the Silverstone SST-PS01B debuted back in December 2007. The blue accents help break up the all-black front panel, as well as give the chassis a serious yet fun look.
One of the main features of the SST-PS06B-W is its external hot swap bay. Capable of supporting both 3.5” and 2.5” SATA-based storage devices, the bay provides enthusiasts convenient and fast access to their loose storage drives. Directly above the hot swap bay, the SST-PS06B-W is outfitted with five 5.25” external bays. While this chassis does not offer a separate external bay to install 3.5” devices at, such as fan controllers or media readers, the hot swap bay can be removed entirely to make room for other 3.5” external devices.
A unique aspect of the SST-PS06B-W that separates itself from competitors is its windowed side panel. What’s the big deal, you say? Have a second look; see anything different? The fact of the matter is that the SST-PS06B-W is one of the few budget chassis on the market that features nearly a full-size, side-to-side panorama of the interior of the case. This begs enthusiasts to trick out the SST-PS06B-W with custom LED strips, cold cathodes and electro-luminescent lighting.
The Plexiglas window is thick and is held in place by eight rivets. Upon inspection, there was very little scratching on the window after removing the protective film covering it. Although oversized, enthusiasts looking for additional cooling opportunities can mod the side panel window with an additional fan, without entirely blocking the terrific view that the window provides. For those that wish for a solid side panel instead, Silverstone offers a non-windowed version of this chassis, the SST-PS06B.
Another surprise is revealed as we move to the rear of the SST-PS06B-W. Eight PCI slots come standard with this enclosure, which seems overkill until the idea of running four dual-slot videocards becomes a possibility. However unlikely, especially in a case marketed towards those looking for an affordable chassis solution (much less furnishing four graphics cards), it’s another example of Silverstone giving enthusiasts options that they can grow into.
The side panels of the SST-PS06B-W can be locked using the punched metal loops, and for gamers worried someone will walk off with their prized rig at their next LAN event will be pleased to see the inclusion of a Kensington lock. Water cooling cutouts are also available on the SST-PS06B-W, with each hole measuring 3/4” in diameter. The holes are not lined with Teflon or other anti-chafing material, so care must be used when routing water lines through them.
Rounding the right side of the SST-PS06B-W is a blank panel of solid steel. The two side panels on this enclosure are very thick and heavy. Two thumbscrews on the rear of each panel hold them in place, and once removed, the panels swing outward easily. The case is made of 0.7mm SECC, which is quite thick and strikes a good balance between structural strength and weight, while remaining affordable.
The entire exterior of the chassis, with the exception of the front and top panels, are painted flat black. Some manufacturers like to increase the “wow” factor of a case by painting them in high-gloss, however these types of cases become fingerprint magnets and readily show dust and dirt. The paint job of the SST-PS06B-W, inside and out, is very good. The paint is applied well and looks to be resistant to most scratches and dings.
Following the blue accent motif found on the front and side panels of the SST-PS06B-W, the top of the chassis sports a pair of USB 3.0 ports. These ports can be converted to support USB 2.0 devices with the included adapter cable found in the accessory bundle. The SST-PS06B-W offers high definition audio, with the Mic and audio jacks positioned between the two USB ports.
A feature not readily noticeable is the recessed tray at the top of the case. This tray could hold spare storage drives, hardware, thumbdrives or anything else an enthusiast could think of. Directly below the two USB 3.0 ports is a removable shroud which hides one of the more compelling features of the SST-PS06B-W.
The SST-PS06B-W is no slouch when it comes to air cooling opportunities. Underneath the removable shroud is a rather large 180mm intake fan. Be advised that this is no ordinary fan. This is one of Silverstone’s highly regarded Air Penetrator series fans, the SST-AP181. Built on the concept of focused airflow, the AP181 moves air in a column up to 1 meter away, whereas with standard case fans, air is moved in a cone and diffuses rapidly. Silverstone has produced an excellent video of the SST-AP181 in action, complete with a smoke machine.
The 180mm intake fan can be controlled with a switch at the rear of the SST-PS06B-W. This switch alters the RPM of the fan, and thus its dBA and CFM. Positioned to its lowest setting will make the SST-AP181 spin at 700RPM at 18dBA and push air at about 80CFM. At the high setting, the SST-AP181 will spin at 1,200RPM at 34dBA, pushing 130CFM of air. Even at the high setting, the SST-AP181 is very quiet while pushing a decent amount of air.